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Joseph Hancock’s Family from his First Wife Catherine Baltimore

The following is a transcription of a transcription by Bruce T. Hancock on 25 Mar 1998 of a letter written by Cynthia Reeder in her 84th year, to Mr. Joseph Hancock (b. 1831) of Anderson Indiana:

Elwood, Indiana

April 21, 1891

Mr. Joseph Hancock:

Sir: I will give you a sketch of our forefathers, beginning with my grandmother. Her maiden name was Mary Bush. She married a man by the name of Wallace. Four children was the increase, two boys and two girls. Their father was killed by the Indians. She then married Hancock, the fruits of which was one son, Joseph Hancock. His father was also killed by the Indians. Her third husband was Lewis Castleman. He died and grandma died a widow at the age of 108 years.

My father, Joseph Hancock, was born in 1758. He enlisted and served seven (sic) years in the Revolutionary War. He married Catherine Baltimore. She was the mother of twelve children. They all lived to be married but three. Mother died in 1816; father died in 1834.

Sister Elizabeth married Levi Bain; Nancy married Benjamin Warren; Joseph married Susan Milman; they both died in 1820. One of their sons, Ephraim M. lived to marry and went west. Mary married Samuel Taylor; Catherine married Abraham Cavoult; John married Elizabeth Pollard; Cynthia married Jonathan Reeder. The result of this marriage was eleven children. Ten lived to marry and the offspring is forty-two grandchildren, between seventy and eighty great-grandchildren, and two of the fourth generation.

Now I will go back to Wallace children. One, a young man, was taken prisoner by the Indians. He ran away and got back to his people at Fort Bedford. Two weeks from the time he got back he was captured again, and it is supposed he was burned at the stake. The other brother was also a prisoner for some time, but got his freedom. Of the girls, Barbara married Henry Simmons. I don’t know much about their family. Mary married Mike Watson. They had two sons and six daughters. Rebecca married Jeremiah Allan. Nancy married John Strode; Mary married Mike Conway; Barbara married Charles Rowe; Sallie married – Mattox; Ruth married Samuel Pollard. You see your Father’s grandmother is your mother’s great-grandmother Wallace and Grandma Hancock.

I have run the line on Grandma Hancock’s and father’s side and this is on mother’s side:

Grandma Baltimore’s first husband’s name was Stotts. They had six children. The Indians came upon them and killed her husband and took her and her six children prisoners and drove them off to their towns, where her children were scattered and she never knew what became of them. She was finally sold to the French when she and nine others ran away. They had to hide during the day and travel at night. There were but two ever got through to the fort, grandma and a comrade. After this she married Baltimore. The fruits of this union were a son and a daughter, Catherine Baltimore, my mother, and Phillip, my uncle. After Grandpa Baltimore’s death, her third husband was father’s half brother, one of the Wallace boys, Grandma Hancock’s first husband’s son.

I close at this, and if you want any more light on the subject of your kind, just let me know, or if you can tell who all are your kind, let me know.

Cynthia Reeder

A transcription of a transcription by Bruce Hancock 25 Mar 1998

Another letter from Cynthia Reeder in her 84th year, 1891

It is with pleasure I write of Mr. Joseph Hancock and family, who have lived so long in Madison County, and of his ancestry, so long and interesting. He lived many years in Richland Township, nine miles northeast of Anderson, where he owns a fine farm and “sunny home,” and where his best days were spent in hard work, and where his children were born. He is one of our best farmers and stock raisers, or was in Anderson where he owns several pieces of property and parcels of land. He and his wife are living alone on Nichol Avenue. The children are all married and have homes of their own, Mr. Hancock was born in Wayne County, Indiana, on the 5th day of January 1831, the son of John Hancock, who was born in Ohio, March 8th 1804. His mother Elizabeth Pollard, was born in Kentucky in 1807 and married in 1826 in Wayne County, Indiana. She died October 30, 1857 and buried in Richland Township. Mrs. Joseph Hancock, formerly Esther A. Fountain, was born in Maryland, June 13, 1830. Her mother’s name was Mary Dodd before marriage. She came to Madison County in 1830. Her mother’s name was Mary Dodd before marriage. She came to Madison County in 1830. She married George Fountain who died November 3rd, 1854. She Died in 1877.

Mr. And Mrs. Joseph Hancock were married August 7, 1851. Their children were:

1. Sarah A. born February 7, 1953 (1853), married to Judge Alfred Ellison, resided many years in Anderson.

2. John L., born December 3, 1854, married to Mary E. Lawler in 1876.

3. Mary Elizabeth, born May 27, 1857, married F.M. Jones in 1882.

4. William W. born March 10, 1860, married Hulda Bronnenbert in 1887.

5. Joseph L., born February 22, 1863, died December 25, 1865, is buried in Heagy Cemetery.

6. James L., born September 17, 1866, married Jane Bronnenberg in 1887.

7. Martha R., born September 17, 1868, married Thomas Bronnenberg in 1885.

The following are the names of Mr. Joseph Hancock Sr’s brothers and sisters.

1. Nancy D., married to Daniel Badgely, resides in Blackford Co.

2. Ruth, Married to Martin D. Pence, resided in Kansas.

3. Pollard L. married to Sarah J. Jones. He is buried in Heagy Cemetery.

4. George W., married Rebecca Vermillion

5. Fanny, twin, married John Vermillion

6. Rebecca, twin, died in infancy.


The following are the names of Mrs. Esther A. Fountain Hancock’s brothers and sisters:

William – Elizabeth – Edward – James – Nathan – John – Washington

John Fountain was killed at the siege of Vicksburg in 1864. He was a member of Company H. 69th Indiana Volunteers and a gallant soldier.

(Note: William Fountain was Leafy Noble’s grandfather. Nathan Fountain was Belva Dearign’s ancestor)


The following transcription of a transcription was prepared by Bruce Hancock 25 Mar 1998. The information is included in the Cynthia Reeder letters but is of unknown origin. It is possible that in information was obtained by my grandfather, Homer V. Hancock.

Revolutionary War Service

JOSEPH HANCOCK, JR. , was born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, July 21, 1758. He enlisted as a Private in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, continental line, Captain Andrew Mannis Company, Colonel Daniel Broadhead Commanding, on August 20, 1776 – or just six weeks after the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Although originally organized to protect the western part of Pennsylvania against the Indians, his regiment was almost immediately ordered to New Jersey to join General Washington. In the campaigns that followed, the 8th opposed General Cornwallis at Boundbrook, New Jersey; took part in the battles of Paoli, Ash Swamp, Brandywine, and Germantown, and nearly all the Regiment was at Valley Forge during the terrible winter of 1777. On March 16, 1777 he was wounded in a skirmish at New Brunswick, by a musket ball, in his right shoulder. He served until April 3, 1780, or nearly four years.

The pension records show that he made claim for pension in April 1828 from Wayne County, Indiana; and that his claim was allowed. He died in 1834.

See pp. 339-342 Volume 3, Pennsylvania Archives 5th series.

The following is an excerpt from a very old letter written by Cynthia Reeder, daughter of Joseph Hancock, Jr. This letter is now in the possession of Taylor Hancock, Anderson, Indiana.

“My father, Joseph Hancock, Jr., was born in 1758, He enlisted in Captain Neneuvah Stockley’s co., 8th Pennsylvania Regiment of foot soldiers, commanded by Col. Daniel Broadhead, was in Capt. Mann’s Co. for three years …………. He married Catherine Baltimore. She was the mother of 12 Children. My mother, Catherine Baltimore died in 1816.”