The Howard Family
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski, B.F.A.


There are a few interpretations of the meaning of the name Howard. The word might have come from haf-ward (keeper of the hall), hold-ward (keeper of the stronghold) or hock-ward (the high keeper). Another idea is that it came from high warden, ewchard, heart, protection-," a corruption of Hayward. Hayward is also English, meaning "the Manorial official who had charge of the hedges and was guardian of the cultivated land to protect it from straying cattle." Many of the Haywards changed their name to Howard through the years, so this is a possibility.





Thomas Hayward was born circa 1597, in England. He first arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 5, 1632 in a ship called "William and Mary." Afterwards, he returned to Aylesford, England, to bring his wife, Susannah and his five children to New England. Thomas' return voyage, to New England, was on the ship "Hercules," sailing from Sandwich to Boston. The "Hercules" landed on May 14, 1634. Thomas Hayward was a proprietor in Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, in 1635 or 1636, and bought land in 1638 in Duxbury, Plymouth County, MA. Thomas was a freeman in April 1637. Then he became the constable in Duxbury in 1648. By 1665, he sold the land, given to him by the Plymouth Court, to George Russell, and in 1669, he sold his Duxbury land to William Pabodie.

The early records of their voyage, to New England, are stored in the records of Sandwich, Kent County, England, in Yearbooks C and D, dated 1608. and 1642 by J.A. Jacobs, Esquire, of Sandwich. Other information is from an article by Shirley Drury Patterson, Associate Genealogist of the Towne Family Association, Inc. in their publication called ABOUT TOWNE, Vol. XXII No. 2, June 2002, 30-31.

Their children were:

  1. Lt. Thomas Hayward was born in 1623/24, in England, and died on August 15, 1698, in Bridgewater, Plymouth County, MA., after being thrown from his horse. His will was proven on October 15, 1700. Thomas was a carpenter. He bcame a Lieutenent in 1667, and a Captain in 1962. He was Mayor, Governor's Assistant, and first magistrate of Bridgewater, MA. He married Sarah Ames, daughter of William Ames, in 1664. Sarah and Thomas had no issue.

  2. Elizabeth Hayward/Howard was born circa 1626, and died before 1705. Elizabeth married John Ames of Duxbury. The had no children.
  3. John Hayward was born in 1628, and died in 1700. He was married on November 30, 1665, in Duxbury to Sarah Mitchell, daughter of Experience Mitchell and Jane Cooke. They had twelve children
  4. Susanna Hayward was born circa 1630 and died in 1705.
  5. Martha Hayward was born circa 1633 and died before October 1701. Martha married John Howard, in 1657. They had seven children.
    (FTM CD 364 - American Source Records in England, 1600's-1800's, from American Colonists in English Records, Genealogical Notes, Broderbund Software, Inc.).

  6. Nathaniel Hayward was born circa 1640 and died after May 1705. He married Hannah Willis, daughter of Deacon John Willis of Duxbury. They had seven children.
  7. Joseph Hayward was born circa 1642, and died in 1718. He was a deacon. Joseph married (1) Sarah Brett in 1668 (2) Alice Brett, daughter of William Brett, in 1671. Alice bore him one son (3) Hannah Mitchell, daughter of Experience Mitchell and Jane Cooke. They had eight children from 1683-1702.
  8. Mary Hayward was born circa 1644, and died after May 1705. She married Edward Mitchell (b. 1643), son of Experience Mitchell. They did not have any children of their own, but they raised the children of Edward's half-brother, Jacob Mitchell, of his wife Susanna. Jacob and Suzanna were killed by the Native American Indians.
  9. Elisha Hayward was born circa 1646, and died after May 1705. Elisha was unmarried. His will was written in 1703.


Lt. John Howard was born in 1620/1628, Sandwich, Kent County, England, and died in 1700 in Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. John Howard was the son of James Howard (found in records circa 1635) and Mary Cooper. John came from England to Duxbury/Roxbury, Massachusetts at age 15. He married Martha Hayward, daughter of Capt. Thomas Hayward,in 1679, in Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. John was listed as a surveyor, innkeeper, and a carpenter in various records. He was one of the original 54 settlers of West Bridgewater (circa 1651). John Howard was an Ensign in the Bridgewater Militia, in September 27, 1664 (King Phillip's War). He was promoted to Lieutenant on October 2, 1689. John was also the Deputy and Representative of the General Court (1678-1683) and again in 1689.

Martha Hayward was born in Aylesford, Kent County, England, and died before 1703 in Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Ma. John lived with the family of Miles Standish (in his youth) and later moved to Bridgewater, Massachusetts.


Edward Howard married in Boston, Massachusetts.

Henry Howard was an early inhabitant of Hartford, Connecticut. He married in Wetherfield, Connecticut in 1648.

Samuel Howard was born in 1613. He came from England in 1635. He married (1) Sarah Stowers, daughter of Nicholas Stowers, in 1629 (2) Amy ?

James Howard came to Charlestown, Connecticut 1634-35.

John Howard was a resident of Dedham, Massachusetts from 1626-1660.

Joshua Howard (1665-1738) came from England to Baltimore, Maryland in 1686. Joshua married Joanna Carroll (d 1763).

Matthew Howard (1609-1659) (born in Wardour Castle in England) was the son of Sir Thomas Arundel, who was beheaded and his estates conficated. Sir Thomas married Margaret Howard. After the death of his father, Matthew took his mother's name. He came to Virginia circa 1620, where he lived in Lower Norfolk County, then Arundel County, Maryland) in 1649 (2) Ann ? in 1625. He was a large landowner.

Nathaniel Howard came from Suffolk County, England. He was a freeman (1643) in Dorchester, MA. in 1643. He was a member of the artillery company in 1641.

Nathaniel married at Charlestwon, MA. in 1666.

Robert Howard was a proprietor in Dorchester, MA. in 1639, then moved to Boston, MA. in 1668. Robert's brother, William Howard was born in 1609, in England; and came to Braintree, MA. in 1635. He then settled in Salem, MA. and Boston (1666).

Robert Howard was in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1650 (kin to Thomas below?), and was made a freeman in 1652. Robert had a son Edward Howard>

Samuel Howard was a resident of Malden, MA. in 1666.

Thomas Howard (b 1643 in England) was found in Lynn (1667), Massachusetts, Norwich, Connecticut (1660), and Enfield, Connecticut.

William Howard was found in Topfield, MA. in 1650, Malden Massachusetts in 1686, and Swanzey, MA. in 1671.

William Howard , son of Roger Fitz Valvine, took the name Howard from being born in Howard Castle, during Henry I's reign.

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