Roots and Migrations
Most recent update – May 2014What do we know about where our family’s ancestors came from, when they came to this country, and how and when they ended up in Michigan? (We know a great deal about some branches of the family before they came to the New World, but that is written up in other places.) How does the history of our family fit in with the history of the United States? What was happening in different branches of the family at certain points in time?
We can trace
ancestors to a number of European countries:
England (Hawkins, Porter, Champlin, *Tiffany,
Switzerland (Stauffer *Hefflefinger, *Zug, *Shupp)
*Married early into another family line.
For a long time we could only
suspect that two major branches of the family, the Hawkinses and
the Porters, came from England, but we didn’t have
records to confirm it. Now in 2011 we have records for both these
families going back to at least 1000 A.D.!
can trace more than one of our family lines back to the days of the
Puritans and the earliest settlements in New England, as well as to the
first colony in Jamestown, Virginia.
The REVOLUTIONARY WAR… (1775-1781) found…
The REVOLUTIONARY WAR… (1775-1781) found…
When I first wrote this, we knew
of only two families who were in the colonies by the time of the
Revolution (Comptons and
Stauffers). Now we know of
these and a few lesser lines.
Meanwhile, Michigan had been a
battle ground between European powers and a pawn in the conflicts of
war. It was explored first by the French but later controlled by the
British. Both groups built forts to defend the area, but neither made an
effort to develop settlements. The British prized the territory for its
valuable fur resources. In fact, Michigan was one of the “trophies”
fought over in the French and Indian Wars in the mid-1700s. At the close
of that war, the French lost the area to the British.
At the end of the Revolution a
quarter of a century later, the area—on paper at least—was part of
the “Northwest Territory” that the British had to relinquish in the
treaty settlement with the newly independent Americans.
FIRST SET OF
Leaving the Colonial Tidewater
With the opening of more western lands to settlement in the decades following the War, our predecessors joined the migrations away from the eastern seaboard and toward the frontier.
SECOND SET OF
Heading for Michigan
Though the British had in theory
given the Michigan territories over to the Americans after the
Revolution, they continued to ply the fur trade. Eventually, the
Americans did gain practical control, and the area was opened up for
The opening of the Erie Canal in
1825, through central New York from Albany to Buffalo, contributed
greatly to efforts to settle the areas beyond. We know that the Porters
used the canal for their move to Michigan, and it is possible others in
New York did also (Champlins?
Hawkinses? Wells?). In 1837, Michigan became the 18th
Meanwhile, the early 1800s had found the …
Within a decade of each other in
the middle of the century, several branches of the family began making
their way to Michigan and other locations westward.
By the time the Civil War began,
all the major Michigan branches of the family were in place, all but one
in or around Grand Rapids; the Hawkins were in Jackson County. The
Moneysmiths were in western Ohio, Squibbs and Sullivans were in northern Indiana.
The first marriage to begin
uniting those branches took place eight years after their arrivals in
married Roxy Wells in 1865.
In the early 20th Century, George Porter died the same year
that Mont Hawkins had a life-changing experience that led him to spend
the rest of his life as a minister of the Gospel.
In the first decade of the new century, Jacob and Minnie Moneysmith had
four children (one died in infancy).
In the second decade, Mont Hawkins attended Bible school, took his first
pastorate, and met his life partner in Fern Porter.
By the time of the Great Depression, the Sullivans were gone, as well as
Minnie Moneysmith (the last Squibb), Esther Porter (the last
Stauffer), and Florence Hawkins Waite (the last Huntley).
Finally, a third of the way into
the 20th century, Virgil
Moneysmith and Esther Hawkins tied
all the branches together
by marrying each other.
Looking at it another way…