I enjoyed the experience of having my mtDNA tested with Family Tree DNA, and now I am group administrator for this surname study. It has been my goal to begin such a project for a couple of years now.
The goal of the project is very basic at this point - to determine if Hawksley families (mostly found throughout the U.K., Australia, and North America) are related. Depending on findings, perhaps the goals will expand to include a focus on a certain area from which many Hawksley families originate, a certain ancestor, etc.
Why a DNA Project?
The impetus for this project is the ubiquitous "brick wall" present in my personal Hawksley research. My husband's descent from John Goodwin Hawksley of Mars Hill, Maine, is documented. It is generally known that John Goodwin Hawksley was born in 1810 in Fredericton, New Brunswick (someday I hope to find the record to prove this; most likely a baptismal record).
Based upon research in the Isaac Adams-Rhoda Babcock file (in the archives department of NEHGS), John's mother is Mary Goodwin. His siblings are Mary, Sarah and Margaret. The letter that gives extensive information on the Goodwin family (written by the granddaughter of Margaret Hawksley) only says that Mary Goodwin married "an Englishman".
This "Englishman" died sometime between 1815 and 1824, at which time Mary (Goodwin) Hawksley married her second husband, William Madigan.
So, who was this nameless Hawksley? What brought him from England to New Brunswick? The Goodwins were a loyalist family - was this Hawksley a military man? Or simply looking for a new life in North America?
I have a Hawksley database, devoted to research on Hawksleys from around the world. None of the families are interconnected at this point, but my hope is that by keeping a database, I might somehow find the connection between my husband's and son's lineage and their ancestors in England.
I do not know what to expect of the DNA study. I'm generally optimistic, so when I submit our son's DNA for testing, I will hope very much for participants to join and test.
If you are interested in participating, please contact me. Any man with a variation of the surname, Hawksley, is welcome to join.