History of your Surname
Get access to Cowley family records.Start a free trial

Cowley Family History

Cowley Name Meaning

English: habitational name from any of various places called Cowley. One in Gloucestershire is named with Old English ‘cow’ + lēah ‘woodland clearing’; two in Derbyshire have Old English col ‘(char)coal’ as the first element; and one near London is 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 called with this element it is possible that it conceals a topographic term as well as a personal name. Irish: shortened form of Macaulay (see McCauley ). Manx: shortened form of Gaelic Mac Amhlaoibh ‘son of Amhlaoibh’ (a Gaelicized form of Old Norse Óláfr). For an alternative Manx form of the same patronymic see Callow .

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

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

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Cowley family from?

You can see how Cowley families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Cowley family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Cowley families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1840 there were 22 Cowley families living in New York. This was about 41% of all the recorded Cowley's in USA. New York had the highest population of Cowley families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Cowley surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Cowley ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Farmer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Cowley. 16% of Cowley men worked as a Farmer and 10% of Cowley women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Cowley were Salesman and Clerk. .

View Census Data for Cowley | 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
  • Laborer
  • Clerk
  • Salesman

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Teacher
  • Stenographer
  • Housekeeper
  • Clerk
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Cowley family records will you find?

Census Records

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 US census records for Cowley

Passenger Lists

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 Cards

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

Discover More

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

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Cowley family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial