I have only recently discovered the reason why Norman Rowsell (1855-1919) was named “Norman” and all his descendants have since adopted the surname “Norman Rowsell”.

It was because his mother was Sarah Norman (1821-1903) the daughter of John Norman (1787-1853) a ship broker of Water lane near Tower Street in London and his wife Mary Ann Goddard. Sarah Norman married Benjamin Rowsell (1820-1886) but was not the only Norman girl to marry a Rowsell. John Norman actually had 5 daughters and one son. The others were:

  • Marianne Norman (1816 – 1889) who married Reverend Thomas James Rowsell
  • Emily Norman (b.1817) married William Waring Saxton (1811-1879) (brother of the famous John Waring Saxton of New Zealand)
  • John Norman (b. 1818)
  • Julia Norman (1819-1895) married John Montefiore (1820-1895) (son of the famous Jewish mulatto plantation owner John Castello Montefiore of Barbados)
  • Martha L Norman (1831-1852)

rev thomas rowsell

This means that Sarah Norman‘s sister Marianne married her husband Benjamin’s first cousin, Thomas James Rowsell. The Normans and Rowsells were therefore linked twice by marriage.

It is also interesting to see that some of Sarah Norman’s children with Benjamin Rowsell were named after her brothers in law.

  • Norman Rowsell (1855-1919) – named for his Mother’s maiden name
  • Maude Rowsell (1857-1922)
  • Sidney Montefiore Rowsell (1860-1937) – named after his uncle John Montefiore (1820-1895)
  • Ernest Saxton Rowsell (1861-1948) named after his uncle William Waring Saxton (1811-1879)
  • Arthur Grey Rowsell (1863-1928)
  • Eustace Farquhar Rowsell (1867–1911) (a Rugby player – see picture below)
ben rowsell grave stone

The Headstone of the grave in which Benjamin, Sarah and 5 of their 7 children are buried