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Looking for relatives of John William Howes

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If you've read the story before, do skip down to STOP PRESS at the foot.

Around the end of October, I was contacted by the Norwich City Football Club historian, Mike Davage, a football writer with many books to his credit. He had seen this site and wanted to know if I could help. John William Howes, born in 1864, was a founder of the club back in 1902 and a man of considerable standing in the City of Norwich through his many activities. Details about him in the database can be found here. Two years ago, in 2006, the Club elected John to their Hall of Fame. In common with all such people, the club produces a commemorative plaque which they present to the individual's family to mark the occasion. Unfortunately, John's only child died in 1997. The Club would like to trace his nearest living relative and wondered whether I could help.



Of course. What Mike was asking was entirely in line with the goals of this site. How could I refuse? I couldn't! Since then I have:

  • Contacted three individuals on Genes Reunited who appeared to have links with a William Howes of Norwich, the right age to be J W's father
  • Written to the editors of the two local newspapers: Eastern Daily Press and Eastern Evening News, with a draft article for publication - reproduced below
  • Started ordering birth certificates of people whom I believe to be related to J W, with the aim of tracing back down their family lines to the present day, if I can.

    Text of draft article for publication:

    Norwich City FC engages help of new website to help trace former Club official’s family

    John William Howes was a founder of Norwich City Football Club and its Honorary Secretary for over 40 years. A man of many talents, he was the Headmaster for 36 years of the Alderman Norman endowed school, a churchwarden for St Paul’s parish in Norwich, a founder of the Norfolk Referees Association and a long-term chairman of the Norfolk and Suffolk Football League He was elected to the Club’s Hall of Fame some years ago and since then the Club has had a commemorative plaque to hand to his nearest relatives, whom it has been unable to trace.

    Club historian Mike Davage recently came across the new website www.howesfamilies.com and asked the founder, Paul Howes, for help. Paul said, “I set up this website to bring Howes families together from around the world and I started with the area around Norwich because (a) it’s my home town and (b) it’s the biggest single concentration of the Howes name in the world. I established the website in September having spent a year entering data for now over 5,000 different Howes clan members or descendents. I’m happy to do what I can help the club find a home for this plaque.”

    Here are a few facts that we know about John William and his family:

  • He was born in 1864 in Earlham, the son of journeyman miller, William Howes of Mangreen, and his wife, Ann Dye of Mulbarton.
  • John had three younger siblings, James, Mary and George, all born in the Paddington area of London in the late 1860s but who moved back to the area with their parents.
  • The family lived in Trinity Street, Norwich in the 1880s/1890s.
  • John William married Eliza Hanworth in Norwich in 1893. They had one child, Ethel, who never married and died in Brooke in 1997.

    Do you have a connection with this family? Can you help with any more information on John William Howes and in particular help trace any living relatives? Contact Paul through his website or Mike through the Club.

    So, Can you help? If so, go to the top right of this page, click on Info and then Contact Us. Thanks in advance

    Update November 9

    As of today we know the identity of all three of John's siblings: James, Mary and George.

    James married and had two children: Maud (1893) and Noel (1899). Noel married and had a child: Helena. We do not know what happened to her, or Maud.

    Mary married a Charles Girling and had three children: Donald (1893), Florence (Florrie) (1894) and Sydney (1896).

    George married a Susanna Waller and became a grocer in Brisley but was dead before 1923. It's not clear whether they had children.

    Do you know any of these people? Thanks in advance

    STOP PRESS - Success story!

    Working with Mike Davage, we have found the closest living relative of John William Howes! Today he contacted the daughter of a great-niece of John William and confirmed her identity. There will likely be a presentation soon at the club, and if we can, we will obtain a photograph for publication here.

    This is a time to remember the goals of the site. We want to bring Howes clan members and descendents together and enhance our knowledge of the family. I feel good that we achieved the goal in this case.

    One or two helpful links:

    Norwich City FC website here
    Wikipedia article on Norwich City here
    Wikipedia on NCFC Hall of Fame here

    Paul. October 2008