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Matthew Hawkins was not a direct ancestor of mine, but there were several of my ancestors who did marry members of his family.  I also have found that the history of Matthew Hawkins was a fascinating and interesting one and I feel that it needs to be told. He was a slave of Philemon Hawkins who left a will in 1801 where he freed Matthew for helping him in a matter of fraud involving Philemon's grandson; there was a long drawn out court battle over the provisions of the will, but the move to getting Matthew freed was immediately carried out. Matthew married Mahaly Mushaw on February 26, 1812 in Warren County, with whom he had at least 5 children, Betsy, Amy, Woodley, Frank and Nancy Hawkins. The early Census records indicate that there were probably several more children, however, I haven't been able to determine who they were yet. Their daughter, Betsy, died in July 1849 of bilious fever; daughter Amy, married Plummer Carter on January 1, 1838, and died shortly before 1850; Plummer & Amy had 4 children - Thomas, Elizabeth, Hawkins Wesley, and Matthew Carter, all of whom went to live with their HAWKINS grandparents after Amy's death, and are the children referred to in Matthew Hawkins' will.  Son, Woodley Hawkins, married Margaret Blacknall on March 4, 1844 in Franklin County, the daughter of former slave, Thomas and Patsy Blacknall, Thomas was a blacksmith who had earned the respect of his slaveowner, William Blacknall, and had saved enough money to free himself and his family in 1820; son Frank, died in February 1851, after having married 14 year old Lucy Ann Ward, on January 5, 1850, after Frank's early death, Lucy, who was a minor, was placed under guardianship of Micajah T. Hawkins, a grandson of Philemon Hawkins, until she remarried in 1855 to William Robinson of Martin County, North Carolina. Daughter Nancy Hawkins, married on December 21, 1858 in Warren County, to Henry Green. Mahaly was from Franklin County, probably a daughter of John or William Mushaw who had appeared in the Census of that County as early as 1790.  Following is an excerpt of Philemon's will, and the emancipation papers for Matthew Hawkins; also, below is the will of Frank Hawkins, son of Matthew & Mahaly Hawkins.

(exerpt from will, Codicil)
I PHILEMON HAWKINS SENIOR of the County of Warren and State of North Carolina do make and ordain this to be a Codicil to my last Will and Testament bearing date the Twenty Second Day of July 1801. Whereas my Boy MATTHEW has discovered an honest disposition in making Known to me many Circumstances relative to the Deeds of Gift which were obtained from me by fraud and imposition by my Grand Son PHILEMON, son of JOHN, and Negro AMY is very attentive to me in my sickness, It is my Desire that my Executors should do all in their Power to procure his Emancipation, provided the Order for his Emancipation made by Warren County Court should be set aside and provided he should continue to behave himself well and there is no obstruction in the Way Towards the recovery of my Deeds from my Grand Son PHILEMON Son of JOHN and others, I hereby give and bequeath to him two hundred and fifty acres of Land on the South Side of Ballards Tract including Howells improvement, one feather Bed and furniture; my bay Horse Saddle and Bridle, one hundred Pounds Virga. Currency, Two Cows and Calves, four Saws and pight, and fifty Barrels of Corn. This Legacy to be void if he should hold the property contained in a Deed of Gift which it is alledged I have made to him at or about the Time it is alledged I made a Deed to my Grand Son PHILEMON Son of JOHN It being my intention that he shall not Possess both this Legacy and the property contained in the said Deed.
In Witness whereof I have hereunto Set my Hand and affixed my Seal this Twenty Second Day of July Anno Dom. 1801.

Signed, Sealed and declared to be his Codicil to his Will in presence of us
Warren County - February Court 1802.

This last Will and Testament of Philemon Hawkins dec'd together with the Codicil hereto was proved by the Oaths of James Vaughan and William Gilliam Subscribing Witnesses hereto and ordered to be recorded, whereupon John & Philemon Hawkins Executors named in Said Will qualified according and Letters Testamentary granted them.
I William Green Clerk of Warren County Court do hereby certify that the foregoing Will and the Codicil to said Will are correct Copies from the Records in my office.
October 26, 1815.

Page 14 - Monday - November 24th
On hearing the petition of Philemon Hawkins praying that two Negroes, the one by the name of Amy and the other by the name of Matthew, may be liberated for reasons in said petition set forth, it appearing to the Court that the said Negroes, for the said reason in the said petition set forth, ought to be liberated and emancipated, it is therefore considered by the Court that the said Negroes in the petition mentioned shall from this time be free and emancipated agreeable to the prayers of the petitioner, and that the said Negro Amy shall hereafter be known by the name of AMY HONESTY, and that the said Negro Matthew shall hereafter be known by the name of MATTHEW HAWKINS, agreeable to the prayers of the petition.


Will & Estate of Matthew Hawkins

Warren County Will Book 49, Page 12
MATTHEW HAWKINS - February Court 1856

I MATTHEW HAWKINS of the County of Warren and state of North Carolina, Knowing that all men must die, and being in feeble health but sound in mind and of disposing memory, do make this my last will and testament, to wit,
1st. My will and desire is that all of my property of every description (except one sorrel horse name Ponie which I give to my daughter NANCY) shall remain as it is for the benefit and support of my beloved wife MAHALY, my son WOODLY daughter NANCY and my four grand children THOMAS CARTER, ELIZABETH CARTER, HAWKINS CARTER, and MATTHEW CARTER. My will and desire is that nothing shall be sold or disposed of in any way, (except it be a surplus raised on the plantation) so long as my beloved wife MAHALY shall live; after the death of my wife MAHALY; my will and desire is that my property of every description shall be divided into three equal parts, one third I give to my son WOODLY, one to my daughter NANCY, and one third to be equally divided between my four grand children, THOMAS CARTER, ELIZABETH CARTER, HAWKINS CARTER and MATTHEW CARTER. I appoint WILLIAM WATSON JR. and JOHN WATSON my Lawful Exr. this 17th December in the year of Our Lord One Thousand eight hundred and fifty five,

MATTHEW HAWKINS ("X" his mark)


Warren County February Court 1856.
This paper writing purporting to be the last will and testament of MATTHEW HAWKINS, was exhibited for probate in open court and the execution thereof by the said MATTHEW HAWKINS, was duly proved by the oath and examination of EDWIN D. DRAKE and L. Y. CHRISTMAS the subscribing witnesses thereto. & on motion the same was admitted to probate and ordered to be Recorded, Test


Estate of Matthew Hawkins

Feb. 22, 1858
JNO & WM. WATSON Exrs. To amt due as per returns made this day.
Dr [debit]

Feb. 23, 1863
To int. on $962.73 to date

Feb. 23, 1863
To Amt. Rec'd for 1 horse sold H. GREEN

[Total] $1311.55
Feb. 23, 1863
To amt due to Estate by Executors

Agreeable to an order to us directed from Feb'y Term of Warren County Court 1863 we have examined the above account of JOHN & WM. WATSON Executors of MATTHEW HAWKINS F.M.C.* dec'd & the same we find supported by proper vouchers. And after allowing 5 just Commissioners on $552.51 amt of receipts & disbursements the balance in the hands of the Executors this day due to the Estate is One Thousand & Eighty dollars & twenty three cents. All of which is respectfully submitted.



Account Current of Estate
February Court 1858
Recorded Pursuant to order Page 192

Account Current of Estate
February Term 1863
Recorded Page 122

[Among entries in the Accounts are following]

A check on White, Davis & Hardy, Feb. 1856; amounts pad to J. S. JONES of Petersburg.
A Bond on M. T. HAWKINS for $317.70, Dec. 1855.


Division of the Land of MATTHEW HAWKINS, dec'd
February Term 1863
Recorded Page 208, Book 47

Surveyed the MATTHEW HAWKINS tract of land for a division finding it to contain 150 acres. It was ordered by THOMAS G. PLUMMER, HENRY B. HUNTER & LOUIS WATSON Com's. to be divided into the following tracts. No. 1 or House tract to contain 45 acres. No. 2 or Middle tract to contain 55 acres and No. 3 or the Lower tract to contain 50 acres.
Boundaries of the house tract No. 1 begins at a small dogwood on the s. side of a small branch and run S 48 1/2 W 190 pole to the Shaker[?] road entering the road 8 feet S. E. of a Willow Oak then down the road towards Warrenton to a persimmon DRAKEs Corner on the N. side of Hill road, then the bottom to the head of a branch and along said branch to the begining.
Boundaries of the Middle tract, No. 2, begins at a small dogwood on the S. side of a small branch and RUN s. 48 1/2 W 190 pole to the Shaker road entering said road 8 feet S. E. OF A Willow oak, thence along said rad to the ford of Phibby's Creek, then down Phibby's Creek to about 8 feet of a Poplar marked on the E. side of said Creek, then due E. 96 pole 15 links to DRAKE's line then due S. 3 pole to a small branch and up the branch to the begining.
Boundaries of the lower tract No. 3, Begin at a stake in DRAKE's line 3 pole 5 links N. of a small branch & run due N. 48 pole 20 links to DRAKE's corner in JONES' line, then S.87 1/2 W. 44 pole to a corner stone, then due N. 132 pole to Phebys Creek, then up the meanders of Phebys Creek to 8 feet south of a poplar marked standing on the E side of said Creek then due E 96 pole 15 links to the begining.


In obedient to and order to us directed, we the Commissioners have divided, and allotted the lands of MATTHEW HAWKINS dec'd, according to the within survey. Lot No. 1 or House tract, containing 45 acres to NANCY GREEN, wife of HENRY GREEN, Lot No. 2 or Middle tract containing 55 acres to the CARTER children, as follows, to THOMAS CARTER, one fourth, to ELIZABETH CARTER, one fourth, HAWKINS CARTER, one fourth and one fourth to MATTHEW CARTER. Lot No. 3 or lower tract containing 50 acres to WOODLEY HAWKINS. All of which is respectfully submitted.


Will of FRANK HAWKINS - probated February 1851

Warren County Wills, Will Book 41, Page 80

In the name of God amen, I, FRANK HAWKINS of the County of Warren and State of North Carolina being in feeble health but of sound mind & memory do make and declare this to be my last Will & Testament in manner and form following to wit:

First I give and bequeath to my Father MATTHEW HAWKINS my Sorrel filly
Secondly I give and bequeath to my wife LUCY ANN all the balance of my property of every description after paying my just debts to her and her Heirs forever.
Thirdly, I ordain and appoint Genl M. T. HAWKINS my Executor to this my last Will and Testament.
In Testamony whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name, and affix my seal this 31st day of January 1851.

FRANK HAWKINS ("X" his mark)

Signed, Sealed, & acknowledged
in the presence of

Warren County February Court 1851
The execution of this will was duly proven in open court by the oat of THOMAS G. PLUMMER one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and on motion was ordered to be recorded, whereupon Genl M. T. HAWKINS the Executor therein named came into and qualified as such in due form of Law.



Guardian Bond
May Court 1851
Recorded pursuant to order Page 133.

G. D. BASKERVILLE, M. M. DRAKE & EDM'D WHITE Esqrs. on the Bench who accepted this Bond and ordered that the same be recorded.


State of North Carolina
Warren County
Know all men by these presents that we, M. T. HAWKINS SR., RICH'D W. KEARNEY & JAMES BALL all of Warren County, in the State aforesaid, are held and firmly bound unto the State aforesaid, in the sum of Sixteen Hundred Dollars current money, to be paid to the State, in Trust for the benefit of the child hereafter named, committed to the Tuition of the said M. T. HAWKINS SR. to which payment well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves and each of us, each and every of our Heirs, Executors and Administrator jointly and severally, firmly by those presents. Sealed with our seals and dated the 28 day of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty one.
The condition of the above Obligation is such, that whereas the above bounded M. T. HAWKINS SR. is constituted and appointed Guardian to LUCY HAWKINS widow of FRANK HAWKINS a Minor Orphan. Now if the said M. T. HAWKINS SR. shall faithfully execute his said Guardianship, by securing and improving all the estate of the said LUCY HAWKINS that shall come into his possession, for the benefit of the said LUCY HAWKINS until she shall arrive at full age, or the sooner thereto required, and then render a plain and true account of his Guardianship, on oath, before the Justices of our said Court, and deliver up, pay to, or possess the said LUCY HAWKINS of all such Estate or Estates, as she ought to be possessed of, or to such other persons as shall be lawfully empowered or authorised to receive` the same, and the profits arising therefrom- Then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.



See also: Hawkins Wesley Carter   and   Nancy Hawkins-Green 



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