The Howlett family of East Anglia

The Howlett family begin appearing in the parish church records of the village of Wymondham in Norfolk, England, during the early 1800s, with my earliest ancestor - my 4x Great Grandfather John Howlett stating he was born in Silfield.

Howlett family in Norfolk

An area named Silfield can be found to the south of Wymondham, and now sits on the opposite side of the A11 major road from Wymondham. It does not appear to be a parish in its own right, but it was from here that weaver John and his wife Elizabeth Poll (previously known as Elizabeth Goodings) had brought their children to be baptised at Wymondham.

Howlett family move to Suffolk

Between 1838 and 1841, the Howlett family move from Wymondham to the village of Lakenheath in neighbouring Suffolk, but within 10 years, they appear to be living in nearby parish of Mildenhall. However, their address of Burnt Fen remains the same suggesting that the parish boundary, or at least the census enumerator's knowledge of boundaries, was different in 1851 when it came to this piece of fenland.

It is here in Mildenhall, that my Howlett family seems to remain, with John and Elizabeth's family growing up and John and Elizabeth both being buried.

Whilst in Mildenhall, their son and my 3x Great Grandfather, Thomas Howlett married Caroline Clarke in 1855. Within a year the couple had welcomed their first child and my 2x Great Grandmother Elizabeth Howlett into the world.

Sadly though, Thomas contracted tuberculosis, and he died aged 23 years, leaving his wife and two year old daughter.

The Howletts in Cambridgeshire

My Howlett branch first appear in Cambridgeshire in 1861, when Elizabeth Howlett appears alongside her re-married mother, Caroline, and her step-father Robert Coe (known affectionately as Dadda Bob).

By 1878, Elizabeth has grown up and married Littleport farmer James Gilbert, and they soon grow a family of 9 children.

Caroline remains close-by to play grandmother, and out-lives her daughter and son-in-law by just a few months.

Howlett family connections

The Howlett family is connected to a number of ancestral families so far: