Scowen Group Arms – Scawen Variant 1

We have adopted one of the Scawen coats of arms (well, just the shield) as the logo for the site. We do this because all references to a Scowen coat of arms refer back to the Scawen name. We still haven't been given any hard evidence that the two names are related (can you provide some?) but until we have either proved or disproved the link, these are the arms we will use.

Scawen Arms

There are four different entries for Scawen in Burke's General Armory. They follow. We have taken the description of the first entry and created the shield used in the site icon. One day, we would like to create the crest too, but we don't have the graphic design skills for such tasks. Do you?

From Burke's General Armory:

Scawen (Aden, co. Cornwall). Ar. a chev. gu. betw. three griffins' heads erased sa. the two in chief respecting each other. Crest—A cubit arm habited gu. cuffed ar. holding in the hand the trunk of a tree eradicated, near the top a branch issuing all ppr.
Scawen (Molenick, St. Germains, co. Cornwall. This family is traced in their pedigree to the time of Edward I., when the representative m. the heiress of Molenick; they removed into CO. Surrey about 1712, and became extinct in 1801, when the last James Scawen, Esq., M.P. co. Surrey, son of Thomas Scawen, by Tryphena, his wife, dau. and sole heiress of Lord James Russell, of Maidwell, d. leaving his sister, Tryphena, Countess Bathurst, his heiress. There was a younger branch settled at Trehane, in Probus, in consequence of a match with the co-heiress of Trehane; another junior branch, descended from a younger son of the same family, temp. Henry VIII., was of Arden, in Stoke Climsland). Same Arms.
Scawen (Melenick, co. Cornwall; Richard Scawen, aged 30, anno 40 Queen Elizabeth, a.d. 1597, son and heir of Edward Scawen, who d. 12 May, 1597, the ninth in descent from William Scawen, of Melenick, temp. Edward I. Visit. Cornwall, 1620). Az. a chev. gu. betw. three griffins' heads erased ea. those in chief respecting each other.
Scawen (Trehane, co. Cornwall ; John Scawen, second son of Edward Scawen, living 1597, m. Elizabeth, dau. and co-heir of John Trehane, Esq., of Trehane. Visit. Cornwall, 1620). Same Arms. Download the whole General Armory for free from the Internet Archive.


ar… argent, or silver, or white az… azure, or blue gu… gules, or red sa…. sable, or black ppr… proper chev… chevron d. … died m. … married b. … born s.p. … sine prole, without issue d.v.p. … died vita patris betw. … between visit. … visitation of a county by a herald

Notes About these Entires

Some words have been undelined on for emphasis. In the arms we have chosen (1st entry) the colour of the arms is listed as Ardent (silver or white). In the third entry, the arms are described the same but are listed as Azure (blue). The second and third entries are for the same branch of the family, as in those from Molenick or Melenick in Cornwall, who are said to have died out around 1801.  However, the second entry refers to the same arms as described in the first entry. Either the 1st or 3rd is likely to be listing the arms colour incorrectly. The question remains, however, of whether or not the Scawen arms can be used to represent the Scowen name. Are we really the same family? Do you have evidence to prove one way or the other? Contact us and let us know.

Scowen Group – What to Expect

Originally published on the now closed website, on 01 Jan 2013

Welcome to the Scowen Family History Group on Ancestorian.

No Huge Family Tree

If you are here looking for a vast family tree covering all of the Scowens known to have graced the planet during the last 1000 years, you're about to be sorely disappointed. Although the developer and main contributor to (now the Scowen group) is in the process of assembling such a family tree, it is not about to be published here in the near future.
NOTE ADDED: Such a tree requires much time and perseverance and should be as correct as possible prior to publishing. I do not want to contribute to the already huge amount of misinformation about the Scowen name and family.

You Will Also Find:

  • Stories about individual Scowens who have experienced tragedy  success, social elitism, were recognised as heroes and were just interesting.
  • Evidence for the stories. As far as I am concerned, a story is nothing more than that until I have some documented evidence to back it up. If you have some stories to share, I would love them to be added to the group here - but not without some sort of proof. Let us stop the misinformation together.
  • Different theories of the origin of the name and family will be explored. Are Scowen, Scawen, Scown and more all really the same name? Are we from Cornwall, Wales, Scandinavia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Germany, or where?
  • The etymology of the word/name 'Scowen'. This word appears in more than one ancient language, including variations in the old Cornish language, in medieval German, and others.
  • Questions and discussion (arguments) about historical facts and rumours.
  • Snippets of branches of the family in tree form as and when they become clean enough to publish.
  • Links to resources and guides where you can find out more about the family.
  • Information about villages, churches, farms, houses and other locations that feature strongly in the history of the Scowens.

Behind the Scenes (was) a collective effort that was lead by Greg Scowen, a young (by Family History standards) genealogist/family historian that hails from the NZ branch of the family, that which developed after Joseph Ponder Scowen spent time in New Zealand.
Greg is a web developer and librarian working for Switzerland's biggest library. In his spare time, he has also written and published novels and dabbles in family history and landscaping. In 2012, Greg completed a Master's degree by writing a thesis that investigated online family history, what the users want and what the sites are offering them. As part of the study, Greg was exposed to over 20,000 records relating to Scowen family members within the UK alone.

Scowens: We Want You (or at least your content)!

Please, if you have researched a branch of the tree or an interesting question about the Scowen family or name, please get in touch with us via this Ancestorian Group and share your stories or contact us here on the site. If you have documents to back up your stories, we would love to add them to the group. The same goes for your family trees.

Newsletter Closing Down – Join Our Facebook Group to Get News

The Ancestorian Newsletter has been a way of sending out updates from the Blog part of the site to interested users on a weekly basis.However, many users and newsletter subscribers don't seem to understand that they have requested the newsletter and have in turn reported us as Spam. We hate Spam at Ancestorian and the last thing we ever want is for users to think we are spamming them. The newsletter has, therefore, become more of a problem than it is worth to keep sending it out.

Where to Get Updates and Deals

The newsletter often contained special deals and news from Ancestorian. This information was automatically sourced from the Ancestorian Blog. We will continue to post deals and news in the Blog so one easy way to make sure you don't miss out on any deals is to check the Ancestorian Blog on a weekly basis - more often if you like, of course.

Facebook Page and Facebook Group

We also have a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group where all of our news and deals get posted. If you go and 'LIKE' the page and join the group, you can be sure not to miss out - and besides, there are a lot of nice folk over there.The Quickstart page also includes links to the Facebook Page and Group.

The Last Newsletter

The last newsletter will be the one that you receive with a link to this post in it. That newsletter will be sent on 10.03.2020Any subscribers of the newsletter (and other members who didn't subscribe) will still occasionally be contacted if there is any pressing issue that needs to be communicated with all Ancestorian users.You can set your e-mail privacy preferences in your Account area.

Breaking News: RootsTech London is Coming Back!

The world’s largest family history conference is coming back to London this November and you’re invited!

Announcement to Be Made at RootsTech USA today

During Steve Rockwood’s keynote address, he and Jen Allen will announce the opening of RootsTech London registration and the special early bird price of only £79 for a full conference pass. One day passes will be available for only £39.Take advantage of pre-early bird pricing and secure your seat. Passes start at only£39.

RootsTech London Dates

RootsTech is coming back to London on 5–7 November at the ExCeL.

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·         Starter - All the crucial records for starting a family tree and tracing your roots back five generations. The Starter package also enables you to benefit from the research of other members by matching common ancestors to the names stored in your family tree

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Findmypast is home to a vast archive of more than 13 billion family history records that continues to grow by an average of 4 million names per day. The site’s unrivalled collections of British and Irish records cover a wide range of resources, many of which you won’t find anywhere else online.

To find out more about tracing an ancestor’s marriage, see our marriage record guide:

Guide: Place Naming Conventions

This guide is permanently available at:

The standardisation of geographical place names - both in the field of genealogy and geography - is a debated topic. Differing people have varied ideas about how best to manage and format place names.

Indeed, the GEDCOMs that we import into Ancestorian in an attempt to automatically identify the places you research or are knowledgeable of are full of inconsistencies in place name structure. Even my personal GEDCOMs suffer terribly from this.

To counter the huge problems this causes, we have had to adopt some place naming conventions here on the site - so we can offer a consistent experience.

When you import a GEDCOM, we try to identify as many potential inconsistencies as possible and we notify of you of these. This gives you a good opportunity to print out a list and make amendments in your software if you would like. Ancestorian, however, will continue to import your place data as it is.

Adopted Conventions on Ancestorian

  • Three or Four comma-separated names
    • Village/Parish/Town, County/Region, Country
      Boxford, Suffolk, England
    • Village/Parish/Town, County/Region, State/Region, Country
      Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States

  • A space after each comma
    The comma separating the parts of a place name should be followed by a space.
    Ancestorian takes care of this for you and also makes a note beside each place where this doesn't occur - giving you the opportunity to identify edits you might like to make in your software.

  • Don't Include Building Names or Addresses
    Church names, building names, hospital names, houses or street addresses etc. are addresses and should preferably be in the address field or notes field for an event - not included in the structure.
    We attempt to identify these when analysing your GEDCOM and they are adjusted to represent knowledge of a town/place rather than a specific address. Instances of these still go into our huge places database and can be allocated to another place (as an address) or merged as required.

  • Don't Use ALL-CAPS
    The only time ALL-CAPS should be used is in abbreviations. But even then, we prefer for country names to be used (England, Scotland, Wales - not UK).

  • United States
    Some users prefer to shorten United States to USA - because identical places will be merged, we have to give preference to one format on Ancestorian and this has currently been chose as 'United States'.

  • English Counties
    Nightmare alert: England loves to change county names and boundaries. For the benefit of as many users as possible, we have had to make a decision to select the current/modern name of these as the 'master' or 'preferred' name when merging.
    Special consideration should also be made for the following counties:
    • Bristol - Bristol is a county. Therefore, when we merge to Bristol, the correct place to merge to is 'Bristol, Bristol, England' (we know, it seems silly)
    • Greater London  - Officially, we need to use Greater London and not just London
    • City of London - An island in the middle of Greater London, the City of London is a separate ceremonial county. The only place in the City of London is potentially 'London, City of London, England' (we almost hope we never see that and would forgive anyone using 'London, Greater London, England')
    • Greater Manchester - Not just Manchester, but Greater Manchester
    • Yorkshire - Yorkshire doesn't exist any more. Instead, we have North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire
    • Sussex - Now split into West Sussex and East Sussex
    • Co. Durham - County Durham or Co. Durham is just 'Durham'

United Kingdom = 4 Countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

Although these four countries are currently correctly referred to as the United Kingdom, for the purposes of clarity and simplicity, at Ancestorian we refer to them by their separate country names.

For merge purposes, please select variations with England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland as the preferred name.

Guide: How to Find People Researching the Same Name as You

This guide is permanently available at:

This is a really short guide because, well... frankly, this is what Ancestorian makes so easy! Read on.

1.) Visit the Search Surnames page

In the main (black background) menu bar, select:
Surnames → Search Surnames

2.) Search for a Surname

In this example, we have searched for ‘sco’

You will see a result list of surnames featuring the searched term or related terms.

You can order the list by clicking on a header. Here, we have clicked on ‘Researchers’ so we can see which surnames have the most activity.

To view the surname you want, click on either the name link or the corresponding view button. If you want to add the surname as one of your research interests (recommended if you want to find people researching it), then click the corresponding green '+ Your Surnames' button.

3.) Visit a Surname Page - Add Surname as Research Interest

Here, we are seeing the page for Scotney

At the top of the page, if it isn't already one of your researched surnames, is a button to enable you to add it to 'Your Surnames'.
In this guide, 'evitester' had already added Scotney as one of his research interests but the name is not shown publicly in his account profile.


4.) Surname is 'Your Surname' and Public

Clicking the Public/Private toggle makes the surname research interest public.

Now, other users on Ancestorian can discover their shared interest in the Scotney name and reach out to 'evitester' via the message system or in a group.

5.) Find Researchers and Help for the Surname

A little further down the page (maybe an advert come first, these are the only way that Ancestorian makes a few cents that we need to pay the huge hosting bills) you will find the Researchers/Experts/Historians section.

The members listed here are people like you who have added Scotney as a research interest and made it public. The guide was made using member 'evitester'.

You can click on a member's name to get to their profile and reach out to them. Maybe they can help with your Scotney research. 


Guide: How to Add a Missing Surname to Ancestorian

This guide is permanently available at:

1.) Visit the Search Surnames page

In the main (black background) menu bar, select:
Surnames → Search Surnames

2.) Search for a Surname

In this example, we have searched for ‘Fakery’

Fakery is not found in Ancestorian so we need to add it.

3.) Use the 'Add Surname to Ancestorian' Button

At the bottom part of the screen, use the huge green button to add your missing surname to Ancestorian.

A dialog box appears and and asks if this is the full surname. It is, so we can click 'Yes, Add it to Ancestorian' and the magic happens.


4.) Your Missing Surname was Added

Voila, your missing surname has been added to Ancestorian. You have been registered to it as a researcher of that surname and can now also be found by other users who research the same surname.

What's more, other users of Ancestorian can now also register themselves as researchers of the newly created surname.

You can see that the surname has been added and a surname page has been created in the small table beneath the green button you used to add it. Also, you can see and change the public/private status.

If you want to view the newly created surname page, you can click the surname link.

6.) Go and View the new Surname page

There are very powerful features available from surname pages on Ancestorian.

Read about them in our 'What You Can Do on a Surname Page' guide.

Guide: Manage Surnames You Research

This guide is permanently available at:

1.) Visit the Manage Surnames You Research page

In the main (black background) menu bar, select:
Your Ancestorian → Manage Surnames you Research

Like on nearly all listing pages on Ancestorian, you can use the 'Filter results' box or click on column headers to sort the table to suit your needs.

The table shows the Surname (linked to surname page), how many times it is mentioned in your research (if it came from a GEDCOM import), details of GEDCOMs  it appeared in, a toggle to make public/private and a button to remove it from your researched surnames list.

2.) Make a Researched Surname public

If you click on the currently grey toggle next to a surname, you can make the surname public or private.

When a surname is private (grey) only you know that you are researching the surname or have expertise and knowledge of that name.

If you want to allow others to find and contact you based on this surname, click the toggle and it will go blue and therefore, public.

3.) Make all visible surnames public or private

If you want to make all of the surnames that are showing in the current list view public, you can use the toggle above the table to do this. You may have to click twice, first to make all private then again to make all public.

This is especially helpful if you have used the list filtering and sorting options.

Here, we have made all private.

4.) Remove a surname from your research interests

If you no longer want to be connected to a surname, just click the red 'remove' button next to the surname.

This removes the surname from  your research interests but, naturally, leaves the surname in Ancestorian so that others using it or researching the name can continue to do so.

Notice that in comparison to the previous image, the McKenzie surname has been removed.

No surname or place on Ancestorian is unique to you. All places and surnames are shared with the whole site... you are merely able to link yourself to them as a researcher. Don't ever be concerned that removing a place or surname somehow deletes it from Ancestorian altogether. 


Guide: How to Add a Surname to Your Research Interests

This guide is permanently available at:

1.) Visit the Search Surnames page

In the main (black background) menu bar, select:
Surnames → Search Surnames

2.) Search for a Surname

In this example, we have searched for ‘sco’

You will see a result list of surnames featuring the searched term or related terms.

You can order the list by clicking on a header. Here, we have clicked on ‘Researchers’ so we can see which surnames have the most activity.

3.) Use the '+ Your Surnames' Button

Locate the surname you want to add as a research interest and click the green ‘+ Your Surnames’ button.

The page reloads and you see that this has changed to a black button with a check and ‘Your Surname’ written on it.

You can confirm the surname has been added to your research interests by clicking on the link to the surname page (place name) or clicking the ‘View’ button.

4.) Confirm Added by Viewing Surname page

Here, you can see that Scotney has been added to your surnames and it is ‘Public’ which means other users can find you.

5.) Or Confirm on Manage Surnames page

Alternatively, you can visit:
Your Ancestorian → Manage Surnames You Research 

Here, after adding a filter in the ‘Filter results’ box for ‘scot’, we see that the newly linked surname is public and that one further Scot name is  ‘Your Surname’ but not publicly visible – therefore, you will not be found for this.

TIP: Find out what else you can do on the Manage Surnames You Research page in our guide.

6.) Add a Missing Surname to Ancestorian

If you don’t find the surname you are wanting to add as a research interest among the many thousands of names on Ancestorian, you can add it.

Read the ‘How to Add a Missing Surname to Ancestorian’ guide.