Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I have two instances of a Hawkins marrying into my Hempstead family, and until recently could find nothing on either man.  I finally found what I thought was the perfect match for one, only to be informed by another researcher that I had the wrong Hawkins.  He was probably right.  I made a mistake I don't usually make - latched onto the first instance of what I thought was a fairly unusual name and did not look far enough to prove or disprove it.  The main source for his information was a Hawkins Descendants book, which I managed to view online.  Ahah!  I spotted the second Hawkins!  On second thought...the book has some facts correct and some skewed, on both the Hawkins and Hempstead families. 

  1. My great-grandmother's little sister Edith Ann Morrell married twice, the second time supposedly to a Hawkins.  She died of a tubal pregnancy as Edith Hawkins at her parents' home in 1899.  She could only have been married a couple of years as her first husband died in the 1890's, so there was no census available to view info on her and her second husband.  I didn't even know his first name.
  2. Going back in time, Edith's grandfather Christopher Hempstead [my 3rd great-grandfather] had with his second [or third] wife, several children including daughter Charlotte Rebecca Hempstead.  [Edith and I both descend - probably - from Christopher's first wife - long story!]  When Christopher's probate was processed in 1881, his heirs included daughter Charlotte Hawkins, wife of Reuben Hawkins of Cornwall, New York.  I'd found a new route for tracing Charlotte--that was the good news.  The bad news was she could only be found with her husband in the 1880 census, and she died in 1885.  I did learn the names of her children, as well as her husband's first name, but neither proved to be very helpful in finding them anywhere but Cornwall in 1880.

Edith married first Otto Overbauer.  Family history says her family was not happy that she married him, and that he treated her badly.  I found this marriage in an online index - she married Otto when she was age 16, in 1889.  From cemetery records, it appears that Edith and Otto had 2 daughters, Caroline [named after Otto's mother] and Edith, both of whom died in infancy.  Otto died in 1893.

I cannot find a marriage record for Edith [as either Oberbauer or Morrell] and any Hawkins.  I did find the following:

Edith Oberbauer married Peter F. Hughes 22 Apr 1895 in Manhattan, certif #5906

John A. Hawkins m'd  Annie Hoes June 1897, Kings County, certif. #3309
Note 11/2016: per familysearch.org, a John Albert Hawkins was married to and
produced children by an Annie Catherine Hoes; so my guess, above, does not
look promising!

Edith Ann was often called Annie.  I wondered if Annie Hoes might in fact be Annie Hughes aka Edith Ann Morrell Oberbauer [in which case she outlived 2 husbands and married a third time!].  However I cannot find anything further on any of them.  I plan to make my first attempt at obtaining copies of records from the FHL in order to see what information is shown on the two certificates listed above.

Per the Hawkins genealogy book, Edith A. Morrell married James Gilmore Hawkins on Nov. 6 1898.  This is a good possible marriage date, as she died of a tubal pregnancy in Dec. 1899.  However the rest of the info shown on Edith is erroneous - her parents, date of birth, and date of death [only the year is correct].  Most likely this is an altogether different Edith Morrell. 


Charlotte married first John Fredell.  They had a son in 1863 who died as an infant, and a second son, John C. Fredell born in 1865.  John Fredell [Sr.] died in 1867.  Charlotte, her 2-year old son and some older children [evidently children of John's prior marriage] were listed in his probate records. 

I have been unable to locate the marriage record or 1870 census for Charlotte and Jay Hawkins.  Their first two children were born in Brooklyn in 1869 and 1871.  I have not found further birth records either, but from the 1880 census it appears Charlotte and Jay Hawkins had at least one other son born 1878, perhaps in Cornwall, NY.  The 1880 census lists Charlotte and Jay [occupation "fruit grower"], Charlotte's son John Fredell [listed as "John F Hawkins"], and the couple's three children Ruby, Gertrude and William, residing Cornwall.

The [few] records I have found for this family show Charlotte's husband as John Reuben Hawkins only once.  Mostly I found him as Jay R. Hawkins or Jay Rube Hawkins.

The Hawkins genealogy shows a John Reuben Hawkins born on Long Island, occupation gardener, married a "Charlotte R.", surname not shown.  Children listed are John F. Hawkins as the eldest child; an unknown child who "lived in New England"; and a daughter Gertrude who married a Professor Rafferty, "formerly of Newburgh".  Son John was actually John Fredell from Charlotte's first marriage [he used his own surname as an adult].  I managed to locate the Rafferty marriage in an index:  he married Ruby, not Gertrude, and they moved to West Virginia.  Could not find much of anything past 1880 for either Gertrude or William.  [I also wondered at the large 6-year age gap between the births of Gertrude and William...]

The Hawkins genealogy also noted Charlotte's date of death [correct], the supposed remarriage of her husband to a woman named Sarah, their subsequent residence in New Jersey, and his date of death.  [It also showed his occupation to be manufacturer of jewelry, which I thought was quite a stretch from gardener or fruit grower!]

Although it is possible that the Jay Reuben Hawkins of Stonybrook, Long Island, New York is the man who married Charlotte Hawkins, the source info I am aware of only links Jay Reuben to his siblings and verifies that their brother is the man who married Sarah and moved to New Jersey.  I have not seen reference to a Will or probate that may list his [and Charlotte's] children, or even a marriage record for the two.  Perhaps the birth records of the first two children, born Brooklyn, will have further identifying info on the father.

The gentleman who corrected me on my selection of Jay Hawkins also sent me a synopsis of the Hempstead family which has the basic outline correct but is missing her first marriage, mismatches her siblings with her father's multiple wives, has her paternal grandfather wrong, and other errors.  It actually resembles the info I had on this family up until a couple of years ago when I had a couple of major breath-throughs.

Neither Charlotte nor Edith Hawkins are in my direct line.  I may just set aside those Hawkins mysteries for awhile!

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