The oldest ancestor we have managed to find in our Hawson family is Gregory Hawson. He is the father of Henry Hawson, who came to Port Lincoln in 1839.
Based on his age at this death (aged 74 in 1835) Gregory was born about 1760. We don’t know where he was born but he spent his adult life in Dartmouth, Devon, so possibly he was born there as well.
Gregory married Mary Tapley on 17 January 1787, in St Petrox church, Dartmouth, Devon.
Dartmouth is a port city, overlooking the English Channel. Britain was always a major trading town and the 18th century was a huge time for this.
Gregory appeared to be involved in merchant shipping, and later became part of the British navy for a short while.
Gregory lived his adulthood during the period of the French revolution and the subsequent wars that ultimately led to the Napoleonic Wars (ending in 1815). He had at one stage during the late 18th century invested in a merchant ship and was involved in importing goods from Europe to Britain. On one such trip he was captured and imprisoned by a French privateer.