There are lots of Howards in the United States, and there is a legend that we are descended from the Dukes of Norfolk; however this seems a bit unlikely as those Howards were famous for adhering to the Catholic faith.
Our Howards can only be traced back to the 1790’s in Dutchess County, New York with the births there of Martin and Parker Howard. The family traveled early to Jefferson County, New York.
This is where Martin and Parker Howard grew up, married, and raised a number of children.
Martin Howard Sr Descendants
Parker Howard Descendants
And then about 1834 the entire family – Howards and Bedfords, Durkees and Stevens’, Perrys and Masticks, and their friends and neighbors, moved west, briefly to Ohio, then to Stephenson Co., llinois. or to next-door Jo Daviess Co. And that is where Martin Freeman Howard became an adult, married and had eight children, (see genealogy). They were adherents of the Primitive Baptists and built a little church near Lena, Stephenson Co., Il. This church still stands, roofless and abandoned.
In the 1870’s Martin Freeman Howard had itchy feet and having acquired land in Dakota County, Nebraska, he and his family moved there in 1880.
At this point the family became more and more fractured; Martin Freeman and his wife Elizabeth separated, and Elizabeth and their children moved to Wakefield, Nebraska. Martin died in 1883 in Nodaway Co., Missouri in the home of a nephew. Several of the children eventually wound up in Louisiana, others in California,
For more detail on “our”parts of the family, you might go to Martin Howard families, Howards in California, Wakefield, NE (for Nellie Howard and Herbert Shumway), or Charles Freeman Howard