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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The name Howes is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived near a hill or steep ridge of land. The surname Howes 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 Howes 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.


The surname Howes 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]

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Howes 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 Howes include: Howe, Howes, How and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howes research. Another 175 words (12 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 Howes History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 289 words (21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Howes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Howes or a variant listed above:

Howes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Marie Howes, aged 18, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Thomas Howes, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637
  • Abel Howes, who arrived in New England in 1642
  • Ann Howes, who landed in Maryland in 1653
  • Jones Howes, who landed in Virginia in 1658

Howes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Howes, aged 18, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738

Howes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Cubit Howes, aged 23, landed in New York in 1806

Howes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Gerard Howes, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1803
  • John Howes, aged 35, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork

Howes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Howes, English convict from Northampton, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Robert Howes, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on February 22, 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Hortensia Howes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849
  • Louisa Howes arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849
  • Anne Howes, aged 28, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Trafalgar"

Howes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • J Howes landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Joseph Howes, aged 21, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Mary Ann Howes, aged 20, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • William Howes, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1873
  • William Howes, aged 31, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dorette" in 1874


  • Royce Bucknam Howes (1901-1973), American Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author
  • Tim Howes (b. 1963), American co-inventor of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  • Reed Howes (1900-1964), American model and silent film actor
  • Sally Ann Howes (b. 1930), British-American singer and actress
  • Greg Howes (b. 1977), American soccer player, in the Major Indoor Soccer League
  • Mr. Frank Howes (1861-1914), English First Class Passenger from Birmingham, England, United Kingdom who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • Edward Howes (1813-1871), English Conservative Party politician
  • Charles Robert "Bobby" Howes (1895-1972), British actor, a leading musical comedy performer in London's West End theatres in the 1930s and 1940s
  • Brian Howes, Canadian musician


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  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.

Other References

  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Howes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howes Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 March 2016 at 15:48.

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