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The name Howard originated with the Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled Britain. It is derived from the Old French name Huard or the Old German name Howard. The former name is derived from the Old German name Hugihard, which literally means heart-brave. The latter name, which is also spelled Howart, is a cognate of the Old Norse name Haward and means high or chief warden.

Occasionally, the surname Howard may have been applied to someone who worked at a dairy farm at which female sheep were kept. In this case, the derivation is from the Old English words eowu, which means ewe, and hierde, which means herd.

In other cases, the name was adopted from where the person was born as in "William, son of Roger Fitz Valevine, took the name of Howard from being born in the Castle of Howard, in Wales, in the time of Henry I." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
Another source sums up the diversity of the family's origin thusly: "Camden, the most important witness of all, places Howard amongst the names in use in England at the time of the Conquest. In all probability this name has had more than one origin." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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The surname Howard was first found in Norfolk, where one of the first records of the family was Elwin le Heyvard, who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls listed Alice le Heyward in Huntingdonshire and Geoffrey le Hayward in Cambridgeshire. Later, William Heyward or Howard was Sheriff of Norwich, Norfolk in 1657. [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

"The church [of East Winch in Norfolk] is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower; in the east window are the arms of Vere and Howard, and on the north side is the ancient chapel of St. Mary, the burial-place of the latter family. Near Grancourt House, which was the seat of Sir William Howard, who purchased the manor in the reign of Edward the First, are some slight remains of a religious house." [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

But the family quickly became widespread. Epworth in Lincolnshire was another ancient family seat. "This place, which is the principal town in the Isle of Axholme, a district comprising the north-west portion of the county, was anciently the residence of the Howard family, who had a castellated mansion here, of which nothing now remains except the site, where within the last 70 years have been dug up some of the cannon belonging to the fortifications." [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

In Westmorland, at Levens in the parish, union, and ward of Kendal another early branch of the family was found. "On the eastern bank of the river Kent, which is crossed by a bridge on the Kendal road, is Levens Hall, the venerable mansion of the Howards, embosomed in a fine park, and crowned with towers, which, overtopping the highest trees, command extensive prospects on every side. The Howard family built the chapel, a parsonage, and schools, and endowed the living. " [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Howard has appeared include Howard, Howerd and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howard research. Another 399 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1443, 1524, 1485, 1520, 1542, 1542, 1585, 1654, 1587, 1669, 1615, 1679, 1675, 1626, 1698, 1536, 1624, 1588, 1651, 1701, 1689, 1701, 1698, 1703, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Howard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443-1524) and 1st Earl of Surrey, who fought for King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485; Catherine Howard (circa 1520-1542), a cousin of Anne Boleyn and the 5th wife of Henry VIII, executed...

Another 131 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Howard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Howard arrived in North America very early:

Howard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Howard, who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Judeth Howard, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • John Howard settled in Virginia in 1634
  • William Howard settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Samuel Howard, who landed in America in 1635
  • ...

Howard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Susan Howard, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Margaret Howard, who arrived in Virginia in 1716
  • Authur Howard, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Eignon Howard, who arrived in America in 1758
  • James Howard, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • ...

Howard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Michael Howard, aged 8, landed in America in 1803
  • George Howard, aged 50, arrived in New York in 1812
  • George W Howard, aged 29, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Joshua Howard, who landed in America in 1815
  • Dexter Howard, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • ...

Howard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Dier Howard U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. Edward Howard U.E. who settled in Ernest Town [Ernestown], Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1784
  • Capt. John Howard U.E. who settled in Quaco [St. Martins], New Brunswick c. 1784 he served in the King's Orange Rangers
  • Mr. John Howard U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. John Howard Sr., U.E. who settled in Ernest Town [Ernestown], Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1784
  • ...

Howard Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Sarah Magory Howard, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • Henry Howard, aged 35, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork, Ireland
  • Johanah Howard, aged 25, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork, Ireland
  • Robert Howard, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Sea Horse" in 1833
  • Coldwell Howard, aged 27, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834
  • ...

Howard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Howard, English convict from Leicester, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Howard, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Henry Howard, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Lovit James Howard, English convict from Suffolk, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Michael Howard, a mason, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • ...

Howard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Howard landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr Howard landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Antilla
  • James Howard arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
  • William Howard landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • William Howard, aged 19, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
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  • Kenneth Joseph "Ken" Howard Jr. (1944-2016), American actor, best known for his roles as Thomas Jefferson in 1776 and as basketball coach and former Chicago Bulls player Ken Reeves in the television show The White Shadow
  • Brigadier-General Edwin Britain Howard (1901-1993), American Commanding Officer 23rd Infantry Regiment (1948-1949)
  • Brigadier-General Clinton Wilbur Howard (1890-1949), American Commanding General Scramento Air Service Command (1943-1946)
  • Richard Howard (b. 1929), American poet, literary critic, essayist, teacher, and translator awarded the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
  • Sidney Coe Howard (1891-1939), American playwright and screenwriter awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1925 and a posthumous Academy Award in 1940 for the screenplay for Gone with the Wind
  • Ronald William "Ron" Howard (b. 1954), American Academy Award winning film and television actor and director, best known for his movies Cocoon, Apollo 13, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Harlan Howard (1927-2002), American country songwriter, who wrote "I Fall to Pieces"
  • Edwin Lee Howard (1951-2002), American CIA officer, who defected to the Soviet Union in 1985
  • John Howard (1913-1995), American soldier awarded the both the Navy Cross and the Croix de Guerre for his actions during WWII
  • Brigadier General James Howell Howard (1913-1995), the only fighter pilot in the European Theater of Operations in World War II to be awarded the Medal of Honor (1944)
  • ...
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Howard Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Master Eric S.  Howard (1909-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917 but later died due to injuries
  • Mrs. Florence  Howard, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Master Eddie  Howard (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Mrs. Marion  Howard (1891-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917
  • Master John Reuben  Howard (1906-1917), Canadian resident from Protestant Orphanage, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Leonard John Howard (1919-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Eric S Howard (b. 1922), English Ordinary Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Guernsey, Channel Island, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. William Howard, British Boy 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died during the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. William Howard, American 3rd Class passenger from St. Louis, Missouri, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Miss May Elizabeth Howard, aged 27, English Third Class passenger from North Walsham, Norfolk who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking in collapsible C
  • Mr. Benjamin Howard (d. 1912), aged 63, English Second Class passenger from Swindon, Wiltshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mrs. Ellen Truelove Howard (d. 1912), (née Arman), aged 60, English Second Class passenger from Swindon, Wiltshire who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • Norris, Hackett, Prescott and Allied Families: Our ancestors and Their Descendants, Including Adams, Andrews, Bachelder, Bartlett, Boulter, Brewer, Brown, Harding, Hinkley, Howard, Huntington et al by Hugh Albert Johnson.
  • Ancestors and Descendants of Matthew A.B. Howard, Georgia-Florida, 1793-1978, with Allied Families by Norma Slater Woodward.
  • The Dukes of Norfolk: A Quincentennial History by John Martin Robinson.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sola virtus invicta
Motto Translation: Virtue alone invincible.

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Citations



  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  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 Howard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howard 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 24 July 2016 at 14:09.

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