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Cowburn Family Crest / Cowburn Coat of Arms

Cowburn Family Crest / Cowburn Coat of Arms

The associated coat of arms is recorded in Sir Bernard Burke's General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in Scotland. This surname of COWBURN was a habitation name from COWBURGH, a minor place in the parish of Kirkham, Lanarkshire and there is a place of the name in Midlothian. The medieval spelling of the name was CU (cow) BURNA (stream) literally meaning the dweller at the stream where cows grazed. The name is also spelt COUBROUGH, MACCOUBREY, COULBROUGH and COWBROUGH. Many families acquired a place-name as a surname from different sources. The original bearer of the name may have lived or worked by some topographic formation or landscape feature, such as a large tree or rock or by a river, lake, hill or valley. Early workshops or stores were generally in the man's home, the place where he lived and worked were usually the same. He might have derived his name from the village or town he had formerly dwelt in, and acquired the reputation of being from that place. Thirdly he may have owned or was lord of the village or manor. In most cases it is impossible to know whether an ancestor owned the manor, or had merely lived or worked in that place. The earliest of the name on record appears to be David COWBRATHT who witnessed a testament of inventory in the year 1515 and William CUBRUGH a Perthshire heritor (a landholder in a parish) was recorded in 1688. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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