A Word From Elias Sill Hawley

More assuming and still less tangible is the inquiry into possible origin and literal significations of our surnames. It was a self question of my early boyhood, never yet answered, how came the first Hawley to be called Hawley, and what, if anything, does the word mean?  A very ingenious book has recently been published on the origin, etymology and signification of surnames. Our names came from England, England as in our Mother Country, if an unnatural mother at times.   If England was our mother country, what, pray, was our grandmother country?  England had, so to speak, many mothers: the Angles, the Saxons, the Danes, the Normans, besides the original inhabitants, savage enough, worshiping with bloody rites under the oaks.

The Hawleys, I regret to say, as appears from the” Roll of Battle Abbey,” came to England from Normandy, with that wretched filibustering crew, led by William the Conqueror, in 1066. A worse set of scoundrels never robbed a nation or spoiled half so ruthlessly. Wholesale pillagers! Gigantic bummers!

Taken from a speech delivered in 1877 by Elias Sill Hawley and published in THE HAWLEY RECORD, 1890.

  • Patricia Brauner - Having recently returned from a visit to York, England, a city of Roman foundation, conquered by Vikings in 866 and Normans in 1066, I’m not unfamiliar with Elias Sill Hawley’s attitude toward the latter! The “memories” are still fresh there.ReplyCancel

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