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What were the main reasons for leaving Devon England to come to America?   I am new at this type of research as I have done most of my research in America.  This possible ancestor arrived in Connecticut around 1640 and moved to Hadley Massachusets by 1659.  I am looking for any information on a John Haikes / Hakes / Hawkes who may have come from Devon or Somerset, England.  His wife's name was Elizabeth and they had at most 10 children.


Any or all help would be appreciated.


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Replies to This Discussion

I think you'll have to consider what was going on in Devonshire at the time your ancestors emigrated. Mine came to the US 150 years after yours. He was a Cornwall miner, his wife was from North idea how they met. Maybe some reading on the social, political religious and economic climate of the 1640s time period would help you. The English Civil War began in 1642, so if 'around 1640' could mean the early 1640s, the war between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians might have something to do with your ancestors' leaving Devon. Do you know the occupation of your ancestor? That also might give you some clues. If he could earn enough to leave, but didn't see a real future in staying in England, that could mean something. Also look at what his religious beliefs might have been.

-Rich C.
Certainly religion is likely to have been a motivating force at this time. Many of those leaving North Devon in the 1830s-1850s went for similar reasons. Large numbers of Bible Christians left at this time - most ended up in what is now Ontario but many also went to the USA. See the group
Mine left Devon in 1719 because their older brother would inherit and they wouldn't. The 2 younger brothers were both weavers and indentured themselves to a landowner in the Maryland Colony for 6-7 years, because they couldn't afford their passage. The reasons for many of our ancestors leaving Devon are many and varied. Richie C. was right on with his comment.
Thanks to all who have replied to my message. You have given me thought as to why my ancestors left. It may very well have been for religious freedom. Most of his descendents were farmers and still follow that profession today.

Looks like I need to do more research before getting back and asking more questions.

Thanks again!



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