Early St John`s Nowells-Newells-Knowles

Richard Newell Mayor of Barnstaple

Richard Newell of Mayor of Barnstaple, Newfoundland trader:

Richard Newell 1727

The first recorded Noel/Newell was Richard Newell a factor in Newfoundland ca 1620

Coopers Cove 1610

The Knowles of Devon make appearances.

In 1669 Mr Knowles appeared with Fishing Admiral Christopher Martin. This Admiral was famous for driving the Dutch from St John`s using his ship`s cannon.


The Journal of James Yonge (1641-1721), Plymouth Surgeon, ed., F.N.L.Poynter, (London).

St John`s Fishing fleet 1669.

Name Ship From Port Boats Men
Mr Christopher Martin Marigold Plymouth 18 90
Mr. Jno Rich Blessing Dartmouth 10 50
Mr. Wm  Cock Fortune Dartmouth 5 25
Mr. Tho:   Fowles Solomon Dartmouth 11 55
Mr. Rob.   Fletcher Unity Dartmouth 12 60
Mr. Knowles James Dartmouth 8 40
Mr. Barthol.   Hill Diamond Dartmouth 3 15
Mr. Jno.   Martin Phenix Tinmouth 12 60
Mr Lux   &c. Nonesuch Dartmouth 15 75
Mr Allen Heyn Dartmouth 8 40
Mr. Tho:   Waymouth Fortune Dartmouth 6 30
Mr. Ball Unity Plymouth 5 25
Mr. Cope London 3 15
Mr. Ellice   Martyn Dartmouth 3 15
Mr. Bawden Tinmouth 5 25

It looks like Captain Christopher Martin also travelled to Barbados. He brought some passengers back to Newfoundland:

tickets from Barbados

Not sure if this is the same Capt Knowles:


An early Irish Merchant was probably involved in trade with St John’s:

Thomas Knowles of Ireland

The Knoll name appearing in this 1704 document is likely Charles Nowles

(or his family) who appears in 1706 St. John’s inhabitants

’1704 Thomas Newell document (Knoll also)


A Mr Newell was conducting business in 1719.


Joseph Nowell

In St. John’s Joseph Nowell marries Hannah Hoggins in 1759. Newly married he was trying to secure the rights of his wife Hannah Hoggins to the Morrison estate in St John`s in 1759 (original and transcription).

joseph newell 1759


He might be the same generation as Clement b ca 1735 of Freshwater. There is also a Thomas Neal and Samuel Neal in St John`s that look related to each other in the same period. Joseph names his son Thomas.

He has 3 kids using the same spelling. In Newfoundland this is a relatively unusual spelling. In the courts the ownership of the land is described after it has been passed on to his son Thomas. Their land is further described in making way for a new road. Thomas Nowell, 57, son of Joseph sold the land in 1820. In 1767, a widower, Joseph marries Rebecca Heize.  I am still looking at what happened to this family.


St john’s Cathedral Marriages courtesy David Pike

St John’s Catholic Cathedral:

Knowles_Noles Bapt St johns

Legal discussion of the Nowell deed


Nowel in 1781……



Some St Johns area residents ca 1709:

1709 St John’s Area Residents