Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hawkins in Orange and Culpeper Counties near Chestnut Mountain in early 1700's and mid 1700's

This blog entry is about the children of John and Elizabeth Hawkins.  This couple died in Richmond County, Virginia c. 1715-16.  They left six orphans.  The three oldest sons were Benjamin, William, and John (not necessarily in that order of age).  In the will, James and Richard Butler were asked to raise five of the children while Henry Wood was asked to apprentice the oldest son, William,  to learn the trade of plasterer.  James Butler died soon after the death of John Hawkins and Richard Butler was the man who then raised the five youngest Hawkins children.  It is somewhat likely that Elizabeth's maiden name had been Butler.

See my post of Nov 27 for more information on this will.  Also see Janet Shahmiri's blog:

The geographical area that I refer to in the title of this blog post is found in Orange and Culpeper Counties.  It is not known exactly when or why these sons of John and Elizabeth Hawkins moved to this area, but they and their families are found in the area near Chestnut Mountain in the mid to late 1700's.

The son that I know the most about is Benjamin.  Many of the Hawkins DNA matches to group #1 believe that they descend from this son who married Sarah Willis.  Sarah's mother was Sarah Rosser Willis Wood Hudson Turberville.  It is possible that Sarah married to Benjamin Hawkins had father Wood instead of Willis.  I have never seen definite proof of Sarah's father.  However, in the Hawkins research it has become customary to call her Sarah Willis.  But almost certainly it is Sarah Rosser Willis Wood's husband, Henry Wood, who is asked to take William Hawkins as apprentice to learn the trade of plasterer.  And it is almost certainly a fact that Sarah would have been living in that household at that time period.  She was probably very young.

So I take this blog entry up with a statement made by another researcher that the sons of John Hawkins are found living in the Chestnut Mountain area of Orange County.

"When Benjamin and brothers show up later in Orange Co. -- Benj is married to Sarah Willis, living near by his mother-in-law, brother-in-law and his brothers. Interesting thing also is that Wm that everybody likes to attach Benjamin to as his father is I suspect his big brother Wm b. 1697 -- who has sons Benjamin, John, and James. I also think they may have attached Wm's other brother James onto him as a son possibly- less sure on this one. Wm lives also lives near Benjamin in Chestnut Mt area in Orange Co."

So this is the statement that I will be working on today.  I will start by adding a map of the area.  But in order to make this fit better on this page, I will explain first how I came to decide that what is now called Clark Mountain was once Chestnut Mountain.  For this I will turn to a book called The History and People of Clark Mountain Orange County, Virginia by Patricia J. Hurst.  I viewed this book several years ago on a trip to Orange County, Virginia to research MY Hawkins line which I do not yet know if there is a connection to this family or not.  The DNA says yes, but it is possible that the connection will be a generation earlier or even several generations earlier.  I have looked at Benjamin and Sarah Willis Hawkins' lines very closely and see no easy connection.  But at this time I have not looked at the lines of William and James as well.  

From Ms Hurst's book:  Chestnut Mountain was included in a ridge of hills that were known as the Southwest Mountains or Little Mountains in the eighteenth century.  .....She shows on page 3 a plat that was leased to Robert Boston in 1746 by Alexander Spotswood...Alexander Spotswood and later his son John owned the main Chestnut Mountain properties until Alexander Waugh purchased 224 acres December 6, 1757, from John Spotswood.  On April 13, 1767, Alexander Waugh purchased 413 acres from the estate of John Spotswood. ....There is more information on page 3 explaining about the Waugh family selling land to the Clark family in the mid to late 1700's. ....Mount Pleasant was the name of John Clark's property on Chestnut Mountain.  So that is the explanation of how it became to be known as Clark's Mountain today.  

Ms. Hurst has what looks like a hand drawn map that is very helpful in interpreting the road orders in this time period:

She has very little about the Hawkins family, but she quotes a road order dated 24 September 1742 which shows that Benjamin Hawkins was indeed living in the area:
"The order for viewing if any other convenient rouling road might be found besides that which goes thro Mr. Jno Taliaferro's land Benj Porter & John Ingram who were appointed viewers having returned that the old road was the convenientest best and nearest way Its ordered that the said old road thro the said Taliaferroes land be kept open and its further ordered that the frances Moore be hereby apointed Overseer of y Same and that Harbin Moore, Tho Petty Junr, John Randale, Luke Thornton, John Wells, John Roberts, Wm Morton, John ffoushee, George Wells, James ffoushee, John Morgin, Benjamin Hawkins, Wm Croucher, Wm Mash, Bartholomew Baker, Thomas Thornton, John Bourn, Henry Bourn, Andrew Bourn, and the tithables of Arjalon Prices Quarter under the said Overseer work on y sd road And that the sd Overseer with the said Tithables keep y said road in repair according to the Law (OB 4:249)

It seems to me that the next thing to look at after identifying the general area is the Octonia Grant.  The book by J. Randolph Grymes, Jr. (1925-1998) has been reprinted by the Orange County Historical Society.  It is available via their website at a very reasonable price.

Mr. Grymes explains:  "The Octonia Grant conveyed an area of land roughly two miles wide and eighteen miles long and had the Rapidan River and its South River tributaries as its northern boundaries.  ....This great land area and its ownership about the time of the American Revolution are the subjects of this paper."  ....

On page 15, Mr. Grymes says:  "Spotsyvania County had been erected from Essex County in 1721.  Orange County was formed from Spotsylvania COunty in 1734.  The whole the Octonia Lands then became a part of the newly formed Orange County.  Greene County was formed from Orange County in 1838  About half of what was originally the 24,000 acre Octonia Lands is now in Orange County and the other half is in Greene County."

The only two Hawkins men mentioned in this book are John and Joseph who I have always assumed were a part of the John and Mary Hawkins line....not the Hawkins/Bourne line that I have been looking at this week.  I need to pull out some more deeds and more information.  I will edit this blog post at a later time.  I think that I have information in my piles and files about where  the land of Benjamin Hawkins married to Sarah Willis was located and also that of his sons.  

So the question is when and to where do these Hawkins men move when they leave Richmond County and why?  I just looked at my Hawkins/Bourne data base and found the following:  

1782, Benjamin Hawkins taxed for 403.6 acres of land in Culpeper County (list of James Jett & Lewis Yancey) 1785 Culpeper Co Land Tax records shows William Hawkins, James Hawkins, Moses Hawkins  all “of Benj. Hawkins” with 135, 134 and 134 acres respectively (=403 acres total).

I found a copy of an e-mail from myself to the Hawkins mail list dated 16 March 2005.  In it there is the information about land being bought by Benjamin Hawkins:

My notes say that this is my own interpretation of the land record that I read in 2004.  
May 28, 1767 a portion of land owned by John Spotswood was seized at his death for repayment of debts.  Guardians of John's son Alexander are selling the seized land for best possible price.  Benjamin Hawkins is buying a part of the said estate lands.

Description:  lying in county of Orange and bounded as follows:  Beginning at a gum and poplar and white oak stump on the Rapidan River Corner to Mrs. Willis thence with her lines South Sixty one degrees East One Hundred and ten poles to a locust thence with Thirty six degree East Forty eight poles is a a corner of said Willis and Waugh.  Thence up that branch with Francis Moore.

So I now believe this Spotswood land to be inside the Octonia Grant that I described did Benjamin Hawkins have land on both sides of the Rapidan?

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