Show ContentsHowat History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the name Howat are from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the personal name Hugh, which is supplemented by a form of the common diminutive suffix -et. The surname Howat is occasionally of local origin and was applied to someone who lived in a clearing. In this case, the name is derived from the Old English word hiewett, which means cutting, and referred in this instance to a place where trees had been cut down.

Early Origins of the Howat family

The surname Howat was first found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Howat family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howat research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1469 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Howat History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Howat Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Howat family name include Howatt, Howat, Howet, Howett and others.

Early Notables of the Howat family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Howat Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Howat migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Howat surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Howat Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Howat, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [1]

New Zealand Howat 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:

Howat Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Howat, (b. 1841), aged 22, Scottish cook from Ayrshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tiptree" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 20th January 1864 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Howat (post 1700) +

  • Alexander McWhirter "Alex" Howat (1876-1945), Scottish-born American coal miner and trade union leader
  • Roy Howat, Scottish pianist, music scholar and author of "The Art of French piano music: Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Chabrier", named the "2009 Book of the Year" by International Piano
  • The Very Rev Rudolph Henderson Howat, Dean of Brechin (1953-1957)
  • Ian Howat (b. 1958), former Welsh professional footballer
  • John Howat (b. 1970), former Australian rules footballer
  • Gerald Malcolm David Howat (1928-2007), British writer on cricket, a historian and a schoolmaster
  • Cameron Howat (b. 1985), Australian rules footballer

The Howat Motto +

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: Post tenebras lux
Motto Translation: After darkness light.

  1. 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)
  2. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook