Select Howell Miscellany


Here are some Howell stories
accounts over the years:


Howel Dda and His Descendants

or Howel the Good became King of Wales in 926.
A number of later Howells have claimed descent from him.  This was made possible because royal pedigrees
in Wales were typically handed down by trained bards for generations
they were finally written down.

One such descendant was Sir Howel y Twyall who fought
with the Black Prince at Poitiers in 1356.
As a result of his exploits, he was knighted as “Sir Howell of
Battle Ax.”  Sir Howell was then made the
governor of the fortified castle at Criecdaith near Carnarvon.

Then there was Howel Sele, not apparently
related but descended from an earlier Prince of Powys.
He was the lord of Naanau in Merionethshire
and a cousin of the rebel Owain Glyndwr.
He was apparently slain by Glyndwr’s henchman Madog in 1401.

One line from Howel the Good was said to have
gone to
the Rev. Thomas
Howell, a vicar in Brecknockshire, and his two sons Thomas and James.  Thomas
appointed the
Bishop of Bristol by Charles I in 1644.
But Bristol was taken over by the Roundheads a year later and he
subsequently died in prison.  The younger
son James survived the Civil War and made his name as a writer and

Another lineage claim has come for John
Howell, the immigrant from Pembroke to the American colonies (Virginia)
in the


Howell and Howells in Wales in the 1881 Census

Howell by a three-to-one factor in the 1881 census

Numbers (000’s) Howell Howells
Monmouthshire    0.2    0.8
Glamorgan    1.3    2.6
Carmarthenshire    1.0
Pembrokeshire    0.2    0.7
Elsewhere    0.2    0.7
Total    1.9    5.8


Howell’s English Origins

provided some English origins for the name Howell in his 1890 work Homes
Family Names in Great Britain.

Howell and Powell are ancient East Anglian names.  William
Howell held land in Wifton, Norfolk
in the reign of Edward III.; and in the following reign of Richard II
Howel was a prioress of Elixton nunnery in Suffolk.
In the time of Henry VI John Howel was the
vicar of Newton; and in the reign of Henry VII. John Ap Howel was
prebend of Norwich.

is a parish in the neighboring part of Lincolnshire and very probably
the East
Anglian Howells in many cases thence derived their name.”

Powell tended to be pronounced “Pole” in East
Anglia; and perhaps Howell was pronounced the same way

Edward Howell on
Long Island

was the grandson of William Howell who had acquired the manor of
Westbury at
Marsh Gibbon in 1536.  This was a fine
stone structure built in the 16th century, two stories high and called
a double
house.  Edward had inherited this manor
upon the death of his father in 1625 and he was part of the local
landed gentry
in Buckinghamshire.

in 1639, at the age of 55, he decided to give up his
presence there, sell the manor, and embark for the New World.  He had received from Charles I a grant of 500
acres at Lynn in Massachusetts.  He did not
stay there long.  In 1640, he
moved to Long Island and is considered one of the founders of the town
Southampton.  He owned a large estate there.
He also served on the Governor’s council from 1647 to 1653 and
compile the rules and regulations for the fast growing colony at

also built a mill beside a
creek for the grinding of wheat and rye into flour.
This mill at Water Mill was so sturdy that it
continued operating until 1880 and is still standing after some

line in America was covered in Emma Howell Ross’s 1968 book Descendants
of Edward Howell.
  His descendants have
formed the Edward Howell
Family Association and in 2015 celebrated the 375th anniversary of his
in America

Evan Shelby Howell on His

Evan Howell wrote to his nephew William H. Howell a letter which
contained the
following items about his Howell ancestry.

got the following statement from my grandfather, Joseph Howell, during
lifetime.  During the persecutions of the Protestants by the
Catholics in Wales,
the Howells, being Baptists and therefore Protestants, they with many
were forced from their homes and were compelled to hide in caves and
places for safety from their enemies.  John Howell, the father of
my grandfather,
Joseph Howell, immigrated to America and settled in Virginia where he

the sons of John Howell, one moved to South Carolina, two to Tennessee,
two to Kentucky, one (Henry) remained in Virginia, and Joseph, my
moved to Cabarrus county in North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary
War.  He
brought his mother with him and she lived to be about a hundred years
old.  I
saw her buried from the Haines Meeting House in Cabarrus when I was a

grandfather, Joseph Howell, married Margaret Eleanor Garmon, a German
woman.  He was 102 years of age when he
died in DeKalb
county, Georgia in 1837.  Henry Howell, my father, married Mary
Miller of German
descent.   He died in Hayward county,
North Carolina at the age of 91.  I myself was born on February
19, 1803


John Howell,
New Zealand Pioneer

Howell was born in Sussex to William and Mary Howell.  As a child
he had known the punishment handed out to rabbit poachers.  At the
age of twelve he escaped and stowed away on a smuggling vessel.
Apprehended on the vessel’s return from France, he was released when he
was found to have no connection with the smugglers.

promptly stowed away on a ship bound for Australia, became first mate
on a whaling ship, and arrived at Kapiti Island in New Zealand in 1827
or 1828.  Here he engaged in whaling and the export of greenstone
to Australia.

had made the acquaintance of the whaler and trader Johnny Jones in
Australia, and after serving at his station at Waikouaiti was sent with
ships to establish a station in the Foveaux Strait.  According to
oral tradition
Howell set up his station on the Jacobs river in 1834.


flagship Eliza and
crews of nearly 60 Europeans and some
200 Maori, Howell established friendly relations with the local Ngati
Mamoe.  But his refusal to take a Maori
wife was
regarded as an insult by the Maori. After an altercation he married
the daughter of Horomona Patu of Centre Island.  She brought him a
dowry of a
large area of land between the Waimatuku stream and the Jacobs river




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