August 28, 2010

Joseph Hickman House

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell   

I discovered today that The Canadan Register of Historic Places lists some very interesting details on the "Joseph Hickman House" and on the history of our Hickman family from New Brunswick, Canada.   We have fond memories from the Hickman Family reunion held here in August 2005.

Hickman house side view

The Joseph Hickman House in 2005

 The text below from the Historic Places listing...(links added)
The Joseph Hickman House was designated for its association with the Hickman family, for its association with the ship building industry, for its association in the lumber industry, for its association with farming and for its architecture. 
The Joseph Hickman House is recognized for its association with the Hickman family. This large white house was home to five generations of Hickman's. The house was built by Joseph Hickman (1821-1889) who married Ruth Caroline Wells in 1845. It was occupied by his son, John Howard (1859-1921), by his grandsons, William Marshall (1894-1952) and Robert Wells (1912-1975), and by his great-grandson Robert Stuart (1949- ) and his family. 
The Joseph Hickman House is also recognized for its association with the ship building industry. The Hickmans of Dorchester were merchants and businessmen, involved in politics and community organizations; however it is as shipbuilders that they acclaimed a world-renown reputation. In 1878, and for a few years thereafter, Canada could claim the fourth largest merchant marine in the world. Several coastal communities in New Brunswick, especially in the Bay of Fundy, had shipbuilding industries in 19th century. It is reported that approximately 30 shipbuilders have built over 80 vessels in Dorchester in the 19th century. William Hickman is reported to have built up to 25 vessels at Dorchester Island and four in Hillsborough. William Hickman was one of the most innovative and prolific ship builders in Atlantic Canada. 
Vessels built at the Hickman yard on Dorchester Island had reputation for being safe, sturdily-built craft made from the finest building materials and with quality workmanship. The Joseph Hickman House is recognized for its association with the lumber industry. Joseph Hickman and most of the Hickman descendants were farmers and tradesman and had share in several ships. They also contributed to shipbuilding by supplying timber and hardware. As early as 1840, Joseph Hickman operated a general store. It provided supplies for lumber camps and shipyards. In 1876, Joseph built a new hardware and specialty store. The Hickman's also owned sawmills in Dorchester and in Port Elgin. 
The Joseph Hickman House is recognized for its association with farming. The Hickman family had a large farm and was recognized as a model or "experimental" farm. In a document prepared at the time of his death in 1889, it is mentioned that Joseph Hickman's estate was worth $31,893 at the time. The Joseph Hickman House is recognized for its architecture. Built circa 1840, it is a good example of two-storey Neo-Classical residential architecture, exhibiting a depth of two rooms and using a strict symmetry arrangement of elements. The paneled front door is framed by a transom window with sidelights. Multi-pane windows are arranged symmetrically five across. The interior is lavishly finished with elaborate door and window moulding, intricate staircases, plaster crown moulding and rosettes, a plaster arch in the hallway and numerous fireplaces, including a rare cast iron fireplace made in Sackville.
The article also contains architectural details on the house and some photos.
Posted by jhowell at 7:28 AM

October 3, 2009

Dr. John Guy Jackson, Jr. unravels our Veazey's

Veazey -> McBride -> Howell
Interesting how the pieces start to fit together….Albert Sidney Howell, Jr.’s (1898–1981) grandmother was Margery Elizabeth Veazey (1825–1898).  Sidney traced his Veazey ancestors to James Veazey, born Aug 25, 1725 in Cecil County Maryland and who died in 1790 near Powelton, Georgia.  The details are documented in his typed manuscript which was provided (p1), (p2) to us in February 2007 by Jim Brittain (noted here).

Unfortunately I could find no relationship between Albert Sidney Howell’s Veazeys, and our ancestor, Elizabeth C. “Betsy” Veazey McBride a.k.a. “Grandma Eley”.  Betsy Veazy, her many marriages and her ancestors were basically a mystery until I received an email from Dr. John Guy Jackson in April this year, who explained:

I am a gg-grandson of John McBride and Elizabeth C. 'Betsy' Veazey via their daughter Melissa Frances McBride (Elmina McBride Howell's sister); Melissa Frances married John Stephen Jackson in Taliaferro County on 14 Apr 1840.

Dr. Jackson further explained that he had written My Search For John Stephen Jackson, His Ancestors and His Descendants, and that the Veazey’s and McBrides were well documented in Chapter 9. Last weekend I received a copy and can hardly put it down!  Chapter 9 contains 178 pages of text including extensive source references and photocopies of original documents.  Here are a few of the things I learned about the Veazeys (also lots on the McBrides..but that is for later):
  1. 'Betsy' Veazey had 4 husbands and seven children. She was left a widow twice, and divorced once. She Married (1) John McBride ca 1813 in Greene Co.; six children (Elmina, Alonzo Church, Melissa Frances, Mary Elizabeth, Susan C, and Julia J).  Mr. McBride died 26 Jun 1828 at Indian Springs. She m(2) Fauntleroy F. Chain in Fall 1831 in Houston Co.; one daughter (Angelina). Mr. Chain died Jan 1835. She m(3) Neil Ard 26 Oct 1837 in Houston Co.; divorced in 1838. She m(4) James J. Eley 9 Jun 1842 in Taliaferro Co.; he died in 1873. She died 21 Jan1869 at age 70."

  2. Captain Abner Veazey (1776-1832) is Betsy's father who married Delilah Rhodes in 1797 in Organge Co., North Carolina. There were two daughters - Mary born about 1798 and our ancestor Betsy born about 1799. Captain Veazey served as a citizen soldier in the Georgia Militia and was called into active service on three separate occasions: 1) in 1813 during the Creek Indian Wars, 2) in the Federal Service during the war of 1812 and 3) in 1818 during the First Seminole War.
    Abner Veazey was also a prominent member of the American Colonization Society, which was formed to: 1) suppress the slave trade, and 2) to aid in legally freeing slaves, and 3) to remove free Negroes from the United States to Liberia. "Listed among the charter members of the Putnam County branch were such prominent men as John McBride (Abner Veazey's son-in-law)...Rev. Alonzo Church...Rev. Coleman Pendelton..."

  3. Elijah Veazey (born 1745/50 in Cecil Co., MD; d. 1801) and Frances Hester were Captain Abner Veazey's parents. They were married in Granville Co. NC and had 7 children (Elizabeth, Abner, Mark, Ezekiel, William Rebecca, Fielding). As a boy Elijah moved with his parents to Granville Co., NC. The 1800 US Census in the Dutch District of Granville County NC shows five males, three females plus five slaves in Elijah's household

  4. Edward Veazey (1721-1779) and Ann (1723-1787) were Elijah's parents. Edward's birth is recorded in the records of St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Cecil Co., Maryland. Edward and Ann had four children (Ann, Elijah, Elizabeth Lee, Rachel). During the 1750's Edward migrated to what is known as 'Veazey Ridge' (now in Butner, NC), in the Knap of Reeds Community, Granville Co., NC. Here he purchased 320 acres in 1759 and another 200 acres in 1762. It is likely that Edward and Ann are buried in an old Veazey cemetery on Veazey Ridge.

  5. James E. Veazey (d. 1766) and Mary Mercer (d. 1766) were Edward's parents. They had 8 children (Martha, Thomas, Edward, Elizabeth, James, William, Mary, Araminta) And here is where we discover that the James Veazey b. 1725 in Albert Sidney Howell’s genealogy is the same as the James in this family. (see family group sheet). This was our missing link and with this knowledge we now can connect Albert Sidney Howell's Veazey's and ours.

  6. John Veazey (1647-1700) born in Essex, England, and Martha Broccus were James E. Veazey's parents. They had 5 children (William, George, Edward, James E., Robert). In 1687 John Veazey purchased a tract of land (quoting Guy Jackson) “in the southern portion of Cecil Co., MD, on the eastern side of the Elk River and on the south side of the Bohemia River near the point where the Bohemia empties into the Elk, the tract being part of a neck of land knon as ‘Veazey’s Neck’.” Their home was named Cherry Grove and was occupied by his descendants until about 1900. 

View Veazey Neck in a larger map
Map showing "Veazey's Neck" and "Veazey Cove"

Coincidentally when we lived in Philadelphia, Jack Howell and I would trailer the Lazer II to Elk Neck State Park on Turkey Point and spend the day sailing in the Elk River - just opposite Veazey's Neck.
Veazey Neck is listed as such on NOAA navigational charts.
So now, thanks to cousin Dr. John Guy Jackson, we know much more about our Veazey line going all the way back to John Veazey born 1647 in Essex, England and who settled in Cecil County, MD, and who is the 10x great grandfather of the youngest of our Howell's today! (chart).


Posted by jhowell at 2:27 PM

September 17, 2009

5x Great Grandmother - Elizabeth C. Veazey

Betty Howell Traver had another surprise for us in her album – a photo of Elizabeth C. Veazey who married John McBride (1793– 1828).  She was married several times after John McBride died – but so far the only other name I have for her is ‘Great Grandmother Eley’.

Elizabeth Veazey is the 5x great grandmother of the youngest members of our Howell line today.  See chart here.5Gens

Elizabeth Veazey McBride

Elizabeth Veazey McBride


Posted by jhowell at 11:33 PM

Albert Sidney Howell Jr.'s - McKinney Howell chart

During a visit last week, Betty Howell Traver and Jim Brittain provided a copy of a handwritten Howell chart from the records of Albert Sidney Howell, Jr. The starting point is McKinney Howell.  The chart re-confirms much of what we already know, and provides the names of some “new” cousins including: Reed, Holden, Madison and Grimes.

The chart should be of interest to Julia Howell Traylor Dyar, as well as Mark McBride Howell as it shows their lines.


A full size copy of the chart can be viewed here.

Posted by jhowell at 6:12 PM

Magnolia Cemetery - Thompson

Thompson -> Heard -> Howell

William Thompson (1781–1839) and his wife Hannah Brooks (1789–1872) are the 4x great grandparents of the Howell’s in my generation.  I learned last week during a visit with Jim Brittain and Betty Howell Traver that they are buried in the Magnolia Cemetery, Augusta, Georgia, along with many of their family.  

Jim Brittain provided photos and a plot map – The photos are now linked back to the database entry for each person.

The marker describing the plot reads: 

“William and Hannah Thompson and the following members of their family, Edmund Heard, Ellen Heard, Henry Heard, Hannah Heard, Daniel B. Thompson, Elizabeth Thompson, Sarah Thompson, Mary Thompson, Jane Thompson, James Thompson, Jane Thompson, Sarah J. Lathrop”



Posted by jhowell at 3:50 PM

July 27, 2009

Google Books - Sacrifice of the Shannon

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell

Wonderful to discover that “Sacrifice of the Shannon” by William Albert Hickman, is now available in its entirety as a free download from  (more details in my 2005 post)


Posted by jhowell at 4:59 PM

July 24, 2009

New (old) Howell photos come to light!

Howell <-> Howell

Spencer Howell returned from a visit to Betty Howell Traver with some great photos that are some of the oldest we have on record:

The first is of Dr. John McKinney Howell (1833–1899).  Dr. Howell lived in White Plains, GA.  He is the author of the letters written during his tenure at Andersonville Prison, where he served as a doctor in the Confederate Army.  Dr. Howell is the 2x Great Grandfather of the Howell’s in my generation. The original is owned by Betty Howell Traver.


And the second photo is of Elmina McBride Howell (1815–1883). Elmina married John Johnson Howell and was the mother of the above Dr. John Mckinney Howell. Elmina is the 3x Great Grandmother of the Howell’s in my generation.  The original of this photo is with J. Spencer Howell.

Elmina McBride Howell

As to other old photos of the Howell’s, see this chart.  If you can help fill in any of the blanks please let me know! 

Posted by jhowell at 1:14 PM

May 11, 2008

King Hywel, Nesta and Henry I

Corresponding with Gareth Howell in England who reminded me about Nesta who is descendant of Hywel Dda “The Good” King of Deheubarth (Wales). Gareth writes:

Many of the early Cambro-Norman invaders were related, as indicated in the descendant chart of Nesta, a Welsh princess. Nesta was known as one of the most beautiful women in Wales. Her father was Rhys ap Tewdwr Mawr, Prince of South Wales (1081-1093) She had children from (at least) three relationships: Stephen the Castellan (of Cardigan), Gerald FitzWalter (of Windsor) and Henry I (King of England)

We have not (yet) established a connection between our Howell who appear in Virginia in the 1500’s and King Hywel. We have however previously established a connection to Nesta’s husband, Henry I (Beauclerc) via his marriage to Matilda Editha Caenmoor of Scotland.  Their descendants are documented in the well researched Clopton genealogy. (Howell -> Heard -> Perrin -> Clopton -> Waldergrave -> Drury -> Calthorpe -> Stapleton -> de la Pole -> Stafford -> de Audley -> de Clare -> Plantagenet -> de Castile -> Plantagenet -> Beauclerc). 

Descendancy for Henry I Beauclerc, of England: John and Susan Howell's Family History Pages.

Posted by jhowell at 8:27 PM

April 27, 2008

Andrew McBride: John and Susan Howell's Family History Pages

McBride -> Howell

Thanks to John Guy Jackson, it looks like we have found the parents of John McBride, father of Elmina McBride who m. John Johnson Howell.  John Guy Jackson writes:

I am a gg-grandson of John McBride and Elizabeth C. 'Betsy' Veazey via their daughter Melissa Frances McBride (Elmina McBride Howell's sister); Melissa Frances married John Stephen Jackson in Taliaferro County on14 Apr 1840.

John McBride was the son of Andrew McBride and Phebe Boran; Betsy Veazey was the daughter of Abner Veazey and Delilah Rhodes. 'The Veazeys and The McBrides' are thoroughly documented in Chap. 9 of 'My Search For John Stephen Jackson, His Ancestors And His Descendants'.

I will be ordering a copy of Mr. Jackson’s book from the Augusta Genealogical Society, Inc., P. O. Box 3743 Augusta, GA 30914-3743. Tel: (706) 722-4073

Andrew McBride: John and Susan Howell's Family History Pages.

Posted by jhowell at 12:15 AM

October 1, 2007

Postcards from Austria

Davison -> Howell

Earlier this summer J. Spencer Howell visited with Betty Howell Traver who passed along some fascinating old postcards showing Nellie Davison's and Alfred Grunberger's home in Vienna, Austria circa 1907, as well as one of piano virtuoso Theodor Leschetizky.

These cards reinforce two big themes we find running through Nellie Davison's life, namely: politics (her father, her second husband), and music (her mother, herself, her first husband and his family.) The musical theme continued when Nellie's daughter Atze married Paul Passini, the great grandson of composer Felix Mendelssohn.

Alfred Grunberger was Nellie Davison's second husband, who in the Austrian government from 1920-1932 served as Minister of Public Nutrition, Minister of Commerce, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs ambassador to Paris and Madrid. Theodor Leschetizky, teacher of the famous Paderewski, was also Henry Howell's music teacher. Henry of course was Nellie's first husband.

Click to see reverse side and larger images
The card of Theodor Leschetizky was sent to Nellie's mother in law, Emma Berrien Heard Howell, in 1903 and the ones of her home were sent in 1907 to Helen F Kilpatrick, a cousin of Henry Howell, in White Plains after she and Henry were divorced.
Posted by jhowell at 8:46 PM

July 31, 2007

Mary Johnson's photo

Howell <--> Howell

As mentioned previously, Betty Howell Traver provided us with an amazing photo of Mary Johnson (1786 - 1856). Mary was Betty's 2x Great Grandmother, and Henry Howell's Great Grandmother.

Mary Johnson "Polly"

When looking at this photo you realize that Mary's parents lived through the American Revolution, and that inevitably makes you ask "Is it really possible to have a photo of someone born in 1786?", and "When was photography actually invented?"

The stock answer is usually something like:

"In 1826 Nic

Posted by jhowell at 11:57 PM

February 5, 2007

"Top Five Family Site" says Family Tree Magazine

Many thanks to the editors and writers of Family Tree Magazine for selecting this site as one of the Top 5 Family Web Sites ! And what a great opportunity to say thank you to all who have helped and contributed by sharing your photos, files and stories.

Click here to see all five finalists, and register your vote for #1!

Posted by jhowell at 9:03 PM

Albert Sidney Howell's files

Howell <-> Howell

Imagine my delight last week when the postman delivered a box full of family history documents sent by Jim Brittain, Jr.. The box contained a lifetime of documents and notes from Albert Sidney Howell, Jr.'s (1898-1981) research on our family!

I am just beginning to sort through the documents but wanted to share some of my findings thus far.

The collection contains some original legal documents from the early to mid 1800's that are quite interesting - they are on old paper of varying textures and odd sizes and are hand-written, often containing the original signatures of our relatives. These documents also serve as primary evidence to support our research. Here are the discoveries so far:


1. Deed to McKinney Howell 19 October 1818 - Original handwritten Deed from John Cain to McKinney Howell for 150 acres in Hanckock County, Georgia. Witnessed by Joseph Howell. The deed is on one 12" x 14" piece of paper and contains a rather home made red seal in the bottom right. Although I don't yet know who John Cain is, it is worth noting that Issac Cain married Elizabeth Johnson, who was McKinney Howell's sister-in-law.

2. Deed to McKinney Howell for 100 acres in Hanckock County Georgia from J? Veazey. Dated 19 March 1821. Original handwritten document fell apart at the folds into 6 pieces.

3. Deed to Joseph Howell, 19 December 1830 - Original handwritten Deed from A. R. Ransone(?) to Joseph Howell for 132 acres in Taliaferro County, Georgia. Witnessed by Silas M. Johnson and S. Johnson J.P.

4. Deed to Samuel A. Howell, 3 November 1857 - Original handwritten Deed from William Veazey & Ezekiel Veazey to Samuel A. Howell conveying 429 acres in Taliaferro County, Georgia. "adjoining lands of I. Moore, Wm. Johnson, Jas. Reynolds and others lying waters of the Ogeechee river."

5. McKinney Howell estate Dismissory Letter, attesting that Samuel A. Howell completed his duties as Administrator de bonis of McKinney Howell's estate on 2 April 1860. Original document, Greene County, Georgia, signed 5 November, 1860 by Eugenius L. King. Red wax seal in lower left.

6. Deed to McKinney Howell from Zachariah Lamar(?)/Lawson(?) for the purchase of approximately 380 acres, consisting of several parcels in District 12, Houston County, Georgia that include 180 acres parcel #254, 198 acres parcel #255, 3.5 acres parcel #269. Dated March, 1830. Original handwritten 3 page document on a single sheet of folded paper.

7. Deed to Samuel A. Howell for 225 acres of land from the estate of John J. Howell. " both the Counties of Greene and Taliaferro." Original three page, handwritten document, dated 7 November, 1858.

8. Deed to Samuel Armstrong Howell for 8.7 acres in Greene County, Georgia on 11 March 1861. Original one page handwritten document from E. F. Jarrell.

In addition the collection contains many letters, typed notes, and handwritten notes and charts. Here are some that I have found thus far:


1. Lundie W. Barlow's Howell file - Credit must go to Lundie Barlow (Howell <-> Barlow relationship) for working out the Howell ancestry from McKinney Howell back to Matthew Howell. This was no small feat, as it required many visits to the different institutions housing land, marriage, census and other records. We are all in Lundie's debt for this effort. The file's 19 pages contain abstracts from the source materials with the location of each source noted. There are sections for Cavanah / Cavenah, Johnson, and Howell. The file is now scanned into a single pdf that can be viewed here.

2. The Veazey Line connection to A.S. Howell. Begins with Ezekiel Veazey born 1759 and goes to Albert Sidney Howell's grandparents Margery Elizabeth Veazey who married William W. Moore. The Veazey name is also connected to our Howell branch as Elizabeth, the mother of Elmira McBride was at one time married to a Veazey. More research to do here to figure out the connection and hopefully sort out the marriages of Elizabeth McBride/Veazey/Rhodes.."

3. The Veazey Line starting with James Veazey.

4. Albert Sidney Howell letter to Florence Howell Pollard dated 25 March 1974. Mentions Abner Veazey, Clark Howell, Elizabeth Veazey, Leila Veazey, Elmina McBride.

5. Howell line Notes by Albert Sidney Howell, Jr. "Four Howell brothers came from North Carolina"; "From the family bible of Dr. and Mrs. Reddings"; "Note from L.L. Knight's Georgia Landmarks.." and more.

6. McKinney Howell will transcript by A.S. Howell.

7. Florence Howell Pollard's letter to Albert Sidney Howell, 23 March 1974. "..This writer is most grateful to those who kept track of the family records, otherwise there might not have been my own wealth of research. I began collecting records in 1930...."

In addition to the excitement of discovering new facts, it is always a relief to get original documents and photos scanned and available to all on the Internet. I can think of no better way to preserve our heritage.

Many thanks again to Jim Brittain for providing this great collection.

Posted by jhowell at 9:54 AM

January 20, 2007

Elmira McBride Ancestors

Some interesting new information from cousin Jim Brittain arrived today regarding the ancestors of Elimira McBride wife of John Johnson Howell.

Jim writes:

I have the Howell Family data collected by Albert Sidney Howell, Jr. White, Plains, Ga. who died 1981.

In a letter from Villa [Havila] Howell Mapp White Plains, Ga. to W. S Howell Greenville, Ga. Feb 20,1911.
"...John Johnson Howell married Elmira Mc Bride when she was sixteen. She was reared in Milledgeville [Ga.] and Eatonton, Georgia."

In a letter (about 20 pages) from Lundie W Barlow, Richmond Va. Nov, 8 1944 to Albert Sidney Howell
"...My parents John Johnson Howell and Elmira McBride Howell, were married in the town of Perry Houston Co. Ga. in 1832."

The third document I am not sure of the author, possibly Florence Stewart Howell Pollard. No date but about late 1960's
"...Checking back to Elmira McBride who was married to John Johnson Howell, she was the Daughter of John McBride who died in 1830. He was married to Elizabeth Veazey or Veasy, who was the daughter of Delilah Rhodes[?], Delilah was the daughter of a Mr. Southerland and wife who was a Miss Cleyborn before her marriage.:

If you would Like I can get copies to you through Betty Howell Traver.

Jim Brittain

My comments:

1. A small mystery - Elmina McBride Howell is buried in the White Plains Baptist church cemetery - Dad and I photographed her gravestone, and the spelling of her name is "Elmina". But all other sources, including this recent information from Jim Brittain spell her name "Elmira" - so I'm going to change the record to Elmira, and assume that either the gravestone is misspelled, or perhaps it means that she was called Elmina by those who buried her.

2. Elizabeth Veazey/ Vesey who was the mother of Elmira McBride Howell, is really Elizabeth Rhodes. She must have married Mr. Veazey before she married John McBride the Surveyor General. This reconciles with the comments by Betty Howell Traver that she was married more than once.

3. Two new generations found - We now learn that Elizabeth Rhodes is the daughter of Delilah Southerland. That makes Delilah the great grandmother of Dr. John McKinney Howell. Delilah is the daughter of Mr. Southerland who married Miss Cleyborn so Mr. Southerland and his wife are the 2x great grandparents of Dr. John McKinney Howell.

4. We don't have dates but based on Elmira's birth date in 1815, if her mother Elizabeth Rhodes was 25 when Elmira was born, Elizabeth would have been born in 1790. (25 is a bit older, but remember this was her second marriage) If Delilah Southerland was 20 when she had Elizabeth, Delilah would have been born in 1770, and her mother Miss Cleyborn perhaps born 1750 if she was 20 when she had Delilah. Of course all of this is just a guess, but it puts us in the general timeframe to start looking for more details.

It will be interetsing to see if we can uncover some more gems from the information Jim has.

Posted by jhowell at 2:52 PM

November 1, 2006

New Brunswick Hickmans

Daniel F. Johnson's database of New Brunswick "vital statistics" (mainly announcements of births, marriages and deaths) newspaper articles is now available in full, and online from the Provincial archives web site.

These were the records that helped me uncover the details of the Hickman family several years ago when I was looking for Nellie Davison's mother. There are many articles relevant to the family. Take a look here

Posted by jhowell at 9:13 AM

June 27, 2006

An Interview with Julia Howell Traylor Dyar

Howell <-> Howell

About a month ago, thanks to a transcript of an interview posted on the Digital Library of Georgia web site from the Troup County Archives, I learned that Julia Dyar is a third cousin living in LaGrange, Georgia - We have started corresponding (as you can see from the Genealogue entry of 20 June 2006) and already new facts are emerging on our mutual Howell ancestors.

Julia Howell Traylor Dyar
LaGrange, Georgia - 2003

Although the interview is mostly about Julia's fond memories of life in LaGrange, the comment that prompted me to contact her was:

My mother was Gladys Marchman from the eastern part of Georgia; her parents were pioneer settlers in Hancock and Greene Counties.

A thread that emerges from many generations of Georgia Howell's is a love for writing and teaching. Julia certainly fits the mold.

The video/audio of the interview can be seen here

The transcript here:

Posted by jhowell at 1:34 PM

June 20, 2006

Henry Howell describes life in Vienna

Howell <-> Howell
(click above to see relationships)

Julia Howell Traylor Dyar from LaGrange Georgia sent a copy of a letter she receievd from Henry Alonzo Howell over 71 years ago.

Julia writes:

"In this mailing I'm sending you a copy of a wonderful letter I have kept through the years because it was so special to me. My mother and father took me to Cuthbert in the spring of 1935. While there we went to visit my Mother's relative "Cousin Henry Howell". I was just 10 years old in May of 1935. Earlier that year, after our visit, I wrote him requesting of his memories of living in Vienna. This letter is his answer. I hope you will find it as special as I have - enough to keep it for these 71 years."

Dated May 1, 1935 and written when he was 69, Henry describes his life in Vienna in 1902-4 where he was a piano student of the famous Theodor Leschetizky. A copy of the 5 page letter can be seen here.

Posted by jhowell at 9:25 PM

May 16, 2006

First "big" DNA Match!

Howell <-> Howell

Mark McBride Howell and I matched DNA in 25 locations according to the Y-DNA test performed by FamilyTreeDNA. We are indeed fourth cousins - our common ancestors being 3x great grandparents John Johnson Howell and Elmina McBride.

I'm fascinated by this finding as it further validates much of the genealogical information that we have independently compiled.

This match also establishes that our Howell line is unique from the other Howell lines in the DNA study - probably to the immigrant Matthew Howell who died in Isle of Wight County, VA in 1720.

Our search now should focus on finding other Howell males that trace their ancestry to VA, NC and/or GA who are not yet participating in the DNA study.

Posted by jhowell at 2:55 PM

April 7, 2006

A visit with Betty Howell Traver

Howell <-> Howell

Last week, Dad and I spent a day with our first cousin Betty Howell Traver, age 82, at her home in Greensboro, Georgia where she lives with her husband Daniel. This was a much anticipated occasion - our first ever in-person meeting!

To be precise, Betty is dad's first cousin 'once removed', and my first cousin 'twice removed' - click "Howell <-> Howell" above for a chart.

Within the first few minutes, Betty asked at what age my hair turned grey. "It started about age 16", I replied. "I knew it," said Betty, "you're a Heard!"

Elizabeth Howell Traver cir. 1954

Betty is the only child of Edward Lathrop Howell, youngest brother of Henry Alonzo Howell. She is our last living link to the Howells of White Plains, Georgia. She remembers spending summers in Cuthbert, Georgia in the house occupied by her Aunt Eva Howell, her father and by Henry Howell "my favorite uncle!" Betty remembers Henry's music and that he played the piano daily.

Betty also remembers meeting John Edward Howell - "I liked him," and also remembers that his sister Atze Howell came and stayed in her parents house in Atlanta after leaving Puerto Rico.

Betty's birth mother, Lillian Schalk Howell, died when Betty was 4 months old. When Betty refers to her mother, she is talking about her first cousin, Helen Camp Richardson (1895 - 1962), who raised her, and who tragically died in an air accident in Paris, France while on tour with the Atlanta Art Association.

Betty graduated from Washington Seminary girls school (now part of The Westminster Schools) in Atlanta in 1942. She attended Emery University where she was editor of the school newspaper and one of the first women students on campus. She fulfilled the requirements to graduate from Emery but the school was not yet awarding diplomas to women --- so she received her degree from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA in 1946. During the Korean War Betty served in the Red Cross (1952 - 54) and lived in Tokyo and Osaka Japan and Taegu Korea. She married Dan Traver in Japan. Dan served in the Army on the staff of General William Westmoreland where he was responsible for 2,000 plus aircraft and could "fly anything from helicopters to fixed wing".

Without doubt, our meeting with Betty produced an avalanche of new information on our Howell ancestors! Betty provided so many interesting stories, photos and documents that I will not try and do all of them justice in this note. But to get started, I've placed copies online of most every photo and document she provided, for all to see and enjoy - stories, more explanations and details to follow.

Thank you Betty for these wonderful gifts!


1. Henry Alonzo Howell (1866 - 1958) Dad's grandfather, husband of Nellie Davison. Betty describes him as her favorite uncle. Several photos including as a youth before his first haircut; another in his 20's or early 30's; and a great portrait. Up until now we really did not know what Henry looked like!

2. Hannah Brooks Thompson (1789 - 1872) - An original photo of Henry Howell's Great Grandmother probably taken 1860's ! Amazing to think George Washington took his oath of office as first President of the United States just one month before she was born.

3. Edmund Heard (1807 - 1853) - Grandfather of Henry Howell, son-in-law of Hannah Brooks Thompson.

4. Emma Berrien Heard Howell (1841 - 1918) - Daughter of Edmund, mother of Henry Howell. 4'11'' tall, and a powerful force in her school and in her family.

5. Mary Johnson Howell (1786 - 1856) - Great Grandmother of Henry Howell, Great Great grandmother of Betty Howell Traver. An amazing copy of an old photo probably taken in the 1850's. Given to Betty by Sidney Howell of White Plains.

6. Silhouettes of Daniel James Brooks,
Sarah Berrien Brooks, and their granddaughter Elizabeth Thompson Heard, cut by a famous silhouettist who had no hands.

7. Edna Perrin Heard Kilpatrick (1843 - 1925) - Henry Howell's aunt, younger sister of Emma B. Heard Howell.

8. William "Willie" Johnson Howell (1849 - 1906) - Georgia State Legislator, Uncle to Henry Howell. A double bonus as he is also the Great Great Grandfather of Mark McBride Howell - and Mark informs me this is the first image he has seen of him.

9. "Mammy" - ex slave of Dr. John McKinney Howell holding a young Florence Howell.

10. Helen Camp Richardson's portrait - photographed over Betty's fireplace in the living room.

11. McKinney Howell house - White Plains, Georgia. Several generations have lived here including Dr. John McKinney Howell.

12. This photo of Edward Lathrop Howell, Betty's father/ Henry's brother, is framed and sits in her living room.

13. Group photo of Henry Howell and his sister Bertha Howell Camp, and her daughter Helen Camp in what Betty thinks may be Henry's car.

14. James Hines Kilpatrick photo. An original of the photo found on the "Vanishing Georgia" site by the Georgia Archives.


Henry Howell's father, Dr. John McKinney Howell served as a doctor for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. His letters to Emma describe the horrific conditions he encountered at Andersonville Prison and are must reading. Betty Howell Traver donated the original handwritten letters to the University of Georgia and her tanscribed versions can be seen at the links below:

1. July 29, 1864
2. July 31, 1864
3. August 4, 1864
4. August 10, 1864
5. August 29, 1864
6. August 29, 1864 - handwritten version showing that due to a severe shortage of paper the letter was written first horizontally, then overwritten vertically!


1. A Howell family tree showing Howell's from Betty Howell Traver to Matthew Howell who resided in Isle of Wight, Co., VA and who died 1720. This is a breakthrough as up until now I have not been able to trace beyond McKinney Howell. (See: Tree from Matthew Howell b. 1600's to Maggie Howell b. 2005)

2. Copy of a letter from the Georgia Archives re: John McBride (1793 - 1828) who was Surveyor General of Georgia. He was Henry Howell's Great Grandfather.

3. Copy of John McBride's "Field Notes" for Appling County July 1819.

4. Betty's wrote a one page document describing the "Origins of Henry Alonzo Howell's given names".

5. Betty wrote a one page document on John McKinney Howell & describing some of the artifacts from the old homes that she still has.

6. A document titled "Christmas Visit to the Howell Kin near Atlanta in 1858" Excerpted from the unpublished autobiography "Family Reminiscences" by Edna Perrin Heard Kilpatrick, written in White Plains Georgia in 1922.

7. A short history of the Howell and Johnson Lineage written by Havillah Howell Mapp. (1835 - 1934)

8. Several documents regarding Hannah Brooks Birthday which reveal much about our Berrien lineage. Sarah Berrien was Henry Howell's Great Great Grandmother. We now can see the details of this lineage back through New York, Holland and France.

9. An original old handwritten document with clues to John McBride's lineage.

10. Corrected pages from the 1939 genealogy by Lucy Lane Erwin "The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia."

11. Handwritten document with reference to Benjamin Rhodes. Betty notes possible relationship to John McBride.

12 . Transcribed article from the New York Herald re: Origins of Howell name. (no link to our line shown)

13. Handwritten background on the silhouettes of Daniel James Brooks, his wife and granddaughter Elizabeth Thompson Heard.

Posted by jhowell at 1:31 PM

March 10, 2006

Rev. Kilpatrick's Howell Family notes

Howell -> Howell

A wonderful document by William Heard Kilpatrick (WHK), compiled from the notes of his father Rev. J. H. Kilpatrick, and titled simply "The Howell Family" was recently sent to me by Rev. Scott Kilpatrick, who lives in Australia.

McKinney Howell is currently the eldest ancestor in the Howell line that we have discovered. This document is the first I have seen to name any of McKinney's brothers, which could be a tremendous help in further research. The document is transcribed below:

I [WHK] find in a book which belonged to my father the following statement:

"McKinne Howell had three brothers, Joseph, Matthew and William"

"Matthew was an old bachelor who lived where Randolph Clark now lives - he made a good property and willed mostly to his nephew Abraham - but one slave Dick to John Howell."

"Joseph had three children, Abram [?], Isaac, and Nancy. Isaac married a sister of C.A. Davis and moved to Alabama - became a printer [?]. Nancy married Nelms and after his death, Mercer. Nancy had two more children of whom James married Minerva Hilsman and Martha married Cuthbert Alexander and finally Davenport."

"McKinne had two sons, Matthew and John. Matthew had two children, Nancy Jane and Samuel. [Nancy Jane was born 1834, married Dr. I.D. Moore, and died 15 June 1869.] Samuel was the father of W.S. Howell who was the father of Cornelia, my grand daughter. Samuel Howell's mother was a Symington and a sister of Benj. Alfriend's first wife."

"J.M. Howell was born 13 Aug. 1838 and died 3 May 1889. S.S. Howell died 30 Sept. 1864. Elmirra [McBride] Howell was born 13 Aug. 1815 and died 23 May 1883. Polly Howell married Johnson and died 19 Oct 1856. W.J. Howell was born 4 Jan 1839. Nuna [Jurnigan] Howell was born 4 June 1852. Burinah (Howell) Hilsman was born 31 July 1840. Alonzo Howell was born 16 July 1836. Austra [Howell] Mapp was born 1 Dec. 1842 and died 25 March 1891. Villa [Howell] Mapp born 7 July 1845. H.M. Moore born 30 March 1856. Adiah Mapp born 6 May 1879. Fuller Mapp born 18 March 1879. Howell Brady born 4 Nov. 1880. McBride Howell born 6 Aug. 1879.",


1. The spelling McKinne is interesting - Up until this letter I had assumed it was McKinney as this is the spelling on his grandson's (John McKinney Howell)gravestone.

2. Memoirs of Georgia says there were 5 brothers (or six depending on how you read it):

"W. S. Howell, an attorney of distinguished ability of Meriwether county, belongs to one of the pioneer families of the state, to which his great- grandfather with five brothers came to North Carolina in the last century. Four of the brothers drifted on with the tide of emigration, but one other remained in Georgia. He was McKinney Howell, one of the earliest settlers of Greene county."

3. McKinney Howell's brother, Joseph had a son Abram. Abram would be the nephew of Matthew Howell. Matthew Howell willed his property to "his nephew Abraham". I'm wondering if Abram and Abraham are the same person? The name Abram was quite common at the time as can be seen in census records.

3a. Matthew Howell willed a slave named Dick to John Howell, but which John Howell? Hard to calculate without a death date for William, but perhaps his nephew John Johnson Howell (son of McKinney Howell).

4. The first line of the last paragraph refers to "S.S.Howell died 30 Sep, 1864." I can't locate an S.S. Howell. This perhaps a typographical error and should be "S.A. Howell" (Samuel Armstrong Howell), who died on 30 Sep, 1864 as shown on his gravestone in the White Plains Baptist Church graveyard.

A copy of the original document as typed by W.H. Kilpatrick can be viewed here.

Posted by jhowell at 3:54 PM

March 9, 2006

Another John Howell is born!

Howell <-> Howell

Mark M. Howell and son John M. A. Howell

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Mark McBride Howell who found me via this web site. As it turns out, Mark and I are 4th cousins! Mark and his wife Nieves Mary just had a baby boy named John Howell !

In his first email of 9 Feb Mark writes:

My great-grandfather is shown in your charts as the eldest child of William Johnson Howell and Anna Elizabeth Jernigan. I think he moved from White Plains to Athens, GA around 1905. I have attached a couple of photos of him and a shameless one of my son for your records. Finally, I have attached a family tree. A quick glance showed that you already had the Howell information I have gathered. As far as I can tell, John Johnson Howell and Elmina McBride are great-great-great grandparents for both of us. Thanks much for putting together such a great website.

This is quite an event as Mark and his family represent the most distant living Howell cousins found to date! Click here to see a tree illustrating the relationships.

Mark and I have now exchanged many emails on our mutual family history. He also has forwarded many photos and some documents, most of which are now on the web site.

And most recently, Mark wrote to tell me that he has decided to participate in the Howell DNA study with a 25 marker test. If all goes well, we should be an exact match.

I hope an in-person meeting can't be far behind!

Posted by jhowell at 11:57 PM

February 2, 2006

Georgia Archives posts Howell photos

Nellie Davison Howell and an admirer by the piano in Atlanta UPDATE: 9 Apr, 2006 - Betty H. Traver, who donated these photos identifies the 'Admirer' is the photographer, Malcolm Howard Kilpatrick. " Cousin Howard had a new gadget that would activate the camera by itself on a timer so he could be in the picture. He was 5'1" tall, a patent attorney in N.Y.C. He was in the uniform of an A&M College (Auburn) cadet."
The Georgia Archives has posted some (new to me) photos of Henry Howell and Nellie Davison Howell and their home in Atlanta. The photos were taken by Henry's first cousin, Howard Kilpatrick (1878 - 1957) in 1897 according to the Archives, but I would guess the date is more likely circa 1900 after they were married. The prints were made from glass plate negatives.

To view the photos, please click on the links below:

1) Nellie and her admirer by the piano (larger version of above)
2) Nellie & (Henry?) reading
3) Henry Howell house exterior
4) Henry Howell house dining room

Click here to view the images as posted on the Georgia Archives, Galileo site.

One curious point about the photos - the men do not look like the same person. The photos seem to be taken on the same day: Nellie's dress is the same. The man reading appears to have less hair and appears older than the man by the piano. Perhaps there is a family resemblance between the man by the piano and other Howell men, but is this man 14 years + older than Nellie - as Henry Howell was?

Two steps step back....we need more photos of Henry!

Posted by jhowell at 1:38 PM

January 4, 2006

County Genealogy

Our earliest known Howell ancestor, McKinney Howell, migrated from North Carolina to Georgia sometime in the late 1700's or early 1800's. The McKinney Howell family appears in the U.S. Census records as follows:

1820 Census - Hancock County, GA
1830 Census - Taliaferro County, GA
1850 Census - Greene County, GA

The various counties do not necessarily mean that the family moved between the census dates - Georgia was very new, and the county lines were constantly being re-drawn as new counties were born. For example:

Washington County was created in 1784 from Creek Indian lands.
Greene County was created in 1786 from Washington County
Hancock Country was created 1793 from Greene and Washington counties.
Taliaferro County was created in 1825 from Green, Hancock, Oglethorpe, Warren, and Wilkes counites.

1863 Greene County, Georgia

1822 Greene County Map (Note that Taliaferro County (created 1825) does not appear)

Cir 1792 Map of Greene County, Georgia. Note that Hancock (created 1793) and Taliaferro county (created 1825) do not appear.

So it is quite possible that the location of the family in 1820 in Hancock County, was physically in the same place as when it is recorded in 1830 in Taliaferro County. The 1850 location in Greene County means the family probably moved to Greene. The likelyhood of more than one McKinney Howell family exists, but a point against that is that if the counties mentioned above are taken as a group, only one McKinney Howell family appears per decade.

Unfortunately the 1820 and 1830 censuses do not provide the names of the household members - only the name of the head of household is given - so it is impossible to determine if there is a match in the names of the household members.

Posted by jhowell at 2:56 PM

December 26, 2005

Mendelssohn Connection

Howell -> Passini <- Mendelssohn

Thanks to a web page posted by Jos

Posted by jhowell at 4:42 PM

December 23, 2005

Davison - Howell marriage in London, England

Davison -> Howell

Another small mystery solved! Nellie Davison and Henry Howell were indeed married in London, England - just as dad remembers.

I found an entry in "The England and Wales Civil Registration Index" which shows they were married in the quarter ending June 1900 - "Pancras District, London, Middlesex, England." She appears by her full name in the index as Ellen Minora Davison, and he appears as Henry Howell. This further confirms the family stories that they were married in England and also confirms the entry in the Clopton Family Association Genealogy which says married "London".

Researching the Pancras Civil Registration District in London shows it was abolished in 1903, and is now part of the Camden District. Sub-districts included: Camden Town; Gray's Inn Lane; Kentish Town; Regent's Park; Somers Town; Tottenham Court. (The same districts were used to compile the census returns for the years 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901)

St. Pancras Church is believed to be one of the oldest sites for Christian worship in England - (No details yet of where exactly Henry and Nellie were married within the Pancras District - this would be an interesting place to research however)

Today, according to Wikipedia:

St. Pancras is the name of a place in London. However, it is no longer very much used as a name for the district, having been largely superseded by several other terms for overlapping places.

St Pancras was originally a medieval parish which ran from close to what is now Oxford Street north as far as Highgate, and from what is now Regent's Park in the west to the road now known as York Way in the east, boundaries which take in much of the current London Borough of Camden, including the central part of it. However, as the choice of name for the borough suggests, St Pancras has lost its status at the central settlement in the area. The district now encompassed by the term "St Pancras" is not easy to define, and usage of St Pancras as a place name is fairly limited.

Old St Pancras Church and its graveyard have links to Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and the Wollstonecraft circle. Immediately to the north of the churchyard is St Pancras Hospital, formerly the London Hospital for Tropical Diseases. St Pancras is one of the best known railway stations in England. It is currently being extended and is due to become the new terminus for the Eurostar services through the Channel Tunnel in 2007.

Since Nellie and Henry appear in the US Census taken June 15, 1900 living in Marietta, GA "married for 0 years", they must have departed for America by ship shortly after their marriage.

Posted by jhowell at 11:25 AM

November 4, 2005

Maggie Howell Arrives!!

Emily Marguerite Howell - "Maggie" is born in Boston, MA on November 4th, 2005.

I understand her middle name is in honor of her great grandmother - Sara Marguerite Freeney Howard.

Emily Marguerite Howell
Posted by jhowell at 3:47 PM

August 18, 2005

Howell The Good

In wondering about the origins of the Howell name, longtime Howell researcher Dorothy Carroll comments "The Welsh didn't have last names but all admired Good King Hywel. Most undoubtably why there are so many Howell's."

Hywel Dda (King Howell The Good) born circa 880, died 950 in Wales.

The illustration is from a manuscript containing
a Latin copy of the Laws of Hywel Dda. It portrays
the king sitting on his throne holding a sceptre.
(From the National Library of Wales)

From The Wikipedia encyclopedia:

Howell the Good

Howell the Good (c.880?

Posted by jhowell at 9:49 PM

August 13, 2005

August 3 Sackville Tribune-Post:

"Hickman family boasts rich history in Dorchester - Reunion draws family members from across North America"

The article consists of an in-depth interview with Marlene Hickman, by reporter Katie Tower - providing a nice recap of the family history. And it features a photo of the Howells with some of the Hickmans!

The entire article can be viewed here
An archived copy here in ".mht" format (not supported in all browsers).
A larger copy of the photo can be viewed here.

Posted by jhowell at 2:04 PM

August 11, 2005

The Hickman Family Reunion!

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell
(click above to see relationships)

As mentioned in the April 28th entry - the Hickman Family reunion (download invitation) was something we were looking forward to with great anticipation.

Marlene Tingley Hickman and Judy Hickman Morison make a great team and they put a huge effort into making this a great and memorable event for all. A huge thank-you is in order!

It was perfect.

The reunion was held in Dorchester, New Brunswick, Canada at the "Joseph Hickman House" - 2x-4x Great Grandparent of the Howell's living today. The current occupants of the now two-unit house are descendants of Joseph Hickman - brother and sister Judy and Bob Hickman, and their spouses Cole Morison and Marlene Tingley. The house, located just minutes from one of the very northernmost tips of the Bay of Fundy, has remained in the Hickman family continuously - many of the beautiful furnishings are the original pieces from the 1830's - no doubt some imported from England on Hickman-built sailing barques.

Judy Hickman Morison and her brother Bob Hickman welcome the crowd
Our researcher - Marlene Tingley Hickman and local author & historian Helen M. Petchey who wrote The Hickmans in Dorchester's Heyday!

There was so much 'new' (to me) family history information made available from Marlene's resarch that it will take months to digest it all. Not only researched, but photocopied and placed in binders to take home! Marlene gave the group a bus tour of the area showing the locations of the various historical points which ended at the Dorchester graveyard where many of the Hickmans are buried, including our own Alma.

After dinner Judy provided a PowerPoint slide show of old photographs of the various Hickman owned businesses and properties in and around Dorchester. Brief introductory comments were made by several present. Joe Hickman noted for us all that a hallmark theme of the Hickman family has always been it's hospitality - clearly in full-force on this occasion.

Some of the many items on display at the Hickman House

Charlie Hickman is another very active Hickman researcher with whom I correspond, and it was great to meet him and his family in person. He and his father are both avid sailors. Charlie and Marlene have gathered much on the ships that were built, owned and operated by the Hickmans.

Alma Minora Hickman Davison - is Dad's 2x Great Grandmother, and is our first link with the Hickmans as we go back generation by generation.

Alma Minora Hickman Davison (1855-1884)

Among the many family artifacts and photos on display were this large framed drawing (above), and the photo (below) of Alma Hickman - very exciting to us Howells as these are the first images of Alma we have seen!

Apparently because Alma died at the age of 29 when her daughter Nellie Davison was 4 years old there is very little information about her. The discovery of who Alma was, is a relatively new thing to the Howell family - in fact I noted that we had located her gravestone in an entry here Nov 18, 2003. A few months prior to that I didn't even know her name and had never heard it mentioned in the family. We have come a long way with the discovery of these images.

"Alma Hickman"
From a photo album in the Keillor Museum on loan for the reunion.
(image approx. 3" x 5" - click here for larger version)

Now we have a starting point to look through the Davison family photos in Nova Scotia, and see if we can find a match!

Trinity Anglican Church, Dorchester, NB (est. 1836)
July 31, 2005

A final highlight of the reunion for us was attending the special service at the Trinity Anglican Church in Dorchester. Only a few steps from the Joseph Hickman House, the Hickman families have attendend and suppoted this small church since the early 1800's. Marriages, funerals, baptisms - you could almost hear the echoes.

And a most fitting end to our visit - as we went back to the very place where our family association with the Hickmans began 125 years ago when Alma Hickman and E. D. Davison, Jr. were married.

(Update: August 13, 2005 - Just learned that the Sackville Tribune-Post ran a nice article on the reunion. Complete with photo! Click here to view the archived copy.)

Posted by jhowell at 12:25 PM

August 10, 2005

A visit with Catherine Leavitt

Davison -> Howell
(Click above for relationship tree)

Our final stop in Nova Scotia was a visit with cousin Catherine Davison Leavitt at her apartment in Halifax.

When we asked hear about Nellie, Cahterine said she remembers that she was "a very beautiful woman", and faintly remembered a dinner in Bridgewater (1920's?) that included Nellie Davison and her husband "The Baron" (perhaps Gruenburger?) who were visiting from Europe. The unusual thing about it was that The Baron would not sit down at the table for dinner, which was set for 13, until a 14th guest was located!

This is the first time Dad or I have heard anything about Nellie returning from Europe - even for a visit. Catherine also seems to think Nellie was married in Europe.

Seated: Catherine Doran Davison (Rooke) Leavitt

It was also interesting to hear Catherine pronounce Doran: 'Dooren'

Posted by jhowell at 12:05 AM

August 9, 2005

A visit with the Lathrop's at Red Top

Davison -> Howell; Davison-> Lathrop
(Click above to see the relationship)

View from 'Red Top' of the La Have River near Bridgewater, NS This schooner belonged to Budd Davison, and this photo was the centerpiece of Budd and Marj's Christmas card (taken perhaps in 1950's. - photo from Stuart Davison's collection)

'Red Top' is a long-time summer gathering place for many in the Davison clan and their families in Canada. One hundred years ago, Red Top was a cook-house for one of the lumber mills belonging to E.D. Davison & Sons.

We (Dad, Claire, Susan and I), were invited to a wonderful lunch here, and an impromptu family gathering hosted by the current owners - cousin Ned Lathrop and his wife Diane. Also present were Ned's brother & sister, John Howland Lathrop and Margot Lathrop Brebner who also have homes nearby. We were especially honored that D. Whiting Lathrop (age 91), and father/grandfather/great grandfather of the clan present, was there. Whiting's wife, our cousin Margaret Helen Davison, was to arrive in a few days, but Dad and I did get to spend a few minutes with her on the telephone - more on that in a minute.. Also present: Ned and Diane

Posted by jhowell at 1:03 PM

A visit with Stuart Davison in Nova Scotia

Stuart Davison (relationship chart) won't admit it, but he re-arranged his sailing vacation to meet us and show us the locations of the old E. D. Davison & Sons lumber mills, and the old family homes in and around Bridgewater. Stuart was a great guide, and it was nice to finally meet him in person as we have been corresponding since June 2004 via email.

L to R: J. Spencer Howell, Stuart F. Davison, John S. Howell, Jr.
near Pentz on the La Have River, Nova Scotia. (obviously Stuart gets his hair from some other genetic pool...)

Stuart presented us with an original copy of the "E.D. Davison & Sons Lumber Co." photo - very much appreciated and suitable for framing! I also made a copy of the multi-page, handwritten Davison family tree that Stuart had in his files - researched by his uncle (and our cousin)Charles Donald Davison. I've been updating my files with this information, and noting some (mostly minor) confilicts to be investigated.

Another item of interest from Stuart's files is an orginal copy of the form letter sent by E. D. Davison & Son's to their customers dated June 23, 1903 that announces the sale of the company to J. M. Hastings. (click here to see original). The letter begins:

"Dear Sirs:- Ever since the death of our senior member, Mr. E. D. Davison, which followed the loss of our former partners and made such a blank in our management, we find it impossible to conduct the business on the same scale as we have been doing the last 10 years. The undertaking of introducing new men was a larger task than the remaining partners feel like attempting, and we were rather prepared to entertain several offers made us for the purchase of the property. We therefore opened negotiations with Mr. J.M. Hastings, of Pittsburgh, whose very high character in lumbering and financial circles of the United States encouraged us to think he would conduct business of the firm in much the same style of honorable dealings which it has always been the policy of our seniors to maintain."


But one of the nicest things in Stuart's collection of family stuff was the compendium of family stories that that his sister Catherine gave to him for his 50th. One hundred stories - two for each year! We read several of the stories aloud to each other...

In one of the stories Catherine recalls an outing in uncle Ned Davison's (1899 - 1959) convertible when the they were kids. Somehow, Stuart and Catherine managed to grab Ned's hat off his head - (he always wore one apparently), but then the hat accidentally blew away! Ned's reaction was a brief flush of anger - promptly followed by much laughter - contagious to all.

When Dad and the rest of the Howell's who knew him, speak of Ned they always remember his great personality and generosity - just as Catherine and Stuart do - interesting that even today Ned helps us find common ground with long lost sides of the family.

I really can't think of a better gift than this.

Posted by jhowell at 9:54 AM

August 6, 2005

The Sacrifice of the Shannon by W. Albert Hickman

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell
Click above to see our family relationship

The Sacrifice of the Shannon
By W. Albert Hickman
2nd Edition, 1903
Frederick A. Stokes Company
New York, Publishers

On our latest tour of the Maritimes of Canada, my reading list included William Albert Hickman's The Sacrifice of the Shannon published 1903. The Hickman Family reunion in Dorchester, New Brunswick was drawing near, and I wanted to read the book to get a feel for the man, and the the places we were to see. My curiosity further piqued since William Albert Hickman and Nellie Davison were first cousins - two years apart in age - so they most surely knew each other.

Rarely am I so positively surprised! The book is a little gem and I recommend it to you without reservation.

This review by Cecily Devereux sums it up beautifully:

"W. Albert Hickman
"Another reason I want to tell you the story is that the girl is a wonder, a living wonder, and I know you'll be interested in her, though some women have expressed their interest in queer ways which were not always intended to be complementary. If you analyzed them you usually found that they were complementary if they were anything, no matter what they were intended to be. I've called the girl a wonder, because though if you take the average girl as your criterion she is far away from it, still, from a cool, unbiased, critical point of view, she is normal, - thoroughly normal. Kindly remember that "normal" is not "average." She's got a circulation that swings a crimson flush in under her sun-tanned cheeks. She walks like a tiger, and looks at a thing or a person, not for the effect of her eyes, but to see. Incidentally she gets the effect a thousand times better than if she tried for it."

And from p. 120

"The girl was ready when we arrived. She was dressed in a gray blanket snow-shoe suit faced with crimson, and her sweet, clear-cut features and sunbrowned brilliant colouring made her as lovely a picture as any man may see in this life. I have often sat in the old St. James, and in later years in the Carlton and the Savoy, and looked around at the crowd, especially the women. Heavens! what an exhibition it is for a man that loves sincerity and simplicity. If you had stripped the majority of those women - some who have been known as beauties for many seasons - of their dress, their jewels and their powder and paint, ripped their nets off, loosened their hair up a bit, dressed them as this girl was dressed, and compared them with her, how many would have stood the comparison. It makes me laugh now to think of the row of beauties as they'd show up in those blanket suits. And this girl was not only more beautiful than they, but she could talk better, perhaps sing better, and certainly do everything else in the wide world much better. She could beat the majority of them - perhaps all - at tennis, and some other things; if she had them in a boat race with her she'd frighten them into hysterics - most of them; her greatest pleasure was giving, theirs receiving; they were always blas
Posted by jhowell at 10:23 AM

July 16, 2005

Discovery of Nellie Howell's letters!

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell

Marlene Hickman wrote to say she found some letters in her files that were written over one hundred years ago by Nellie DAVISON Howell! Marlene transcribed the letters and they appear below.

Ellen M. "Nellie" DAVISON Howell

The "Uncle John" (click for relationship tree) to whom these letters are addressed, is most likely John Howard Hickman, b. 1858 who married Theresa Hay in 1893. John Howard Hickman is the youngest child of Joseph Hickman and the 3 years younger sibling of Nellies mother Alma. (see chart)

September 9, 1900
Lowndes Building, Room 610
Atlanta, GA

My dear Uncle John:

Your letter with the Express Orders for Fifty-six dollars was received on Friday. I thank you very much for sending it and I am glad you did not give it to me before. I am sure I would not have thought of spending in such a nice way - buying shares - as I witness doing now. We have moved into Atlanta for the winter and have four rooms in a very pretty building. They are on the 6th floor so we have a beautiful view and at present a lovely breeze which is a very important feature of this climate. We expect to be just as warm this winter - In the rooms are heaters with hot water.

Thank you very much for your invitation to stay with you in Dorchester. It will be lovely to go back again and I want to go north next summer if possible. Mr. Howell asks me to thank you to for him. Much love to Aunt Teresa.

I am yours affectionately,
Nellie Davison Howell

November 20, 1901
3 Crescent Avenue
Atlanta, GA

Dear Uncle John:

Many thanks for the $3000 which arrived safely. My husband wrote you at my request explaining why we telegraphed. I have not been at all well lately and am going tomorrow to Marietta for a weeks rest. You remember perhaps I was there the first summer after I was married. I will take Alma and the nurse and Mr Howell is coming up to spend Sunday. I include the receipt you sent me to sign. Give my love to Aunt Teresa. Hoping to see you next summer.

I remain, yours affectionately,
Nellie Davison Howell

See Joseph Hickman's will - the $3,000 referenced in the above letter is probably the $3,000 left to Nellie by her grandfather Joseph Hickman in his will -to be given to her on her 21st birthday. Nellie was 21 on 9 Nov 1901.

There are many "firsts" - to me at least, that come from Marlene's discovery. Among them:

1) The first correspondence I have seen from Nellie.

2) Confirmation from Nellie that she was married to Henry Howell and that her grandparents were Joseph & Ruth Hickman. (Remember the first connection discovered to Hickman was mentioned in the Nov 2003 entry in this genealogue - in connection with the discovery of Nellie's mother's gravestone - it's nice to have some confirmation!)

3) Evidence that Nellie's daughter Alma was born before the letter dated 20 Nov, 1901 (I had no date for Alma's birth)

3a) Which gives evidence to support that Alma (Atze) was older than her brother John Edward Howell b. 1903. (we actually thought she was younger)

4) Confirmation from Nellie that she lived in Marietta, GA. (the first evidence I found of this is the 1900 census, Cobb County, GA, Ellen Howell, boarder, white, female, born Nov 1880, age 19, married for "0" years, mother of 1 child, "0" children living, born Canada (Eng), parents born Canada (Eng), reads, writes and speaks enlish).

4a) Evidence that she and Henry were married cir 1900 - 1901 "I have not been at all well lately and am going tomorrow to Marietta for a weeks rest. You remember perhaps I was there the first summer after I was married."

5) Confirmation from Nellie that she lived in Atlanta after Marietta, GA

6) Evidence that Nellie received a considerable inheritance from her grandfather Joseph Hickman ($3,000 in those days would have purchased a nice home from the looks of the other items on the will) - up until this, we were under the impression that Nellie' financial needs were provided mainly by her father and then after his death in 1902 by her younger half brothers.

We owe a debt of thanks to Marlene Hickman for locating, transcribing and sending these wonderful letters along!

Posted by jhowell at 12:34 AM

May 23, 2005

Alma Hickman - Pianist

Hickman -> Howell

I learned today that Alma M. Hickman was one of the first to graduate from the Mount Allison Ladies' College, Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1874 with a certificate in music - piano - she was 19. No doubt she was playing Beethoven's piano sonatas composed a mere 55 years before she was born. And we already know, Alma's daughter and only child, Ellen "Nellie" Davison married her piano teacher - Henry Howell.

Posted by jhowell at 12:54 AM

May 9, 2005

Howell DNA Update

The first (and still only so far) "DNA match" with another Howell is an exact 12 marker match with R. Ray Howell. We both took the 25 marker test - and unfortunately - not an exact match. What that means is that in all probability our common Howell ancestor is more than 7 generations back - and we have both traced as far as 6!

The good news is that the 25 marker results are now available for comparison to other tests.

Posted by jhowell at 1:06 AM

April 28, 2005

Planning a visit to The Maritimes

As part of an extended tour of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, we are most looking forward to saying hello to our cousins attending the Hickman family reunion this summer in lovely Dorchester, New Brunswick, Canada!

The reunion will take place at the original Joseph Hickman House, a home that has continuously remained in the Hickman family since Joseph built it in 1834.

Cousin Judy Hickman Morison writes:

" old photo of the house taken by Albert Hickman and was accessed through the archives in Fredericton. There are no barns on the property now - in it's heyday it was said to be an experimental farm. It was build by my great great grandfather Joseph Hickman (1821-1889) and run following his death by John Howard Hickman..."

Joseph Hickman is our Ellen M. "Nellie" (Davison) Howell's grandfather. Our Hickman cousins, some living in the home today, and with whom I am now regularly corresponding, all descend from Nellie's mother's (Alma Minora (Hickman) Davison's) younger brother by 3 years, John Howard Hickman (1858 - 1921).

To visualize click here

It is particularly interesting to be re-connected with the Hickman branch of the family. The lack of contact and knowledge from our end was likely due to a series of events that started with the untimely death of Nellies mother, Alma Hickman, at age 29, when Nellie was only 4 years old and living in Bridgewater, NS - 180 miles from her relatives in New Brunswick.

Plans for our trip "up north" are now underway!

Posted by jhowell at 10:41 AM

April 26, 2005

Nellie Howell's London Connection

Today, I finally uncovered something that might actually support that Nellie and Henry Howell were married in London, England.

It appears that Nellies first cousin, William Albert Hickman ("Sea Sled" fame, Harvard educated, author of "Sacrifice of the Shannon") and just two years her senior, was living in London, England around 1900.

Of course William Albert HIckman may have absolutely no connection with the marriage..but what is interesting is that this keeps open the possibility of a marriage in London, England....other possibilities being London, Ontario and Georgia.

Click here to see Nellies relationship tree to William Albert Hickman.

Posted by jhowell at 6:11 PM

April 25, 2005

Cuthbert, GA - Home of Henry Howell

Howell -> Howell

I finally had the opportunity to visit Cuthbert, GA (pop. 3,500) in Randolph County last week. Bright orange soil, pecan farms (I thought they were neatly planted Oak trees at first), and peanuts - the deep south for sure, Cuthbert sits in the Southwest corner of Georgia near the Alabama line.

At the center of town is a large roundabout - in the center of the roundabout, a small park is dominated by a tall statue honoring the soldiers of the Confederate Army. Twenty miles from Plains, Georgia, Cuthbert could boast that W. A. Carter, President Jimmy's grandfather, was buried here in 1903 - but no fuss is made.

The town is somewhat isolated today, but at the time our Howell's lived here Cuthbert was on the main railway lines to Atlanta, and Savannah. Newspaper ads of the day promoted taking the train to Tybee Beach near Savannah for a summer vacation.

Cuthbert was also the migratory home of Emma Heard Howell, and at least five of her children including our own Great Grandfather Henry Alonzo Howell.

Older brother John Johnson Howell becomes the proprietor of "The Cuthbert Leader" a local newspaperin January, 1902.

Four of Emma's children (Henry Alonzo Howell, Edward Lathrop Howell, Mildred Eva Howell, and Bertha Howell Camp) in the 1920's lived as adults in the same house on 707 Lumpkin Street in Cuthbert.

Mildred Eva Howell, "Miss Eva" as they affectionately called her here, was a teacher and organist of The First Baptist Church for 25 years, and lived in Cuthbert for 48 of her 81 years. She also took over the newspaper from her brother John and ran it as editor "posessing an unerring sense of the appropriate in 'hometown' reporting"

Through an obituary I found in "The Cuthbert Times" we have much more information about Henry Alozo Howell. Of note:

"Mr. Howell studied piano at the Boston Conservatory of Music, and also under Theodor Leschetizky in Vienna, Austria, teacher of the famous Paderewski. He lived for five years in Berlin, Germany, and in Vienna where he continued his studies and taught music"

"Returning to America in 190_ he opened a studio in Philadelphia where he taught piano until 1924. On the death of his wife in that year Mr. Howell moved to Cuthbert where for several years he conducted a dairy farm and specialized in fine Jersey cattle."

also of note in the obituary:

"Survivors are a daughter, Mrs. A.M. (Alma Louise) Howell, and three grandsons. John Spencer, Edward S. and Peter Howell, all of New York City; a sister, Mrs. G.A. Camp of Atlanta, a brother, E. L. Howell, of Cuthbert, and a granddaughter, Mrs. Robert B. Graham, of Barrington, R.I."

Henry also wrote for the paper and taught music. (See the complete story on Henry and new thoughts about his life with his first wife Nellie here.)

The youngest of the family, Edward Lathrop Howell moves to Cuthbert, plays professional baseball as "Kid Powell", was a pianist for silent movies and then becomes the publisher of the newspaper. He writes editorials under the not-so-secret pen name "Ed Gussick" - prominently appearing on his headstone in White Plains.

What initially brought the Howell's 200 miles to Cuthbert from White Plains, Georgia in the first place is unknown to me. The picture of the family that emerges here is one of a close knit group that were deeply involved in the community as piano & music teachers, church organists, and as the owners, editors and writers of the local newspaper. They lived much of their lives here, and returned to White Plains only to be buried with their relatives.

Posted by jhowell at 12:08 PM

March 28, 2005

Hickman - "Fleets Known On The Seven Seas"

Howell -> Davison ->Hickman

In the last few weeks some new information surfaced on the Hickman branch of the Howell line that has it's North American origins in New Brunswick, Canada. (click on the link above to see the relationships between Hickman and Howell)

Our previously mentioned Edward Doran Davison, Jr. of saw mill and lumbering fame in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia married Alma "Annie" M. Hickman of New Brunswick.

Annie's grandfather, John Hickman was born in Londonderry, Ireland and came to New Brunswick on a sailing ship in 1817. The ship arrived in Halifax, NS and he settled in Dorchester, Westmorland County, New Brunswick, which borders western Nova Scotia at the northern tip of the Bay of Fundy.

Annies father, Joseph Hickman, also lived in Dorchester and was a shipbuilder. Apparently several members of this Hickman family were involved in shipbuilding and also owned ships. The Keillor house museum web says: " At one point, fleets owned by the Chapman, Hickman, and Palmer families were known on the seven seas."

So...if I were to make a guess (and this is purely a guess!!) the connection between the Hickman family and the Davison family may have started as a business relationship between Edward Doran Davison Sr. (1819-1894) and Joseph Hickman (1821-1889). The Nova Scotia lumberman who shipped all over the world, and his New Brunswick neighbor who built wooden ships that plied the seven seas.

Posted by jhowell at 10:07 AM

March 14, 2005

John Howell Bottle Mystery - Solved!

Thanks to some research and an email from a kind reader of this blog we now have the answer to the "John Howell bottle" mystery previously mentioned in the comments dated July 4-6, 2004.

An article in the newsletter of "The Greater Buffalo Bottle Collectors Association" (see: explains as follows:

"As we continued to go deeper we hit groundwater which required that we don our barn boots and rubber gloves. On the bottom of the privy amidst the trash were floorboards that went in a vertical and horizontal pattern. Wedged under these boards were bottles. I pulled out a John Howell squat soda and turned to hand it to my son, Jacob, while in the privy next to me Monte was handing over the exact same bottle. Howell was in business in Buffalo from 1841 until his death in 1888. He began as a employee of Burr & Waters, started his own company with a gentlemen by the name of Smith and began his own business sometime after the Civil War. He was recognized throughout the country as a leader among the makers of pop soda water and mineral waters. His firm then continued under the auspices of his sons."

I am not aware of any family connection to this John Howell!

Posted by jhowell at 7:43 PM

February 3, 2005

H. R. Remsen Coles - Davison book

Davison -> Howell

Art Davison was kind enough to send me a photocopy of H. R. Remsen Coles book titled "Genealogical Record of the Davison, Davidson, Davisson Family of New England", published 1899 in New York. There were 300 original copies made.

The book contains several errors, but has interesting stories about the family.

Remsen Coles confirms that our Davison line in Nova Scotia comes from Daniel Davison who married Margaret Lowe in Ipswitch MA in April 1657.

Posted by jhowell at 1:19 PM

More on the Howell DNA Project

Some very exciting news - an exact 12 marker DNA match was made. The bad news is that we still can't figure out how we are exactly related!

The match was made with Rawleigh Ray Howell who is a descendant of John Howell b. 6 Nov 1799 in Hawkins, Grainger Co., TN and his wife Elizabeth H. Larkin b. 8 Feb 1804 in TN. John and Elizabeth had 9 children. Rawleigh's line descends from their second son, Joseph Anderson Howell.

When the match was made by FamilyTreeDNA, I was immediately contacted by Dorothy Howell Carroll who lives in Houston, TX. Dorothy's direct line is to Samuel Henry Howell, the first son of the same John and Elizabeth above.

Dorothy and I have exchanged details on our respective Howell ancestors (her research began in 1960) but we are so far unable to make a connection between her line and ours.

So what is the probability that we are related? Here is the quote from FamilyTreeDNA (MRCA = Most Recent Common Ancestor):

If I submit a sample to you for testing and you find that I match exactly with another person, how many generations ago did we have a common ancestor?

Here are the times back to the MRCA when ALL the markers match. Those numbers are based in the latest results of the mutation rate study conducted by the University of Arizona. For example, with 37/37 (all 37 markers match), there is a 50% probability that the MRCA was no longer than 2 generations, and a 90% probability that the MRCA was within the last 5 generations. Compare these with 25 and 12 -- with 25 markers, there is a 50% probability that the MRCA was within the last 3 generations, while with 12 markers, there is a 50% probability that the MRCA was within the last 7 generations. "

So, as I mentioned in my last entry, if we found a match at 12 markers, I would place the order for the 25 marker test - I have now done that (and am $90 poorer.) If Rawleigh does the same, and we match perfectly again, we will probably have to take the 37 marker test which would give a 95 % chance that our common ancestor is within 7 generations - as it stands we are each 6 generations from our oldest known Howell ancestor!

The complete results for all of the Howell DNA tests can be viewed here. If you are a Howell male, and would like to participate, contact Jean Howell (the 0 after jhowell in Jean's email is a zero "0" not an "o".)

Posted by jhowell at 12:41 PM

November 6, 2004

John Edward Howell 's Immigrant Ancestors

I've recently discovered more "Immigrant Ancestors" of John Edward Howell (1903-1948).

This new group is from his mother, Nellie Davison's side, who along with several generations before her, were born in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Going back further we find that many of the Nova Scotia ancestors descended from English immigrants that sailed from England and Holland to America on ships like the "Mayflower" the "Fortune", the "Anne", and the "Little James".

William Brewster "of the Mayflower", 9th great grandfather of John Edward Howell. (image source: unknown)

Click on the names below to generate a descendancy chart.

10th Great Grandparents of John Edward Howell

John Tilley "1620 on the Mayflower - boarded in Leiden, Holland (with the religious separatists)"
Joan Hurst "1620 on the Mayflower, boarded in Leiden, Holland"

9th Great Grandparents

William Brewster "boards Leiden Holland, on the Mayflower 1620
John Howland"1620 on the Mayflower, boarding in Leiden, Holland"
Elizabeth Tilley"1620 on the Mayflower"
William Ford "on the Fortune, 1621"
Martha "Widow Ford of the Fortune, 1621"
Stephen Tracy "on the Anne, 1623 -- returned to England by 1643"

8th Great Grandparents

Gov. Thomas Prence "on the Fortune, 1621"
Patience Brewster "on the Anne, 1623"
Henry Howland"arrived likely in the period 1631-32"
Mary Newland"likely arrived with her husband in 1631-32"
John Chipman"it seems probable he came with Allerton in the White Angel or in the Friendship 1628-29"
Richard Foxwell "probably came in the fleet with Gov. Winthrop in 1630"
Ann Shelley " maide servant she came to the Land in the years 1632"
Martha Ford"conflict as to born Plymouth or England, but apparently more evidence points to her being "the first white girl born in Plymouth"
William Nelson"arrived prior to 1633"
John Jenney "on the Little James, 1623"
Sarah Carey "on the Little James, 1623"
Thomas Low "came with Nathaniel Rogers, 1636"
Margaret Todd "With husband Nathaniel Rogers, 1636"
Robert Cross
Susannah Jordan "wife of Robert Cross"

7th Great Grandparents

Daniel Davidson "a lowland Scot in Cromwell's army transported to America as an indentured servant. cir. 1651"
John Whitman "arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1638"
Ruth "wife of John Whitman"
Major John Freeman "arrived before 1650"
Henry Wood "was in Plymouth as early as September 16, 1641"
Abigail Jenney "on the Little James, 1621"

Posted by jhowell at 1:47 PM

July 6, 2004

Howell DNA Project - Update

Here, as promised in the April 25th entry on this topic, is the update:

The Howell 12 marker Y-DNA test results are in....and so far there is no match in the public database or in the private FamilyTreeDNA database! But to be fair, there are only a few Howell's that have participated in the test so far. Hopefully the database will continue to grow rapidly. I will check periodically for matches -- stay tuned. (If you would like to have your DNA tested and compared to this database, check out the FamilyTreeDNA web page.)

Click here to check the database (Howell surname only) for the latest matching results. (if there are no matches, the result will show just user ID 6PWDB)

The 12 marker Y-DNA test did identify the signature as being in the "R1b Haplogroup", with a "Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype" as descibed in detail as follows (quote) :

The Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype is the most common Y-DNA signature of Europe

Posted by jhowell at 10:58 PM

June 6, 2004

Corresponding with Stuart Davison in Nova Scotia

Davidson ->Davison -> Howell

Nearly one year ago, we visited Lunenburg Co., Nova Scotia for the first time, to learn more about our Davison ancestors. After this visit, I wrote about Mayor ED Davison, Jr. here on August 10, 2003, and have since posted many photos and other entires in the database.

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, a few day ago I was introduced via email to Stuart Davison - the 2x Great Grandson of E.D. Davison Sr, and 1x Great Grandson of Charles Henry Davison! A 3rd Cousin! I am looking forward to collaborating with Stuart -- and the rest of our new found Davison cousins -- to try and unravel some of the remaining mysteries.

Can a return trip to Nova Scotia be far behind?

Posted by jhowell at 11:50 AM

May 30, 2004

Howell Immigrants

More "Immigrant Ancestors" of the Howell line are identified.

Herrick -> Davison -> Howell - Henry Herrick came from England to Salem, MA about 1629 with the Higginson & Skelton fleet.

Tracy -> Davison -> Howell - Thomas Tracy b. 1610 in England. Died in Norwich, CT. There is a fair amount of controversy over his ancestry.

Griswold -> Tracy -> Davison -> Howell - Edward Griswold b. 1607 in England, d. in Killingworth, CT

Posted by jhowell at 4:11 PM

April 25, 2004

Howell DNA Project

I received the following e-mail from Jean Howell. She is administering a Howell surname DNA research project. I will participate, and post the results when I have them.

From: Jean Howell [] Sent: Saturday, April 24, 2004 6:31 PM To: Cc:;;;; Subject: Howell surname Y-DNA testing


I'm writing you because you have posted queries on the Howell forum at and you appear to be interested in sharing and receiving information about your Howell ancestry.

I'm a layman, not a company employee, administrating a Howell Y-chromosome testing project through FamilyTreeDNA of Houston, TX. The purpose of Y-testing is to help Howells identify unknown cousins who might help them pursue research on their Howell ancestry. The testing is especially useful to those who hit a brickwall in their traditional paper research and can use input from cousins working on the same Howell line.

Simplified, here's how it works: the test is a simple, painless 5-minute cheek swab that I arrange completely by mail through FTDNA of Houston, TX. A kit is sent to you, cost is $99 special group participation rate, with $2 postage. You complete the test and return for processing. In approximately 6 weeks, you will be notified by e-mail of your Y-chromosome pattern on 12 tested markers. If you sign the enclosed release form that comes with the test, you will receive the name and e-mail address of any Howell in the group whose 12 markers you match exactly.

In the interest of clarity I stress that you must be a male bearing the Howell surname to take the test. The Y-chromosome is passed down unaltered from father to sons through the generations. An exact match between two donors indicates a 99% likelihood of a shared Howell ancestor. Those who match can then compare research and try to determine who your common ancestor is.

For an overview of the exciting new role of genetics in genealogy, please go to I welcome your interest and questions.

Jean Howell, Project mgr, Howell surname project, FTDNA of Houston, TX

Posted by jhowell at 11:11 AM

February 15, 2004

I am my own 24th cousin

Edward Plantagenent->de Clare->de Audley->de la Pole->Stapleton->Calthorpe->Drury->Waldegrave->Clopton->Perrin->Heard->Howell

Edward Plantagenent->Gray->Kynaston->Thornes->Littleton->Whittington->Bothum->Goslee->Freeney

You've heard the song "...I am my own grandpa".'s not quite that bad, but I am my own 24th cousin. My common ancestors (besides my parents) are Edward Plantagenent and his wife Eleanor de Castile. The links above show the details (scroll to the right after the page loads to see it)

Posted by jhowell at 12:52 AM

January 12, 2004

New Brunswick Vital Statistics

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell

The latest "SAE service" search results on "Hickman" arrived yesterday from Dan Johnson, highly regarded compiler of the "Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers" There is probably a connection to our tree; especially #2176 below, but not conclusive for now.

(Here is the latest list of all the Hickman 's in our database.)

"Vital Statistics From New Brunswick (Canada) Newspapers" Vol. 93
2863 Dorchester (West. Co.) Sept. 4 - There was excitement in our town when it became known that Rev. J. Roy Campbell was to perform a marriage ceremony between Fred FERGUSON of Kingston, Richibucto (Kent Co.) and Florence PECK d/o late J.B. PECK, clerk of the county court and granddaughter of John HICKMAN, ex-collector of customs. Charles S. HICKMAN acted as groomsman and Miss Peck's sister as bridesmaid. Trinity church was crowded. 5 September 1894 D.T.

"Vital Statistics From New Brunswick (Canada) Newspapers" Vol. 94

2168 Dorchester items announce the marriage of Miss Florence PECK d/o late J.B. PECK, Q.C. to Mrs. Fred FERGUSON. The ceremony was performed in Trnity Church by Rev. J. Roy Campbell at 6 o'clock Tuesday eve. The bride entered the church leaning on the arm of her grandfather John HICKMAN, Esq. Mrs. W.H. BUCK of Truro, sister of the bride, acted as bridemaid and the groom was supported by C.S. HICKMAN, Dorchester. 6 September 1894 POST

2176 Born - Dorchester (West. Co.) 25th inst., to the wife of John HICKMAN, a son. 6 September 1894 POST

Posted by jhowell at 9:54 AM

December 22, 2003

Unconnected GA Howell's

I've found no connection with the Howell's at the link below, but have written to Nancy Gilstrap Mann, the sites author, to point out that there are similarities between these Howell's and ours. Both lines are in the Greene Co. vicinity of GA at the same time, and then they subsequently migrate to southwest side of GA to Randolph and Stewart Counties.

HOWELL Family Genealogy

The Howell family is thought to have originated in Wales. There are a vast number of Howell families along the Atlantic seaboard dating from the 1600s. They chose many similar first names: John, Joseph, William. Researching this line has proved difficult as it is hard to know you have the right man. The following is my Howell family research as it stands today:

** Update ** Heard back from Nancy Gilstrap Mann, and she doesn't know of a connection.

Posted by jhowell at 10:23 PM

November 18, 2003

Alma HICKMAN Davison found!

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell

Why wasn't Alma "Annie" HICKMAN Davison buried with her husband E.D. Davison, Jr. in Bridgewater, NS? In fact, where was she buried? We looked everywhere for information about Alma, but came up empty handed....she was E.D's first wife, and had one child with him (Ellen "Nellie" DAVISON Howell). Alma died at age 29 when Nellie was only 4 years old.

Thanks to Allison CHURCH Bird I was able to find Alma buried with her parents in the Hickman plot in the Dorchester Cemetery, NB. - Her gravestone inscription reads "Alma Hickman wife of Edward Davison d. 2 Dec 1884". Still many un-answered questions but this fills a big gap.

Posted by jhowell at 12:34 AM

November 15, 2003

The Hickman Sea Sled

Hickman -> Davison -> Howell

In the 1800's our Hickman's are living in New Brunswick, Canada - they include ship builders and lawyers.

Allison CHURCH Bird wrote to sayWilliam Albert Hickman (nephew of our Alma Hickman) invented the Hickman Sea Sled -- Scientific American Sept. 26, 1914 says: "A new type of vessel, which promises to revolutionize water craft and which takes the same place on the water that the automobile does on land."

Posted by jhowell at 3:23 PM

Daniel Davidson - father of Davison line in America

Davidson -> Davison -> Howell

Building on the Nova Scotia trip discoveries, the original Davison immigrant, coming to America circa 1651 has surfaced! See the tree entry for Daniel Davidson b. 1630 in Scotland(the Davidson name in our line changed it's spelling to Davison starting in the next few generations -- depending on what child you are following).

Posted by jhowell at 2:32 PM

August 10, 2003

Mayor Davison from Nova Scotia

Davidson -> Davison -> Howell

A recent trip to Nova Scotia solved many mysteries (and created about as many new ones!) about the Davison's and the Davison genealogy. A fascinating family including Edward Doran Davison (Sr.) 1819-1894 lumber scion of Bridgewater, and his son Edward Doran Davison, Jr. 1845 - 1902 who continued the lumber business with his brothers, and who was the second Mayor of Bridgewater, NS; following his brother Frank D. Davison who was the first Mayor of Bridgewater!

Posted by jhowell at 5:10 PM

May 19, 2003

Georgia's Outback

My travels with papa J. Spencer Howell around Georgia produced lots of new information on the Howell line. The cemetery in Greene County at the White Plains Baptist Church has several dozen ancestors -- pictures of gravestones here

Stops at local libraries revealed a few more tidbits including a picture of Austria Howell b. 1842

Posted by jhowell at 5:18 PM

February 6, 2003

John Johnson Howell

Ancestors of John Johnson Howell (b. 1795) and his wife Elmina McBride. Also first time links to Johnson, Ashfield, and McCarty families.

Posted by jhowell at 4:26 PM

February 3, 2003

Why we are all cousins

Danish genealogist Jacob Holdt has an interesting site that traces the roots of his family an almost unbelievable number of ancient people.

"Hitchhiking with my son, Daniel, to see Acropolis - built by Pericles - his 2nd cousin 82 times removed . Since then he has on his own hitchhiked all the way from Denmark to China to see the Great Wall which his 79th great-grandfather caused to be built.

Note: None of these relationships carry any genetic significance since we almost all descend from these famous people as I show here..."

These links show some of our trees that extend furthest back in time (wide charts - scroll horizontally):
Charlemagne 742 - 814
Gabhran Macdomangairt (500 - 599)

Posted by jhowell at 4:16 PM

Conquering William

I was, for the first time, able to connect our family tree to other well documented trees that go very far back in time. Here is a tree showing each generation between William The Conqueror and the Howell line!!

Starting with recent generations, the connection starts with the Howell line, and then goes back through families Heard and Perrin, and then to the Clopton family which is quite well documented. From the Clopton tree I was then able to connect to families Waldergrave, Drury, Calthorpe, Stapleton, de la Pole, and Stafford, which contain many interesting people. So the tree now has quite a few kings, queens, knights, lords, earls, and dukes of this and that.

Posted by jhowell at 3:49 PM

January 10, 2003

John Clopton b. 1423 Benefactor - Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk, England

Pecce -> De Cloptunne -> De Cloptone -> Clopton -> Perrin -> Heard -> Howell

John Clopton (1423-1497). Son of Sir William De Cloptone.

Discovered lots of photos and interesting references to Long Melford's Holy Trinity Church in Suffolk, England where our John Clopton was a prime benefactor, and is buried here in the Clopton Chapel. Church web site here.

Posted by jhowell at 1:50 AM