The surname of LOWE was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word HLAW - the dweller at the low, the hill. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. Early records of the name mention Ralph de la Lowe of the County of Northumberland in 1273. Hugh de la Lowe was recorded in County Lancashire in the same year. Crist atte Lowe of Yorkshire was mentioned in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas del Lowe of East Cheshire was documented in the year of 1430. Thomas Lowe, ibid in 1448.
There was also a place so called in Scotland, from which the name was derived. The earliest there on record is Nicholas Loue, in 1331. William Low was a tenant of Welton of Balbrogi in 1473, and John Lowe and Richard Low were witnesses in Brechin in 1586. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour.
This well known English name is quite numerous in Dublin and Ulster, where it was taken by settlers. The name in Irish is MacLughadha.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The arms were registered at Aberdeen, Scotland.
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