Brighton and Beyond
A History of the Cowley Family
Reproduced by kind permission of The Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove
The Brighton Connection
As a child, and even in to my adult years, I was never aware of any family ‘chatter’ about Brighton. I think that it was only after the death of my grandfather, Charles Leonard Cowley, that I became aware that he had been born in Brighton and, indeed, that he had a brother and a sister who were also born there.
When I started to look seriously at the family history and to try and verify and build on the work that my late uncle, Roy Cowley, had done, I quickly discovered that the male Cowley line was easily traceable back through some three generations, possibly four, in the Brighton area.
Finding the Links
Early in my family history ‘quest’ I found that Charles Leonard Cowley (my paternal grandfather) was one of three children from the third marriage of his father, Francis Cowley, and the second marriage of his mother, Charlotte Louisa Woolley. Francis was first married to Mary Anne Tugwell with whom he had two children, he then married Mary Ann Hart with whom he had a further two children, and finally he married Charlotte. Charlotte was first married to William Naylor with whom she had three children. So my grandfather had one brother and one sister plus five step brothers and two step sisters. What a complicated line! From my research all were born in the Brighton area.
My great grandfather, Francis Cowley (b abt 1837) came from a family of eleven -
Rottingdean and Ovingdean
As you explore this website you will discover that there are very strong family links, not only with Brighton itself, but also with the villages of Rottingdean and Ovingdean. Many members of the Cowley family were not only born there but some also worked as farmers in the Rottingdean and Ovingdean areas. Several are buried in the churchyards of St Margaret's Church in Rottingdean and St Wulfran’s Church in Ovingdean.
A Dead End!
The Brighton connection is quite clear but sadly we come to a grinding halt in the mid to late-
There are other avenues for research but these will take some time to find, understand and document.
Page updated -
© Peter Cowley 2019