H is also for …

From: Reaney, P H, (ed. Wilson, R M), 1997, Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd ed., OUP, Oxford, unless otherwise stated.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Mary Heape, born about 1723, Measham, Derbyshire.

I was drawn to this by the frivolousness. Heep is a variant and there is the wonderfully named Uriah Heep, the obsequious character in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield.

It appears the name is from Hepe, Roxburghshire, Scotland.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Ann Hewitt, born about 1825, Tamworth, Staffordshire.

There are two roots:

1. A personal name from Scotland, Wales and England with the root huet, related to Hugh or Huw.

2. A resident of a clearing where trees had been cut down.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: John Hines, born about 1830, Alrewas, Staffordshire.

From Middle English hine, hind, servant.

John and Elizabeth Hines (nee Dennis)

Hodgkins / Hotchkis

Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Samuel Hodgkins, born about 1819, Shenstone, Staffordshire; Edward Francis Hotchkis, father of Sarah Hotchkis, baptised 30 Apr 1738 Wentnor, Shropshire.

The kin of Hodge, a pet form of Roger.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Charles Hogg, father of Thomas Hogg, born about 1715, Measham, Derbyshire.

From old English hogg, pig, swineherd.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Thomas Holmes, father of Jemima Holmes, born about 1810, Wychnor, Staffordshire.

There is some suggestion online that there is a relationship to the Irish Mac Thomáis, but there is no clear connection that I can see, so I will discount that.

Reaney puts forward under Holmer and Homer dweller by a holly bush, from Old English holen, Middle English holm, or on flat land near water, from Middle English holm, Old Norse holmr. There are many places, especially in north and eastern England with names including holm or holme and the names given, Holmar, Holmare and Holmere, seem to suggest water. I suggest this is the most likely.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Thomas Howdall, father of John Howdall, baptised 29 Jan 1731, Hemingbrough, Yorkshire.

There seems to be no information about this surname. It is most frequent in Yorkshire.

I can see this being a contraction of hough + dell or hough + dale. The Oxford English Dictionary of British Place Names Hough is associated with a ‘ridge or spur of land’. It also describes Howden, near to Barmby on the Marsh as ‘valley by the headland or spit of land’. Perhaps hough-dell or howdale is the right direction?

Tantalisingly, FamilySearch (FS) has a baptism of John Howdall, 25 January 1731, Hemingbrough, surely the right person. Is the spelling evidence of the morphology of the name?

In addition, FS has Yorkshire baptisms in the 1600s with surnames Howdel, Howdell, Houdel, Howdall, and Howdaile. None of these can be related with any certainty, but I think I am on the right lines with origin.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: William Hyde, father of John Hyde, baptised 30 May 1769, Staffordshire.

From someone who owned a hide of land, traditionally about 120 acres (about 48 hectares).

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