Bret was kind enough to send along some documents that he has in his possession that include information about the Hawkins families that were living on Short Mountain in Cannon County and in the surrounding counties in the 1820s and on into the present time. Let me know if you have more documents to add or if you can add interpretation of what I have put on this blog post. I'll start with photos. They are WONDERFUL! Here is what Bret said about the photos that he took when he visited the land on which his family lived:
On and around Short Mountain. The leaning headstone is my gg grandfather's. It's facing Short Mt. You can see a section of it in the distance. On the left you can see my ggg grandfather's headstone. It faces our beloved Short Mt also, as does all my kin buried here. This cemetery is on private land, next to their barn. They do not mind family coming to visit.Our Short Mountain tour a while back was a wonderful experience. We found the grave sites of Joseph T and Eliza Hawkins ( my great great grandparents ) buried in the shadow of Short Mt at the Banks Presbyterian Church and Cemetery. Many of their children are buried there too.
Kent Blanton's father ( the Blanton's married into us )in his 80's, remarked how much me and my cousins who joined us for the trip, looked like all the Hawkins he knew growing up on the mountain. Since then, I have made 2 more trips up there, and have found my great great, and great great great, grandparents on my father's mother's side, W.W. Masey and his parents, Micajah and Mary Masey. Micajah's ( pronounced "my cage ah" ) headstone has fallen over and broke in half, and I plan to fix that. They are buried at the Preston Cemetery, and his headstone is facing the peak of Short Mt. I have become all become almost certain that John Hawkins was Joseph T. Hawkins' dad, and therefore my third great grandfather, as he had a land grant for a 100 acre section of Short Mt, right in between the 2 peaks. Relatives of mine had grants for the rest of the mt.
I have other cousins who I have found through DNA matches that are coming from Virginia and New York in May to visit their ancestral home. One thing is for sure... at least 5 generations of my Hawkins family ( my father, his father, his father, his father, and his father: Jessie Allen, Willie Richard, Joseph Irvin, Joseph T. and John ) all lived on Short Mountain. They were farmers and moonshiners, settled that area, helped create Mechanicsville ( a small hamlet at the base of Short Mt) , started the Short Mt Methodist Church, and many of my Hawkins cousins are still up there. I grew up visiting my aunts and uncles on Short Mt, all the way up to the late 70's. Then all my immediate Hawkins passed away. But it has reclaimed me. The pull is strong. I get up there as often as I can (it's an hour drive from my house ). If you scratch Short Mountain soil, us Hawkins bleed
I make Short Mountain trips quite frequently these days, but I forget to take a camera. Short Mountain is in Cannon county, but it's a stone's throw to the Dekalb county, and it was originally a part of Warren county. I know a lot of folks get confused by all this. It is confusing. It a small, rural area, and it is, to this day, almost entirely a farming community. Moonshining became legal a while back ( if you can't beat em.... ) , but it's still a "dry" county. It is like stepping back in time up there.
And next starts the documents:
Here is what Bret says about these documents:
These are Baptism records from the Short Mountain Methodist Church, and one of the oldest documents of Short Mt- all the names you see, including John Hawkins, were the original settlers of Short Mountain. I am related, one way or another, to about half of them.
|Short Mountain Methodist Church Register|
|Short Mountain original families: Hawkins, Ferrell, Gunter, etc|