Log in  | New? Register

545,393 Hows members around the world

Family spelling variants includes Hughs, Hewes, Hews, Huws, Hows, Howse, Howes

Stay informed about Hows Family online & offline events!

Keep me informed as to Hows Family online & offline events

My Hows family came from?

See our recent family gatherings

Hows family crest

Hows Family History

Ó hAodha - this name, from the conjectural origin 'fire', according to Woulfe in 'Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall' (19230, is the name of perhaps a dozen unrelated septs and families thoughout Ireland. The southern anglicised form is Hayes; in the north it is anglicised uniformly as Hughes. The certainty is that the name comes from the first name Aodh, which was always anglicised as Hugh in Ireland.

MacAodha of Cos Cavan and Galway may also have influenced the name's formation.

As far as the Irish Hughes are concerned, the name is that of a sept of Ó hAodha, formerly Lords of Uí Fiachrach in Ardstraw, Co Tyrone; also of a sept of Tirconnell, chiefs of Eas Ruadh; also of a family, chiefs of Fearnmaighe in Co Monaghan. There are two families whose origin is in Meath: that of Lords of Odhbha, near modern Navan, and that of chiefs of East Teffia (Tir Teathbha). The men of Teffia feature in the inter-tribal strife of the 10th and 11th centuries recorded in the Irish Annals.

The Uí Fiachrach connection is significant, for there were two such families of Ó hAodha in Ballintobber, Co Mayo and Dromard in Co Sligo.

In Sir William Petty's 'Census' of 1659, an examination of the above counties reveals the following listed as 'Principal Irish Name':

The returns in the Census for Co Tyrone and Co Mayo are missing.

Co Fermanagh
Parishes of Bohue Rossory, Clenish and Killasher, McHugh 19 families.

Co Monaghan
O Hugh 22 families.

By the time of Griffith's 'Valuation' of households between 1847 and 1860, the top counties for Hughes' numbers were: Armagh 538, Tyrone 349, Monaghan 292, Mayo 255 and Down 136.

The Registrar's Report on Births in 1890, feature the province of Ulster with 180 births, double that of its closest rival, Leinster, with 92.

Hughes is in the Irish top 40 surnames, and is 15th in Ulster.

Hughes is also a patronymic surname of Welsh provenance, via 'Huw', a Welsh first name, and possibly influenced by the Norman introduction of the Germanic name Hugh. At the time of the British Census of 1881, the relative frequency of the surname Hughes was highest on Anglesey (37.2 times the British average), followed by Caernarfonshire, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Merioneth, Montgomeryshire, Cardiganshire, Radnorshire, Carmarthenshire and Shropshire.

Hughes is also an English name of Norman origin. As a French surname, Hougues etc, it is principally of Languedoc.

John Joseph Hughes [died 1864] an Irish immigrant worker, was the first Catholic Archbishop of New York.
Phiip Hughes [born Dublin] is a 31 year old Irish soccer player, a forward.

Who have we missed?

Tell us about any famous Hows (or surname variant) you think we should add here. We will get our genealogists to check them out and add them to the list. Thanks!


Join the conversation with the Hows tribe

  • Find your Hows ancestor
  • Tell us about your Hows Family
  • Tell us about your Hows ancestors
  • Ask a question about the Hows history
  • Leave a message for Hows family members

My GRANDFATHER Richard Sims was from Hughes he had an old bond book of family history. My uncle Timothy Sims had Notebooks made for everyone but the history is amazing but it only goes back as far as 50 BCE Donegal. but it does state we are from Whales. Aunt Tony, she did a DNA and there traces of Jews decent. So I could also see where the snake comes from in the bible when that saved the life of many Israelites.


Please note the Hughes family surname project at Family Tree Dna. It is the only compiled and in progress compilation of hughes dna in the public realm that I know of. We are such a great family we should know as much as possible about our family lines. Mine goes back to Jeremiah Hughes Sr. b.1785 of Upper Pig Pen area of Yancey County, North Carolina, United States. My people are represented on the last lineage of the dna colorized public spreadsheet on this study.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Hughes name has a long history in Ireland and now DNA and some recorded history to the north-western area of the Emerald Island. The Hughes story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Hughes surname origin is from Clan Domnaill [DNA Tribe R1b-L513, Subgroup B1] and relations who remain in Ireland take the modern surname (O)’Donnelly, McDonald, Donohue, and O’Donoghue in Ireland.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Domnaill name is also found in Brittany, France. It is a very old name which appears in the 5th century Roman inscriptions as Dumnovellaunos in Brittany meaning “Deep Valour” equivalent to Irish Domhnaill. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Hughes story begins in pre-history Ireland but relatives will then move to Wales where the family can be traced back to their Welsh tribe Cydifor Fawr. A descendant and many of his kin will then move to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


i was told that my family crest was a snake wraped around a sword

Invite more Hows family members!

Write an email address and click 'Invite' to share this page with more members of the Hows tribe.

Log in or Register to invite others
Family Coat of Arms Generator

Why not see what your family crest could look like based on your own family characteristics?

Create Crest

Discover where the Hows Family members live around the world

Explore where tribe members live today!


Show off the Hows Family Crest…

Wear your crest with pride...plenty of products to choose from