Cowley Family History

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Cowley Name Meaning

English: habitational name from any of the various places called Cowley. One in Gloucestershire is named with Old English cu ‘cow’ + leah ‘woodland clearing’; two in Derbyshire have Old English col ‘(char)coal’ as the first element; and one near London has it from Old English cofa ‘shelter’, ‘bay’ (see Cove) or the personal name Cofa. The largest group, however, with examples in Buckinghamshire, Devon, Oxfordshire, and Staffordshire, were apparently named as ‘the wood or clearing of Cufa’; however, in view of the number of places named with this element, it is possible that it conceals a topographical term as well as a personal name. Irish: reduced form of Macaulay (see McCauley).

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

Similar surnames: Howley, Coley, Bowley, Copley, Rowley, Corley, Comley, Onley, Godley

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Cowley Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Cowley name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Cowley. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Norway


  • Sweden


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Cowley Family Origin

Where is the Cowley family from?

Cowley Family Occupations

What did your Cowley ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, the most common Cowley occupation in the USA was Farmer. 29% of Cowley's were Farmers. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Cowley. A less common occupation for the Cowley family was Carpenter.

View Census data for Cowley | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Carpenter


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Cowley ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Cowley Historical Records

What Cowley family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 131,000 census records available for the last name Cowley. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Cowley census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Cowley

Passenger List

There are 15,000 immigration records available for the last name Cowley. 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 Cowley immigration records

Draft Card

There are 12,000 military records available for the last name Cowley. For the veterans among your Cowley ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Cowley military records

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

Cowley Life Expectancy

What is the average Cowley lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Cowley life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Cowley in 1944 was 38, and 78 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Cowley

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Cowley ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Cowley Family Ancestors

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