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

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

The name Howes is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived near a hill or steep ridge of land. The surname Howes is usually derived from the Old English word hoh, which means heel or projecting ridge of land. However, it is sometimes derived from the Old Norse word haugr, which means mound or hill. Furthermore, the name Howes may be derived from residence in one of a variety of similarly named places: Hoe is in Norfolk; Hoo is in Kent; places called Hooe are in Devon and Sussex; Hose is in Leicestershire; places named Heugh are in Durham and Northumberland; and settlements called Hough are found in both Cheshire and Derby.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Howes are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Howes include: Howe, Howes, How and others.

First found in Berkshire, where the name could also have been a baptismal name as in "son of Hugh," [1] while another reference claims the name has geographical significance as in the south: "a small round hill" and in the north: "a hollow place or plain." The medieval form of the name is "At How" and is usually synonymous with Hill having derived from the Anglo-Saxon "how," meaning a mountain. [2] However, we must look to Cambridgeshire to find the first listings on the name where Roger del Howes and Richard del Howes were listed there in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howes research. Another 175 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1671, 1654, 1656, 1625, 1679, 1659, 1679, 1627, 1676, 1660, 1676, 1635, 1692, 1611, 1701, 1648, 1713, 1673, 1685, 1689, 1691, 1657, 1722, 1700, 1735, 1722, 1732, 1733, 1735 and are included under the topic Early Howes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 289 words(21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Howes 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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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Howes or a variant listed above:

Howes Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Marie Howes, aged 18, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Thomas Howes, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Abel Howes, who arrived in New England in 1642
  • Ann Howes, who landed in Maryland in 1653
  • Jones Howes, who landed in Virginia in 1658


Howes Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Howes, aged 18, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738

Howes Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Cubit Howes, aged 23, landed in New York in 1806

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  • Greg Howes (b. 1977), American soccer player, in the Major Indoor Soccer League
  • Sally Ann Howes (b. 1930), British-American singer and actress
  • Reed Howes (1900-1964), American model and silent film actor
  • Tim Howes (b. 1963), American co-inventor of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  • Royce Bucknam Howes (1901-1973), American Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author
  • Edward Howes (1813-1871), English Conservative Party politician
  • Charles Robert "Bobby" Howes (1895-1972), British actor
  • Brian Howes, Canadian musician


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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)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. 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.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Howes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howes 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 17 January 2014 at 14:32.

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