Sunset at Gowanus Bay

Sunset at Gowanus Bay
Sunset at Gowanus Bay, Henry Gritten, 1851

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Bit More on Eleanor Brewer and Michael Hawkins

Following up on the post of January 22, 2015, here is a bit more information regarding Eleanor Brewer (a.k.a. Lanny Brouwer/Brower) and her husband Michael Hawkins of York County, New Brunswick. As with the earlier post, what follows was received from Jaime Hawkins, who is interested in getting in contact with anyone who can shed more light on the correct identity of Eleanor Brewer's parents. Much of what follows was in reply to my question as to whether Eleanor Brewer and Michael Hawkins were married prior to arriving in New Brunswick, or whether they got married there, after their arrival. Did they come to New Brunswick together? Or separately?

First the family of Michael Hawkins and Eleanor Brewer:

I am fairly certain that John Michael was the first born and therefore the oldest child of Michael Hawkins and Leany (Eleanor) Brewer.
1.    John Michael Hawkins b.1786 m. Nancy Todd
2.    Sarah Hawkins b.1796 m. James Yerxa
3.    Margaret Hawkins b. ABT 1788-1789 m. Humphrey Pickard
4.    Stephen Hawkins(no known birth date)
5.    Mary Hawkins(no known birth date) m. Benjamin Blyther
6.    Martin Hawkins(no known birth date)
7.    Hannah Hawkins(no known birth date)
Possibly 8th child named George Hawkins b. 1808. I don’t believe George to be a child of Michael Hawkins as it is confirmed that John Michael Hawkins had a child named George W. Hawkins b. 1808. It’s entirely possible that father and son both had a child in 1808 and named them George, but unlikely in my view.

The only evidence I could find about John Michael Hawkins is below:
Christian Visitor, June 6, 1877, Saint John, New Brunswick:
d. At his residence, Mouth of the Keswick (York Co.) 22nd ult., John M. HAWKINS, age 91 years 9 days. This aged man died on the farm on which he was born. He was never known to have been out of this Province. He professed religion about 50 years since and was baptized by David HARRIS in connection with Benjamin YERXA, Esq. (now residing in Boston). He retained his faculties to the close of life. His funeral took place on 24th when a large number of relations and citizens assembled in the Baptist Meeting House, where a sermon was preached by Rev. B.N. Hughes. The services were participated in by Rev. J.E. Ruel and his remains interred in the old grave yard near the Parish Church.

The last official record I have found of Leany (Eleanor) Brewer is of land sale between Michael Hawkins and John Michael Hawkins 16 Jun, 1825 in Douglas, New Brunswick. Both Michael Hawkins and Leany (Eleanor) Brewer left their mark on the deed.

Michael Hawkins's first land petition was on May 1, 1788 in which he states he came to New Brunswick in the Spring Fleet of 1783. On that same day, May 1, 1788 he purchased his first plot of land from Lewis Fraser; Lot #2 on the Keswick River in Douglas, York County, New Brunswick. John Michael Hawkins we know was born in 12 May, 1786. Which means Leany Brewer was in her 4th, 5th, 6th month of pregnancy during the winter months so I am assuming wherever John Michael was born is where Laney already had been settled.

John Michael Hawkins died in Douglas, New Brunswick. So we can deduce he was born in Douglas and that Leaney and Michael lived in Douglas before the winter of 1785. So where were Michael and Leaney between June 1783 when they got off the ship until November 1785 when pregnant Leaney was getting settled for winter? Perhaps Leaney wasn't even on Michael's ship? The distance between Saint John & Fredericton is 111 km. Most probably they were situated in Saint John between June 1783 and May 1784. The journey north would have to occur in the summer and could have been between May 1784-Nov 1784, or May 1785-Nov 1785. I realize I am rambling at this stage but I am thinking about where to search for other possible recorded instances that pinpoint the location of where Michael and Leaney were before John Michael was born in 1786. We know they were married so where did they get married? 
Lastly, one interesting deduction is that Michael & Leany lived on Lewis Fraser's land for at least 2.5 yrs before Michael officially bought it in 1788 if the information in John Michael's obituary is true!

Once again, anyone with additional info or evidence for the parents of Eleanor Brewer, can contact Jaime Hawkins directly.

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