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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.


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]


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.


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


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.


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


  • 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. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. 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 25 October 2014 at 16:11.

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