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

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

A product of the ancient Brythonic Celts of Wales, the name Owens, 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.


Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Owens 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Owens 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 Owens History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Owens 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.


Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Owens:

Owens Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Walter Owens, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • Timothy Owens, who arrived in Maryland in 1662
  • John Owens, who landed in Maryland in 1665
  • Ann Owens, who landed in Maryland in 1674
  • Joane Owens, who arrived in Virginia in 1699

Owens Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Owen Owens, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • Joan Owens, who landed in Virginia in 1716
  • Edward Owens, who arrived in America in 1764
  • Hugh Owens, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1772
  • Simon Owens, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773

Owens Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • David Owens, who landed in America in 1802
  • Alexander Owens, aged 37, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Richard Owens, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Thomas Owens, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • William Owens, aged 26, landed in Kennebunk, Me in 1830


  • James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens (1913-1980), US Olympic athlete, winner of four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Terrell Owens (b. 1973), American former NFL football wide receiver who played from 1996 to 2012
  • Sergeant Robert Allen Owens (1920-1943), United States Marine awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1943
  • Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens (1929-2006), American singer and guitarist who had 21 No. 1 hits on the country music charts with his band the Buckaroos, inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Bill "Elmo" Owens (b. 1938), American photographer
  • Dana Elaine "Queen Latifah" Owens (b. 1970), Golden Globe Award winning American rapper, actress, and singer
  • Bill Owens (b. 1950), American politician, 40th Governor of Colorado (1999-2007)
  • Clarence Bernard "Brick" Owens (1885-1949), American Major League Baseball umpire who officiated in the 1918, 1922, 1925, 1928 and 1934 World Series
  • Gary Owens (b. 1936), born Gary Altman, American disc jockey and voice actor, the announcer on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
  • Patricia Molly Owens (1925-2000), Canadian-born American actress who appeared in 40 films, she starred in one of the episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents



  • A Fair and Happy Land by William A. Owens.

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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Owens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Owens 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 2 September 2014 at 18:37.

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