Week 26 (June 25-July 1) – Halfway: This week marks the halfway point in the year — and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge! What ancestor do you have that you feel like you’ve only researched halfway? What ancestor do you feel like takes up half of your research efforts?
There are two huge brick walls that I have hit and I still insist on digging in new records and files every chance I get, hoping to find that one fragment of information that will open a hole in that wall.
My two great-grandfathers – Samuel Melville Hawkins and George Neuhuetl/Newhill. I know Samuel’s mother – but I cannot find his father anywhere. I have no clue who George’s parents are. I’m beginning to suspect he changed his name when he arrived in the U.S. and I will never know who they are.
George’s family story is that his family had some money or status and he got a ‘peasant’ girl pregnant so his family sent him away in disgrace. He arrived in New York on April 26, 1887 on the ship “Werra” from Bremen, Germany at age 26.
In 1888, he married Mary Zierle in New York, NY and had six children with her.
He is listed in the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census’ as living in Manhattan, NY.
On July 11, 1908, he traveled to Hamburg, Germany and returned to New York on July 23, 1908. For such a short visit, I wonder if he went home for a funeral?
Samuel Melville Hawkins was born on February 28, 1824 in Machias, Maine to Jane Titus and an unknown Hawkins. Father Hawkins was apparently from England.
He married Jane Towers on July 4, 1847 in Wesley, Washington, Maine. She gave him seven children between 1848 and 1869.
From 1850 to 1900 he is listed in the Federal census as living in Wesley, Maine.
On July 14, 1892, the Bangor Daily Whig & Courier had an article that states “The town treasurer of Wesley, Samuel Hawkins reports eleven bears brought in so far this season by different trappers. The bounty is 5.00 and sometimes the skin sells for 20.00. It has to be well furred and in good condition to bring so high a price.”
We know Samuel ran a trading post for a while – including 1868- that the Passamaquoddy and Micmac tribes traded at – as Mercy was attacked while he ran the post and as a result, Mercy’s daughter Carrie was born January of 1869.
The land he owned in Wesley, some of it was passed to his granddaughter Carrie and her husband John Milton Roberts to live on and raise their family.
He died on December 13, 1902 in Wesley, Maine.
My suspicion is that his father was a seaman – sailor or fisher – may have come down from New Brunswick or Nova Scotia as there are Hawkins families in both of those areas – but I have not yet found a tie to my Samuel.