The English surname Rowe, also found in Ireland and Scotland, is a topographic name for someone who lived by a hedgerow or in a row of houses built next to one another, from Middle English row (northern Middle English raw, from Old English raw). The first recorded spelling of the family name is in 1195 when Geoffrey le Ruwe is registered in the Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire. Other early recordings include Richard le Rowe, in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1226, and Walter le Rowe in the Pleas of the forest of Epping, Essex in 1246. Early surviving examples of church recordings include Gedeock Rowe who was christened on March 13th 1552 at Allhallows, in the city of London, and Anne, the daughter of William Row, who was christened on July 29th 1556 at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey. In Ireland the name is found chiefly in counties Wexford and Kilkenny.
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