Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)

There are only a few Haskins who seem to have made their mark in history. One such is Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957). This page provides a quick summary of her fame, and links to sources. Its primary purpose, however, is to trace her family line and see whether it links to my own Haskins line.

Minnie Louise Haskins wrote a poem in 1908 called 'The Gate of the Year', from its first line: 'I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year'. King George VI recited some of the poem when he gave his Christmas Message on the radio in 1939. (Among the aspects of interest is that the Head of the Anglican Church used a poem written by a non-conformist). No full copy appears to be on the net, even though the first few lines of it appear to be much used by sermonisers, particularly in the USA.

Minnie was born in a village on what is now the eastern edge of Bristol, probably on 12 May 1875. She lived in Warmley with her father, who graduated from potter via 'shopman' to pottery owner, but he appears to have died in his 50s, when Minnie was in her teens.

Minnie was a minor author. She studied at the LSE 1918-20 (at 43-45), and tutored there 1934-44 (at 59-69). She never married. In later life she lived in Crowborough in Sussex.


Frederick Haskins (1869-1951) was a grandfather to Peter Haskins (b. 1925), and a great-grandfather to Roger Clarke and Anne Kratzmann. He is reported by Peter to have said that Minnie was his second cousin. The term 'second cousin' can be used precisely, to mean 'a granddaughter of my great-uncle or great-aunt', or loosely, to mean 'a relation, but more distant than a first cousin'.

On 26-27 January 2007, while Peter (resident in Cape Town, ZA) was visiting Roger (in Canberra in the ACT), we went searching for information to confirm or deny the relationship. Cousin Anne Kratzmann (in Murgon, South Queensland), a genealogical researcher of note, obliged with registry entries and copies of census forms, literally overnight. That enabled a putative line for Minnie's Haskins line to be constructed, as follows:

[ACHTUNG: Anne has some doubts about the inference from the 1841 Census entry that William's parents were Abraham and Elizabeth. She is working on clarifying that]

  1. Abraham Haskins, b. 1785/1786 (55 in 1841 Census)
    m. Elizabeth ? b. 1785/1786 (55)
    3 children, the eldest being:
    1. William Haskins, b. 1811/12, in Bitton Glos., Potter
      m. Almina/Almena
      William and Almina moved a few miles northwards from Bitton to Warmley between 1840/41 (first child George's birth) and the 1841 Census. They were resident in Warmley Tower in the 1851 Census, and Warmly Mill in the 1861 Census.
      In the 1871 Census, he is a Potter at 149 Kingswood Rd, Oldland (1 mile north of Bitton and 2 miles south of Warmley).
      They had 5 children, the second being:
      1. Joseph Haskins, b. 1842, in Siston (i.e. Warmley) Glos [11 118 June 1842], d. 1891 [Sep Qtr 1891 Keynsham 5c 363]
        In the 1861 Census, Joseph is an 18-year-old Potter, living with his parents at Warmley Mill, Warmley.
        The family was resident in Warmley from before his birth until between his 18th and 28th birthdays.
        In the 1871 Census, he is a 28-year-old "Shopman (Grocer and Draper)", living with his parents at 149 Kingswood Rd, Oldland.
        m. 1872 [5c 1117 Sept 1872]
        m. Louisa Bridges, b. 1848/49, in one of Clifton (15 miles W of Bristol) or King(s)wood Rd near Bitton (or just possibly King(s)wood, 15 Miles NE of Bristol) Glos [11 283 Sept 1848]
        In the 1881 Census, he is a pipe manufacturer at 119 Kingswood Rd, Oldland, married, with 5 children and a servant.
        In the 1891 Census, he is a drain pipe manufacturer, at Tower House, Warmley. (It shows Louisa and most of the children born at King(s)wood – a village 15 miles N; but that appears to be a misunderstanding by the census-taker, confusing the local street with the 'distant' village).
        Joseph died in mid-1891, aged 49 [Sep Qtr 1891 Keynsham 5c 363], when Minnie was 16.
        In the 1901 Census, Louisa was a Potter and Employer, resident in Warmley House, Warmley, and a 52-year-old widow with 8 children 11-27:
        1. Herbert J. Haskins b. 1873/74, Bitton Glos.
        2. Minnie L. Haskins, b. (12 May?) 1875, Bitton, Glos.[5c 681 June 1875]
        3. ... (next 5 also b. 1880-88 in Bitton, Glos.)
        4. Last, Clifford, b. 1890/91 in Siston (Warmley) – not in 1891 Census, 11 in 1901 Census

So, given the Haskins line of Frederick, it seems unlikely that he and Minnie were genuine second cousins. Frederick's grandfather William 1799-1870 was born in Chew Stoke, on the southern outskirts of Bristol, and moved to Olveston on the northern outskirts of Bristol by 1832; whereas Minnie's grandfather William 1811/12-? was born in Bitton, about 8 miles E of Chew Stoke, and moved a few miles north to Warmley by 1843. Also, none of Frederick's line were potters. (On the other hand, like Minnie, Frederick was a non-conformist - i.e. active in a church that was not Anglican but also not Catholic).

So Minnie would have been a more distant cousin of Frederick's, e.g.:

Oh dear, another brush with fame that turns out to be pretty remote (:-)}

This a page within Roger Clarke's Family Web-Site

The general research underlying it was conducted by Roger Clarke, and the genealogical research by Anne Kratzmann

Created: 28 January 2007; Last Amended: 31 January 2007