Howis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Howis family

The surname Howis was first found in Midlothian, where "the old Scottish mode of spelling Hugh was Hew, as especially in the family of Dalrymple. In Renfrewshire, where the surname abounds, it is pronounced Hewie's-son." [1]

According to the voice of tradition, "the family are descended from John Howison, burgess of Edinburgh, 1450. The first ancestor of the family and his son, were farmers, and rescued James I from an attack made upon him when he had strayed from his attendants, while hunting near Cramond Bridge, and having saved the king's life by beating off his assailants with their flails, held a basin and a towel to wash his wounds. For these timely services they were rewarded with a grant of the lands of Braehead, the reddendo in the charter being 'Servitium Lava-cri,' a service that was complied with to George IV, at the banquet of the magistrates of Edinburgh in 1822." [2]

Another source confirms John Howison, was burgess of Edinburgh in 1450, but makes no mention of saving the king. This source notes "his son had a charter of Cramond Regis, 1465. Nicholas Howvson, [was] presbyter of S. Andrew's diocese, 1475. John Howison admitted burgess of Aberdeen, 1406, and another John Howison was member of assize in an Aberdeen shipping case, 1451." [3]

Early History of the Howis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howis research. Another 168 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1600, 1567, 1546, 1567, 1519, 1628, 1711, 1787, 1557, 1632, 1619, 1628, 1557, 1577, 1587, 1603, 1592 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Howis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Howis Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Howison, Howieson, Howeson, Howyson, Howson and others.

Early Notables of the Howis family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Howson (c.1557-1632), English academic, Bishop of Oxford from 1619, Bishop of Durham from 1628. He was "born in the parish of St. Bride, London, about 1557, was educated at St. Paul's School, whence he proceeded to Christ Church, Oxford, and was elected a...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Howis migration to Australia +

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

Howis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Howis, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [4]


The Howis 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: Sursum corda
Motto Translation: Hearts upwards.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anna Maria voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1851 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anna-maria/1851


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