Name: William HANCOCK
Birth: ABT 1739 in Goochland Co, VA
Death: 1818 in St. Charles, St. Charles Co., Mo
Change Date: 4 DEC 2016
Letter to Col. Draper (of the Draper Manuscript) from Robert Hancock, William?s nephew:
?Feb 25, 1853
Dear Mr. Draper,
...You wish to know about my father (Stephen) and Uncle William. They were born in Goochland Co, VA. They were the two youngest children of a large family. My father was 16 years old when his father died. His older brother bound my father and Uncle William to the house carpenters business. They served awhile. Colonel Byrd was giving a campaign against the Indians and French. They both enlisted and went to campaign.
When they returned, my father was employed as overseer for a wealthy widow and Uncle William was also employed by her.
My father married when he was 22 years old, two years after William Hancock married. Both married sisters of Henry Merchant that was in the first convention that formed the confederacy. (Continental Congress -- there was a Henry Marchant but he was from Rhode Island)
They then moved and settled in Bedford County, Va. In 1775 they joined in with Colonel Boone as he moved his family to Kentucky, settled at Boonesboro, Kentucky with Colonel Boone, raised a crop and transferred it to Colonel Boone, until they moved their family. Then he replaced the same amount in corn. They both stayed in Virginia two years.
In 1777 they returned to Boonesboro with their families. My Uncle William was taken (captured by Indians) at the Blue Lick with Colonel Boone. When the Indians took them to their town they made them run the gauntlet. The Indians formed themselves into two chains they had to run between, and the Indians whipped them as they passed. There was several men run before William Hancock. They were severely whipped. When William Hancock had to run, one Indian left the line and took the center with his whip prepared to give him a heavy blow. William Hancock made full drive and knocked him down, and it raised such a laugh among the Indians he went through without getting hurt.
An old broke-down chief then took him and adopted him in place of a son he had lost in battle and treated him well while a prisoner. He had a very severe spell of sickness. When he got well and weather every night they would take all of his clothes from him. . . . ?
From: Boone-Duden Historical Society Newsletter, Sept/Oct 1995, Issue 95-5 [at Gasconade County Historical Society],
Pages 28-30 - William Hancock 1736-1818 & Stephen Hancock 1744- 1827
William and younger brother Stephen were born in Goochland County, Virginia. Robert Hancock states that his father Stephen and Uncle William were"bound" out in the house carpenters trade by their older brother. They were described as both "being 5 feet 8 inches high, weight 160 pounds. They were both nearer alike in every respect than most of other two men, my father (Stephen) a little bow-legged, my uncle straight as an Indian." Both were said to have been "very cheerful and social in character and greatly enjoyed a good joke and were able in telling one."
His father died between 1752-1760.
In 1760, the brothers joined the 2nd Virginia Regiment lead by Colonel William Byrd during the French and Indian War. They served in the Cherokee Expedition which left from the Campbell Section of Bedford County and in all likelihood traveled to the Carolinas and possibly Georgia.
William married Mary Merchant, sister to Stephen's wife Catherine.
Stephen's daughter Ruth was christened in Goochland County. By 1768, he had patented 150 acres of bounty land from his war service in Bedford County, Va. on the Otter River and Sycamore Creek. No doubt, William did also. Living near Stephen?s family in Bedford Co, was the Callaway family (later of Boonesboro).
William was a Revolutionary War soldier and probably went with Capt. Charles Watkins Co. when they went to aid Daniel Boone at Boonesborough. He served along with his brother Stephen, brother-in-law Richard Wade, and Daniel Boone in Kentucky.
From: "Certificate Book of the Virginia Land Commission", 1779-1780 by Kentucky Historical Society, Copyright 1981, reprinted 1992, page 73.
"William Hancock this day claimed a settlement & preemption to a tract of Land in the District of Kentucky lying on the dividing ridge of the Waters of Otter Creek & the head of Tates Creek at a tree marked WH running down a branch of Tates Creek for quantity by settling & raising a Crop of Corn in the Country in the year 1776 satisfactory proof being made to the court they are of Opinion that the said Hancock has a right to a settlementof 400 Acres to include the above location & a preemption of1000 Acres adjoining & that a Certificate issue accordingly."
William and Stephen explored Kentucky in 1776, perhaps more than once. In Aug 1777 they sold their 150 acres in Bedford Co, Va. and moved to Kentucky.
By October 1777 their families were located in Boonesborough. This move into the Kentucky frontier separated them from their siblings, who remained in Virginia, and some who went to NC.
William was a friend of Daniel Boone's in Kentucky.
In Jan., 1778 Boone went with a group of men (including, Stephen Hancock, William Hancock and Andrew Johnson) to Blue Licks to obtain necessary salt for the settlement. They were attacked by 100 Shawnee Indian warriors. Stephen managed to escaped but 3 were captured: Boone, William Hancock and Andrew Johnson. They were marched north to Old Chillicothe, a Shawnee community on the Little Miami River. Understanding the Indian nature, Boone was able to gain favor with his captors. He acted cheerful and contented while his fellow captives, including William Hancock, were melancholy. Boone was adopted by an Indian family while he waited for a chance to escape.
Hearing of a plan laid out by the British for the Indians to attack Boonesborough, Boone managed to escape in June, and he reached the Kentucky settlement, 200 miles away, in just 5 days. His family, supposing that he was dead by then, had returned to North Carolina, but Boone readied the fort defenses. In July William Hancock escaped from the Indians. In September, Blackfish and 450 Shawnee warriors appeared out of the woods to capture the fort. Daniel Boone, Stephen Hancock, William Hancock and five other men met at the Council Table in front of the fort to talk to Blackfish. The seige, which was the longest attack on a Kentucky fort, commenced soon afterwards, and ended with the Indians giving up and leaving. William Hancock's wife, Mary carried an iron panhandle 5 or 6 feet in length, as her weapon of defense. She slept with it in bed during the siege.
Boone was court-martialed for surrendering his party at the Licks, and for endeavoring to make a treaty with the Indians before the attack on the fort. William Hancock, who had been with Boone at Chillicothe testified against him. But, conducting his own defense, Boone explained that he was leading the Indians to believe that he was converting to British and Indian ways to deceive them, and was acquitted of all charges. Boone appears to have had a friendly but feisty relationship with William Hancock. According to the book "Daniel Boone" by John Mack Faragher, Boone's granddaughter, Delinda said that she often heard William Hancock "complain of Boone surrendering the salt boilers." Boone would respond irritably that if he had not done so, the people of Boonesborough "would all have been killed." And once again they would rehearse the debate, with Hancock always finally admitting that Boone "had done more than anyone else would under similar circumstances" and that "he was well satisfied Boone acted from that best of motives."
from Lyman Draper Papers and other sources -
*These men were captured by Indians with Boone, escaped and fought in the seige of St. Boonesborough: Daniel Boone, William Hancock, William (Joseph) Jackson, George Hendricks, Benjamin Kelly, Nathaniel Bullock, John Holly, James Callaway, Micajah (Elijah) Callaway, Daniel Asbury, William Tracy, Ansel Goodman, William Brooks, Jesse Copher (Coker), Samuel Brooks, Bartlet Search, Jack (John) Dunn, William Umphress, Andrew Johnson, James Robertson (Robson), William Staggs, Richard Wade, John Martin (Morton), James Mankins, Thomas Foot, John Brown, Nathan Ketcham.
*These scouts were not captured: Thomas Brooks, Flancers Callaway.
*These were originally with the salt-lick party, but had gone back to Boonesboroigh before the others were captured: Stephen Hancock, William Cradelbaugh, and Jesse Hodges.
By 1780, Stephen and William Hancock had located at Hancock's Station, close to Irvine's station 2 miles west of Richmond, on Tates Creek. Land and Deed Records list many land transactions from 1780 through 1800 for William, and through 1820 for Stephen. The pay role muster of Capt. James Estill in Lincoln County include the names of William and Stephen Hancock dated 1782. They were involved in"Estill's Defeat" or "The Battle of Little Mountain."
In 1799, the Hancock brothers parted - William went to Missouri, Stephen remained in Kentucky. Between 1800 and 1805, Stephen's wife, Catherine died and he married Judith. He probably traveled to Missouri during the years, but apparently did not settle in St. Louis County until 1821. His land on Wild Horse Creek, St. Louis County, was located only seven miles east of the original Spanish Land Grant of William Hancock, and is mentioned in his will of August 1827. He gave everything to his beloved wife Judith and then to his son Stephen Jr.
Stephen, son of William, traveled to Missouri ahead of his father, securing his Spanish Land Grant in September, 1799. William's grant was dated November 1799. Daniel Boone arrived with a small party to Upper Louisiana in October 1799, included in the company was Forrest Hancock, son of William. William Hancock remained a close and loyal friend to Daniel Boone.
William was the first to farm and area of the Missouri river bottom land, called Hancock Bottoms, near what is now Marthasville, MO (now Warren Co), a little ways west of St. Louis. One of his neighbors wrote home to Germany that this land never needed fertilizing, even after 20 years of crops.
William's farm of 600 arpents was located on the Missouri River near son Stephen and Forrest.
Mary, daughter of William, married in Lincoln County. Land records of St. Charles County verify a second marriage to John McMickle.
William's first son, Stephen, died in St Charles County in 1814, possibly as a result of the War of 1812. He left a widow, Sarah, and sons Stephen Jr. and Forrest.
William's son, Forrest Hancock was one of the original "Mountain Men". TheAbsence of records on Forrest leads to the belief that he spent much of his life in the wilderness. We do know that he spent some time with the Mandan Indians in the Dakotas and had business dealings with the famous explorer Manual Lisa. Hunting and trapping, Forrest and Joseph Dickson had left Missouri during the summer of 1804. They ascended the Missouri, had been robbed by Indians but were determined to continue. The journal of Lewis and Clark was helpful in locating information on Forrest Hancock. Lewis and Clark had separated, and were headed downstream toward St.Louis. On Tuesday, August 12, 1806, their journal entry reads:
"Being anxious to overtake Capt. Clark who from the appearance of his camps could be at no great distance before me, we set out early and proceeded with all possible expedition at 8 A.M. These men informed me that there was a canoe and a camp he believed of white men on the N.E. shore. I directed the perogue and canoes to come too at this place and found it to be the camp of two hunters from Illinois by name of Joseph Dickson and Forrest Hancock. These men informed me that Capt. C. had passed them about noon the day before. They also informed me that they had left Illinois in the summer of 1804 since which time they had been ascended the Missouri, hunting and trapping beaver; that they had been robbed by the Indians and the former wounded last winter by the Tetons of the birnt woods; that they had hitherto been unsuccessful in their voyage having as yet caught little beaver, but were still determined to proceed. I gave them a short discription of the Missouri, a list of distances to the most conspicuous streams and remarkable places on the river above and pointed out to them the places where beaver most abounded. I also gave them a file and a couple of pounds of power and some lead. These were articles which they assured me they were in great want of. I remained with these men and hour and a half when I took leave of them and proceeded. (These two trappers are not only the first white men whom the expedition has seen since leaving the Missouri villages in April 1805 -they are also the first to follow the trail which the expedition had blazed.) " An entry of August 1806 states that John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, requested permission to join Dickson and Hancock in their trapping expedition. Eventually, they would enter the Yellowstone basin.
Forrest farmed 400 acres of land in Femme Osage Township, near his father Stephen and brother Stephen, although the farm was listed as delinquent in taxes in1817. Dave Fleming, one of the first locaters at Mine's Camp, in present Cooke City, Montana, was reportedly the stepson of Forrest. He stated that when he was about ten years old, his stepfather took him on an expedition into the mountains, since after the death of his mother there was no one to take care of him in the settlements.
From: "History of St.Charles, Montgomery and Warren Counties, Missouri", originally printed in 1885, reprinted by the Warren County Historical Society, Warrenton, Missouri, 1993.
Pg 959 - "William and Benjamin Hancock settled in the neighborhood of Marthasville, in what is now known as Hancock's Bottom.
Pg. 970 - "William Hancock, William Logan, Lawson Thurman, Moses Edwards, Samuel Morris, John Tice and John Butlerwere appointed road supervisors."
Pg. 988 - "Among the residents of Warren County who enlisted in the second war  with Great Britain were Anthony Wyatt, Morgan Bryan, James Bryan, William Hancock, who was the first settler on what is known as Hancock's Bottom; ......"
Pg. 1030 - William Hancock was a pioneer of both Kentucky and Missouri, and came to what is now Warren County about 1798. He settled on what has since been known as Hancock's Bottom and his daughter Mrs. Hamilton is now living on the old homestead."
[note: a daughter who married a Hamilton has not been found.]
William's son Jesse died on the 18th of November 1813, while a Mounted Ranger under the command of Captain Daniel Morgan Boone, son of Daniel Boone.
In 1826, William's son Benjamin came to the Femme Osage District, St. Charles County from Rutherford County, Tennessee,to claim the land given to him by his father. Benjamin lived there until his death in 1854.
Daughter Sarah married in St Charles to James Clay, but died before reaching the age of forty, leaving six children.
William Jr. apparently remained on the original homestead and was one of the earliest settlers of that part of St. Charles County, which became part of Montgomery County and later Warren County.
As old age settled in, William gave his land and livestock to his son William Jr. for maintenance for himself and his wife in 1816. He died in 1818.
Several of William's children died in the prime of life. A William Hancock was reported killed at Boonesborough, although it was not William Sr., brother to Stephen.
Father: Benjamin HANCOCK b: 1711 in Sussex Co, Va.
Mother: Jane ?
Mary ?Molly? MERCHANT b: ABT 1743
in Prob Goochland Co, VA
- Mary HANCOCK b: ABT 1766 in Goochland or Bedford Co, Va
- Forrest Daniel HANCOCK b: ABT 1774 in Campell Section, Beford Co, VA
- Benjamin Franklin HANCOCK b: 1775 in Campbell Section, Bedford Co, Va
- Stephen HANCOCK b: ABT 1779 in Kentucky Co, VA
- Jesse HANCOCK b: ABT 1780
- Sarah HANCOCK b: 1782 in Lincoln Co, KY
- William HANCOCK b: 9 APR 1788 in Madison Co, KY