Howell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Howell are thought to have lived among the ancient Britons, who inhabited in the hills and Moors of present day Wales. This particular surname was derived from the Welsh personal name Hoel, which was originally derived from the Old Welsh name Houel. This name was imported by Welsh settlers into the English counties bordering Wales; however, in the eastern English counties, the name was brought by Breton settlers. The Breton forms of the name were Houuel, Huwel, Huwal, and Howael.

Early Origins of the Howell family

The surname Howell was first found in Monmouthshire (Welsh: Sir Fynwy), 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.

Vychan Howel that is, Howel the Little (d. 825), was a Welsh prince, said to have been son of Rhodri, a reputed descendant of Cunedda and King of Gwynedd, or North Wales. "But Rhodri died in 754, and nothing is heard of Howel or of his brother Cynan whom the tenth-century genealogy of Owain ab Howel Dda makes son of Rhodri, until over fifty years later. Possibly they were Rhodri's grandsons, who emerge from obscurity when the downfall of the Mercian overlordship gave Welsh kings a better chance to attain to power. In 813 there was war between Howel and his brother Cynan, in which Howel conquered. It apparently arose from Cynan driving Howel out of Anglesey, and resulted in Howel's restoration in 814. In 816 Howel was again expelled, but the Saxons invaded Snowdon and slew Cynan. This probably brought Howel back again. He died in 825. The name Vychan comes from a late authority." [1]

Dda Howel, that is, Howel the Good (d. 950), the most famous of the early Welsh kings, was the son of Cadell, the son of Rhodri Mawr, through whom his pedigree was traced by a tenth-century writer up to Cunedda and thence to 'Anne, cousin of the Blessed Virgin.' [1]

Howel ab Ieuav, or Howel Ddrwg, that is, Howel The Bad (d. 984), the North Welsh prince, was the son of Ieuav, son of Idwal, who was imprisoned and deprived of his territory by his brother Iago about 969. [1]

Howel ab Edwin (d. 1044), the South Welsh prince, was son of Edwin, son of Eineon, who was the son of Owain, the eldest son and successor of Howel Dda [q. v.] [1]

Early History of the Howell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howell research. Another 100 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1300, 1313, 1588, 1650, 1644, 1645, 1625, 1679, 1657, 1660, 1593 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Howell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Howell Spelling Variations

Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Howell has seen various spelling variations: Howell, Howel, Hawell, Howels, Howells, Hovell and many more.

Early Notables of the Howell family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Rt. Rev. Thomas Howell (1588-1650), Welsh Bishop of Bristol from 1644 to 1645, born in Llangamarch, Brecknockshire; Francis Howell (1625-1679), Principal of Jesus College, Oxford from 1657 to 1660; and James Howell (c.1593-1666) famous writer who lead a colourful life...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Howell family to Ireland

Some of the Howell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 49 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 Howell migration to the United States +

In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Howell

Howell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Andrew Howell, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [2]
  • Arthur Howell, aged 20, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • Walter Howell, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • Henry Howell, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [2]
  • Cobb Howell, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Howell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Martha Howell, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [2]
  • Evan Howell, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [2]
Howell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Howell, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1807 [2]
  • James Howell, aged 23, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Rufus Howell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • Simon Howell, who arrived in Mississippi in 1850 [2]
  • Robert F Howell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Howell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Howell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Howell Sr., U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 443 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York [3]
  • Master.JosephHowell Jr., U.E. (b. 1771), aged 12 who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 618 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York [3]
  • Mr. Matthew Howell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Warren Howell U.E. who settled in Fredericksburgh [Greater Napanee], Ontario c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. John Howell U.E. who settled in Sophiasburgh and Ameliasburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1784 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Howell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Nathan Howell, who landed in Canada in 1831
  • Garet Howell, who arrived in Canada in 1832
  • Isaac Laning Howell, who arrived in Canada in 1834
  • Mr. Thomas Howell, aged 15 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Larch" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In September 1847 [4]
  • Mr. Edmund Howell, aged 4 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Mail" departing 25th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 19th June 1847 but he died on board [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Howell migration to Australia +

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

Howell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Howell, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Peter Howell, (b. 1790), aged 26, English convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for 14 years for forgery, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1877 [7]
  • Howell Howell, Welsh convict from Glamorgan, who was transported aboard the "Andromeda" on October 16, 1826, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [8]
  • Mr. David Howell, English convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. George Howell, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Howell 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:

Howell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • David Howell, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Howell, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Simeon Howell, aged 23, a smith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Elizabeth Howell, aged 23, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Thomas Howell, aged 34, a bricklayer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Howell (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General George Pierce Howell Jr. (1901-1979), American Commandant of the Parachute School (1942-1943) [11]
  • John McDade Howell (1922-2016), American academic, 7th Chancellor of East Carolina University
  • Lida Howell (1859-1939), American three time Olympic gold medalist for archery at the 1904 Summer Games
  • Brigadier-General Reese Maughan Howell (1889-1967), American Commanding Officer Artillery, 9th Division (1943-1946) [12]
  • Brigadier-General Clark Howell (1894-1966), American Adjutant-General of Georgia (1943-1944) [13]
  • Roger Howell, American Historian
  • Francis Clark Howell (1925-2007), award-winning American anthropologist
  • Dorothy Howell (b. 1919), American mother of Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Charles Howell III (b. 1979), American golf player
  • Benjamin Franklin Howell (1844-1933), American Republican politician
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Miss Lilian Howell (1904-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [14]
  • Mrs. Alice Howell (1873-1914), née Waters Canadian Third Class Passenger from Brantford, Ontario, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [14]
Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Helen Constance  Howell (1910-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [15]
HMS Cornwall
  • Bernard John Howell (d. 1942), British Musician aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [16]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Doug Howell, British aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he survived the sinking [17]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Ronald Sheridan Howell, British Chief Yeoman of Signals, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [18]
  • Mr. John Howell, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Bernard Howell, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [18]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Howell, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [19]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald S. Howell, British Yeoman of Signals with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [20]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Arthur Albert Howell (d. 1912), aged 31, English Saloon Steward from Kitchen, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Minia [21]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Leroy Howell, American Coxswain from Indiana, 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 [22]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ 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. 34)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  8. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Andromeda voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1826 with 147 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/andromeda/1826
  9. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 23rd August 2020, Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie)
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  11. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) George Howell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Howell/George_Pierce__Jr./USA.html
  12. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) Reese Howell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Howell/Reese_Maughan/USA.html
  13. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) Clark Howell. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Howell/Clark/USA.html
  14. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  15. ^ 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
  16. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  17. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  18. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  19. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  20. ^ 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
  21. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html
  22. ^ 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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