Monday, May 20, 2013

Hawkins DNA Group #1 and Railroad connections

I am chatting with another researcher this morning who has helped me edit some of my posts.  I found myself making a statement that is based on a hunch---absolutely no proof!  just one of those crazy gut feelings that will probably turn out to be NOTHING!  But I think that I will say it here and see if anyone can prove or disprove the thought.  I think perhaps the Cullen and Glass DNA matches and I may have touched on the idea at one time because I vaguely remember knowing that the part of New Jersey that they are both associated with was at one time a railroad center.  I'll try to look that up and put a map or photo or some such thing here ....

But I have a hunch that the Hawkins male(s) who was/were the ancestor(s) of these men had a railroad connection.  Hawkins DNA group #1 has an unusually close connection to jobs on the Railroad.  I realize that in the late 1800's Railroad jobs were the hot jobs much as technology jobs would be in today.

In my own Hawkins family, three brothers ALL left Orange/Lousia County, Virginia for Railway jobs in the late 1800's.  Two came to Huntington, WV and the other went to Georgia>Missippi>Arkansas>Kansas with railroad jobs.

I would like to add the other Railroad jobs idea to #1 help remind me of the stories you have told me!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

DNA Family Group #1

As I wrote my blog post last week trying to get my head in order on our Family Group #1's various matches, I was struck by the fact that we seem to have a subgroup.  I am going to name it FG1Buncombe.  I realize that  all five of the subgroup do not have a connection to Buncombe County, NC.  However, I think that three of them do.  And for me in the early days of chatting with our Group #1 participants, I always thought of Dot's and Inez's lines as being the ancestors who had lived on land that is now a part of the Biltmore Estate.  So I apologize to the other two participants in having chosen a name that is helpful to me, but perhaps not as helpful to them.  This is what I typed into my blog earlier this week:

Kits #76532 and #68105 both believe that they descend from Benjamin and Hannah Hawkins who lived on land that is now part of the Biltmore Estate in the mountains of NC.  There is suspicion of ties to Campbell County, Virginia and then back to the Northern Neck of Virginia.  It is possible that this group connects to William Hawkins who was the orphan of John and Elizabeth (Butler?) Hawkins who both died in Richmond County, Virginia c. 1716 and the brother of Benjamin who was married to Sarah Willis.

For good maps of the Northern Neck go to:

The above two kits are very close matches to kit #46919 and 59402.  Kit #46919 descends from Joseph Hawkins (1801-1867) who is associated with McMinnville TN.  Kit #59402 is associated with a Benj Hawkins b. 1750 in NC and died in 1826 in TN.  The descendents associated with Kit #59402 migrated to Dekalb County AL abt. 1830 from the McMinn/White/Warren county area of TN. 

For line of kit #59402 see:  

Kit #46458 would seem to fit into a subgroup with these four participants.  This participant has ties to a James Hawkins found in Buncombe County, NC (same as Kit #46919 and 59402).  This James Hawkins moves to Bradley County, TN by 1840.  Bradley County is shown in Red on below map.....perhaps it is a coincidence that he is living so close to Kit #46919's ancestor? 

Janice is the researcher who is connected to Kit #46458.  Her e-mail is

Here is what Janice believes to be true about her line:

"My brick wall is JAMES HAWKINS born about 1805 in North Carolina; but he moved to Bradley Tennessee sometime before 1830. He was married to someone named Catherine - I still haven't found her maiden name. He and Catherine had children:  Thomas (b.1831), Tilman (or Tilmon b. 1833), Sarah Elizabeth (b. 1835), James (b. 1837), Jane (b. 1840) and Andrew Jackson (b. 1841).  Sarah we believe married a John Trotter there in Bradley Co.  The eldest son Thomas married Derusha Atchley.  (The Atchleys were a big family in Bradley Co too).

James Hawkins was a widower by 1860; and he and some of his sons moved to Georgia during the civil war period.  It appears he may have returned to North Carolina; and might be the James Hawkins living alone on the 1870 Buncombe Co NC census.   I've looked at some of the Hawkins in early Buncombe - but still haven't been able to quite connect him to whoever his father was.

My cousin's kit #46158; also had some close matches with Gene Hawkins and Vern Hawkins.  I've been in touch with Janet - and she thought that things point to a John Hawkins who moved down to North Carolina from Virgina around 1750; the Rowan Co NC area. But I haven't had a chance to dig into Rowan too much to see if there is a connection."

Because I do research on Rowan County in the mid 1750s for a line unrelated to my Hawkins line until the early 190's,  I am very aware of the fact that Rowan County was HUGE in that time period.  How huge was it?  When was it formed?  For answers to those questions I went to:

It wasn't until 1750  that there was enough population in the backwoods of North Carolina to form Counties.  Before that Bladen, Johnston and Granville had just had unestablished western boundaries that extended indefinitely.  In 1750 Anson was established but the western boundaries were still not very clear.  In 1752 Orange was Created out of Anson and Anson became the entire western area of North Carolina.

In 1753 Rowan was created and that caused the entire western part of North Carolina to be in either Anson or Rowan.

It wasn't until 1791 that Buncombe was established.  Thus when we look at these NC Families, we have to think about the time period that we are considering to compare if they might have been living near each other.  My Elliott family was living in Rowan County when they first moved from Penn to NC but they were living in the part that later became Randolph County.  

I had worked on the Hawkins family in Campbell County, Virginia July 20, 2012...take a look at the blog post:

I believe that this family group may have connections to this FG#1Buncombe subgroup.  Let me know what you think.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hawkins DNA group #1

Our Hawkins DNA family group #1 has 20 participants who match.  All but four of the men carry the surname Hawkins.

Kit #25399 had Hawkins family that never left the British Isles.  This participant still lives in London

Kit #8356 belongs to my dad whose line lived in Orange County, Virginia until the late 1800's when brothers moved west to take Railroad jobs.  Orange County is located with marker below A:

 Kit #130445 has proven connection to Orange County, Virginia before the family moved to Madison County, Kentucky after the Revolution.  After living in Madison County for long enough to leave records, the family moved to the area around White and Warren County, TN where the participant still lives.

Kits #9933, 18007, 77663, 34714, ...... believe that they descend from Benjamin and Sarah Willis Hawkins.  This family line was living in Orange/Culpeper county area of Virginia before many of them moved to Kentucky just after the Revolutionary War.   See Janet Shamiri's blog for more information about this line:

Kits #76532 and #68105 both believe that they descend from Benjamin and Hannah Hawkins who lived on land that is now part of the Biltmore Estate in the mountains of NC.  There is suspicion of ties to Campbell County, Virginia and then back to the Northern Neck of Virginia.  It is possible that this group connects to William Hawkins who was the orphan of John and Elizabeth (Butler?) Hawkins who both died in Richmond County, Virginia c. 1716 and the brother of Benjamin who is ancestor of the four kits above.

For good maps of the Northern Neck go to:

The above two kits are very close matches to kit #46919 and 59402.  Kit #46919 descends from Joseph Hawkins (1801-1867) who is associated with McMinnville TN.  Kit 59402 is associated with a Benj Hawkins b. 1750 in NC and died in 1826 in TN.  This Benjamin Hawkins married Molly Taylor.

Kit #46458 would seem to fit into a subgroup with these four participants.  This participant has ties to a James Hawkins found in Buncombe County, NC (same as Kit #46919 and 59402).  This James Hawkins moves to Bradley County, TN by 1840.  Bradley County is shown in Red on below map.....perhaps it is a coincidence that he is living so close to Kit #46919's ancestor?

Kit #11301 and kit #92567is associated with John  (1754-1821) and Winnie Hawkins.  John died  in Henry County, Kentucky in 1821.  Below map shows location of Henry County in red:

We have four participants who do not share Hawkins surname.  Three have surname Cullen and one has surname Glass.  There is an article that has partial explanation of the connection of the Cullen and Glass surnames in an article that I wrote in 2011 in the Hawkins Newsletter that can be read at:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

mtDNA for Marsha Moses

I wrote a blog post yesterday on my personal genealogy blog about my mother's mother's family which was Hornberger.  My grandmother had maiden name Hornberger and her mother had maiden name Schmitt and her mother had maiden name of Rauch.  I visited two first cousins of my mother (aged late 70s to late 80s) in April and we had shared information about the families.  If you are more interested in this family, you can read this post at

At the end of the post I found myself explaining some information about my mtDNA that I thought might be appropriate for this DNA blog.  So I will repeat that information here.

I tested my mtDNA several years ago with FTDNA.  My Haplogroup is H.  I have so many matches that I honestly quit paying any attention to e-mails that came from FTDNA about mtDNA matches.

The Hornberger, Schmitt, and Rauch familes came from Alsace Lorraine in the 1800's.  So I know that my mother's female lines are from that area.

Frederick Hornberger was born 22 Aug 1865 in Alsace Lorraine, France.  Remember that Alsace Lorraine is a region that is sometimes a part of France and sometimes a part of Germany, so one needs to look at the date of the event to identify the right country when the event happened.  When this man was naturalized in 1886 he renounced forever allegiance to Germany.  The area had been a part of France in 1865, but was being ruled by Germany in 1886.  The terminology was correct.  ( Alsace Lorraine is an area of NE France, comprising the modern regions of Alsace andLorraine: under German rule 1871-1919 and 1940-44)

 According to Brian Sykes in his book the Seven Daughter's of Eve, Haplogroup H has origins in the white area shown below on this map from Brian's book that is marked Helena.

As you can see, the area is absolutely right for my maternal lines...very close to where my mother's mother's family lived as late as the 1800s.  My "clan mother"  lived 20,000 years ago when the ice age was at it's most severe.  These were the people who had pictures of "the hunt" on cave walls. Brian Sykes has nicknamed the clan mother for Haplogroup H Helena.   As an additional aside from Brian Sykes' book:

"Over successive generations the clan that began with Helena became easily the most successful in Europe, reaching every part of the continent.  The reference sequence with which all mitochondrial mutations are compared is that of Helena's sequence.  Forty-seven per cent of modern Europeans are members of her clan.  We do not know whether this remarkable success is because her mitochondrial DNA possesses some special quality that gives its holders a biological advantage, or whether it is just chance that makes so many Europeans trace their direct maternal ancestry back to Helena and the freezing winters of her Ice-Age."  (taken from p. 233)

I highly recommend reading both books by Brian Sykes:  The Seven Daughters of Eve (about mtDNA) and Adams Curse (about yDNA).  They are easily read....extremely entertaining...and help in understanding one's DNA results.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Benjamin Hawkins who married Martha Borden

I have been chatting with a researcher named Jeffrey Fisler who  believes that he descends from Benjamin Hawkins who married Martha Borden.

Here is the e-mail that Jeffrey sent me recently reminding me that I had told him a story, but then couldn't remember where I had heard the story about the elopement of Benjamin and Martha.

Hello Marsha,

I thought I would contact you again about my Benjamin Hawkins ancestor who married Martha Borden in Botetourt County in 1764.  There has been a tremendous amount of information on this Martha Borden and her family but it appears no one can supply me with anything on her husband.  Benjamin died in 1778.  They had children together from which I descend from their son John Hawkins born 1766.  John Hawkins married Sarah Lauderdale in VA and settled in Sumner County TN. We have discussed this John before because someone told you that his brother Borden Hawkins died without issue in TN and left his estate to John......

Best regards,

Jeffrey Fisler

Now there are a LOT of ideas that I want to explore in Jeffrey's e-mail....but first I need to get my head straight about where this family was living.

First let me clarify my thoughts....I kept thinking that Martha was living in Augusta County Virginia when the supposed elopement happened.....and here is the answer...her family was probably living in the part of Augusta that later became Botetourt County when she and Benjamin Hawkins married....There was no Botetourt county yet in 1764.
However by 1776 Botetourt was a HUGE county.  My first thought was that they could have been ANYWHERE.  However read on to see that it is pretty specific where they were living.

 Next I wanted to clarify in my mind where the Borden grant was located as it was a very famous area in Virginia.  

A note to remind everyone that when the Shenandoah Valley is talked about, when one says "moving UP the Valley" the person is talking about moving south!  I was a long time getting that idea fixed in my mind.  

 Rockbridge was formed out of Augusta and Botetourt in 1778....The settlers on the Borden grant  did not move....the counties changed around them. The above map shows what is now Rockbridge County, Virginia

OK, now I have my mind in order on where the Borden family would have been living in 1764.  Probably the Hawkins family was living somewhere near by ...doesn't make sense that Benjamin Hawkins came out of nowhere.  I know that there were Indian troubles in this general area in this general time period.  Several years ago I did a LOT of research on what I began by calling the Clendenin massacre ....but as I did more and more research I began calling it the Cornstalk events.  Here are some URL's in case anyone wants to do more research on how the Indian events may have affected the Borden or Hawkins families who would not have been living too far away:

First raid:  Oct. 10, 1759
Second raid:  1763  July 17, a Sunday, marked special meetings at the Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church. Many of the settlers had traveled there. But other accounts say the special church meeting was at Jonathan Cunningham's cabin. Still others say the settlers had fled to Cunninghams and were saddling horses and organizing a flight to Timber Ridge where the men carried their guns to church. No one knows for sure, but other than the McKee cabin, which could have been attacked first, the Shawnees seemed intent on the Big Spring farm.
The below map  shows where Kerr's Creek is located in what is now Rockbridge County, Virigina.  The land would have been part of Augusta County, Virginia when the events happened.

Now that I have my head clear on the WHERE, here is the first answer that I sent back to Jeffrey: 

Jeffrey, I have thought about this all day....I finally decided that I must have read the story about Benjamin Hawkins and Martha Borden having eloped in Milly Farmer's book:  Bits and Pieces of the Hawkins puzzle.  So I sat down tonight while I ate my chinese take out and began re-reading Milly's book.  Did not take long....found the story on page 4.

 Now let me warn you that this book has no documentation.  Milly Farmer just compiled information that she read or collected from EVERYWHERE!  Any time there was anything written about the Hawkins surname she collected the information and eventually included it in her "book".  The book was just a typewritten manuscript.  Phil Hawkins has put it in our Hawkins DNA newsletter in installments so you can read it for yourself if you would want to on-line.  It is also available through the LDS FHL on fiche #6087967.

Here is what Milly Farmer says about Benjamin and Martha (on page 4 or her Bits and Pieces):

Benjamin Hawkins, the son of John Hawkins, Sr. is described in Historic Families of Kentucky by Green on pg 78.  "August 24, 1819 Dr. McDowell married his kinswoman Maria Hawkins Harvey.   She was the daughter of Matthew Harvey and Magdelena Hawkins Harvey.  She was the daughter of Benjamin Hawkins, a gay, handsome, and graceful cavalier, who had run away with and married Martha Burden.  Her parents were killed by Indians in 1742."

Kegley's Virginia Frontier, in the chapter on James River Communities in Botetort CO. 1770-1783, relates some of the life story of Martha's parents as well as the years that she spent with her husband, Benjamin.  There was no mention of the Indians.  Martha's mother was a widow who married a second husband, John Bower or Bowyer, a school teacher.

Benjamin, who married Martha in 1764, died young, leaving Martha with six children.  IN May 1779, Martha who had inherited large amounts of land from her father, deeded to her children:  "to son John one half of the plantation whereon I now live, with negroes and appurtenances:  To son James, one third of Halls' bottom and negro Sam;  To son Burden, one third of Hall's bottom and negro Moses; To daughters Magdalene and Sally, two tracts, one called Crabtree Spring and the other adjoining, containing jointly about 700 acres."  Martha married Robert Harvey and her daughter Magdalene married his brother, Mathew.  

PS.  It looks as if Green's book is on-line at:

On pages 148-149 of Kegley's Virginia Frontier by F.B. Kegley there is information about Benjamin Borden having moved to the Opequon from New Jersey in 1734.  His home was Spout Run north of Winchester Virginia.  I am not going to copy the paragraphs about his acquiring land that we know as Borden's Grant in what is  now Rockbridge County.  But will summarize that Benjamin Borden died young leaving heirs:  Zeuriah (wife) and sons:  Benjamin, John, and Joseph and daughters Hannah, Martha, Abigail, Rebecca, Deborah, Lydia and Elizabeth.  ......"Zeurhiah went back to New Jersey the next year, giving Benjamin Jr. power of attorney to sell any lands of the estate except that 5000 acres on James River.  In 1746 Benjamin Jr. came into exclusive control of the large tracts of undeveloped land which in later years his great-grandchildren improved.  These were the children of Benjamin Hawkins and Robert Harvey by Martha Borden, daughter of Benjamin Borden, Jr"...."Benjamin Jr. " like his father also died prematurely in April 1753" ...."so there was left only Martha, a daughter, as heir to the Borden lands".

Instead of taking time to type more from Kegley's book, I am going next to address the thought about the Hawkins family that may have been living in the Augusta/Botetourt area of Virginia in 1764.  

Here is what I have in my HawkinsDNA cheat sheet about this area (none of this is my research....just misc notes I have collected from others):

I then took a look at Borden Hawkins, son of Benjamin Hawkins and Martha Borden of Virginia.  A will made in 1779 reveals the names of her children: daughters Magdalene and Sally, sons William, John, James, and "Burden".  I investigated a bit more and found Burden Hawkins in Wythe County, Va. in 1794-1795 and then in Sumner Co., Tn. with one of his brothers.  I never could find a link.  And Wanita added: Burden (Borden) Hawkins, son of Benjamin and Martha notes indicate that he died in Sumner Co., Tn. leaving a will, all property to his brother, John.  The will seemed to indicate no wife or children, and that would keep any descendants from  doing the  DNA.  However  his brother  John lived nearby  and in Feb 2008 in response to a note I sent to the Hawkins mail list about a marriage in Montgomery County, VA between John Hawkins and Margaret Cloyd, I received the following: Hi, Marsha. Saw your note about John Hawkins and Margaret Cloyd in Montgomery Co VA. Could he be the son of Benjamin Hawkins and Martha Borden?
Cindy Thomas   And Cindy also sent: The book "Over the Mountain Men" lists a will for Benjamin Hawkins, 1779, in Botetourt Co and he does have a son named John. It was a funny coincidence as I had just looked at the orphans of the Benjamin Hawkins who married Martha Borden in a fiche of children from Botetourt County, VA at the LDS FHL.

I looked other places in my cheat sheets and almost every Hawkins DNA group seems to have had someone in the general area of Botetourt/Campbell/Bedford/Amherst, Virginia....but not this early....most moved after the Revolutionary War into these areas.  Anyone have ideas on this?  

I continued to read Milly Farmer's Bits and Pieces of the Hawkins puzzle this evening.  REMEMBER Milly does not document...and this is NOT my research.  Do not take this as fact....merely some theories to prove or disprove.

On page 45, Milly says:

"A Nicholas Hawkins who married Ann ---died in Boyle County Kentucky.  He lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia before moving to Madison County, Ky.  He owned many slaves and much property and was a veteran of the war of 1812.  His daughter, Martha mar. Samuel McDowell and they had 5 sons: Joseph, Charles, Nicholas, b. 6 Feb 1834 Samuel and William.  Nicholas McDowell m. Maria Hawkins Harvey, dau. of Martha Borden Hawkins Harvey and Benjamin Hawkins."  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Autosomal DNA/Family Finder Test

While attending the Ohio Genealogical Society's annual conference this past weekend, I attended a class given by Diahan Southard called Autosomal DNA for genealogists.  Diahan is no longer employed by any of the companies who do DNA testing, so her information is not biased by any of the companies who are doing autosomal DNA testing.  She has a website:

The main fact that Ms Southard shared that we ALL need to think about is that at this time when viewing results of autosomal testing is that 2nd cousins are approximately 99% accurate, 3rd cousins are about 90% accurate, and 4th cousins are about 50% accurate.

In my mind this means that you are very likely to have matches with people who share your gr-grandparents with an excellent accuracy.  Those who share your 2-gr-grandparents are also fairly accurate.  Those who share your 3-gr-grandparents are missed about half of the time.  And beyond that, it is pretty hit of miss.

Another really important idea that Ms. Southard shared is that there are two reasons for a match:

1. You really DO share a common ancestor....and it is just as likely to be female as male

2.  You simply share a common geographic origin.  That is the people in that area were so intermarried and carried so much the same genetic material that they will all match to some extent.  I interpret this to mean that I might match someone whose ancestors were living in a small village in England a century or two ago even though we can not come up with a common ancestor.  We would just share much of our autosomal DNA because the families there were so intermarried that the people leaving the area many generations later  would have had somewhat similar DNA.

Her information included the suggestion that a match might be because you share many small segments of DNA.  That would indicate a geographic connection.  With another match you might share large segments of DNA which would indicate that this person is more likely to be related to you with a common ancestor in the much closer time frame.

Now this is just my interpretation of what I heard.  You can find more accurate information from more professional informants on any of the sites by the major companies and on Ms Southard's website.  I wanted to share what I thought after the class because another Hawkins participant had shared his disappointment with me that he and a participant who were matches when their yDNA was compared did not show up as FF matches.  I had the very same thing happen.  Gene Hawkins who is my dad's closest yDNA match did not match either my dad nor my own FF.  I found the above explanation of accuracy to be helpful in understanding that fact.

I took the below from the FTDNA site.  It shows a comparison of FF results between three people.  The gold shows the segments in common between the person doing the comparison and Anthony Bolden while the aqua shows the segments in common between the person doing the comparison and Harold Weimar.  While Anthony Bolden and Harold Weimer show likely connection to the person who is doing the comparison,  Mr. Bolden and Mr. Weimer are likely to be connected to the person doing the comparison by different ancestors since they do not share the connected segments with each other.  On the other side of that question is the fact that I find FF matches of my own that I would expect to match each other as well as me....that is that their paper trail suggests that all three of us have the same family lines from the same area.  For example all three of us have similar surnames in Eastern Kentucky in the 1800's.  Yet the segments on which I match with one are not the same places as the segments that I match on the other as shown in the below example.  This does not rule out our having the same common ancestors.  We may have inherited different segments from our common ancestors.

Hope that I have made some sense of the question of why one might have a yDNA match but then not have a FF match with the same person.

Family Tree DNA

I just returned from a terrific conference hosted by the Ohio Genealogical Society that was held in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Much to my happy surprise was the fact that Bennett Greenspan was in attendance for the entire conference.  I attended his Round Table event Thursday evening.  I also attended a class on Friday that was given by Diahan Southard on Autosomal DNA for Genealogy.  This was very interesting as she no longer works for any of the companies who provide testing.  Thus she is able to give an unbiased comparison on what each of the companies can and do provide.  I look forward to sharing what I have learned with the members of our Hawkins DNA project.  I do not think that I am any more scientifically knowledgeable that I was last week, but I do believe that I have a bit of a better over view of the different kinds of testing.  Each of you please ask some questions so that I can work on sharing my new knowledge.