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Surname Howell - Meaning and Origin

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Howell: What does the surname Howell mean?

The last name Howell is a Welsh patronymic surname, derived from the given name Hywel. The given name Hywel is derived from the Welsh Middle Ages personal name "Hoel", which is of uncertain origin. Some sources suggest it to be a combination of the Celtic elements hwy, meaning "shining", and hel, meaning "fame".

The actual meaning of the surname Howell is "Hugh’s son", and is a reflection of the popularity of the given name Hugh in Welsh throughout the Middle Ages. During this time it was common practice for fathers to name their children after themselves, so the children of the Welsh Hugh would often take on the patronymic surname Howell.

Throughout history, the surname Howell was found in various parts of the country and is not associated with any specific region. However, there are some documented settlements of Howell's in the sixteenth century in Worcestershire, Nottinghamshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire.

Today, Howell is a common surname found all over the world with several variants in spelling. In the United States alone, Howell is the 464th most common surname, making up 0.025% of the population. It is also the 78th most common surname in Wales.

Howell: Where does the name Howell come from?

The last name Howell is common in many parts of the world, particularly in regions that have seen significant migrations from its traditional homelands in England, Wales, and Scotland. In England, Howell is the 75th most common surname. As of 2018, 4.3% of the population had the surname, with the highest concentrations found in the North West, Wales, and the South East of England. In the United States, Howell is the 574th most common surname and is found in states across the US, particularly in the South. The most Howell-dense area is central North Carolina, where it's the 159th most common surname. Howell is also found in Scotland and Ireland, where the surname is fairly common. In Scotland, Howell is the 753rd most common surname, and 4.3% of people living there have the Howell surname. In Canada, Howell is the 1162nd most common surname and is found in all provinces, but is most commonly found in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Howell is also present in Australia, where it is ranked the 1810th most common name.

Variations of the surname Howell

The surname Howell is derived from the Old Norse personal name “Hrolfr”, meaning “wolf”. It is a patronymic surname which means it is derived from the name of the father of the original bearer. It is a very common surname found in Great Britain, and in some other English-speaking countries like the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Variant spellings of the surname Howell include Hole, Howel, Howells and Hewel.

In Scotland, the surname can also be spelled as Dowel and Dowell. These variants are primarily found in Scotland and Ireland, and do not usually appear outside of these regions.

There are also some alternative spellings for the surname found in different countries, such as Olll, Howill, and Howlite.

The Welsh version of the surname is Howells, and in some Irish records, it is spelled as Houlihan and Hallinan. These variants are more common in Ireland.

In East Yorkshire, there is an alternative spelling of the name which is Howill or Howle. It is believed that these two variants came about from different dialects of the local speaking population.

Additionally, some surnames from the ancient Celtic family of MacGowal can also be found in Ireland. This is derived from the Old Irish Mac Gabhail, which was a popular surname in ancient Ireland.

Overall, Howell is one of the most common British surnames, found in many countries with variations in spellings and cryptography.

Famous people with the name Howell

  • Sara Howell: Sara is an American actress and model.
  • David Howell: David is an English chess grandmaster, chess coach and author.
  • Cissy Howell: Cissy was a British actress and singer.
  • Jean Howell: Jean is an American actress who has been in many films and television series.
  • Tommy Howell: Tommy is a former American football player who played in the NFL for seven seasons.
  • Dean Howell: Dean is an American artist and sculptor.
  • Bobby Howell: Bobby is an American former professional basketball and baseball player.
  • Tim Howell: Tim is a British jazz guitarist.
  • Charles Howell III: Charles is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour.
  • George "Spanky" McFarland: Spanky was an American actor and comedian.

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