John How(e) 1602-1680
John How was definitely a pioneer in fact as well as spirit. Although we don’t know exactly when he came to this continent from his native England, it must have been in the 1630’s. He was part of what is known as the Great Migration, when 20,000 immigrants, mostly English Puritans, flooded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In the first decades after the Mayflower arrived, emigrants created new communities–35 in the first ten years– across what is now New England.
John How probably lived briefly in Watertown, Massachusetts, but he first shows up in public records as one of the 54 men who started Sudbury in 1637.
It was there John first became a Freeman and was elected a selection in 1642.
But the families there soon wanted more land and John was one of 12 who pushed into the wilderness to found Marlborough. In 1661, at the age of 59, he opened a tavern, or ordinary.
This was the start of a long line of Howe tavern keepers, both in Marlborough and in Sudbury, where John’s son Samuel moved.
Even my grandmother, John Howe’s 6th great-grand daughter, ran a bar-restaurant, as you can see at the top of this page.
So it was fitting that a group of descendants of Vera Stout Anderson and John Howe gathered at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, formerly known as Howe’s Tavern. Here in front of the Martha and Mary Chapel, added by Henry Ford (more later about how Henry gets into this story), we snapped pictures of representatives of four generations.
How I am Related
- My maternal grandmother, Vera Stout (Anderson), was the daughter of
- Hattie Morgan (Stout), the daughter of
- Mary Bassett (Morgan),the daughter of
- Elizabeth Stone (Bassett) the daughter of
- Elizabeth Howe (Stone), the daughter of
- Israel Howe, the son of
- David How, the son of
- Samuel How, the son of
- John How.
Notes on Research
As Ancient Is This Hostelry: The Story of the Wayside Inn, by Curtis F. Garfield and Alison R. Ridley(1988)
A History of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn by Brian E. Plumb (2011)
Howe Genealogies by Daniel Wait Howe (1929), Massachusetts Historical and Genealogical Society. This is said to be the best of the several genealogies of the family. Although I do not have a copy of the entire book, portions of it are available on the Internet.
Middlesex County records found on Ancestry.com. Birth, death and marriage.
Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts Vol. 1, ed by Ellery Bicknell Crane (1907) Available as a Google Books e-book.
I also have had assistance from the archivist and Longfellow’s Wayside Inn historian Richard Gnatkowski and Sudbury historian Lee Swanson.
I found your blog through the 52 ancestors links. I am also a descendant of John How, through Samuel, and then David’s sister, Martha. I am checking to see if we are related through William Bassett but I know there were two William Bassett’s and I’m not sure if you and I share the same one. I really like your blog and it’s a bonus that we share ancestors. Pam
Pam, Welcome to Ancestors in Aprons. Delighted to meet someone who is related. The William Bassett situation can be confusing, but there is only one who arrived on the Fortune, and his descendents are pretty well documented, although his background before the Fortune is murky. Let me know what you find.
I am a descendant of John How’s daughter Mary who married John Wetherby/Wetherbee. I am a new Member of the National Society of New England Women so this will be another line!
Descendant of John Howe-Samuel Howe-Mary Howe (Barnes) -Samuel Barnes – Moses Barnes – Nathan Barnes – Ezekiel Barnes – Amanda Barnes (Smith) – Ortencia Smith (Stalker) – Alma Stalker – Guy Stalker –
Marcille Stalker – Guynella Stalker (Key)
Just a side note I have been a restaurant and bar manager for 24 years
Nothing like following in your (fore)father’s footsteps. I don’t believe my grandmother from that line realized who her Howe ancestors were when she ran a boarding house, a restaurant and a rooming house at various times during her lifetime.