Help Me Locate the Descendants of the Siblings of my Great-Grandfather Edward B. Howell

My great-grandfather was Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942). He was the son of James E Howell of Granville County and Virginia “Ginny” Richardson of Warren/Halifax Cos. He was born and raised in Granville County’s Native American community in Fishing Creek township. I am looking to get in touch with any descendants of his siblings:

1. Frances Ellen Howell (1872-1923), 2.  Lucy J Howell (1873-1952), and 3. William Isaac Howell (1891-?)

I have not successfully found any living descendants, so I’m hoping the readers of this blog will be able to assist in any way. Please share this blog post!

Some background information:

Edward Brodie Howell was born in late September 1870 in Granville Co, NC to James E Howell and Virginia Richardson. James E Howell had first married Betsy Ann Tyler-Kersey, daughter of Baldy Kersey and Frances Tyler. They were wed in 1867 but Betsy Ann died soon after their wedding and they had no children together.

Next, James E Howell married Virginia “Ginny” Richardson, daughter of Nancy Richardson and an unidentified father. Virginia was from the Haliwa-Saponi Richardson family. They wed in 1869 and Virginia moved to Granville County where she gave birth to three children:

1. Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) – my great-grandfather

2. Frances Ellen Howell (1872-1923) – my great grand aunt

3. Lucy J Howell (1873-1952) – my great grand aunt

Sadly Virginia (Richardson) Howell died young, leaving her husband James E Howell to care for three very young children on his own. By 1880, James E Howell was listed as “widowed” in the census and had moved into his mother Jane (Harris) Howell’s home. Jane helped raise her grandchildren and the family remained in Granville County’s Native American community in Fishing Creek township.

Later, James E Howell married for a third time – Mary (maiden name not confirmed). They wed in 1887, and had one son together:

4. William Isaac Howell (1891 – ?) – my great grand uncle

James E Howell died in 1912, but by that time his two sons – Edward Brodie Howell and William Isaac Howell had relocated to New Haven, CT and his two daughters Frances Ellen Howell and Lucy J Howell relocated to Washington, D.C.


This is what I know about my great-grandfather’s 3 siblings:

Frances Ellen Howell (1872-1923).

By 1900, Frances relocated to Washington, D.C. where she worked as a nurse. And by the following year she married John B Loftus (1870-1955) who had also moved from Granville County to Washington, D.C. John worked as a policeman in Washington, D.C and the family lived at 1514 Kingman Place. John and Frances (Howell) Loftus had one daughter together: Ruth Loftus (1901-1996).

John B. Loftus, Frances (Howell) Loftus, and Ruth Loftus enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 2, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_149; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1374162
John B. Loftus, Frances (Howell) Loftus, and Ruth Loftus enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census
Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 2, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_149; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0029; FHL microfilm: 1374162

Frances (Howell) Loftus died young in 1923. Her widow John B Loftus married again to a woman named Essie. John Loftus died in 1955.

John and Frances (Howell) Loftus’ daughter Ruth Loftus (1901-1996) remained in Washington, D.C. Ruth was a public school teacher and was married to Fred Jolie (1886-1979). Fred was from a Louisiana Creole background and worked as a clerk in the War Department. The couple lived at 325 T St and as far as I know they did not have any children. Fred Jolie died in 1975 and Ruth (Loftus) Jolie died in 1996. I hope that I am mistaken about them not having any children and I would welcome any additional information anyone has about John and Ruth.

As Ruth grew older and perhaps lonelier she would regularly send poems to the newspaper in honor of her parents. For example:

Ruth (Loftus) Jolie, daughter of John Loftus and Frances Howell writing a poem in honor of her deceased parents. Source: The Washington Post, 1982.
Ruth (Loftus) Jolie, daughter of John Loftus and Frances Howell writing a poem in honor of her deceased parents.
Source: The Washington Post, 1982.

Lucy J Howell (1873-1952)

Lucy Howell relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1902 and that same year she married William Sanford (1865-1928). William worked as a clerk in the Post Office and Lucy was a dressmaker who owned her own shop. The couple lived at 1316 U Street. I have no records of William and Lucy having any children. William died in 1928 and Lucy died in 1952.

William Sanford and Lucy (Howell) Sanford enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They have quite of number of boarders who are living in their home. Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 8, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_153; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0145; FHL microfilm: 1374166
William Sanford and Lucy (Howell) Sanford enumerated in Washington, D.C. in the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. They have quite of number of boarders who are living in their home.
Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 8, Washington, District of Columbia; Roll: T624_153; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0145; FHL microfilm: 1374166

William Isaac Howell (1891-?)

William Isaac Howell was my great-grandfather’s youngest sibling, and he was biologically his half sibling because William had a different mother. There was also a 21 year age difference between the two brothers, so I’m not sure how close they were growing up. But William did move to New Haven, CT which is where my great-grandfather also relocated. William was in New Haven by 1910 and was married to a woman named Margaret (maiden name not known). William and Margaret had two children together: James Howell (1913-?) and Theda Howell (1919-?).The family resided at 53 Foote St and 1411 Chapel St.

William Isaac Howell, Margaret Howell and children James and Theda Howell are listed in the 1920 census in New Haven, CT. They also have a boarder living in their home. Source: Year: 1920; Census Place: New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut; Roll: T625_191; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 362; Image: 212
William Isaac Howell, Margaret Howell and children James and Theda Howell are listed in the 1920 census in New Haven, CT. They also have a boarder living in their home.
Source: Year: 1920; Census Place: New Haven Ward 9, New Haven, Connecticut; Roll: T625_191; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 362; Image: 212

By 1932, William Isaac Howell and Margaret had separated/divorced and William relocated to New York City and Margaret remained in New Haven at 866 Grand Ave. Their son James Howell later followed William to New York City.

The last verified record for William Isaac Howell was from 1942 when he filed a WW2 draft card. His address is listed as 104 West 132nd St. His son James Howell is listed as next closest living relative. Source: The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: New York
The last verified record for William Isaac Howell was from 1942 when he filed a WW2 draft card. His address is listed as 104 West 132nd St. His son James Howell is listed as the next closest living relative.
Source: The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; State Headquarters: New York

As previously mentioned, William’s son James Howell also moved to New York City but I have no idea what happened to him. I do not know if James was married, if he had children or when he died. I also have no idea what happened to William’s daughter Theda Howell. I do not know if she remained in New Haven, moved to New York City, or even moved elsewhere.

However I do know that all 4 Howell siblings were still close and visited each other frequently in addition to visiting their home roots in Granville County, North Carolina. Going from a rural indigenous community where everyone was kin to moving to major urban areas with people from diverse backgrounds must have been quite an adjustment for them. I found several newspaper articles to verify this.

Lucy (Howell) Sanford visiting her home in North Carolina in 1925. Source: The New York Age, 29 Aug 1925, Sat, Page 9
Lucy (Howell) Sanford (1873-1952) visiting her home roots in Granville County, North Carolina in 1925.
Source: The New York Age, 29 Aug 1925, Sat, Page 9
Frances (Howell) Loftus and daughter Ruth Loftus visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1908. Source: The Washington Bee, 19 Sep 1908, Sat, First Edition
Frances (Howell) Loftus and daughter Ruth Loftus spent the summer visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1908.
Source: The Washington Bee, 19 Sep 1908, Sat, First Edition
Lucy (Howell) Sanford visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1910. Source: The Washington Bee, 2 Jul 1910, Sat, First Edition
Lucy (Howell) Sanford visiting my great-grandfather Edward B. Howell and family in New Haven, CT in 1910.
Source: The Washington Bee, 2 Jul 1910, Sat, First Edition
My great-grandfather Edward B. Howell bringing his two oldest children Edward and Beatrice to visit his sister Lucy (Howell) Sanford in Washington, D.C. in 1910. Source: The Washington Bee, 17 Sep 1910, Sat, First Edition
My great-grandfather Edward B. Howell bringing his two oldest children Edward and Beatrice to visit his sister Lucy (Howell) Sanford in Washington, D.C. in 1910.
Source: The Washington Bee, 17 Sep 1910, Sat, First Edition
My grand uncle Dr. Edward Gaylord Howell (1898-1971)  accompanied his father Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) to visit family in Washington, D.C. Source: Yale University archives
My grand uncle Dr. Edward Gaylord Howell (1898-1971) accompanied his father Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) to visit family in Washington, D.C.
Source: Yale University archives
My grand aunt Beatrice Howell (1901-1967) also accompanied her father Edward Brodie Howell to visit family in Washington, D.C. © Christine Moore Lynch
My grand aunt Beatrice Howell (1901-1967) also accompanied her father Edward Brodie Howell (1870-1942) to visit family in Washington, D.C.
© Christine Carter Lynch. Do not reproduce
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2 thoughts on “Help Me Locate the Descendants of the Siblings of my Great-Grandfather Edward B. Howell

  1. Ancestry shows James E. Howell b 1840 Granville Co., NC m. Virginia Richardson.
    Your Edward Brodie Howell should be in the 1860 census at home.

    Like

    • Hi Joy. Thanks for commenting. My 2nd great-grandparents James E Howell and Virginia Richardson were married November 11, 1869 in Warren County. In the 1870 census Virginia was pregnant with my great-grandfather, so he is not listed in the census yet. My great-grandfather and his siblings are first listed in the 1880 census. So no, the 1860 census was before my great-grandfather was born and was also before his parents were even married.

      Like

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