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Bowman Family History

Bowman Name Meaning

English and Scottish: occupational name for an archer, Middle English bow(e)man, bouman (from Old English boga ‘bow’ + mann ‘man’). This word was distinguished from Bowyer, which denoted a maker or seller of the articles. It is possible that in some cases the surname referred originally to someone who untangled wool with a bow. This process, which originated in Italy, became quite common in England in the 13th century. The vibrating string of a bow was worked into a pile of tangled wool, where its rapid vibrations separated the fibers, while still leaving them sufficiently entwined to produce a fine, soft yarn when spun. Americanized form of German Baumann (see Bauer) or the Dutch cognate Bouman.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Bodman, Bowden, Bozman, Lowman, Bouman, Boman, Plowman, Osman, Holman

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Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

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Where is the Bowman family from?

You can see how Bowman families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Bowman family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Bowman families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1840 there were 311 Bowman families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 23% of all the recorded Bowman's in the USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Bowman families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Bowman surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Bowman ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Bowman. 16% of Bowman men worked as a Farmer and 7% of Bowman women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Bowman were Truck Driver and Maid.

View Census data for Bowman | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

  • Farmer
    16%
  • Laborer
    15%
  • Salesman
    5%
  • Truck Driver
    4%

Top Female Occupations in 1940

  • Housewife
    7%
  • Housekeeper
    7%
  • Teacher
    6%
  • Maid
    6%
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Bowman family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 584,000 census records available for the last name Bowman. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Bowman census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Bowman

Passenger Lists

There are 43,000 immigration records available for the last name Bowman. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Bowman immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 113,000 military records available for the last name Bowman. For the veterans among your Bowman ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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You've only scratched the surface of Bowman family history.

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What is the average Bowman lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Bowman life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Bowman in 1940 was 45, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Bowman

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