This surname is of Welsh origin and derives from the ancient Celtic personal name "Owain", in Olde Welsh "Ouen" or "Ouein". The name was adapted from the Latin "Eugerius", meaning "well-born", but there are some who claim that the source was the Olde Welsh "oen", lamb. Owain/Owen has long been one of the most popular of all Welsh personal names, and some thirty-nine Owains are featured in ancient Welsh legends; Owen Gwynedd was a 12th Century chieftain, and Owen Glendower (Owain Glyndwr), 1353 - 1416, the greatest hero of Welsh history, was the Prince of Wales who established the Welsh parliaments and nearly became an independent King of Wales, but was defeated by Henry 1V of England. The personal name is first recorded in England in 926, in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles. Thomas Owen was an early emigrant to the New World, leaving London in August 1635 on the "Globe", bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Owein (witness) which was dated 1221, in the "Warwickshire Assize Rolls", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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