Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. I am not an expert and I consider most of my research as a work in progress. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mary Burr(?) Howes ca 1603 to December 1695, Yarmouth, Mass.

Mary’s maiden name is often given as Burr, but I haven’t found any proof of that. We do know that she was born in England and married, first, Thomas Howes, with whom she had three sons: Joseph, Thomas and Jeremiah. I descend from both Joseph and Thomas.

The couple came to Boston circa 1637 with their three sons. It is said that Jeremiah was born on the voyage. Family tradition says they came on a vessel named the Mayflower, although not the same of Pilgrim fame. All the possessions of the family were carried in a huge oak chest. This "Mayflower chest" of the Howes family has been preserved and can be seen at the Josiah Dennis manse in Dennis. You can read my post on Thomas Howes here.
The Howes Chest (photograph: Howes Family Association)

They first settled at Salem (now Lynn) before removing to the village of Nobscusset in Yarmouth (now Dennis) in 1639. 

Thomas and Mary Howes were among the original settlers in Yarmouth. Thomas was an influential man and large land owner. He died in 1665, at about 73 years of age. In 1668 Mary married, second, Gov. Thomas Prence. She was about 65 years old and was his fourth wife. As 65 was quite an advanced age in the 17th century, I think it speaks highly of Mary that a powerful man like Gov. Prence desired her as his wife.

Gov. Prence died in 1673.You can read my post on him here.

In addition to the required knowledge of cooking, spinning, candle making and other household skills, Mary had a special talent for healing. Her reputation had spread as far as Sandwich by 1660. About that time a minister named Thomas Dally was ill with consumption. He was sent to Mrs. Howes at Yarmouth for treatment, but she was unable to cure him.

Mary died 9 December 1695 in Yarmouth and was about 92 years of age. She had outlived her second husband by over 20 years. The records of Yarmouth contain this entry: "mis mary prince late wife of governer Thomas prince died upon the Ninth day of december 1695 and was Buried upon the leventh daye of ye said: 1695:"
Thomas and Mary (Burr) Howes Memorial Stone, Howes Burying Ground, Dennis

At the time of her death, Mary was living at the home of her son Jeremiah and his wife Sarah (Prence). Sarah was her daughter-in-law as well as her step-daughter.

The inventory of Mary Prince’s estate at Yarmouth was taken 23 December 1695
It by a ffether Bed & Bolster & Bed stead and Cord     05 16 06
It by 2 pillows and 2 pillow cotes to each pillow 00 18 00
It by a pare of Curtains 149 and best Coverlid 18s     01 12 00
It by one Coverlid more 16s   00 16 00
It by a white Blankit 2s and a grene Rugg and a pece   00 10 00
It by 2 Linning sheetes 1 5s and one other sheet: 6s:  01 01 00
It by 1 holland sheet 1 5s and one small sheet 4s 6d   00 19 06
It by 1 sheet 5s 6d and one pillow 3s   00 08 06
It by a Table Carpet     00 10 00
It by Six Napkins 4s and 2 Table Clothes 2s apiece     00 08 00
It by wooling yarne baskit & kiting needles  00 02 09
It by 3 Cushions 3s 6d 1 lether chair 6s Table 3s     00 09 06
It by 2 Chairs more 6s and silver beer boul 4£    04 06 00
It by 1 Iron Chafing dish 3s and Jugg 1s     00 05 00
It by a bell metel skillet 4s and a bason 5s 00 09 00
It by severals of pewter 00 06 04
It by a Still: 12s: and warming pan 4s  00 16 00
It by a Candle stick and Cup and 3 trays     00 02 07
It by a Brass pott and pott hooks  00 16 00
It by an old Brass kittle     00 02 06
It by a churn 32 and 39 tubs: 32   00 06 00
It by a Cow 2£: and by Sheep 1-7-6 03 07 06
It by a bed Bolster and Rugg  01 13 00
It by an old chest 52 by a cubbord at Prince Howses    02 15 00
It by a Cow at Jeremiah Howses     01 18 00
It by a old Bible 42 and small Bedstead: Is  00 05 00
It by a box Lock and key and an old Box Drawer    00 03 00
It by 1 flaggan 9s and I other flaggan 6s    00 15 06
It by a Bason and Ewer   00 11 00
It by 2 Large pewter platters at 7s: 6d apeice    00 15 00
It by one old pewter platter: Is: 4d: and by old pewter     00 11 04
It by a Brass Chafing Dish 2s 6d and Scales and weights: Is:     00 03 06
It by a morter and brass candle stick   00 06 04
It by a toster and Roster and Box Iron  00 06 06
It by a Tinning pan tuner and earthen poringer    00 01 00
It by an old skillet Radg and pan tinning 7 trays 00 04 06
It by a hair holter ladles sives spoon Iron spindle of a wheel   00 06 06
It by a fine holland sheet    00 15 00
It by yellow curtaines and vallances and fringes  00 05 00
It by a sheet: 6s: a brush gallipott and Basket   00 07 00
It by Cushions 2s: 6d: by Napkins and Table cloth 00 08 06
It by a diaper Table Cloth and by a box Drawer    00 05 00
It by 2 plate Spoons     00 18 00
It by a coubbord cloth and cubbord cushion   02 10 00
It by 3 glasses: 1s: 9d: a chest 6s :: 1 : trunk  00 11 09
It by a box: gd: a spitt gridiron & slice and peice of Iron 00 04 09
[p. 13] It by a Brass kittle: T£: and woollan wheel 32 01 03 00
It by an earthen pott: 6d: by pewter: 6d: and earthen pott: 6d:  00 01 06
It by a Broom: 6d: and 2 meale Baggs: 2s: 6d:     00 03 00
It by a pair of stocking: 42 & a pair of spectickles 1s: 6d:     00 05 06
It by a brass skimer: 6d: & a knife 4d  00 00 10
It by all sorts of wearing Apparel of all kinds   12 15 00
It by ye mill Due   01 13 00
It due in come: 5: bushels from Thomas and Jonathan Howes   00 15 00
more Debts due 00   00  10 06
It due by horse kind if they be alive
debts due from ye sd Estat: ffunaral charges 04 06 00
a Debt due to Jeremiah Howes Juner 07 08 00
it more Debt demanded as due  02 13 00
It more due    01 10 00
It more due    00 05 00
By us John Miller
Thomas Holland
mr Jeremiah Howes Ser of yarmouth made oath to ye truth of this Invintory before Barnabas Lothrop Esqr Judg of probate and Granting Administration in ye County of Barnestable December ye : 31th : 1695
Attest Joseph Lothrop Regster
Examined and duely compared with ye origanal and entered January ye 2d : 1695 : 6
Attest Joseph Lothrop : Register

The Prence-Howes Court Cupboard that is mentioned was owned by Mary Burr Howes when she married Thomas Prence and she brought it with her to live in Dennis. It stayed in the family until 1925 when a descendant sold the cupboard for $3,000 to Wallace Nutting. It is now on display at Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut.
Howes-Prence Court Cupboard (source: Wadsworth Atheneum)

Sources Not Noted Above:

Nancy Thacher Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod: From Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639-1993, Dennis Historical Society, 1996
Simeon Deyo, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1890

No comments:

Post a Comment