As I noted in my post on Selston, I suspect that my millwright ancestor William Howet had links to Gotham. Let me take you through my logic.
William’s 1664 will was witnessed by John and George “Howete”. Given the same surname (if slightly different spelling) and the fact that William gave two of his sons those names, John and George look like they could be his brothers, though as they would all have been about 70 they might be nephews. (It’s unlikely that his sons were the witnesses for, just as now, it was bad form to have major beneficiaries as witnesses, and George junior was still a minor.)
In 1641, all men over 18 were required to swear allegiance to the Protestant religion. The only George Howet (however spelt) was in Gotham, and a John Howet was there too.
George Howet/t of Gotham was a churchwarden in 1637 and 1638. John Howite was churchwarden of Gotham in 1634, 1635 and 1642.
As early church registers go, Gotham’s is pretty good. The only matching George was born in 1589, to Roger Howet and Eloise, and it looks like he died in 1666. There was a John Howet born to Roger and new wife Emmot in 1613, or a first cousin born in 1593 to William Howet and Elizabeth Rawson. (The one born in 1613 is probably not the churchwarden in 1635.)
Our millwright would probably be the William born in 1591 to Roger; or less likely to Richard Howet and Joane in 1581. If he’s the son of Roger, he had (correctly matching) sisters Anne born 1593 and Elizabeth born 1595. There was also a Margaret born 1597, who married Henry Townsende at Gotham in 1626, and presumably not still around in 1664.
To be clear, there’s a great fit for the millwright to have been born in Gotham, and had two brothers witness his will. The brothers evidently ensured bequests for both their surviving sisters (10 shillings each).
One thing that doesn’t fit as well is that the millwright didn’t have a surviving son called Roger, which you would expect given that he seemed fond of family names, but perhaps baby Roger died young, in the period where there are no surviving Eastwood registers. There are no Rogers in the next generation down either, and in this family you would tend to name a son after his grandfather. In the will of Roger’s father William (d1594) he apologises for giving too much to Roger, so there might be some special circumstance that makes Roger a black sheep after whom you wouldn’t name children.
William Howet of Gotham born 1591 might have moved to Eastwood/Greasley, perhaps as a trained millwright looking for work. There was already a John and Robert Howet in Greasley. We know that the millwright had a son John in Eastwood (adjoins Greasley) in 1621, and it looks like the millwright’s sister Elizabeth was in Greasley in 1632.
I know William b1591 received some money from his godfather William Towle (maternal uncle?) in 1616 which might have assisted a move to Greasley. That Towle family had links to Sandiacre, where a Richard Howet left (1558) money to William and John Howet, so perhaps son William moved to Gotham and is Roger Howet’s father, and the other son John moved to Greasley and had a John and Robert there … but we’re speculating. That does leave a spare Richard in Gotham in the 1570s – a nephew?
In passing, a George Howet died in Gotham in 1568, with no details. Could have been an alternative father of William (d1594) and Richard who left after 1581, or might just have been an early child of that William which would still be compatible with the scenario in the previous paragraph.
(That line of speculation would lead to connections to the Howets of Long Eaton, and ultimately the Hewets of Ockbrook in Derbyshire, which would be fun, but a subject for another day.)