Sunday, January 12, 2020

#53 Long Line of Pedigree Collapse - Long Island Quakers

Long Island Quakers and Pedigree Collapse
Part 1
My great grandmother was born in Westbury, Nassau County, NY. Her father was William E Hawxhurst (May 1838 -Feb 1908) farmer and surveyor, son of Ephraim Cock Hawxhurst (1793-1859) and Charity Titus (1802-1877) 
Wm E Hawxhurst
Her mother was Marianna Hicks, daughter of Isaac Hicks (Aug 1815-Mar 1900) and Mary Fry Willis (Jan 1817-Feb 1898).
Both families descended, without straying, from the longest line of Quakers who settled Long Island. [In case your wondering, Marianna’s grandfather, Isaac Hicks, helped fund a cousin, Elias Hicks, in his ministry as a Public Friend early in the 1800s]
Marianna (Hicks) Hawxhurst
A Long Line.
~Imagine you were born and raised on an island with a tiny population.  
~ Imagine that for religious reasons you married only people in your religion & you were prohibited you from marrying outside your religion.  
~ Imagine moving this island, with acres and acres of rich farm land, surrounded by wonderful fishing opportunities, so it adjoins the most powerful & prosperous city of the Western Hemisphere.
This explains who these Ancestral Long Island Quakers were.

How Did They Preserve Community?
My Long Island Quakers married safe people, most often collateral cousins (cousins of cousins).
Their repeated and extensive remarrying in a small geographic area led a LONG LINE of “pedigree collapse.” 
When researching when I need to add (yet another) “Titus” or “Hicks” or “Willis” always I pray for dates and /or parents’ names to get the right person.

Here are the last names of my ancestors going back to the earliest English settlers on Long Island which appear in this (largely) Quaker family tree:
Hicks, Willis, Fry, Rushmore, Doughty, Powell, Kirby, Allen, Alsop, Birdsall, Bowne, Washburn, Carman, Carpenter, Cock(e), Cole(s), Cornell, Doughty, Eme/ory, Feeke (Feake), Haight, Hallet, Hauxhurst (Hawxhurst), Hallowell, Loines, Jackson, Moore, Mott, Noble, Oakley, Pearsall, Powell, Reddock, Rodman, Rushmore, Seaman, Seaman, Sering, Smith, [Spicer, Tilton], Titus, Townsend, Underhill, Valentine, Williams, Willet, Willets, Wood, Wright

When I see historical document on Long Island from 1850 or earlier, I can bet my mother’s family has a common ancestor. The difficulty is making the right attribution (which Thomas Powell was this?) 

Part 2
I cannot get away from the long arms of the Long Island Quakers. 
Case in point: Spicer & Tilton.
These names appear in my mother’s FATHER’s lineage. I used to consider them the “Pennsylvania” group. I was wrong. Just a tiny bit of digging and I found out that they came from New Jersey, moving to PA after the Civil War. Oops.
My mother’s father’s family was mostly from New Jersey. But—New Jersey isn’t far from Long Island. It’s here where we reconnect the two ends of my mother’s family.
--Spicer and Tilton began on Long Island
Susannah Spicer was the daughter of Thomas Spicer. 
She was born in Long Island (Flushing), and married Henry Brazier. Susannah (Spicer) Brazier and Henry Brazier remained on Long Island.
Their daughter, Rebecca Brazier, married Peter Tilton (son of John Tilton and Mary Pearsall—there is another Ancient Name of Long Island).
--Brazier-Tilton Move
Rebecca (Brazier) Tilton and Peter Tilton moved to Monmouth, New Jersey. (They were still Quakers).
--Tiltons in New Jersey; and back again.
This Tilton line remained in the New Jersey area (and remained Quaker) at least until 
William Henry Tilton (B. 9 May 1820 Monmouth Co, NJ) and his wife Sarah A Conover (B 12 Aug 1831 of Monmouth Co NJ; D. 5 Jul 1895 in Brooklyn, NY).
They moved to Brooklyn, sometime before 1850 (US Fed. Census).
--Off to Pennsylvania
From mid-1800s the Tiltons lived in Brooklyn, then Henry Addison Tilton and his wife and family moved to Pittsburgh PA.  Since then the Tilton family claimed Pennsylvania as their own. 
--Ultimate Irony
It was ironic for me that I should find out that the Tiltons of Pennsylvania had first settled down in the New World on Long Island, NY.

My mother’s father (Chas Tilton) died in 1987 and was not a Quaker.  Might he be shocked to find out he and his wife had this in common: Long Island, NY and Quakerism?


  1. I descend from several of the LI, NY Quakers you cite. Both my parents descend from the Pearsall's, making me my own 10th cousin! Thanks for sharing! I hope to one day visit the Old Quaker Meeting House in Flushing.

    1. Hahaha! Don't you love that pedigree collapse? If you make it to Flushing, Westubury and Matinecock aren't much further. It'll round out the trip. And they're lovely places. I need to go back!

  2. I have a line of my family that were Quakers and am familiar with your "which one is it" issue! You have done lots of work, I am very impressed!

  3. I come from a long line of Hawxhursts (my maiden name) and we've been able to trace the family back to England in 1492 (with s lot of help, of course). My grandfather, Austin Nelson Hawxhurst, son of Eugene "John" Hawxhurst and Bertha Larrabee of Oyster Bay, Long Island (Quakers) was disowned when he married my grandmother, Hanora "Nora" Sheehy, an "off the boat" Irish Catholic.


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