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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

David Howes 1768-1843, Chatham to Dennis, Mass., married Rebecca Baker

My fourth great-grandfather David Howes was born in Chatham about July 1768 in Chatham, Mass., the son of Thomas4 (Thomas3, Joseph2, Thomas1 Howes) and Hope (Sears) Howes. His birth was not recorded, but various sources and probate records show Thomas and Hope were his parents.

David’s father Thomas Howes married first Rebecca Sears and they had a son David, born 1736, which has caused some confusion, but that first David died in 1752.

Thomas died in December 1768 when his son David was about five months old. David’s half-brother Richard and his mother Hope were named his guardians. Hope married again in 1774, to Job Chase.

I do wonder what David’s childhood was like. Did he live with his mother or did he stay with other family when she remarried? At any rate, he grew up to become a mariner and is referred to as a sea captain. I haven’t found any information on what type of vessels he commanded, where he traveled to and when. If anyone knows about David’s seafaring life, I’d love to hear from you!

David married Rebecca/Rebeckah Baker on 11 December 1788 in Dennis, Mass. Diaries of Rev. Nathan Stone: “11 Dec 1788, Pleasant. Married David Howes of Harwich & Rebecca Baker.” She was born 23 August 1763 in Yarmouth., Mass., the daughter of Samuel and Rebecca (Baker) Baker (Dennis VR).Note: Thanks go Marge Perry for showing me that Rebecca's parents are Shubael Baker and Rebecca Chase and that she was born 18 December 1770 (May 6, 2012).

David and Rebecca built their homestead at what is now 432 Main Street in Dennis Port. The area was once called Christian Hill and became known as the Howes neighborhood. As the family grew and married, the original homestead acreage was subdivided along both sides of Main Street from Center Street to Sea Street and Center Street from Main Street to Sea Street. Throughout most of the 1880's every house in the neighborhood belonged to a descendant of David and Rebecca Howes.
1880 Map showing son David Howes' house lot, which had belonged to his father David

David and Rebecca had 10 children, all born Dennis:
1.      David born 01 August 1789, married Salome Nickerson, died Dennis 23 July 1870
2.      Ezra born 06 May 1793, married Anna Allen, died prob. Dennis 05 October 1826
3.      Thomas born 16 August 1796, married Huldah Allen, died Dennis 03 December 1871
4.      Abagail born 27 August 1799, married Hiram Kelley, died Dennis 17 October 1888
5.      Nehemiah born 17 August 1802, married Elizabeth Long, died Dennis 13 May 1880
6.      Rebecca born 14 October 1804, married Hiram Baker, died Dennis 25 September 1867
7.      Shubael born 09 June 1806, married Polly Eldredge, died Dennis 15 October 1875
8.      Hope born 02 December 1810, died Dennis 11 March 1881, she is called insane in guardianship papers
9.      Sears born 06 May 1813, married Mary Ann Weaver, died prob. Dennis 17 May 1897
10.  Isaiah born 11 March 1816, married Jane Eldredge, died Dennis 24 February 1904

I descend through Abagail and wrote about her here.

I had reservations that the younger children belonged to this couple as Rebecca would have been 52 when Isaiah was born, but David’s probate information names Sears and Isaiah as sons.

Most of David and Rebecca's boys were mariners. I have seen David, Thomas, Nehemiah, and Shubael referred to as captains.

Rebecca died in Dennis on 4 December 1841, and David died there on 5 (headstone) or 15 (Dennis VR) February 1843. They are buried together at Swan Lake Cemetery in Dennis Port. Many of their children and grandchildren are buried in this cemetery.

David’s stone reads: Capt. David Howes, Died Feb 5, 1843, ae 75, "My body sleepeth in the ground Til Christ doth come his trump to sound." His stone has been broken and mended. It has a weeping willow engraving, which matches that of his wife.
David Howes' gravestone at Swan Lake Cemetery

Rebecca’s stone reads: Mrs. Rebecah, Wife of Capt. David Howes, Died Dec. 4, 1841, Ae 72. "My children dear don't weep for me for in the grave here I must be."
Rebecca Baker Howes' gravestone, Swan Lake Cemetery

David Howes' probate records are case No. 1752 in Barnstable Co. Probate Court. There isn’t a will in the file, but the lengthy accounting is interesting. I have transcribed the documents leaving any misspellings or grammar mistakes in place. Any errors in transcription are my responsibility. I find it especially touching that Foster Rogers was paid to read to Hope, who had some type of developmental or psychological issue.

Account of David Howes, administrator of the estate of his father David Howes, dated Harwich 15 April 1844

Paid at Barnstable for indenters[?] for Hope Howes 9.25
Paid foster rogers reading apointments to Hope Howes .12
Paid Nehemiah Baker runing Line in Dennis woodlot .75
Paid seth Eldredg for potatoes father Bought of Him .97
Paid samuel chase Bill for Hay father Had whin Living 1.50
Paid Nehemiah Baker Dividing wood Land & medow with PSHA [initials hard to read] 1.00
Paid Job chase Bill of flowers father Had 3.00
To David Howes when settled with father 1841  -  .75
Paid Peter Baker for Beaf & cloth father Had when Living 1.53
Paid Posteg [postage] for administratix Letters .12
Paid John Paison Bill for funeral charges 9.30
Paid James Merchant Bill for work for father when Living 5.14
Paid Nathan Killey Bill father owing when Living .88
Paid Benjamin thatcher for iron work for father 2.74
Paid William ansil for iron work when Living .53
Paid John Paison for one pad Lock .20
Paid william Hendrick makeing coffin 5.61
Paid Postig [postage] for Hopes gardian Letters .06
Paid for maiking road for mother .10
Paid w. ansil mending pitchfork .12 1/2
Paid Hemon wixson Bill for Road follins Island medow .83
Paid for paper .06
Paid for dead [deed] & recording three 1.33
Paid allixander Prat Bill Docktering father 6.39
Paid Benjamin Howland Bill for work for father 1.96
Paid James Pence [or Perce] Bill for His Boy working for father 6.42
Paid Doct Dog Bill atending mother when sick 3.32
Paid Done Killey Bill prising propertey 1.87
Paid Doct alfred swift Bill for Docketering father 2.65
Paid for Dead [deed] of Holes mash [marsh] when Divided .25
paid Ester Howes Bill for attending mother when sick 8.75
Paid sears Howes Bill father owing Him when Living 11.18
paid Nehemiah Howes Bill 2.19
Paid Isaiah Howes Bill father owing Him 1.69
Paid tax on road in Harwich .37
Paid for Dead [deed] of anthonis mash [marsh] when Divided .33
Paid for Boat Hire after hay this sumer .25
Paid Ebenezer Killey Bill .48
Paid tax in Dennis for the year 1844 4.06
Paid two pair Graive stones for DH & R Howes 29.15
Paid Esqr V. Nickerson Bill Prising propertey Last spring 4.00
Paid Expenses to cort [court] December .50
Paid for washing & reaping 2.00
Paid Hiram Baker for work in the medowes & pinkins 1.61
Paid foster rogers for road ____[looks like crast] follins Island meadow .42
                        [Total] 126.23

[Page 2 of account]

Draying three Loads Hay when soald .30
Paid Nathan underwood for taxes in Harwich year 1842 3.00
Paid Thomas allin for tax in Harwich for the year 1843 2.09
Paid Vinny Killey Bille father owing .20
Paid for postig [postage] Letter to Barnstable .06
Postig for warant of a Division this fall .12
Paid for paper when Dividing propertey .10
Paid Joseph Baker for shair road of Follins Island medow .24
Paid Isaiah Baker for ______ (looks like menhaden] father Had when Living 1.00
Paid for boards nails and Draying Boards for Grave yard 3.52
Paid Job Wixson for work on cart when father Living .50
Paid Expenses on Howes [house] for glass & paints & cleaning 1.00
Paid for use of chaine compus Dividing propertey .25
Paid for paper for Boundaries of the propertey when Divided .12 1/2
Paid miller whelden Bill father owing when Living .50
Paid Esq Jonathan Nickerson Bill dividing propertey 9.00
Paid Doane Killey Bill Dividing propertey 4.50
Paid Job Killey Bill Dividing propertey 2.45
David Howes Bill against father when Living 4.27
                                    [Total this page] 33.22

clothin & uther Expinses for Hope Howes i consent of the ____2.96
Det [debt] broat [brought] over from the other Leaf $126.23
administrators feas and Laber on the propertey year past 30.00
Shuble Howes owing for one Half of the Barn whitch i sold him 15.00
Parshal (partial) estate of David Howes deceased prised at 321.75
Balance 7.09
[Total] $521.25

Account of David Howes 2 administrator of the Estate of David Howes late of Dennis in the County of Barnstable deceased said Accountant charges himself as on the third page of this paper and prays allowance of the payments and charges stated in the first and second pages of this sheet.

[Page 3, money received by the estate]

By cash receaved and soald parshal Estate

By cash father Left when Dide [died] 3.70
By one cow soald Barnabus Baker 12.00
By cash receaved for plowing & cartin .87
one pair Oxson [oxen] soald Joseph Baker 54.00
By cash Thomas Howes owed father 1.00
1/2 tun Hay soald Elisha Howland 4.50
By cash paid By shuble Howes owing father 5.74
By 1/2 tun Hay soald 4.00
By medow Hired to phineas wixson in 1843 8.32
by 1200 Hay soald Esqr T. (or J) Nickerson 5.40
By 383 lb Hay soald e conet[?] 6
By 600 lb peat[?] Hay soald 2.70
By 1/2 tun Hay soald T. (or J) Nickerson Jr. 4.00
By 100 lb Hay soald ros Ellis .40
Hay & stacks soald asia [Asa] Killey 1.62
By medow Hired Homis[?] umphrey 4.00
By cash paid in By the Heirs Equally a Like 9.20
By cash receaved of Joseph Killey for Howes [house] rent 10.00
By cash paid in By the Heirs 27.30
Barn soald Shuble Howes 30.00
[subtotal] 190.11
By soald cleared of Expense  9.39
Los on Loomes, oxen, cow & Barn 34.00
Divided in ten shairs Equally as cood (could) 287.75
            [Total] $521.25

(Signed by) David Howes 2

Division of the estate:

To Jonathan Nickerson, Doane Killey, & Job Killey all freeholds of said county

You ar hereby directed and empowered to make a just and equal division or partition of the Real Estate whereof David Howes late of Dennis in the County of Barnstable died seized and possesed, not sold by order of court to and among his children and grandchildren as follows viz: assigning to David Howes 2d, Thomas Howes, Nehemiah Howes, Shubael Howes, Sears Howes & Isaiah Howes, sons, & Hope Howes, Abigail Killey wife of Hiram Kelley & Rebecca Baker wife of Hiram Baker, daughters of sd decd, each one tenth part thereof, and to Betsay Killey wife of Venney Killey, Huldah Killey widow, Anna Killey wife of Ebenezer Killey, Abigail Killey wife of Joseph Killey & Esther Howes all children of Ezra Howes a deceased son one tenth part thereof -- provided the same is capable of such division; if not you are to apprise the whole real estate and report to me how many of the heirs the same will conveniently accommodate -- and you are to sever that portion of said estate which is in common with David Howes 2d from the shares of sd David & the interested of said heirs in Follens Island you are to set off in common undivided with the other owners -- To this trust you are tee (?) sworn -- And you are to notify Uzziel Howes -- He is appointed to act in said division on the behalf of said Esther Howes, a miner, and all who are interested to be present at said division (if they see cause), and make return of your doings unto the Registry of Probate for the aforesaid County as soon as may be [rest cut off].

Given under my hand and seal of office, this 12th day of December A.D. eighteen hundred and forty three. [Signed] Nymphas Marston J. Prob. Barnstable SS February the 19th 1844, Then the above named Doan Killey and Job Killey personally appeared and made oath that they would faithfully and impartially discharge the trust reposed in them by the foregoing warrant. Before me, Jonathan Nickerson, Justice Peace.

Barnstable ss February the 19th 1844, Then the within Named Jonathan Nickerson personally appeared and took the oath required to the ___ of the within warrent befor me [ signed] Samuel Baker, Justis of the peace.

Affidavit, David Howes, adr David Howes, recorded Book 65, page 453, per T. Reed Reg'r Dec 12 1843.

Barnstable, ss: At a Court of Probate holden at Barnstable within and for said County, on the fourteenth day of March A.D 1843. I hereby order David Howes 2d administrator of the estate of David Howes late of Dennis in said County, deceased, to make known his Appointment and acceptance of said Trust, by posting up notifications thereof in two or more public places in the town of Dennis in said County, within three months from this day, and to make returns of his Doings hereon to the Probate Office, on oath, within one year from the date hereof. [signed] N Marston Judge of Probate.

Notice is hereby given that the subscriber has been duly appointed administrator of the estate of David Howes late of Dennis in the County of Barnstable, deceased, and has accepted that trust and given Bond, as the law directs. And all persons having demands upon the estate of the said deceased are herby required to exhibit the same; and all persons indebted to the said estate are called upon to make payment to David Howes 2d} Admr.

I David Howes 2d the admr above named, depose and say that within three months from the date of the foregoing order I gave notice agreeably thereto by posting up notifications, whereof the foregoing is a copy, at each of the following public places in said town of Dennis viz; at the store of John Payson & at the store of John Baker [signed] David Howes 2d.

Barnstable SS. Decr 12th A.D. 1843, Then Personally appeared the above named David Howes 2d and made oath to the truth of the above affidavit by him subscribed before me. [signed] N. Marston, J. Prob.

Many thanks to Marge Perry, a fellow descendant of David and Rebecca, for sharing information on Thomas Howes' probate and other goodies. 

Sources Not Included Above:
Robert Howes, Genealogy of the Howes Family in America, Descendants of Thomas Howes of Yarmouth, Mass., 1637-2004, 2006

Neva O’Neil, Master Mariners of Dennis, 1965

Nancy Thacher Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996

Burton Derick, Cemetery Inscriptions of Dennis, Mass., 1993


  1. My father was born in Capt. Howes home in Dennisport in 1900. I believe my fathers grandfather was Shubeal Howes. Son of Shubeal B ?? My dad is buried in Swan Pond Cemetary as well there in his family plot.

  2. Nice to read again. I didn't know that about David Howes. He is buried next to my Dad in Swan Pond Cemetery.

    1. Hi Jim, How interesting about your connection to the same Howes family. Do you know the address of the house? Chris