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.

  • April 16, 2014 - 2:24 pm

    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

  • April 23, 2014 - 5:20 am

    Jeffrey McNevin - I think Elias Sill was an amusing and interesting character. I remember William F. Buckley commenting on his name a number of years ago; he said many English names ending in ley were of Norman origin, as in let. In his case he said his family was “castle Irish”, for his people had migrated to Ireland from England. Since my greatgrandfather, Frederick Hurd Hawley married a French Canadian I take no umbrage with Elias Sill’s remark about the wonderful civilizing French. JeffReplyCancel

    • May 4, 2014 - 12:24 pm

      Patricia Brauner - Jeff McNevin, I’d like to know your Hurd connection. My great great-grandmother, Mary Ann Jennings (granddaughter of Faustina HAWLEY and Samuel Ufford) married Stiles HURD (1817-1891) in 1835. They were all Connecticut people, mostly Stratford.ReplyCancel

      • June 11, 2014 - 4:17 am

        Jeff - Ms. Brauner, My grandfather and great-grandfather, were both given the middle name of Hurd; Frederick Hurd Hawley and Harold Hurd Hawley. In addition my Hawleygrandmother wrote that Hurd was a maiden name of an Hawley woman in 1983. Not true,if this site is to be trusted, and I believe it is for cemetery records in Minnesota and Hancock county Illinois support Elias Sills work.

        I am aware the Hurd’s had property that abuted Joseph Hawley’s property, according to his will. Yes, in Stratford, CT. The Hurds seem to be an industrious family; they had the first mill and granary in Stratford. This is in the fine tradition of Connecticut.

        Thank you for reading my post and responding, I regret I couldn’t have been more helpful. Jeff McNevinReplyCancel

        • June 13, 2014 - 8:20 pm

          Jeff - PS- Ms Brauner, My grandfather’s name was Edward not the Frederick that I inexplicably typed. My genetic tests say that I am in the group least prone to alzeimers, but sometimes I wonder. peace, old Mr. McNevinReplyCancel

  • December 23, 2014 - 9:12 am

    Karen Ware - I am the granddaughter of Elmer Mortimer Hawley and I am looking for information on my family. My mother was Nancy Kathryn Hawley. All I know is that there was, at one time, a settlement of Hawleys in Pennsylvania. Could I be connected to all of you? I’d really like some pointers on finding history of my family.
    Karen WareReplyCancel

  • March 3, 2015 - 11:25 am

    jacob hawley - hawleys in michiganReplyCancel