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


A product of the ancient Brythonic Celts of Wales, the name Owen, is from the Welsh personal name Owen or Owain. The Old Welsh forms of this name were Ouen and Ouein and were borrowed from the Latin name Eugenius. This is in turn derived from the Greek name Eugenios, which means well-born or noble. The name was recorded in Wales as early as 926 AD, when Uwen Wenta Cyning was noted.

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The surname Owen was first found in Montgomeryshire (Welsh: Sir Drefaldwyn), located in mid-Eastern Wales, one of thirteen historic counties, and anciently the medieval kingdom of Powys Wenwynwyn, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Owen have included Owen, Owens, MacOwen, Owenson, Owenby, Ownby and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Owen research. Another 253 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1169, 1661, 1624, 1640, 1600, 1666, 1616, 1683, 1608, 1678, 1645, 1678, 1645, 1698, 1676, 1679, 1664, 1622, 1692, 1659, 1647, 1639, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Owen History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 281 words (20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Owen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Owen 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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During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Owen:

Owen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Owen, who came to Virginia in 1622
  • David Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Edward Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • Edward Owen, who settled in Virginia in 1636
  • Rowland Owen, who arrived in Virginia in 1636


Owen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Gustavos Owen, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Susanna Owen, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1710
  • Susana Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1713
  • Gilbert Owen, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Jean Owen, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719


Owen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Hugh Owen, aged 42, landed in New York in 1812
  • Luke Owen, aged 39, arrived in Maine in 1812
  • Philip Owen, aged 22, landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1842
  • Edmund Owen, aged 24, arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1842
  • George Owen, aged 26, arrived in New York in 1849


Owen Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • James Owen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mathew Owen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Amos Owen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. Edward Owen U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 215 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA

Owen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Michael Owen, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Owen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Edward Owen, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Thomas Owen, English convict from Shropshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • William Owen, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • George Owen, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Owen, aged 38, Irish convict from Queens County, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Owen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • E. Owen arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Surge" in 1855
  • G. Owen arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Surge" in 1855
  • William Owen, aged 23, a rope maker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Elizabeth Owen, aged 20, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oliver Lang" in 1856
  • Mary Ann Owen arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Telegraph" in 1863


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  • William S. Owen, American Republican politician, Member of Maine State House of Representatives from Piscataquis County, 1919-20
  • William Henry Owen, American politician, Mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, 1923-33
  • William H. Owen (b. 1843), American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Bridgewater, 1872-1911
  • William E. Owen, American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Senate 29th District, 1951-54; Member of Wisconsin State Assembly from Dunn County, 1957-58
  • William Dale Owen (1846-1906), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Indiana 10th District, 1885-91; Secretary of State of Indiana, 1895-99
  • William Owen, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Sussex County, 1875-76
  • William Owen, American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Tennessee, 2004-08; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 2004, 2008
  • Walter C. Owen (b. 1868), American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Senate 10th District, 1907-12; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1912; Wisconsin State Attorney General, 1913-18
  • Volney Owen, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Herkimer County, 1838
  • Tubal C. Owen, American politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from St. Clair County 1st District, 1870

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  • A Fair and Happy Land by William A. Owens.
  • Memories of an Ozark Mother: 100 Years of Stella Owen by Edgar Lyle Owen.
  • Owings and Allied Families, 1685-1985: Genealogy of some of the Descendants of Richard Owings I of Maryland by Addison D. Owings.
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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. 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.
  5. Bradsley C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print.
  6. Evans, Gwynfor. Wales: A History: 2000 Years of Welsh History. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-120-2).
  7. 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.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Owen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Owen 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 2 March 2016 at 14:44.

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