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 a residence in one of the many 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,"  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 word "how," meaning "mountain." 
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. 
"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." 
Early History of 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...
Migration of the How family to Ireland
Some of the How family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
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
How Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
How Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
How Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
How Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
How Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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