Show ContentsOwenby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A product of the ancient Brythonic Celts of Wales, the name Owenby, 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.

Early Origins of the Owenby family

The surname Owenby 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.

From these early beginnings, the family reached throughout early England. "George Welsh Owen, Esq. of Tiverton in Devonshire, is impropriator of the great and small tithes, both of the [parish of Egloskerry] and Tremaine, [Cornwall] which belonged formerly to the priory of Launceston. In Egloskerry there are several estates, by which no small tithes are paid. From the tithes of this parish the sum of £5 per annum is paid to the incumbent curate, and sixteen shillings to the Prince of Wales's audit." 1

Early History of the Owenby family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Owenby research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1169, 1600, 1608, 1616, 1622, 1624, 1639, 1640, 1645, 1647, 1659, 1661, 1664, 1666, 1676, 1678, 1679, 1683, 1692, 1698, 1700 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Owenby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Owenby Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Owenby name over the years has been spelled Owen, Owens, MacOwen, Owenson, Owenby, Ownby and others.

Early Notables of the Owenby family

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Thomas Owen (died 1661), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1640, supporter of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; Sir John Owen (1600-1666), a Welsh Royalist officer during the English Civil War; John Owen (1616-1683), an English Nonconformist church leader, theologian and administrator at the University of Oxford; Arthur Owen (ca.1608-1678), a Welsh politician who sat in...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Owenby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Owenby Ranking

In the United States, the name Owenby is the 15,094th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

Ireland Migration of the Owenby family to Ireland

Some of the Owenby family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Owenby family

The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Owenby: Richard Owen, who came to Virginia in 1622; Edward Owen, who settled in Virginia in 1636; Anne Owen, her husband and servants, who settled in Barbados in 1680.

Contemporary Notables of the name Owenby (post 1700) +

  • James A. Owenby, American politician, Representative from Colorado 2nd District, 1924 3
  • Todd Owenby, American classical Christian musician
  • Chris Owenby (b. 1986), American composer
  • Shane Owenby, Managing Director, Asia Pacific at
  • Ruth L Owenby, American lawyer from California who owns the Ruth L. Owenby Law Firm

  1. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook