Friday, August 17, 2007

1880 census follies

Where the heck is John Goodwin Hawksley in the 1880 census?

It is extremely aggravating that all the evidence puts him in Mars Hill, Maine in 1880, yet he is nowhere to be found in that census. He is in the 1870 census of Mars Hill, and the 1860 census of Alva Plantation (as John Oxla).

So why isn't his family anywhere in 1880? They certainly do pop up again in 1900, no problem.

An 1877 map of Mars Hill shows J. G. Hawksley and his son, J. A. Hawksley, living in Mars Hill, on the New Brunswick border.

Surrounding them is the land of J. Trueworthy, H. Hall, L.C. Clough, O. Frost, J. Boyd, R. M. Fulton, and Aaron Fulton. In the 1880 census, Robert M. Fulton is still in Mars Hill.

So where did the Hawksley family go? Because it is not just John Goodwin Hawksley I can not find; it is the ENTIRE family. He had sons who were married by that time - John Allen Hawksley and my husband's ancestor, William Roger Hawksley. His daughters, Susan and Henrietta were married. Susan Caldwell is in the census; Henrietta Craig is not.

His son, Charles, had JUST gotten married in February 1880, but he is nowhere to be found. Nor are the many grandchildren living by that point.

Sons Joseph, Thomas, and George ought to be living with John Goodwin Hawksley, but I can't locate them. John's wife, Lucy, died in December of 1880, so she ought to be in the census. But she's not.

Where, oh where did they go, and why is it so important? Well, the 1880 census is the first census to inquire about a person's place of birth, and their parents' places of birth. This is important to me. I want to see how John answered. Based on a letter from his niece, his mother was from New Brunswick, her parents born in New Jersey. His father was born in England, but died when John was quite young.

I have pretty much given up on the 1880 census. Perhaps the census-taker was tired by the time he got to Robert Fulton's house, and decided he was done for the day!

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