An American Family History

Thomas Howell


Thomas Howell was born about 1635 in England.

He married Katherine, in 1659 in Harleston, Stafford, England. She was born in 1640 in Farnsworth, Warwick, England.

Daniel Howell (1660, married Hannah Lakin),
Samuel Howell
Mordecai Howell (1662, married Elizabeth, Frances Garret, and Mrs. Elizabeth Morgan) and
Miriam Howell (married Henry Johnson)
Priscilla Howell (married Robert Stiles)
Catherine Howell (married James Robinson)

He came to America and settled on 650 acres on the north side of Cooper’s Creek, Gloucester, New Jersey in 1682.

In 1687, Thomas built a dam on Coopers Creek and was indicted by the grand jury for obstructing the stream.

He died in October, 1687 in Gloucester.

His will indicated that he did not know if his wife was alive or dead; ”but who if she comes, is to have the use of the household goods during her life.”

Katherine did come after his death and settled in Philadelphia.

In 1693 she conveyed to Henry Johnson the 88 acres he was living on.

Katherine died on October 4, 1695 in Philadelphia.




from The History of Camden County by George R. Prowell

One of the earliest settlers in what is now Delaware township was Thomas Howell, who, although not of the Dublin colony, yet, in 1675, purchased part of a share of the propriety in West Jersey of Benjamin Bartlett, whose wife, Gracia, was a daughter of Edward Byllinge.

Howell resided in Staffordshire, England. He came to this country and located a tract of six hundred and fifty acres of land, in 1682, on the north side of Coopers Creek, in Waterford (now Delaware) township,

which included what is generally known as the Jacob Troth farm on the east, and extended down that stream nearly one mile, and back into the woods about the same distance.

Upon this tract, which he called Christianity, he built a house, in which he lived the short time he was in the settlement.

The next year, 1683, he, with Samuel Coles, represented the territory which a few years later became Waterford township, and, with Mark Newbie and others from Newton township, represented the Third (or Irish) Tenth in the Legislature of the State.

The house in which he lived is supposed to have been near the creek, on the Barton farm. He located other lands in Gloucester County, which soon after passed to others, as he died in 1687.

Before his death he conveyed one hundred acres of the land on Coopers Creek to Richard Wright ....

His family consisted of his wife, three sons -- Samuel, Daniel (married Hannah Lakin, in 1686) and Mordecai -- and three daughters, -- Priscilla (married Robert Stiles), Marion (married Henry Johnson) and Catharine. His children were born in England, and his wife, Catharine, did not come to this country during, his life-time, but, in 1693, was a resident of Philadelphia. Samuel, the eldest son, remained in England...


William Penn (1644-1718) was a Quaker philosopher and real estate developer. He was the founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

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.


The Last Will & Testament of Thomas Howell

Item I give unto my son Daniel Howell two hundred acres of land he now lives on at his own dispose after my decease wife a strait line on both sides & the said Daniel Howell to have one hundred acres in the next taking up, if it amounts to so much after my three daughters have had each of them one hundred acres a piece.

Item I give unto my son Mordecai Howell the house I now dwell in with two hundred and fifty acres of land where he pleases to take it and also to have two yoke of oxen & one cow and afterwards my stock of cartel and housell goods to be divided between my Son Mordecai Howell and my three daughters equally and allso my Son Mordecai Howell to pay unto my three daughters each of them forty bushell of rye at the end of six yearss and allso I make my sonn Mordecai Howell my full and whole Executor to receive what is due to me & to pay all my debts.

And also my will is that my housell goodes shall not be removed untill my children heare from my wife whether she will com or not or whether she is dead or alive and if she doth com to have them during her natural life.


Last Will of Katherine Howell

In the name of God Amen the seventeenth day of August one thousand six hundred and ninety-five [1695] according to the Computation of the Church of England, I Katharine Howell of Philadelphia in the province of Pennsylvania, widow & relict of Thomas Howell Late deceased of west New Jersey....

Item I bequeath unto my eldest Lawfull Son Daniel Howell one Shilling and one par of hatyell.

 Item I bequeath unto my second & lawfull Son Mordacay Howell one shilling. 

Item I give unto my oldest lawfull Daughter Miriam Johnson wife of Henry Johnson twentie five shillings being the balance of all accounts.

Item I bequeath unto my grand daughter Katharine Shout five pounds after my decease to be in James Robinson's hands one year and then to be putt to use for her and paid to her when she cometh to age or marrieth.

Item I bequeath to my Son Daniell's daughter Hannah Howell five pounds to be paid within half a yeare to her father Daniell Howell after my decease.

Item all the rest of my goods, Leases, Lands, good movables, bills, bonds, sums of monie, and all what soever is in my possession unto my youngest daughter Katharine Robinson wife of James Robinson provided that she pays all my Debts & Legatees.

I also appoint James Robinson my Lawfull Executor to see this my Last will and testament fullfilled as witness my hand.

katharine Howell
her X mark

Joshua Tittory
Mlllisent Hodgkins
Prudence West



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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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