Howcot History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Howcot is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in Holdgate, a parish, in the union of Ludlow, hundred of Munslow, in Shropshire. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have originated in Holgate, a township, in the parish of St. MaryBishopshill-Junior, union of York, E. division of the Ainsty wapentake, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Howcot family

The surname Howcot was first found in Shropshire at Holdgate, Stanton Holdgate or Castle Holdgate, collectively a small village which dates back to 1185 when it was listed as Castellum Hologoti and literally meant "castle of a man called Helgot," from an Old French personal name + the Latin castellum. [3]

Alternatively, the place name could have come from the Old English word "hol" meaning "hollow" or "sunken" and the Old Norse "gata" or "road." [2]

Holdgate (Holgate) Castle situated in the village of Holdgate, Shropshire was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. It was an 11th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress founded by Helgot de Reisolent. Ruins of the castle are still found there today. [4]

Another source sums up the Shropshire versus Yorkshire question thusly: "the name of Holgate probably has its home in the West Biding, where it is now also established, and where the township of Holgate occurs. There is also a Shropshire parish of the name." [5]

The first record of the family was found in Yorkshire where John de Holegate was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1200. Again in Yorkshire, Gommer de Holgate was listed in the Feet of Fines for 1343. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed William de Holgate, or Holdegate, or Holegale, Lincolnshire; and Walter de Hollegate, Lincolnshire. [6]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Alicia Haldegate; Nicholaus Holgate; and 'Willelmus Holgate' resident in 'Acorn cum Holgate.' [6]

Thomas atte Halle-yat, was listed in the Freemen of York, 11 Edward III (during the eleventh year of King Edward III's reign.)

In Somerset, Nicholas atte Halleghet was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [7]

Early History of the Howcot family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howcot research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1525, 1481, 1555, 1545, 1554, 1481, 1549, 1524 and 1537 are included under the topic Early Howcot History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Howcot Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Howcot 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. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Howcot include: Holgate, Holdgate, Howgate, Hogate and others.

Early Notables of the Howcot family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Robert Holgate or Holdegate (c. 1481-1555), English Bishop of Llandaff and then Archbishop of York (1545-1554.) He recognized Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. "He was the youngest son of Thomas Holgate and Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Champernowne, came of a Yorkshire family entitled to armorial bearings, and was born probably at Hemsworth, near Pontefract, in or about 1481, being, according to his own statement, sixty-eight years old in 1549.. He was a canon of the order of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, and was probably educated in the house belonging...
Another 106 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howcot Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Howcot family

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 Howcot or a variant listed above: James Holgate settled in Philadelphia in 1685; William Holgate settled in New England in 1748; Mathew Holdgate settled with his daughter Mary in Philadelphia in 1685.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.


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