Alright.This is officially cool.All these rare and wondrous 'Yows' ;-).Anyway, as far as my research dictates, the origin of the surname Yow is actually Welsh (Cymric, technically).I've been able to trace it to the region of Devon (now known as Devonshire) in southwestern England, close to the Welsh borderlands.
Possible derivations of the name pertains to the infamous and long-lived yew tree as well as the more modern Anglo-Celtic "yeo" which is the root for "yeoman" (meaning a free landowner of lesser gentry).The original word "yeo", of ancient Cymric derivation, means something along the lines of "river" or "land by the river".Interestingly enough, there was a quasi-Spanish word "yu" which, according to what I discovered through research, once meant "river".Hmmm.(the modern Spanish word for river is, of course, "rio").
Anyway, hope this has brought more help than confusion.This sight is pretty darn nifty; I think I'll be checking back.
--Mike Yow One of those North Carolina Yows Currently living in Atlanta, Georgia