Last Name HOWARD


Meaning There are two distinct origins of the last name Howard, one official, the other baptisimal; one representing once well-known office of Hayward, the other representing rge still earlier first name Hereward. Both of these names, totally distinct in origin, had a determined bias towards the form Howard, and in time reached it. Official, 'the hayward,' i.e. the custodian of the fences, from 'hay' or 'haw,' a hedge, and 'ward,' a guardian. It is clear that if Hayward was also pronounced Haward, the further step to Howard would be inevitable. The other name origin is 'the son of Heward.' The different stages of this first name seem to have been Hereward, Harward, Haward or Heward, and Haward. It is commonly found in the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries, and had become a last name when the Hundred Rolls were compiled. Most of the Howards are unquestionale descendants of the first name. It is the double origin that made Howard such a well known surname in England.
William, son of Roger Fitz Valevine, took the name of Howard from being born in the Castle of Howard, in Wales, in the time of Henry I. Spelman derives Howard from 'Hof-ward,' the keeper of a hall; Vestegan, from 'Hold-ward,' the keeper of a stronghold; Camden, from 'Hoch-ward,' the high keeper.
Origin English, Jewish, Dutch, Irish, Falkland, Maori, Maltese, Austrian, South african, Hungarian, Guam

Rank 70 (2000 US census) 65 (1990 US census)
Count 254,779 (2000 US census)

Race / ethnic distribution

The 2000 US Census claims that
  • 66.83%, or 170269 total occurrences, of those with this family name identified themselves as being white,
  • 28.69%, or 73096 total occurrences, as black,
  • 0.38%, or 968 total occurrences, as Asian and Pacific Islander,
  • 0.82%, or 2089 total occurrences, as American Indian and Native Alaskan,
  • 1.74%, or 4433 total occurrences, as two or more races, and
  • 1.55%, or 3949 total occurrences, as Hispanic ethnic origin.

Russian middle names

As with many things that are 'Russian,' neither child nor his parents has much choice in picking the name. It is purely patronymic and generally predefined at the time when the child is born or even rather conceived. The name is derived from the child's father's first...

English surnames

English surnames can be divided into five classes: Baptisimal or Personal (first) names, local, official, and occupative surnames. Nicknames represent the last class. Practically there are only four classes, for it is often hard ti distinguish between occupation and offic...

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