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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Howley family come from? What is the English Howley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Howley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Howley family history?

The name Howley reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Howley family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Howley family lived in Cheshire. The name, however, is a reference to the family's former place of residence Houlei, France. They took their name from this place in its local form, de Houlei, which literally translates as from Houlei.

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Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Howley, Howly, O'Howley and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Howley research. Another 209 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1766, 1828, 1829, and 1848 are included under the topic Early Howley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Howley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Howley name or one of its variants:

Howley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Jasper Howley, who landed in Maryland in 1678

Howley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • M. A. Howley settled with his wife and eight children in New York in 1820
  • Patrick Howley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1850
  • Martin Howley, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853
  • Mark, Patrick and William Howley arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • Brgt. Howley, aged 24, who landed in America from Dublin, in 1892

Howley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Anne Howley, aged 18, who settled in America from Tubbercurry, in 1902
  • Anthony Howley, aged 20, who settled in America from Kiltimagh, in 1903
  • Andrew Howley, aged 24, who landed in America from Ballyvaughen, in 1905
  • Ann Howley, aged 39, who landed in America from Wednesbury, in 1906
  • Bridget Howley, aged 21, who landed in America from Carron Castle, in 1906


Howley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Timothy Howley, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Matilda" from Cork
  • John Howley, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
  • Michael Howley, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
  • Thomas Howley, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Howley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Timothy Howley, aged 45, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett,"
  • Margaret Howley, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Trafalgar"
  • Mary Howley, aged 17, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Trafalgar"
  • Honora Howley, aged 21, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Australia"
  • Thomas Howley, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Royal Albert"

Howley Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Philip Howley arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863

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  • Chuck Howley (b. 1936), American football linebacker
  • Daniel Philip "Dapper Dan" Howley (1885-1944), American Major League Baseball player
  • Kevin Howley, English football referee
  • William Howley (1766-1848), English clergyman, Archbishop of Canterbury (1828 to 1848)
  • Mrs. Rose Howley, English 3rd Class passenger from England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • James Patrick Howley (1847-1918), Newfoundland naturalist
  • Michael Francis Howley (1843-1914), Roman Catholic priest and Archbishop of St. John's, Newfoundland (1904 to 1914)
  • Orlando Martinez Howley (1944-1975), Dominican Republic journalist
  • Rob Howley (b. 1970), Welsh rugby union footballer
  • Miss Fay Alma  Howley (1912-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

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  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Howley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Howley 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 13 November 2014 at 16:22.

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