Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. 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 male 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, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thomas Howes (1711-1768) and Hope Sears (1731-1816) of Chatham, Mass.

Thomas Howes was born in Chatham on 13 March 1710/11, the son of Thomas (Joseph2, Thomas1) and Content (Smith) Howes. 

Thomas married, first, Rebecca Sears in 1730 at Chatham. Rebecca was born 19 March 1710/11, the daughter of Daniel and Sarah (Howes) Sears.

Thomas and Rebecca had four children born Chatham:
David, born 9 May 1736 and died 17 January 1752
Thomas, born 31 October 1738, married Priscilla Baker
Richard, born 14 April 1742
Rebecca, born Abt. 1745, married George Godfrey and 2nd Thomas Taylor

It seems Thomas did not know how to write as he and his wife Rebecca signed with their marks to receive a portion of her father's estate on 10 June 1758.

Rebecca died of small pox in 1765 in her 56th year. A total of 61 Chatham residents were stricken during the small pox epidemic and 24 of them recovered. Funerals were omitted so they could be buried quickly, often at the back of family farms. She is buried at the Old Burial Ground in Chatham.
full stone
Rebecca Sears Howes' stone, Old Burial Ground, Chatham source: capecodgravestones.com

Thomas married, second, Hope (Sears) Doane on 10 September 1767 in Chatham. She was born 11 February 1730/31, one of the 10 daughters of Paul and Anna (Atkins) Sears. Thomas and Hope had one son, David, born about July 1768.

Hope had married, first, Nehemiah Doane and had Reuben and Samuel. Some sources also give them children Paul, Sarah, and Mercy but I'm not certain about that. Nehemiah died of small pox in 1766.

Hope was 20 years younger than Thomas, but they had both lost their spouses to small pox and had children to raise so perhaps that is what prompted their union, but Hope was to face more grief. Fourteen months after their marriage, Thomas died 4 December 1768 at Chatham in his 57th year. He is buried at the Oldest Burying Ground in Chatham, although when I visited there I could not find his stone. Perhaps it does not survive or is unreadable.

The birth of Thomas and Hope’s son David’s is not recorded but he is shown to be their son through probate records. Thomas’ son David from his first marriage died in 1752 and even if he was still living, he would not have been a minor.

Barnstable Probate Records, vol 14, page 230, has Thomas’ probate, dated 26 Dec 1768, which names his son Richard Howes of Chatham "guardian of David Howes, " a miner" [ as spelled in document] son of Thomas Howes, late of Chatham deceased.

Barnstable Probate Records vol 15, p. 1: "To Hope Howes of Chatham widow's greetings" & judge appoints her as well as guardian unto David Howes “Miner" to Thomas Howes, late of Chatham, aforesaid Yeoman deceased."

Barnstable Probate Records, vol 13, page 496, 5 January 1770: Division of the estate of Capt Thomas Howes with portion to David Howes a miner son. 

Thomas died intestate, but the probate files also have a division of his estate and a difficult-to-read inventory.

5 January 1779 Chatham- Division of property

We the subscribers being directed and empowered by the Honorable James OTIS, Esquire, Judge of Probate for the County of Barnstable to divide 2/3rds of the real estate of Mr Thomas HOWES, late of Chatham and county, deceased; to and among his children by virtue of said power and according to the directions as have sett off and divided said estate as followeth: Viz: First to Thomas HOWES as the eldest son of the said deceased for his 2/5ths of estate- one parcel of land & here the deceased house stood from a stake of stone by Seth SMITH'S fence in the midway of the northerly line of the house lott and set southerly to the middle of the chimney brick and on thro the house lott a --- and so on to the publick road all the easterly part from this line to Capt HOWES lane with the part of the house here in compre? this a piece of land and swamp on the southward of the road about 3-- & only allowing to kitchen a privilege as hereafter mentioned and also 2/3rds of the deceased s ------ pond in partnership with Capt HOWES; also 1/2 of the --- old barn with liberty to take it off the land it now stands on and 1/4th of the estate in partnership with Joseph HOWES
Secondly- to Richard HOWES for his 4/5ths part of the westerly part of the house lott from the aforesaid lines ran thro the chimney to Joseph HOWES and the westerly part of the house and the other half of the barn and 1/3rd part of the - meadow at the Oyster Pond aforesaid with - part of the wood lots aforesaid. and also privileges to fetch water from the well on Thomas his part and to drive creatures to the watering place as these maybe ---
Thirdly- To the -- as in all the land adjoyning Matthew TAYLOR'S lane and all the half-- meadow, and  the 1/3rd part of the -- eleventh of the meadow called the Red River marsh which is in partnership with Zachariah SMALLEY and others and a 1/3rd of the land within the meadows fence belonging to -- 2/11ths and 1/4th part of the other land in partnership
Fourthly- To David HOWES a miner, all that parcel of land near David COLLINGS, his house to the southward containing about 11 acres more or less and 1/3rd part of the aforesaid 2/11ths of the meadow and land at the Red River and 1/4th part of the other wood lands and this we give in as our report thereon under our hands the 5th day of January in the 10th year of his majesties reign 1770 James COVELL Reuben RIDER Joshua ATKINS

An Inventory was conducted in January 1769 (words that could not be deciphered are indicated by a ------]:
A true inventory of the goods and estate of Capt. Thomas HOWES late of Chatham in---- yeoman deceased---- January A Dom. 1769 by us the subscribers
Imprimis- His wearing apparel---- 10-11-00 
Item 5 beds and furniture------   -- -- 08
Item 2 silver spoons-1-1-0
Item- the remainder of the personal estate exclusive of the -----    61-7-4
Livestock       86-16-0
Real estate    68-10-0
--------------------    403-7-8
signed Joseph DOANE Joshua ATKINS James COVELL

Thanks to Marge Howes Perry for the excerpts from Thomas’ probate records; I have not yet seen the documents myself.

Old Postcard of Oyster Pond, Chatham

I descend from Thomas and Hope’s son David Howes who married Rebecca Baker. I wrote about them here.

Hope married, third, Job Chase, the son of William and Dorcas (Baker) Chase on 17 February 1774. They had a son, Job, born Harwich on 8 August 1776.

Hope Sears Doane Howes Chase died 2 May 1816 at Harwich. She was 85 years old. She is buried in the North Harwich cemetery, also called the Old Baptist Cemetery, with the inscription reading 24 May rather than 2 May:
"In memory of Hope Chase wife of Job Chase who departed this life May 24 1816 in the 86 year of her age". By I.C. Esq.

Sources Not Included Above:

William C. Smith, A History of Chatham, Massachusetts, 1909
 Samuel P May, The Descendants of Richard Sares (Sears) of Yarmouth, Mass. 1638-1888, 1890

James W. Hawes, Thomas 1 Howes of Yarmouth, Mass., and Some of His Descendants, Together with the Rev. John Mayo, Allied to Him by Marriage, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, No. 31, 1917

The Sears Family Association database: http://www.searsr.com/index.htm

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