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

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

The ancestors of the name Howell are thought to have lived among the ancient Britons, who inhabited in the hills and Moors of present day Wales. This particular surname was derived from the Welsh personal name Hoel, which was originally derived from the Old Welsh name Houel. This name was imported by Welsh settlers into the English counties bordering Wales. However, in the eastern English counties, the name was brought by Breton settlers; the Breton forms of the name were Houuel, Huwel, Huwal, and Howael.

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Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Howell has seen various spelling variations: Howell, Howel, Hawell, Howels, Howells, Hovell and many more.

First found in Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy), where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howell research. Another 199 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1300, 1313, 1588, 1650, 1644, 1645, 1625, 1679, 1657, 1660, 1593, 1666 and 1 wo are included under the topic Early Howell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 179 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Howell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Howell

Howell Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Andrew Howell, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Arthur Howell, aged 20, landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Walter Howell, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Henry Howell, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Cobb Howell, who landed in Virginia in 1638


Howell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Martha Howell, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Evan Howell, who landed in Virginia in 1705

Howell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Howell, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1807
  • James Howell, aged 23, landed in New York in 1812
  • Rufus Howell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Simon Howell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1850
  • Robert F Howell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


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  • Roger Howell, American Historian
  • Alice Howell (1886-1961), American silent movie actress
  • Benjamin Franklin Howell (1844-1933), American Republican politician
  • Charles Howell III (b. 1979), American golf player
  • Dorothy Howell (b. 1919), American mother of Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Francis Clark Howell (1925-2007), award-winning American anthropologist
  • Brigadier-General Clark Howell (1894-1966), American Adjutant-General of Georgia (1943-1944)
  • Brigadier-General George Pierce Jr. Howell (1901-1979), American Commandant of the Parachute School (1942-1943)
  • Brigadier-General Reese Maughan Howell (1889-1967), American Commanding Officer Artillery, 9th Division (1943-1946)
  • Lida Howell (1859-1939), American three time Olympic gold medalist for archery at the 1904 Summer Games

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  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  11. ...

The Howell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howell 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 23 April 2014 at 10:10.

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