FH Two


Part One: English and Colonial Roots

Major Ancestral Passages

In an effort to coherently organize the family’s English-Colonial antecedents, I’ve divided the narrative into three sections. The first portion offers some background about a few interesting family roots in England. The second section focuses on the early immigrants to America, mostly Puritan families from 1630 or so up to about 1700. The third segment follows the ancestral passage beyond the greater Boston region to western Massachusetts and into Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin and Ohio. At the end of any given section, a particular family’s story will reach a temporary hiatus while other branches are brought up to a corresponding point in the timeline. The sources for this Part One are both church and civil records recording births, deaths, baptisms, wills, and the like. There are almost no narrative biographical texts. Thus my recounting is by default a litany of those same facts with relatively little of the day-to-day minutiae that could give these figures greater character.

Most Ancient Roots

When discussing family history and family trees, everyone always wants to know “Who’s you oldest relative?” For Bonita Jackson Billick, the most distant ancestors are John Hastings, born in England in 1372 and his wife, Elizabeth Plantagenet, born in 1363. They are Bonnie’s 17th great-grandparents, and the parents of Alice Hastings (1393-1437) who married into the Noyes family in 1414 (see The Noyes Clan, page 9, below). There are one or two other names that predate these two but their lineage is not reliable enough for inclusion here.

Way Back: English Nobility

Everyone would like to find some royal, noble person in their family tree. It turns out the chances are kind of good. Moving back in time fifteen generations presents over 65,000 grandparents (4 the first, 8 the second, 16 the third, and so on). In most cases, records for those potential links die out and the line comes to an anonymous end. However, as one progresses back into the 15th and 14th centuries, surviving records are mostly for the more prominent figures. So, if one does have documentation for even one family line that far back, it’s likely to be for someone notable.

More than a dozen family names with links to the Billick-Jackson pedigree can be traced back to England, prior to the Colonial America era. In many cases the information is scant revealing just birth, death and marriage dates. The following few paragraphs present capsule summaries of several familial lines prior to the arrival of Billick-Jackson ancestors in Massachusetts in 1630.

The Mainwarings of Cheshire

The Mainwaring surname dates to the time of the Norman Conquest; it is one of the oldest known English surnames and countless families can claim a medieval “Manwaring” as an ancestor. Some texts say that “Ranulphus Mesnil Warin,” the primogenitor of the family, was awarded territories around Cheshire by William the Conqueror personally.[1] From the earliest years, modernized variants of “Ranulphus” —Ralph, Roger and Randle— appear in almost every generation. Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, many of the Mainwaring men were granted knighthoods and married into entitled families such as Venable and Cholmondeley (also dating from the era of William the Conquerer).[2] It is possible to establish apparent unbroken marital lines for the Mainwaring name from Anna Manwaring (1556-1633) back more than 400 years to one Roger de Mainwaring (born ca. 1140). The certainty of these relationships is, of course, tenuous, with scant documentation. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the 16th-century Anna was a member of the famous Mainwaring clan and that pedigree was passed on through the marriage of Anna, Bonnie Jackson’s 10th great-grandmother, to Peter Daniels and then via their grandson, William Daniel (1625-1678), who set foot in Massachusetts in 1648. The story of the Daniels family in America is picked up later on.

The Noyes Clan

The earliest documented occurrence of the Noyes surname is found in the marriage of Robert Noyes (1390-1432) and Alice Hasting (1393-1437), natives of Suffolk, England, and Bonnie Jackson’s 16th great-grandparents. One family tree suggests that Alice was a daughter of Elizabeth Plantagenet (1363-1425), of the famous royal family with roots in the French province of Anjou, that ruled England from 1154 to 1485; however, no documentation confirms that relationship.

Seven more generations of the Noyes family can be traced from the 14th century leading to the 1642 marriage of Dorothy Noyes (1622-1715) to John Haynes (1621-1697) in the Massachusetts Colony. Few details are known about the individuals. They hailed from villages like Weyhill, Childerton, Urchfont and Penton Grafton in the Counties of Wiltshire and Hampshire, around the larger cities of Andover and Salisbury. They were a prominent family with significant land holdings, most notably Ramridge Manor in Weyhill, site of the current Ramridge House built in 1740. The earliest Noyes will on record, that of Joan Mondey (1465-1532), enumerates a long list of livestock, land titles, and valuable possessions (several silver spoons are listed), indicative of an affluent family.

The history of the Noyes family in America is taken up later with the Puritan immigrants of Watertown, Massachusetts.

The Hayneses—Scottish Origins

The Haynes surname extends the Billick-Jackson ancestral roots back more than 550 years to the Moray region of Scotland, a rural area forty miles east of Inverness. The earliest of the demonstrable relatives are James Walter Innes (1437-1499) and Christine Seaton Gordon (1443-1500), Bonnie’s 14th great-grandparents. There are historical records documenting the ultimate origin of the family to 1160 when king Malcolm IV granted lands along the Scottish coast to Berowald, a Flemish nobleman, bestowing upon him the title of Baron of Innes.[3] James’ and Christine’s son, Robert Haines Innes (1470-1540) married Elspeth Elizabeth Stewart (1474-1564) in the city of Innes in 1510. Their son, Richard Haines (1490-1550), was born in Northampton, England, in 1490. Richard wed Thomasine Foxley (1490-1550), the daughter of the long-established Foxley clan of Northampton. Their son, Nicholas Haynes (1525-1585) was born in Sherborne, England, a small town due west of Portsmouth, often visited today for its striking Castle and Abbey. In 1538, Nicholas married Elizabeth Ann Elcock (1519-1586), another Sherborne native. Their son, John Haynes (1550-1620) married Alice Lambert (1554-1620) in October 1575. Their son, Walter Haynes (1583-1665) married Elizabeth Gourd (1585-1659) in 1612. The marriage produced ten children between 1613 and 1640. The story of the Haynes in America picks up below, in The Haynes’s in America.

The Howes

At least five branches of the Howes immigrated to the New World and some of them are surely relatives —if not direct blood ancestors— of John Howe (1598-1792), Bonnie Jackson’s 10th great-grandfather. Accurately tracing the Howe progenitors in England and their descendants in North America is fiendishly difficult. First, there is the matter of the surname: extremely common, sometimes spelled without the final “e.” Secondly, the Howes used and reused a small number of Christian names with a large number of offspring, making it nearly impossible to sort out the proper relationships between dozens of Josiahs, Johns, Marys, Elizabeths and so on.

The Rich Ancestors

The Howes Old-World ancestors appear to include a titled London family beginning with Richard Rich (1375-1415). Through the 14 th -, 15 th -, and 16th-centuries, the Rich’s attained titles like Sherriff of London, Lord Rich and, most notably, Richard Rich, 1st Baron of Leighs, Lord Chancellor of England (1496-1567). The Rich surname eventually merged into the Howe family with the 1620 marriage of Bridget Rich (1596-1642) to John Howe (1598-1671).[4] The Howe legacy in Europe is difficult to trace and offers no insight into their Colonial ancestors. One early historian, characterizes the family thus:

The Howes were among the noble families of England many generations prior to the settlement of New England, and the name first appears in the records during the reign of Henry VII. They owned estates in Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, WIltshire, Nottingham and in Ireland. The sturdy Puritans of this name –John and Abraham Howe, arrived in Massachusetts shortly after the settlement of Boston. They were probably relatives, perhaps brothers, but whether or not they came over together cannont be definitely determined.[5]

There is more to be said about the colorful history of the Howes following their migration to North America; see The Colonial Howes, below.

Back to Introduction


[1] Reginald Mainwaring, Short History of the Mainwaring Family (London: Biblio Bazaar, LLC, 1868), chapter II.

[2] See Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 10, p. 271. The “House of Names” web site has a nice, concise summary of the surname (see https://www.houseofnames.com/manwaring-family-crest).

[3] There’s a lengthy description of Berowald in Ane [sic] Account of the Familie of Innis Compiled by Duncan Forbes of Culloden, 1698. Printed by The Spaulding Club, Aberdeen Scotland, 1864; pp. 49-52. There is a brief record of Berowald in the Ancestry.com database under the Latinized form of the name, Berowald Flandrensis De Innes.

[4] Some records suggest that Bridget married three different Howe’s: John (1602-1680), James (1603-1702), and James (1598- ?). This is almost surely genealogical confusion.

[5] Cutter, William Richard, Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts. (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908), p. 1884.

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