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

Origins Available: English, Welsh

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

A product of the ancient Brythonic Celts of Wales, the name Ownby, 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 Ownby 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 Ownby 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 Ownby 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 Ownby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Ownby 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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North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Ownby:

Ownby Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • John S. Ownby, who landed in America, in 1912

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  • James Ownby, American photographer
  • Ted Ownby, American professor of history at the University of Mississippi
  • Brian Ownby (b. 1990), American soccer player
  • Daniel Gil "Dan" Ownby (b. 1968), American elected volunteer member of the World Scout Committee


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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. 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).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Davies, R. R. The Age of Conquest: Wales, 1063-1415. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  11. ...

The Ownby Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ownby 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 12 September 2014 at 00:13.

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