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

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

A product of the ancient Brythonic Celts of Wales, the name Owen, is from the Welsh personal name Owen or Owain. The Old Welsh forms of this name were Ouen and Ouein and were borrowed from the Latin name Eugenius. This is in turn derived from the Greek name Eugenios, which means well-born or noble. The name was recorded in Wales as early as 926 AD, when Uwen Wenta Cyning was noted.

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There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Owen have included Owen, Owens, MacOwen, Owenson, Owenby, Ownby and others.

First found in Montgomeryshire (Welsh: Sir Drefaldwyn), located in mid-Eastern Wales, one of thirteen historic counties, and anciently the medieval kingdom of Powys Wenwynwyn, 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 Owen research. Another 253 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1169, 1661, 1624, 1640, 1600, 1666, 1616, 1683, 1608, 1678, 1645, 1678, 1645, 1698, 1676, 1679, 1664, 1622, 1692, 1659, 1647, 1639, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Owen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 281 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Owen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Owen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Owen:

Owen Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Owen, who came to Virginia in 1622
  • David Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Edward Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • Edward Owen, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Rowland Owen, who arrived in Virginia in 1636


Owen Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Gustavos Owen, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Susanna Owen, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1710
  • Susana Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Gilbert Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Jean Owen, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719


Owen Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Hugh Owen, aged 42, landed in New York in 1812
  • Luke Owen, aged 39, arrived in Maine in 1812
  • Philip Owen, aged 22, landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1842
  • Edmund Owen, aged 24, arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1842
  • George Owen, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1849


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  • Donald Lynn "Don" Owen (1930-2012), American news anchor and politician
  • Rev. John Dyfnallt Owen (1873-1956), Welsh poet
  • Daniel Owen (1836-1895), Welsh novelist born in Mold, Flintshire
  • Richard Morgan "Dicky" Owen (1876-1932), Welsh international rugby union player
  • Elias Owen (1833-1899), Welsh cleric and antiquary
  • Elias Owen (1863-1888), Welsh international footballer
  • Gareth Owen (b. 1971), Welsh footballer
  • Gareth Owen (b. 1982), Welsh footballer
  • Gwilym Ellis Lane Owen (1922-1982), Welsh philosopher
  • Henry Owen (1716-1795), Welsh theologian

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  • A Fair and Happy Land by William A. Owens.
  • Memories of an Ozark Mother: 100 Years of Stella Owen by Edgar Lyle Owen.
  • Owings and Allied Families, 1685-1985: Genealogy of some of the Descendants of Richard Owings I of Maryland by Addison D. Owings.
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  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. 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. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  11. ...

The Owen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Owen 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 18 September 2014 at 12:30.

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