The Hawkins family of Cambridgeshire

The most recent definite Hawkins ancestor in my family tree was my 5x Great Grandfather, John Hawkins of Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England.

However, records for his baptism in this area remain elusive for now, and so his parents remain a mystery.

By 1815, when John is about 16 years old, he marries Jane Dunham of nearby Witchford, at the parish church of Witcham. It is here in Witcham that the couple remain and they settle down to start an eventual family of nine children.

Tragedy Strikes

In January 1844, their daughter Mary Hawkins is noted in the Witcham parish burial register as having 'burnt to death in the absence of her mother'.

It notes that the Coroner ordered her burial. This tragic insight into Mary's short life which ended at 9 years and 9 months, is only mentioned with a brief 'accidentally burnt' note on her death certificate. However, there could be an inquest record, or at least newspaper reports, that might shed more information about this horrific tragedy.

Hawkins in Great Paxton?

A potential baptism for John Hawkins appeared South West of Witcham in the village of Great Paxton, Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire). This appears to fit perfectly with earlier ancestors, giving him a father and a brother with the unusual name combination of Westley Hawkins, that would go on to match his own son.

However, after the baptism in 1799, a 16 year old John Hawkins is buried at Great Paxton in 1815, having been 'accidentally killed by the kick of a horse in Mr. Pain's stable' in July 1815.

Are these the same John Hawkins, or two born at roughly the same year? It's not clear whether they were related or simply coincidental, so further research is needed to solve this puzzle.

However, the Westley Hawkins name matchings makes for compelling evidence.

Variants of the Hawkins surname

So far, I have found the following variants of the Hawkins surname whilst researching this family:

  • Hawken
  • Hawkins
  • Hawkin
  • Hawking
  • Hawkings

Hawkins family connections

I've found that the Hawkins family are linked to just two of my ancestral families so far: