The surname FOWLER was an occupational name, a hunter of birds and animals, one who poached for a living. The name was derived from the Old English 'fugelere'. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Early records of the name mention John the Foeglere, County Wiltshire, 1273. Robertus Foghler of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 as was Rogerus Foghler. Edmund Fawsett and Elizabeth Fowler were married at St. Michaels, Cornhill, London in the year 1578. More recent names mentioned include Sir John Fowler (1817-98) an English civil engineer, born in Wadsley Hall, Sheffield and went on to design the Pimlico Railway Bridge in 1860. Henry Watson Fowler (1858-1933) was born in Tonbridge in Kent and he was an English lexicographer. Henry Watson and his brother Frank George produced the Oxford Concise Dictionary in 1911. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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