Howe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Howe is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived near a hill or steep ridge of land. The surname Howe 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 Howe 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 Howe family

The surname Howe 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]

Early History of the Howe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howe 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 Howe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Howe 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 Howe family name include Howe, Howes, How and others.

Early Notables of the Howe 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 Howe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Howe family to Ireland

Some of the Howe 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.


United States Howe migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, 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 Howe surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Howe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Rice Howe, who settled in Virginia in 1618
  • Rice Howe, who arrived in Virginia in 1618 [4]
  • Daniel Howe, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1634 [4]
  • Edward Howe, who landed in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1635 [4]
  • Elizabeth Howe, aged 50, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Howe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • David Howe, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764 [4]
Howe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Howe, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [4]
  • William Howe, aged 25, who landed in New York in 1812 [4]
  • Michael Howe, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813 [4]
  • Eberh W Howe, who arrived in America in 1834 [4]
  • E C Howe, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Howe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ralph Marcus Howe, who landed in Wisconsin in 1922 [4]

Canada Howe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Howe Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edward Howe, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Howe, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. John Howe U.E. (b. 1752) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1823 was a City Bellman [5]
  • Mr. Nathaniel Howe U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [5]
  • Mr. Stephen Howe U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Cape Ann Association [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Howe Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Howe, aged 20, a tinman, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Reward" from Cork, Ireland
  • Miss. Elizabeth Howe who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sobraon" departing 8th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 29th June 1847 but she died on board [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Howe, aged 1 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Sobraon" departing 8th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 29th June 1847 but he died on board [6]

Australia Howe migration to Australia +

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

Howe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Matthew Howe, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [7]
  • Charlotte Ann Howe, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Success" in 1848 [8]
  • Sarah Howe, aged 21, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Macedon" in 1849 [9]
  • John Howe, English convict from Huntingdon, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on August 08, 1849, settling in Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia [10]
  • Sarah Howe, aged 21, a domestic, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Macedon" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Howe 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:

Howe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Howe, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Clifton
  • John Howe, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Clifton
  • William Howe, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Olympus
  • John Howe, aged 39, a brickmaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • Elizabeth Howe, aged 39, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Clifton" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Howe (post 1700) +

  • Wallis Eastburn Howe (1868-1960), notable American architect from Rhode Island
  • James Wong Howe (1899-1976), American cinematographer nominated for ten Academy Awards for cinematography, winning twice; he worked on over 130 films
  • Richard Howe (1726-1799), British admiral known for his service during the American War of Independence and French Revolutionary Wars, made 1st Earl Howe in 1788
  • Brigadier-General William Francis Howe (1888-1952), American Professor at Yale University (1943) [11]
  • Louis McHenry Howe (1871-1936), political advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • William Howe KB, PC (1729-1814), 5th Viscount Howe, British army officer,Commander-in-Chief of British forces during the American War of Independence
  • Tina Howe (b. 1937), award-winning American playwright [12]
  • Elias Howe (1819-1867), American inventor credited with inventing the first practical sewing machine
  • Brian Anthony Howe (1953-2020), English rock singer and songwriter, best known for replacing Paul Rodgers as the lead vocalist of Bad Company
  • Donald "Don" Howe (1935-2015), English football player, coach, manager and pundit
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Margaret  Howe (1911-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mr. Donald Scott  Howe (1875-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Miss Mildred M.  Howe (1913-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mrs. Mildred  Howe (1895-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Master Hanson David  Howe (1916-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Bill Howe, British aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [14]
  • Horace George Howe (d. 1945), British Ordinary Seaman aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Reginald E Howe (b. 1918), English Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Poole, Dorestshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [15]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Alfred Howe, British Stoker 2ne Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. John A Howe, British Blacksmith, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [16]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Harry Howe, British Stoker with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [17]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Darrell Robert Howe, American Seaman Second Class from Oregon, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [18]


  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 80)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Bolton.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SUCCESS 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Success.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MACEDON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Macedon.htm
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Van Diemen's Land and Port Phillip, Australia in 1849 with 303 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1849
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) William Howe. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Howe/William_Francis/USA.html
  12. ^ Tina Howe. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Tina Howe. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tina_Howe
  13. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  14. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  15. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  16. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  17. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  18. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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