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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Howland surname lived in one of four places named Hoyland in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Howland belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.


The surname Howland was first found in Yorkshire at either High Hoyland, Upper or Lower Hoyland, and Hoyland Swaine. All three parishes and villages are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086: Holand for Hoyland High; Hoiland for Hoyland Nether; and Hollande for Hoyland Swaine. [1] All of the villages literally mean "cultivated land on or near a hill-spur," from the Old English words "hoh" + "land." The latter "Swaine" variant is believed to be a manorial affix added in the 12th century from a man called Swein. [2]

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Howland are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Howland include: Howland, Hoyland and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howland research. Another 191 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1187, 1147, 1172, 1591 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Howland History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Howland or a variant listed above:

Howland Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Howland (c. 1591-1672) who came over on the "Mayflower" in 1620 with his wife Elizabeth Carver, eponym of Howland, Maine
  • Henry Howland, who landed in Massachusetts in 1621-1623
  • Henry Howland settled in New England in 1630

Howland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Christopher Howland, who arrived in America in 1807
  • Mary Ann Howland, aged 19, landed in Massachusetts in 1812-1813
  • Joseph Howland arrived in New York in 1820
  • John Howland, aged 36, arrived in Missouri in 1845
  • Ada H. Howland, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States, in 1893

Howland Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • A. Howland, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Howland, aged 59, who emigrated to the United States from Paris, France, in 1909
  • Adelaide Howland, who emigrated to America, in 1910
  • Agnes Howland, who emigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • Adelaida Howland, aged 22, who emigrated to Randolph, Vermont, in 1915

Howland Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Ms. Elenor Howland U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784

Howland Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Edward Howland, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Royal Charlie"

Howland Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Howland landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • Sarah Howland, aged 20, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840


  • Alfred Cornelius Howland (1838-1909), American painter from Walpole, New Hampshire
  • William Bailey Howland (1849-1917), American editor of The Outlook, publisher of The Independent
  • Keith Howland (b. 1964), American guitarist and singer, lead guitarist for the veteran pop-rock band, Chicago
  • Joseph Howland (1834-1886), American Union Army general, politician and philanthropist, New York State Treasurer (1866 to 1867)
  • Elizabeth "Beth" Howland (b. 1941), American four-time Golden Globe nominated actress
  • Ben Howland (b. 1957), American college basketball coach and former player
  • Jobyna Howland (1880-1936), American stage and screen actress
  • Sir William Pearce Howland PC , KCMG , CB (1821-1907), American-born, Canadian politician, the 2nd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (1868-1873), one of the Fathers of Confederation
  • Esther Howland (1828-1904), American artist and businesswoman who is responsible for popularizing Valentine's Day greeting cards
  • Olin Howland (1886-1959), American film actor



  • John Howland of the Mayflower by Elizabeth Pearson White.

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. 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.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. 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. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. 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.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Howland Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howland 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 27 December 2015 at 14:13.

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