Monday, February 10, 2014

Descendents of Martin Hawkins in Family Group #6

I loved this story because it is so romantic.  Harry Hawkins of group #6 shared it and I have edited it a bit, but present it as written:  (Harry still lives in the St. Louis area where Martin and Hannah stopped on their route west)
 Martin Hawkins was from England, born in South Hampton in 1837. 
I know from experience that facts get twisted. Family stories in a space of a few years get twisted and no longer resemble the facts. Therefore, take this with a grain of salt. 
Family legend has it that Martin Hawkins, who came from England, fell in love with an Irish girl named Hannah Sheehan. Martin's family would not approve the marriage and Martin gave her passage money to New York. He was in the English navy and was on a ship bound for New York. Martin jumped ship in New York and met up with Hannah and they were wed. They came west headed for California but got as far Illinois when the first child was born (Harry's great uncle George).  Hannah and Martin had seven children (she was Irish Catholic).  There were 5 boys and 2 girls. 1 boy died young but the other six had families and Martins descendants are numerous and spread all over the U.S.  One of his sons Daniel did eventually make it to California and there is fairly large contingent of Hawkins who belong to this line living there.  Harry has spoken to and met several of them. 
This Hawkins family has been successful. There are many Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, and just some down right good people.
Richard has gathered  good documentation to back up the story.   He has a ship's registry with Hannah Sheehan coming to New York. The ages and times match to support the story.
Hannah died young, age 37, 1878 and is buried in Staunton IL.   Martin died in 1893 age 58 and is buried in Taylorville Il.  He is in the Cemetery's record book, but they used a poor quality soap stone for grave stones and most are unreadable in the section he's buried in.
Hannah's stone is very readable.
Another story that Harry tells that is of great interest and could be followed up on for additional research in England is as follows:  My great uncle Tom Hawkins (one of Martin's sons) bragged about his uncle (Martins's brother) as having paricipated in the Boxer Rebellion. Harry shares some facts about the Boxer Rebellion that are quite interesting.
 Note:  The Boxer RebellionBoxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement was a violent anti-foreign and anti-Christian movement which took place in China between 1899 and 1901.  For more information try Wikipedia:

The Boxer's,  a group of Chinese, laid seige to the western embassies, which were about 90 miles inland from the sea. A contingent was formed of various nations who had ships in the port to rescue the people in the embassies. An English officer was put in charge, and a Russian officer leading his group agreed to obey the orders of the the English officer. The crazy fact was that at the time of the Boxer rebellion, the English were at war with the Russians in the Crimea.  Hence a Russian officer accepted orders from and English officer at a time when their countries were at war. The contingent of various nations marched inland and successfully rescued the people in the Embassys.

Harry added the following information about his family line:

My great grandfather Martin Hawkins, lived in many towns in south central Illinois.. The coal industry was booming. The bulk of the immigrants were eastern european working in the coal mines. Martin was English and was able to read and understand blue prints and such. He was employed when mines were first built. Consequently he would move to a new mine location when one was started. I know that he was in Anna, Collinsville, Staunton, Carlinville, Bethalto and lastly Taylorville. He died in Taylorville and is buried there. I've not located his grave because the stones were of poor quality and inscriptions are hard to read. He is on the registry there. His wife who did about six years earlier was buried in Staunton. I only presume that in those days, unless you were relatively wealthy, they planted you where you died.

Martin's son, my grandfather William, whom I did have the pleasure of knowing for 10 years, was the president of the local United Mine Workers.  Thiis grandfather was a personal friend of Mother Jones and was involved in the Virden Riot as he was president of the local union at the time. My politics are conservative and independent. But at the time of the Virden Riot, Unions were fighting against crooked mine owners, paid off inspectors, unsafe working conditions, child labor, etc. I would have liked to be standing by his side.

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