from Genealogical and Biographical Memorials of the Reading, Howell, Yerkes, Watts, Latham, and Elkins Families by Josiah Granville Leach
Thomas Howell was one of the pioneers in the settlement of West New Jersey... Bartlett, conveyed unto Thomas Howell by deeds of lease and release dated 31 August and 1 September, 1677, whereby the latter became seized of one-eighth of one-hundredth part or share of West New Jersey....
On 31 August, 1682, he, with his sons and daughters, embarked at Deal, England, in the Welcome, for the voyage made historic by the presence of William Penn, proprietor of Pennsylvania, then on the way to place himself at the head of the government established in his province.
The Welcome arrived at New Castle "on the Delaware" 27 October, where her passengers, with the exception of Penn, immediately landed. Penn remained on the ship until the arrangements for the public ceremonies to attend his landing were completed, when he, too, came on shore and received the welcome of his people.
Thomas Howell tarried with his family to witness the landing, and then proceeded to West New Jersey, where he took up his residence on lands surveyed to him under his purchase, on the north side of Cooper's creek, in Waterford (now Delaware) township, Gloucester (now Camden) county. Judge John Clement, in writing of this location, says:
The survey he made . . . included what is generally known as the Jacob Troth farm on the east, and extended down that stream [Cooper's creek] nearly one mile, and back into the woods about the same distance. The tract of land is at the present day divided into many valuable farms. It was located for six hundred and fifty acres, but doubtless contained within its bounds a much larger quantity of land. Thomas Howell erected a dwelling-house on the same, and there resided for the little time he lived after the settlement.
Mr. Howell was heartily welcomed to his new home by the colonists who had preceded him, and his worth was such that almost immediately after his arrival he was chosen by his fellow-citizens to a seat in the legislative council of the colony. He met with the assembly which convened at Burlington, 2 May, 1683, and continued its sessions until the 15th of that month; and also with the assembly which met from the 5th to the 8th of September, in the same year, during both of which meetings important laws were enacted.*He was again honored by an election to the assembly in 1685,and but for his early decease he would no doubt have continued to figure prominently in the public affairs of the colony.
In a deed executed shortly before his decease he is described as "planter." He died at his seat on Cooper's creek in 1687. His will, proved 1 November of that year...
The will is unsigned, and was probably hastily written in his last illness. It appears to be in the handwriting of Stephen Penston, one of the subscribing witnesses. The other witnesses were Moses Lakin and William Willis, all three of whom made oath at the probate.
At the time Mr. Howell acquired lands in West New Jersey he was of Haxleston, county Stafford, England, but at the date of his emigration he probably resided at Tamworth, county Warwick, where he possessed a landed estate, which descended to his eldest son Daniel....
Thomas Howell married, in England, Katharine , whose maiden name has not been ascertained. The will of her husband clearly indicates that she did not accompany him to America. She doubtless preferred to remain at home until satisfied that the stay of her family here was likely to be permanent Her son Mordecai went to England in 1687, and later returned, bringing with him his mother, who took up her residence in Philadelphia, where she died in September or October, 1695. In 1693 she conveyed eighty-eight acres of land on Cooper's creek unto Henry Johnson, who married her daughter Miriam, it being a part of the estate on which her son Mordecai then resided....
Both Mr. and Mrs. Howell are believed to have been members of the Church of England. Their names, or those of their children, do not appear on the Friends' records, and it will be noticed that Mrs. Howell dated her will "according to the computation of the Church of England," and not after the manner almost universally practised by the Friends.
Children of Thomas and Katharine Howell, all born in England:
Daniel Howell, born circa 1660; died in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, September, 1739 married Hannah Lakin.
Mordecai Howell, born circa 1662; married (1) Elizabeth; (2) Frances Garret,widow; (3) Elizabeth Morgan.
Miriam Howell, married Henry Johnson.
Priscilla Howell, married Robert Stiles.
Katharine Howell, married James Robinson.