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Stuck searching for HOWELL, William (b c1835)

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Unknown Report 13 Apr 2020 13:31

I don't think that is my William. He appears on the lists for the SS Virginia on several occasions. I found the Ship's Log with him signing on but his age is recorded as 48, making his DoB sometime around 1820-21 - 15 years before the William I am looking for. In another, earlier, one he is recorded as being 45.

Thanks for the lead though.


Unknown Report 12 Apr 2020 15:16

@ErikaH Ihave a lot of info on Lavinia's life and ancestry: including her death cert and photos of the grave. I'm picking up from where my mother got to in her researches. She travelled all over the UK and Germany researching Howell, Stiltz and Dunn. No internet searching for her! I recall spending ages (to me) searching indexes in Somerset House when I was a child.

@ArgyllGran Thanks for that. I do some digging.


ArgyllGran Report 12 Apr 2020 12:25

The record I posted from the crew list is on Ancestry, Gareth, under "Immigration and Travel".

Re William's birth, bear in mind that it wasn't compulsory to register a child's birth at that time, and many people didn't. If a child wasn't baptised, or if the records haven't survived, there will be no record to find.
Could be just one of those unresolved mysteries which we all have in our trees!


ErikaH Report 12 Apr 2020 11:36

I posted what was there

Her death

644/12 7


Unknown Report 12 Apr 2020 10:46

Thanks for all the wonderful digging.

@erikah I have seen family letters in which she starts to refer to herself as Lavinia Brace. She moved to Glasgow in about 1915 and died there in 1918.

@argyllgran - That's an interesting find and would put him in the merchant navy rather than royal. I've not searched those records before. Where can I access them?

@alviegal That's what I trying to get to. Unfortunately, I can't find a record of his birth anywhere. His marriage cert says his father is Evan. William George Bruace/Bruce Howell is actually William George Brace, the illegitimate son of Lavinia and George Brace. At various times he is referred to as BRACE or HOWELL. I know his descendants and have seen their letters.


alviegal Report 10 Apr 2020 17:45

England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1858-2019

First name(s) William George Bruce (written as Bruace)
Last name Howell
Death year 1944
Death date 23 Dec 1944
Probate year 1945
Probate date 23 Feb 1945
Residence town Sheerness
Registry Llandudno
County Kent
Linked persons Edith Olive Howell

I think you should probably get a copy of William's birth certificate to see who his father is.


ErikaH Report 10 Apr 2020 16:46

Name: Lavinia Howell
Age: 62
Estimated birth year: abt 1839
Relation to Head: Sister
Gender: Female
Birth Place: Lcilly Irles, Cornwall, England
Civil Parish: Sheerness
Ecclesiastical parish: St Paul
County/Island: Kent
Country: England
Registration district: Sheppey
Sub-registration district: Minster
ED, institution, or vessel: 09
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 813
Folio: 133
Page Number: 15
Household schedule number: 85
Household Members:
Name Age
Emma Hicks 74
Lavinia Howell 62
William Howell 22

Name: Lavinia Howell
Age in 1911: 72
Estimated birth year: abt 1839
Relation to Head: Mother
Gender: Female
Birth Place: Isles of Scilly, Cornwall
Civil Parish: Sheerness
County/Island: Kent
Country: England
Street address: 51 Maple Street, Sheerness
Marital status: Widowed
Registration district: Sheppey
Registration District Number: 62
Sub-registration district: Minster
ED, institution, or vessel: 05
Piece: 4455
Household Members:
Name Age
William Howell 32
Edith Howell 27
Ivy Howell 5
Hilda Howell 2
Lavinia Howell 72
Emma Hicks 84

Name: Lavinia Jennings
Registration Year: 1839
Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar
Registration district: Scilly Islands
Inferred County: Cornwall
Volume: 9
Page: 293

and finally..................

Name: Emma Hicks
Gender: Female
Age: 64
Relationship: Head
Birth Year: 1827
Birth Place: Ireland
Civil Parish: Minster in Sheppey
Ecclesiastical parish: St Paul
Residence Place: Sheerness, Minster in Sheppey, Kent, England
Registration district: Sheppey
Sub registration district: Minster
ED, Institution or Vessel: 9
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 721
Folio: 21
Household Members:
Name Age
Emma Hicks 64
Louisa Howell 52
George B Howell 12

Not once does she appear under the surname Brace


ArgyllGran Report 10 Apr 2020 16:27

Birth of the son George;

GRO Reference: 1878 S Quarter in SHEPPEY Volume 02A Page 869

William G B Howell
in the England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
Name: William G B Howell
Death Age: 66
Birth Date: abt 1878
Registration Date: Oct 1944
[Nov 1944]
[Dec 1944]
Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
Registration district: Sheppey
Inferred County: Kent
Volume: 2a
Page: 1380

He also married on the Isle of Sheppey.


ArgyllGran Report 10 Apr 2020 16:24

Lavinia Howell
in the 1881 England Census
Name: Lavinia Howell
Age: 40
Estimated birth year: abt 1841
Relationship to Head: Sister
Gender: Female
Where born: Scilly Isles, Cornwall, England <<<<<<<<<<<<
Civil Parish: Minster in Sheppey
County/Island: Kent
Country: England
Street address: 4 Rose St
Marital status: Widow
Employment status:
View image
Occupation: Needle Woman
Registration district: Sheppey
ED, institution, or vessel: 6
Piece: 978
Folio: 122
Page Number: 16
Household Members:
Name Age
Emma Hicks 50
Lavinia Howell 40
Will. Howell 15
Fredk. Howell 12
George Howell 2


Maddie Report 10 Apr 2020 16:22

19, Cage Lane, Chatham, Medway, Kent, England
Thomas Brace Head Married Male 24 1857 Ship Carpenter Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Lavina Brace Wife Married Female 24 1857 - Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
William Brace Son Single Male 0 1881 - Chatham, Kent, England

birth date rather out if thats the one

Last name BRACE
Birth year 1881
Birth quarter 1
Registration month -
Mother's maiden name Richards ----------------
District Medway


ArgyllGran Report 10 Apr 2020 16:15

You say Lavinia was calling herself Brace "by then" - when??
She's still calling herself Howell in 1881.


ArgyllGran Report 10 Apr 2020 16:09


William Howell
in the Liverpool, England, Crew Lists 1861-1919
Name: William Howell
Event Date: 1866
Port of Registry: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Ship Name: Virginia
Official Number: 45170
Reference Number: 387CRE/837

He's a Chief Cook.
Very good conduct and seamanship.

Voyage began 27 June 1866, going from Liverpool via Queenstown to New York, and back via Queenstown to Liverpool.
No date of return given.

Could fit between the births of the two sons 1865 and 1869.


Unknown Report 10 Apr 2020 16:09

Oh, I also tried searching for William as "Evan William Howell"; just in case he was always called William in the family and used this when he married.


Unknown Report 10 Apr 2020 16:05

Thanks for the responses.
@Erikah - William has disappeared by 1871, but family sources say he was a commercial traveller. They also say he was killed in a fight, but no way of telling where or when. By then Lavinia was calling herself Lavinia Brace. I am in touch with the descendents on that branch and they insist Lavinia did not marry George Brace

@Maddie - I have Frederick Evan. He's my great grand uncle. His elder brother, William Matthew is my great grandfather.

@ArgylGran - I've pursued that lead of an Evan Howell but I can't see a link.


ArgyllGran Report 10 Apr 2020 15:51

Yes, that will be the correct Frederick Evan, Maddie.

Lavinia Howell
in the 1871 England Census
Name: Lavinia Howell
[Lavinia Hick]
Age: 32
Estimated birth year: 1839
Relation: Daughter
Gender: Female
Where born: St Mary Scilly Ireland
Civil Parish: Minster
Ecclesiastical parish: Minster
Town: Sheerness
County/Island: Kent
Country: England
Registration district: Sheppey
Sub-registration district: Minster
ED, institution, or vessel: 13g
Household schedule number: 101
Piece: 987
Folio: 13
Page Number: 19
Household Members:
Name Age
Jonathon H W Hick 45
Emma Hick 44
Lavinia Howell 32
William Matthew Howell 5
Frederick May Howell 2 [ Frederick Ivan on image ]

GRO Reference: 1865 S Quarter in SHEPPEY Volume 02A Page 686

Evan Howell sounds like a Welsh name - though I don't see an Evan Howell who is a cabinet-maker.
There's one who is a carpenter, but no sign of a William among his children in any census.
That's this one, just for elimination:

Evan Howells
in the 1841 Wales Census
Name: Evan Howells
Age: 35
Estimated birth year: abt 1806
Gender: Male
Where born: Carmarthenshire, Wales
Civil Parish: Llandebie
Hundred: Iskennen
County/Island: Carmarthenshire
Country: Wales
Street address: View image
Occupation: View image
Registration district: Llandilofawr
Sub-registration district: Llandebie
Piece: 1384
Book: 11
Folio: 5
Page Number: 1
Household Members:
Name Age
Evan Howells 35
Ann Howells 35
John Howells 15
Tubal Howells 14
David Howells 10
Thomas Howells 6
Mary Howells 3
Jestina Howells 1

He's also on 1851 and 1861 censuses.


Maddie Report 10 Apr 2020 14:28

not sure if this is relevant

Frederick Evan
Last name Howell
Age 27
Occupation Painter
Marital status Bachelor
Birth year 1869
Marriage year 1896
Marriage year 1896
Marriage date 08 Jun 1896
Marriage place Sittingbourne, Holy Trinity
Father's first name(s) William Mathew
Father's last name Howell
Father occupation Cook ----------------
Spouse's first name(s) Florence Jane
Spouse's last name Penney
Spouse's birth year 1877
Spouse's age 19
Spouse's condition Spinster
Spouse's father's occupation Ship Wright
First witness William George Howell
Second witness Elizabeth Geomans

Last name HOWELL
Birth year 1869
Birth quarter 1
Registration month -
Mother's maiden name Jennings
District Camberwell
County London
Country England
Volume 1D
Page 629
Licence or banns Banns
County Kent
Country England
Archive Kent History & Library Centre

could it be they are the same william and george who are with livinia in 1881 census


ErikaH Report 10 Apr 2020 13:45

1871 census shows Lavinia as a Commercial Traveller's wife

She's been transcribed as Daughter to the head of the household, but she is sister-in-law

Her sister's marriage
Name: Emma Jennings
Gender: Female
Record Type: Marriage
Marriage Date: 6 May 1849
Marriage Place: St Giles without Cripplegate, City of London, England
Father: Matthew Jennings
Spouse: Jonathan Henry Hicks

Not the answer to your query about William, I know


Unknown Report 10 Apr 2020 13:31

I am searching for more information about my Great (x2) grandfather William Howell.
The only confirmed reference is his marriage to Livinia JENNINGS (b1839) in Rochester in 1864. On the cert he is recorded as being 29yrs old, a ships cook and his father's name is Evan. Evan is/was a cabinet maker. Evan is not recorded as deceased.
I know that William fathered two sons in 1865 and 1868 but he then disappears again. His spouse went on to have more children by another man but there was no marriage.

I have searched for his birth record given the above info and found nothing. Neither does he definitely appear in any census returns before or after: not even 1861.

In case he lied about his age, I tried opening out the search to +/-5yrs but no luck. I also searched for a census entry with no male head. I found a couple but closer inspection showed them to be dead ends.

I then considered if he was a cook in the Royal Navy. I did find a ship's census return for a William HOWELL, but he was a bombardier. Further digging revealed his birth certificate but the wrong father.

I think I have exhausted the search in the UK and am now wondering if maybe he was born overseas. Of course he may have lied on his marriage certificate, but that's really a show-stopper.

Any advice on further UK search strategies is welcome. Also, if he was born overseas, how do I go about trying to find him?