Overland Trail

Overland Trail
A blog sharing information about the Meears family who worked hard to be able to walk their way to Utah -- written by a third great granddaughter.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Elizabeth Meears Hawkins 1833-1901 continued… Born in England – Died in Mexico

In the February 16th blog we were able to trace Betsey from her birth in Ombersley in 1833, thru her appearance in the 7 April 1861English census records.

 Elizabeth’s life then moved abroad as she emigrated with her mother and siblings. They arrived in New York on 20 July 1863 aboard the Amazon.[i]

There was not much published about the Amazon.  I found this picture on Tall Ships of Atlantic Canada. This site is a virtual exhibition and educational website produced by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.[ii]  This ship was built in 1861 and its’ name later changed.  This Amazon is the only ship I have found functioning in the correct time period; it is possibly the ship the Meears family traveled on.

Elizabeth Meears Hawkins
Narrative information about Elizabeth’s life has not been found so church and census records were used to piece together her life.  Her marriage and sealing to Thomas Hawkins were performed on 28 May 1864 in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was also the date she received her initiatory and endowment ordinances.[iii]

It became apparent that she was part of a polygamous marriage when she appeared in the census, 21 Jul 1870, in the 14th Ward, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, with her two children, Elizabeth and David. They lived next door to Thomas and his first wife, Hariet Hawkins, who had six children.[iv]
1870 US census, Salt Lake City, Ward 14, 21 July 1870, Elizabeth Hawkins and children
She was living in Lehi, Utah with Thomas, who was working as a tin smith, and their four  children, Elizabeth, David, Alma and Louisa on 3 June 1880.[v]  There was another wife, Sarah, and her four children living in the same household. 

1880 US census, Lehi, Utah, Enumeration District 87, 3 June 1880, Thomas Hawkins household

Elizabeth Meears Hawkins from Ancestry Trees
Elizabeth and her family did not appear in any other US records and might have moved to Mexico before the 1900 US census was taken.  The Mormon colonies in Mexico were believed to have been settled when the federal government tried to curb polygamy by making it a felony.  Since the Hawkins families were participating in the practice, they could have been among the first colonists that located near the Sierra Madre Mountains in northern Mexico in 1885. 

She was living in Colonia Juarez, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico when she died on 20 March 1901 at the age of 67. She was buried there the next day.[vi]

[i] Sarah Mears and family, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Amazon, 20 July 1863, passengers 369-375, 391, www.ancestry.com, accessed 28 November 2011; Sarah Ann Mears family emigration record 20 June 1863, Record of Members, Birmingham, Warwickshire Branch, item 4, page 83, FHL film 86981.
[ii] http://www.atlantictallships.ca/gallery.php?action=display&ID=616&OutputType=PortraitsByShip&lang=e accessed 27 February 2012.
[iii] Elizabeth Meears, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, IGI, batch 6940194, FHL film 035130; Thomas Hawkins sealing to Elizabeth Mears, 28 May 1864, EHOUS, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, IGI, FHL film 183395, page 325, reference 6699.
[iv] Elizabeth Hawkins household, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah Territory, US 1870 census, ward 14, page 14, lines 15-17, dwelling 99, household 29, www.ancestry.com, accessed 21 October 2011.
[v] Thomas and Elizabeth Hawkins household, Lehi, Utah, Utah , US 1880 census, ed 87, page 6B, lines 34-43, dwelling 44, household 45, www.ancestry.com, accessed 21 October 2011.
[vi] Thomas and Elizabeth Hawkins family, Record of members, 1887-1948, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Juárez Ward), Library number 26365, FHL microfilm 35130, lines 167-175; Elizabeth Hawkins burial Colonia Juarez created by TB, findagrave.com, accessed November 2011.

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