I have previously written about the possible connection between the HOWLETT and GEERING families. My suspicion is that James GEERING married Ann HOWLETT.
I have also noted that there is the possibility that James’ grandson was named after Francis HOWLETT, who was seemingly a well-loved member of the Hailsham community.
Whilst checking another set of parish register transcriptions at Hailsham Library I came across another piece of evidence which links the names HOWLETT and GEERING.
It appears that the first child of James and Ann GEERING (my 5x great-grandparents) was Jane Howlett GEERING (this is the same Jane GEERING who drowned in the common pond, Hailsham in 1874) and she was baptised at Hailsham Church on the 24th April 1798.
So I have another piece of evidence linking the GEERINGs to the HOWLETTs, and this connection is much earlier than the previous one (Francis Howlett GEERING was baptised on the 14th October 1822 in Lewes, Sussex).
I clearly need to look in more detail at Francis HOWLETT, unfortunately there is one factor that might make it tricky. According to Thomas Geering he was
one of a party of strolling players who arrived in the place on a professional tour, he gave up the buskin and settled down to quiet domestic life, married a wife from the neighbourhood and became factotum of the parish.
The fact that Francis HOWLETT wandered into Hailsham from somewhere else (and it could be almost anywhere) could make things rather tricky for tracing his life. The good news is that his wife was a local woman, which might make things slightly easier.