John Hawkins, father of James Hawkins

James Hawkins (1756-1802) was the son of John Hawkins (1718-1778) of Hanover County VA, and Mary Langford (bef 1742-aft 1796). James was born in Hanover County, but had moved to Fayette County KY by 1788, and to adjacent Logan County, KY by 1800, where he died and was buried in 1802.

The evidence for this article is presented in five sections:

Section 1 – An 1819 indenture states explicitly that James Hawkins's father was John Hawkins. The land involved, originally owned by John Hawkins, was in Hanover County, and the indenture suggests that this land was John Hawkins's homestead. The indenture is between John's son, Martin Hawkins of Fayette County, and heirs of Martin's brother James, deceased.

Section 2 – A 1795 land suit names John Hawkins heirs (including James and Martin), and states explicitly that this was "John Hawkins of Hanover Co., Va." A 1795 tax census establishes that the suit was filed in Fayette County KY: the Fayette County tax list includes "John Hawkins heirs" as a taxable entity.

Section 3 – In a 1796 record, James Hawkins's sister Milly grants "James Hawkins of Fayette" power of attorney in the 1795 land suit. The record explicitly refers to heirs of "John Hawkins, late of Hanover Co., Va." This is a second record that states explicitly that James Hawkins's father was John Hawkins of Hanover County.

Section 4 – John Hawkins's will of 21 Apr 1778 names children including James and Martin. The will also states that John Hawkins has "been lastly inoculated for the small pox…" John Hawkins, the Commissary for Virginia in the Continental Army, is known to have died of smallpox in May 1778. Thus, the reference to smallpox in the will is strong evidence that the John Hawkins of Hanover, father of James Hawkins, is the John Hawkins who served as Commissary in the Continental Army.

Section 5 –Further evidence is presented to show that the James Hawkins who was the son of John Hawkins, Commissary, is the same James Hawkins who died in Logan County in 1802, and who was the father of Martin L. Hawkins.

Section 1

An 1819 indenture from Allen County KY 1 between the heirs of James Hawkins, of the one part, and Martin Hawkins of Fayette Co., brother of James Hawkins, on the other part, involved land equally shared by Martin and his brother, James deceased.

The following passage from the indenture confirms that the land involved was in Hanover County, and that its original owner, John Hawkins, was James Hawkins's father:

"…tract or parcel of Land situate lying, and being in the County of Hanove and State of Virginia Being the tract of Land allotted to the said James deceased by his father John Hawkins…"

The land involved in this indenture is referred to as "the old place", suggesting that it was the primary residence of John Hawkins and his family; thus, this indenture suggests that this John Hawkins, father of James Hawkins, is the John Hawkins of Hanover County VA.

The children/heirs of James Hawkins cited in this 1819 indenture are identical to those cited in an 1811 bill (lawsuit) of James Hawkins 2 Martin L., Richard, John, James, Edmund, Emily, Nancy Walker, and Mary Walker. This corroborates that the two documents involve the same James Hawkins and his heirs, including Martin L. Hawkins.

Section 2

A land suit filed in about 1795 in Fayette County KY involved "the heirs of John Hawkins of Hanover Co., Va. 3 The land suit lists John Hawkins's heirs, including James Hawkins who died in Logan County KY, and including James's brother Martin Hawkins, who is cited in the 1819 indenture in Section 1.

This land suit establishes that James Hawkins's father was John Hawkins of Hanover County. A census at the time lists the legal entity "John Hawkins heirs" in Fayette County4.

Section 3

A power of attorney document provides another piece of evidence that James Hawkins of Fayette County was an heir of John Hawkins of Hanover County 5. James Hawkins's sister, Milly Hawkins Butler, appoints "Jas Hawkins of Fayette" as attorney for her and her husband, to make settlement with the "Exctrs. of estate of John Hawkins, late of Hanover Co., Va."

Mildred "Milly" Hawkins, married to Percival Butler, is listed in the land suit cited in Section 2 as one of the sisters of James Hawkins, and one of the heirs of John Hawkins.

Section 4

John Hawkins's will is dated 21 Apr 1778, and was probated 4 Feb 1779 6. The will gives the name of John Hawkins's 9 children: 5 sons - Martin, James, Edmund, John and Joseph; and 4 daughters - Frankey (Francis), Miller (Mildred), Jane and Lucy. This list includes all 7 heirs of John Hawkins listed in the 1795 land suit cited in Section 2 above, and corroborates that the John Hawkins referred to in the 1795 land suit is the same John Hawkins of Hanover County who authored the will.

The will also corroborates that John Hawkins had sons named Martin and James involved in the 1819 indenture cited in Section 1.

Two children mentioned in the 1778 will are not listed in the 1795 land suit: Joseph and Lucy. We assume that Joseph and/or Lucy either died between 1778 and 1795, or were not party to the suit for other reasons.

John Hawkins's will provides a strong piece of evidence that this John Hawkins of Hanover County was the same John Hawkins who served as Commissary for Virginia for the Continental Army. Specifically, it is known that John Hawkins, Commissary, died of smallpox soon after assuming his post with the Continental Army7. John Hawkins's will opens observing that Hawkins has "been lastly inoculated for the small pox…". Smallpox inoculation was a dangerous procedure in 1778 that sometimes resulted in a fatal smallpox infection; however, the procedure was required of all soldiers and officers in the Continental Army. We can assume that Hawkins had been inoculated specifically because he had just joined the Army as Commissary.

Section 5

Two lines of evidence are presented to show that the James Hawkins who died in Logan County KY in 1802, father of Martin Luther Hawkins, was the same James Hawkins who was the son of John Hawkins of Hanover County, Commissary.

First: The 1811 bill 8 of James Hawkins was filed in Logan Co. This bill lists the 8 children of James Hawkins.

The 1819 indenture cited in Section 1 above lists the identical 8 children of James Hawkins, including Martin L. Hawkins, proving that the indenture involves the same James Hawkins.

Second: The following documents are provided to show James Hawkins's migration from his birthplace, Hanover Co., VA, to Fayette County, KY by 1788, to adjacent Logan Co., KY by 1800, where he died and was buried beside his wife, Lucy Wyatt.

  • James Hawkins married Lucy Wyatt, daughter of Richard Wyatt of Plaindealing, Caroline Co., VA, on 12 Dec 1779 9 Caroline County is adjacent to Hanover County, home of John Hawkins and birthplace of James Hawkins.
  • James Hawkins is shown in Fayette Co. by 1788 10 (when Fayette was still part of Virginia).
  • The power of attorney cited in Section 3 appointed "James Hawkins of Fayette" as attorney for Milly Hawkins Butler in 1795, documenting James's continuing residence in Fayette in 1795.
  • By 1800, James Hawkins had moved to Logan Co. 11 which is adjacent to Fayette Co. This census shows a James Hawkins in Logan Co., but no James Hawkins in Fayette Co.
  • 20 Jun 1805 Lucy Hawkins and Walter Wyatt appointed Richard Wyatt Jr. as executor of their deceased father's estate 12 This record provides additional evidence that Lucy Hawkins was nee Lucy Wyatt.
  • A reference lists graves in the Hawkins family cemetery in Logan Co. KY 13 The graves include James Hawkins (1756-1802) and Lucy Wyatt (1758-1817).
  • Finally, James Hawkins's will was filed in Logan County 14 names his wife "Lucy", and was witnessed by his wife's brother, Walter Wyatt.

The documents cited above corroborate that the James Hawkins whose father was John Hawkins, of Hanover County, Commissary, was the same James Hawkins who: married Lucy Wyatt; moved to Fayette Co. by 1788; was named attorney for his sister Milly in the 1795 land suit; moved to Logan Co. KY by 1800; wrote the will on pages D2-4 naming his son Martin L. Hawkins; and died in Logan Co. in 1802, where he is buried beside his wife, Lucy Wyatt.

Documentation of birth, marriage and death dates and places

References for John Hawkins's birth date and place are the 2003 DAR Patriot Index 15 and the Dolliver DAR Lineage book16 His date of death can be placed after 13 May 1778, when Gov. Patrick Henry announced Hawkins's appointment as Commissary in a speech before the Virginia House of Delegates 17 and before 3 Jun 1778, when his replacement as Commissary for Virginia is first recorded 18. Because his replacement was appointed by 3 Jun, it seems safe to assume that Hawkins died in May 1778. This date is cited in the DAR Patriot Index 19.

Because Hawkins was a long-time resident of Hanover Co., VA, and his will was probated there, we assume his death was in Virginia.

Mary Langford's birth date is unknown. An article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch on 7 Jun 1914 states that her father, Col. Thomas Langford, brought the family to Virginia from England, suggesting that Mary was born in England20. The birth date of Mary can be assumed to be earlier than 1742, based on the birth of their second son, James Hawkins, in 1756.

Mary Langford Hawkins was mentioned in her husband's will of 21 Apr 1778 21 She appears on the Hanover Co., VA, censuses of 1782 22, 1789 23, and 1796 24, living next to her oldest son Martin on each. This places her death in or after 1796. Her place of death is unknown for certain. She is shown in Virginia on these census records, but most of her children moved to Kentucky in the 1790s, so it is possible that she joined them there before her death.

Citations

1 Indenture, heirs of James Hawkins and Martin Hawkins, 10 Feb1819. Deed Book B, Allen County, Kentucky.

2 Bill, James Hawkins, 12 Apr 1811, Logan County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 853, Russellville, KY 42276

3 Wulfeck, Dorothy Ford (1962). Hawkins of Virginia, the Carolinas, and Kentucky. Naugatuck, CT: Dorothy F. Wulfeck, 1962, p. 34

4 T.L.C. Genealogy, compiler (1991). The 1795 Census of Kentucky. Miami: T.L.C. Genealogy: p. 71

5 Arderly, Mrs. William, compiler. Kentucky Court and Other Records. Vol. 2. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1984, page 120

6 Hawins, John. Transcript: Will of John Hawkins of Hanover County, in: Hawkins, Dr. James Russell. The History of the Hawkins Family, 1894

7 Dolliver, Louise Pearsons. John Hawkins, in: Lineage Book of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Volume XVIII. Washington D.C.: Daughters of the American Revolution, 1904

8 Bill, James Hawkins, op. cit.

9 Collins, Herbert Ridgeway. Bible Records of Caroline County Families. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2008, p. 358

10 Carol Lee. Early Kentucky Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1984, p. 36

11 Clift, G. Glenn. Second Census of Kentucky 1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Printing Company, 2005, p. 129

12 Murray, Joyce Martin, abst. Logan County, Kentucky Deed Abstracts, 1792-1813. Deed Book A, p. 303

13 Logan County, Kentucky Cemeteries. Russellville: Logan County Genealogical Society, 2007, page 360

14 Will, James Hawkins, 22 Jun 1801, obtained from the Logan County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 853, Russellville, KY 42276

15 John Hawkins, Commissary. DAR Patriot Index. Daughters of the American Revolution, 2003

16 Dolliver, op. cit.

17 Henry, William Hirt. Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches. Vol. III. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891, pp. 162-163

18 Hutchinson, William T. and William M.E. Rachal, ed. The Papers of James Madison. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1962, p. 248

19 DAR Patriot Index, op. cit.

20 Hawkins Family. Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7 Jun 1914

21 Will, John Hawkins, op. cit.

22 Sparacio, Ruth & Sam. Hanover County, Virginia, Land Tax Books,1782-1788. Texas: The Ancient Press, p. 4

23 Ibid., p. 21

24 Ibid., p. 97

James Hawkins, father of Martin Luther Hawkins

Dr. Martin Luther Hawkins (bef 1790 -1840) was the son of James Hawkins (1756-1802) and Lucy Wyatt (1758-1847).

James Hawkins's will1 , dated 22 Jun 1801, names his wife Lucy, states that some of his children are underage, and names David Walker and Walter Wyatt as executors. The will gives the name of only one of Hawkins's children: Nancy, who was married to Jacob W. Walker.

James Hawkins's will became the subject of a protracted legal case involving his heirs and the will's executors. The following four documents resulting from that case list the children of James Hawkins, including Martin Luther Hawkins:

Document 1 - In 1811, James Hawkins's children sued the executors of the will, David Walker and Walter Wyatt, on behalf of the children who were still underage in 1811. The bill2 (law suit) confirms that James and Lucy Hawkins were the parents of Martin L. Hawkins. Specifically, the first 10 lines read:

"To the Honorable Judges of the Logan Circuit
Court in Chancery Sitting, your orators Richard
Hawkins & Martin L. Hawkins State to your Honors that their father
James Hawkins (?) in the year of
(?) Departed this life leaving his wife
Lucy Hawkins and eight Children to wit
Nancy Walker wife of Jacob W. Walker,
Your Orators, James
Hawkins, Mary Hawkins, Emily Hawkins,
Edmond Hawkins & John Hawkins…"

Line 3 states explicitly that James Hawkins was the father of Martin L. Hawkins.

Document 2 - The bill 3 shows that Martin L. Hawkins's name was added as an Orator (and scratched out in the list of children) after the original bill was written. The reason for this alteration was this: after the original bill was written, Martin wrote a letter to the court requesting that court add his name as an Orator 4 In addition to the alteration, a new version of the bill was written incorporating the change.

Document 3 - 26 Aug 1817 – the heirs of James Hawkins (including Martin L. Hawkins) are listed on a document assigning power of attorney to David Walker 5.

Document 4 – 4 Oct 1821 – Indenture of David Walker to the heirs of James Hawkins, lists Martin Hawkins, heir 6.

Documentation of birth, marriage and death dates and places

The most accurate dates for James Hawkins and Lucy Wyatt are obtained from tombstones in the Hawkins family cemetery near Russellville, Logan KY 7 The tombstone for James Hawkins shows his birth on 4 Sep 1756, death on 2 Nov 1802. For Lucy Wyatt, her birth date is shown as 11 Jan 1758. There is no record of their date of marriage. We can assume it was before the birth of their son Martin Luther Hawkins, therefore before 1790. They were both residents of Virginia, so we assume the marriage took place in Virginia.

Lucy's death is recorded in "Logan County Cemeteries" as 5 Mar 1817. The death year "1817" is an error: the actual death year was 1847. The examiner of the tombstone probably interpreted a worn-away "4" as a "1". The correct death date is recorded in a Logan Co. KY court case from April 1848 8, in which Polina Frances Hawkins sued for her freedom. Polina was owned by Edmond Hawkins, son of James and Lucy Hawkins. James's will of 1801 stipulated that his workers, and their descendants, should go free when his widow Lucy died. After Lucy died, her children did not free the workers, and the workers sued in Logan County court for emancipation. In this record, Lucy Hawkins date of death is stated to be "5th day of March 1847". The Kentucky courts declined to emancipate the plaintiffs.

Lucy Hawkins wrote a will on 11 Dec 18359, further confirming that she did not die in 1817.

Citations

1 Will, James Hawkins, 22 Jun 1801, obtained from the Logan County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 853, Russellville, KY 42276

2 Bill, James Hawkins, 12 Apr 1811, Logan County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 853, Russellville, KY 42276

3Ibid.

4 Letter, Martin L. Hawkins, 1811. Logan County Archives, E-C-2, #19, 8-9; West 4th St., Russellville, KY

5 Power of attorney to David Walker, 26 Aug 1817. Logan Bill, James Hawkins, 12 Apr 1811, Logan County [Kentucky] Archives

6 Indenture, Walker to heirs of James Hawkins, 4 Oct 1821. Logan County [Kentucky] Archives.

7 Logan County, Kentucky Cemeteries. Russellville: Logan County Genealogical Society, 2007, page 360

8 Polina Frances Hawkins v. estate of Lucy Hawkins, April 1848. Logan County [Kentucky] Archives, #1659 – C67-4-12

9 Will, Lucy Hawkins, 11 Dec 1835. Logan County [Kentucky] Archives.