American Hawkinses  

Mont E. Hawkins, referred to as “Grandpa” in some places in this write-up,
was the 8th generation of Hawkinses born in America!

Connection Across Two Centuries

In the spring of 1862, a foot-soldier private named Harrison Hawkins, along with more than 100,000 other soldiers in blue, fought a series of battles from the tip of the Virginia Peninsula up the length of it. They were fighting to hold together a country that hadn’t even been dreamed of 225 years earlier when Harrison’s sixth great-grandfather and his descendants were scratching out a colony on that very peninsula. We’re positive Harrison never knew about those ancestors, but we know about them.

When I set out to track down the first Hawkins to come to America, I found John Clark Hawkins being born in England in 1615 and dying in Virginia in 1675, so I concluded he was the one. Now we know that his father, William Hawkins (1587-1655)—one of many by that name—was not only the first to “cross the pond,” but he did it in the earliest days of the colonies. To keep things clear since there are so many Williams in the family, we will refer to this one as “our” William.

Quick—and relevant—history review:

  • In 1584 Queen Elizabeth I granted a charter to Sir Walter Raleigh to make contact with the Indians on the North American coast and hopefully to establish a permanent settlement. Most everyone knows the story of Roanoke, the “lost colony” and how that turned out. Our William was born right about the time that happened.

  • In 1603 Queen Elizabeth died without heirs (having never married), and the English throne went to James VI of Scotland who became James I of England. [In 1611 he would “authorize” the translation of the Scriptures that still carries his name.]

  • In the spring of 1607 an attempt to establish a colony on the northern shore of a large river turned out to be successful. They named the river the James, and they called their settlement—what else? Jamestown. They named the whole area Virginia in honor of their “Virgin Queen” who had so recently died. Despite serious and even desperate problems, the settlement held together and began to thrive enough that, as more and more came from Europe (including Germans and Poles), by 1610 they put together an initial form of government.

  • In 1619 the Jamestown colony established the first democratic assembly.

  • Relevant note: in 1620, another group heading for Virginia were blown seriously off course and landed on Cape Cod with their ship the Mayflower, and the Pilgrim chapter of our history began there. Multiple branches of our ancestors (Porter, Huntley, Champlin) came through Massachusetts (some as early as the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1630), but their stories are written up in other places.

William’s Birth Family

Before we talk further about our William, we need to take a look at his birth family because, as for all of us, his birth family had a lot to do with who he was. His father was the renowned William Amadas and brother of the famed (or notorious) pirate Sir John Hawkins. Stories about John abound, and a bit about him is written elsewhere in this Scrapbook.

William Amadas was a shipbuilder and a leader in his community. Several times he was mayor of Plymouth, Devon, England, the home roots of all the Hawkinses. He acted as sort of CEO in the shipbuilding and highly profitable privateering business that he and his brother inherited from their seagoing father (another William Hawkins ). William Amadas captained one of the victorious English ships in the Spanish Armada in 1588 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Armada).

William Amadas married twice. He was 35 when his first child was born, and he fathered six children by his first wife. He named his first son—what else? William! We do not know his first wife’s name or when she died, but eight years after the sixth child was born, William, by then 50, married again, this time to a lady named Mary Halse. He would live only nine more years (till 1589), but he fathered seven more children during that time, the last one born in 1590, apparently after his death. 

The first three children of William Amadas’s second marriage were sons, the fourth a daughter, and the fifth a final son whom he named …William again, though it appears from his will that the first son William was still alive (two more daughters were born after that). That last son, who became our William, was not only the fourth son of that marriage but the sixth living son of his father. It appears from his father’s will (link) that at the time of his death, while most of his wealth went to his the oldest son, all his living offspring from both marriages were also named and assigned lesser bequests. 

Since our William was only two and a half when his father died, we simply have to imagine what influences were on his life during his childhood and youth. How much talk was there about his father’s seafaring life, about the Spanish Armada that had happened when he was a baby, and about the hugely successful slave trade of his Uncle John? (John died when our William was six.) His own siblings were themselves children when he was, but what about those older half siblings from the earlier marriage? We have reason to believe he had an ongoing relationship with at least his half-brother Thomas, who was seventeen when William was born. More on that later.

VIRGINIA HAWKINSES

For almost a century and a half, the history of our Hawkins ancestors is almost a history of early Virginia. Our William and his son John Clark not only died there, but three more generations of their descendants would be born and die there before anyone ventured to another state. By then they were almost to the time of the American Revolution. In the lists of children that follow, the names in underlined bold were our ancestors.

William Hawkins (1587-1655)
…was born in Tavistock, Devon, England in 1587. That was less than a century after Columbus “discovered” the new world on the far side of the Atlantic. Elizabeth I had been queen for twenty-nine years then, and she would remain queen until her death sixteen years later.

I find no listing in Google for Tavistock, but other references seem clear that it was near to and closely connected with Plymouth, a key city in Devon in the southwestern corner of England. The sixth of those last seven children of his father’s second marriage, William was born the year before the momentous clash between Spain and England that became known as the Spanish Armada, a conflict in which his father’s ships played a decisive and victorious part.

William married a Sarah Krahn (1588-1685) from Branxton, Northumberland, in Plymouth in 1610 (some records say 1615). If that birthplace for Sarah is accurate, it is a bit strange because the map shows that location to be way north and a bit eastward from Plymouth—almost to Scotland. Whatever, both William and Sarah were in their early twenties. 

The following information about this William Hawkins comes from a Donna Murphy: “He arrived in Virginia in 1636. He left his family in England to come to America with a Thomas Lucas. He landed at Lower Norfolk at the south end of Virginia and moved a bit up to the Poquoson River area where he bought land adjoining Peter Rigsby. This was the same area where his half brother Thomas lived and owned land. This is almost the exact site of present-day Williamsburg. Later his wife Sarah and children came to join him.” 

There is that half-brother Thomas again. It sounds like Thomas had gone to Virginia even earlier, was already somewhat settled, and that William followed in his footsteps. With Thomas being seventeen years older, that would make him thirty-seven at the founding of Jamestown and 67 when William apparently joined him. 

Back to the statement that William left his family behind when he set out with Thomas Lucas in 1636/37 and that “later” they came to join him. Comparing arrival dates in Ancestry, it appears that son John Clark took his mother (William’s wife) with him to America fourteen years later when John Clark himself went in1651. William died four years after that. John Clark wasn’t the only one to follow in William’s footsteps. All his children plus at least two of his siblings ended up in the colonies, though we don’t have arrival dates on any of the others. 

The Jamestown colony was settled on an island peninsula (much of it swamp) on the north shore of the James River, which is the southern side of a sizable peninsula that runs between the James and York Rivers (see map at beginning of this article). A large portion of the peninsula was called York (eventually York County), the York coming from the Duke-of-York title of the eldest son of James I. As the number of people coming from Europe increased and they spread out away from Jamestown itself, the first logical place to spread was the rest of the peninsula. The Poquoson River mentioned above runs down the peninsula and empties into the York River.

Children: The children we have for William and Sarah are Thomas (named for his half brother?), John Clark, Sarah (d. young), and Alice. A William Strothers Hawkins is consistently listed as having been born in this family but not until 1722, which of course is impossible, given the dates of the rest of the family. Perhaps he was of a later generation.

Our William died in 1655, eighteen years after arriving in the colony and just four years after Sarah’s arrival. She lived another ten years, dying in 1665, fourteen years after her arrival. Both of them died in “York, VA.”

John Clark Hawkins (1615-1675)
… was also born in Plymouth, Devon, England, June 25, 1615. He would have been 22 when his father left for the colonies, perhaps leaving John’s mother in his care. John Clark didn’t marry until thirteen years later when he was 35. We can only speculate whether that had anything to do with caring for his mother. Is it possible the decision to emigrate to the new world had to do with the need to take his mother to his father?

Aside from her name being Susannah, the records about the woman John Clark married are confusing. 

  • The mysteries start with a maiden name we have for her. Listings for her as John Clark’s wife offer no parents and no maiden names, but in eight listings for her as her son Edward’s mother, we have a variety, including two that give Clark, two that offer “Nin,” one that says White and one Hawkins, and two that say nothing. Without parents for her, we have no conclusion to draw. 

  • A bigger mystery is the fact that records consistently claim she was born in York, Virginia, in 1628 (that makes her 13 years younger than John Clark), yet all marriage records say the marriage happened in England. Even if we can’t rule out Susannah having been born in Virginia, how she got to England to marry John Clark is fodder for a lot of imagination—or records that have gotten confused across nearly four hundred years.

  • The claim of marriage in England is further complicated by the fact that Ancestry offers all the following claims about that marriage:

    • In Mulhand Jan. 31, 1641, at which time she would have been just thirteen.

    • In Hundston, Hertfordshire, in 1650 under “Facts shared with John Clark Hawkins”

    • In Hundston, Hertfordshire, in 1665—at which time John Clark would have been 50, already in Virginia for fourteen years, and fifteen years after their first child was born. That same record has her arriving in Virginia in 1664.

There is another marriage date, this in December of 1707. Since John Clark died 42 years before Susannah did, a marriage for that date is not so much unusual, but it is mysterious in that it again reads “England: - Marriage Licenses Issued By The Faculty Office, 1632-1714.” Say what? One record lists another husband named John, but there is no further info. 

Children: Whatever the truth about Susannah, we have records that claim that John Clark’s and her first child, also named John, was born in England in 1650. The second one, Edward, is our ancestor and was reportedly not born until 1660 in Virginia. Did John and Susannah lose other children in those nine years between? One record lists three Edwards, so that may be a clue.

John Clark died in 1675, so he and Susannah appear to have been married twenty-five years. Unless that 1707 marriage is true, she was a widow for forty-two years after that and at least for thirty-two. All we know about their first son John is that he died in York, Virginia, in 1718 at the age of 68.

Records agree that Susannah died April 23, 1717. That would make her 89, which would be unusual for that time and especially unusual in the primitive and challenging life of a young colony in the New World. Even stranger is that all records claim she died in Maryland. That might be possible since the Maryland colony was charted in 1628. However, both her sons died in Virginia one year and two years after she did, so it’s not as if one of them moved somewhere new and took his mother with him.

Edward Hawkins (1660-1720)
John Clark and Sarah’s son who became our ancestor was born in late 1660 in Bristol, York, Virginia, and died in Prince George County in 1720 at the age of sixty. Prince George County, on the south side of the James River further up the peninsula from York County, was organized in 1703 and named after the husband of Queen Anne, the then-current ruler of England. At that time, Jamestown was on the verge of celebrating its centennial. 

Edward apparently moved to Prince George between the births of his second and third child. Some records claim he was buried in England, but that is hard to confirm. 

Elinor Tinker (1660-1720) was also born in York. We have a name for her father (Thomas) but nothing such as birth or death locations for him that would give us more about his history and Elinor’s.

Children: Ancestry gives a marriage date for Elinor and Edward as 1684, but it also lists their first two children as being born in 1680 and 1682. We have at least seven children for them, listed here with the counties they were born in: Robert (Henrico Shire in 1680), Amy (York in 1682), Edward (Prince George in 1684), Michael (Bruton Parish, York, in 1685), William (again Prince George, in 1692), Solomon (Bristol, Prince Edward, in 1694), Richard (Bristol in 1696). Did Edward and Elinor really move around that much, through all those counties are in eastern Virginia?

About those children, Amy and Richard have no death dates; William and Solomon are said to have died in Rutherford, North Carolina. We have a mystery in a supposedly eighth child named Thomas Boone Hawkins. Eight listings have him born to Edward and Elinor Hawkins—but in 1720! That’s a quarter of a century after their seventh one was born and would make Elinor sixty! The fact that 1720 is also listed as the year Elinor died might add some credence to that, but a more sensible explanation comes from the fact that a Thomas Boone is also listed as a child of the next generation, a son of Michael and Agnes Hawkins. However, there is less data on him there than where he is listed as Edward’s child.

Even bigger than that mystery is that Elinor Hawkins is listed as dying in , Colony, Laurel Kentucky. Laurel County, however, wasn’t founded until more than a hundred years later in 1825. The fact that something is mixed up in the records is compounded by the fact that Agness, the wife of our next Hawkins ancestor, is also listed as dying in Laurel, KY, sixty years before it formally became a county.

Though all these “records” lead to new sets of mysteries, one thing we do know is that Edward and Elinor both lived long enough to experience the centennial of the Jamestown Colony. Edward is listed as dying in1720 in Prince George, the same year that Elinor died. At that point, George Washington was still a dozen years from even being born.

Michael Hawkins (1685-1752)
Michael, the fourth child of Edward and Elinor Hawkins, was born in Bruton Parish, York, Virginia, in 1685. In Prince George County in1720, the year both his parents died, Michael married Agness Eaton (1695-1755). She had been born in 1695 in Bristol Parish, a parish begun even earlier in 1643. If those dates are correct, Michael didn’t marry until he was thirty-five, and Agness would have been twenty-five. George Washington was born when Michael was 47. 

Bruton Parish, formed in 1674 in York County where Michael was born, has become famous for the Bruton Parish Church that was founded there in 1714. It was located in what is now historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and it is one of its most popular tourist attractions. In colonial Virginia, a parish centered around a church, but it was also a community unit and served as a center of government for the General Assembly. In 1785 that Assembly passed Thomas Jefferson’s Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom. Parishes continued but eventually no longer served as units of the state government. Here is a link to more history of the church.

Children: We have record of ten children born to Michael and Agness—all born in Bristol Parish, Prince George County: Agness (1717-), Thomas (1720-), John (1721-1804), Jane (1723-1806), Joshua (1725-1801), David (1727-1786), Pinkethman (1729-1782), Michael (1731-, Elizabeth (1731-), Edward (1735-). At least the five for whom we have death dates lived through the American Revolution, three of them through George Washington’s presidency. John and Jane didn’t die until Lewis and Clark were on their expedition to explore the continent’s vast northwest.

The name “Pinkethman” was Agness’s mother’s maiden name. I found several generations of a prominent family by that name in Virginia in the 17th and 18th centuries. So according to Ancestry I have a 6th great-uncle named Pinkethman Hawkins.

Michael is reported to have died in Lunenberg County, also Virginia, in 1752 at the age of 67, as did his son John fifty years later. Lunenberg is in south central VA and was established in 1746, so it was still fairly “young” when Michael is said to have died there. In fact, the four of Michael’s children for which we have death information died somewhere other than the Virginia Peninsula. Son Joshua, in fact, is the first Hawkins in our line to die somewhere other than Virginia itself.

For Agness’s death in 1755, see above about the report that Elinor Tinker Hawkins died in Kentucky.

David Hawkins (1727-1786)
It is in this generation that one of our direct Hawkins ancestors migrated to somewhere outside of Virginia. David’s first two children were born in 1750 and 1752; the very first one has nothing but a name, but the second was born in Prince George County, Virginia, the same as his father David and his aunts and uncles. It is with the third child that a change happens. James was reportedly born in Fishkill, New York. 

Fishkill, on the east bank of the Hudson River, is in Dutchess County about fifty miles north of New York City. It was first settled by Dutch immigrants in 1714—thus its name “vis” (fish) and “kil” (stream or creek). Wikipedia says of it, “The Village of Fishkill was a significant crossroads in the overland transportation network in the 18th and 19th centuries.”

As with others in this Hawkins clan, we have a wealth of mysteries with David. Was his wife Isabel of no last name, born in 1730? Or was she an Alice Alee, also born in 1730? If he was never married to Alice Alee, why is her name connected with his? Was Isabel the mother of his nine children, or was it ten?—or did he have only six children? We have full info on four who made it well into adulthood, two more with birth years but nothing more, and three with nothing more than names. If David’s son James was really born in Fishkill, how long did he live there, given that he died in Jefferson County KY—or was it Jefferson in Alexandria County, Virginia. (I don’t find an “Alexandria County” in modern Virginia.)

Isabel (1730-1812) or Alice Alee (1730-1786)
If that death date for Isabel is correct, then she lived to the age of 82! But the mysteries with David’s wives is even more extensive. While Isabel reportedly died in 1812, Alice Alee died sixteen years earlier in 1786—but 1786 is after all David’s children were born, so it doesn’t line up that his wife died and he married again. Ancestry lists all the children with Isabel, none with Alice—but the only marriage date offered is for one with Alice in 1771, which is also after all the children were born except for Henry and possibly the three that have only names. Isabel died in Kent, Putnam, New York; Putnam County borders Dutchess County. Alice, on the other hand, is said to have died in “Jefferson, Kentucky.”

So who were these children? Catherine and Eloner (1750- birth dates only) – same girl? perhaps twins? or just two babies in the same calendar years? John (b. in Prince George; d. in Kentucky), James (1754-1839), David (1757-1844, Frederckstown, Dutchess County; d. in Steuben, NY; also see below), Thomas (1763 birth date only), Henry (1772 in Lunenberg, VA). We have three other names for children of David but no dates or other information at all for them so not sure of their legitimacy. And is Henry with a birth date that late really part of this family? 

We’re told that two of David’s documented children died in Kentucky and two in New York. 

NEW YORK HAWKINSES

James Hawkins 1754-1839)
When we come to James Hawkins, son of David Hawkins, the picture becomes clearer. We are now a century and a half following the founding of Jamestown, and records were obviously being better kept. James and Deborah had the most children of any Hawkins ancestor to this point, and we have the most complete records about them without much confusion. 

James was born May 16, 1754, the year the long conflict between the British and the French developed into warfare in the colonies. The Indians sided with the French, leading it to be called—on the American side of the Atlantic—the French and Indian War. 

James and Deborah married in 1774, were married 46 years, and had 13 children. 

Deborah (1760-1820) – No last name but Hawkins is given for her. She was born June 17, 1760, in Cortland Manor, NY, twenty years before the Revolution. Cortland Manor is south of Fishkill, near Peekskill and now called just Cortland. The first four children of the marriage were all girls.

James was twenty-one and married one year when Lexington and Concord, less than 200 miles to the northeast, launched the colonies into the Revolution. Did he fight in it? No word at all. I noticed an intriguing gap of six years between the first two children and the third one—suggesting maybe that James was away fighting in that war for independence? Maybe. However, there is another gap of even more years—eleven!—between #4 and #5, with no apparent explanation. During that time period, in 1786, James’ father David died back in Virginia.

Whether he participated in the War or not, it apparently came to him and his family. One of the largest military encampments during the Revolutionary War was located in Fishkill. Alexander Hamilton, an aide-de-camp for Washington, set up there. The town’s Trinity Church was used as a hospital during the War. Deborah was a young woman at that time, with only a couple of children; maybe she worked and helped out in the hospital?

Children: Though we have good information on the births of the children in this family and even on the grandchildren, there are so many of all of them that it is hard to come up with concise statements about them. What we do know is that sometime before the births of the last two (or perhaps three) children, in 1805 or 1806, James and Deborah moved from Dutchess County east of the Hudson River to Steuben County beyond the mountains in west central New York. Deborah was ready 50, and James was just past it. Though the oldest children were already in their twenties and even thirties and a few grandchildren were already born, apparently the whole family made the move—whether at the same time is hard to know, and it doesn’t matter. At least six of those children, including our ancestor David, ended up in Michigan.

Four of James and Deborah’s offspring lived out their lives and died in that same area of western New York, but others moved on, most to different parts of Michigan. 

Betsy - 1776-1875; d. in NY; Phebe - 1776-1856; d. in NY; Isabel - b. 1784-1880; Hannah - 1784-1864; David - 1795-1870; d. in MI; Benjamin - 1796-1797; d. MI; Margaret – 1796-1872; d. in MI; Abraham; 1797-1880; d. in MI; Jonathan - 1800-1832; d. in NY; Isaac – 1802-1874; d. in MI; Jacob – 1804-1858; d. in MI; Sylvester – 1805-1880; d. in NY; Consider - 1806-aft. 1839. 

If you do the math and if the records are correct, you’ll see that the last seven children were born in nine years—while Deborah was ages 35-44. She lived sixteen more years until 1820 when she was 60. Both she and James died in Steuben County, NY, he in 1839 when he was 85. 

In the early days of the Internet, I got the following list, verbatim here, from a Hawkins genealogy buff named Cindy Hawkins. I haven’t been able to find her on the web now (2015). Most of this information but not all fits with what I find on Ancestry at the present time.

They had twelve children:
Isabel m John Lesley 
Margaret m. Cornelius Keesler 
Sarah m. Benjamin Waldron 
Betsey m. Christopher Shultz 
Phebe m. Joseph Kircum 
Hannah m. Benjamin Smalley 
Abraham m. Sanphronia 
Johnathan married - he and his wife died within 16 months of each other (abt 1832) Their children can be found as adults in Illinois and Kansas.
Isaac m. Hannah (my husband's line) 
Jacob m. Marguerite 
Consider m. Hannah 
David m. Esther Sealy 
Some of the children were born in Dutchess Co., New York, and some were born in Yates Co., New York. All of the children were born in New York.

Isabel's family, Jacob's family and David's family came to Wayne Co., Michigan 
Jacob's family was one of the early settler's of Livonia Twp., Wayne Co., Michigan. 
Consider's family went to Crawford Co., Pennsylvania 
Abraham's family was in Wayne Co. and then moved to Kent Co., Michigan 
Isaac's family came to Ingham Co., Michigan 
Children of these families can be found in Wayne, Gratiot, Isabella, Jackson, Ingham and Kent Co's.
James b. abt 1754 in Dutchess Co, New York, had a brother named David b. March 28 1758 in Dutchess Co., New York m. Hannah Fenton

MICHIGAN HAWKINSES 

All the grandparents of both Harrison Hawkins and Florence Huntley (i.e., the great-grandparents of Mont Hawkins) were born in New York and died in Michigan. With one exception, we don’t know where in New York they came from, but the generation after them (Mont’s grandparents) all ended up in Jackson County, Michigan, south of Lansing. We assumed that would give us a wonderful chance to track down their graves and add them to our family’s treasury of ancestor sites.

So in October 2014, my husband and I, along with with my cousin Joy Divine Sholty and her husband John, who live just south of the Michigan-Indiana border, set out for Jackson County. At the day’s end, after all four of us tramping through cemeteries both small and sizeable, we couldn’t believe that we hadn’t found even one of what we were looking for.

We searched in Concord’s Maple Grove Cemetery for James Hawkins (1812-1898), son of David and Esther Hawkins and paternal grandfather of Grandpa Hawkins, and James’s wife, Esther Dixon (1815-1877). We searched in Burlington for Esther Sealy (1787-1860), paternal great-grandmother of Grandpa Hawkins. Her husband, David Hawkins (1794-1870), died ten years later and is buried outside Detroit.

In addition to Mont’s paternal grandparents, we searched in Hanover for his maternal great-grandparents, Jarius (1775-1854) and Rachel Thompson (1786-1864)—parents of Mont’s grandmother Maryette Thompson Huntley and in Hillsdale for great-grandfather Levi Huntley (1801-1846) and possibly his wife Lucinda Atwell (1804-1880), parents of Mont’s grandfather Isaiah Huntley. Again we found nothing. February 2016 note: We now know that Lucinda, AKA Lucina, remarried and is buried with her second husband, Isaac Harris, in the Bakertown Cemetery in Bertrand Township, Berrien County, Michigan. 

David Hawkins (1795-1870)
David was the fifth child of James and Deborah Hawkins, and we know from Ancestry’s documentation on James that David and all but his last two or three siblings were born in Dutchess County, New York, fifty miles north of New York City. David is the next one listed after that unexplained blank of eleven years with no children for James and Deborah. David would have been ten or eleven in 1805 or 1806 when his family made their way over the Allegheny Mountains to Steuben County, New York, on the southwest corner of Lake Seneca. That’s where our Compton ancestors also lived in the first half of the 1800s. At least seven of David’s siblings moved to Michigan, but we don’t have dates on any of those moves.

Though no censuses are included in his records, we have this quote from Ancestry, that “he indicated on the census that he could neither read nor write.” We have to wonder how many others of these families were the same…

We have scant information for David on Ancestry, just birth and death, parents and wife. No marriage date; we have to assume it was before their first child was born in 1812.

He died 10 years before Grandpa Hawkins was born (his great-great-grandson). In 1850 he was in Livonia, Wayne County; in 1860 he was in Jackson County, and when he died in 1870, he was back in Livonia. Meanwhile, ten years earlier, his wife had reportedly died in Burlington, Calhoun County, Michigan.

Esther Sealy (1787-1860) 
The only information we have on her birth is that it was in New York in 1787. As stated above, their first child was born August 1812. In 1850 census Esther is listed three times in Starky, Yates, New York, and three times in Livonia, Wayne, Michigan. That suggests they moved to Michigan between the two censuses that year and so got counted in both places. We see the same for David, only he has five census listings in Livonia and one is specified as being August 25 that year and that he was 56 years old. Did Esther really die in Burlington, Michigan, ten years before David died?

Wherever, she died at 74 in 1860, just at the beginning of the Civil War, so she did not live to know that her grandsons Harvey, Harrison, and George would fight in that conflict and that George would die. When she died, her grandson Harrison was seventeen, and her death was twenty years before Grandpa Hawkins was born. 

Children: David and Esther are said to have had seven children but spread over 24 years (1812-1836); gaps of 4-7 years between births; were some lost in infancy and not recorded? Our James was firstborn and was married by the time the last two were born. We have full life records on all seven; one lived into 20th century. Four died in the 1890s, so they all lived long lives. 

Two of them died in June of 1864 during the last summer of the Civil War. The youngest, William, 29. died at Cold Harbor, Virginia (that battle is remembered as one of American history's bloodiest and most lopsided battles); the other one, Thomas Jefferson Hawkins (born two years after the Thomas Jefferson died) died June 1, 1864—but it says he died in District of Columbia, so it’s hard to tell if it was connected to the War. 

All children were born in New York, and all but two died in Michigan. 

Several of David’s siblings ended up in Livonia, MI, so that may explain why David is said to have died there instead of in or near Jackson County like the other first Michigan ones. Census places son Jerome there in 1850, but that’s long before David died, and Jerome died in Coldwater Township in Isabella County, MI. That is not around Detroit; it is in north-central lower Michigan; so that doesn’t tell us why David died in Livonia.

David and Esther were great-grandparents of Grandpa Mont Hawkins, but they had died ten and twenty years before he was born.

James W. Hawkins (1812-1898)
Grandpa Hawkins would have been 19 when his grandfather James died. We have no way of knowing whether there had been any relationship between the two. Since Grandpa was born and grew up in and around Grand Rapids, while James was in Jackson County south of Lansing, it is possible there wasn’t much interaction.

Esther Dixon (1815-1877) She died three years before her grandson Mont was born.

James and Esther were both born in New York state, he in Yates County, but the state is all we have on her. Yates County is on the west side of Seneca Lake and not far north of where our Compton ancestors were at the south end. They were married 1834 when they were 22 and 19.

Children: James and Esther had eleven children, also spread over 24 years. The oldest was Harvey, who would live the longest—all the way to 1931. Numbers 2 and 3 appear to be twin girls—Loretta and Lorinda. The fourth one, Harrison, would become our Grandpa’s father. He was followed by a sister Lucy. At some point between the birth of Harrison in late summer of 1843 and before Lucy’s birth sometime in 1844, the Hawkins family moved from west of Lake Seneca in western New York to Jackson County in southeastern Michigan. 

James and Esther’s child Number 6, George, was born in 1846, so he was 15 when the Civil war broke out. I have this report from the oldest brother, Harvey, who also served: “George Hawkins: Co. F = 20th Michigan Infantry (He died at Andersonville Prison, Georgia in 1864 from Disease). Now the story about George Hawkins as told to family by Harvey Hawkins is this: George was not old enough to enlist in the Civil War and against his parents’ wishes, he ran off and lied about his age and enlisted anyway. He was in the same Company as Harvey. George was taken prisoner and died there.” With Harvey, Harrison, and George going to war, James and Esther had three of their sons on the front lines fighting for the Union. 

Ancestry shows brothers #7 and #8 also dying in Andersonville, but not until 1898. Hard to figure what that was about, except that Ancestry has confused the two brothers, and they were likely were the same person. Though with different birth years (1848 and 1859), they are listed with the same wife and the same children. So it’s most likely only one died at Andersonville in 1898. That is the same year listed for their father’s death.

Following Adeline and Frank, the last child born to James and Esther in 1857, was also named Esther. She married a man named Uriah Hezekiah Beers, and they had one little girl whom they called Kittie Mae. 

This brings us to our/my great-grandfather, Harrison Hawkins. His story is told in his own link.