Humanities › History & Culture The Significance and Origin Behind the Surname "Howard" Share Flipboard Email Print Terry Vine/Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated February 04, 2019 The surname Howard possibly comes from the Norman name Huard or Heward which derives from German elements like hug 'heart', 'mind', 'spirit' and hard 'hardy', 'brave', and 'strong.' While the origins of the surname are unclear, it is theorized that it holds an English background from the Anglo- Scandinavian name Haward with derives from Ol Norse elements like há ‘high’ + varðr meaning 'guardian' and 'warden'. "Huard" or "Heward" is also thought to be one of the origins of the Norman-French personal name of the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century. Additionally, there is a background of the surname Howard in relation to Irish with Gaelic notations. Howard is the 70th most popular surname in the United States. One popular alternate surname spelling is Hayward. Discover genealogy resources, famous notable people, and three other possible surname origins aside from English below. Surname Origins Several possible origins for the Howard surname include the following: Derived from the Old Germanic name "hugihard," denoting one strong of heart, or very brave.Derived from Germanic term howart, meaning "high chief," "warden," or "chief warden."From "hof-ward," the keeper of a hall Notable Persons Ron Howard: American actor, producer, and director who got his start on The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.Dwight Howard: American NBA basketball player playing center for the Houston Rockets.Bryce Dallas Howard: Daughter of the film director Ron Howard and actress known for her role on the show Parenthood, directed by her father. Genealogy Resources 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their MeaningsSmith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?Howard Family Genealogy Forum Search this popular genealogy forum for the Howard surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Howard queryFamilySearch - Howard GenealogyFind records, queries, and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Howard surname and its variations.Howard Surname & Family Mailing Lists RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Howard surname.Cousin Connect - Howard Genealogy QueriesRead or post genealogy queries for the surname Howard, and sign up for free notification when new Howard queries are added.DistantCousin.com - Howard Genealogy & Family HistoryFree databases and genealogy links for the last name Howard. To look for the meaning of a given name, use the resource First Name Meanings. If you are unable to find your last name listed, you can suggest a surname to be added to the Glossary of Surname Meanings and Origins. References: Surname Meanings and Origins Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German-Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.Hanks, Patrick, and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.