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

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

The name Howlett was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman personal name Hugh. Howlett was a baptismal name which means the son of Hugh. As the naming tradition grew in Europe baptismal names began to be introduced in many countries. Baptismal names were sometimes given in honor of Christian saints and other biblical figures. There are very few Christian countries in Europe that did not adopt surnames from these religious figures.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Howlett, Howlet, Hullett and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howlett research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howlett History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Howlett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Howlett family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 97 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Howlett or a variant listed above were:

Howlett Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Howlett, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Randall and William Howlett settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Randall Howlett, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Thomas Howlett settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Howlett, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1634

Howlett Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John Howlett, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1705-1706
  • Samuel Howlett, who landed in America in 1798

Howlett Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Robt Howlett, who arrived in Texas in 1850-1906
  • Ellen Howlett, who arrived in Colorado in 1880


  • Michael J. Howlett Sr (1914-1992), American Democratic politician from Illinois
  • Neil Howlett (b. 1934), retired English operatic baritone
  • Jeffrey Howlett (1928-2005), Australian architect
  • Douglas Charles Howlett (b. 1978), New Zealand rugby union player
  • Virginia Howlett (b. 1951), Canadian designer and painter
  • Ben Howlett (b. 1988), Australian rules footballer
  • Mike Howlett (b. 1950), Fijian-born musician, Grammy Award winning producer
  • Robert Howlett (1831-1858), British photographer
  • General Sir Geoffrey Hugh Whitby Howlett KBE MC (b. 1930), former senior British Army officer who was Commander-in- Chief of Allied Forces Northern Europe


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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Howlett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howlett 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 11 July 2013 at 09:37.

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