I try to document the source for every “fact” found in the Hamlet People database. But these facts will have various levels of source credibility in support of their “truth.” The explosion of genealogical information on the Internet is both boon and bane. It is certainly much easier to do research — so much of it can be done in the comfort of one’s home. But at the same time there is much more uncertainty about the quality of what is published. Rarely do the internet sources publish their citations, so it is difficult to judge the carefulness of the researcher. It is also clear that one person’s mistake worms it’s way into many published genealogies. Quantity of agreement is not a good measure of quality of work.
Much of what is presented in the Hamlet People database has been obtain from these derived sources. While I try to pick from the work of those who appear to be careful — there are no guarantees.
Even when the source is original — for example, the census Population Schedules, or firsthand knowledge — care must be given to it’s accuracy. Anyone who has looked at census tables over time will find great inconsistencies of name spelling and ages. Legal documents are sometime ambiguous, especially if the fact recorded has little relevance to the fundamental purpose of the document. And even first hand knowledge is sometimes shaky, especially as the years pass and memory grows dim.
I have the death certificate of my great grandfather which gives his birth date. The information on the death certificate was apparently obtained from my grandmother, who had a reputation for very carefully maintaining the essential genealogical facts of a large extended family (the death certificate date agrees with the family record she maintained). One would have thought she would have know her own father’s birth year. Yet she appears to have gotten it wrong. When one examines the Civil War pension records, which includes forms and affidavits signed by my great grandfather giving his birth date, the death certificate and my grandmother’s record is off by a year. All the censuses in which he appears agrees with the Civil War records. Who is to be believed? In this case I went with the Civil War pension and census records — they were closer to the source, my great grandfather. But there still is uncertainty.
So, while I present many facts, and I give the source of each, you must judge for yourself their creditability.
As of 3 September 2012, the Hamlet People database contains: 368 trees (each “tree” is a collection of interlinked individuals who are related either by birth or marriage), and 16321 individuals.
82% of the individuals (13420) are connected in a single tree.
The next largest tree (396 individuals) contains a little over 2% of the individuals.
There are 178 orphan trees—trees of only one person. Many of these individuals are likely a member of another tree, but the exact relationship has not yet been found.
The Hawkins Family Line
The Hawkins family line on Long Island is very large and well documented.
So far, all the Hawkins’ who have lived in Brookhaven Hamlet have been found to have descended from Zachariah Hawkins. Zachariah was born in Massachusetts about 1639 and came to Setauket, Long Island, sometime before 1663.
My record of the Hawkins’ in the Hamlet People database came almost exclusively from two works published by the Hawkins Association:
Ralph Clymer Hawkins. A Hawkins Genealogy, 1635 – 1939: Record of the the Descendents of Robert Hawkins of Charlestown, Massachusetts. The Hawkins Association. Originally printed in 1939; reprinted Baltimore 1987.
Susan H. Carmiencke and Bayard C. Carmiencke, compilers. A Hawkins Genealogy Supplement, Vol. II: Record of the Descendants of Robert Hawkins of Charlestown, Massachusetts. The Hawkins Association. 2001.
These publications are available from The Hawkins Association, PO Box 2392, Setauket, NY 11733. (1939 Edition reprint, $45.00 plus $5.00 postage. Volume II, $50.00 plus $5.00 postage). They also are available at several Libraries in Suffolk County.
Before I had access to these reference works, some of the records were obtained from internet sources. My suspicion is that almost all of these internet sources originally derived from the Hawkins Association references. As time permits, I will be returning to some of the original entries and changing the references where appropriate.
Because the family line is so well documented, and intertwines with so many of the other families of the Hamlet, these genealogy references are a major source of information in the Hamlet People database — not only just the Hawkins’.
Content Revised: 09/03/2012
Swezey, Sweezey, Swasey, and more
All of these surnames are variations used by members of the same family lineage — descendants of John Swasey who came to this country around 1630. I tend to use the variant Swezey for local families, as this is what most of them seem to have settled on — at least in modern times. However, for ancestors, I mostly use the variant used by the researcher from whom I’ve gotten the information — and that’s mostly Robert Sweezey (see next) — unless I know that the family used/uses something else. If you are looking for a particular individual, try the other variants.
This family was prolific and is intertwined with many of the families in the Hamlet People (as well as much of eastern Long Island.) I am not in a position to do much original research on this family, and rely for most of my information on Robert Sweezey at Sweezey.net. He appears to be a careful researcher. In my source notes, I give the specific page in his large database for each individual I referenced. He provides copious notes on the results of his own research, and is especially thorough in pointing out ambiguities. I have no intention of entering his full trees, restricting my entries mostly to direct descendants and ancestors of those who have lived in the Hamlet. Since he regularly updates his information, it will certainly be more up-to-date than what is found on this site.
Content revised: 03 September 2012