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James Howe (abt. 1598 - 1702)

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James Howe aka How
Born about in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 27 Jun 1628 in St. Michaels, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusettsmap
Profile last modified 19 Jul 2019 | Created 22 Feb 2010
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The Puritan Great Migration.
James Howe migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
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James Howe was born about 1598, based on the age he provided at a court deposition in 1696 and a statement by Judge Sewell in his diary of 1902 that James was 104 when he died. [2] In another court deposition in 1666, he was recorded as saying he was 61, which would put his birth about 1605. Another clue is a reference to James as the senior son of Robert Howe in son Abraham's Account Book.[3] Abraham Howe, his brother, was born about 1598, and it seems unlikely that the "senior son" was born as late as 1605.

He married 27 Jun 1628 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, Elizabeth Dane, daughter of John Dane, another emigrant who settled in Roxbury.[4] She died 21 January 1693/4.

He arrived in Massachusetts in 1635. James Howe and his wife were for some time members of Rev. John Elliot's church in Roxbury. He was admitted freeman in Roxbury on 17 May 1637. They remained in Roxbury only a few years, as he sold his house and land in Roxbury, 1 April 1641. Then he and his father-in-law, John Dane, with their families, journeyed northward to the new plantation, which had been recently named Ipswich, and there took up his permanent abode. At Ipswich in 1641, James Howe was made a Commoner; in 1641 he was granted six acres of upland; he was elected Town Constable in 1648, and in the following year he was chosen one of the seven men to "fix the Rates."

He was a farmer and a weaver, and a man of excellent repute, as we learn from the Court Records, he was often styled Goodman How, a title of honor not often bestowed. In 1650 he wasgranted a tract of I00 acres located in the western section of Ipswich known as "Ipswich Farms." There with additional acres purchased later, James How lived the remainder of his life, a period of fifty-four years. This part of town was made a parish, known as Linebrook Parish.

In 1684 he and his wife were named as members of the church in Topsfield. On the "21 day of January 1693-4," Elizabeth (Dane) Howe, wife of James, died, after a wedded life of sixty-five years and seven months.

He died 17 MAY 1702 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. While he did not leave a will, he left a Deed of Gift in January 1700 specifically naming his children and their families. The full text is included in the Howe Genealogies cited below.[5]


  1. Child Howe, buried Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, 14 May 1629.
  2. Elizabeth Howe, bp Bishop's Stortford, 13 Mar 1630/1?; no further record
  3. James Howe, bp Bishop's Stortford, 33 Mar 1633/4?; m in Ipswich, MA 13 Apr 1658 Elizabeth Jackson who was executed 19 July 1693 as a result of the Salem witch trials. James, the son, died 15 Feb 1701/2, only a few months before his own father.
  4. John Howe, b abt 1637; m1 by 1665 Mary (Cooper) Dorman, dau of Peter Cooper and widow of John Dorman; m2 by 1678 Sarah Towne, dau of Edmund Towne; m3 aft 25 Dec 1706 Sarah (____) Dennis, widow of Thomas Dennis
  5. Mary Howe, b abt 1639; m 14 Dec 1659 in Ipswich Nehemiah Abbott
  6. Sarah Howe, b abt 1646; m 5 Dec 1666 John Bridges
  7. Abraham Howe, b abt 1650; m 26 March 1678 in Ipswich Sarah Peabody.
  8. Rebecca Howe, b abt 1652; m 1 May 1671 in Andover Stephen Barnard.


  1. Unless otherwise noted, all references in this narrative are from Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume III, G-H, p 431-
  2. Anderson, p 431, citing Sewall 467, which claims he was 104 at death.
  3. Abraham Howe (son of James) Account Book, held by Ipswich Historical Society
  4. Transcript of St. Michaels Parish Register, Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire, England
  5. Daniel Wait Howe, Howe Genealogies, Vol. 2, NEHGS; Boston 1929, pages 153-157

See also:

  • Ancestral Heads of New England Families 1620-1700, Page 124
  • MVR Perley, "James Howe of Ipswich and Some of his Descendants, EICH, 54:33-37.
  • James Savage, transcribed and corrected by Robert Kraft, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May 1692, copyright R. Kraft July, 1994; Baltimore,Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc.
  • Howe Genealogies, Ambraham, James and Edward, Daniel Wait Howe, NEGHS, Boston, Massachusetts, 1929.

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Comments: 8

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In his Topographical Dictionary, Banks states that James Howe came from Hatfield Broadoak (Essex) and cited NEGR 8/133. I believe he meant 8/153. On that page John Dane in his journal talks about living in Hatfield (Essex) and visiting Brother Howe's father. A footnote states that this indicates that Jame Howe's father lived in or near Hatfield, Essex. See
posted by Chase Ashley
Howe-8520 and Howe-94 appear to represent the same person because: same parents (merges proposed), same dates
posted by Robin Lee
It looks like there are two different James Howe's. The correction that needs to be made is to remove Elizabeth Dane as James Howe-2850's wife. Elizabeth Dane married James Howe-94, and that is well documented. James Howe-94 came to New England with the Dane family.
posted by Walter Howe
Howe-2850 and Howe-94 do not represent the same person because: It is to the best of my knowledge and meager research that this James and family had no connection to Gloustershire.
posted by David Howe
Thanks, Walter; that's my read, as well. So perhaps we should detach the mothers from James and Abraham, but leave Robert attached? Or mark the mothers as uncertain?
posted by Jillaine Smith
Robert Howe, who lived at Broad Oak, Essex is without question the father of James Howe, and almost certainly Abraham Howe, too. His wife is in question. If there is another Robert Howe, he is not the father of James and Abraham.
posted by Walter Howe
So basically, we can confirm that he was son of a Robert Howe, but we don't necessarily know WHICH Robert Howe was his father. Is that accurate?
posted by Jillaine Smith
Howe-5150 and Howe-94 appear to represent the same person because: although there are differences in who the mother and wife of Robert Howe is, and the birth dates, as shown, Robert Howe has only one son named James Howe. See the merge for Abraham Howe, James' brother, too.
posted by Walter Howe

James is 17 degrees from Greg Clarke, 12 degrees from George Hull and 13 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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Categories: Howe Name Study | Puritan Great Migration