Kollies Genealogy

What’s in a surname: Howey

1st occurrence in my family history: 3rd generation (grandmother, Constance Howey).

Spelling variations of this family name include: Howie, Howe, Howey, Howy and others.

In the United Kingdom today there are 608 people with the surname Howey, this makes it the 7711th most common. Therefore, for every 1million people 13 of them have the surname Howey!

Recorded as Howie and Howey, this famous Scottish name is locational. It derives from an estate known a “The lands of How” in the county of Ayrshire, although the precise location is now lost. The name therefore is a member of the ever growing list of surnames of the British Isles that originate from lost medieval sites. It is claimed that the origin is from the Ancient British-Strathclyde ‘hoh’, a word which pre-dates written history, and describes a hollow or deep valley, from which also developed the surname How or Howe. The name as Howie or Howey is probably a diminutive meaning Little How, the suffix ‘ie’ or ‘y’ being a popular Scottish and North of England endearment.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Howye. This was dated 1526, when he was appointed Sergeant at Arms of the town of Brechin, during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 -1542. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax.




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