Thomas and Eliza sailed to America in 1851 on the ship Ellen. Martin Miles Harris and Mary Ann Harris were also on the ship with their children Caroline, Job, and Henry. Martin, Mary Ann, and Job Harris died after arriving in New Orleans, Louisiana. Thomas and Eliza Howels apparently adopted 7-year-old Caroline and 3-year-old Henry H. Harris and brought them to Utah. The 1860 Utah census shows Thomas and Eliza Howls with 11-year-old Henry, who is listed with their surname of Howls. Caroline would have been 16 years old. Her name does not appear with the family on that census.
Contemporary records variously spell the surname Howls and Howells. The gravestone inscription Thomas and Eliza confirm the spelling of their surname as Howels, as does the Utah State History Cemeteries and Burials Database for Eliza.