Excerpts from Genealogical Research of the Howell Family

by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., C.G


…This seemed to confirm the four most recent Howell generations on chart, i.e., back to William A. Howell and Lucinda (or Lucindia) [?]. This lineage was based on census and cemetery records, which do not specify relationships. Nevertheless, the records he provided were consistent with and highly indicative of the relationships on your chart, and that fact, combined with the recentness of these generations, implied that I should not need to verify them. I was less comfortable with the indication that William A. Howell was the son of David A. Howell, so began my research with him.


My research at the DAR Library enabled me to rule out the possibility of previously published reports on this Howell family and also to hypothesize a possible ancestry for them. The research today at the Library of Virginia confirmed parts of the hypothesis, although there still are unanswered questions. This research has several complications. First, as you know, there were multiple David Howells in Floyd Co. In addition, David and Daniel are very hard to distinguish in the older handwriting, and Howells of both names appear to have lived in the same area. Also, David N. and David A. are virtually indistinguishable in the old records, and again men of both names appear in the same area. Still another complication was the fact that the land where the Howells lived was in three different counties at different times, Floyd from 1831 to the present, Montgomery 1790 to 1830, and Botetourt before 1790. Finally, some of the more recent Floyd Co. records that might be helpful and definitely would make the relationships in the recent generations more certain are not available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. These include the post1850 tax lists (both personal property and land taxes), deeds after 1870, wills after 1873, births after 1896, and deaths after 1872.


My first approach was to search for William A. Howell's two marriages, in the hopes that one would name his parents. This was unsuccessful, but I did find the marriage record of George Washington Howell, age 24, a farmer, born in Floyd Co., son of William A. and Lucinda, to Rosabell Pratt, age 21, born in Floyd Co., daughter of Ishmael and Martha Jane, 28 February 1878. This gives you more information for that generation, and a second Pratt line. (I would be surprised if Rosabell is not related to Charlotte Pratt who married David A. Howell,)


Failing to find record of either of William A. Howell's marriages, and lacking or not having access to vital records and probate that might name his parents, I turned to the census. The 1850 census for the household of David A., age 49, and Charlotte, age 45, Howell included William A., age 21, and Lucinda, age 19, Howell. Censuses before 1880 do not specify relationships but this 1850 census is circumstantial evidence that William was David's son. The best evidence that this was so would be a probate record showing that William received a share of David's estate, but, so far as I know, the only location of such a record would be in the county courthouse. This would necessitate either an inperson visit or a mail inquiry. You might try the latter first, offering to pay for a copy of "a Will or probate record showing the heirs of David A. Howell who died in Floyd Co. in either 1887 or 1897." Such an inquiry should be addressed to Clerk of the Circuit Court; Floyd Co.; Floyd, VA 24091.


With even more tenuous evidence, your charts show that David A. Howell was a son of David Howell, "Sr." This is borne out, however, with good evidence, the 1844 Floyd Co. will (proved in 1851) of David Howell, in which he names his children, including his son David A. Howell. He also named "my much loved wife" Jane Howell. David and Jane and two of the children named in the will, Rody (Rhoda) and Omy (Naiomia), were found in the 1850 census. David was a farmer, age 86, born in Pennsylvania; and Jane was age 83, born in Floyd Co.


As surmised, David A. Howell was the David Howell, Jr., who married Charlotte Pratt in Montgomery Co., 6 August 1822. A clue is that a Benjamin Howell was guardian to Charlotte and put up the bond for the marriage. The name Benjamin Howell also appears in the marriage record of David A. Howell's parents: David Howell to Jane Allen, 28 October 1785 in Botetourt Co. Bondsman was Benjamin Howell; witness was Samuel Eason; consent given by Daniel Allen, father, and Jane Allen, mother (indicating that the bride was under age 21); witnessed by Elizabeth Howel and Mary Howel.


Howell probate records are sparse in Botetourt, Montgomery, and Floyd Cos., but a Montgomery Co. will, dated and proved in 1799, seems to be what we are looking for. The will of Benjamin Howell, Sr., names his sons David and Benjamin Howell, his daughter Mary Howell, and his brother Joshua Howell. He specified that his land was to be divided between Benjamin and Mary. This is unfortunate because it means that tracing land titles may not succeed in proving that this David was your David, Sr. The circumstantial evidence is persuasive, however. The date and place are right, as is the connection with Benjamin Howell. Possibly the daughter Mary Howell was the one who witnessed David's 1785 marriage to Jane Allen.


Three Howells appear in the personal property tax lists for Botetourt Co. in 1782, the first year such taxes were collected: Joshua, Benjamin, and Daniel. Benjamin's will specifies that Joshua was his brother, and I would surmise that Daniel was another brother. Daniel filed a Revolutionary War pension application stating that he was born in Philadelphia in 1759. A DAR application of one of Joshua's descendants indicates that he was born about 1745, possibly in Philadelphia. If Benjamin is the father of your David who was age 86 in the 1850 census, he had to have been born before 1743. We know from the census that David was born in Pennsylvania, which points to Benjamin's origin there as well.


A Pennsylvania origin for your Howells is not surprising. Many of the settlers in the western part of Virginia started out in Pennsylvania, many of them Scotch-Irish and German, however. In addition, a number of Welsh families settled in the Philadelphia area, which would be consistent with the origin in Wales that you surmised for your family.






Benjamin Howell

b. probably before 1742

m. Elizabeth [?I

moved from Pennsylvania to Botetourt Co., Virginia, before 1782

d. in Montgomery Co., Virginia, 1799


David Howell [Sr.]

b. in Pennsylvania, 1763/4

m. Jane Allen, Botetourt Co., Virginia, 28 October 1785

d. in Floyd Co., Virginia, 1851


David A. Howell [Jr.]

b. in Montgomery Co., Virginia, 1800/01

m. Charlotte Pratt, Montgomery Co., Virginia 6 August 1822

d. in Floyd Co., 1887 or 1897 [clientsupplied information]


William B. Howell

b. in Floyd Co., 1827

m. (1) Lucindia [?]; (2) Elizabeth [?]



Further Research on the Howell Family

By Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D, C.G.

                                                                                                                                    24 February 1996

Subject:                       William A. Howell, born in Floyd Co., Virginia, about 1827; married to Lucinda [?].


Objective:                   To trace his paternal line back to the immigrant, if possible.


Research Sites:          The Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA

            Library of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, (NSDAR)                                             Washington, DC


Brief Summary or Findings:

(See the following section, "Detailed Summary of Findings," for source citations, explanations of deductions and inferences from the evidence, etc.)


Client supplied information and the 1850 census indicated that William A. Howell of Floyd Co. was a son of David A. Howell, also of Floyd Co. This conclusion is not definitive, but the census listing in David's household of William and Lucinda of the expected ages indicate that this is the right William Howell and imply that he was David's son. William and Lucinda's census listing and ages also imply that they were recently married, but William had not yet left David's household. Unfortunately, more definitive evidence-such as could be provided by Floyd Co. probate records-was not available at the Library of Virginia, where the microfilmed records go up to 1873.  The best evidence likely could be obtained by either correspondence or a visit to the Floyd Co. courthouse.  A Floyd Co. marriage record for William Lucinda was not found, but a deed of relinquishment indicates that Lucinda was one of the heirs of

George Duncan, Sr., so probably was George's daughter.


The 1844 Floyd Co. will of David Howell, Sr., indicated that he was the father of David A. Howell. Tracing David Howell was a complicated venture because four men named David Howell headed households in Floyd Co. at the same time. In addition, there were three Daniel Howells and, when handwritten, the names David and Daniel are almost interchangeable. Analyzing the tax and deed records to identify chains of land titles, enabled sorting out the six David and Daniel Howells and placing each one into his proper family group. This resulted in the inescapable conclusion that Benjamin Howell, who left a will in Montgomery Co. in 1799, was the father of David Howell, Sr., of the 1844 Floyd Co. will, and was the client's earliest Virginia ancestor on his surname line.


Although it appeared likely that the various Floyd and Montgomery Co. Howells were from different families, and such was indicated in a Floyd Co. history, the present research and analysis indicated that all of the Floyd Co. Howells in 1850 were descended from two brothers: Benjamin Howell of the 1799 Montgomery Co. will, and Joshua Howell. Study of Benjamin and Joshua and their relatives indicated that they had moved to Virginia from Pennsylvania, almost certainly the Philadelphia area, probably between 1763 and 1767.


The first objective of further research in Pennsylvania should be locating the two Howell brothers, Benjamin and Joshua. The search should begin with Philadelphia Co. probate and land records, then if not successful should move to the surrounding counties. It is almost certain that the Howells, like most migrating families, did not come to Virginia alone. Other families and kinsmen from their home in Pennsylvania are likely to have lived near them in Virginia, so studying their neighbors and associates in Virginia could provide further clues to pinpoint the correct Howell family in Pennsylvania.






Detailed Summary of Findings;


[All sources are documented in subsequent sections. Numerals in brackets refer to each source.]


William A. Howell was born, probably in Montgomery Co, Virginia, in 14 October 1827 [101]. He married Lucinda [?], born 7 April 1829 [110]. Probably she was Lucinda Duncan, because Lucinda, wife of William A. Howell, along with two other women, relinquished her share of the estate of George Duncan deceased. William and Lucinda are buried in a Duncan cemetery [110]. This marriage probably took place in Floyd Co., although it was not recorded there. Judging from William's and Lucinda's ages (21 and 19, respectively) in the 1850 census [13], the marriage occurred not too long before. The 1850 census indicates that both William and Lucinda were born in Floyd Co., but since Floyd Co. was not established until 1831, where William was born technically was Montgomery Co. at the time of his birth.


Two items of circumstantial evidence indicate that William was a son of David A. Howell. First, he and Lucinda were enumerated in David's household in the 1850 census [13]. They are enumerated at the end, rather than according age like David's other apparent children are, which indicates that they were a married couple rather than brother and sister. In the 1850 census, David was age 49 and William 21, which is compatible with their being father and son. William was

enumerated with Lucinda in 1860 [118] with an apparent son Elisha born 185051. Further, the record of Elisha's first [20] and second [28] marriages indicate that he was a son of William and Lucinda Howell and was born 185051. Second, David A. Howell, his wife Charlotte (also in the household in the 1850 census), and William and Lucinda all are buried in the same cemetery [110]. This gravestone transcription indicates that David A. Howell died 18 January 1887. Possibly a Floyd Co. probate record around that date would prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was the father of William A. Howell.  Either of two entries in the Floyd Co. General Index to Wills [15] could refer to his estate: Will Book E, page 472; and Will Book F, page 135. Neither book, unfortunately is available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia, so a copy of these records would need to be obtained through correspondence or a visit to the Floyd Co. courthouse.


David A. Howell was born 5 January 1801 [110], almost certainly in Montgomery Co. Virginia. His apparent wife in the 1850 census [13] was Charlotte Howell, and she is buried next to him in the Duncan cemetery [110]. The transcription indicates that she was born 25 January 1803 and died in July of 1874. She undoubtedly was the Charlotte Pratt whom David, as David Howell, Jr., married in Montgomery Co., 6 August 1822 [102]. Benjamin Howell (later shown to be David's uncle] was bondsman and guardian of Charlotte [97, p. 208].


The will of David Howell, Sr., dated 10 September 1844 and proved in Floyd Co., in March of 1851, shows that he was the father of David A. Howell [30]. ("I do hereby appoint David A. Howel and James Howel my sons as executors…) The will names a total of nine children (Rhodea Howel, Naomia Howel, Stephen Howel, Charity Speakleman, Dorcas James of Indiana, Elizabeth Hewitt, Jenny Hangate/Hungate, David A. Howel, and James Howel), and his wife "Jane Howel." David and Jane Howell, with two of the daughters named in the will Rody and Omy Howell in their household, were enumerated in Floyd Co. in the 1850 census [13]. This indicates that David was born in Pennsylvania and was age 86, so born 176364. Jane was said to have been born in Floyd Co. and age 83, so born 176667. They are of the right ages, and names, then, to have been the David Howell and Jane Allen who married in Botetourt Co. (from which Floyd descended), 28 October 1785 [93]. One Benjamin Howell was bondsman and Samuel Eason, Elizabeth Howel, and Mary Howel were witnesses. Consent was given by the bride's parents, Daniel and Jane Allen, which indicates that Jane was under the age of 21.


In 1790, five years after the Howell-Allen marriage, Jane's parents, Daniel and Ruth Allen sold 197 acres to David Howel for a token 10 pounds. [37]. This land was on the Mill Creek Branch of the Little River and adjoined land owned by Benjamin Howell, who along with Joshua Howell and Daniel Howell, witnessed the deed. David, as David Howell, Sr., didn't begin paying taxes on this tract until 1805 [67]. (Perhaps Daniel Allen continued to pay the tax.). In 1813 the watercourse on which this tract was situated was designated "Howell's Creek" [67]. (See [98], p. 285 for mention of Howell's Creek.) In 1830, David's tract then measured as 190 acres, but still adjoining Benjamin Howell was described as 20 miles south of the Montgomery Co. courthouse. [67]. David still was in possession of this land this farmer's only land and undoubtedly his "home place "in 1850 [16], when it was described as 5 miles southwest of the Floyd Co. courthouse.


In 1844, the year David Howell, Sr., wrote his will, there were four David Howells paying taxes in Floyd Co. and one David or Daniel [29]. Five years earlier, in 1830, two Daniels and four Davids paid taxes there [28]. In order to make sure that each taxpayer paid his share, the tax collector was careful to differentiate between men of the same name. In 1830, we find Howell, David D son [meaning son of a D. Howell]; Howell, David N; Howell, David miller [meaning that milling was his occupation); and Howell, David, Snr [Sr.]. Similarly, the two Daniel Howells were designated as senior and junior. Today the designations of junior and senior indicate a son and father, but in earlier times they indicated only that one of the men was younger than the other. Sometimes the men with those designations were father and son. Other times, however, they were not, and frequently they weren't even related at all! In addition the designations were not permanent, because, as individuals died and moved in and out of the community, the designations would change. Fortunately, in the case of the David and Daniel Howells the appellations were used fairly consistently. Using the Montgomery and Floyd Co. tax and deed records it was possible to sort out the David and Daniel Howells and to identify the one who married Jane Allen and wrote the 1844 will. The four David Howells in 1850 were:


David N. Howell. He first appears in the Montgomery Co. land tax books in 1824 [67] with 40 acres. By 1850 in Floyd Co. he had added 3 other tracts to it [16]. This was land deeded to him as David Howel, Jr. in 1822 by Daniel Howell, Sr. [63]. On that same day Daniel sold tracts to John Howel [62], and Mark Howell [64], and a month earlier had sold a tract to Thomas Howell [61]. This appears to be a father disposing of land among his sons. A DAR application of one of Daniel's descendants tells us that his sons were Thomas, David, John, and Mark Howell [74]. David's entry in the 1850 census (read as Dania N. Howell) [13] indicates that he was born 17912. He is the right age to have been the David Howell who married Nancy Carter in Montgomery Co. in 1820 [102].


David Howell, miller. In 1830 he owned tracts of 100, 225, and 20 acres in Montgomery Co. [67]. In 1850 he was in possession of tracts of 1531/2, 27 and 100 acres [16]. The enumeration of "Dania" Howell, a miller, in Floyd Co. in 1850 indicates that he was born in Pennsylvania in 17667 [13]. Tracing his Montgomery Co. land backwards through the land tax lists [67], we see that he was first listed as David Howell miller in 1824, and in years previous to that he was listed as David Howell, Jr. In 1820, David, Jr.'s 224acre tract was designated as a "mill place." Beginning in 1803, David Howell, Jr., began paying taxes on a 100acre tract that had been deeded to him from Joshua and Mary Howell for $20 [45]. On the same date, Joshua and Mary deeded another 100acre tract to Joshua Howell, Jr., also for $20 [46]. Again, this appears to be a father dividing his land among his sons. Other deed records show that the wife of one David Howell was Susannah [e.g. 47, 48, 58]. The tax records show that it was David Howell, Jr., who owned the land in these deeds, so was the one who was the husband of Susanna [67]. Several deeds indicate that this Susannah Howell was a daughter of Elijah Hilton/Hylton [52, 53, 56]. Montgomery Co. marriage records show that David Howell married Susannah Hilton in 1789 [102]. A Floyd Co. history [98] indicates that the children of the David Howell who married a Hylton were Isaac, Andrew, Nancy, Alexander, Jinsy, and Beaufurd Howell. Several DAR applications [75, 76, 77, 79] and a published Hylton genealogy [90, p. 162] show that David Howell who married Susannah Hilton was a son of Joshua Howell. A transcription of a letter written by this David Howell shows that he was a miller [90, p. 163]. David Howell (Sr.) who married Jane Allen was listed in the same 1850 census [13] as David Howell, the miller. Because it is shown above that David and Jane were the parents of the client's ancestor, David A. Howell, David Howell the miller could not have been the father of David A. Howell. Further, since Joshua Howell is not likely to have had two sons named David, he can be ruled out of consideration as a candidate for the father for David Howell, Sr.






David Howell, son or D. He appears in the personal property tax books in Floyd Co. [29], but not the land tax books [16] which include 1850. The only landless David Howell in the 1850 census for Floyd Co. [13], was David A. Howell. As shown above, David A. was a son of David Howell, Sr., which would account for his being designated "son of D" in the personal property tax books. In addition, "David son of D" could not have been a son of Daniel Howell, since we already have attributed a son of that name (David N. Howell) to him. There is no evidence that David Howell the miller had a son named David. In addition, all of the Floyd Co. David Howells of the generation of the miller's sons have been accounted for, which further strengthens the argument that "David Howell, son of D" was David A. Howell, son of David Howell, Sr.


David Howell, Sr. He was born 1763/64, judging from his entry in the 1850 census [13], just three years before David Howell, the miller, who had been designated David Howell, Jr. in his early tax records. In 1850 David, Sr.'s only land holding was a 194acre tract [16]. As mentioned above, his tax listing for this tract can be traced back to 1805 [67]. A Montgomery Co. deed [37] shows that he was sold this land by Daniel and Ruth Allen, so undoubtedly was the one who married their daughter, Jane Allen, in 1785 in Botetourt Co. [93]. His life in Montgomery Co. can be traced back through the personal property tax lists [68]. In 1792, for the first time two David Howells were listed: David Howell, and David Howell s[on] of Joshua. Clearly, "David Howell" was not the son of Joshua and was the elder of the two, therefore was David Howell, Sr. David continuously paid personal property taxes from 1783 [5], the first year such taxes were collected in Virginia. The only other Howell taxpayers in the same district that year were Benjamin and Joshua. If Joshua, as shown above was the father of David, Jr. (the miller), then the likely candidate for the father of David, Sr., is Benjamin Howell. Benjamin's 1799 Montgomery Co. will [69] shows that he did have a son named David. In addition, David Howell joined in two Montgomery Co. deeds in which all of the parties appear to have been the children of Benjamin Howell [49, 50].


Benjamin Howell was born probably before 1737, judging from his eldest child's birthdate (see below); and died in Montgomery Co., Virginia, between 25 April 1799, the date of his will, and August of the same year, when his will was ordered recorded [69]. The will named his brother Joshua, daughter Mary, son Benjamin, son David, and "all my children." Montgomery Co. probate and marriage records identify 5 children for Benjamin Howell. That the list is complete is implied by two Montgomery Co. deeds in which all five of them were parties [49, 50]. The children of Benjamin Howell were:


i           Daniel Howell, called Daniel Howell, Sr., beginning in 1824 [67]. He saw Service in the American Revolution. His pension application [79] indicates that he was born "in the county of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania" in 1759; and that he died in Floyd Co., Virginia 5 March 1836. As shown above, he was the father of Thomas Howell, David N. Howell, John Howell, and Mark Howell. (Also see [74]).


ii           David Howell (Sr.), born in Pennsylvania 1763/64, judging from his entry in the 1850 census [13]. He married Jane Allen in Botetourt Co. 1785 [93]. They are the client's ancestors. (See above.) Witnesses to the marriage were Elizabeth and Mary Howell, almost certainly David's mother and sister, respectively, Bondsman was Benjamin Howell, his father.


iii          Benjamin Howell first taxed in his own right in 1795 [68], so probably turned 21 that year and was born before 1774. The 1850 census [13] indicates that he was born 1772/3. He married in Montgomery Co. 1 December 1802, Elizabeth Kendall/Kindle [97, p. 141], Daniel Howell, Benjamin's brother, was bondsman and stated that Elizabeth was over the age of 21 years. He probably was the Benjamin Howell who left an 1853 will in Floyd Co. [33] in which his son Pleasant Howell was named as executor, and two daughters-Ann Howell and Nancy Edward were beneficiaries. A Floyd Co. history [98, p. 106]indicates that Benjamin's children were Pleasant, Annie and Andrew Howell.


iv          Hannah Howell married "Conrod Plasters" in Montgomery Co., 17 November 1795 [97, p. 132]. Her parents gave consent for the marriage, which indicates that she was under the age of 21, so born probably between 1774 and 1781. Conrad Pfaster/Plaster was a party to the deeds with the other children of Benjamin Howell [49, 50].


v          Mary Howell was the recipient of a 100acre and a 94acre tract of land deeded to her by her brothers and brother-in-law in 1805 [48, 49]. She paid taxes on this land through 1831 (last year checked) [67, 98].


A widow was not named in Benjamin Howell's will [69], but his wife was named as Elizabeth in a 1794 deed [39] and in her daughter's 1795 marriage record [97, p. 132]. She also was not named in a deed he made in 1799 [44], so appears to have died between 1794 and 1799. Hannah Howell's marriage record indicates that Elizabeth was her mother, so Benjamin must have married Elizabeth before at least 1791, the latest possible year for Hannah's birth. Whether they had married before 1759 and Elizabeth was the mother of all five of Benjamin's children, or whether Benjamin had been married previously, is not known.


Joshua Howell figures prominently in the deed and tax records in Montgomery Co. Secondary sources provide information in him and his children, which is included here to facilitate tracing his antecedents in Pennsylvania. He is said to have been born in 1745 [75, 76, 77, 78] which would make him at least 8 years younger than his brother Benjamin. Possibly there were brothers and sisters between them who remained in Pennsylvania. He married Mary [?], before 1763 [75] or 1768 [76], dates given for the birth of their oldest child, David Howell, Jr. (the miller), or 176667, the birth you inferred for David from the 1850 census [13]. Joshua's 1745 birthdate makes a 1763 birthdate for his first child unlikely. Secondary sources [75, 76, 77, 78] indicate that Joshua had two daughters and seven sons. The sons were David Howell (the miller, see above) who married Susannah Hilton; Joshua Howell, Jr., who married Christena Mickasell [97, p. 140] or Marksell or Macksell [97, p. 140]; John Howell who married Elizabeth Parkinson [97, p. 187]; Thomas Howell who married Sarah Stapleton; James Howell who married Abigail [?]; Daniel Howell who married Phebe Ross (the Daniel Howell, Jr. in the tax records); and Jeremiah Howell who married Pehebe Priest. Evidence for the eldest of the sons is found in Montgomery Co. deeds from Joshua to David Howell [45, 55], and to Joshua Howell, Jr. [46]. Joshua's daughters were Nancy Howell who married (1) John Bryant Hilton [90, p. 167; 97, p. 137] and (2) William Hancock [76]; and Abigail Howell who married David Porter [76, 90].



If the brothers Benjamin and Joshua Howell moved together, and if their sons' ages in the 1850 [13] census are accurate, then their move from Pennsylvania to Virginia can be pinpointed to between 1763, when Benjamin's David (Sr.) was born, and 1767 when Joshua's David (Jr., the miller) was born.






Suggestions for Further Research


Research on the Howell line can move on to Pennsylvania. Since Daniel Howell indicated that he was born in Philadelphia Co., the Pennsylvania research should start there. The search should begin with trying to locate a Howell probate record in which brothers Benjamin and Joshua Howell were heirs. It also is possible that they owned land in Pennsylvania, so the deed records could show their disposal of it either prior to or after their move to Virginia. Deeds would indicate how they obtained their land, and possibly whether it had passed down in the family. At least two marriages in this family may have occurred in Philadelphia and may be found in the many church records for the area which have survived: Benjamin Howell [Sr.] to Elizabeth [?], possibly about 1758; Joshua Howell to Mary [?], possibly about 1762.


Because families in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries seldom moved alone, tracing their Virginia associates may aid in pinpointing their Pennsylvania location or lead to records enabling the tracing of earlier generations of the Howells. Several possibilities are suggested. One is a Hilton/Hylton/Helton family, with whom the Howells were closely associated. In this family there is a tradition of Welsh ancestry as there is with the Howells. (A family account of unknown reliability, however, implies that the Hyltons came directly to Virginia from Wales, rather than coming through Pennsylvania [90].) Other possibilities are the families into which the Howells married within the first years of their settlement in Virginia: Allen, Hambleman, McSell, and Plaster/Pfaster. Finally, some of the witnesses to early Howell records in Virginia also could have been associates or kinsmen who moved with them from Pennsylvania. These include Bird Smith, Marcus Linkins, and Benjamin Hickman, who witnessed Benjamin Howell's will [69]; Thomas Goodson, for whom Joshua Howell was a bondsman [103, p. 27]; and Capt. Eason, in whose militia district they lived [5]. Witnesses and parties to the Howells' early Virginia deeds also might have been kinsmen or neighbors from Pennsylvania: Elijah Jones [37]; Robert Jones [38]; Jacob Perk, John Turner, and Joel Walker [40]; John Ferguson [41]; Robert Jones (again) and John Hook [42]; David Porter [43]; and Jeremiah Buckhannan and [?] Kittaman [44]. If Pennsylvania research is not productive, further study of these individuals could possibly lead to the Benjamin and Joshua Howell's antecedents.


The possibility should be considered that Benjamin and Joshua Howell, like Elijah Hylton [90], emigrated directly from Wales or England, so that their stay in Pennsylvania was only transitory. On the other hand they could have descended from one of the Welsh Howell families who emigrated from Wales to Pennsylvania in the 1600's [105].


A 15-19 year gap exists between 1763-67 when these Howells are believed to have moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia, and 1782, their first appearance in Botetourt Co. records. This suggests the possibility that research in colonial records could yield more information on them and their associates. A Floyd Co. history suggests that the Howells lived in Loudoun Co. before settling in Botetourt-Montgomery-Floyd Little River area [98]. It is possible that records in the 1763-67 to 1782 gap might be found for them there.


            In addition to Pennsylvania research on the Howell ancestry, the results of the present research suggest several other lines which could be traced. Foremost among these are the maternal lines: Daniel and Ruth Allen, parents of Jane Allen Howell; George Duncan, Sr., probable father of Lucinda Howell; and Ishmael Pratt, father of Rosabel Pratt Howell. In addition, the parentage of Charlotte Pratt, who married David A. Howell, should be investigated. David's uncle Benjamin Howell was her guardian. What was the connection that resulted in this guardianship? Was it through Benjamin's wife, who was a Kendall? Was George W. Howell's wife, Rosabell Pratt, related to his grandmother, Charlotte Pratt Howell?




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Howell Immigrants