Our Family's Journey Through Time
The first of our Hawkins family can be found living in Devonport, Devon, England. No records or information have been found to link our Hawkins family with the nortorious Sir John Hawkins of Plymouth, England of the 1500's. But our Hawkins family was involved with the love of the sea, and ship building. So there might be a connection but it has never been proven.
James Hawkins was born around 1815 in Devonport, Devon, England. James spent most of life working in the Dockyards in Devonport. However, when he marries he is listed as a Mariner. James marries Jane Robinson on 21 July 1844 in the Parish of Stoke Dammeral. Elizabeth Lozer and John Symons witness their marriage. At the time of the marriage James is living at 20 Cannon Street and his occupation is Mariner. On the marriage certificate, James' father is listed as John Hawkins. John's occupation is laborer. It is believed that James was born to John Hawkins and Ann Gregory. They were married by banns in September 1815.1
Jane is a spinster living at 32 Queen St. There is no occupation for Jane. Her father is Alexander Robinson and his occupation is servant.2 However Alexander who was born 1789 in Tandragee, County Armagh, Ireland was in the 6th Regiment of Dragoons and served in the Battle of Waterloo.
The streets where James and Jane were living are not too far apart so they probably met each other in this location.
As a Mariner, James is away from home and this must be the reason that nearly six years passes before their first child, Thomas James Robinson Hawkins is born on 3 November 1850. James is 37 years old and Jane is 31 years old. They are living at 8 Cannon Street in the parish of Stoke Dameral. By law all births have to be registered within 6 weeks. James reports the birth on 11 November 1850. The mother's name is given as Jane Hawkins formerly Robinson.3 At this time James is working as a Rigger on the docks in Devonport.
A rigger is a hoist tackle worker and works on a ships rigging. Typically riggers were civilain workers at navy yards. A rigger might be involved in the construction of scaffolding, temporary shelters and access ramps to vessels in dry dock. Lots of hand-signals were used from the riggers on the deck to those above.
The family can seen in the 1851 Census of Stoke Dameral Parish, town of Devonport, Devon England.4 James' occupation is rigger and they have a 6 month old son, Thomas J. R.James and Jane's family begins to grow quickly. On April 3, 1852 Charlotte, a daughter is born. They are living at 55 Clowance Street.5 Soon after on March 22, 1854 another daughter, Clara, is born. Now they are living at 5 Quarry Street, Devonport.6
Several more years go by and John is born on 30, January 1861.7 John is only 2 months old in the 1861 census. They are living at 70 Tavistock Street in Stoke Dameral. James continues to be a rigger at the AM Dock yard.8 By this time James is 46 and Jane is 41 years old.9
In 1871, the census shows that James is still working as a rigger in the Dock Yards. Charlotte and Clara are not mentioned but Thomas, age 20 is working as a ship's carpenter
In 1881 James & Jane are living at 50 Clowance St.11 John is the only child at home at this time.12 Thomas has gone to Australia and Charlotte has passed away and Clara has married and later dies in Sommerset. John has been attending school at the Plymouth School of Art. He decides to come to America. Family story has told that he came to the USA for the World's Fair which would have been in 1904. He comes to Saint Louis, Missouri in 1881 and works as a draftman. John sends for his parents to come to Saint Louis in 1883. Thomas, Charlotte and Clara have died and James and Jane are left alone in Devonport.
In 1883, James and Jane have come to the United States and live with John in St. Louis, Missouri. They are living at 2025 Obear St.13 James works as Superintendant of the ships in St. Louis but dies on 3 July 1884. 14
More misfortune comes to this family and John, dies on 6 August 189214 Jane is left by herself now so arrangment were made for Jane to live at The Home of the Friendless in St Louis.16
Jane Hawkins is listed in the city directory as living at the Home of the Friendless, 4431 S. Broadway in 1900. The home is now called The Charless Home.17 Jane continued to live there until she dies on 8 February 1902.18 She is 82 and 10 months old. She dies of Chronic Endocarditis. Her death certificate states she was born in Scotland but the birthplace of her mother and father is England. She is buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery.19
|The Home for the Friendless, a private home for elderly, impoverished women was founded in 1853 by Mrs. Charlotte Taylor Blow Charless as a memorial to her friend and houskeeper, Rachel Adams, who died alone and in poverty on the County Farm. Mrs. Charless was so moved by the circumstances of her death that she determined to provide a home to serve the needs of women who were alone and afflicted. She secured subscriptions for $13,000 and $20,000 in county bonds and the present site on South Broadway and Osceola Street was acquired. The building had been built for a defunct Swiss Protestant College, to which the home built a 20-room addition in 1880. Several other additions have been made principally during the 1930s. The home has grown and changed much as the city has over the years. The first infirmary was built in 1856. Today, renamed for its foundress, The Charless Home is a self care residence for women and men with a permanent staff of 78 and 135 residents.|