Many thanks for your very informative reply. My father was born in Derby, but his father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all born in Belper. That takes me back to Joseph c.1791. He was a master nailmaker and his son, John, was a horse nail maker. I've never heard of any "lady nailmakers"! From what I've read, they were a pretty tough, hard drinking lot, and Joseph also kept a beer house in King Street, Belper. I can't find any Howarths in Belper before Joseph, but I have found them in Mellor, which is not far from New Mills. However, I can't find any connection for certain.
Although the family belief was that they came from Yorkshire, my aunt (who was nearly 106 when she died) told me that her father, my grandfather William Howarth who was a cooper and wheelwright, had spent some time before his marriage with relatives in Great Howarth near Rochdale. So there is a link with Lancashire. However, she also remembered her father's cousin visiting them in Derby and he worked at Terry's chocolate factory in York. She was about 8 when this happened and remembered it particularly because he brought them chocolates - not something that happened often to little girls in those days!
There is another possible Lancashire connection in that my aunts always said there was a connection between the Howarths and Sir Robert Peel (English Prime Minister in the 19th cent. and founder of our police force). It seems that this Robt. Peel's father, also Robert, married Elizabeth Howarth who came from Darwen in Lancashire. I haven't got any further with this line yet.
The last male Howarth in my line is my nephew, Crispin, who lives in Australia. He's quite interested in family history, so he would probably be willing to give you a DNA sample. I will certainly ask him.
A copy of your paper on the origins etc of the name would be most welcome.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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