Cowie & Cowey Surname Variants in the 1881 Census


The Cowey Family of County Durham are linked to the Ormerods through a maternal line.

From examination of census and IGI records it became apparent that some Coweys were noted as Cowies.

Traditionally Cowie has been seen as the Scottish spelling, whilst Cowey has been viewed as an English variant.

The map below uses data from the 1881 Census to map the distribution of Coweys and Cowies across the England, Scotland and Wales.

It can be seen that Cowies are spread across the country, especially in Scotland.

The Coweys are concentrated in County Durham.

Each symbol represents a place that contained at least one Cowie or Cowey at the time of the 1881 Census.


The red circles represent a Cowie, whilst the yellow triangle represents a Cowey.


The boundaries shown on the map are the old county boundaries in existence at the time of the census.