Most of the site concerns Howard's Hingston ancestry, though I have added what I know of the families of his mother Agnes (Stephenson) and wife Annie May (Watson). Howard's father Henry had been born and brought up in Devon, and could trace his ancestry back to the James Hingston of Holbeton who died in 1756, and whose modest wealth and large family feature in many known trees, not only of Hingstons, across the globe. Doubtless the Holbeton roots went back much further, and the Hingston name probably originates in the South Hams district. For more on this see the Hingston One-Name Study site.
Three more generations of Howard's ancestors continued in Holbeton. William (1709-81) was James' eldest son, but almost nothing is known of him, not even his share in his father's wealth. Andrew (1744-1802) is less shadowy because we have his will and know more of his children, and his eldest son Andrew (1776-1855) remained in Holbeton for some time, and it is where his children were born. At some stage, possibly around 1818, he moved away and settled eventually a few miles away at Ashford, Aveton Gifford.
His surviving son Andrew (1809-1855) farmed nearby at Bigbury. He was Howard's grandfather, and had he and his own eldest son, also Andrew, survived to live a normal span the family history might have been rather different. Perhaps Henry would have wanted to roam the world and to make his fortune anyway, but he would have had less opportunity to waste one in the process. He never gave up his dream, and it may have been the conflict between his father's wanderlust and impetuousness, and his mother's desire for security and respectability, that left Howard with so many ambiguous feelings about his past.
Howard was my grandfather, and the site is dedicated to him and to his children.
If you are just browsing, following the links above will introduce you to the principal characters in the story. To follow particular interests, the surname index lists all those in Howard's known ancestry, including close relatives, and the archive has a list of the source documents on this site. A much larger name index exists for Allen and Dymond's pedigree chart of the 1850's.