Hawkins Family Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Hawkins family, (John R. Hawkins, 1809-1882)
Hawkins family papers
1792-1949, 1977, 1979
0.33 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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John R. Hawkins came to America in 1828 from Hardwick, Oxford County, England and settled in Michigan. In the 1830s, John R. Hawkins purchased 160 acres of land in Rollin Township, Lenawee Township, Michigan, from his wife's parents, Henry and Elizabeth Hayward, and this land has remained in the family since that time. Sixty acres of the original land was part of a 450-acre farm owned by his great grandson, John Henry Hawkins. The property was designated a Centennial Farm by the Michigan Historical Commission.

John Henry Hawkins graduated from Michigan Agricultural College in 1929 with a B.A. in Forestry.

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Scope and Contents note

The Hawkins family papers contain documents collected by four generations of the Hawkins family. The heads of these four generations are John R. Hawkins (1809-1882); son, Henry J. Hawkins (1843-1915); grandson, John R. Hawkins (1881-1957); and great grandson, John Henry Hawkins (1907-2005).

Most of the correspondence contained in the collection consists of letters (1850-1864) received by John R. Hawkins and his wife, Hannah, from family members and friends, most of whom lived in Rochester, New York. The letters discuss illnesses, occupations, births, and deaths of family members, etc. The collection also contains letters (1848-1866) sent to John R. by George P. Hester of Oxford, England, which convey general news of family and friends, and discuss current events and economic conditions in England. Other letters in the correspondence originated from Chicago, Illinois; Chili Centre, New York; Los Angeles, California; and Brockport, New York.

The Hawkins family papers also include property deeds (1837-1944) and personal wills of John Hawkins of England and his wife, Hannah T. Hawkins. The first will, written in 1792, is of interest as it includes a detailed map showing the estate of "John Hawkins of Hardwick, in the county of Oxford", including a home, farm buildings, grounds, orchards, and a mill.

Other items in the collection include account books, a patent deed, receipts, insurance receipts, plat maps, and published materials on the Hawkins family. The patent deed (1862) was issued to John R. Hawkins and others who bought shares in the Alexander Anderson Company which manufactured cultivators.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections September 1988

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  September 2002

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of John Henry Hawkins, 1987-08-21.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Account books
  • Letters (correspondence)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Brockport (N.Y.)
  • Chili (N.Y. : Town)
  • Lenawee County (Mich)
  • Oxford (England)
  • Rochester (N.Y.)
  • Rollin (Mich. : Township)

Personal Name(s)

  • Hawkins, Hanna Hayward
  • Hawkins, Henry J., 1843-1915
  • Hawkins, John Henry, 1907-2005
  • Hawkins, John Henry, 1907-2005
  • Hawkins, John R., 1809-1882
  • Hawkins, John R., 1881-1957


  • Cultivators
  • Patents

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Correspondence 1848-1946 

1 1

Property Deeds 1837-1944 

1 2

Mortgages, Leases, and Land Contracts 1872-1942 

1 3

Wills -- 1792, 1881; Miscellaneous Documents 1848 

1 4

Account Book 1876-1882 

1 5

Account Book 1876-1882 

1 6

Patent Deed 1867 

1 7

Receipts 1855-1902, 1977, 1979 

1 8

Insurance Receipts 1869-1876 

1 9

Plat Maps 

1 10


1 11

Family History, Genealogy 

1 12

Bank Note 1840 

1 13