Most of the Hower family is in Pennsylvania. There were also major migrations existing to Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois, and minor migrations to other states.
The Hower family was first established near Lancaster, PA by two von Hauer brothers who journeyed by ship from Germany in 1740. The family name was changed to the current Hower spelling under pressure from the British governors to anglicize subjects names.
There are still von Hauer members as well. Most are in Europe specifically Austria and Germany. A few have also moved to America and other places.
Many von Hauers in modern times, or when they moved to non German speaking countries shortened their names to Hauer and so many are also related. This is evidenced through many genealogy resources, but it is also common to find brothers that one goes by Hauer and another by von Hauer.
This name is rarely encountered, however there are reports that this is a branch of the Hower / Hauer name as well.
Howard is a common name, but it is not related in any way to the Hower name. There is only one known Hower family, so if your name is Hower, you are part of the family.