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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Howard family come from? What is the English Howard family crest and coat of arms? When did the Howard family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Howard family history?

The name Howard originated with the Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled Britain. It is derived from the Old French name Huard or the Old German name Howard. The former name is derived from the Old German name Hugihard, which literally means heart-brave. The latter name, which is also spelled Howart, is a cognate of the Old Norse name Haward and means high or chief warden. Occasionally, the surname Howard may have been applied to someone who worked at a dairy farm at which female sheep were kept. In this case, the derivation is from the Old English words eowu, which means ewe, and hierde, which means herd.

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One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Howard has appeared include Howard, Howerd and others.

First found in Norfolk, where Elwin le Heyvard was listed in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. However, the Cumberland branch of the family is related as evidenced by Geoffrey le Hayward who was listed on the same rolls. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howard research. Another 255 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1443, 1524, 1485, 1520, 1542, 1542, 1585, 1654, 1587, 1669, 1615, 1679, 1675, 1626, 1698, 1536, 1624, 1588, 1651, 1701, 1689, 1701, 1698, 1703, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Howard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 347 words(25 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Howard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Howard arrived in North America very early:

Howard Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Howard, who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Judeth Howard, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • John Howard settled in Virginia in 1634
  • William Howard settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Samuel Howard, who landed in America in 1635


Howard Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Susan Howard, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Margt Howard, who arrived in Virginia in 1716
  • Authur Howard, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Eignon Howard, who arrived in America in 1758
  • James Howard, who landed in America in 1760-1763


Howard Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Michael Howard, aged 8, landed in America in 1803
  • George Howard, aged 50, arrived in New York in 1812
  • George W Howard, aged 29, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Joshua Howard, who landed in America in 1815
  • Dexter Howard, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


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  • Edwin Lee Howard (1951-2002), American CIA officer, who defected to the Soviet Union in 1985
  • Harlan Howard (1927-2002), American country songwriter, who wrote "I Fall to Pieces"
  • Ronald William "Ron" Howard (b. 1954), American Academy Award winning film and television actor and director, best known for his movies Cocoon, Apollo 13, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Brigadier General James Howell Howard (1913-1995), the only fighter pilot in the European Theater of Operations in World War II to be awarded the Medal of Honor (1944)
  • John Howard (1913-1995), American soldier awarded the both the Navy Cross and the Croix de Guerre for his actions during WWII
  • Sidney Coe Howard (1891-1939), American playwright and screenwriter awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1925 and a posthumous Academy Award in 1940 for the screenplay for Gone with the Wind
  • Richard Howard (b. 1929), American poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, and translator awarded the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
  • Brigadier-General Clinton Wilbur Howard (1890-1949), American Commanding General Scramento Air Service Command (1943-1946)
  • Brigadier-General Edwin Britain Howard (1901-1993), American Commanding Officer 23rd Infantry Regiment (1948-1949)
  • Trevor Howard (1913-1988), award-winning English film, stage, and television actor

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  • Norris, Hackett, Prescott and Allied Families: Our ancestors and Their Descendants, Including Adams, Andrews, Bachelder, Bartlett, Boulter, Brewer, Brown, Harding, Hinkley, Howard, Huntington et al by Hugh Albert Johnson.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Matthew A.B. Howard, Georgia-Florida, 1793-1978, with Allied Families by Norma Slater Woodward.
  • The Dukes of Norfolk: A Quincentennial History by John Martin Robinson.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sola virtus invicta
Motto Translation: Virtue alone invincible.

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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Howard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howard Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 2 July 2014 at 12:15.

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