Man about the Howze - September 2021

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Man about the Howze - September 2021

Post by mardler »

Three-quarters of the year gone already! Time seems to go by more quickly as I get older. Oh well. No point fighting about it. Can't fight the weather, either, which has improved a lot this month. September has been lovely here in Norfolk. I had three super weekends racing my boat on the Broads. Sad to have to pack the boat away before I return to the US in a couple of weeks.

Answer to the puzzle: South Wales
The picture of the beautiful beach was taken by correspondent, Stephen Howes. The beach is on the Gower peninsula, just a few miles from the bustling city of Swansea. On the hill above the beach are two ancient burial mounds called Sweyne's Howes. The mounds have worn away over the years leaving just the original large rock slabs originally covering the burial chamber for whoever it was. They are reckoned to date to several thousand years before the Viking leader, Sweyne, after whom they (and the town of Swansea) are named. Here's a much better description of it: ... ula-wales/

So, not directly connected to our surname, but linked to its original meaning of a hill. Stephen and I thought you might be interested. Stephen also tells me that the building in the picture is owned by the (England & Wales) National Trust and is available for rent, but booked solid for several years ahead. It does look like a lovely location for a quiet rest.

Monthly Progress
With nights already drawing in for us in the Northern Hemisphere, we've been able to add just over 1,000 lives to the database this month, finishing on 187,520 people in our file. In significant part too, it happened because I was able to finish transcribing the main part of the Howes Genealogy book by Colonel Bob Howes for which we were graciously given permission by the Dennis Historical Society on Cape Cod. By "main part" I mean all of the descendants of Thomas Howes and Mary Burr listed therein. There are a couple of sections in the book dealing with other branches of Howes lines, one of which might be connected to Thomas and Mary and I have not yet fully dealt with them.

If you are a descendant of Thomas and Mary and you would like to submit updates to your branch for the permanent record, please do get in touch. Given that it took over 100 years for the original work of Joshua Crowell Howes to be updated in book form, and that the volume of Howes people is growing exponentially, I doubt that anyone will ever again attempt to update that work directly, which means that we are now the best source of information on the extended family, and intend to remain so.

Improving on the work of Colonel Bob
I mean no disrespect at all to Bob Howes, whom I met twice. Twenty years ago and more when he was compiling information for the book, he had to write letter to correspondents and visit archives to find the information. Now we have masses of information at our fingertips and can do so much more in much less time. Here's an example: the Howes book mentions Enoch Howes born 1812, his wife's name and two daughters and then adds a note about 1860 and 1870 censuses noting that the family had disappeared after that. I took it as a challenge and started looking. WIthin a few hours, I had added basic census information, found that the family had moved to Portland, Oregon and had a son, who became a well-known real estate lawyer in San Francisco, a lucrative position, especially after the 1906 earthquake. Strangely, he appears to have two findagrave entries because of confusion over his name. There was a grandson too, though he died without issue. My work is far from perfect yet, but way more detailed with three more people than the original book. I hope it's an indication of things to come. Take a look for yourself at: ... ee=Onename and check the source list at the foot of the page.

Joining up House and Howes families
While working on the final part of the Howes book, I noticed a marriage in Michigan of a Margaret Howes to a Harold D House. Harold is descended from Conrad Haus who himself was born in Maryland in 1736. So we have the union of two very old families who came to the US over 300 years ago.
Conrad is clearly a son or grandson of Johan Christian Haus who was born in the province of Hesse in central Germany some time around 1700. I would love to join him up to the even wider portion of his clan, but have been unable to find a single good source which documents the early stages of the family in Maryland. There are many secondary sources, some of which we have used, but they are very confusing. If there's anyone reading this who knows of a reliable source, please do let me know.

Seeking funding
While we are on the subject of joining up House and Howes, how about the "Howes House"?! There is more than one, of course. The one that came to my attention this month is in West Tisbury on the island of Martha's Vineyard. They are seeking funds to renovate the place. If you are interested in helping out, you can read more here: ... wes-house/

Preserving family documents
Our study is digital, and always has been. The only paper we keep is a several inch high stack of certificates that we have obtained to answer questions and further our research. However, we depend upon records kept and preserved by other people, sometimes in archives, but also by individuals, many of whom are reading this, I hope!

The London Metropolitan Archives (part of the City of London Corporation) has produced a series of very helpful guide to the preservation of regular family documents: pictures, papers, drawings, photographs, CDs and so on. Follow this link: ... nservation
and about half-way down the page you will see a series of PDF attachments. Hope they help.

"That's all, folks!" Thanks for your continued support.
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