How History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Anglo-Saxon name How comes from when the family resided near a hill or steep ridge of land. The surname How is usually derived from the Old English word hoh, which means heel or projecting ridge of land. However, it is sometimes derived from the Old Norse word haugr, which means mound or hill.

Furthermore, the name How may be derived from residence in one of a variety of similarly named places: Hoe is in Norfolk; Hoo is in Kent; places called Hooe are in Devon and Sussex; Hose is in Leicestershire; places named Heugh are in Durham and Northumberland; and settlements called Hough are found in both Cheshire and Derby.

Early Origins of the How family

The surname How was first found in Berkshire, where the name could also have been a baptismal name as in "son of Hugh," [1] while another reference claims the name has geographical significance as in the south: "a small round hill" and in the north: "a hollow place or plain." The medieval form of the name is "At How" and is usually synonymous with Hill having derived from the Anglo-Saxon "how," meaning a mountain. [2]

However, we must look to Cambridgeshire to find the first listings on the name where Roger del Howes and Richard del Howes were listed there in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [1]

"The church [of Withington, Gloucestershire] is a cruciform structure, principally in the Norman style, but partly of later date: among the monuments is a handsome one to the memory of Sir John How(e), his wife, and nine children, in a small cross aisle on the south side of the church, the burial-place of the family." [3]

Important Dates for the How family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our How research. Another 88 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1671, 1654, 1656, 1625, 1679, 1659, 1679, 1627, 1676, 1660, 1676, 1635, 1692, 1611, 1701, 1648, 1713, 1673, 1685, 1689, 1691, 1657, 1722, 1700, 1735, 1722, 1732, 1733, 1735 and are included under the topic Early How History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

How Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. How has been recorded under many different variations, including Howe, Howes, How and others.

Early Notables of the How family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir John Howe, 1st Baronet (died 1671), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1654 to 1656; John Grobham Howe (1625-1679), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1659 and 1679, Member of Parliament for Gloucestershire; Sir George Grobham Howe, 1st Baronet (c.1627-1676), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1660 to 1676; Elizabeth Jackson Howe (c...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early How Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the How family to Ireland

Some of the How family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

How migration to the United States

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name How or a variant listed above:

How Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward How, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [4]
  • John How, who arrived at Virginia in 1623
  • Rice How, who arrived in Virginia in 1636 [4]
  • John How, who landed in Massachusetts in 1639 [4]
  • Jane How, who landed in Virginia in 1648 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
How Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Humphry How, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • Richard How, who arrived in New England in 1716 [4]
  • Marcy How, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1763
  • William How, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766 [4]
  • Isaac How, aged 24, who arrived in Virginia in 1773 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
How Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel How, aged 20, who arrived in New York in 1812 [4]
  • Robert Nesbit How, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1821 [4]
  • Thomas How, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1822 [4]

How migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

How Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Joseph How, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
How Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Rufus How, who landed in Canada in 1829

How migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

How Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Francis How, (b. 1832), aged 20, Cornish agricultural labourer departing from Plymouth on 29th August 1852 aboard the ship "Bombay" arriving in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 14th December 1852 [5]
  • John How, aged 18, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "William Stuart" [6]
  • William Crosby How, aged 26, a bricklayer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Mallard" [7]

How migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

How Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William H. How, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name How (post 1700)

  • James Eads How (1874-1930), American organizer of the hobo community in the early 20th century

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Citations

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_victoria.pdf
  6. ^ South Australian Register Friday 15 July 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) William Stuart 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/williamstuart1853.shtml.
  7. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 26th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Mallard 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/mallard1855.shtml
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