I detail below my direct Howard ancestors. Further information about others in the family are provided in links. Related surnames include: Carr, Gray, Pheby, Hancock and Lewis. 

Richard Howard (c.1784 - 1850) and Martha Carr (c.1789 - c.1869)

Richard Howard was born c. 1784. In 1805, he married Elizabeth Carr at St Mary Magdalene in Staines, Middlesex and they had one son -  Henry, born c. 1807 in nearby Poyle. In 1809, presumably now widowed, Richard married Elizabeth's sister, Martha. I do not know anything about the Carr family other than that Martha was born in London. Richard and Martha lived in Poyle where both were employed at the local paper mill. They had at least six children: Louisa (born c. 1810), Sarah (born c.1813), Joseph (born c.1819), Samuel (see below), Emmanuel (born c. 1824) and Elizabeth (born c. 1827). Richard died in January 1850, his death certificate recording "stricture of the urethra (6 years), inflammation of the bladder, coma". He pre-deceased Martha by nineteen years, who lived with their son Samuel until her death in 1869. Richard and Martha are my third great-grandparents.

Like Richard and Martha, Henry, Samuel, Emmanuel and Elizabeth were also employed in the paper making trade, as was Louisa's husband - James Hancock. It seems that Henry spent some time in Russia as he is shown in the 1871 census living in Poyle with a son, Alexander, born c. 1856 in Russia. This date coincides with that of the Crimean war so one could speculate that this may have been what took Henry to Russia. The identity of Alexander's mother and whether Henry had any other children is a mystery, though I know that Henry was married at one point as he is shown as a widower in the 1871 and 1881 census records. In 1881, Alexander is recorded as a 'visitor' staying in Lancashire with a Thomas Cook Carr, Professor of music. It seems likely that this Thomas was in some way connected to the same 'Carr' family as Elizabeth and Martha but as yet I have been unable to establish this. 

My impression is that the Howard's were a religious family. This is indicated by the biblical names chosen for their children and also their apparent involvement in an independent movement emanating from the Poyle paper mill where they worked and the Bethel Independent Chapel at Wooburn, Buckinghamshire. They also appeared to maintain close family ties - in 1871, Samuel's (see below) daughter, Emily, was Henry's housekeeper and in 1881 Henry was living with Emmanuel's son, Rowland.

Samuel Howard (1821 – 1886) and Elizabeth Gray (c.1839 - c.1901)

Richard and Martha's son Samuel was born in Poyle the 15th October 1821 and baptised at the Poyle Independent Chapel on the 6th November of the same year. He continued to live in Poyle and work as a paper maker until his death in August 1886 from "congestion of the lungs and exhaustion". Samuel married twice - first to Fanny Hillier in 1844 and second to Elizabeth Bennett (nee Gray) after Fanny's death c. 1868. Samuel had at least six children - Elizabeth Fanny (born June 1849), Emily (c. 1852) and Rosa (c. 1862) with Fanny, and Christopher Chamberlain (July 1874), Henry Richard (c. 1875) and Alice (1879) (my great grandmother - see below) with Elizabeth.  

Samuel's family Bible still exists today, though it is very fragile and some of the names and dates cannot be read. A handwritten page in which Samuel details a number of facts about the Bible including the total number of chapters, verses, words and even letters reinforces the idea that the Howards were a religious family. On a page at the beginning of the New Testament, Samuel also records his marriage to Fanny and embellishes this with two hearts and kisses.

The marriage between Samuel and Elizabeth was a second marriage for both parties. Elizabeth was born c. 1839 in Uxbridge, Middlesex,. She was the illegitmate daughter of a 17-year-old Mary Ann Gray and no father is recorded on her baptismal record. At the age of 23, Elizabeth married the somewhat older 50-year-old John Bennett but was widowed within a few years. The marriage certificate shows Elizabeth as being a servant. In later census records she appears as a midwife. Samuel and Elizabeth lived with Christopher, Henry and Alice in Poyle, Stanwell - first, in Butlers Cottages and then at a residence with the intriging name of 'The Punch Bowl'. After Samuel's death Elizabeth stayed on in Stanwell and then moved the family to Buckinghamshire. 

Alice Howard (1879 - 1943)

Alice Howard, my Great-Grandmother, was born on 16th December 1879 in Poyle, Stanwell. She grew up in Poyle and was just six years old when her father, Samuel, died. By 1901 she had moved to nearby Colnbrook in Buckinghamshire with her mother (Elizabeth) and brothers (Christopher and Henry) where she took on the role of family housekeeper. This was to be a significant move for Alice since it was in the neighbouring parish of Tylers Green that she met and married my Great-Grandfather Arthur Percy Aiston Lewis, son of George Lewis and Malina Aiston. They were married at St Margaret's Church on 29th October, 1904 - Arthur 23 years old and Alice 24. Christopher Howard acted as witness alongside Arthur's sister Daisy. Arthur and Alice set up home together in West Wycombe, living in 'The Round House' on the edge of the Dashwood estate where Arthur worked as a gardener. They had three children - Percy (born 1905), Irene (born 1907) and my maternal Grandma, Phyllis (born 1909). The family later moved to the village of Laleham in Middlesex and it was here that Alice died just short of her 64th birthday in Decemeber 1943, suffering from pneumonia. Alice is buried at All Saints Church in Laleham.