Horneblower History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The saga of the name Horneblower follows a line reaching back through history to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It was a name for someone who worked as a person who was employed as a hornblower. In the Middle Ages, workmen were often summoned to work by the blowing of a horn. The surname Horneblower is derived from the Old English word hornblawere, which means hornblower. [1]

"In the Middle Ages workmen were called to work by the ringing of bells or by a horn. In 1320, at Caernarvon, Walter de la Grene was paid 1d. per week ‘for blowing the horn’ " [2]

"Cornage is a law term (Latin cornagium) for a species of tenure in grand segjeanty, 'the service of which was to blow a horn when any invasion of the Scots was perceived; and by this tenure many persons held their lands northward, about the wall, commonly called the Pict's Wall.' The person who performed this duty for the lord, probably acquired the surname. At Ripon there prevails a peculiar custom, 'which according to some is of a date prior to the Conquest, viz., to blow a horn every night at nine o'clock; and formerly if any house or shop was robbed between that hour and sunrise the loss was made good to the sufferer, by a yearly tax of fourpence, imposed on every house-keeper. The tax is now discontinued, but the custom is still kept up of blowing the horn every night, three times at the mayor's door, and three times at the market-cross. The officer who performs this duty is called the Horn-blower.' " [3]

Early Origins of the Horneblower family

The surname Horneblower was first found in Essex, where John and Geoffrey le Homblauere were listed in 1255 and in the Assize Rolls for 1285. Adam Horneblawer was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Yorkshire in 1301. [2]

The fictional courageous and a skilled seaman Horatio Hornblower is the protagonist in over twenty series of novels and stories by the English novelist, C.S. Forester (1899-1966).

Early History of the Horneblower family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Horneblower research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1255, 1285, 1608, 1626, 1753, 1717, 1780, 1692, 1761, 1712, 1725, 1748, 1761, 1745, 1765, 1766, 1780, 1729, 1809, 1753 and 1809 are included under the topic Early Horneblower History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Horneblower Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Horneblower were recorded, including Hornblow, Hornblower, Horneblow, Horneblower and others.

Early Notables of the Horneblower family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Jonathan Hornblower (1717-1780), engineer, belonged to a family which for two generations had shown much inventive genius. "His father, Joseph Hornblower (1692?-1761), born at Broseley, Shropshire, made the acquaintance of Newcomen when the latter was building a machine at Wolverhampton in 1712, and went to Cornwall in 1725 to erect a Newcomen engine at Wheal Rose, near Truro; he afterwards erected similar engines at Wheal Bury and Polgooth, and in 1748 settled at Salem, Chacewater, and died at Bristol in 1761. Jonathan went to Cornwall to succeed his father as engineer in 1745...
Another 97 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Horneblower Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Horneblower family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Horneblower family emigrate to North America: Josiah Hornblower, who immigrated to America in 1753.



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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