David W. Wells' great-grandmother was named Hannah Howard Osborne, who lived from 1735 until an unknown year. This is where the Wells line intersects with the Howards, who may have been descended from the Dukes of Norfolk in England. Here is the lineage:
- Matthew Howard (1609, Wardour, Wiltshire, England—4 September 1659, Anne Arundel County, Maryland), married Anne Hall (1610, England—1640, Annapolis, Maryland), daughter of Richard Hall 1585-1645) and Marion Lee Loveland (1580-1645)
- Captain Cornelius Howard (1637, Norfolk, Virginia—15 October 1680, Anne Arundel County, Maryland), married Elizabeth Todd or Gorsuch (sources differ)
- Captain Cornelius Howard, Jr. (1664, Anne Arundel County, Maryland—23 February 1717, St. Annes Parish, Anne Arundel, Maryland), married Mary Katherine Hammond (1689, Anne Arundel—24 December 1714, St. Annes Parish), daughter of Major John Hammond (5 December 1643, Anne Arundel County—24 November 1707, Anne Arundel County) and Mary Howard (1647, Anne Arundel County—4 April 1721, Anne Arundel County), whose parents were Matthew and Anne Hall Howard
- Captain John Howard (1698-1765), married Elizabeth Gassaway (28 March 1712, Anne Arundel—unknown), daughter of Thomas Gassaway (20 February 1683, Anne Arundel County—10 September 1739, Anne Arundel County) and Susanna Hanslap (8 February 1682, Anne Arundel County—24 February 1740, Anne Arundel)
- Hannah Howard (1735, Virginia—unknown), married Caleb Osborne (1725 or 1731, James City (Williamsburg), Virginia—7 August 1781, Rowan County, North Carolina)
- Elizabeth Abigail Osborne (1757-1856), married Zachariah Wells (1745-1825)
- Dr. Jeremiah Wells (1792, Scott County, Virginia—18 November 1845, Wise County, Virginia), married Elizabeth Culbertson (1792 or 1796, Scott County, Virginia—5 April 1859, Wise County, Virginia), daughter of Joseph Culbertson (1766-1815) and Agnes Chittleton
- David W Wells (c 1815, Virginia—9 April 1865), married Nancy Jane Elkins (1822, Russell, Virginia—22 December 1887, Wise, Virginia), daughter of Joseph Elkins (c 1789, Russell County, Virginia—after 1865) and Margaret (1803-unknown)
- Virginia Elizabeth Wells, married Squire Benjamin Martin Bentley
- Lucy Jane Bentley, married Nelson Hyder
The identity of Matthew Howard is subject to dispute, and there are two theories concerning his parentage, one of which is rather less credible than the other. According to the first theory, advanced by Zella Armstrong in her Notable Southern Families (Chattanooga: Lookout Publishing Co., 1918), Matthew was the Matthew Howard Arundel, born in 1609 to Sir Thomas Arundel, 1st Baron Arundel of Wardour, and Anne Philipson. Sir Thomas was a descendant of another Sir Thomas Arundel, and Margaret Howard, whose ancestors included the Dukes of Norfolk. This would make Matthew the brother of Anne Arundel, who married Cecil Calvert, the 2nd Baron of Baltimore, and one of the founders of the Maryland colony. (My wife, Nancy Calvert Koyzis, is descended from Cecil and Anne, who are her 8th great-grandparents.) This theory is undoubtedly in error, as the Matthew born to Sir Thomas and Ann seems to have died before reaching adulthood, a not uncommon occurrence at that time.
The second and somewhat more likely theory has Matthew as the son of John Howard and Elizabeth Lock Howard. John was possibly the grandson of Lord Thomas Howard and Lady Margaret Douglas, whose grandfather was King Henry VII, the first of the Tudor monarchs, and whose mother, Margaret Tudor, had been married to King James IV of Scotland. Lord Thomas' grandfather, Sir John Howard, was the first Duke of Norfolk and died in the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 for supporting Richard III. (This “Norfolk” is one of the villains in Shakespeare's Richard III, a play obviously written to bolster the claims of his royal patron Queen Elizabeth's Tudor grandfather, Henry VII, from whom, incidentally, we may also be descended.) This theory is not without difficulties as well, but it is more plausible and is the one favoured by James E. Moss, Providence, Ye Lost Towne at Severn in Maryland (Washington, D.C.: by author, 1976), and also by Joseph H. Howard, in “Who Were Matthew Howard's Parents? A Revisit,” Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin, vol. 41, no. 4 (fall 2000): 574-605.
In either case, Matthew seems to be descended from the Dukes of Norfolk, who intermarried with the royal family of England. Included in this family are two wives of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyne, who were themselves first cousins. This, of course, opens all sorts of other connections with most of the royal and imperial families of Europe.
Or both theories may be incorrect, as indicated in this online document, Bogus Family Lines, whose author believes that our Howards are not descended from Lord Thomas Howard and Lady Margaret Douglas.