Show ContentsHowland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Howland surname lived in one of four places named Hoyland in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The surname Howland belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Howland family

The surname Howland was first found in Yorkshire at either High Hoyland, Upper or Lower Hoyland, and Hoyland Swaine. All three parishes and villages are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086: Holand for Hoyland High; Hoiland for Hoyland Nether; and Hollande for Hoyland Swaine. [1] [2]

All of the villages literally mean "cultivated land on or near a hill-spur," from the Old English words "hoh" + "land." The latter "Swaine" variant is believed to be a manorial affix added in the 12th century from a man called, Swein. [3]

Early History of the Howland family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howland research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1187, 1147, 1172, 1540, 1600, 1540, 1591 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Howland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Howland 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 Howland 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. The variations of the name Howland include: Howland, Hoyland and others.

Early Notables of the Howland family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Richard Howland D.D. (1540-1600), Bishop of Peterborough, the son and heir of John Howland, gentleman, of the city of London, and Anne Greenway of Cley, Norfolk, was...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Howland Ranking

In the United States, the name Howland is the 2,710th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [4]

United States Howland migration to the United States +

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 Howland or a variant listed above:

Howland Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Howland, (c. 1599-1672), who came over on the "Mayflower" in 1620 arriving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, he married Elizabeth Tilley in 1624
  • Henry Howland, who landed in Massachusetts in 1621-1623 [5]
  • Henry Howland, who settled in New England in 1630
Howland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christopher Howland, who arrived in America in 1807 [5]
  • Mary Ann Howland, aged 19, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812-1813 [5]
  • Joseph Howland, who arrived in New York in 1820
  • John Howland, aged 36, who arrived in Missouri in 1845 [5]
  • Ada H. Howland, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Howland Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • A. Howland, who settled in America, in 1908
  • Howland, aged 59, who immigrated to the United States from Paris, France, in 1909
  • Adelaide Howland, who immigrated to America, in 1910
  • Agnes Howland, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • Adelaida Howland, aged 22, who immigrated to Randolph, Vermont, in 1915
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Howland migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Howland Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Ms. Elenor Howland U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]

Australia Howland migration to Australia +

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

Howland Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Edward Howland, aged 29, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Royal Charlie" [7]

New Zealand Howland 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:

Howland Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Howland, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • Sarah Howland, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Miss Sarah Howland, (b. 1820), aged 20, British servant for Mr. Judd travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Howland (post 1700) +

  • Bette Howland (1937-2017), born Bette Lee Sotonoff, an American writer for Commentary Magazine and literary critic
  • Alfred Cornelius Howland (1838-1909), American painter from Walpole, New Hampshire
  • William Bailey Howland (1849-1917), American editor of The Outlook, publisher of The Independent
  • Keith Howland (b. 1964), American guitarist and singer, lead guitarist for the veteran pop-rock band, Chicago
  • Joseph Howland (1834-1886), American Union Army general, politician and philanthropist, New York State Treasurer (1866 to 1867)
  • Elizabeth "Beth" Howland (b. 1941), American four-time Golden Globe nominated actress
  • Ben Howland (b. 1957), American college basketball coach and former player
  • Jobyna Howland (1880-1936), American stage and screen actress
  • Sir William Pearce Howland PC , KCMG , CB (1821-1907), American-born, Canadian politician, the 2nd Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (1868-1873), one of the Fathers of Confederation
  • Esther Howland (1828-1904), American artist and businesswoman who is responsible for popularizing Valentine's Day greeting cards
  • ... (Another 41 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Howland +

  • John Howland of the Mayflower by Elizabeth Pearson White.

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. 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
  7. South Australian Register Thursday 25th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Royal Charlie 1854. Retrieved
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook