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


The name Howlett was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Norman personal name Hugh. Howlett was a baptismal name which means the son of Hugh. As the naming tradition grew in Europe baptismal names began to be introduced in many countries. Baptismal names were sometimes given in honor of Christian saints and other biblical figures. There are very few Christian countries in Europe that did not adopt surnames from these religious figures.

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The surname Howlett was first found in Yorkshire where Johannes Houlet et uxor ejus and Adam Howlot et Agnes uxor were listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. Roger filius Hulot was also listed in Yorkshire in another early census. [1]

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Howlett, Howlet, Hullett and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howlett research. Another 125 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Howlett History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Howlett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Howlett family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 41 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Howlett or a variant listed above were:

Howlett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • William Howlett, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Randall and William Howlett settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Randall Howlett, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624
  • Thomas Howlett settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Howlett, who arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1634

Howlett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Howlett, who landed in Antigua (Antego) in 1705-1706
  • Samuel Howlett, who landed in America in 1798

Howlett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robt Howlett, who arrived in Texas in 1850-1906
  • Ellen Howlett, who arrived in Colorado in 1880

Howlett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Howlett a labourer, arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Emma" in 1836
  • William Howlett arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Robertson" in 1839
  • Samuel Howlett, English convict from Northampton, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • James Howlett, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Anglia"
  • Judith Howlett, aged 21, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Aliquis"


Howlett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Robert Howlett, aged 30, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856
  • James Howlett, aged 21, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ocean Mail" in 1875
  • Mary Howlett, aged 19, a dairymaid, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Queen" in 1883

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  • Michael J. Howlett Sr. (1914-1992), American politician, 33rd Secretary of State of Illinois (1973-1977)
  • William B. Howlett, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State Senate 10th District, 1910
  • T. Henry Howlett, American Democrat politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Livingston County; Elected 1932
  • Robert G. Howlett, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1960; Candidate in primary for Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals 3rd District, 1964
  • Michael J. Howlett (b. 1914), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1972
  • Louis E. Howlett, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1904; Candidate for Circuit Judge in Michigan 35th Circuit, 1911
  • Collins III Howlett, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 2004
  • Liam Paris Howlett (b. 1971), English musician and composer of the British electronic band The Prodigy
  • Neil Howlett (b. 1934), retired English operatic baritone
  • Jeffrey Howlett (1928-2005), Western Australian modernist architect

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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)

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  11. ...

The Howlett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howlett 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 30 January 2016 at 17:30.

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