Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Celia and Lewis Hancock

My great-great-great-great-grandparents—Lewis and Celia Hancock—have been just down the road all along, and I never knew it until recently. In fact, for most of my life, I didn’t even know they existed. Thanks to the Internet—and what some very, very distant cousins have posted—now I do.

Photo by James E. Brooks, 2012

Lewis John Hancock, the son of John D. Hancock and Elizabeth Maddox, was born around 1757 in Albemarle County, VA. He married Celia “Celey” Duncan on Dec. 29, 1778, in Fluvanna County. Celia, the daughter of George Duncan and Ann Hall, was born December 28, 1758 (some sources say 1754), in Albemarle County. She was the widow of Shadrack Oglesby, whom she’d married on January 29, 1774. I can only speculate what caused Shadrack’s early death. The Revolutionary War, perhaps? Anyhow, the young widow, who was mother to Nancy (b. 1775) and Elizabeth Oglesby, remarried.

On December 28, 1778, the marriage bond was signed by Lewis Hancock and Benjamin Hancock, sureties. Benjamin was Lewis’s grandfather. Consent to marriage of Lewis and Celia was signed by George Duncan, Celia’s father. Lewis and Celia were married the next day.

Some of their children—Benjamin (1782), Sophia (1784), Lucinda (1790)—were born in Fluvanna, but the several others— John Allen (1779), Field Allen (1785), my great-great-great grandmother Frances “Franky” Hancock (May 12, 1787)—were born in Franklin County. Given the dates and places of birth, did the Lewis Hancock family move back and forth, perhaps to visit  family members? Eventually, though, Lewis and Celia seem to have settled in the Union Hall area of Franklin County.

Celia’s roots go back to Scotland. Her father George Duncan (son of John Duncan—born 1700—and Mary Fleming) was born 1728 in Glasgow, Scotland, and died November 06, 1783, in Fluvanna Co, VA.

My great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, sixteen-year-old George Duncan, came to America in the early 1740s with his father John, his older brother Tandy, and his younger brother John D. Since his mother didn’t accompany the family, it’s likely she had died in Scotland. Unfortunately, George’s father died in 1745, and the church wardens of St. Anne’s Parish in Albemarle County “bound out” the now seventeen-year-old “George Duncomb” to Thomas McDaniel, a carpenter. Despite his servitude, George prospered and eventually became a landowner in the Hardware River area. 

George married Ann Hall, the daughter of Richard Hall and Ann Allen, on January 26, 1750, at Dr. William Cabell’s estate, “Warminster,” and his brother John married Ann’s sister Jane. The Hall family, unlike the Duncans, had been in Virginia since the 1600s. (In his will, Richard Hall left both Ann and Jane one shilling each.) George fought in both the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War. When he was 49, he became a captain in the Virginia Militia. George died November 6, 1783; Ann died sometime between 1804 and 1809. A web site with info about George Duncan and Ann Hall is here:

Celia died July 19, 1806 in Union Hall, which explains why she’s buried about a half-mile off Novelty Road.  Lewis, who out-lived her, is buried in the same cemetery; one source says he died on March 14, 1828 and another gives his death date as “20 OCT 1828 at Old Home Place, Union Hall, Franklin Co., Virginia.” Also buried there is their son Benjamin, who died on March 20, 1860, Benjamin’s picture is here

Photo taken prior to 1860.
L to R: Charles R. Hancock, Benjamin Hancock, Elizabeth Booth Hancock

Perhaps that is the “Old Home Place” behind Benjamin. Perhaps not.

Anyhow, I plan to visit the Hancock graveyard before long. It's only about a mile from me as the crow flies.

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Blogger Becky Mushko said...

Frances ("Franky") Hancock married Peter Diggins Holland.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Schaffer said...

Can I get a source on George Duncan fighting int he French and Indian war? I have a familial connection to him and want to know more. Thanks

6:34 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said... MIL: "Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War, by J.T. McAllister p.202 Captain, sworn in on September 4, 1777. He was capt. of the Fluvanna Co. Militia in the Rev. War and also fought in French and Indian Wars. Other writings indicate he was somewhat well-known for his military service." FLUVANNA CO. COURT RECORDS, 1780-1781; Publick Claims; p.3, George Duncan 260# beef cert. by Thomas Napier DC 3Dec. 1781 L2-3-4.

"Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots: Volume 1: DUNCAN George Nr Hardware River, Fluvanna Co VA 73 Veterans and patriots of the Revolutionary War whose graves were found between 1900 and 1987. The number at the end of the line is the reporting year. For example, "45" indicates the grave was located between April 1, 1944 and April 1, 1945."

8:21 PM  

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