~ Hancocke ~ Spencer ~ Holt Family

©2009 Kathryn Gearhart (No portion of this web site may be reproduced, in any form, including Internet, electronic or print, in whole or in part.)

Revised 10/24/10

~ Overview ~

The Hancocks lived in Surry and Sussex counties.  William Hancock arrived in Virginia in 1661.  He married Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of Nicholas Spencer who came to Virginia in 1628.  William and Elizabeth were the parents of John Hancock born about 1668-1672.

John Hancock married Jane Holt.   Jane was the daughter of Randall Holt Jr. and Elizabeth Hansford. Elizabeth Hansford’s father was John Hansford, magistrate of York County, who died in 1663.  Randall Holt Jr. was the son of Randall Holt who arrived in Virginia in 1620 and Mary Bailey.  Mary’s father was John Bailey of Hogg Island who died in 1623-1624.

John Hancock and Jane Holt were the parents of William Hancock born about 1686-1692. William’s wife was Elizabeth Philips the daughter of William Philips and Mary Swann.  Mary’s parents were Mathew Swann and Mary Harris, daughter of Robert Harris.  William Philip’s parents were Ruth and Long John Philips.

William Hancock and Elizabeth Philips were the parents of Elizabeth, the wife of Charlie Gee of Northampton and Halifax Counties, North Carolina.

William Hancock, the Immigrant

In 1661 a patent was granted to William Bodie for the transport of thirty-five persons.  Among these was William Hancock.  In Surry in 1664 George and Margritt Blow transferred land on the east or sourtheast side of Blackwater swamp adjoining John Benoms to Mr. Thomas Warrens carte path, then to the northeast side of the swamp to William Hancock and Rowland Hudson.  William later sold his interest to Hudson.

William was noted in Surry County among the titheables in 1668.  He was counted again in 1670.  He is not mentioned again until January, 1673 when Robert Spencer, Justice of the County Court and Lawrence Baker, also Justice, issued the following writ:

Of how dangerous consequences unlawful assemblies and meetings have been is evident by the chronicle of our native country which are occasioned by a giddy headed multitude, and unless restrained may prove the ruin of a country, and therefore we Lawrence Baker and Robert Spencer two of ye justices of this county, being informed that on the 12th of December last past, a company of seditious and rude people to the number of 14 did assemble at the Parish Church of Lawnes Creek, with intent to declare they would not pay their public taxes, and they expected divers others to meet them, who failing, they did not put their weakened design in execution and for the good law made against Rogues and Riots and particularly the Statutes of Henry IV, chapter 7, and injoining justices to inquire of such meetings, we therefore sent our warrant to the Sheriff of this county to cause Mathew Swann, William Hancock, William Tooke, John Gregory, Thomas Clay, John Sheppard, George Peters, John Greene, James Chessett, John Barnes, Robert Lacy, Michael Upchurch, William Little, to appear before us, yet the said persons not being satisfied with this unlawful meeting, did this day, the greatest part of them meet together in ye old field called Devil’s Old Field and as we justly suspect did confederate not to discover who were the first instigators or moved them to their unlawful assembly as afore and we upon their exmination to find they have unanimously agreed to justify their meetings, persisting in the same as appears by the open declaring of Roger Delke that if one suffers they would all burn, and we find their contemptuous behavior and carriage not respecting authority, have therefore committed ye persons aforesaid to the custody of the Sheriff until they find security for their appearnace at the next county court and also for keeping the peace which we conceive consonant to the law in such case, and ye mutinous persons aforesaid being so many in number.  We have by Virtue of the Statute of ye 2d of Henry 5th command ye aide and assistance of several for the neighborhood for their security Given under our hands the day and year aforesaid.

From the record it appears William Hancock was the first to tell Thomas Clay that the levies recently imposed were unreasonable and that a meeting was planned to discuss the new taxes.  William also took Robert Lacy to this meeting.  According to the record William very obstinately persisted in refusing to tell the justices who had informed him there was to be a meeting.  Mathew Swann openly stated to the court that they met to find agreement about a redress of taxes which they believed were unreasonably laid upon them. When asked who told him the taxes were unreasonable Swann said Francis Mason, one of the justices, and Mr. Goring had said there were some extra ordinary taxes.  John Sheppard agreed with Mathew Swann regarding the purpose of the meeting and that he had heard from Samuel Cornell the levies were unjust.  Cornell, evidently, was repeating the opinion expressed to him by Mr. Randall Holt.

Determining that the ring leaders were Mathew Swann, William Hancock, John Sheppard, and John Barnes, the court ordered that they each post a bond of good behavior and fined them each 1,000 pound tobacco, except Mathew Swann who was fined 2,000 pounds and a cask.  The other participants were required to post a bond and all were charged court costs.  Two years later Bacon’s Rebellion erupted and there were 74 participants in Surry County, more than any other county in Virginia.  William Hancock was among these.  One hundred years later the tax issue precipitated the Revolution.

In 1674 William Hancock witnessed a deed with John Goring between Roger Delk and Walter Bartlett.

In 1678 William Hancock acknowledged that Rowland Hudson had satisfied his note which evidently was originated in 1667.  It reads: 4 March, 1678 William Hancock acknowledges that he has received full satisfaction for all rights in purchase of Rowland Hudson, in his life and for himself and his wife, and confirms for Jude Hudson, his wife to her and his child. 27 April 1667 Signed William Hancock and Eliza Hancock. On the reverse was written: Deed of sale from George Blow et ux to Rowland Hudson and William Hancock Recorded November, 1664.

In 1679 William and others viewed the body of a drowned seaman and determined his cause of death.  In April of that year he witnessed the will of Thomas Claye.  He made his mark William H Hancock.

In 1687 he was included in a list of those freeholders able to present for duty in the militia.  In 1691 William and his wife were included in the will of Robert Caulfield along with Mr. Elizabeth Holt, Mrs. Francis Mason, Mrs. Mary White, and Charles Williams, among several others.  Then in 1692 with Joseph Seale and Francis Taylor, William witnessed the will of Roger Delk, Sr.

William Hancock married Elizabeth Spencer, the daughter of Nicholas Spencer and brother of Justice Robert Spencer of Surry County.  They were married by 1667 when they acknowledged the release to Rowland Hudson.

The Spencer Family

The Spencers were a prominent family in Northampton, Bedfordshire and Huntington in England.  That our ancestor, Nicholas Spencer was a younger son from this family seems clear as the family names William, Nicholas, John, and Robert occur in England.  Certainly there was a kinship to Nicholas Spencer, Esquire of Cople Parish, England who died in 1625.

William Spencer

William Spencer arrived in Viginia in 1607 aboard the Sarah and was counted in the 1624-25 mster for James Island.   Also noted were his wife, Alice, his four year old daughter Alice, and William Spencer, infant, deceased.

In 1614 John Smith wrote that Spencer was a farmer who was considered to be an honest valiant and industrious man (who) hath continued from 1607 to present.  In 1608 William Spencer was the first immigrant to choose land.  He was Burgess for Jamestown in the first Assembly in 1619.  Later he was Burgess for Mulberry Island in 1624.

There are several land patents for William Spencer.  In 1624 William Spencer received 12 acres of Jamestown Island.  This acreage was …part of his first dividend within the island towards Goose Hill… and was to be deducted out of his dividend at Spencer’s Hole.  Ancient planters were settlers who had arrived before 1616.  They received a dividend of 50 or 100 acres.  In 1629 the General Court allowed William to claim 400 acres in any location not previously patented.  In 1635 William was granted 1,100 acres which were westerly upon Hogg Island Creek.  In 1637 he patented 1,250 additional acres.  William held other smaller tracts including 500 acres granted in 1635 in Surry.  The patent refers to him as William Spencer, Gentleman.

William Spencer was the viewer of tobacco from Lawnes Creek to Hogg Island.  Viewers of tobacco checked to insure no tobacco was planted after July, and the tobacco was kept off the ground.  They attempted to prevent both over production and production of inferior crops.

Willam Spencer drops from the records of Surry County after 1637.  Apparently by 1652 his daughters Elizabeth and Anne were in possession of his land indicating he died before this date.  In 1628 John Lightfoot left all of his property to Willliam Spencer.  It may be that William’s wife, Alice, was Lightfoot’s daughter.

Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of William

Elizabeth Spence married twice.  Her first husband was Major Robert Shepard of Lawnes Creek who held a plantation at the head of Chippoakes Creek in 1635.  In 1646 a letter was written from John White to Captain Robert Sheppard at his house on Chippoakes Creek.  Sheppard was Burgess for James City in 1646-48.  In 1652 he sold the 1,100 acres granted William Spencer in 1635 which his wife Elizabeth had inherited from her father.

In 1654 Elizabeth Sheppard, widow, married Thomas Warren, widower of Smith’s Fort in Surry.  In 1654, Elizabeth Spencer Sheppard, daughter of William Spencer, wrote to Mr. Brewster, ….to pass judgement for me to Captain Baker for 2,834 lbs. of tobacco and caske. This note was witnessed by William Cockerham. Their brick home was built in 1652 and is standing today.  Thomas Warren served on several occasions as Burgess for James City and Surry.

Elizabeth died between 1656 and 1658.  She and Robert Sheppard had three sons: John, Robert and William.  All three sons died without children.  Their daughter Anne Sheppard married three times.  Her first husband was Thomas Hart who died in 1669.  She then married William Newsom who died in 1691.  She then became the second wife of George Foster who died in 1710.  Anne Sheppard’s children were:

Henry Hart (1662-1739) married Mary Foster, daughter of his step-father George Foster

Thomas Hart (1664-1716) married Elizabeth Foster, daughter of his step-father George Foster

William Newsom (1672-1751) married Phyllis

John Newsom (1674-1724) married Sarah Crafford daughter of Robert Crafford and Elizabeth Carter

Robert Newsom (1681-1757) married Elizabeth Crafford, daughter of Robert Crafford and Elizabeth Carter.

Elizabeth Warren (1655-1656) married John Hunnicutt who died in 1699.  Elizabeth and John Hunnicutt had three sons, John, William and Robert.

Anne Spencer, daughter of William

Ane Spencer married L. William Cockerham.  He later became Colonel of the Militia and Burgess from Surry in 1665.  In 1656 William Cockerham patented 1,250 acres in Surry, 1,100 of which Anne had inherited from her father William Spencer.  This land lay adjacent to a cleared field belonging to Nicholas Spencer.  In 1685 William Cocerham Jr. deeded William Harris a parcel of land on Hogg Island Main which was part of 1,350 acres patented by William Spencer and inherited by Cockerham.

Anne and William were married before 1654.  He died in 1668-69.  Anne remarried to Charles Amry.  In May, 1669 Charles Amry, Robert Spencer, and William Oldis gave bond for Amry’s guardianship of the orphans of William Cockerham, namely William and Thomas Cockerham.  William Cockerham, Jr. was born in 1659 and Thomas Cockerham in 1665.

Nicholas Spencer

There is very little information in the records regarding Nicholas Spencer.  He was the nephew of Mr. William Spencer. This is noted in a deed filed in Surry County in May, 1667 by Nicholas Spencer of Lawnes Creek, selling to Captain William Cockerham a parcel of land formerly his uncle’s: Mr. William Spencer, deceased, and lately bequeathed to Nicholas Spencer by will or right of descent.  The witnesses were Nicholas Spencer, clearly a son, and Daniell Williams.

He is first noted in 1628 when he testified that John Lightfoot left his property to William Spencer.

In 1635 William Spencer was granted headrights for the transport of twenty-two persons.  Among these was Nicholas Spencer.  It would seem this was for the voyage in 1628.

Nicholas does not appear in any land or county records until 1652.  At this time a cleared field belonging to Nicholas Spencer is noted as lying adjacent to land which originally was granted to William Spencer, but in 1652 was held by his son-in-law Willam Cockerham.

In 1658 the records of Surry contain a power of attorney from David Williams to Robert Spencer appointing Robert as his attorney to acknowledge the gift of a parcel of land given to Nicholas Spencer and his wife.  It would seem that Nichoas Spencer married a Williams; however, she may not have been his first wife.

In the July 16, 1668 filing of the indenture of his son John Spencer to William Cockerham, it is noted that because Nicholas was moving, the indenture was made. It does not say where he was moving, but England is likely his destination. In 1667 his son, Nicholas Jr. filed a deed relinquishing any right he might have in the lands of William Spencer to William Cockerham.  Nicholas Jr. drops from the records of Surry and it seems Virginia.  He too probably went to England.  William Cockerham died in 1669 and Robert Spencer and Charles Amry were the administrators and trustees for the children.

Robert Spencer, son of Nicholas Spencer

Robert Spencer is first noted in Surry in 1658.  It would seem he was married before 1655 as his daughter died about 1671 leaving a child.  In 1660 Robert Spencer gave his age as thirty years in a deposition.  The first patent for land he received was in 1666 for 300 acres.  He was noted as Mr. Robert Spencer in the deed indicating he was considered a prominent citizen of the county. In 1672, as Captain Robert Spencer, he patented another 300 acres.

The records of Surry note that in November, 1663 there was a difficulty between Edward Petway and Robert Spencer regarding some unlawful dogs kept by Petway that had attacked hogs owned by Spencer, killing some, and driving off others.  The month before Spencer and others, including John Philips, were impaneled to determine the cause of death of a body that had washed ashore at Mr. James Masons.  It was determined the person had drwoned.

In 1673-74 Robert Spencer was one of the Justices of Surry County when his brother-in-law William Hancock, was brought before the court on charges of participating in an unlawful assembly.  In 1675 Robert was Sheriff of Surry County.

Captain Robert Spencer lived at the head of Crouches Creek.  His first wife may have been a sister of Thomas Taberer who wrote to Robert in 1672 calling him brother Spencer.  Robert and his first wife had two daughters, Anne and Elizabeth.

Captain Robert Spencer married Elazabeth White between 1673 and 1675.  She was the daughter of Captain John White of Surry County.  Captain John White had three children, Elizabeth, Mary and John.  His widow remarried to Captain William Corker.  Corker gave Elizabeth White Spencer 100 acres and Mary White 100 acres in 1673.  In 1675 Robert Spencer, as husband to Elizabeth White, sued William Corker for his brother-in-law John White. Corker was ordered to deliver one feather bed and furniture to John White as requested in the will of Captain White.

Elizabeth White Spencer died and Robert remarried to Jane Browne, the daughter of Colonel William Browne and Mary Browne of Surry County.  Robert’s will, written in 1678 and filed in 1679 leaves his property to his daughters Elizabeth and Ann, his granddaughter Martha Whitson and his wife Jane.

This daughter Ann was named for Robert’s first daughter Anne, who died in 1671 and was the mother of Martha Whitson.  This Ann died, unmarried, before 1699.  Jane Spencer, widow, married Thomas Jordan.

Anne Spencer, daughter of Robert

Anne married John Whitson and she died before September, 1671 when Robert deeded a Mare filly and some livestock to his granddaughter Martha Whitson.  In September of 1672 the records of Surry County Court proceedings show John Whitson had married Anne, daughter of Captain Robert Spencer and that she was dead, leaving a child by her marriage.  Whitson showing hostility to the child… caused the court to put her under the care of Captain Spencer.  Also, in 1672 Whitson was brought into court on charges of abusing Captain Robert Spencer. Among other epithets, he was charged with calling Spencer a Welsh Rogue and a Welsh dog.

John Whitson was later hung for his participation in Bacon’s Rebellion.  In 1685, Martha Whitson, age fourteen, and an orphan chose John Watkins as her guardian.

Elizabeth Phillaps aged about 22 years Examined & Sworne Saith that John Whitson being att ye house of Mr. Stephen Allens one Eveninge about Six weekes Since did fall abuseinge of his fathr in Law Robrt Spense in maner & forme as followeth, Callinge of him Welch rouge Welch dog sonn of a whore Sonn of a bitch Spawne of a toad redoubing of yese words sevrall times over wth many blody oaths that he was soe & he would call him soe & he swore bloodily yat if he Metthim on ye Highway he could as freely Kill him as to Kill a dog or at as wth many other horrible yreatnings yis depont told him he should not abuse his father soe for his poore Childs sake he swore by Jesus Christ he would & if the Child had not been a basterd his wife would have left ye charge of ye Child to him & not to her father, he Swore many deepe oths yat ye deveille Married him, ye depont replyed Noe Joh: itt was Mr Thomson yat did Marry ye, he Swore bloody noe itt was ye devil in ye Likeness of Mr. Thomson, & ye Next Morninge ye depont asked ye sd Whitson if he was in the same mind he was Last Night & he sd yes he was not drunke & further saith not.  Elizabeth W Phillaps signa

John Phillaps aged aboute 36 yeares Swore & Examined Saith that he was present att ye house of Mr. Allen afore sd & att ye time afore sd & did heare ye sd Whitson declare what ye abovesd Elizabet ye deponts wife hat declared & deposeth what She hat deposed Except ye Last clause of the Next Morninge & further Saith not. John M. Philaps

Sworn before me ye 16th of August 1672

Ni Meriwether

Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of Robert

Elizabeth received a bequest in the will of her godfather, Captain George Watkins, in 1673.  Elizabeth married John Watkins, Jr. the son of John Watkins cooper, whose widow Elizabeth Watkins remarried to Thomas (alias Sackford) Brewster, Gentleman of Sackford Hall, Suffolk, England.  Brewster was a Justice of Surry.  John Watkins, Jr., husband to Elizabeth, died in 1708-09.  His will mentions sons Robert, William, John, and Henry as well as daughters Mary and Elizabeth.

John Spencer, son of Nicholas

John Spencer was the youngest son of Nicholas Spencer.  On October 24, 1667 Nichols Spencer, Sr. bound out his son John to serve Captain William Cockerham for seven years.  This was not filed until July 16, 1668. Cockerham was married to John’s cousin Anne, daughter of William Spencer.  Attached to this indenture is a statement dated Juny 7, 1668, that …it appears that John Spencer has some wearing clothes given him by the will of his father.

John was born in 1653 and in 1674, at the end of his indenture, he petitioned for his estate.  He died soon after this.  In a deposition given in 1675 in Surry County, Thomas Clay and his wife Elizabeth, aged 32 years, made deposition on 27 December last that Mr. John Spencer of Lawnes Creek Parish, lay sick at William Hancock’s and Deponent asked him how he would dispose of his estate and he said he would leave what he had to his sisters Mary and Elizabeth. On January 21, 1675 William Hancock was granted probate of this will on behalf of his wife Elizabeth, sister to John Spencer.


William Hancock and Elizabeth Spencer

William Hancock died in 1693.  In his will he leaves …to my son John Hancock, the Plantation where he now lives on the North side of the Swamp adjacent to myself.  To my wife Elizabeth the Plantation where I now live, at her death to my son.  October 22, 1693. The witnesses were Joseph Slade and John Sugar.

In the tithes list for Surry County, Elizabeth Hancock is tithed for George Peters and Thomas Heathfield, apparently her apprentices or indentured servants.  John Hancock is listed separartely indicating he had his own plantation.

William Hancock and Elizabeth Spencer had one son John Hancock who seems to have been named after his uncle John Spencer.  In 1694 the following gift deed was recorded from Elizabeth Hancock to her son John and her grandson William.

Know all men by these presents that I Elizabeth Hancock of Surry, widow, out of ye natural affection that I bear and out of the (unreadable) respect of the future Welfare of my loving son John Hancock my grandson William Hancock, son of ye said John, for divers other causes and considerations do hereby solely, fully and absolutely give unto them my (unreadable) son John I give a large Iron kettle, 1 Iron Spitt, one pewter bason, together with eight head of cattle; viz five (unreadable) and 3 heifers, eighteen hoggs groping in one company and other things I have  this day delivered to my said son….  To my said grandson William Hancock one feather bed, bolster and pillows, a Shagg rug, a blanket and apair of sheets, one small chest, six pewter dishes, two pewter plates, one double brass candlestick, one small and one large Iron pott, four young cows, three Ewes and a Ram and thre sows of a year and a half old… to be delivered to him by said son (John) when he consists of the age one and twenty years the household share in kind or other at least as good in lieu therof and ye like number of catle, sheep and hoggs of equal Good with those now delivered to my said son.  In testimony of all which I have hereunto fixed my hand and Seale.  1694, March 6.

Elizabeth is not noted in the tithe list in 1697.  There is no will for Elizabeth and she is absent from the 1704 Quit Rent Rolls.  In 1704 Quit Rents, John Hancock is listed for only sixty acres.  It is my belief that he and his father were tradesmen, not planters.  They both had two men who evidently were bound men or apprentices. Perhaps they were carpenters or coopers.  John Hancock married Jane Holt daughter of Randall Holt, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Hansford.

The Holt Family

Randall Holt

Randall Holt arrived in Virginia at the age of thirteen in 1620 aboard the George. In the muster of 1625 he was noted as being eighteen years of age.  He arrived in Virginia with Dr. John Pott, physician general to the colony, to whom he was apprenticed.  Pott was part of the company of Sir Francis Watt, newl appointed Governor of Virginia.  In 1625 Randall was listed in the muster for Docto Pott’s Men in the Maine.

In 1625 the General Court ordered Randall Holte upon his Peticone preferred in Courte shall serve and remaine with Doctor Pott his Mr. until Christmas next come twelve month.  And then Doctor Pott his Mr. to deliver up his Indentures and make him free, and to give one suit of apparel from head to foote and three barrels of corne.

Randall married Mary Bayly (Bailey) soon after he gained his freedom.  John Bayly came to Virginia in 1618 and he was counted among the dead at James City between April 1623 and February 1624.  Robert Evans was appointed by the Council as guardian to Mary Bayly and a survey was ordered of the 190 acres which she inherited from her father.  Mary Bayly was still single in 1626 when she was counted among the land holders of Hogg Island.

In 1636 Randall added 400 acres above the head of Lower Chippoakes Creek near Hogg Island.   In 1639, after the death of his father, Randall Holt, Jr., age 21, repatented 1,022 acres in Hogg Island as …son and lawful heyre of Mary Bailey, late of Hogg Island, sole daughter and heyre of John Bailey….

Randall Holt, Jr.

Randall Holt, Jr. married Elizabeth Hansford.  Her father was John Hansford of York County, Virginia.  John Hansford wrote his will in 1654 and his will notes that Elizabeth was not yet sixteen and unmarried.  His will was filed in 1661.  Randall and Elizabeth were married in 1664, and he issued a receipt to her guardian Mr. Edward Lockey for her inheritance.

The Hansford Family

John Hansford was one of the magistrates of York County and he acquired a substantial estate. John Hansford was the son of a merchant tailor of London also named John Hansford.  In his 1663 will he lists servants and a goodly amount of silver plate, and other itmes which clearly indicate he was a man of wealth and position.  His will notes that his children were Elizabeth, wife of Randolph Holt of Surry County, Mary wife of Dr. Thomas Robins of Robins’ Neck, Gloucester County, and Margaret.  John Hansford’s will written in 1654 also note that Robert Jones was the tutor of his children and leaves him a legacy of 500 lbs. of tobacco.  His widow married Edward Lockey a rich merchant formerly of London.  John’s other children were Thomas Hansford and Mary Hansford.

Thomas Hansford, son of John

Colonel Thomas Hansford was hung for his participation in Bacon’s Rebellion.  He is known as the first man born in Virginia to be executed for Rebellion against English rule.  He was described by Sir William Berkley, the governor who ordered his death, as “a valiant, stout man,” and “a most resolved rebel.”  Hansford commanded at Jamestown, when Berkeley fled to the Eastern Shore.  He is said to have asked no favor other than he might be shot like a soldier, and not hanged like a dog. He stated he died a loyal subject, repent for his sins committed in his life, and he would not have taken up arms, except for the destruction of the Indians, who had murdered so many Christians.

It is noted in his father’s will that Robert Jones was a tutor of Thomas Hansford and his brothers.  Nening states that Robert Jones was executed with Thomas for Bacon’s rebellion.  In April, 1667 the court ordered Mr. John Roberts, guardian of Mistress Elizabeth Jones, daughter of Richard Jones, Sr. deceased, to deliver his ward’s estate in kind to Thomas Hansford as intermarrying with the said Elizabeth.  Elizabeth had two brothers, Gabriel Jones and Richard Jones, but they died without issue.  She was the sole heiress of her father’s property. Previously, in December, 1661 it is noted in the records of York County that there was a difference between Mrs. Elizabeth Jones, Relict of Mr. Richard Jones, dec’d and Mr. Richard Longman, Senior, defendant.  It was ordered that Mr. Richard Longman, Junior be not in any way hindered in his intended voyage for England, he leaving an Attorney in the country to defend his suit.

Thomas Hansford and Elizabeth Jones were married nine years before Bacon’s Rebellion.  Within a year of his execution in Accomac, Elizabeth also died.  His brother, Charles Hansford was charged in 1678 with the responsibility of administering his estate for the benefit of his orphans John, Thomas, William, Elizabeth, and Mary.  Their son John died in 1681.  Elizabeth Hansford married Richard Burt.  Mary married William Hewitt, and Thomas and William Hansford married and died in York County, leaving children.  Among these was William Hansford, son of Thomas Hansford, Jr. He married Mary Holt, niece of Jane Holt Hancock.

The will of Elizabeth Hansord was record in February, 1677/78.

In the name of God Amen, I Elizabeth Hansford of Hampton Parish in York County being visisted with sickness by the hand of Almighty God & weak in body but of sound & perfect sense & memory… I give & bequeath unto my sonne Wiliam Hansford 7 his heirs forever that seat of land now in the possession of William Coman scituate & lying & beingin Bruton Parish being my right & due as being the surviving child of Mr. Richard jones my father deced. I give & bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Hansord and her heirs forever that seat of land now in the tenure occupation & possession of John Buce (sic) Scituate lying and being in Hampton Parish and adjoining on the land of Mr. Thomas Barger and due to me as the surviving child of my above named father, Mr. Richard Jones, dec’d.

Mary Hansford, daughter of John

Mary Hansford married Dr. Thomas Robins of Gloucester.  York County records note him as chirrugeon (surgeon). His sister Anne Robins married Robert Freeman.


Randall Holt, Jr. was a Major in the militia, Burgess, Chairman for Private Causes in 1656 and Justice of Surry in 1668.  In 1654 he sued for the value of his servant’s labor and use of a boat which had been pressed into government service.  Randall Holt, Jr. died in 1679.  His will names his eldest son John and gives him all his land.  It stipulates that if John died without children then the estate was to go to his son William.  If William also died without children then the estate passed to his son Thomas.  The will notes six children each of whom was to have the benefit of their labor upon reaching seventeen years of age.  John was to have a good plantation assigned to him on Hogg Island.  The remainder of the estate was to be at his wife’s disposal until she died.  The witnesses to his will were John Moyce and John Goring.

It is unclear how John Goring was associated with the Holts, but in his will he provided that should his son, Charles Goring, die before age twenty-one, that his estate was to go to Thomas and William Holt sons of Mr. Randall Holt (Jr.).  Charles Moryson was executor and the witnesses were John Moyce and Elizabeth Holt.  Charles Moryson was noted as a kinsman in the will.

Colonel Charles Moryson was nephew of Colonel Francis Moryson and grandson of Sir Richard Moryson.  Rebecca Moryson, widow of Colonel Charles Moryson, married Colonel John Lear after 1688.  Lear left property to Charles Goring, son of John Goring.  John Goring apparently was related to George Goring, a brave cavalry officer of King Charles I.  Apparently these gentlemen were all cavaliers who fled Cromwell.  John Goring was among those mentioned in testimony given to Justice Robert Spencer regarding the unlawful assembly in 1673 which included William Hancock.

Randall and Elizabeth Holt were the parents of John, William, Thomas, Jane, Lucy and Elizabeth.  Elizabeth Hansford Holt died in 1708-09.  She notes in her will grandsons, Charles, Joseph and John Holt.

John Holt, son of Randal, Jr.

John Holt was born in 1664 and died in 1704.  He married Mary Binns, daughter of Thomas Binns and his wife Elizabeth Aston.   John held 150 acres in 1704.  Their children included John, David, Charles, Joseph, and Benjamin Holt.  John Holt was licensed to keep a ferry from Archer’s Hope to Hog Island and also was granted a license to keep an Ordinary at his dwelling house on the island.

William Holt, son of Randall, Jr.

William Holt married Elizabeth Seward, daughter of William Seward of Lawnes Creek who died in 1702.  In 1704 William Holt held 630 acres.  His sons were William Jr., Thomas and Charles.

Thomas Holt, son of Randall, Jr.

Captain Thomas Holt was Justice of Surry in 1697, Burgess 1699-1700 and Sheriff in 1699.  He married Frances Mason, daughter of Francis Mason and his wife the widow Elizabeth Aston Binns. (see The Masons)

Thomas Holt died in 1730.  Their sons, Francis and Thomas, died before him unmarried.  Their other children were:

James Holt was an attorney.  He married Ann O’Sheal and settled in Norfolk County.  Among other positions he was one of three judges of Admiralty Court in 1776 and a member of the first Virginia Senate in 1776-77.  His sons were James and Henry.  In his will he left a bequest to his niece, Clarimond Holt, daughter of Henry Holt provided she did not marry a Scotchman.

Henry Holt’s wife is unknown.  His daughter was Clarimond

Elizabeth Holt married Nicholas Cocke.

Katherine Holt married Thomas Cocke.

Martha Holt married John Newsom.  John’s sister, Mary Newsom, married Martha’s cousin, William Holt, Jr.

Mary Holt married first William Hansford, grandson of Thomas Hansford of Bacon’s Rebellion.  William Hansford died in 1733 and Mary married a Steele.  William and Mary had four children including Lewis Hansford who settled in Norfolk County.  Lewis married Anne (Blaws) Taylor, widow.  Her son was General Robert Barraud Taylor.  Mary died in 1767.

Lucy Holt, daughter of Randall, Jr.

Lucy Holt married Joseph Mountford, Captain of Martin’s Hundred.

Elizabeth Holt, daughter of Randall, Jr.

Elizabeth Holt married Thomas Edwards of Hogg Island.

Jane Holt, daughter of Randall, Jr.

Jane Holt married John Hancock.  She was born between 1666 and 1674.

John Hancock and Jane Holt

John Hancock and Jane Holt were married between 1686 and 1694 as this is when John was tithed for his own household in Surry and William was mentioned in the will of his grandmother, Elizabeth Hancock.  John Hancock and his father William Hancock were listed with George Peters and Thomas Heathfield as early as 1686 and this continued until William’s death.  In 1700 John Hancock was tithed with Cornelias Tolman and Elizabeth Andros.

John Hancock’s will was written in November, 1731 and was filed in May, 1732.   The first part is not readable as it is badly water stained.  In the will he mentions his wife Jane and four daughters.  The names of two are readable, Martha and Duejates.  He also mentions his son John to whom he left his Trooper’s Arms.  The witnesses were John Brittle and John Price.  William, Joseph, Clement, Elizabeth and Mary were also his children.  Jane’s will written in 1733 was filed in 1734.  William Carroll and Charles Holt were the witnesses.

Jane Hancock Will

To son, William Hancock, leather couch, 2 Russia Leather chairs, small chest, etc.

To son, John Hancock, black leather trunk, 2 Russia leather chairs, warming pan, chafing dish, nine cattle, etc.

To son Joseph Hancock, livestock, etc.

To daughter Elizabeth Ogburne, large bed, furniture, etc.

To daughter Mary, wife of Thomas Clary, one rundle bed and clothing, etc.

To daughter Duejates, wife of William Raines, one large looking glass, linens, etc.

To daughter Martha Hancock, 5 pewter dishes, etc.

After my debts and funeral expenses are paid all my estate in Virginia or England be divided equally between my son Joseph Hancock and Elizabeth Ogburne.

Joseph and Elizabeth were made executors.

John and Jane’s eldest son was William, born before 1694. It would seem that John and Jane Hancock prospered during their lifetime.  The items listed in Jane’s will were furnishings of quality not owned by most families of the period.

Elizabeth Hancock, daughter of John and Jane

In 1710 Elizabeth Ogburne filed the estate of John Ogburne for probate.  John Ogburne’s sister Mary was the wife of Richard Wren who died in 1717.

Mary Hancock, daughter of John and Jane

Mary Hancock married Thomas Clary whose will was filed December 1763.  Their children were James, Thomas, Birdis, Benjamin, Harwood, and Mourning who married a Holdworth.

James Clary married in 1760 Martha Stephenson.  Her second husband was Robert Atkinson.  Many of their children were disowned by the Society of Friends for marrying outside the community or failure to attend. These children were: Thomas married Mary Bailey; Mary married a Hart; Ann married Henry Hart; Sarah married Moses Hart; Lucy married Richard Hart; 2

Thomas Clary married Mary Wren and died in 1769.  They were the parents of William Benjamin, Thomas, Becka, Lucy and Mary.

Birdis Clary married Elizabeth.  Their son John married Sarah Mosely.  Their other children were James, Ann, Mary, Elizabeth Silviah, and Mourning.

Jane Hancock, daughter of John and Jane

Jane, born in August, 1741 married in February, 1762 Hartwell Phillips the son of John Phillips and Martha Crafford.  Hartwell and Jane removed to Edgecombe County, North Carolina.  Hartwell married Feraby Jones as his second wife and died in 1807.  Their daughter Rebecca married John Hancock.  Their daughter Mary Phillips married Benjamin Clary of Sussex, whose will was filed in October, 1808.

Joseph Hancock, son of John and Jane

Joseph Hancock inherited half of his mother’s estate.  Joseph Hancock married Susannah Sebrell (Sebriel), widow.  In 1742 the will of David Sebrell directs that his nephew Nathaniel Sebrell, not yet 21, was to inherit his land and Plantation on the Southside of the Blackwater, but if he died, then to his two sisters, Susannah Hancock and Sarah Wilson.  He also notes his brother-in-law Joseph Hancock. The land of David Sebrell lay adjacent to Anselm Bailey’s and William and Micajah Pettaway (Pettway).  Nearby were the lands of Joseph and Elijah Bailey, Edward Harris and Nathaniel Sebrell.  In 1742 Joseph Handcocke was one of the witnesses to the will of Lemuel Hargrave, father-in-law of Anselem Bailey, Jr.

The inventory for Joseph’s estate in Virginia was filed in 1750.  There is no will.  That same year his wife also died.  Perhaps they contracted a contagious disease such as influenza or smallpox.

Susannah’s will reads,  …to son James, a gold ring.  To Fanny Hancock, estate of 25 pounds current money.  To two youngest, William and Henry Hancock, the remainder of my estate and to each a ring. To son Nathaniel Sebriel, one case of bottles, bed, etc.  To granddaughter Mary Sebriel, a gold ring. Nathaniel Sebriel was the executor.  The will was filed November 5, 1750.

The legacy given Fanny was her dowry.  The old rings given in Susannah’s will were called mourning rings and were worn as reminders to the living of the affection felt for them by the deceased.

Joseph and Susannah’s children were minors. Evidently their uncle William Hancock was made their guardian.

James Hancock was educated by his uncle William Hancock who submitted a claim against the estate for payment of the expenses for the schooling of Jimmy Hancock. In 1757 Nicholas Hancock recorded a deed from James Hancock of Edgcombe County, North Carolina in Sussex County.  James Hancock’s will was filed in 1765 in Halifax County which was formed from the northern part of Edgecombe County.  He mentions his wife Mary and sons William and James and an unborn child.  Apparently he removed to North Carolina upon completing his education in 1757.

William Hancock was not traced.

Henry Hancock was not traced.

John Hancock, Jr., son of John and Jane

John Hancock is noted in the Albermarle Parish Register for the birth of his son John in 1743.  His wife was Susannah Freeman.  John’s godparents were John Freeman, Thomas Freeman and Marjory Morris.

On April 19, 1748 John Hancock of Albemarle Parish deeded to his brother Joseph Hancock of Southwarke Parish, stating Whereas John Hancock, deceased, was the father of both John Hancock and Joseph Hancock and owned 620 acres of land on both sides of Little Swamp on the south side of main Blackwater.  John Hancock, deceased, in his will dated 24 November, 1731 devised the land in halves to his two named sons.  John Hancock Jr. now sells his half to his brother Joseph Hancock; Land is bounded by the land formerly of William Cripps and now Thomas Wrenn’s, William Bradley, and William Hancock.  The witnesses were Benjamin White, Thomas Wrenn, and John Bradley.

John and Susannah went to Cumberland County, North Carolina where John’s will was filed in July, 1772.

In the name of God Amen.  I John Hancock of Cumberland County I the province of North Carolina, Planter, being very sick in Health of Body, but perfect mind and memory thank be given to God, Calling unto him the mortality of my body and knowing that it is apparent for men to die make and ordain this my last will and Testiment.  (unreadable)

I give to my son John one moiety of land part of one hundred and fifty acres being below a big branch the place on which he now lives to his only proper use and behalf according to Estimation one hundred acres more or less.

Item: I give unto my loving Wife Susanna the plantation wheron I live and all the land I am possessed with during her life and at her decease to be equally divided between my thre sons to wit: Robert, Clement & William, to the only use of the same Robert, Clement, & William…

Clement Hancock, son of John and Jane

There is some conflict about the parentage of Clement, but I believe the evidence links him to John and Jane Hancock, dispite his absence from Jane’s will.  Unfortunately, the will of John Hancock is extremely difficult to read with some areas completely unreadable.

In July, 1725 Alexander Horton of Lawnes Creek Parish and his wife Sarah sold to Clement Hancock of Lawnes Creek for 12 ₤ 10 shillings, 105 acres on the south side of the Nottoway River, part of a patent for 1530 acres granted to Benjamin Harrison, Gentleman, of Charles City County, and bounded by Hunting Quarters Swamp, Edward Pennington’s Bridge, John Pennington and Thomas Hunt.  The witness was Thomas Eldridge.  This deed places Clements birth before 1705.

In March, 1730 Clement Hancock sold the 105 acres on Hunting Quarter Swamp to Thomas Oliver.  Clement was then granted 370 acres in Surry in June, 1731 on the south side of Nottoway River near the main road from Hunting Quarter Swamp to Freeman’s, on the line of land of Col. Francis Lightfoot, deceased and Alexander Horton on June 26, 1731.  John Pennenton (Pennington) was granted 200 acres on the south side of Nottoway River adjacent to Clement Hancock and Surrel Wyche in September, 1731.  In 1739 Philip Lightfoot, Esq. of York county and wife, Mary Lightfoot, sold two tracts of land on the north side of Nottoway River in Albemarle Parish, to Clement Handcock of Surry County for 35 pounds.  The first tract was 150 acres bounded by William Jones, Henry Jones, and George Pasmore.  The other was also 150 acres.  Lightfoot reserved 1 acre on the river for a landing place.  Clearly this land was along the James River.  The witnesses to this deed were Robert Hancock, William Dansey, and Cannon Roe.  It was not recorded until 1740.

In 1747 he helped procession land and his land was also processioned. The area was described as the southside of Nottaway River and below Stokes’ Road to the Hunting Quarter Swamp to the Mouth.

Clement Hancock was married to Antheny who was either Antheny Zell (Sill) or Antheny Pennington.  On September 12, 1748 Peter Doby sold to Clement Hancock 116 acres being the remainder of his part of the Land devised to him by the will of John Doby, deceased, late of Surry County, adjoining the other 150 acres which said Peter Doby conveyed to William Doby and 226 acres which Peter Doby claimed as heir-at-law to his brother Robert Doby, deceased, beign on the whole 382 acres adjoining Wiliam Doby’s 150 acres.  The land was on the north side of the Nottoway River in Albemarle Parish.  The withensses were Robert Golding, Christopher Tatum, Robert Hancock, Sloman Wynne, Thomas Eldridge and William Eldridge.  On the same day, Clement sold to Thomas Eldridge of Prince George County 250 acres being part of the track purchased from Philip Lightfoot, Esq., which was bounded by the north side of the Nottoway River, the Gravely run and a line of Eeleck and Hancock Marable.  The witnesses were John Goodwyn, Robert Hancock, Sloman Wynne, and William Eldridge.

In November, 1751 Clement Hancock, with William Doby and Robert Doby, Jr. sold Robert Hancock 535 acres on the north side of the Nottoway River next to Clement Hancock.  The witnesses were David Jones, Thomas Wren, Nathaniel Johnson, Nicholas Massenburg, Robert Newman, and Joseph Renn (Wren).  Robert Hancock had recently married Elizabeth, daughter of William Doby.

In 1754 Clement and his wife, Antheny, conveyed a tract of land to Clement Hancock, Jr. which had been purchased from Phillip Lightfoot, Esquire, that lay between Robert Hancock’s and Edward Lee’s.

In February, 1758 Henry Tatum, Charles Gee, John Bailey, Clement Hancock, Francis Gee, Frederick Green, Robert Wynn, Lewis Brown, Burrell Green Jr, Benjamin Hunt, John Pennington, and Levy Gilliam were elected to the Sussex jury.

Clement’s death was certified by Clement, Jr. November 16, 1758 and his will was filed in 1759 in Sussex.  He left one half of his plantation where he lived to his son William Hancock, not yet twenty-one years of age.  He leaves the other half of his plantation to his son Benjamin Hancock also not yet twenty-one years of age.  Besides these sons and wife Antheny, his will lists daughters Antheny, Letitia Green, Lucy, Hannah, Sarah, Mary and son Clement, Jr.  Clement Hancock made his mark as he could not read or write.

In 1764 the account for the estate of Clement Hancock was entered in the Sussex will book.

Clement Hancock: Inventory – John Harrison Administrator

Account of Estate of Clement Hancock decd, with John Harrison, administrator, shows payments to Lucy Mitchell, John Mason, Morris Cills ……..Henry Moss, taxes on 200 acres of land, Richard Stark, Anthony Hancock, “burying Clement Hancock, Jr.’s daughter, Susannah {Hancock}, Samuel Peete, John Hurt……….” dated 7 Sep 1761.

1761          To cash paid for fees for 625 lbs. Tobacco … 5.02.0

To cash paid for fees in General Court … 0.02.17

1763                                     To W. Doby … 5.0.0

To cash paid Henry Gee (Taxes) … 1.12.01

To cash paid Ansalom Bailey … 2.06.02

To finishing his crop after his death … 3.0.0

To apprentices … 2.0.0

To Balance Due the Estate … 22.13.09

1764          by the Sale of a Negro … 85.0.0


Balance Due                           62.06.03

Clement and Antheny were the parents of Clement, Jr., Robert, Sarah, William, Benjamin, Antheny, Lettice, Lucy, Hannah and Mary Hancock.

The Albermarle Parish Register records the births of the youngest children of Clement and Antheny and their godparents:

Hannah, 1740; Edmund Pennington, Hannah Pennington, Sarah Bird

Mary, 1741; Edward Petway, Elizabeth Brewer, Lucy Sill

William, 1743; William Clark, William Dansey, Mary (Mason) Dansey

Clues in the godparents

Thomas Pennington and Sarah George were the parents of Edward the father of   Edmund Pennington and John the father of Hannah Pennington.

Sarah Bird was related Thomas Bird father of Elizabeth Bird who first married John Lanier and then Thomas Clare (Clary).

Elizabeth Brewer may also have been related to the Lanier family as Sara Lanier married a George Brewer in 1705 in Surry.  However, Elizabeth Brewer, and Lucy Sill were related to Lambert Zell (Sill). Lucy Zells (Sill) married William Freeman.  Her brother was Drury who was godparent to Henry son of Robert Hancock. Clement Hancocke, John Pennington, and John Pennington were appraisers in 1751 of the estate of Lambert Zells whose wife, Elizabeth was first married to a Brewer and was the mother of Thomas Brewer.

Edward Petway was descended from Edward and William Pettway who stood with William Hancock during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. Ann daughter of Robert Pettway and widow of Isaac Mason married Richard Lanier in April, 1759.

William Clark is likely the husband of Elizabeth Zell (Sill).

Robert Hancock had the same Pennington connections:

Mary Mason Dansey was the daughter of John Mason.  Her brother Isaac married Ann Pettway.

Antheny Hancock evidently died soon after her husband Clement in 1759.  Frequently, unless the estate was small, the final inventory and settlement was not submitted to the Court for several years after the deceased’s passing.  Because of this it is most likely that Antheny died after 1759 and before 1764.

The inventory contains a long list of persons paid from the estate.  Nearly all of these can be identified as related by marriage, or as leading citizens of Sussex.  Henry Gee was paid taxes in his capacity as Sheriff.  Of particular interest is the entry for Elizabeth Gee the wife of Charlie Gee of North Carolina. This would have been Elizabeth Doby, widow of Robert Hancock.

An Account Current of the Estate of Antheny Hancock, Deceased, 1765

To James & Hugh Belcher

To Jones & Troughson

To Samuel Pete

To William Green

To John Harrison

To William Buchanan

To Henry Gee

To Edward Petway

To William Bishop

To Joseph Pennington

To John Pennington, carpenter

To Frederick Green

To Nicholas Massenburg

To William Gilliam, JR.

To Samuel Seward

To Elizabeth Gee …0.06.09

To Peter Dickins

To John Pennington, Jr.

To Morris Cills (Sills)

To James Stokes

To Robert Wynne

To William Robertson

To Colonel Claiborne 232 Tobacco @2

To Benjamin Waller 32 Tobacco

To James Jones

To Funeral Expenses

To the expense of the Sale and to the Cryer

To Miles Cary for Advice

To paid Major John Mason

To paid Capt. Henry Harrison

To my trouble in the Settlement of the Estate

To the Clerk for this Settlement

To Balance …226.08.1 ½

By the Sale of the Estate … 352.12.11

By 2 Hogshead of Tobacco 15.10.11


William Mitchell Administrator, In Obediance to the Worshipful Court of Sussex, Edward Petway, Robert Petway

Children of Antheny and Clement Hancock

William Hancock

William Hancock was born in 1743.  He married Rebecca daughter of Robert Jones, Burgess of Surry.  Robert’s will noted his daughter Rebecca Hancock and her daughter Elizabeth Green. William and Rebecca were recorded for two children in the Albermarle Parish Register, Elizabeth Green Hancock born 1766.  Her godparents were Deavid Jones, Jr. Mary and Sarah Jones.  Clement Hancock born 1770 and his godparents were Jesse Williamson, John Gilliam, Jr. and Martha Peters.

William Hancock’s will was filed in Sussex in 1778 and noted Elizabeth and Clement as well as Michael.  His executors were John Mason and his wife, Rebecca.  Rebecca’s will in 1786 gave her plantation of 185 acres purchased from her brother-in-law, Benjamin Hancock, to her sons who were not yet 21.  Anselm Gilliam and John Mason were her executors.  The witnesses were John Pennington and William Wynne.

Elizabeth Green Hancock married Carter Gilliam, son of Anselm.   In 1788 Elizabeth Green Giliam and her husband ask that a guardian be appointed for Michael Wall Hancock, Elizabeth’s brother and minor, and a partition of the land, slaves and other personal estate of their brother, Clement, who had died.  John Mason was appointed Guardian.  Carter and Elizabeth Gilliam sought the partition of slaves in the estate of Robert Jones, Elizabeth’s late maternal grandfather.  Jones had divised three slaves and their increase to the use of his Daughter Rebeckah Hancock for life and after her death the slaves were to be divided among all her children.  Rebecca had died and the Giliams wanted to sell and divide the slaves.

The South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research states that Clement Hancock was massacred by Bloody Bill Cunningham, Tory Commander at the massacre of Hayes Station, South Carolina.  He was counted in the 96th District in 1779.  The record reads …paid Eliz’th Hancock, widow of Clement who fell in defence of the State 18 Novr 81,… 8.15.   Prisoners butchered at Hay’s Station in Laurens County, South Carolina includes Clement Hancock. According to Ramsey in Ramsey’s Revolution 1781, 20 to 30 citizens were in irons in prison, and were taken out, without trial, and hung without ceremony.  Clement’s heirs received a property pension No. 1410, at the rank of Sergeant January 18th, 1815 of $5.50 per month or $66.00 per year.

Clement Hancock, Jr.

Clement Hancock married Mary Harrison, daughter of John Harrison and Susannah Edmunds.  The Albermarle Parish Register notes Clement Hancock, Jr. and Mary Hancock had a daughter Susanna in 1758. Her godparents were John Harrison, Susanna and Betty Harrison.  She died within a year as did her father Clement.  His  burial was paid out of the estate of her grandfather. John Harrison managed the inventory for both Clement Sr. and Clement Jr.

Inventory of Estate of Clement Hancock, jr., decd for John Harrison, administrator, by James Chappell, Jr., John Adkins, Jr. and Nathan Northington.

In the Sussex County Deed book in September 1761 is a deed from Mary Hancock, widow of Clement Hancock, deceased to Robert Hancock, son and heir of Robert Hancock for 20 pounds, 200 acres on the north side of Nottaway River which was the property of Clement Hancock, Jr., deceased.  This is a strange deed because Robert Jr. was only six years old.

Mary Hancock married Thomas Peebles in 1763.  Their daughter, Susannah Peebles, married Charles Gee, son of Charles Gee and Mary Chappell.

Robert Hancock

Robert Hancock, who was born around 1720, was absent from his father’s will because he had already died.   Robert Hancock married Elizabeth Doby, daughter of William and Hannah Doby.  They are recorded for these children and their godparents in the Albermarle Parish Register:

Jemima, 1752; Clement Hancock, Antheny Hancock, Anne Dansey

Robert, 1755; Frederick Green, David Mason, Antheny Hancock

Henry, 1757; Thomas Peters, Jr. Drury Sill, Sarah Underwood

The godparents connect Robert to Clement Hancock.  Drury Sill (Zill) and Lucy Sill were brother and sister. Their parents were Lambert Zill and Elizabeth Brewer. Lucy married a Freeman.  You will recall the Clement’s brother John married Susanna Freeman.  Clement and Antheny Hancock were Robert’s siblings, and Anne Dansey was likely the daughter of William and Mary Dancy.  Elizabeth’s mother, Hannah, was probably Mary’s sister.

In 1759 Robert witnessed a deed in Brunswick between Joseph and Elizabeth Carter and John Irby of Northampton County, North Carolina. Joseph and Elizabeth Carter sold John Irby 250 acres on Lick Branch, adjoining Otterdam Swamp and 190 acres formerly granted to Nathaniel Edwards that was along the Dividing Branch and the land of William Morris and John Willis.  Other witnesses were James Stewart, William Cryer, William Scoggin and Thomas Jackson.

Robert died in 1760 and William Doby administered his estate in March, 1760.  The estate included slaves Dick, Frank, James, Kit, a wench and child. The final accounting was returned to court on 23 Sep 1765 and recorded in the Brunswick Will Book 3, page 435.  Income to the state came from:

John Stewart brother of Richard Stewart

John Harrison, Administrator of Clement Hancock, Jr.

Thomas Vinson, executor of Col. Advent

Edward Crews hired man James, 1761

William Connally hired man Kit, 1761

Thomas Morriss hired Kitt and James, 1762

Thomas Denton hired Kitt and James, 1763

Fees were paid to the Clerk of Sussex and Col. Massenburg, Sheriff of Sussex.

It is noted in the will of William Doby written May, 1763 that Robert Hancock was deceased.  William Doby’s will states:

Negro boy named Frank which is now in possession of my son-in-law Charles Gee Jr. and my daughter Elizabeth Gee which I gave the possession of to Robert Hancock deceased some years past shall go to deceased and be a part of the said Robert Hancock’s Estate and that I desire my daughter Elizabeth Gee may be entitled to her proportion of the value of the said Boy in the same manner as she is entitled to the other slaves of the Estate of the said Robert Hancock deceased.

The inventory for his estate was filed in 1765.  Robert’s coffin was made by John Chavis, a free Negro, for 5 shillings, and the bill was paid by James Stewart in September, 1765 in Brunswick County.

The children of Robert Hancock were raised by Charlie Gee and Elizabeth.  Their story is told in the section on Charles Gee III.

Sarah Hancock

Sarah Hancock was unmarried and died in 1765.  Her will dated February 8 lists her siblings that were then living.  It reads:

I give and divise to my brother William Hancock the hire of my Negro for the years 1762 and 1763.  (This was forgiveness of a debt.)  I give and devise to my sister Mary Hancock all my wearing clothes and further my desire is that a the rest of my estate be it of what kind or property forever may be equally divided between my brothers and sisters namely William, Benjamin, Antheny, Lettice, Lucy, Hannah and Mary Hancock. I leave to my brother William Hancock and my brother-in-law Frederick Green, executors, to fufill this my last Will and Testament.  Sarah Hancock, her mark, witnessed by Peter Green and John Woodard, and filed April 17, 1765.

Benjamin Hancock

Benjamin went to Brunswick County where his will was filed in 1789 in St. Andrews Parish.  He names his wife Sally and he named five children Clement, Francis, Elizabeth, Patsy, and Polly in his will.  Benjamin married Sarah Stainback in 1804, daughter of Francis Stainback.  They were the parents of Francis Hancock who married Martha James, Martha (Patsy) Hancock who married John James in 1802, Elizabeth who married in 1798 Thomas Edwards, Mary (Polly) who married James Mason in 1808, and Clement who was not yet 21 in 1789 when Benjamin died in Brunswick.

Letitia Hancock

Letitia married Frederick Green, the son of Peter and Mary Green of Surry.  Frederick and Letitia went to Brunswick.  Their children are recorded in the Albemarle Parish Register: Jane 1757, Clement 1760, Thomas 1762, and Mark 1767.

Lucy Hancock

Lucy Hancock married William Mitchell the son of Henry Mitchell and Sarah Cooke.  Her children were Clement, Antheny, Benjamin and Robert Mitchell.  Lucy and William went to Brunswick.

William Hancock son of John and Jane

William Hancock was the oldest child of John Hancock and his wife Jane Holt.  In 1694 his grandmother, Elizabeth (Spencer) Hancock gave William and his father a gift deed of livestock and household items.  Clearly William was born shortly after the marriage of his parents in 1686.

William married Elizabeth Philips sometime after 1720 and before 1725.  She was the daughter of William Philips and Mary Swann and was born about 1696-1700.  Elizabeth Philips was probably the mother of Sarah, Mary, Damarias, and Elizabeth, Benjamin. William’s youngest children.

The Phillips and Swann Family

John Philips was known as Long John Philips.  In 1675 the grand jury of Surry sighted twenty-nine violators of the law which required attendance on Sundays at the Anglican Church.  On this list were Long John Philips, Henry Briggs, Edmund Howell, William Short, Adam Heath and John Hunnicutt.  Most certainly some of the twenty-nine noted were Quakers, whose attendance at their Sunday Meeting House did no fulfill the law.

John Philips was married to Elizabeth, but she evidently died between 1672 and 1685.  John then took an interest in Ruth Hoskins.  Ruth was the widow of Thomas Amory, and remarrying to Nicholas Hoskins, was then abandoned by him. The Sherriff was ordered to seize the entire estate of the Amory orphans to protect their rights.  Five years later in 1685 the records of Surry note:

John Phillipps of Lawnes Creeke Pish (Parish) for being Guilty of Fornication is fined according to Law, Ordered that he pay the same with Costs.

Ruth Hoskins for being Guilty of Adultry is fined according to Act, & Ordered that shee pay the same & Costs.

Mar 3 1687  It is Ordered that Jno Phillipps and Ruth Hoskins doe Never more accompany together and that the Church Wardens of Lawnes Creeke Pis take care to put the said Hoskins into Service in some good Civill place, unless she take sufficient Care of her selfe and that the said Phillipps give bond with good Security for his future good behaviour & pay Costs.

In the end it is clear that Ruth and John were allowed to wed.

The estate of John Philips was settled in 1699.  Ruth Philips, his second wife, was the executrix and William Holt, John Clark, and William Newitt were the witnesses.  It would seem William Philips was their son.

Mathew Swann married in 1675 the widow Mary Spiltimber, daughter of Robert Harris.  Their daughter Mary Swann married William Philips.  Their other daughers were Elizabeth, wife of John Drew, and Sarah, wife of Carter Crafford.

The 1720 will of William Philips was filed in Surry in 1721.  He left to his son John Philips the plantation given to his wife Mary, by her father Mathew Swann, as well as the plantation where Simon Murphy was living which had been purchased from James Briggs.  To his son Mathew Philips he left the plantation purchased from William Hooker, as well as the land Mathew Swann had given to his daughter Sarah, wife of Carter Crafford.  To his son Swann Philips he left the plantation in Isle of Wight County, purchased from William Edwards.  He also mentions his daughters Anne and Elizabeth.  The witnesses to his will were Joseph Wattel, William Newsom, and Carter Crafford.

Will of Mary Philips

Filed 1727

…To daughter, Mary Edwards, wife of John Edwards, my Plantation where I live for her life, then to my daughter Ann Philips….

… To daughter Ann, …girl called Lucy… and at her death said negro to my granddaughter, Ann Edwards.

…To Ann Philips, 25 ₤ current money, 8 new pewter dishes, 8 pewter plates, 2 pewter basons, 8 pewter porringers, falling table, 6 Russia chairs, tankard, two iron potts, riding horse, bridle and saddle, two feather beds and furniture.. If no issue to be equally divided between granddaughters Mary Hancocke and Ann Edwards.  Bequest to niece Mary Crafford, daughter of Carter Crafford, of 40 shillings.

To sons William and Swann Philips, daughters Elizabeth Handcock and Mary Edwards each six pounds current money.

To John Edwards, my son-in-law four barrels Indian corn.  To son, William Philips, and son in Law William Hancock, the same.  Rest of Estate to be equally divided among my five children, William and Swann Philps, Elizabeth Hancocke, Mary Edwards, and Ann Philips.  Friend Carter Crafford, Executor and the witnesses were William Newsom, Samuel Taylor and John Ruffin.


In June, 1749 William Handcock patented for 1 pound 5shillings 250 acres in Surry County on the southside of the Blackwater Swamp up the run of the Indian Branch on the edge of the Low Grounds of Ford’s Branch.  This land was adjacent Joseph Handcock, Robert Nicholson, William Bradley and Samuel Cornwell.  In the Sussex County Deed book B. p. 376 dated July 19, 1763, is a deed from Robert Hart of Surry County to William Hancock of Sussex County 40 acres which said Hancock recovered of the said Hart by suit in Surry county Chancery Court, May 19, 1762, land on the north side of Seacock Swamp.  Witnesses John Blow and John Birdsong.

Will of William Hancock

Written August, 1764 – filed April, 1766

William was in his seventies or older when he died.

I, William Hancock of Sussex County am weak of body but of perfect mind and memory do make, constitute and ordain this to be my last will and testament and for what Temporal Estate it hath been pleased God to bestow on me, I dispose of in manner and form following.

Item:  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Whitefield four Negros named Jenny, Nan, Pete and Nate, to her and her heirs forever.  I likewise give unto my daughter Mary Whitefied my feather bed and furniture and one warming pan, two English chairs and one large chest to her and her heirs forever.

Item:  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Damarias Birdsong four Negros named Judy, Patience, Dick, Rachel to her and her heirs forever.

Item:  I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sarah Hargrave three Negros named Harry, Hannah and Ned to her and her heirs forever.

Item:  I give and bequeath to my grandson John White the Plantation whereon I live with all the land belonging to the same, five hundred-forty acres more or less, to him and his heirs forever.  I give and bequeath to my grandson John White two Negros named Buk and Roben, one feather bed and furniture and six head of cattle to him and his heirs forever.

Item:  I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter Ann White one Negro named Kinchen to her and her heirs forever. I give and bequeath to my granddaughter Mary White on Negro named Jack to her and her heirs forever.

Item:  I give and bequeath unto my granddaughter Hannah White one Negro named Tommy to her and her heirs forever. I give and bequeath unto grandson William Birdsong on Negro named Patt and six head of cattle to him and his heirs forever.  I give and bequeath unto my grandson Joseph Birdsong one Negro named Ephraim to him and his heirs forever.

Item:  I give to my son Benjamin Hancock 1 ₤ cash. I give unto my sister Martha Bennett 5₤s cash.  My will and desire is that Elizabeth Richardson may have a maintenance out of my estate as long as she lives or stays in the Parish, given her at the discretion of my Executors hereafter mentioned.  All the Residue and Remainder of my Estate, after my just debts and legacies are paid, goods and Chattels both within Doors and without, I give and bequeath to my three daughters Mary Whitefield, Damarias Birdsong, and Sarah Hargrave to be equally divided, to them and their heirs forever.

Lastly, I do nominate and appoint Benjamin Bailey, Sr. and Joseph Bailey my whole and Sole Executors of this my last Will and Testament Revoking and Disannulling all other wills heretofore made by me.  In witness whereof I hereunto set my hand and seal this 11th day of August, 1764.  Signed William Hancock, witnesses:  Nicholas Hancock and Henry Bradley, who made his mark.

Benjamin Bailey and Joseph Bailey were Quakers and made affirmation to this being the last will and testament of William Hancock.  The oaths of Nicholas Hancock and Henry Bradley proved the same.

In August 1766 the Inventory of the Estate of William Hancock was entered in the Sussex will book. The figures are entered in pounds.shillings.pence. Twelve pence made a shilling and twenty shillings a pound.  This was not pounds sterling, but Virginia pounds also called current money.

Inventory of the Estate of William Hancock

Jane, an old Negro woman 25.0.0
Judah 25.0.1
Peter 55.0.0
Patience 45.0.0
James 30.0.0
Dick 30.0.0
Rachel 30.0.0
Ephraim 20.0.0
Jack 30.0.0
Kinchin 30.0.0
Ned 30.0.0
Roben 20.0.0
Buk 50.0.0
Harry 60.0.0
Patt 50.0.0
Hannah 40.0.0
Millie 50.0.0
3 broad hoes 0.9.0
6 stump hoes 0.5.0
10 planes 10/10 pound chain 6 0.16.0
Lumber 2.6 & shoe makers Tools 2/6 0.5.0
1 brass kettle 1.10.0
1 spit & old iron 0.4.0
1 wedges 4/copper tools 8 0.12.0
2 axes 0.3.0
1 box Iron & Heater 0.2.6
2 Auges a Trans & Tennon Saw 0.10.0
4 Chizzels and 2 Gouges 0.3.0
1 parcel lumber 0.4.0
1 cross cut saw 0.12.0
1 handsaw & a compass saw 0.5.0
1 square & Adds (Adze) 0.3.0
A spice mortar & pestle 0.7.6
1 pair spoon molds 0.10.0
1 pair heel guards 1.7.6
2 pistols 2/6 & 1 pair sheep shearers 0.2.1
1 saddle 5/ & 3 juggs 2/6 0.1.6
2 pair Wool Cards 0.3.0
1 couch & 1 table 0.3.6
1 pair compasses & 2 old files 0.0.8
1 warming pan 5/a Tray & tumbler 0.8.6
1 bell metal skillet, a pott & hooks & flesh forks 0.8.9
1 whip saw 1.0.0
1 pair Cart wheels 1.10.0
22 head Cattle 20.0.0
10 old Sheep, Sheep & six lambs 3.9.0
1 jugg & 1 Puch bowl 0.7.3
3 stone juggs & 1 stone bowl 0.3.2
1 candle stick & 6 bottles 0.3.2
1 pine chest 0.13.3
1 felt hatt 0.10.0
½ dozen knives & forks 0.4.0
1 pair brass dividers 0.0.6
His wearing clothes 4.0.0
1 bed quilt 0.12.0
1 featherbed, bedspread & furniture 4.0.0
1 featherbed, bedspread& furniture 3.0.0
2 featherbeds, bedspread & furniture 5.5.0
7 pounds Feathers 0.11.0
2 books 2/ a hill salt & 2 barrels 1.2.0
A parcel of pewter 0.8.0
2 gunns & some peces (pieces) 0.2.0
2 barrels, 2 gns & some wheat 0.4.0
1 bucket, 1 pale & a basket 0.1.6
Dryed beef 0.8.0
7 dishes, 3 pewter plates, 2 porringers 1.12.6
1 gunn & a quantity of peces 0.2.0
2 sides leather & some scraps 0.6.3
Old iron 1/3 grind stones 0.6.3
1 barrel & Tubb 0.2.6
25 barrels corn/ 6 flour barrels 9.7.6
Plow & plow hoe 0.5.0
2 cow hides 0.8.0
2 hhd (hogsheads) & 600 ff (pounds) Tob (tobacco) 2.7.0
3 barrels 0.1.9
1 hand mill 0.5.0
1 old bushel of Measure 0.0.6
2 grubing hoes & 3 axes & 1 iron pestle 0.10.0
1 pan 1/6 a pail & tray 0.3.0
1 horse 0.5.0
1 Mare 5.0.0
8 hogs & 5 pigs 3.0.0
A parcel of bacon 3.0.0
1 Iron Pott & pott 1.0.8
6 parcels of barrels of lime 0.6.0
1 old Chamber Pott 0.1.0
10 poultry 0.5.0
Cask 9.17.2
Cask sled for Tobacco (wagon without wheels) 11.18.6
1 Trunk 0.3.0
12 Shoats (suckling pigs) 1.8.6
1 Mair (Mare) 3.0.0
1 hogshead 0.3.0
16 barrels of corn 6.0.0
16 head of Cattle 19.0.0
2 cows 0.16.0
9 hoes & 2 axes 1.4.0
3 barrels & 6/1 pair Cart wheels 0.9.6
1 plow hoe & harness 0.3.0
1 pan 3/6 a pott and hooks 2 0.5.6
1 collar & traces 0.2.0
1 pott rack 0.5.0
1 Ewe 0.4.0
1 Still 5.10.0
1 Fiddle 1.0.0
1 set Mill Stones 0.0.6
Appraisors: Arthur Smith, William Carril (Carroll), John Freeman

In 1768 the final settlement of the estate was entered in the will book.  Only the final figures are given.


To his funeral expenses

To 4 Negoes, to wit Jenny, Peter, Nan, and Cate to Benjamin Whitefield

To feather bed and furniture, chairs, warming pan and large chest

To 4 Negroes, to wit Judah, Patience, Dick and Rachel to John Birdsong

To 1 Negro, to wit Ephraim to Joseph Birdsong

To 1 Negro, to wit Patt to William Birdsong

To 6 Cattle to William Birdsong

To 3 Negroes to Sarah Hargrave to wit Henry, Hannah and Ned

To 2 Negroes, to wit Buck and Robin to John White

To 1 Negro, to wit Kinchen to Ann White

To 1 Negro, to wit Jack to Mary White

To 1 Negro, to wit James to Hanah White

To 6 Cattle and feather bed to John White

To paid Benjamin Hancock, paid his account

To paid Daniel Turner

To paid William Stead

To paid John Borough for fodder

To paid James Clary for being Overseer

To brandy used at the Several Sales of the Estate

To paid Augustine Hargrave for carrying the Tobacco to the Ware House

To paid Henry Bradley for going to court to prove said Hancock Will

To paid Nicholas Hancock, paid his account

To paid Arthur Smith for 5 days appraising estate with Tobacco

To paid Ansalom Bailey and sons

To paid Nathaniel Sebrell

To 562 pound tobacco paid the Sheriff

To cash paid the Sheriff

To cash paid for the Negroes cloth

To paid John Freeman and William Carrill  each for appraising estate

To paid the Sheriff for rents and taxes

To paid the Sheriff for his account

To a legacy to Benjamin Hancock

To William Hancock’s obligation for schooling of Hannah White

To the clerk for recording the Inventory of the Estate

To sundries found Elizabeth Richardson

To paid John Birdsong at several times

To paid George Whitfield at several times

To paid Benjamin Whitefield at several times

To Our Humble Expenses

860.12.11 ½


By 18 Negroes … 665.0.0

By sundries divised to Benjamin Whitefield

By sundries divised to John White

By cash left by Hancock… 9.17.2

By 562 pound tobacco at 10 … 2.16.2

By 1 hogshead 1,100 Tobacco … 6.7.6

By 2 cash for 2 hogshead … 11.18.6

By Henry Bradley

By Thomas Bryant

By Arthur Richardson

By 6 Cattle a legacy to William Birdsong

By Steven Hamlin

By amount of sundries sold

By sone Interest received of sundry persons and an omission of cash appears by the Balance … 8/16/9 ½

859.8.11 ½

The Children of William Hancock

John Hancock

John Hancock married Mary.  He paid 25 shillings for 250 acres in Surry September 5, 1723. This land was located on the south side of the main Black Water Swamp and on the southside of the great branch adjacent Richard Washington. (see Lanier Family)

John Hancock, Junior purchased for 3₤ 5 s. 620 acres in Surry on the south side of the main Balck Water Swamp on the north side of the Little Swamp adjacent Samuel Hargrove (Hargrave?), William Cripps and William Bradley’s line on September 28, 1732.

John Hancock’s will names eldest son Nicholas, and sons Randolph, Thomas, and John, daughter Jane, and wife Mary.  Written on Jun 5, 1761, it was filed August 13, 1762. (Sussex Wills 1754-64, p. 246)  Mary Hancock’s will was written in 1772 and filed in 1784.

Jean born in 1741; godparents not given

Lucy born in 1743; godparents Joseph Pettway, Lucy Hancock, Jean Pettway

Randolph born in 1745; godparents Augustine Hargrave, Thomas Wren, Mary Atkinson

Thomas born in 1749; godparents Benjamin White, Richard Andrews, Mary Andrews

John born in 1751; godparents William Lamb, James White, Sarah Baylis (Bayley)

Randolph Hancock, son of John

Randolph Hancock went to Edgecombe County, North Carolina and lived on Moors Swamp on 400 acres he bought in 1766. He sold 79 acres in Sussex to Mary Hancock.  Randolph Hancock married Ann Jones.

Thomas Hancock, son of John

Thomas Hancock was counted in 1782 in Sussex County.

Jane Hancock, daughter of John.

Jane Hancock, daughter of John Hancock married in February, 1762 in Sussex County, Hartwell Philips, son of John Phillips and Martha Crafford, and grandson of Mary Swann. Hartwell had inherited land in Southampton County and Surry County from his father. They went to Edgecombe County, North Carolina, where Jane died and Hartwell married Fereby Jones, daughter of James Jones who died in Halifax in 1778.  Jane’s children were Rebecca Philips who married about 1801-05, John Hancock, and Mary Philips who married Benjamin Clary of Sussex.

Nicholas Hancock, son of John

Nicholas Hancock is nearly absent from the records of Surry and Sussex.  In 1757 he recorded a deed fom James Hancock of Edgecombe County, North Carolina in Sussex.  Evidently he bought James’ plantation.  In 1765 he witnessed the will of his grandfather,  William Hancock.

Nicholas married Lucy Wren daughter of Thomas Wren.  Thomas Wren was the son of Joseph Wren whose will was filed in Surry in 1750.  The will of Thomas Wren was filed in 1775.  His wife was Elizabeth and he lists sons Richard, John and Thomas.  Also noted are daughters Mary Clary, Rebecca Washington, Jane Hart, and Lucy Hancock as well as unmarried daughters Sarah, Millea and Silvia Wren.  The witnesses to his will were John and James Atkinson and Hartwell Hargrave.  In his will Joseph Wren lists sons Thomas, Joseph, William, George, John, Francis and James.  He also notes daughters Susannah Heath, Elizabeth Rawser and Mary Daniel.

Filed in Surry in 1768 is a deed from Thomas Wren to John Wren which was bordered by the land of Nicholas Hancocke, Joseph Hargrave, William Hargrave, and James Clary. Nicholas Hancock was counted in the 1782 tax list for Sussex County.

In 1792 is a deed from Thomas Hancock of Isle of Wight County to John Wren of Surry for 68 acres in Surry adjoining John Hancock’s line to John Hargrave’s line.  The deed was witnessed by Joshua Bailey, Harbert Sledge and John Hancock.

The will of Nicholas Hancock was filed in Sussex in 1801.  He and Lucy Wren were the parents of Jemimah who married a Kitchen, Jesse, Thomas, John, Mary, Jane, James, and Rebeckah.

Benjamin Hancock, son of William

When Anselm Bailey bought 238 acres on the south side of Little Swamp from John and Martha Holloman in 1752, Benjamin Bailey was one of several witnesses including John Freeman, and Benjamin Hargrove (Hargrave). In 1753 Benjamin Hancock recorded a deed in Surry County from J. Richardson of Johnston County, North Carolina.  Benjamin Hancock patented 154 acres on the south side of Black Water Swamp, on Mirey Bridge, down Seacock Swamp adjacent Joseph Richardson, James Massingale, and Joseph Hix in May, 1755.  He sold to Edward Wooten, 249 acres on the south side of Seacock Swamp, bounded by Mirey Branch, Joseph Richardson, James Massengill, and Joseph Hines, in March, 1757.  Anselm Bailey, Anselm Bailey, Jr. and John Bailey witnessed the deed.

At the same time Edward Wooten sold Benjamin 165 acres on the north side of Seacock Swamp in Albermarle Parish, bounded by William Hancock, William Bradley, the head of Indian Branch, and Robert Nicholsons.  Again the Baileys witnessed this deed.

In 1771 Benjamin bought 179 acres on the south side of Copohonk Swamp and bounded by Howel Briggs, Edward Write and Thomas Alsobrook from Thomas Griffin.  This was in January, then in February, Benjamin and Jane sold this land back to Thomas Griffin.   Michael Blow was one of the witnesses to this unusual sale.  Still desiring more land, Benjamin negotiated the purchase of 298 acres on the south side of Coppohonk Swamp from John Judkins and his wife, Mary.  This sale was recorded in Sussex.

In 1771 Benjamin bought 179 acres on the south side of Copohonk Swamp and bounded by Howel Briggs, Edward Write and Thomas Alsobrook from Thomas Griffin.  This was in January, then in February, Benjamin and Jane sold this land back to Thomas Griffin.   Michael Blow was one of the witnesses to this unusual sale.  Still desiring more land, Benjamin negotiated the purchase of 298 acres on the south side of Coppohonk Swamp from John Judkins and his wife, Mary.  This sale was recorded in Sussex.

Benjamin married Jane Felts.  The Albermarle Parish register records these children born between 1745 and 1763:

Lewis born 1745 Nathaniel Felts, Nathaniel Felts, Jr., Sarah Woodland

Sarah born 1747 no godparents

Steven born in 1749 no godparents

Mary born 1750 no godparents

William born 1753 no godparents

Rebecca born 1755 no godparents

John born 1757 godparents Richard Nicholson, Harris Nicholson, Lucy Hancock

Samuel born 1759 William Collins, Mary Collins

Selah born 1761 William Collins, Mary Collins, Pamelia Hood

James born 1763 Steven Pepper, Harris Nicholson, Lucy Hancock

They evidently also had a daughter Lucy.  Benjamin’s second wife was Mary, but they did not have any children.

Benjamin’s will was dated November, 1775 and was proved in Sussex in November, 1777.  It mentions John, James, Samuel, Stephen, and daughters Selah, Rebecca, Mary, and Lucy Freeman as well as Susannah Clary, daughter of Mary Clary.   Lewis is not mentioned probably because he had removed to New Hanover County, North Carolina by 1765.    Executors were John Hancock and friends Anselm Baily and John Nicholson, son of Robert Nicholson.  The witnesses were Thomas Hancock, John Hancock, John White and Ann White.  Thomas and John Hancock were his cousins and the sons of John Hancock who died in 1762.

Will of Benjamin Hancock written in 1775 and filed in 1777

I, Benjamin Hancock, of Sussex County, being as well a usual both in body and Mind but at the same time not knowing how soon I shall die…

1st I Give & Bequeath to my son John Hancock… land & plantation purchased of John Judkins in Sussex  containing two hudred and ninety eight acres…with one negro Girl called Doreis, one feather bed and furniture & two Cows & Calves

2nd I Give & Bequeath to my son James Hancock the land and plantation whereon I now dwell containing two hundred and five acres…provided he shall live to the age of twenty one years or be married…also … one negroe Girl named Ann & twenty five pounds Current money

3rd I Give & Bequeath to my son Samuel Hancock one negroe boy called Moses ten pounds current money … in case my son James should died before he arrives to the age of twenty one years or be married the land & plantation which I have divised to him…

4th I give & Bequeath to my Daughter Selah Hancock one Negroe Girl called Cate & twenty pounds Current money

5th I Give & Bequeath to my son Stephen Hancock twenty shilling.  After debts & Legacies are paid… remaining part shall be sold & the money equally divided between my son Samuel Hancock and my daughters Sarah Hancock, Rebekah Hancock, Mary Hancock, Lucy Freeman & Susanah Clary daughter of Mary Clary, provided  he lives to the age of eighteen years or marries…. …son John Hancock and friends Anselm Baily and John Nicholson to by executors….signed Benjamin Hancock witnessed by Thomas and John Hancock; John and Ann White.

Benjamin’s wife, Mary, renounced any benefit and advantage to be claimed as the wife of her late husband, Benjamin Hancock, and refused to accept any Legacy.  This was witnessed by John Nicholson and Samuel Hancock.  Benjamin and Mary were probably not married long and did not have any children.  Mary married Thomas Bailey in October, 1780.  Thomas Phillips stood as surety.

When disbursements were made, Mary Hancock, Rebecca Hancock, Arthur Washington, in right of his wife, Joshua Bailey guardian to Celia Hancock, Lucy Freeman, and the guardian of Susanna Clary received legacies.  Slaves were apportioned as follows: Jack to the widow; Venus to John Hancock; Rose to James Hancock; Cate to Celia Hancock, Moses to Samuel Hancock.

Sarah Hancock married Arthur Washington.  She was his second wife and was the mother of Nancy, John, Peggy and Archibald (Archer) Washington.  He died in 1787 leaving an extensive estate and was the son of John Washington of Southampton County.

Stephen Hancock married Lucy Barrett.

Selah (Celia) Hancock married November, 1787 James Washington.

James Hancock married Elizabeth Wilson.

Samuel Hancock and his wife Sally went to Southampton County, Virginia where he died in 1799.

Lucy Hancock married Henry Freeman.  The Albermarle Parish Register records the birth of James Freeman to Lucy and Henry Freeman in 1774 with Rebecca Hancock, Arthur Smith and William Freeman as godparents.

Sarah Hancock, daughter of William

Sarah married William Hargrave son of Augustine Hargrave of Surry County.  They are mentioned in the Black Water Monthly Meeting, Society of Friends in Sussex County.   Sarah received three slaves, Harry, Hannah and Ned and divided the residue of her father’s estate with her sisters Damarius and Mary.  William Hargrave died in 1762 as did his father.  Augustine Hargrave had left his son William 125 acres on the north side of Little Swamp, bounded by Grigory’s Branch, between Hargrave and his son Hartwell Hargrave, Joseph Petway, and Thomas Wren.

The will of William Hargrave gives to … son Josiah Hargrave land and plantation in Sussex County…. Son William Hargrave the land and plantation whereon I now Dwell after the Death of  my wife Sarah…. Sarah to have the use of the land & plantation during her natural life and the labour of three Negros during her widowhood or natural life.  ….then the three Negors and their increase be sold for the Most that Can be had for them with all the Remaining part… to be Equally Divided among my six children: Josiah, William, Silviah, Mary, Mourning, and Sarah Hargraves. …appoint my Wife & my Father Augustine Hargrave, Edward Wootten, & Hartwell Hargrave Executors and signed in the presences of Benjamin Bailey, Jr., Benjamin Hargrave and Jesse Hargrave.

William Hargrave (Jr.) of Halifax County, North Carolina in 1782 sold to Joshia Bailey of Sussex County for 50 pounds a tract of land in Surry County adjoining land of Hartwell Hargrave, Austin Hargrave and others being the piece of land whereon the late William Hargrave deceased lived and died, containing 125 acres and one other tract of land adjoining, being the land the late William Hargrave left of Joseph Hargrave, the Elder, containing 75 acres, both parcels bequeathed by Will of said late William Hargrave to his son William Hargrave.  Witnesses were John White, John Hancock, William Lanier, and Thomas Pretlow. This John Hancock was probably the son of Benjamin Hancock and Jane Felts.

Sarah Hargrave married Nathan Felts August, 1781.

Mourning Hargrave married Peter Pebles of Prince George County.

Lucy Hancock, daughter of William

Lucy married Benjamin White and they both died before her father, William Hancock in 1764.  John White received his grandfather’s 540 acres plantation and two slaves, Beck and Robin.  He married Ann Cornwell.  His sisters each also received slaves: Ann received Kinchen, Mary received Jack, and Hannah received Tommy.  These children became Quakers. Ann married James Watkins.

Damarius Hancock, daughter of William

Damarius married John Birdsong.  She was not his first wife.  He was from Charles Parish in York County.  His first wife was Hannah. Her son was James Birdsong.  His second wife was Sarah the mother of John and Enos Birdsong. John Birdsong then married Mary, and her children were Edmund, Bennett, Anne and Mary Birdsong.  Anne married Jesse Lane about 1765.

Damarius and John were married by 1756, in Charles Parish, York County.  Her will was filed in Sussex in 1801.  Her will notes: Rebekah Blow; Lucy Hix; Sally Clary; and six sons William Miles, Butts, Joseph and Charles Hancock Birdsong, William Birdsong,   Two sons listed by John Birdsong were James and John and daughter Ann Lane.

Many members of the Birdsong family went to Brunswick County.

Will of Damaris (sic) Birdsong

I Damaris Bidsong of Sussex county being weak of body, but of sound mind/and memory…

1st I give and bequeath to my daughter Rebekah Blow on sorrel horse/ known b the Name of blaz to her and her heirs.

2nd I Give and bequeath to my daughter Lucy Hix on Gray horse known by the name of Tallow, Also one feather bed & furniture which I have made since the death of my husband to her and her heirs also one side Saddle to her and her heirs

3rd I Give and bequeath to my daughter Sally Clary my riding chair and harness to her and her heirs

4th My Will and desire is that after all my just debts and legacies are paid tha all my Stock of any kind and quality….with the residue of my Estate of ever sort as bond notes of hand accompts & also my Crop of all kind shall be equally divided among my three daughters…, also money arising from the labour of my negroes which my five sons William, Miles, Butts, Joseph, and Charles Hancock Birdsong have….Also 80 pound my son William Bidsong shall divide among my… daughters.  Signed with her mark.

William Birdsong born in 1750 married Susanna Joyner May 23, 1781 in Sussex County.  His second wife, in 1799, was the widow Mary Nicholson

Butts Birdsong born in 1752, married Lucy Blow November 23, 1782 in Southampton County.

Joseph Birdsong, born in 1754, married Elizabeth Tomlinson daughter of Thomas Tomlinson and Mary Cotton. Elizabeth was born March 15, 1760 in Albermarle Parish, Sussex.  His second wife was Cherry Hargrave, whom he married in 1799.

Charles Hancock Birdsong was born in 1756 and he married Sally Edwards December 8, 1785 in Southampton County.

Rebecca Birdsong was born in 1757 in Sussex County, and she married Henry Blow February 11, 1771 in Sussex County.

Sally Birdsong married B. Clary.

Lucy Birdsong married John Hix.  In 1782 Clement Hix and Robert Hix, Quakers, affirmed as witnesses, the will if William Hix in Sussex.  William Hix married Elizabeth Clements and their son Clements Hix married in 1789, Mary Bailey, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Stanton) Bailey.

Miles Birdsong born in 1755 married Mary Tomlinson.  She was the daughter of Thomas Tomlinson and Mary Cotton.  Their children included Rebecca Birdsong, who married Micajah Blow.   John Blow and Michael Blow were brothers. Michael Blow died in 1799 in Sussex and his will lists Micajah Blow, Thomas R. Blow and Elizabeth Briggs, his daughter, as well as deceased sons Samuel and Henry and their children.  John Blow married Priscilla Ellis, daughter of Benjamin Ellis.  John Blow went to North Carolina.  Their sister, Elizabeth Blow, married Micajah Edwards whose will was filed in Southampton County in 1770.   Elizabeth and her brother Samuel Blow witnessed the will of their brother-in-law, Henry Blunt in 1758 in Southampton County.  Their sister,   Sarah Blow, was the wife of Henry Blunt.  The will notes children Thomas and Mary Blunt.

Elizabeth Hancock, daughter of William

Elizabeth Hancock who married Charlie Gee was likely the daughter of William Hancock and Elizabeth Philips.  While there is no record they were the parents of a daughter Elizabeth it is most likely that William is her father and Elizabeth Phillips her mother.  She would have been named after her mother, and was born around 1725.  She and Charlie were likely married about 1745.  Elizabeth and Charlie named their second son William. Elizabeth died before her father, perhaps in 1760 or 1762, as Charlie had remarried by 1763 to Elizabeth Doby, the second wife of Charlie Gee, was first married to Robert Hancock.