Family Stories

Bio of Edward Hancock

Edward Hancock was born about 1808, in the state of Maryland. It was probably as a boy that he moved with his family from Virginia to Kentucky. The 1850 census of Scott county Kentucky suggests that his mother’s name was Leah. His father may have been the William Hancock, age 50-60, who appears in the 1840 census of Scott county Kentucky. Two gentlemen have surfaced as likely candidates for brothers of Edward Hancock – Daniel Hancock who resided in Scott county Kentucky and married Catherine Ward (second wife), and Robert Hancock who married Sarah Turner. All of these family ties need further study.

Lora Redman Lockhart, historian and descendant of Edward Hancock, contributed significantly to an understanding of Edward Hancock’s family. She gives these specific dates – “Edward Hancock was born 12 August 1808 and died 4 February 1867. He married Jemima White who was born 17 March 1813 and died 18 June 1884. They were married on 12 October 1830.” I have not been successful in verifying the date and location of marriage.

The 1850 Census of Scott county Kentucky shows Edward Hancock, age forty-two, as a wagon maker. This fits with family knowledge that, “Edward Hancock came from a long line of craftsmen, skilled in carpentry and the building trades. Many of his sons and grandsons followed after in the carpentry trade.” Edward Hancock and Jemima White were the parents of nine identified children, six of whom lived to adulthood – Margaret S Hancock, William W Hancock, Edward W Hancock, Sarah A Hancock, Richard White Hancock, and Jemima Leah Hancock.

Not long after the 1850 census was taken, Edward and Jemima Hancock removed westward with most of their family to Missouri. They eventually settled near the community of Victoria in the Boston Mountain area of Daviess county Missouri. This placed them about eighty miles north, and slightly east of Kansas City. Birdsall and Dean’s 1882 History of Daviess County Missouri gives a brief, descriptive account of Victoria Missouri:

[Victoria] . . . was laid out in 1855, by John Osborn on the northwestern part of section thirty-two and within less than a mile of the south line of the township. It never reached a very large size, but once had some seventy-five inhabitants, and before the town of Winston was laid out, was a rival of Alto Vista . . . At one time Victoria had two stores, a dozen dwellings, besides other accompaniments of a village, but the unsuccessful attempt to get the railroad to pass through the place, drowned the brightness of its future, and to-day it languishes. The census of 1880 gave it thirty-eight inhabitants, and as that was two more than its rival, it was content . . .

A casual study of Victoria Missouri’s Black Cemetery and New Salem Baptist Church has suggested some connections between families that migrated from Scott county Kentucky to Daviess county Missouri. This was not a single movement, but seemed to take place over a period of many years (approximately 1820-1850). Perhaps the stories of one generation served to attract other families to follow later. The records of New Salem Church point to several families that came from Scott county Kentucky and were involved in the organization of the Baptist churches in Daviess county Missouri. It seems likely that the families of Osborn, Wood, Lemon (Leeman), Hancock, Black, and Kenny were all, at one time or another, members of the New Salem Baptist Church at Victoria Missouri. All of these families have inter-marriages, both in Kentucky and Missouri, and many of their members are buried in Victoria Missouri’s Black Cemetery.

A History of the Baptists in Missouri, by Robert Samuel Duncan, 1882 gives insight into the founding of the Baptist Church at Victoria:

New Salem Church, at Victoria, Daviess County, Missouri is one of the pioneer churches of this section of Missouri, having been organized by Elders BF Smith and Franklin Graves, 28 June 1846, with Wiley Cope, Keziah Cope, Thomas M Sherrill, Wm and Susan Osborn, Abner and Eliza Osborn, Elizabeth Osborn, John and Rachel Osborn, Susan E Sherrill and John H Orr - a total of twelve members as constituents. The church united with the North Liberty Association the same year. From its organization to 1855 the successive pastors were Franklin Graves, Luke Williams Jr, John Whitchurch, Jonas D Wilson, David Anderson and F Graves a second term. In October 1855 BF [Benjamin Franklin] Kenney was called to the pastorate and so continued until 1871 or 72 when, on account of failing health, his nephew, Elder TMS Kenney, was called to his assistance. The elder Kenney was continued as pastor though he preached but little. John Osborn was ordained as deacon in 1848. (From MS of JW Black)

The brief write-up directly above was a great boon to our Hancock and Garrett family research because it introduced the clue that John Whitchurch served as pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Victoria Missouri, probably in the 1860’s. John Whitchurch was the older brother (or half-brother) of Celia Whitchurch who married Isaac W Garrett in 1855 St Clair county Illinois. It was a later date, in the 1880’s, when Isaac Garrett’s family moved to Maysville Missouri (near Victoria), but it seems likely that the presence of Whitchurch family members in the area probably drew them there. In 1890, Edward Hancock’s granddaughter married Isaac W Garrett’s son in Maysville, Dekalb county Missouri.

Edward Hancock lived in or near the town of Victoria Missouri for about fifteen years, and during that time he operated a carpentry shop. His oldest daughter, Margaret Susan Hancock, married Edward P Wood in Scott county Kentucky in 1851 and removed with the Hancock family to Missouri. Four of his younger children married in Daviess county Missouri, and primarily remained in the general area throughout their adult lives – Edward W Hancock married Mary Eliza Gamble; Sarah A Hancock married Samuel Denny Baker; Richard White Hancock married Elizabeth Ann Taylor; and Jemima Leah Hancock married George Franklin Deskin. Edward Hancock and his wife Jemima White were followed by thirty-four identified grandchildren.

Edward Hancock died in 1867, just short of his sixtieth birthday. Jemima White Hancock lived another seventeen years, and the Daviess county census records of 1870 and 1880 show her in the home of her oldest daughter Margaret Hancock Woods. Descendants believe that Edward and Jemima are buried in the Black Cemetery at Victoria Missouri, but no markers have been identified.

Do you want to know more?
Link to Edward Hancock

Bio of Edward Hancock; compiled by Pamela Hutchison Garrett, 2017; for Family Stories at