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Origins of the Howard surname

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What does the name Howard mean?

The Howard surname is believed to have two separate origins, both in England. The first is occupational, coming from the Old English position of 'Hayward' (High Chief) and would be given to these people and their descendants. The second supposed source of the surname is patronymic, a name given to those who are the son or descendant of someone with the forename 'Hereward' or 'Howard'.

Alternative variations of the name Howard

Howard, Howerd, Haward, Howart, Heward

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Where do most Howards live?

In 1921, most Howards lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Howards

How common is your surname?

96th most common surname in the UK

We have 309,000 records for the Howard surname. The oldest one dates back to 1264.

Who were Howards most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Howards.

What are the most common Howard first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Howard family members

Common jobs for Howards

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Howards in 1921


Cotton Weaver




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


Common Male occupations for Howards in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer


Farm Labourer






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