THE HOWARD FAMILY – from Cambridgeshire        

See the Howard Census Transcripts

See the Hauxton and Little Shelford parish record Transcripts

See the Howard Family Tree

See the Howard Family photographs

 Credit must also go to Gordon Boundy and Robyn Smith [see also Robyn’s Relative Search sitewho have similarly done a lot of research into the Howard’s of Little Shelford, Cambridgeshire, from which they are both descended. 


The Howard family, from which we are descended, definitely appear to have originated in Cambridgeshire. My earliest confirmed ancestor is Henry Howard/Haward who appears to have been baptized at Croydon-cum-clopton, near Cambridge on 20th June, 1613.  This is the only a tentative connection between him and his possible father Nicholas Haward.  This has yet to be confirmed, although I have been unable to find a burial or a will for Nicholas.

We do know, however, that Henry Howard lived at Little Shelford.  It seems likely that he married Ann Vickers, most probably the daughter of Frances Vickers and Margret, on  25th March, 1633 at St. Sepulchre’s, Cambridge. Henry and Ann had the following children all baptised at Little Shelford 1:

Henry Howard (Sexton) bp 14.9.1634 L. Shelford, m 24.4.1665 Stow-Cum-Quy to Dorothy Sanders
Anne Hayward 
bp 9.4.1638 L. Shelford
Elizabeth Hayward 
bp 29.11.1640 L. Shelford
Mary Howard 
bp 9.4.1647 L.Shelford, bur 16.4.1647 L. Shelford
Johannes Howard/Hayward 
(Yeoman) bp 17.1.1649 ? L.Shelford,  m 1675? Anna ? bur 19.3.1706 L.Shelford
Elizabeth Howard 
bp 23.3.1659 L.Shelford, ur 6.5.1660 L. Shelford

Henry was buried on 28th May, 1659 and Ann,  on 29th March, 1660 both at Little Shelford. I have found the will of Henry, his son (born 1634) dated 15th March 1675 (two days before his burial), In it he states that he is Yeoman of Little Shelford and leaves all his lands to his daughter Elizabeth and asks his brother John (b 1649) to be her guardian.



Johannes Howard was a Yeoman farmer.  He was seems to have married to Anna but as yet no marriage can be found. There is, however, a marriage between John Howard (of Little Shelford) and Amy Newman (of Hauxton) that took place on 6th September, 1675 at St. Edward’s, Cambridge. There may have been a mistake in the registers and/or the transcription. A son Newman Howard could be the clue here.   They had the following children, again at Little Shelford 1:

Johannes Howard (Yeoman) bp 8.5.1676 L.Shelford,  m 16.4.1698 Duxford St.John  to Anna King, bur 1.10.1726 L.Shelford
Anne/Anna Howard bp 19.3.1677 L. Shelford, m before 1704 to Thomas Chambers
Henry Howard/Hayward bp 8.9.1679 L Shelford, bur 12.9.1679 L Shelford
Newman Howard/Hayward bp 19.3.1682 L Shelford, bur 27.2.1683 L Shelford, 

Johannes or John made a will in 1704 and died in 1706.  The will stated that he was Yeoman of Great Shelford and he left a total of £95 worth of possessions and livestock.  He appears to have left all his lands to his son John and £80 to his other son Henry. 



His son Johannes, born in 1676 was also a Yeoman.  He married Anna King, daughter of Thomas King in 1698 at Duxford St. John. They had eight children, although only three all of them survived into adulthood. All were baptized at Little Shelford parish church 1:

Anna Howard bp 12.4.1699 L.Shelford
Elizabetha Howard 
bp 25.11.1700 L.Shelford, bur 24.2.1720 L.Shelford
Johannes Howard 
bp 18.5.1702 L.Shelford, bur 28.8.1702 L.Shelford
Johannes Howard 
bp 12.7.1703 L.Shelford, bur 28.9.1703 L.Shelford
Henry Howard 
(Yeoman) bp 10.6.1707 L.Shelford, m 28.1.1729 Dullingham to Ann Wallis, bur 31.3.1752 L.Shelford
Johannes Howard 
bp 7.9.1713 L.Shelford
Thomas Howard bp 8.1.1715  L.Shelford, bur  13.1.1716 L. Shelford
Maria Howard 
bp 9.1.1717 L.Shelford, bur  6.10.1719 L Shelford

John was known to be living in Little Shelford in 1722 as he was entered in the 1722 Poll Book for Cambridge. He was a Yeoman farmer and died intestate in 1726, and although no record of his burial could be found initially, it has recently been found to be 1st October, 1726 at Little Shelford. In a Letter of Administration and inventory, dated 11th October, 1726 listed, amongst other things, is a total of 227 acres of agricultural land plus much livestock. The contents of the inventory give a good insight into the living conditions at this time; there were no items around the house that weren’t essential and the kitchen contained just enough pots and pans for the family. His widow Ann, died in 1733 and was buried on 25th October, 1733 also at Little Shelford.



Henry Howard born in 1707 was also a Yeoman farmer.  He married Ann Wallis on 28th January 1729 at Dullingham. Although they had six children, only four survived and all were baptized at Little Shelford parish church 1.

Elizabetha Howard bp 20.3.1730 L.Shelford, bur 26.4.1730 L.Shelford
Elizabeth Howard bp 10.1.1731 L.Shelford, m 29.8.1763 G. Shelford to Robert Andrew
John Howard (Yeoman) bp 15.2.1733 L.Shelford, m 11.7.1756 G.Shelford to Constantia Graine, bur 24.6.1769 L.Shelford
Ann Howard bp 14.5.1736 L Shelford, bur 10.10.1736 L Shelford
Ann Howard bp 17.1.1737 L Shelford, m 27.7.1775 G Shelford to William Clark
Henry Howard bp 31.8.1739 L.Shelford, m 20.3.1763 L Shelford to Mary Allin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Henry Howard was a Yeoman Farmer and in his will of 1752, he left all his estate to his widow, Ann and a total of £150 to his children.   He was buried on 31st March, 1752 at Little Shelford.


His son John Howard was baptized at Little Shelford on 15th February, 1733. He married Constantia Graine, daughter of Richard Graine and Mary of Great Shelford, on 11th July, 1756 at Great Shelford parish church 2. They lived in Little Shelford where John was a farmer of over 190 acres of land and there, they had five children who were all baptized at Little Shelford parish church 1:

Elizabeth Howard  bp 1.5.1757 L.Shelford
John Howard (Gentleman) bp 1.10.1758 L.Shelford, bur 29.9.1819 L.Shelford
Ann Howard 
bp 4.3.1759 L.Shelford
Henry Howard 
(Tailor of St. Andrew) bp 9.7.1762 L.Shelford,  m 20.6.1786 L.Shelford to Elizabeth Gates, bur 28.3.1801 L.Shelford
Peter Howard 
bp 10.6.1764 L.Shelford, bur 11.10.1764 L.Shelford

John made his last will and testament 5th March, 1767 and died two years later. He was buried on 24th June, 1769 at Little Shelford. The inventory of his estate made on 4th August, 1769 showed that he owned 192 acres of farmland and four hundred sheep and lambs; the total amounting to £786.His widow Constant also made a will in 1822 which was not proved until 1832 in which the benefactors of her estate were her grandson John Henry Howard and her nephew Peter Grain (her brother’s son) and his son Peter Grain, her great nephew.  



John’s son Henry Howard was a tailor. He married Elizabeth Gates, daughter of Richard Gates on 20th June, 1786 at Little Shelford parish church. Henry and Elizabeth had six children, baptized at St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge 3;                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Likeness of Henry Howard, tailor of St.Andrew - a hand-painted miniture (courtesy  of Sue Pountney)

Likeness of Henry Howard, tailor of St.Andrew – a hand-painted miniture (courtesy of Sue Pountney)

Elizabeth Eddington Howard bp ? bur 25.5.1790 L.Shelford
Richard Gates Howard bp 17.2.1788 St.Andrew Grt, bur 26.3.1816 L.Shelford
Henry Howard bp 9.3.1791 St.Andrew Grt, bur 15.6.1795 L.Shelford
Elizabeth Eddington Howard 
bp 30.12.1793 St.Andrew Grt, bur 8.1.1795
Anne Howard 
bp 13.11.1798 St.Andrew Grt, bur 4.3.1813 L.Shelford
John Henry Howard bp 13.11.1798 St.Andrew Grt, m 26.6.1822 Shoreditch to Susan Lofts, bur 8.1.1860 L Shelford

At the time of Anne and John Henry’s baptism, Henry was described as a butcher.  However, when he died he was referred to as “Tailor of St. Andrew’s”.  He was buried on 28th March, 1801 at Little Shelford 1. He left a will dated 26th March 1801.   In it he leaves everything to his brother John Howard (Gentleman of Little Shelford) and a friend Edward Lunn and named them both as executors to pay out to his wife Elizabeth and children Richard Gates, Ann and John.   Henry’s widow Elizabeth died in 1809 and was also buried at Little Shelford on 10th October, 1809 1.



John Henry Howard was baptised together with his sister Anne on 13th November 1798 at St.. Andrew the Great, Cambridge. He married Susan Lofts, daughter of  Alexander Lofts and Rebecca Watts on 26th June, 1822 at St. Leonard’s, Shoreditch, London.  It appears that Susan Lofts has an illegitimate daughter, Caroline Lofts bp 3.9.1820 at L. Shelford. Caroline was a dressmaker and married Stephen Payne Clifton in 1838 at St. Michael’s Cambridge. John and Susan, however, had seven children 1, 4:
John Henry Howard (Tailor) bp 19.3.1823 L.Shelford
Ann Freeman Howard bp 19.9.1824 L Shelford, m 14.3.1850 L Shelford to Alexander Rider
Elizabeth Howard bp 14.7.1825 Hauxton,  bur ?  before 1831
Richard Gates Howard (Shoemaker) bp 24.7.1827 Hauxton, m 29.10.1849 Little Shelford to Caroline Elbourn (b 1832), d ? in Australia
Frederick  Lofts  Howard (Tailor)  bp 24.7.1827  Hauxton,  m1  23.12.1857 Comberton to Eliza Williamson,  m2? by 1881 to Charlotte ?, d 8.11.1913 Chatham Workhouse Infirmary, Kent
Henry Hillard Howard (Farmer) bp16.8.1829 G.Shelford, (emig to Australia in Nov 1852), m May 1864 Terang, Victoria, Aus to Mary Ann Murphy, d 25.12.1912 Australia
Elizabeth Gates Howard bp 11.9.1831 G.Shelford, m1 31.1.1851 Little Shelford to Edward Whybrow, m2 by 1871 to Richard Withers
When John Henry’s first 2 children were born at Little Shelford, his status isn’t clear, but by 1825 at Hauxton he was a shop- keeper.  By 1827 he was recorded as a Gentleman, as he was up to 1831 at Great Shelford.   In 1841 they were living at Barrington and he was a  Schoolmaster.  However, by 1851 John Henry was a land surveyor, living in Newton Road, Little Shelford with his wife Susan, son Frederick and grandson Wellington Howard.  John Henry died in 1860 and was buried on 8th January at Little Shelford 1. Susan died on 18th November, 1873 aged 84 5 and was buried at Stapleford.  
John Henry Howard b 1798

John Henry Howard b 1798

Opposite is a photograph of John Henry Howard taken c. 1860 shortly before his death. A copy was given to me by Gordon Boundy (great great  grandson of Ann Freeman Howard and Alexander Rider).

Ann Freeman Howard born in 1824, married Alexander Rider, the son of Thomas Rider and Mary Lofts (the half sister of Susan Lofts).  I have had a lot of help from Robyn Smith, the  descendant of Alexander‘s brother James Ryder and Ann Gates who emigrated to Australia after Alexander’s death  For more information on these families and their Australian descendants, please see Robyn’s homepage.
Ann appears to have had two children before she married Alexander (fathers unknown) and then one after:
Wellington Howard bp 28.2.1865 Barrington , bur 24.3.1892
Susannah Howard bp 7.3.1847 Chesterton
Sarah Ann Rider bp 13.6.1850 L. Shelford, m 24.12.1870 Stapleford to Arthur Deanes, d 26.10.1938 Grt Shelford

Richard Gates Howard was a shoemaker in the 1851 census of Little Shelford 6. He married Caroline Elbourn, daughter of John Elbourn and Mary Gifford on 29th October, 1849 at Little Shelford. They had the following children:
Isabella Howard b 2.1.1850, bp 28.4.1850 Little Shelford, m 24.2.1869 Pilfield, Victoria, Australia to James Boggond 1933 Bendigo, Victoria
Catherine Howard bp 9.11.1851 Little Shelford, bur 25.5.1853 Little Shelford
John Henry Howard bp 5.2.1854 Little Shelford
The family emigrated to Victoria, Australia aboard the ship Marshal Bennet in August 1854 (this was found on the Assisted British Immigrants list 1839-1871 on Thanks to Dave Bruce for alerting me to Isabella’s marriage in Victoria).  Isabella married James Boggon, a miner, in 1869 and the had ten children.
Henry Hillard Howard, born in 1829, was a farmer and emigrated to Australia in 1852 aboard the Diadem. He married Mary Ann Murphy in 1864 at Terang and there, they had 10 children.


Frederick Lofts Howard  was the fifth child of John Henry Howard and Susan Lofts, presumably born in 1827 at Hauxton. He was baptized at the same time as his brother Richard Gates Howard, on 24th July 1827 at Hauxton parish church and I believe that they were twins.  Frederick was not living with the rest of his family in Barrington in 1841, but in Bassingbourne as an apprentice tailor to Stephen Stamford 6.  This 1841 census supports the theory that Frederick and his brother Richard Gates were twins, as they are both recorded as being 14 years old.  However, in 1851, Frederick was back living at home with his parents. The family were living in Newton Road, Little Shelford;  Frederick, himself was a journeyman tailor, although his age is given as 22 6.

Frederick married Eliza Williamson, daughter of James Williamson, miller and Lydia Rust of West Street, Comberton, in December 1857 at Comberton parish church 5.
They had six children all baptised at Comberton 7:

 Kate Howard bp 26.12.1858 Comberton, m ? to George Cole, d 8.6.1944 Perth, Australia
Bertha Howard (nurse) bp 9.9.1860 Comberton,  m 19.11.1884 Comberton to William Ashman
Henry John Howard (Seaman) bp 2.11.1862 Comberton
Agnes Howard bp 10.7.1864 Comberton,  m 1895 Bishops Stortford to William Smith
James Williamson Howard (Seaman/Fireman) b 16.12.1865 bp 1.11.1868 Comberton, m 16.8.1898 Clerkenwell to Rose Alma Dellor, d 16.12.1931 Lambeth
George Howard bp 1.11.1868 Comberton
Frederick was not at home on census night 1871, and his wife was not recorded as a widow so it was  assumed that he was away, perhaps working or, there had been a breakup? Then I found him living at 3 Manor Gardens, Chelsea (RG10/75/8/7) with his sister Elizabeth and her second husband Richard Withers 6.
By 1881 all the children were found in different places; Kate was a ladies maid visiting in Taversham, Bertha was a domestic nurse working at St.. Annes Hospital, Cambridge, Agnes, 16, was living with an uncle, William Holbornin Harlton (his wife Lydia Holborn was Eliza’s sister), and George, 12 was an inmate at Chesterton school. Henry was found to be in the navy; aged 18 he was Ordinary seaman serving on the V “Coquette”. James Williamson was also in the navy; he was aged 15 and stationed on a boys training ship, the H.M.S. Impregnable at Devonport Dockyard in Devon.  Therefore, I had expected to find both Eliza and Frederick deceased. 
It appears that Eliza had indeed died  25th December, 1876 at Comberton 5.  Frederick, however, turned up on the 1881 Census;  a tailor aged 50 living at the Jolly Bleachers licensed Lodging House in Croydon with his wife Charlotte, a tailoress born in Lewes and a new son Fred M C Howard, aged 5 born in Brighton, Sussex 6.   As yet I have been unable to find the actual birth record or a marriage for Frederick and Charlotte. In 1871, Frederick was visiting the home of Richard Withers and his wife Elizabeth at 3 Manor Gardens, Chelsea.    Elizabeth was his younger sister.  In 1891 Frederick appears to have been boarding at the  Lodging Houses, Pleasant Lane, Kingston, Surrey.  He was aged 63, a tailor and widowed. There is no sign of son Fred. 
The 1901 census has an entry of York showing a Fred Howard aged 72, a tailor and recorded as being born ‘Not Known’ 6.    After extensive searching through the 1901 census, it is the only Fred Howard that is a tailor and so the probability is high that it is him.  If  so then what was he doing in York? In 1911 he was in Surrey; at the Farnham Union Workhouse, aged 83 and he eventually died on 8th November, 1913 at the Chatham Workhouse Infirmary, Kent aged 86, of Senile decay and Heart failure 5.

Kate Howard and her husband George Cole

Kate Howard and her husband George Cole

Kate Howard emigrated to Perth, Australia and married George Cole. It is not known when or where they married. There, she had a son, James Howard Cole in 1895.  Records in the Australian death Indexes and the Perth Metropolitan Cemeteries Board suggest that George Cole died at Swan in 1927 aged 87 (date unknown) and that Kate died at Swan on the 8th June 1944; both are buried at grave site 49 at Guildford cemetery.  Their son James died on 29th January, 1958 aged 62. He is buried at Karrakatta cemetery.  We are still in touch with James’ son Andy Cole in Australia.

 James Williamson Howard, my great grandfather,  was born on 16th December, 1865 in Comberton, Cambridgeshire 5. He was baptized at the same time as his brother, George, on the 1st November, 1868 at Comberton parish church.  In 1871 he lived at West Street, Comberton with his mother, brothers and sisters 6.
It appears from his Naval records that James joined the Royal Navy on 6th June, 1881 where he was on the ship Bosaawen until March 31st of the same year.  He was a 15 year old boy B2 Class and at the time of  the 1881 census he was serving on H.M.S. Impregnable, a boy’s training ship that was stationed at Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth 6.
By the time, he left the Navy on 2nd January, 1894 he was Drill Class at Headquarters.   He served on a further thirteen ships from 1 July 1881 to 15th December 1893.  His character was described as good or very good throughout his naval career and he moved from B1 class to Ordinary Seaman in December 1883 and then to Able Seaman in April 1887.
On June 13th, 1894 James Williamson joined the London Fire brigade, serving at Islington Fire station. From 22 November, 1894 he was removed to Farringdon Road Fire Station, Clerkenwell. He was living at this address when he married.   On 31st December, 1897 he was awarded the Diamond Jubilee medal. In March and August of 1898 he passed both the Ordinary and Special Educational Examinations.             

He married Rose Alma Dellor, daughter of John Thomas Dellor, butcher and Ann Marie Carter, on 16th August 1898 at Clerkenwell 5.   In October of the same year, James was moved to the Fire Brigade Headquarters where he served until 1899.   James and Rose had the following children:

Alfred James George Howard b 14.8.1899 St.Saviour, m 29.10.1929 All Hallows, Tottenham to Grace Winifre Kille, d 1974 Yeovil, Somerset
Lawrence Stanley Dellor Howard b 20.1.1907, m 17.9.1932 Stoke Newington to Doreen May Curtis, d 1988 Christchurch
Ivy Rose Howard b 29.12.1911, m 1947 to George Easman, d 1999 Exmouth

In 1899 they lived at Southwark Bridge Road, During this time, James was stationed at Shoreditch where he remained until 25th May, 1901.  At the time of the 1901 Census they were living at LCC Fire station, Tabernacle Square, Shoreditch 6.  It was then that he resigned from the Fire Service with a ‘Very Good Character and Ability’ record to take up a position as resident Fireman at Salisbury, Wiltshire. No record of this has been found and it is not known how long, if at all he remained in Salisbury, but it must be assumed that he returned to London by 1906 as his second son, in January 1907.

However, it is known that he left the family on several occasions, causing Rose to go looking for him. It is possible that Rose believed he had gone to America and not Salisbury as there is a passenger list from New York to Glasgow arriving on 31st July, 1906 in which a Mrs Howard aged 30 and an Alfred Howard aged 7 are travelling 8.

Then in August, 1907 Rose took her children and a nanny (we do not know her name although, according to Alfred, she later died on the  Titanic) to America to look for him, together with her sister Lily Dellor. A trip at this time would suggest that James may not have been home for the birth of his second son.  The Ellis Island Passenger records (at  show that Rose arrived in America in August 1907 on the ship Adriatic, together with sons Lawrence aged 5 months and Alfred James George aged 7 years, 10 months, Rose’s sister, Lily Dellor, and Lily’s future husband Charles Westley 8. 

There are some dubious entries on a couple of passenger lists to New York that my be James including one in September 1907 where a James Howard aged 44 claimed to be an actor.  Which would mean he arrived after Rose!

Then, according to the Incoming passenger lists to the UK (found on I found the return trip for Rose, Alfred, Laurence and Lily and Charles Westley (did they marry in New York?) on the ship Oceanic, sailing from New York to Southampton arriving on 2nd September, 1908; which means that they were in New York for just over a year.   So it appears that Rose may either have had a wasted journey, or had arrived in New York before James. Did she catch up with him and refuse to come home on the same ship or did she not find him at all?  There is still no record of James returning before 1911.  However, he is at home on census night of 1911 as the family are found living at 14 Oglander Road, Camberwell, where he is a Theater Fireman, Alfred is 11 and Laurence in 4 6. Their third child, Ivy Rose Howard was born on 29th December, 19115.

Between 1912 and 1914 there is no record of James at all, although during this time he could have been resident fireman at the London Hippodrome, as this newspaper clipping from the Evening News on 11th February, 1915 suggests that until 11th February, 1915 he had been employed as caretaker of 4th Royal Fusiliers headquarters in Shaftsbury Street, Hoxton, and that he was then sent to prison for six weeks, for “stealing military equipment belonging to his Majesty’s Government”. The following year, it appears he left his family for the final time, but where he went is a mystery.   He died on 16th December, 1931 at Lambeth Hospital at the age of 66 5.  He had been working as a hotel plate man and living at 79 Lambeth Walk. 



James’ eldest son, my grandad, Alfred James George Howard was born in 1899 at Southwark. Not much is known about his early life apart from

Alfred James George Howard was taken c.1918

Alfred James George Howard was taken c.1918

his trips to America in search of his father, but  in 1916, after his father had finally left for good, he left to join the army. He joined the 2nd Battalion Middlesex Regiment as No. 20382 Private Howard. During the War, he served in both Battles of the Somme in 1916, France and Passchendaele (also known as the third battle of Ypres) in 1917 Flanders, where he was wounded,  and then at the end of the war, in 1918 he signed on again to serve in the fighting of Egypt and Palestine. 

After leaving the army in 1920/21, Alfred worked as a packer for Kensitas cigarettes and then later joined the Post Office.

On October 29th, 1929 he married Grace Winifred Kille (known a Win), daughter of George Kille and Alice Shilton 5, at All Hallows church, Tottenham. They had a son in 1932 which had been named Alan, but had died after only a few hours. They had my mum, Ann Kathleen two years later in October, 1934. 


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1 Little Shelford parish registers

2 Great Shelford parish registers

3 St. Andrew the Great, Cambridge parish registers

4 Hauxton parish registers

5 Birth, Marriage or Death certificate

6 Census returns –

7 Comberton parish registers

8 Ellis island passenger lists


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