Database updated on 4 Feb, 2019
Review 65 new, 30 modified & 62 deleted records Here
Where Did "Harvey Sr." Come From?
This project began as a simple quest to learn the origins of my 4th great-grandfather, but like a winding road in autumn, one discovery led to another. We soon found ourselves with a trove of data on our family and its origins in America. This web site is our attempt to make that information available to others who might share our interest in this family or one of its many branches. The mystery we sought to solve involved a man thought to be named Harvey Hawley Sr. who arrived in Delaware County, New York in the late 1700s. My father had sought the answer for years, but with little success. Some thought Harvey was descended from the patriarch of The Hawley Society , a Joseph Hawley who settled in Stratford, Connecticut in about 1649. Others thought he was a revolutionary soldier from Long Island who had married the widow of a man named Sprague. We now know that Harvey's actual name was Joseph. He came to Delaware County from Pawling, in Dutchess County, where he had indeed married the widow of a man named Sprague.
A Family History Revealed
With the help of a DNA test and newly available historical archives, we now know that Joseph descended from Joseph Holly and Rose Allen who sailed from England in about 1634 and helped settle Sandwich, Massachusetts in 1637. They named their eldest son Joseph and that tradition continued through our Joseph, the fifth in this line whose surname evolved from Holly to Holway in Sandwich, then Holloway in Pawling and finally to Hawley in Delaware County. We have documented the first six generations of this family with sources that prove the connection between our Delaware County family and the Joseph Holly who helped settle Sandwich in 1637. Our database has records on 7,060 descendants of Joseph and Rose, and their spouses. There are 1,503 unique surnames. Family group pages include sources used to validate the information we've collected. As our interest in family history grew our research expanded to include my maternal ancestry and my wife's ancestry. We continue to search for contemporary records on these early pioneers and will appreciate any help others with an interest in these families may be able to offer. If you have questions or have information to share please contact us.
Our Family In The Civil War
Several of our direct ancestors and many of their relatives served in the Civil War. My great grandfather, Lewis Mortimer Hawley Jr., lost a leg at Gettysburg. He and another of my great grandfathers, George W. Gregory, enlisted in May, 1861. Both were assigned to Company I of the 71st New York Volunteers, the "Excelsior Brigade", and served together until the battle of Gettysburg. There, on July 2nd, 1863, Lewis was wounded in both legs near the Peach Orchard on Emmitsburg Road. He lay there for two days while the battle raged around him, was recovered after the Confederate Army's retreat on July 4th amid torrential rains, and soon joined the many others who left a limb on that hallowed ground. Lewis spent the rest of the war at a hospital in Philadelphia, where he was discharged on April 19th, 1865. George Gregory continued to serve until the battle of Petersburg where he too was wounded. He was discharged upon completion of his three year enlistment on July 30th, 1864. After the war George returned to the family farm in Colchester on Wilson Hollow Road. Lewis, now known as "Peg Leg Lew", rejoined his family of lumbermen in Downsville. He became a highly respected pilot of the log rafts these hardy lumbermen assembled in winter, and floated down the Delaware river to Philadelphia in the spring.