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

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

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Howland surname lived in one of four places named Hoyland in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Howland belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Howland 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. The variations of the name Howland include: Howland, Hoyland and others.

First found in Yorkshire 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howland research. Another 292 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1187, 1591, and 1673 are included under the topic Early Howland History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 30 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howland Notables 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 Howland or a variant listed above:

Howland Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Howland (c. 1591-1672) who came over on the "Mayflower" in 1620 with his wife Elizabeth Carver, eponym of Howland, Maine
  • Henry Howland, who landed in Massachusetts in 1621-1623
  • Henry Howland settled in New England in 1630

Howland Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Christopher Howland, who arrived in America in 1807
  • Mary Ann Howland, aged 19, landed in Massachusetts in 1812-1813
  • Joseph Howland arrived in New York in 1820
  • John Howland, aged 36, arrived in Missouri in 1845
  • Ada H. Howland, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States, in 1893

Howland Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • A. Howland, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Howland, aged 59, who emigrated to the United States from Paris, France, in 1909
  • Adelaide Howland, who emigrated to America, in 1910
  • Agnes Howland, who emigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • Adelaida Howland, aged 22, who emigrated to Randolph, Vermont, in 1915


  • Olin Howland (1886-1959), American film actor
  • Esther Howland (1828-1904), American artist and businesswoman who is responsible for popularizing Valentine's Day greeting cards
  • Sir William Pearce Howland PC , KCMG , CB (1821-1907), American-born, Canadian politician, the 2nd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (1868-1873), one of the Fathers of Confederation
  • Jobyna Howland (1880-1936), American stage and screen actress
  • Ben Howland (b. 1957), American college basketball coach and former player
  • Elizabeth "Beth" Howland (b. 1941), American four-time Golden Globe nominated actress
  • Joseph Howland (1834-1886), American Union Army general, politician and philanthropist, New York State Treasurer (1866 to 1867)
  • Keith Howland (b. 1964), American guitarist and singer, lead guitarist for the veteran pop-rock band, Chicago
  • William Bailey Howland (1849-1917), American editor of The Outlook, publisher of The Independent
  • Alfred Cornelius Howland (1838-1909), American painter from Walpole, New Hampshire



  • John Howland of the Mayflower by Elizabeth Pearson White.

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  1. 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.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Howland Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howland 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 10 December 2013 at 19:56.

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