Anastasia (Lawton) Hankard—of Cork and East Boston, Massachusetts

In the first article in this series, John Aloysius Hankard, East Boston, Mass, we identified John Aloysius Hankard's paternal grandparents as John Hankard and Anastasia Lawton, both born in Ireland. On her marriage record, Anastasia said her father's name was John. Could we find Anastasia's Irish county of origin?

Anastasia named her daughters Caroline, Dora, Mary, and Louisa. Was one of them named after Anastasia's mother? I tried Caroline first but didn't find anything. Then I looked at for any Lawtons in Massachusetts with a father named John and mother Dora. I found a William Lawton who was married in Boston in 1885 to Margaret Meade. His parents were John and Dora. The marriage was also registered in Taunton.1

Anastasia (Lawton) Hankard died in Taunton in 1876, and her husband John was in the Taunton City Directory for that year. I looked in the directory again, this time for William Lawton. In 1876 William was at the same address as John and Anastasia Hankard.2 So it is almost a certainty that Anastasia and William Lawton were brother and sister. This could explain why Anastasia's death record said her father's name was William, not John.

When William Lawton died in 1911, his death record said his parents were John Lawton and Dora Cashman.3 The names Lawton and Cashman occur together on Griffith's Valuation only in Cork and Waterford.4

Anastasia was born about 1831 according to her American records. I looked at for "Lawton, An*", father's name = John, born from 1826 to 1836, born anywhere in Ireland. There were two listed:

Church Baptism Lawton Anastatia 1830 Co. Cork
Church Baptism Lawton Anastatia 1832 Co. Cork

One of these is probably "our" Anastasia Lawton. I didn't find William Lawton's baptism.

I also came across a posting from August 2000 on the Cork message board at, that might refer to Anastasia's extended family. If so, she is from Kilmacahill in the Parish of Cloyne, in East Cork. The message mentions an Anastasia Lawton and a Dora Cashman who are probably relatives. Given names run in families and in localities. These aren't the two women we have been discussing, but I don't think this is just a coincidence.5

Also, there is a John Lawton in Kilmacahill on the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837) and also in Griffith's Valuation.6, 7

Finally, there is an Anty Lawton, age 17, who arrived in Boston on July 7, 1848, aboard the Britain, of St. John, New Brunswick. She had departed from Cork. This could also be "our" Anastasia Lawton.8

So if one of my ancestors were Anastasia Lawton and I was looking for her townland of origin, I would definitely start my search in the area of Kilmacahill, East Cork.


Sources not mentioned here are given in the first article.

1. "Massachusetts, Marriages, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Jan 2014), William C. Lawton and Margaret Meade, 1885.

2. 1876 Taunton City Directory, at

3. Massachusetts, Deaths, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 06 Jan 2014), William C Lawton, 1911.

4. Irish Times, Irish Ancestors -- Surname Search.

5. zzwrigm, "Lawton", 26 Aug 2000, at Rootsweb, Cork, General, Message Board.

6. National Archives of Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books, for Kilmacahill.

7. Griffith's Valuation at

8. Boston, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1954, about Anty Lawton, at