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Origins of the Owen surname

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What does the name Owen mean?

Owen is a surname that originated in Wales. It is a patronymic name, referring to those who are the son or descendant of Owen or Owain (a version of the Irish name 'Eogan', and meaning 'well born'). It has been found as early as the 1200s in records, but did not become widespread until the mass adoption of surnames in Wales mandated by King Henry VIII in the 1500s.

Alternative variations of the name Owen

Owen, Owens, Owain, Owan, Owans

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Delve deeper into the Owen family's history

Where do most Owens live?

In 1921, most Owens 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 Owens

How common is your surname?

91st most common surname in the UK

We have 384,000 records for the Owen surname. The oldest one dates back to .

Who were Owens most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Owens.

What are the most common Owen first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

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

Common jobs for Owens

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

Common Female occupations for Owens in 1921


General Servant Domestic


Domestic Servant


General Servant


House Servant


Common Male occupations for Owens in 1921


Coal Miner


Agricultural Labourer


General Labourer




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