Man about the Howse - March 2021

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Man about the Howse - March 2021

Post by mardler »

Happy new month everyone.
I hope you liked the wedding photograph in the email. To me it’s a classic period piece of a 1920s marriage. It shows the wedding party from the marriage of Charles Edward Howes to Myrtle Edgren in Chicago in 1923, shared with us by a correspondent. It’s very reminiscent of a similar picture of the marriage of my grandparents in 1929 in England. The fashions of the time are quite distinctive, with men often wearing formal dress, even down to the spats over their shoes, and women wearing lacy clothes with close fitting caps and headbands. The most striking feature of both wedding photos to me are the extensive floral bouquets, a massive contrast with the much simpler arrangements of today.
We are always happy to publish wedding photos, though we regret that one of the parties must be, or have been, a House, Howes, Howse, etc. If you can identify the parties in the photo, so much the better.

Personal loss
It’s been a month of contrasts for me. My mother died just before her 91st birthday. She was surrounded by my sister and her family when she passed peacefully. I was on the golf course at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, Florida when my sister called. A flurry of activity happened over the next 24 hours and I managed to get on a plane to London, and then had to sit quietly at my house in solitary confinement for ten days awaiting the end of mandatory quarantine.
My family has been rather fortunate in not having had a death in the 27 years since my father died. It’s not too strong to say that we are unused to grief. It felt really strange to go from hot, sunny Florida to wet, windy and cold Norfolk and then to watch the final two days of the Championship on TV. It felt strange when I was finally allowed out to go to my mother’s house and not find her there. There have been says since when my motivation to do family history is strong and other days when I cannot concentrate.
Those among us who have been recently bereaved will probably understand these feelings all too well. Normally I’m a pretty focused person and I don’t have the words to describe how it feels other than “strange”.
My mother led a rich, busy life. Born in a farmhouse full of chickens she eventually became a Justice of the Peace, a school governor and a stalwart of four local sailing clubs. I wrote an obituary of her for one of those clubs, online here: Perhaps more interesting, though, are her own memories of her rural childhood in the 1930s and 40s. My sister and I prompted her to start writing about her early years. Every time she mentioned something else about her youth which wasn’t already in that document, we would send her off to the PC to add another paragraph or two. I’ve taken that piece, tidied up the English a little, added some pictures and put it online here:
Has anyone else asked an elderly relative to recall their earliest memories? Talking of memories, my mother was a ‘pack rat’. She had family photographs stashed away all over the house. I now have four plastic filing bins full of them and am trying to put them all online in my personal storage and then invite family members to look at them and identify people and places. After 700 photos, I haven’t even finished the first box yet!

Internet news
With lockdowns still in force, news of Howes people is rather thin on the ground still. News of lightening restrictions in California did bring to my attention that there is yet another Howes-owned brewery, this time in Sacramento. Read here about how Jeff Howes has managed to stay in business for the past many months: ... nce-again/
Has anyone visited Tower Brewing, or sampled their products?
The BIG news, though is that from Friday through the end of Monday, is offering free access to all of their 27 Billion records, worldwide. If you aren’t already a subscriber, I’d say this is an offer not to be missed! Let me be more precise, though. The offer I saw came from, where Good Friday and Easter Monday are both public holidays. If it turns out that Ancestry in other markets is not offering similar access, then I suggest you try logging in at

Researching occupations
I had a note from a correspondent in the past few days asking about some occupations her ancestor had had. At first sight, they seemed rather incongruous. So I suggested that she look in other sources for records of that person. Here’s what I hope is a handy checklist of places to look for occupations:
- census records
- baptism records of children
- marriage records of children
- military service records
- city directories
- electoral rolls
- newspaper reports
- for professional people, frequently there are online databases for doctors, clergy, and so on. The professional body may help too.

Monthly progress
We finished the month at precisely 182,000 people in our database, having added about 950 people. Long-term readers of this newsletter will know that we keep a checklist of marriages in England and Wales so that we can monitor our progress. There are over 33,400 of them between 1837 and 1980. This month, the number of those marriages actually in our database exceeded 26,000. We also know the date and place for 9,150 of them.
And we continue to add records from the Howes Genealogy book, now having reached page 339.
This coming month, I expect to further catch up on correspondence, and also order a long list of birth and marriage certificates.

That's all, folks
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Joined: December 1st, 2012, 5:44 pm

Re: Man about the Howse - March 2021

Post by kegan32 »

Paul. My condolences on the passing of your Mom. They are special people in our lives. Karl
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Joined: November 1st, 2010, 10:48 am

Re: Man about the Howse - March 2021

Post by stephenhowes »

I'm sorry to hear of your loss Paul.

I lost my own mother in 2016 and although I got to see her regularly we tended only to ever talk about everyday things. I regret that I never asked her more about her childhood and my maternal grandfather who I never met. From a family history perspective I think we all try and delve into our deep past but sometimes we miss getting the detail on our recent family history from those who still have the memories.
I guess that broaching these types of subjects knowing that our elderly relatives will not always be there can be difficult and in some respects may seem morbid and awkward but having lost my mother I have now started to have these conversations with my 93 year old father and in fact I have found that he has enjoyed reminiscing and it has given him pleasure to see that I have been interested in hearing his stories.
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Joined: May 1st, 2014, 11:12 am

Re: Man about the Howse - March 2021

Post by richardhws »

Hi Paul
So sorry to hear your sad news, we all have to experience this at some time and at the moment
there will be many feelings that will make you feel some regrets that you had not done more
to possibly kept more in touch. She must have been very proud of you for all the effort and time you have
put into creating this great collection of Howes families. Sincere sympathy and many thanks for all you work.
Richard Howes, Sydney
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