The Hancock Family of Saline County, Missouri – a genealogical dead end, unfortunately

Rev. Thomas White Hancock (1825-1918), my 3rd g-grandfather

Rev. Thomas White Hancock (1825-1918), my 3rd g-grandfather

Several members of my family are buried at Blackburn Cemetery in Saline County, Missouri.  Rev. Thomas White Hancock and his first wife, Jacintha Ann (Pollard) Hancock are my paternal 3rd g-grandparents.  At least three of their offspring (my 2nd g-grand aunts and uncle) are buried at Blackburn along with their parents.  Another daughter, my 2nd g-grandmother, Elizabeth Minor (Hancock) Gunnell (1850-1928) is buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I have the names of Thomas White Hancock’s parents from handwritten notes which Thomas wrote on the back of his marriage certificate with Jacintha Ann.  They are John Hancock (1796-1837) and Elizabeth White (1802- ), whose family migrated to Kentucky from Hanover County, Virginia.  Elizabeth married a man by the name of Green after John’s death.  I know that John Hancock was born in Woodford County, Kentucky, where his family must have been early settlers.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to trace this line further back.

More photos —> here

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Five centuries after his death, Richard III finally gets a royal send-off

White roses adorn the King Richard III statue at Leicester Cathedral in central England.

White roses adorn the King Richard III statue at Leicester Cathedral in central England.

This week, there’s been an outpouring of emotion in normally staid Britain as thousands paid their respects to the late King Richard III after the long-dead ruler’s remains were rescued from under a parking lot.

Yes, that’s the same Richard III portrayed as an evil hunchback in Shakespeare’s play.  His back problems even helped archaeologists confirm his identity.  Richard’s bones were found beneath a parking lot near the city of Leicester in 2012, not far from the battlefield where he was killed in 1485.  The identity was confirmed by DNA evidence and by the distinct curved spine of a scoliosis sufferer — and the multiple wounds from edged weapons.

After a formal procession on Sunday, Richard’s remain lay in state for three days in Leicester Cathedral, where public viewing had to be extended to accomodate the crowds.  Thousands of people filed solemnly past the coffin, many waiting in line for an hour or longer in bitter cold to get a glimpse of the dead king.

Mourners also covered a statue of the late king that stands outside the cathedral in white roses, little notes of tribute and other images and emblems of Richard’s fallen dynasty.  He was formally buried at the cathedral on Thursday.

On Sunday (22 Mar 2015), Richard's remains left the battlefield to applause before travelling back through the streets of Leicester on a gun carriage. Thousands lined the route of the procession, which passed the car parking lot where the king’s bones were discovered by a team of Leicester University archaeologists three years ago.

On Sunday (22 Mar 2015), Richard’s remains left the battlefield to applause before travelling back through the streets of Leicester on a gun carriage. Thousands lined the route of the procession, which passed the car parking lot where the king’s bones were discovered by a team of Leicester University archaeologists three years ago.

Richard III died in the final battle of a decades-long civil war, the Wars of the Roses, which pitted the House of Lancaster against the of the House of York.  The Red Roses of the House of Lancaster won the war and set about re-writing history to discredit their rivals.  Shakespeare, eager to please, jumped on the bandwagon and painted the dead King Richard in a pretty poor light.  But some modern historians have since rehabilitated the reputation of Richard III as a ruler.  They’ve even cast doubt on his most famous alleged crime, the killing of his two young nephews in the Tower of London.

However, not everyone in Britain appreciated the solemnities.  Polly Toynbee opined in The Guardian:

“It’s comical, but tragic too, as a reminder of the indignity the British accept in their accustomed role as subjects, not citizens. Here are church, royalty and army revering a child-killing, wife-slaughtering tyrant who would be on trial if he weren’t 500 years dead. This is the madness of monarchy, where these bones are honoured for their divine royalty, whether by accident of birth or by brutal seizure of the crown. Richard, whose death ended the tribal Wars of the Roses, is a good symbol of the “bloodline” fantasy. Our island story is one of royal usurpage and regicide, with imported French, Dutch and German monarchs who didn’t speak English. The puzzle is that this fantasy of anointed genes persists, even unto Kate’s unborn babe.”

One thing I do on this blog is to figure out how I may be related to famous men and women of history, including British royalty.  It’s a presented in the spirit of good fun and entertainment.  EVERYONE with ancestors in the British Isles is connected to almost everyone else by the time you trace the connections over this many generations.  My English royal ancestry (Houses of Norman and Plantagenet) can be traced back to William I (“the Conqueror”), to whom I am related in multiple ways.  Also, through Isabella of France (1295-1358), I am descended from the last Anglo-Saxon King of England, Harold II Godwinson, who was born about 1022 and killed by William the Conqueror’s army at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  If you interested, there’s mush more about all this under the article “Royal Ancestors”.

As far as I know, I am not a direct descendant of Richard III.  However, his maternal grandmother, Joan Beaufort (wife of Ralph de Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland – my direct ancestor) was the granddaughter of King Edward III, from whom I am probably a direct descendant as well.  The connection is summarized below:

Richard III King of England (1452 – 1485), 1st cousin 18x removed – Cecily Neville Duchess of York (1415 – 1495) – Ralph de Neville 1st Earl of Westmorland (1364 – 1425) – Eleanor Neville Countess of Northumberland (1397 – 1472) – Thomas Percy Lord Egremont (1422 – 1460) – Johanna Percy (1460 – 1537) – William Harris (1490 – 1556) – William Harris (1518 – 1559) – William Harris of Shenfield (1545 – 1601) – William Harris (1596 – 1656) – Robert Harris (1635 – 1701) – William Harris (1669 – 1733) – Robert Overton Harris (1696 – 1765) – Anna Harris (1724 – 1775) – Sarah Ann Dabney (1740 – 1822) – Dabney Waller (1772 – 1849) – Elizabeth Dabney Waller (1808 – 1881) – Jacintha Ann Pollard (1832 – 1894) – Elizabeth Minor Hancock (1850 – 1928) – Seddie Gunnell (1875 – 1946) – Elizabeth Gunnell Hamlin (1901 – 1982) – Tor Martin Hylbom (1939 – 2009) – Tor Martin (Majerus) Hylbom

White roses at the memorial to Richard III in Leicester Cathedral.

White roses at the memorial to Richard III in Leicester Cathedral.

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Eliot Rev John

Rev. John Eliot (1604-1690), 1st cousin 13x removed Rev. John Eliot was a Puritan missionary to the American Indians whom some called “the apostle to the Indians.”  The picture to the right is a portrait drawing accompanying an article on John Eliot, but the source deprecates any claim it has to an authentic likeness saying, “No authentic likeness of him exists.” […]

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Allen Thomson Gunnell

From: Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado, 1899 HON. ALLEN T. GUNNELL. The services which in the past Judge Gunnell has rendered the people of El Paso County and Colorado entitle him to rank among the prominent public men of his county and state.  From the time of his arrival in Colorado to the present he has […]

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Blackburn Cemetery

Several members of my family are buried at Blackburn Cemetery in Saline County, Missouri (County Road 432, GPS coordinates: N 39.11778, W 93.48 – for location assistance, refer to the maps below).  Rev. Thomas White Hancock and his first wife, Jacintha Ann (Pollard) Hancock are my paternal 3rd g-grandparents.  At least three of their offspring (my 2nd g-grand aunts and uncle) are buried in Blackburn […]

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How Old Were the “Founding Fathers” on July 4, 1776?…

…Younger than you think.

Portraits of George Washington (1732-1799)

Portraits of George Washington (1732-1799)

Here’s the answer from an article written last year (8 Aug 2013) by Todd Andrlik in the Journal of the American Revolution:

It’s a simple question — perhaps so basic that it’s been overlooked. How old were the key participants of the American Revolution?

Authors often reveal the age of a particular soldier, politician or other main character in books about the Revolution, but I routinely find myself wondering about their peers at the same time.  As it turns out, many Founding Fathers were less than 40 years old in 1776 with several qualifying as Founding Teenagers and Twentysomethings.  And though the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger!

“We tend to see them as much older than they were,” said David McCullough in a 2005 speech.  “Because we’re seeing them in portraits by Gilbert Stuart and others when they were truly the Founding Fathers — when they were president or chief justice of the Supreme Court and their hair, if it hadn’t turned white, was powdered white.  We see the awkward teeth.  We see the elder statesmen.  At the time of the Revolution, they were all young.  It was a young man’s–young woman’s cause.”

A list of ages of important American Revolution characters seems elementary enough, and certainly easy to assemble, yet I wasn’t able to find such a list anywhere I looked online.  And I don’t recall ever stumbling upon such an appendix while researching my book, so I figured I’d just make one.  This is a list of ages, from youngest to oldest, of key American Revolution participants, providing the precise age as of July 4th, 1776:

Andrew Jackson, 9; Thomas Young, 12; Deborah Sampson, 15; James Armistead, 15; Sybil Ludington, 15; Joseph Plumb Martin, 15; Peter Salem, 16*; Peggy Shippen, 16; Marquis de Lafayette, 18; James Monroe, 18; Henry Lee III, 20; Gilbert Stuart, 20; John Trumbull, 20; Aaron Burr, 20; John Marshall, 20; Nathan Hale, 21; Banastre Tarleton, 21; Alexander Hamilton, 21*; John Laurens, 21; Benjamin Tallmadge, 22; Robert Townsend, 22; George Rodgers Clark, 23; David Humphreys, 23; Gouveneur Morris, 24; Betsy Ross, 24; William Washington, 24; James Madison, 25; Henry Knox, 25; John Andre, 26; Thomas Lynch, Jr., 26^; Edward Rutledge, 26^; Abraham Woodhull, 26; Isaiah Thomas, 27; George Walton, 27*^; John Paul Jones, 28; Bernardo de Galvez, 29; Thomas Heyward, Jr., 29^; Robert R. Livingston, 29; John Jay, 30; Tadeusz Kosciuszko, 30; Benjamin Rush, 30^; Abigail Adams, 31; John Barry, 31; Elbridge Gerry, 31^; Casimir Pulaski, 31; Anthony Wayne, 31; Joseph Brant, 33; Nathanael Greene, 33; Thomas Jefferson, 33^; Thomas Stone, 33*^; William Hooper, 34^; Arthur Middleton, 34^; James Wilson, 34*^; Benedict Arnold, 35; Samuel Chase, 35^; Thomas Knowlton, 35; William Paca, 35^; John Penn, 35^; Hercules Mulligan, 36; Andrew Pickens, 36; Haym Solomon, 36; John Sullivan, 36; George Clymer, 37^; Charles Cornwallis, 37; Thomas Nelson, Jr., 37^; Ethan Allen, 38; Charles Carroll, 38^; King George III, 38; Francis Hopkinson, 38^; Carter Braxton, 39^; George Clinton, 39; John Hancock, 39^; Daniel Morgan, 39; Thomas Paine, 39; Patrick Henry, 40; Enoch Poor, 40; John Adams, 40^; Daniel Boone, 41; William Floyd, 41^; Button Gwinnett, 41*^; John Lamb, 41*; Francis Lightfoot Lee, 41^; Paul Revere, 41; Thomas Sumter, 41, Robert Morris, 42^; Thomas McKean, 42^; George Read, 42^; John Dickinson, 43; John Glover, 43; Benjamin Edes, 43; Samuel Huntington, 44^; Richard Henry Lee, 44^; Charles Lee, 44; Francis Marion, 44; Lord North, 44; George Washington, 44; Joseph Galloway, 45; Robert Treat Paine, 45^; Friedrich von Steuben, 45; Richard Stockton, 45^; Martha Washington, 45; William Williams, 45^; Josiah Bartlett, 46^; Henry Clinton, 46; Joseph Hewes, 46^; William Howe, 46; George Ross, 46^; William Whipple, 46^; Caesar Rodney, 47^, John Stark, 47, Mercy Otis Warren, 47; William Ellery, 48^; Horatio Gates, 48; Artemas Ward, 48; Oliver Wolcott, 49^; Abraham Clark, 50^; Benjamin Harrison, 50^; Lewis Morris, 50^; Lord Stirling, 50; George Wythe, 50*^; Guy Carleton, 51; John Morton, 51*^; Comte de Rochambeau, 51; Lyman Hall, 52^; James Rivington, 52*; Samuel Adams, 53^; Comte de Grasse, 53; John Witherspoon, 53^; John Burgoyne, 54; Johann de Kalb, 55; Roger Sherman, 55^; Thomas Gage, 56; James Smith, 56^; Israel Putnam, 58; Comte de Vergennes, 58; Lewis Nicola, 59*; George Germain, 60; Philip Livingston, 60^; George Taylor, 60*^; Matthew Thornton, 62^; Francis Lewis, 63^; John Hart, 65*^; Stephen Hopkins, 69^; Benjamin Franklin, 70^; Samuel Whittemore, 81

* Evidence may exist that this age is not precise, or only a birth year is known
^ Signers of the Declaration of Independence (average signer age was 44)

 

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Deborah Sampson rebelled against the British and society by dressing as a man and fighting in the Revolutionary War

The statue pictured above is of Deborah Sampson and stands in front of the public library in Sharon, Massachusetts. She's wearing a dress, but has her regimental uniform jacket over her shoulder, a powder horn in one hand and her tricorn and musket in the other.

The statue pictured above is of Deborah Sampson and stands in front of the public library in Sharon, Massachusetts. She’s wearing a dress, but has her regimental uniform jacket over her shoulder, a powder horn in one hand and her tricorn and musket in the other.

I’ve posted an article on Deborah Bradford Sampson (click the link to see the full article), my 4th cousin 7x removed.  She was an American woman who disguised as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. She is one of a small number of women with a documented record of military combat experience in that war, and she served 17 months in the army, as “Robert Shurtlieff”, of Uxbridge, Massachusetts.  She had little difficulty passing as a man because she was five feet seven inches in height, which was tall for a woman at that time.

Sampson fought in several skirmishes.  During her first battle, in July 1782, outside Tarrytown, New York, she received two musket balls in her thigh and an enormous cut on her forehead.  She begged her fellow soldiers to let her die and not take her to the hospital, but they refused to abandon her.  A soldier put her on his horse, and they rode six miles to a hospital.  The doctors treated her head wound, but she left the hospital before they could attend to the musket balls.  Fearful that her true identity would be discovered, she removed one of the balls herself with a penknife and sewing needle, but her leg never fully healed because the other ball was too deep for her to reach. She continued to serve until October 1783, when she was honorably discharged at West Point, New York.

Eight years later, in January 1792, Sampson petitioned the Massachusetts State Legislature for pay which the army had withheld from her because she was a woman.  Her petition passed through the Senate and was approved, then signed by Governor John Hancock.  The General Court of Massachusetts verified her service and wrote that she “exhibited an extraordinary instance of female heroism by discharging the duties of a faithful gallant soldier, and at the same time preserving the virtue and chastity of her gender, unsuspected and unblemished”.  The court awarded her a total of 34 pounds.

Paul Revere (1734-1818) - portrait by John Singleton Copley

Paul Revere (1734-1818) – portrait by John Singleton Copley

Ten years later, in 1802, Sampson began giving lectures about her experiences in the army.  These speeches were initiated because of her financial needs and a desire to justify her enlistment.  But even with these speaking engagements, she was not making enough money to pay her expenses.  She had to borrow money from her family and from her friend Paul Revere on many occasions.  The soldiers in the Continental Army had received pensions for their services, but Sampson did not because she was female.  In 1804, Paul Revere wrote to Massachusetts Representative William Eustis on Sampson’s behalf.  Revere requested that Congress grant her a military pension.  This had never before been requested by or for a woman, but with her health failing and her family destitute, the money was greatly needed. Revere wrote:

“I have been induced to enquire her situation, and character, since she quit the male habit, and soldiers uniform; for the more decent apparel of her own gender…humanity and justice obliges me to say, that every person with whom I have conversed about her, and it is not a few, speak of her as a woman with handsome talents, good morals, a dutiful wife, and an affectionate parent.”

On 11 Mar 1805, Congress in Washington obliged the letter, and placed her on the Massachusetts Invalid Pension Roll.  This pension plan paid her four dollars a month.  On 22 Feb 1806, she found herself in even more financial trouble, so she wrote once more to Revere asking for a loan of ten dollars.  Part of her letter read, “My own indisposition and that of my sons causes me again to solicit your goodness in our favor though I, with Gratitude, confess it rouses every tender feeling and I blush at the thought of receiving ninety and nine good turns as it were, my circumstances require that I should ask the hundredth.”  He sent the ten dollars.  In 1809, she sent another petition to Congress, asking that her pension as an invalid soldier, given to her in 1804, commence with the time of her discharge, in 1783.  Had her petition been approved, she would have been awarded $960, to be divided into $48 a year for twenty years.  However, it was denied until 1816, when her petition came before Congress again.  This time, they approved her petition, awarding her $76.80 a year.  With this amount, she was able to repay all her loans and take better care of the family farm.

Deborah Sampson died on 29 Apr 1827 at the age of 66 of yellow (mountain) fever and was buried in Rock Ridge Cemetery in the town of Sharon, Massachusetts.  Her long and ultimately successful public campaign for the American Revolutionary War pension bridged gender differences in asserting the sense of entitlement felt by all of the veterans who had fought for their country.

 

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Sampson Deborah Bradford

Deborah Bradford Sampson (1760-1827), 4th cousin 7x removed The following article was published on the website of the National Women’s History Museum (with photos from various sources): Deborah Sampson rebelled against the British and society by dressing as a man and fighting in the Revolutionary War for eighteen months under the guise of “Robert Shurtlif” or “Shirtlieff.” Deborah Sampson was born […]

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Baker #3586

Alexander Baker (1607-1685) Born in England.  Arrived in Boston, Massachusetts from England on the ship Elizabeth & Ann on 14 May 1635 and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown – not Farrar) (1611-1685) Born in England.  Arrived in Boston, Massachusetts from England on the ship Elizabeth & Ann on 14 May 1635. Alexander Baker and his wife, Elizabeth,  arrived in Boston, Massachusetts from England […]

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Wythe George

George Wythe (1726-1806), husband of 1st cousin 8x removed George Wythe (pronounced “with”) was born in 1726 at Chesterville in what is now Hampton, Virginia.  His father was Thomas Wythe, a planter who died soon after George’s birth.  Wythe was reared by his mother, Margaret Walker Wythe, and probably received his early education from her.  Margaret Wythe instilled in her […]

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Rayburn Sam

Sam Rayburn (1882-1961), 5th cousin 4x removed Samuel Taliaferro “Sam” Rayburn was born 6 Jan 1882 in Roane County, Tennessee and died 16 Nov 1961.  He was a Democratic lawmaker from Bonham, Texas, who served as the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives for 17 years, the longest tenure in U.S. history. Just after being admitted to the bar […]

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Waller Edwin

Edwin Waller (1800-1881), 3rd cousin 6x removed   Judge Edwin Waller (4 Nov 1800 – 3 Jan 1881) was an entrepreneur, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, the first mayor of Austin, Texas and the designer of its downtown grid plan.  He was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, where his ancestors had settled in colonial times. In April 1831, […]

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