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The following messages have been sent to me by folks looking for genealogical links. I'll happily post comments here as time permits. Please excuse any delays. Changes to messages may be made to enhance readability and genealogical value. It would be really good to post similar information on GenForum or some other public forum as well, just to get the maximum exposure for your search.
From: Mary/Doug <>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998
Subject: family tree
I'm expecting to get into the family bible in the next week or so . All I know so far is that my great grandfather Gustavus Howden emigrated to Canada ( Peterborough Ontario area - about 100 miles north-east of Toronto) from Ireland sometime before 1871.
From: Robert J. Howden <howdybj@aol.comname>
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999
Just curious about the family geneaology. My grandfather, Walter Howden was born in Orillia, Ontario. He moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, married Helga Stromsted. They lived on a farm in Manitoba where they had 2 children, Mervin Walter Howden and Carol Howden. Mervin settled out in Victoria, B.C. during the war time and married Elizabeth Brady. Soon after that the grandparents moved to Victoria also. Walter had a brother -- I think his name was Fred --his part of the family ended up in southern California somewhere...possible LA area. Do you any genealogical information for me. Would appreciate it.
From: Tony Searles <ajs1950@yahoo.comname>
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999
Hi Norman my name is Tony Searles. I am adopted and my birth father is Gordon Howden of Liverpool UK. We are in contact but he lost all his photos and info, Including his birth cert, in a fire. I have scetchy information other than stories he has relayed to me about my grandfather and his sister still in the UK. Any suggestions to help me along the way with my search would be appreciated.
Kind Regards,
Tony Searles
New Zealand.

Sun Feb 7 13:36:38 1999

Descendants of Benjamin Howden
1 Benjamin Howden d: 1869 . +Sarah Day d: 1854 .......

2 Catherine Howden b: Mar 6, 1853 in Ontario Canada d: Jan 2, 1943 in Braymer MO .......... +Eli Axon b: Jul 25, 1845 in N.Y. m: Dec 3, 1875 in Canada d: May 9, 1905 in Caldwell Co MO ................

3 Isabella Axon b: Dec 2, 1876 in Catawba MO d: Aug 2, 1962 in Cedar Falls IA, buried Breckenridge MO ................... +Ralph Hicks b: Feb 16, 1861 in Clifton MI m: Jan 1, 1901 d: Jun 18, 1938 in Breckenridge MO Father: John Hicks Mother: Grace Hollow .........................

4 Catherine May Hicks b: May 8, 1902 in Nettleton, MO d: Dec 30, 1996 in Morrison, CO, Bear Creek Nursing Home ............................ +Herbert S. Berwick b: Apr 13, 1896 in Field Twp., Nelson County, N.D. m: Dec 1, 1947 in Trinity Methodist Church, Denver, Colorado d: Mar 29, 1989 in Denver, CO .........................
4 Russel Axon Hicks b: Oct 4, 1903 in Nettleton, MO d: Dec 20, 1951 in Kansas City, MO ............................ +Mary Ann Davis b: Oct 23, 1903 m: May 29, 1929 in Columbia, MO d: Apr 22, 1943 .........................
4 Thomas Albert Hicks b: Sep 13, 1905 in Nettleton, MO d: Jun 13, 1971 in Memphis, TN ............................ +Lizzie Bell Miles b: Feb 22, 1907 in Memphis, TN m: Sep 8, 1934 in Memphis, TN. d: Sep 1, 1997 .........................
4 Frederick Ralph Hicks b: Aug 31, 1907 in Nettleton, MO d: Mar 9, 1975 in Fairfax, MO ............................ +Norma Miller b: Sep 26, 1914 in Essex, IA m: Aug 29, 1936 in Norwich, IA .........................
4 Ruth Elizabeth Hicks b: Jul 13, 1910 in Nettleton MO d: Nov 8, 1992 in Geneseo IL ............................ +Kenneth Floyd Kemp b: Jul 8, 1903 in Louisa County IA m: Aug 4, 1935 in Kingston MO Father: John Peter Kemp Mother: Mary Hahn .........................
4 Anna Grace Hicks b: Jan 22, 1916 d: Feb 18, 1994 ............................ +Harold LeRoy Kilburn b: Apr 10, 1917 m: Apr 30, 1939 in Braymer, MO d: Oct 3, 1981 ................

3 Clara Axon b: Sep 26, 1878 d: Feb 21, 1957 ................
3 Frank Ernest Axon b: Oct 19, 1880 d: Jul 31, 1959 ................... +Dora .........................

4 Robert ................

3 Berton Eli Axon b: Sep 19, 1882 d: Apr 9, 1968 in Kansas City, MO ................... +Rose ................
3 George Axon b: Jun 15, 1886 d: Jul 18, 1887 ................
3 Elmer Roy Axon b: Sep 17, 1888 ................... +Iva .........................

4 Anne Louise .........................
4 Tom .........................
4 Donald ............................ +Shirely ................

3 Oscar Axon b: Oct 19, 1890 ................... +Kitty

Mon Mar 22 1999


I have just finished writing and printing our "Family History" 65 pages of single sided A4 paper for our family history and for the 150 anniversary of the arrival of our ancestors to Dunedin, New Zealand . I would sell copies for $NZ 25.00 each. Enclosed is some of this family's history, do with it as you wish, or if you would like moreof our history let me know and I will see if I can help.

Derek B. Howden No. 8. R. D. Ashburton 8300 New Zealand

DAVID HOWDEN (1811 - 1873) page 6

Born at 'Hawick' North of Scottish Border

1841 18th June David Howden married Alice Hunter Chalmers

1843 2nd January, Family Bible presented to David Houden. this was the year of the Presbyterian Disruption and the split of many Scottish Churches from England

1844 Edward Gibbon Wakefield saw an opportunity to establish a free church settlement in Dunedin. The name Dunedin is Celtic for Edinburgh

1847 Wakefield aquired 400,000 acres of land from the Maori and surveying completed. Two ships departed in November for New Zealand. John Wickcliffe from London and Phillip Lang from Glasgow. They sailed under the guidance of William Cargill and Thomas Burns arriving at the start of a very wet cold winter

April 1848. Two other ships, the Victory in July and the Blundell in September had difficult voyages. About this time David and Alice were managing a farm at Churnside near Berwick upon Tweed. They were offered a passage to the Otago Settlement as Ploughman-Manager to Mr W.H. Valpy from Cheltenham. he was a businessman of substantial means and had purchased allotted land at Forbury now a suburb of Dunedin. He planned to establish a farm, flour mill and a sawmill. As Farm Manager David brought out his own plough, a single burrow Stilt. About 20 other staff were sent out in 1848 to prepare land and accommodation for the Valpy family who arrived in the Ajax, January 1849

1848 7th July, after a 2 month delay David and Alice sailed from London for New Zealand aboard the Bernicia a three masted Barque of 548 tons. The following extract is from a friend Mr John Anderson's dairy. He also came from Berwick. "Our families had to stay in lodgings near St Katherine's Dock as the Bernicia was a new ship just returned from a maiden voyage to New Zealand and was not quite ready for sea. 153 passangers. Fine weather was experienced to the Cape where a call was made with mail and to lay in a fresh supply of food. As we sailed south of the Cape of Good Hope Mrs Howden gave birth to a fine baby boy (John)." There were two major incidents on the trip, The first was a dispute between two passengers who wanted to fight a duel with pistols on the poop deck. Captain Arnold and Colonel Wakefield interfered and the duel was averted. For the remainder of the voyage the Captain refused to dine in the company of these two truculent people. He was a most reserved man at anytime, rarely joining into conversation with any of the passengers and only once did he go forward of the main mast. When the Bernicia was crossing the line an apprentice fell overboard. A cry was raised and the crew wanted to launch a boat but the Captain refused saying someone was playing a foolish trick on Johna. There was a scene of much confusion. The women were rushing about to make sure that none of their menfolk were missing. Finally the ships roll was called and it was found that one of the apprentices were missing. This boy was a son of an intimate friend of the Captain's. The Bernicia made landfall at New Plymouth where they received news that the Maoris were on the warpath which disturbed the settlers greatly. Colonel Wakefield and the English passengers disembarked at Nelson. Calling at Wellington they found all the chimneys of the little settlement had been knocked down by a recent earthquake. There was only one storm of marked severity during the voyage. Three deaths had occurred. The fare aboard seems to have been quite satisfactory and the diary mentions a rather unusual item, the allowance of a pint of rum a day to each passenger during cold weather. When the time came to say goodbye the Otago contingent of 51 passangers had been on board for five long months and were quite reluctant to go ashore. 1848 5th December. They thought the Otago Harbour was most beautiful with bush to the waters edge but the little settlement struck them as being most primitive. There were no wooden houses and what huts the settlement boasted were mud or reeds. They were met by Captain Cargill and the Rev. Dr Burns and conveyed up the harbour by whale boats to where Dunedin is now situated. Some time later the people who came out on the Bernicia were very sorry to read in an English paper that after leaving New Zealand in ballast she was taken and burned by pirates. Every member of her crew being killed. 1849 Although farming had been in progress at Waikouaiti Whaling Station since 1840 David Howden is credited with the honour of turning the first furrow for the settlement and the plough has now been given to the Early Settlers Museum in Dunedin1852 Mr Valpy died in 1852 so David took the opportunity to purchase 100 acres of land for himself at Green Island Bush on the hills east of the present town. The Church had always been of prime importance to the Howden family. David was a founding Deacon for the first church in Dunedin. At Green Island he preached from the family Bible on the stump of the Black Pine tree where the present Green Island Presbyterian Church now stands. The spelling of Howden in the family Bible is of Scots pronunciation HOUDEN may have been written by a scribe. He was a good Manager and had the nickname Colonel.

1856 17th April the first school committee was elected at Green Island Bush. The first Chairman was David Howden and he also represented Green Island at the Provicinal Board of Education. For his service to education, School Street was changed to Howden Street in 1953.

1857 During the month of April an election was held for Self Government. The two Candidates chosen were Mr William Carr/Young and David Howden. After a well conducted contest Mr Young won by 9 votes.1860 The first Ploughing match was held at Taieri. David was one of the Judges. His two sons, John and James were competitors with distinction.

1873 12th September, David died aged 62 and is buried at Green Island with his wife Alice and son Thomas, also the twins Robert and George

aged Mrs Alice Howden was not many years in New Zealand when she became very crippledwith rheumatoid arthritis. She was a very staunch Presbyterian but handicapped for getting far from home. They had eight children as follows, John 1848, William Chalmers 1851,James 1853, Alice Hunter 1855, David 1859, George and Robert (twins)1861, Thomas 1865. They kept cows and fowls besides cropping. James and Alice walked to Dunedin once a week with butter and eggs for sale. At that time there were few houses and no roads. Widowed Alice shifted to Ngapara to live with John and his wife and later to her daughter Alice Murdochs home at Island Cliff , North Otago. She died thereon 19th January 1896. Her remains were taken by train to be buried with David at Green Island. Green Island Cemetery Block 1. plot 37 Sacred to the memory of David Howden. Died 12 sept 1873 age 62 Alice Fortune Howden relic of above. Died 19 Jan 1896 age 74 I will not leave you, I will come with you.


Friday 11 - Sunday 13 December 1998

Of the 51 immigrants who arrived on the Bernicia and landed in Dunedin 150 years ago, 235 relatives representing 6 of the original people attended these celebrations. The largest group (about 85) were the Howden descendants. Oldest was Peggy Wakelin (87yrs) from Nelson.

Friday 5.30pm to 7.30 pm Welcome Function at Otago Settlers Museum & photos.

8pm Howden Descendants gather at the Fairfield Tavern for a get together and evening meal. Displays of the various branches of the Howden family trees were displayed.Saturday 9.30 Bus trip to Port Chalmers; Tree planting, Kahikatea (White Pine); Barbecue lunch; Sailing trip for those who had pre-booked. 2.30 return bus trip to Dunedin, Rain showers all day.6 pm Haggis Ceremony, Dinner, buffet style followed by light hearted, family entertainment, in University of Otago Union building.Sunday 10.00am Church Service at historic First Church Dunedin, Bob Howden read a passage from the original Howden family bible brought out on the Bernicia. 11.30 Green Island Cemetery to unveil a plaque in the memory of David & Alice Howden. Milton Chittock summarised their first decade and school.12.30 Light luncheon at the Abbotsford home of Pat & Ian Finnie Some of the Howden descendants then took the opportunity to visit the original farm site of David & Alice on the hill east of Green Island and visit the tunnel at Tunnel Beach 5 pm Finale at Otago Settlers Museum
My name is John Albert Howden, son of John Edword Howden. I was born in Ontario, OREGION at 12:30 PM AUGUST 10 ,1978 AS U CAN TELL MY SPELLING IS ATROCIOUS(corrected) so please bear with me. I am searching for some info about family members in family tree - close and far away. I have not seen my father since I was 4 years old and know nothing of my famly history. I live in Atalanto, California and would be delighted to meet any family or hear of possible inheritance, although I doubt that I have any. :) I am a hard working young man at the age of 20. Any relatives who wish to contact me by phone, my number is (760) 246-0458 in America. Please contact me I am highly enthused to hear that I have a family history findable. You can somtimes see me on the Internet under under the surname sunnybunny, exibitor, lonnie. Love to hear that I'm not the only one in the world. Sincerely yours John Albert Howden jr (waiting with anticipation to hear back from you.
email =
name = John A. Howden

Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 20:20:20 +0100
From: Lorraine M. Money
To: Norman Howden
Subject: Re: HOWDEN; SCT > MA,USA; 1900-

Hi Norm
Our Howden is a HELEN HOWDEN who married HENRY BABINGTON in Conningsby, Lincolnshire in or around 1840.
-- Lorraine
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999
email: (currently:
name: Kaye Edwards
country: Western Australia
type: Inquiry about ancestors
Seeking descendants of George Howden & Janet Whitemarr 1781 Edinburgh.
Ch James b1783 Inveresk,
John b 1785 Inveresk,
George b 1788 Ormiston marr Margt Smith,
& Walter b 1792 marr Margaret Thompson
George & Margt had Helen Smith Howden b 1811 Gladsmuir,
George b 1814 Tranent,( marr 1. Janet Paterson 1832,mar 2nd. Helen Wightman 1870.)
Robert b 1816 Gladsmuir,
Christian b 1819 Gladsmuir & Janet Brodie Howden b 1829 Gladsmuir.
Children of George & Janet(Paterson) are Elizabeth b1833 Gladsmuir, George b 1836 Ormiston, Agnes b 1839 Saltoun, Margaret b 1841 Saltoun.
Children of 2nd marr (Helen Wightman ) are Samuel Johnstone b 1870 Aberlady marr Barbara B Steel, Robert b 1873 Humbie marr Catherine H. Turner (my Grandparents)Isabella b 1875 Athelstanford marr Alexander Forbes, & George b 1880 Gladsmuir.
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999
country: UK
name: Mike Howden
type: Comment
Norman - great job...great name. My Dad, Beverley Wilfred Howden (b. 12/04/35) is working on the tree and says we are a mixture of Scots and Irish. His dad George took the name to New Zealand in the late 60's. I am the last in this particular branch and come from Lincolnshire (I saw comments from Donald about Boston!). I am keen to dig back to Roger de Howden from 13th Century England - no doubt of Norman stock where Houdon exists (I have a family heirloom of a sampler sewn by Elizabeth Houdon in the 18th century.) Anyway - I'm beginning, drop me a line (or branch).
William Howden & Jane Balfour NEW as of 2/17/00
James Howden NEW as of 2/17/00
Samuel John Howden NEW as of 2/17/00
Samuel Howden NEW as of 2/17/00
Date: Sat., 20 May 2000
country: Canada
name: Bruce Howden
type: Inquiry about ancestors

I'm trying to locate Aunts, Uncle and any cousins from my grandfathers second wife. His name was Patrick Fraser Howden (b. 17.03.1888 Edinburgh) son Patrick, daughters Joan and Jean all born between 1916/1923 I believe near Bristol, England. Joan married Dennis Hulme, Jean died mid/late 1970's. That's all I know.
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000 20:29:04 -0600
email: Patricia McAllister <>
Subject: Need help contacting Leland M. Howden
Your web site is terrific and just what I was looking for in this genealogy search.

I was surprised and excited to read the most recent postings by Leland M.Howden, with information about William and James Howden, because they are my great-great-great grandfather and great-great grandfather, respectively. There is no doubt as all the information matches up, from dates and places
of birth to siblings.

However, I saw no e-mail contact for Leland Howden. Do you possibly have that on file? Or could you give him my e-mail? I am leaving for Ireland and Scotland in 2 weeks, specifically to research this branch of the family on-site and would like to talk to him before I go.

Thank you kindly for your assistance.
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2000
Country: USA
name: Connie Howden Orton

Hi Norm: I was born Constance Avis Howden, I was the daughter of Ralph Eugene Howden & Dorothy Caldwell. Ralph was the son of Samuel John Howden & Florence Dunn. When Leland posted the history of Samuel John Howden & Florence Dunn, he made a mistake and showed that my Mother was married to Lyle Howden, but she was married to Ralph. Unfortunately for me, my folks were divorced, and I was adopted by my step-father, I always remembered Ralph and went to see him when I turned 21, but he died shortly thereafter, I was always sorry I couldn't have a relationship with him as I have a son who could pass for his twin, and I was told that I could pass for his Mother Florence Dunn Howdens twin. Oh well, life sometimes isn't fair, but I was glad to get the family history. Thanks for your board. Sincerely,
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2000
name: Kathy Axon Timbrook
Subject: HOWDEN'S Researching for information on Howden's

My line came from Fermanagh Co, Ireland - Benjamin Howden b.1804 and Sarah Day - immigrated to Canada - both buried in Ancaster Ontario.  Several children - Catherine Howden  married Eli Axon - both buried in Hopewell Cemetery Missouri - several children. Benjamin- Sarah children - Alexander, Alice, James, Sarah, Mary Jane, Benjamin, William, Thomas, Robert, Catherine. Looking for any and all information - will share !! Please contact me - Kathy Axon Timbrook Thanks and Happy New Year!
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001
name: Robin Howsden
Subject: Howden

Hello Norman,   Your Howden surname board at GenForum was just brought to my attention by a co-worker.  Our family's surname is Howsden -- I'm curious if you have any thoughts or information on whether your surname and ours are variants.  My husband's family came from England in the mid 1860's.  I have also found a group of descendents who spell their surname as Housden.   Would be interested in hearing from you.   Robin
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001
name: Melissa
Subject: Howden search

Hello. I recently came on to your website. I am interested in discovering information on my grandmother, the Howden's from Cavan, Ireland. I don't know if you can help me on this. I learned that Alicia Howden came with her mother and siblings to the U.S. to New York City in the early 1900's. Alicia Howden's siblings area Charles and Elizabeth Howden. I know I'm grasping for straws here but if you have any information I'd appreciate it. Thank you. Melissa
Date: Tuesday, 1 May 2001
name: Brian David Howden

I am writing a book for my children about there (sic) family history, and during my search for family history I located your page. WOW...I never thought there are so many of us out there. Australia Brian David Howden

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 20:34:29 +1300
Name: Richard & Jane

Dear Norman,

My name is Jane Howden. I am the daughter of Lewis Howden born In Taihape New Zealand in 1928. My father had two brothers, Arthur Howden and Raymond Howden.

My grandfather was Randolph Howden who was born in Salmondby, Licolnshire in 1882. His wife was Amy Pauline Howden (nee Williams) . I believe he was one of 13 children, many of whom emigrated throughout the commonwealth. In 1979 a relative Harold Howden visited New Zealand researching the family tree. He was a solicitor from Cleethorpes.

Unfortunately I was out of New Zealand when he called.

I am interested in finding more about the family.


Jane Howden

Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 17:16:01 EST
Name: Vicky Mills

       Found your entry in Norm's guestbook--I am also looking for info on the Howdens -- I have the NY lines so far and have set up a site for family members to come and browse, download the family tree, etc.  Of course, we know that there are at least 2 or 3 Howden branches that are not related depending on whether they come from Eng Scot or Ire or Canada.  But, hoping to find some more cousins!
Vicky Mills

Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003
Name: Lilian Young
country: Scotland


I am researching my Mother's family tree. Her maid name was Jane Wightman Howden. Her father William Howden married my grandmother Jane Whitelaw Wightman on March 2, 1902 in Edinburgh. They had 10 children. My grandfather had 2 brothers, Robert and James and 2 sisters Julie and Elizabeth. His parents were Robert Howden and Julia Ann Sinclair and they were married in Edinburgh in 1868. I have not been able to confirm too much inormation on them and any help would be appreciated.

Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003
Name: Helen Groenestein

Hello, I was just looking at your website on the Howden in Boston and noticed the
reference to John Balbirnie Mackay. His son David Robert Mackay married a lady
called Clemintina Linday, who had two daughters (Elizbeth Syme Mackay and Mary
Baxter Mackay). Elizabeth Syme Mackay is my paternal grandmother.

I would be very interested in any other information you have regarding his children
or his ancesters (which I know really isn't what this site is about, but who

Hear from you soon.

Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 13:49:30 +1200
Name: Helen Groenestein

Hiya Norm, great to hear from you.

I'm actually a first generation New Zealander but I can give you a brief
ancestry to get to me if it will help fill in some gaps.

As you know Elizabeth Syme married John Balbirnie Mackay on 1 December 1882 at St Ninnians (COS) Church in North Leith, Edinburgh and I have them listed as having 8 children (John (born 1888) is the one I have listed that you don't). Elizabeth Syme died on 6 September 1933 at 181 Easter Road, Leith (as did John on 17 September 1935) and it would surprise you to know that this flat only got sold out of the family in the early 1990's.

Anyway, David Mackay (full name David Robert Mackay) is my descendant and he married Clemintina Lindsay (details below)

David Robert Mackay b- 5 January 1892 Hillmount, Junipergreen; m 2 January 1914 St Pauls COS, Lorne Street, Leith; d 15 February 1961 Eastern General Hospital; occupation listed Bricklayer
Clemintina Lindsay b- 25 May 1892 72 Canongate, Edinburgh; d 26 February 1987 North Victoria Hospital (Clemintina has sometimes been spelt Clementina); occupation listed Butter Factory Worker
Children Elizabeth Syme
Mary Baxter (b 31 May 1920 still living) married Stuart Thom - date unknown

Elizabeth Syme Mackay married David Paton and had two boys, David Ian (my father known as Ian) and Robert Lindsay (known as Roy) (details below)

David Paton b- 3 July 1913 94 Albert Street, Edinburgh; m 17 November 1939 St Pauls COS, Lorne Street, Leith; d- 19 December 1971 Royal Infirmary occupations listed Tramway Car Driver, Coppersmith
Elizabeth Syme Mackay b- 5 July 1915 181 Easter Road, Leith; d- 21 October 1943 23 Waverley Park, Edinburgh; occupation listed Childrens Nurse
Children David Ian
Robert Lindsay (b- 30 April 1943) married Margaret Helen McAllister, have two girls Gillian and Irene Margaret both now married.

Ian Married Margaret Elizabeth Rodgers had two children, David and me (Margaret Helen). It wasn't until they were adults and married that Ian and Roy both immigrated to New Zealand - Ian in 1961 and Roy in about 1973

(more details available on request)

Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2003
Name: Joan Hutson
country: England

I have traced my husband's family tree back to Arabella Howden (dob 1845, m.
14.07.1867) daughter of James & Rebecca Howden of 37 Salthouse Lane, Lincoln,
England. James was born in Lincoln West Radney in 1817c and Rebecca in 1823 in
York, Shidby. I am looking for Rebecca's name etc so I can complete a 6-generation
chart... Would also be interested in contacting other Lincoln, England, Howdens.

Comments to