Sunday, August 11, 2013

So who was Nicholas Hawk?

Who is the Nicholas Hawk who lived in Hardy County, WV (VA) in the late 1700's and what happened to him?  Is he the brother of John and Martin Hawk?   He owned 272 acres next to Martin Hawk who owned land next to John Hawk, all on Patterson's Creek.  So were they brothers?  Some seem to think so.  There are quite a lot of references to John and Martin Hawk being brothers, but they stayed in Hardy County.  Nicholas Hawk and wife sold his land grant of 1789 to Nicholas Michael in 1793. 

To further complicate matters, there are records in the Library of Virginia where John Hawk and Nicholas Hawk received land grants in Harrison County, VA (now WV) in 1789 and 1787 respectively.  Are these the same two Hawks who were granted land in Hardy County?  Quite probably.  Have I done any research in Harrison County?  Nope.  I didn't find any census records for either of these two in Harrison County either.

Mark Hale in his book Return to Greenland, Volume 1, pub 2000, believes Nicholas (wife Elizabeth) is probably a brother and that these three were the sons of Jacob and Catherine Haak.  There is a Nicholas Hawk in neighboring Randolph County, who disappears by 1796 and is replaced by Elizabeth Hawk.  Randolph County was formed from Harrison County in 1787. 

Next steps:
  1. Look at  Rev. Daniel Schumacher's Baptismal Records, publication of the Pennsylvania German Society, Volume 1, 1960, as well as baptismal records in Pennsylvania at the Family History Library.
  2. Research Randolph/Harrison Counties, WV records for more information on Hawk families.
  3. Order a copy of the deed from Nicholas Hawk to Nicholas Michael in Hardy County, WV.
I've researched some German families through the church records in Pennsylvania and have run into the problem of finding only some of the known children christened, either because records were lost, or the families moved, or once the church split.  I'm excited to try to find Jacob and Catherine Haak and hope to eventually find where these families came from in Germany.  My Dad said they were Pennsylvania Dutch, and I had no doubt of that, but I couldn't find anyone back beyond the Virginia Hawk families. 

So perhaps I had the information all along.  That wouldn't be the first time that's happened!

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