Cornelius D Hawkins 1805 – 1880

Cornelius Hawkins was born about 1805, probably in Tamworth, in Carroll County.  Tamworth in 1817 was described as follows:  a township in Strafford county, was incorporated in 1766, and contains 1,134 inhabitants; bounded N. by Burton, E. by Eaton, S. by Ossipee, and W. by Sandwich, comprising 28,917 acres. Bear Camp river is the only considerable stream in this town. This has an easterly course into Ossipee pond. The rapidity of its current in times of freshets renders it almost useless for the purposes of mills. Swift river in this town is a fine stream and affords many valuable mill seats. A nail factory and a carding machine are erected on it. Conway river falls into Bear Camp river near the centre of Tamworth. It has its source in Burton and passes through Conway pond. This is also a valuable stream for mills. A few rods from the meeting house in this town, is a remarkable rock called ordination rock, it being memorable as the place where the Rev. S. Hidden was ordained September 12, 1792. Its summit was sufficiently large to accommodate the minister and the whole of the council. There is in Tamworth a large church and society under the pastoral charge of Mr. Hidden. There is also a free will Baptist society here under Elder Webster. There are in this town 9 school houses. J.G.

Carroll County was created by an act of the state legislature approved December 23, 1840. In part the act stated that Carroll county would include the following towns which had previously made up part of Strafford. These towns were: Albany, Brookfield, Chatham, Conway, Eaton, Effingham, Freedom, Moultonborough, Sandwich, Tamworth, Tuftonborough, Ossipee, Wakefield and Wolfeborough. In 1853, Bartlett, Jackson, and Hart’s Location were disannexed from Coös county and became part of Carroll county. Carroll county received its name in commemoration of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

I do not have a birth record for Cornelius, but clues point to his parents as being Thomas Hawkins and Polly Dinsmore.  Thomas Hawkins is also in Tamworth in 1830, and is the appropriate age to be his father.  There is a vertical file in the Tamworth library, with entries from 1980-1982.  The person depositing the information there thought that Cornelius, Lydia, and Stephen might also be children of Thomas Hawkins and Mary “Polly” Dinsmore.  Perhaps Cornelius’ middle initial “D” might stand for Dinsmore.  A neighbor of Cornelius in 1840 was Alpheus Hawkins, who is a son of Thomas and Polly.

Cornelius married the daughter of Silas and Mary Brown:  This certifies that I joined the following persons in marriage December 5, 1825 Mr. Cornelius Hawkins to Miss Sally Brown, both of Tamworth  March 29, 1826 JB Russell, Justice of the Peace, Rec. and recorded by M.W. Eastman, Town Clerk.   

The NH Vital records cards in Concord say 29 Mar, 1860 but I have a photocopy of the original record, and it is NOT 1860.  In about 1905, the federal government required the states to start keeping vital record.  The clerks filled out cards and sent them to NH vital records office – hand-copying means more opportunity for mistakes.

The 1830 United States Federal Census lists Cornelius in Tamworth, Strafford County, with four persons I the household.  The adult male and female would Cornelius and wife.  They had two females under age 5, probably daughters old enough to be married by 1850 when the full family names were recorded. 

The 1840 census lists Cornelius living in Albany, in Strafford county.  I was told that as these towns were growing, there were border changes, and it is likely that Cornelius “moved” from Tamworth to Albany without leaving his home.  The household consisted of one male 30-40 (Cornelius), 1 male under five (son Andrew who was born about 1837), 1 female 30-40 (Cornelius’ wife), 1 female age 5-10 (Sarah) and 2 females 10-15, presumably the same girls recorded in 1830.)  No occupation was listed.  Next door are John and Alpheus Hawkins.  They are of the appropriate age to be his brothers. 

Cornelius either moved or the town lines did, as by 1844, he was living in Conway.  According to the 1844 Conway town tax records, Cornelius had one cow.  Poll tax was $1.50.  Cow valued at $10, taxed at .05 – total taxes $1.55.  Hawkins was listed in the tax rolls through 1875 (except 1857). 

The 1850 census, now naming all household members, lists Cornelius in Conway, with Sally, and Sarah and Andrew.  The two older girls now 23 and 21 are old enough to have married and moved out of the home.

The 1860 census lists Cornelius in Conway, with Sally, who is four years older than him, plus son Andrew.  Also in the household are Barney Mclary age 28, Sarah A Mclary age 26, and John Mclary, age 2.  Cornelius and Barney are laborers.  This is actually Barney Laclair who married Sarah Ann in 1857.  They had a daughter, Josephine, born in 1858 in Conway.  Perhaps the census taker made an error when transferring his notes to the form.  Barney was actually 33, and while he claimed to be born in Ireland, he was actually born in Quebec.   

The 1870 census lists Cornelius in Conway, working as a day laborer.  His wife is now called Mary, and is listed as a year younger, rather than four years older, as was the case with Sally.  So is this a second wife?  The 1870 census does not list the relationships or marital of people, so we don’t even know for sure that it is a wife – it could be a sister. 

It took quite a while to find the death record for Cornelius’ daughter Sarah.  She had died in Portsmouth NH, and was listed as McClare instead of LaClair.  This record listed her parents as Cornelius D Hawkins born in Wakefield, and her mother as Sarah A Winkley born in Barrington.  I know that “Sally” could be a nickname for “Sarah”, but Winkley definitely did not match Brown.  Did Sally Brown die right after the marriage, with Cornelius marrying another Sarah or Sally? 

Tracking Sarah Hawkins LaClair in Portsmouth, I eventually connected her with her sister Eliza J Hawkins Fuller, and Eliza’s death record lists the same parents – Cornelius Hawkins and Sarah Winkley.  (And this also identified Eliza as probably the younger of the two unnamed daughters in the 1830 and 1840 census – still looking for the first daughter.)

Although I have not found a death record for Cornelius, I have found that he was buried in Harmony Grove cemetery in Portsmouth.  The headstone says CD Hawkins born 1805, died 1880, and Sarah his wife, born 1800 died 1880.  They share the headstone with Eliza, her second husband Joseph Fuller, and his first wife Mary Gale.  Eliza’s son Theo and wife are on the third side of the stone.  The census date for 1880 was June 1.  I did not locate Cornelius in that census so suspect he died before that date.  Plot 137 in Harmony Grove is called the Hawkins-Fuller plot.  Since Sarah Hawkins LaClair’s parents predeceased her, and her sister died after, it would seem reasonable that Sarah is at Harmony Grove with the rest of the family. 

I have not been able to resolve the Sally Brown vs Sarah Winkley issue as mother of Eliza and Sarah Ann Hawkins.  The original record (not an index, or index card) definitely says “Miss Sally Brown” and 1825. I do have an index card (created in 1905 from the town records) that lists Sally Brown born 31 March 1801 as second child of Silas Brown and Mary.  I did not find a death record for Sally Brown Hawkins.  I did not find Cornelius in the Portsmouth city directory 1877-1882.  We did not locate probate or land records at Ossipee. But now knowing that he is buried in Portsmouth, perhaps Rockingham county records should be search.





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