Abraham Howe

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ChartsAncestors of Harriet Hanson Robinson
Abraham Howe, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born at England, say 1625.1 He died at Marlborough, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 30 January 1694/95,2,1 and was buried at Maplewood Cemetery, Marlborough, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.3

Abraham married Hannah Ward, daughter of William Ward and Elizabeth (…), at Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 6 May 1657.4,5,6

Abraham Howe first appears in the records at his marriage in 1657. He is possibly the same man as the Abraham Howe baptized in Woodbury, co. Devon, England 12 September 1635, but Smith was unsure, and reasons if the Woodbury man is the same, he would be younger than expected or described in the various life events of Abraham Howe of Watertown and Marlborough. At marriage, he would have been 22, a little younger than expected. In his will, he said he was of “great age”, but the Woodbury man would have only been sixty. Yet, there is not much record of him until the 1660’s when he would be in his thirties, and he first takes an elected town office in 1666, by which time he had to have been both a freeman and have joined the church, although there is no record of him having done so.

The Watertown select men agreed to pay “Abram How” 14s of boarding Thomas Philpot, one of the town charges; 30 December 1661.

About 1662, the Howes moved to Marlborough and in the town’s first division lottery, Howe drew lot #26; in the second division of Cedar Swamp lots, he drew #39.

He was apparently a reliable man based on what is seen in the records. 5 November 1663, he and John Rudduck witnessed the will of the neighbor Thomas Goodenow, and 5 April 1664, both men proved it.

In November 1666, Abraham how first became a selectman in Marlborough.

Susan Halstead of Watertown made her will on 11 January 1667 and stated “Abraham how which liveth in marlbery” owed her £5.

Seating was established in the Marlborough meeting house 6 May 1670 and Abraham How was placed in the third seat. A decade later, in 1681, he was added to the committee that chose the seating.

He was granted his third division land on the east side of Meddes’ Meadow Brook, 20 November 1671.

Both John and Abraham How were chosen to serve as selectmen, 4 August 1673. Abraham returned to this service 16 August 1680 and served through 1686. He was frequently on town committees, including one to view highways in 1682, one to inspect the exchange of land in 1683, and in June of 1683 on a committee to treat with Deacon William Ward about money.

In the early 1680’s Abraham was frequently paid for killing wolves. This is more likely to be the father than the teen-aged son of the same name.

On 2 April 1674 he was paid 6s 4d for service to the town.

Sometime before 1675, a complaint was brought against Prathmeel Bowers, a servant, and Abraham How of Marlborough, on evidence brought by John Rudduck and his servant that Bowers stole a mare from Breemsmead’s Pasture belonging to Thomas Baldwin. How Abraham was involved and the resolution of the case are not found.

On 13 December 1680 he was granted 1 ¼ acre of meadow, 1 ½ acres in another parcel of meadow, and four acres of upland in return for his having lost some meadow when new shares were laid out to Mr. Brinsmead the minister, and Edward Rice. The new grants were at the northeast of his houselot, it being low swampy land with some islands in it.

On 17 March 1685/6, Abraham Howe Sr. of Marlborough satisfied Samuel Andrews Sr. for a debt owed by Josiah Howe. Josiah would be the unrecorded son of the recently deceased John Howe, supporting the belief that Abraham and John were related, perhaps brothers.7

On 6 September 1727 the heirs quit-claimed their rights to thirty acres of first division upland, twenty acres of first division meadow, fourteen acres in the undivided lands, and all the rights in the town and common lands in Marlborough, to Joseph Taintor of Marlborough, tailor. The heirs named were:
Eleazer Howe and Hannah his wife,
Elizabeth Brigham,
Deborah Barrett
Peter Rice and Rebekah Rice is wife,
Joseph Stratton and Sarah his wife,
John Forbush and Martha his wife,
Gershom Howe and Hannah How,
and John Gates and Mary his wife.8

Abraham Howe left a will dated 24 May 1694, proved 12 March 1694/5 naming:
wife Hannah
sons Daniel, Joseph, Abraham,
married daughters Mary, wife of John Bouker; Hannah, wife of Eleazar How; Elisabeth, wife of Samuel Brigham; Deborah, wife of John Barret Jr; Rebecca, wife of Peter Rice
unmarried daughters Sarah and Abigail
wife Hannah Executrix, son Daniel Executor
brother-in-law Henry Kerly, kinsman John Barnes Sr., Overseers

The inventory totaled £493 18s. 06d. £230 was for "the Homstal with all the Building uppon it and Aditional Rights privilidges and appurttnances Belonging to it."9


Hannah Ward b. 1639, d. 3 Nov 1717
  • Daniel How5 b. abt. 1658, d. 23 Apr 1718
  • Mary How5 b. 30 Jun 1659, d. 29 Sep 1723
  • Joseph Howe+1 b. 9 Feb 1661/62, d. 4 Sep 1701
  • Hannah How5 b. 9 Nov 1663, d. 24 Jun 1735
  • Elizabeth How5 b. 5 Apr 1665, d. 26 Jul 1739
  • Deborah How5 b. 1 Mar 1667, d. 4 Nov 1743
  • Rebecca How5 b. 4 Feb 1668, d. 13 May 1749
  • Abraham How5 b. 8 Oct 1670, d. 31 Jul 1704
  • Sarah How5 b. 20 Dec 1672, d. 1 Oct 1746
  • Abigail How5 b. 4 Mar 1675, d. 17 Apr 1697
This person was last edited on19 Sep 2017


  1. [S673] "The Ancestry of Brigham Young," The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 22 (Jan 1931), at 20-21, further cited as "Ancestry of Brigham Young."
  2. [S908] Franklin P. Rice, Vital Records of Marlborough, Massachusetts: To the end of the year 1849 (Worcester, Massachusetts: p.p., 1908), 366, further cited as Rice, Vital Records of Marlborough.
  3. [S1546] Diana L. Brace, Find A Grave memorial #36138103, added 21 Apr 2009, online http://www.findagrave.com, accessed Dec 2012, further cited as Find A Grave.
  4. [S1974] Historical Society, Watertown Records, Four vols. (subtitle varies) (Boston, Massachusetts: David Clapp & Son, 1894-1906), 1:3:20, further cited as Historical Society, Watertown Records.
  5. [S672] Gilman Biglow Howe, "Abraham How, of Watertown and Marlborough, Mass.," National Genealogical Society Quarterly 7 (April 1917): 12-14, further cited as Howe, "Abraham How."
  6. [S1872] Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, 3 vols. (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011), 798, further cited as Torrey, New England Marriages (2011).
  7. [S1375] Dean Crawford Smith and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 1978-1908: Part III: The Ancestry of Henry Clay Bartlett 1832-1892 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004), 270-71, further cited as Smith and Sanborn, Kempton Ancestry 3.
  8. [S1375] Smith and Sanborn, Kempton Ancestry 3, 275.
  9. [S1375] Smith and Sanborn, Kempton Ancestry 3, 271-73.