Monday, January 27, 2014

Bowles, Bowls, Boulds Guild of One Name Study on Facebook

I am a member of the Guild of One Name Studies and am responsible for the Surname Bowles and its' variants.
I am just beginning to publish information which I have been collecting over the years.
If you are researching the Bowles surname , stop by my Bowles Facebook page  where you will see documents and data. This is an international study, although currently the bulk of my research is about Bowles in the UK and America.

Variations in surnames are to be expected as standardization of spelling was not well established in many countries until the 1900's. In  A Complete Body of Heraldry ,published in 1780 London , the surname has listed the spellings of the surname as Bowles, Booles, Bolles and Boulds.  In A Catalogue of the Names of the Early Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut , one of the earliest of the surname to enter America, John Bowles is spelled both Bowles and Boulds throughout the publication. I could go on for some time and space to document the variety of ways that our surname has been spelled or mis-spelled throughout the centuries. In my own research I have found almost 30 spellings  of the name. In the will of my ggggrandfather Johnathan Bowles, his name is spelled in 3 different ways on one page alone!

A talent for spelling a word in a variety of ways may have been a trait to be admired.
In the 1890's Mark Twain said  "I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us." This quote has often been condensed by genealogists' to  "Never trust a man who only knows one way to spell his name". 

Here are a few notable people who carry the Bowles surname.

Chester Earl Bowles AKA Black Bart
(b. 1829; d.after 1888)
American Outlaw

Brian Bowles
b:June 22, 1980
Martial Artist, Bantamweight Fighter
Joseph Bowles 1692-1749
Librarian at the Bodleian, Oxford, England

Hamish Bowles
b:22 June 1963
Fashion Editor, Vogue, Harpers

Chester Bowles
April 5, 1901 – May 25, 1986
Politician, Gov of Connecticut, House of Representatives

Erskine Bowles
b: August 8, 1945
Politician, Businessman,Former White House Chief of Staff

Tony Bowles
Fashion Designer

Stan Bowles
b:24 December 1948
British Footballer

Peter Bowles
b:16 October 1936
Actor and Author
Oldfield Bowles Self Portrait

Andrew H. Parker Bowles OBE
b: 27 December 1939

Significant contributions have been made by many who carry the Bowles surname, whether they were agricultural workers, coal miners, factory laborers, merchants ,professionals, gardeners or home makers. Our gratitude is extended to those who solidly carry on with the day to day duties without the expectation of fame or recognition.
Thank you for stopping by! I will be going live with the Bowles webpage soon, Until then I hope that you will stop by my Facebook page.

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