The Secret Life of Ernestine Hagins


There are times in my research when I venture away from the Flowers family, yet this time I did not have to venture out too far. Ernestine Hagins (or Earnestine) was the wife of Chauncey Flowers, Rachel’s eldest brother. This post is dedicated to her and the Hagins family.

Ernestine I. Hagins entered the Flowers family tree through her marriage to Harry’s and Nancy’s eldest son, Chauncey Sawyer Flowers. On April 21, 1920, a 21 year old Chauncey married a 20 year old Ernestine in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Prior to this week’s research, I have to say I knew very little about Ernestine. For one, I had the spelling of her name completely wrong. Two, it was only weeks ago when I learned of her maiden name which I also had the wrong spelling for. I was however aware of her birth year, birth state, and her multiple residences in the course of her marriage. Her life, up until now, was a great mystery.

With the new knowledge of her maiden name, Hagins, it was my hope to unlock this mysterious chapter in my research. The first document I found was the 1920 Federal Census from the city of Harrisburg. By the 1920s, both of Earnestine’s parents were deceased. She resided with sister (Sarah Hagins) and brother-in-law (Samuel Brown).


Name Relation to Head Sex Age Marital Status Birth State Occupation
Samuel Brown Head M 28 Married GA Steelworker
Sarah L. Brown Wife F 27 Married GA None
Glyne Brown Son M 7 Single GA None
Alca Brown Sister F 26 Single GA Servant
Della Brown Sister F 21 Single GA Waitress
Jurinthia Brown Daughter F 2 Single GA None
Ernestine Hagins Sister F 20 Single GA Laundress

Within the same year, Ernestine first found love and then came a 16 year marriage. Together, she and her husband had two children, Chauncey Jr. and Frances Margaret. Here, I came across a first in my research—a full, detailed marriage record. This document featured a unique find—the name of the bride and groom’s parent’s names including an incorrect father’s name for Chauncey. Seriously, Asa F. Flowers…

Marriage Record

And so the family tree extends.


Plugging this information into and unleashed a researcher’s pot of gold. I cannot even fit the Hagins’ family tree to this blog. It is huge!

Hagans Family Birth Year
Father: Rev. Ishmael Hagins 1856
Mother: Ella B. Hagins 1859
Charles Hagins 1883
Connie Hagins 1885
Hattie Hagins 1886
Elizabeth Hagins 1886
Joseph Hagins 1888
Sarah Hagins 1892
Frances Hagins 1895
Ishetateen Hagins 1900

This information is in accordance with the 1900 Federal Census. There are additional family members listed in previous census records including an additional number of children.

Connecting with a relative of the Hagins (Hagans) family revealed more about this family’s history.  Ernestine’s niece was unsure of how her aunt and Chauncey met, but Charles H., Ernestine, Frances, and Sarah migrated from Emanuel County, Georgia to Pennsylvania. This is confirmed by the 1920 Federal Census featured above (Ernestine resided with her sister and brother-in-law). I also learned that Chauncey Jr. and his wife, Gladys, had two children, Chauncey III and Ernest. Both children preceded their mother in death who died in 2006. As for Margaret (Frances), she was unsure of her whereabouts, but was certain that she remained in the Philadelphia area.


The search continues for a living relative. Until the next post,


Blog at

%d bloggers like this: