Ancestors of Helen R. Hawkins


picture Lucio Gastelum Gastelum- Valdez

      Sex: M

Individual Information
          Birth: 15 Dec 1050 - Obregon, Sonora Mexico

Spouses and Children

Anna Giffins

      Sex: F

Individual Information
          Birth: Bef 1725 1
          Death: 1795 - Stockbridge, Madison, New York 2

Spouses and Children
1. *Unknown Hall
                1. Mary Hall 1
                2. Anna Hall


The first death in Stockbridge, Madison, New York was was that of widow Anna Hall, in 1795

Anna Giffins Sails For America
by Helen Rose Davis Hawkins1

Nearly 200 years ago there lived a young woman by the name of Anna Giffins2. Anna was Scotch and she lived north in Ireland. Anna's aunt wanted to go to America and she wanted Anna to go with her. This was a scary idea for a seventeen year old girl to think about. She would be leaving her family, her friends and everything she had ever known. There would be many adventures and there would be many dangers but in America she may have a future.

Anna's aunt said that if Anna would go to America with her she would give her a generous sum of money in gold guineas. Anna decided then that she would take the risk. With plenty of money she could find what she was looking for in the new far off land. She quilted the gold guineas into the hem of her skirt. There were three rows of coins carefully hidden. The skirt was heavy but no one would be able the tell that she carried around with her so much money.

The day finally came when Anna and her aunt boarded the ship that would take them to their new home. It was a hard trip and took many weeks to cross the Atlantic. When they arrived at America there must have been a tremendous storm or perhaps the Captain of the ship miscalculated the shoreline but the ship was in terrible trouble. When the ship came to the land it was wrecked. Anna and her aunt clung to each other tightly. They held on but to no avail - they fell into the water.

Anna was desperate. She felt herself sinking faster and faster into the water. Her skirt, heavy with the gold guineas, was pulling her and her aunt down. Quickly she managed to slip the skirt off and let it fall to the bottom of the ocean. She reached for her aunt and they struggled to keep afloat. A sailor grasped Anna by the hair and saved both women. For seven days they lived on black cherries from a cask of rum.

We do not knew for certain the name of the town3 in Massachusetts where Anna and her aunt lived after they were rescued from the wrecked ship. Without the precious gold guineas it was difficult to make a living in the new world.

Anna's aunt soon became homesick and wanted Anna to go back home with her. Anna said no. She may have to work hard but she did not want to leave her new home. She said goodbye to her aunt.

Months later her father, who was worried about his daughter, came to America to take her back home with him. Even though life was very hard in America she had been so frightened by crossing the water that she did not want to try it again. Once more she said no. She was going to stay in America. This was the last time she saw her father.4



1 George Thomas Edson, Nathan Edson and His Descendants (Filley, Nebraska; 1926 The Filley Spotlight), page 14-16.

2 L. M. Hammond, "History of Madison County, state of New York" (Syracuse, NY - 1872
Chapter 16 - Stockbridge. <1872-16.htm> --- Page 729 - 750.), Internet.
The first settlement in the town, however, was what became the Smith purchase, and was made in 1791. Those who settled here were Oliver Stewart, Calvin Barney, John and Alfred Edson, William, Elijah and Joseph Devine, William Sloan, Benjamin House, Amos Bridge, James Tafft, Aaron, Matthew and Jarius Rankin, Jonathan Snow, Isaac Chadwick, Talcott Devine, Watrous Graves and Daniel Thurston. The first marriage was that of John Devine and Polly Edson, in 1793. The first death was that of widow Anna Hall, in 1795. The first school was taught by Edward Foster, in 1797

3 L. M. Hammond, "History of Madison County, state of New York" (Syracuse, NY - 1872
Chapter 16 - Stockbridge. <1872-16.htm> --- Page 729 - 750.).

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