Few things were more important to my Dad than family, and he held an abiding curiosity about our origins. He never solved the riddle, but he gave us a good start. He tapped into his parent's memories of the family and initiated a correspondence with The Society of the Hawley Family in Connecticut. As it turns out, that society is focused on an unrelated line of Hawleys, but a cousin of Dad's was on their executive committee in the 1960s, and their genealogist had begun a file on our family. When my brother took up the search they shared some information provided in 1938 by James M. Chaffee of Harvard, New York. He asserted that the first of our line to settle in Delaware County was Harvey Hawley of Long Island who married a widow named Sprague; that her first husband had been killed by Indians during the Revolution; and that they had a son, Harvey Jr., born April 18, 1785. The Hawley Society also reported that the Civil War records of one of my great grandfather's brothers were registered under the name Johnson Holloway vice Hawley. Books by Leslie C. Wood documenting exploits of Delaware County lumbermen also referenced the evolution of our family name from Holloway to Hawley. What Dad could not discover was any information on the origins of our supposed ancestor, Harvey Hawley (or Holloway) Sr.
The key to unraveling the mystery was a DNA test that focused our attention on an early immigrant to New England whose name was recorded variously as Joseph Holly, Holley, Holway, Holiway and several other variants. He is probably the Joseph Holly granted six acres in Dorchester, Massachusetts, on Nov 22, 1634, and is indisputably the Joseph Holway who helped settle Sandwich in 1637. Thomas Lechford, a Boston lawyer, referred to him as Joseph Hollway in a 1640 deposition involving Weymouth merchants Thomas Richards, Henry Waltham and William Waltham. Lechford's note tells us that Joseph was a millwright of Sandwich and that he was born in about 1605.Joseph married Rose, eldest daughter of George Allen. Additional proof of this marriage is provided by the will of Rose's second husband, William Newland. He named Rose as executrix and his brother-in-law, William Allin as overseer. That is the connection that produced our DNA match with an Allen descendant who suspected one of his ancestors was not an Allen by birth. An Allen DNA project confirmed that neither of us is an Allen descendant and that is what led us to Joseph Holley of Sandwich. In 1644 "Rose, the wyfe of Joseph Holly" was ordered to give testimony at the General Court in Plymouth in a case involving John Ellis and his wife.Joseph died before Dec 4, 1647 when his estate was inventoried by Edward Dillingham and William Newland. The inventory was certified by his wife "Rosse" on Dec 30, 1647.
Rose took William Newland as her second husband on May 19, 1648 in Sandwich, and it appears that William assumed an obligation to pay the children of Joseph and Rose their rightful inheritances when they reached maturity. That obligation was fulfilled by May 3, 1665 when court records show that William had paid 24 pounds each to Joseph Holley Jr, Mary (wife of Nathaniel Fitsrandall), Sarah (wife of Joseph Allen), Experience Holley and Hopestill (wife of Samuel Worden).The discharge of William's obligation probably occurred soon after the youngest of Joseph's children reached maturity or was married. A "Find A Grave" memorial gives Mary's birth date as Oct 6, 1643. If that is valid, and if the order of birth is as given in the 1665 court record, Sarah, Experience and Hopestill were born between 1644 and 1647. That is consistent with the work of Worden genealogists who say Hopestill was born in 1646 and died in 1715 at the age of 70. As their only son, Joseph 2nd would probably be listed first whether he was the oldest or not, but he probably was their first born as there is little time for a 5th child to be born between Mary's birth and Joseph's death. Joseph 2nd was probably born between 1634, when his parent's arrived at Dorchester, and late 1642.
Joseph 2nd was married to Mary Hull, daughter of Trustrum, but the date is in doubt. Sandwich vital records show their marriage on May 11, 1657, but a Hull genealogy and Barnstable records show Mary's birth in September, 1645. We doubt she was married so young (11 years), and another Hull genealogy shows her marriage in 1661. Even that may be too early, because the earliest recorded birth to this couple was a daughter, Sarah, born Apr 25, 1664, followed quickly by Mary on Feb 16, 1665. Joseph 2nd was sworn as a member of the Grand Enquest on Jun 8, 1664, was granted a letter of administration for his father-in-law's estate on Mar 5 1666, was a constable of Sandwich in 1670, was chosen to help settle the boundary between Sandwich and Barnstable in 1682, and five of his children, including Joseph 3rd, signed an agreement on the division of his estate on Sep 5, 1692.
Joseph 3rd was born ca. 1668 and married Ann Jennings ca. 1693. Their first born was Joseph 4th, other children being Reliance, Mary, Anne, Gideon and Meribah. We know very little about Joseph 3rd. He was fined four pounds in 1690 for not responding when impressed for service against the "Indian enemy in the east". The fine was reduced by half when the council of war determined he was not well at the time he was called. In 1696 he witnessed an agreement by Shubal and John Jones to grant their neighbors use of a cart path that passed near their house. A 1711 probate record makes mention of him as having lands bordering those of John Allen, and in 1724 he was listed with many others as having a claim against the estate of Thomas Crocker to be paid at the rate of 7 shillings per pound. Joseph's will is dated Oct 24, 1732 and he died less than a month later on Nov 15, 1732.
Joseph 4th was born at Sandwich on 6 Nov 1694. He was married to Hannah Soule, the eldest daughter of William and Hannah Soule of Dartmouth by 18 Dec 1721 when Hannah was expelled from the Quaker faith for marrying Joseph.[31a] The probate record of William's estate, dated 18 Mar 1724, refers to "Joseph Holley and Hannah his wife eldest daughter". Joseph's sisters, Mary and Meribah, married into this family as well, which suggests a close relationship between the Holways of Sandwich and the Soules of Dartmouth. William Soule was a grandson of George Soule, a Mayflower pilgrim, so if the rest of this story holds together our Delaware County line of Hawleys can all rightfully claim to be Mayflower descendants.
Joseph and Hannah inherited a roughly 1/9th share of William Soule's estate, and on 3 Sep 1733 bought 66 acres from Hannah's brother, Benjamin, who was married to Joseph's sister, Mary. By 1738 Joseph had acquired 193 acres in Dartmouth, which he began to sell on 21 Feb 1739. On 22 Nov 1740, Joseph borrowed 180 pounds from Samuel Holaway of Beekmans Precinct in Dutchess County, New York; and on 31 Dec 1741, "...Joseph Halaway Late of Dartmouth now Living In ouster Shoare [Worcestershire] In ye Duch County In Newengland..." sold the last of his holdings in Dartmouth. Joseph was paid more than 2,400 pounds for these properties. Worcestershire was a name given to the Pawling area of Dutchess County, New York, in the 1740's. It was used mostly by settlers from Bristol County, Massachusetts. Additional evidence that this reference is to Dutchess County comes from records of the May, 1742 Court of Common Pleas in Dutchess County, where Joseph Holway was sued by Samuel Holaway of Dutchess County. Samuel complained that Joseph had not repaid the debt when due and Joseph was taken into custody, having been found within the baliwick of the Dutchess County Sheriff.
Soule family genealogists credit Joseph and Hannah with five children born between 1725 and 1738; Lydia, Joseph, Elsie, William and John. But we find no record of their births. They also think Hannah died before Joseph left Dartmouth because she is not mentioned in any of the deeds recording his land sales. But again, no record of her death has been found. We have examined deeds for several other sales in Dartmouth (Samuel Osborn to his sons Samuel and Joseph, William Allen to James Dexter, Jonathan Davel to Benjamin Wait, Daniel Mosher to George Mosher, Jabez Willcoks to Phillip Taber and Samuel Cornell to Henry Gidley) and none mention a wife. Perhaps the strong Quaker presence in Dartmouth can explain the absence of Hannah's and other spouses' names from these documents. We think Joseph, Hannah and their children left Dartmouth for Dutchess County, New York in 1741. Tax and other records show that Hannah's brother George, and brother-in-law Richard Cadman settled in Dutchess County at about the same time as Joseph 4th. If Hannah had died in Dartmouth, we think Joseph, with five young children to care for, would have remarried there soon after, and probably not joined his former in-laws in their migration west to New York.
Surviving records of 18th century Dutchess County are scarce, but court records confirm that Joseph 5th, William and John Halloway travelled to Dutchess County with Joseph 4th. On Oct 22, 1761, Joseph Halloway Jr., yeoman of Beekman was delivered to bail in response to a suit by Mathew DuBois. The Jr. suffix connects Joseph 5th to Joseph 4th and suggests that Joseph 4th was still alive in 1761. William Hollaway had an account at the Merritt store on which his brother Joseph traded. And in 1776 David Hurd reported that John Halloway had lived on his farm for 12 years and his father for 20 years before that. Their order of birth is suggested by tax records that show William began paying in 1758 and John in 1765. There was a history of this family's first sons being named Joseph, so Joseph 5th was almost certainly the oldest, and likely born in about 1730. Their sister Elsie is thought to have been born in 1733, so William and John probably followed in about 1735 and 1737.
With this family firmly established in Dutchess County, the challenge now is to connect Joseph 4th and Hannah to our Delaware County line of Hawleys. We think we can make a compelling case that Joseph 5th married Mary Earll in about 1753, had two children, (Joseph 6th and Mary) was widowed before 1781, then married Mercy Harvey Sprague, widow of Able Sprague. By 1800 they had settled in Delaware County near the present village of East Branch, not far from where Mercy and her first husband had lived before being driven out by Tory and Indian hostilities during the Revolutionary War. They had two children, Mercy and Harvey. Both were named after their mother because their father had already used Joseph for the son from his first marriage. Read on for our proof.
Mary Earll, the first wife of Joseph 5th, was a daughter of John Earll and Rachel Adams. She died prior to May 25, 1781 when her father's will was written. She is the only one of nine children not mentioned, while her children, Joseph and Mary Holloway, were bequeathed 20 pounds each. If additional proof of Joseph's marriage to Mary Earll is needed, it can be found in Robert Livingston's diary. An entry for Feb 13, 1783 says he sat with others as referee on a dispute between Joseph Halloway and one Earl, his brother-in-law. This may be a continuation of an earlier dispute between John Earll and both Joseph 5th and Joseph 6th. That case also went to arbitration and the panel found in favor of John Earll.
Joseph 5th and Mercy Harvey Sprague, the widow of Abel Sprague, were married in 1781 or 1782 and their daughter Mercy was born soon thereafter. Proof of this marriage is found in a series of court records beginning in October, 1786, when Silas Bowker brought suit against Joseph and Mercy as executors of Abel Sprague's estate. The surname recorded in these records is Holley, Halleway, Holloway and finally, Holley. These variations in spelling add a degree of difficulty to research on this family. The paths of Joseph and Mercy had probably crossed many years before when they both were members of The First Baptist Church of Christ at Dover, as were Obed Harvey (probably Mercy's brother) and Abel Sprague, though these three had broken off to form a separate church in the Upper Oblong before Joseph was admitted.
Abel Sprague paid taxes in Northeast Precinct of Dutchess County from 1761 to 1770. That is probably when he and Mercy left Dutchess County and joined Silas Bowker in establishing a settlement at "Papakunk" in what is now Delaware County. They were driven out by hostile Indian and Tory raids in about 1778 and took refuge in Orange County where they were found eligible for government assistance because actions by the enemy had deprived them of their livelihood. They may have relocated to Dutchess County because Abel earned Land Bounty Rights with the 3rd Regiment, Dutchess County Militia before he was captured and subsequently killed by Indians in the spring of 1781, as reported by Abraham Sprague in his application for a pension. But we digress.
Eighteenth century court and land records provide evidence that Joseph and Mercy remained in Dutchess County through at least May 1788. On Apr 18, 1778, before his marriage to Mercy Harvey Sprague, Joseph 5th had purchased land from Catherine TenBroeck of Rhinebeck that was adjacent to his brother William's farm in Pawling. There were two lots of 64 and 30 acres. On Jul 17, 1780, Joseph 5th borrowed 113 pounds from William against the 64 acre lot, the debt to be forgiven if Joseph relieved William of his obligation under a 226 pound bond they jointly owed to Reed Ferris. The mortgage was not recorded until Sep 17, 1785. Joseph must not have fulfilled his obligation under this mortgage, because Reed Ferris sued Joseph and William in Oct 1786 for repayment of a 226 pound debt incurred on Jul 8, 1780. The October 1786 court term was a busy one for Joseph. In addition to the suits by Reed Ferris and Silas Bowker, Nathaniel Howland sued both Joseph and his son, Joseph Jr (6th). The last court appearance we have found for Joseph 5th in Dutchess County involved a suit brought by William Stevens that was decided during the May 1788 term.
On Oct 25, 1785, Joseph and Mercy borrowed 274 pounds from Anne Maricha Jay of Rye Neck against the 30 acre lot Joseph had purchased in 1778, with William as a co-signer. Both Joseph and Mercy were present at recordation on Jan 14, 1786, and their obligation was discharged on Apr 22, 1786. Joseph and Mercy must have conveyed this parcel to Joseph 6th by Oct 4, 1792 because on that date Joseph Jr (6th) sold it to William Halloway Jr, his cousin, for 150 pounds. That sale suggests to us that Joseph 5th and Mercy had left Pawling by the fall of 1792.
Our proof that Joseph 5th and Mercy settled in Delaware County rests in part on an analysis of census records for 1790 to 1830, and tax records for 1799 to 1803. We have shown that Joseph 5th was at Pawling through at least 1788, and probably left by late 1792. Joseph 5th's brother William died in 1794, leaving a substantial estate. Three of the four sons named in that will; William, Joseph, and John are found close together in the 1800 listing for Pawling. They paid taxes there from 1799 to 1803 on estates valued at more than $2,000 each, as did their younger brother Justus. William's son Joseph is referred to as Joseph 3rd in his brother's will, and in tax records for 1799 through 1803, presumably to differentiate him from his cousin, Joseph 6th, who was usually referred to as Joseph Jr. We find all three of these Joseph Halloways in the 1790 census, two in Pawling (listed as Joseph 1st and 2nd) and one in Beekman. Only two remain in 1800, one each in Pawling and Beekman.
The man listed as Joseph 2nd had a slave in the 1790 listing for Pawling, and the Joseph who remains there in 1800 also has a slave. Joseph Holloway 3rd paid taxes at Pawling in 1800 on real estate valued at $2,107, an inheritance from his father. We don't know why he was enumerated as Joseph 2nd, but he is the only Joseph Halloway likely to have owned a slave. We conclude these are all the same man and that he is William's son, Joseph 3rd. We think the Joseph Halloway in Beekman is Joseph 6th. The 1790 listing shows him in a household with 1 male under 16 and five females. The 1800 listing shows him aged 45+, more than a dozen years older than his cousin known as Joseph 3rd, but a good fit with Joseph 6th. He was taxed on real estate valued at $180, probably the 50 acre parcel in lot 7 that Joseph Jr. (6th) bought from Robert Livingston Jr. in 1784 for 100 pounds. That lot was described as being in Pawling but much of lot 7 was in Beekman. That may explain why Joseph 6th was enumerated and taxed in that precinct.
The man listed as Joseph Hallaway 1st in the 1790 census of Pawling is in a household with two adult males, one male under 16 and four females. Having placed the other two Joseph Halloways, this listing must be Joseph 5th, and he is not found at Pawling in 1800. We think he went to Delaware County and settled where Abel Sprague and Mercy lived before the Revolution; near what is now East Branch in the town of Hancock. Abraham and Lazarus Sprague, two of Mercy's sons by Abel, were already there in 1790. A third son, Thomas Sprague, was there by 1800.
The 1800 census for Colchester, in Delaware County, lists Joseph Hawley, age 45+, with a female of the same age, a male age 10-15 and a female age 10-15. We think that is Joseph 5th, his wife Mercy, and their son Harvey. We cannot place the younger female. Joseph is found in the tax list for Colchester as Joseph Holloway with a log house and lot valued at $149. He died in 1809 and was buried in the Old East Branch Cemetery. His headstone was in bad shape when photographed in 2007 by Karen Bonneau, but it reads in part "J. Holloway .... died .... 1809 aged 78".
Henry Lewis is listed next after Joseph in both the census and tax lists for Colchester in 1800. This is important to our proof because Joseph's daughter, Mercy, is thought to have married Henry Lewis as his second wife. Mercy and Henry remained in Hancock and are buried in the Old East Branch cemetery, near where Joseph 5th was laid to rest. The case for Mercy being Joseph 5th's daughter is supported by the 1850 census of Hancock, where she is found with the family of her nephew, Garner Hawley. Henry is not listed in 1850, but Henry and Mercy are both listed in the 1855 New York State census of Hancock. Mercy reported being born in Dutchess County and Henry in Sullivan County (Sullivan was a part of Ulster County when he was born). They are listed as boarders with Gilbert Walsworth and family, but Mercy is the only owner of land in the household. The Walsworths are probably the boarders, brought in to work the farm due to the owner's advanced age. Henry and Mercy wrote their will on Oct 10, 1855, stating their ages as 85 and 72. They conveyed the "...farm we now live on..." to several of their children and grandchildren.
Joseph's son, Harvey, is thought to have married Charity Lewis, probably a sister of Henry. He is found in the 1810 census of Hancock (created in 1806 from Colchester) as Harvy Halloway. Henry Lewis precedes him in the listing, which suggests that Harvey probably inherited his parents log house and lot (Henry followed Joseph in the 1800 census listing). Harvey, age 16-25, is with a female of the same age, two females, and one male, all under the age of ten. This fits with what we know of Harvey and Charity Lewis, and their first three children; Amy, Esther and Garner. Harvey Holloway, Henry Lewis and Abram Sprague (Mercy Harvey's eldest son by Abel Sprague) were among 65 residents at a Mar 5, 1817 Hancock town meeting where Harvey was elected Overseer for District 10. We know from an 1832 deed that Harvey was a lumberman. He sold 56 acres in Hancock to Josiah Martin, reserving all Hemlock timber fit for rafting.
Harvey is listed in the 1820 census of Hancock as Harvey Haaley. He is 26 to 45 with a female of the same age and eight children; a female 16 to 26 (Amy), another 10 to 16 (Esther) and three under 10 years (Huldah, Rachel and Catherine). There is one male 10 to 16 (Garner) and two under 10 (Lewis Mortimer and Edward). In 1826 their eldest daughter, Amy, purchased 113 1/2 acres near Downsville, and in 1830 Harvey is listed in the census of Walton as Harvey Hawley. We cannot know why Amy is listed as the purchaser of the farm near Downsville, but that is certainly where Harvey and the family are living in 1830 and where they remain in 1840. Harvey is thought to have died in 1844, and Garner Hawley, his eldest son, sold the same 113 1/2 acre farm to Clark Landfield in 1846. The deed stipulates that Charity Hawley, widow of Harvey Hawley, may retain use of the farm during her natural life. Phebe Landfield, probably a sister to Clark Landfield, married Garner's brother, Lewis Mortimer Hawley, in about 1833.
Harvey and Charity had ten children and all but their fourth daughter, Rachel, are found in the 1855 State Census of Delaware County. They had at least 62 grandchildren. Mercy Holloway and Henry Lewis had seven children and at least 50 grandchildren, so descendants who may find this story of interest must number in the thousands. If you stumble across this site and find this story of interest, please share it with others you may know. We did this research for them.
Our purpose here is to offer proof that the progenitors of our family in Delaware County, New York were Joseph Halloway 5th and Mercy Harvey Sprague, and that our line of Hawleys is descended from Joseph Holly and Rose Allen; those adventurous and hardy souls who came to these shores from England in 1634, and helped settle the town of Sandwich in Plymouth Colony. We think we have made the case, but our readers will have to judge for themselves. If you are one of those and have evidence that would either strengthen our argument or call it into question, we would love to hear from you.