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Joseph Hancock-Post War

Author: Jerry Bowen – 3rd Great Grandson of Joseph Hancock/Diana Reeder



JOSEPH HANCOCK (Junior) was born July 21, 1758, in Bedford, Pennsylvania.  His first wife, Catherine Baltimore, bore him twelve children, nine of which can be accounted for.  He outlived Catherine, and later married Diana Reeder.  At least one child was born to he and Diana.

The first thing we know about Joseph Hancock is that he operated a ferry in what was then called William’s Town.  At age eighteen, he enlisted to fight in the Revolutionary War.  Because personal information on Joseph in the Revolutionary War is lacking, information about Joseph’s regiment follows:

Under authority of a resolution of congress, dated July 15, 1776, the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment was raised for the defense of the western frontier, to garrison the posts of Presque Isle, Le Boeuff and Kittanning, to consist of seven companies from Westmoreland and one from Bedford County.  Its first officers were Colonel Aenas Mackey (Frequently written McCoy), Lieutenant George Wilson and Major Richard Butler.  Mackey and Wilson died in 1777 (in battle?), and thereafter Colonel Daniel Broadhead became the commander of the regiment.

The Bedford County company was commanded by Captain Andrew Mann, whose home was in that part of Bedford County now included in Fulton County.  No separate roll of this company has been preserved, but there are records to show that in December 1776, it contained sixty-two enlisted men.  As a private, Joseph Hancock was attached to Captain Andrew Mann’s Bedford Company, for three years.  His pension file shows that during the war, he received pay in British currency.  A document, not dated, shows him receiving L 82 d 19 p 2.

Shortly after Joseph enlisted, the regiment rendezvoused at Kittanning, from which place it marched in midwinter to New Jersey and joined Washington’s army.  Washington’s officers and men were dying from want of medicine and other army supplies.  In the campaigns that followed, Joseph Hancock, and the 8th Pennsylvania opposed General Cornwallis at Boundbrook, New Jersey; took part in the battles of Paoli, Ash Swamp, Brandywine, Germantown and nearly all the regiment was at Valley Forge during the terrible winter of 1777″.

On March 16, 1777, in an attack on the British Regiment guard of Sir Henry Clinton, where fighting was intense, Joseph was shot in the right shoulder.  He received his injury near New Brunswick, New Jersey.  This did not stymie his determination to fight for the cause of freedom.  He recovered from the wound, and served his full enlistment.  Pennsylvania Archives, 2nd series, Vol 10, pp 670-676, reveal that Joseph served another four years, for a total of seven (see Cynthia Reeder’s letter).  Apparently, after his discharge from his first enlistment, he re-enlisted or had a government job.  This jives with pay records found in his pension file.  Jonathan P. Hancock’s obituary mentions that Joseph was a hero at Valley Forge.

After participating in the above mentioned battles, the  8th Pennsylvania was ordered to march to Pittsburg, where it became part of General McIntosh’s command.  During the remainder of that year it was waged in active warfare against the Indians.  Early in 1779, the 8th went up the Allegheny river on General Broadhead’s expedition, attacked the Indians, defeated them and burned their settlements.

Pension records show that, on August 9, 1779, Joseph Hancock and Thomas Williams were paid $50 for expenses “going express”, apparently as messengers, or transporting cargo.  The mission involved going from Col. Broadhead at Fort Reed in Pittsburg, to General Sullivan at a distant location.  At this later date, after the Colonies won their freedom, he is being paid in dollars!.

The frail, new government must have had trouble paying their bills.  Joseph worked without pay from August 1, 1780 to January 1, 1782.  During this time his money was earning 6% interest.  Joseph finally received his pay of $20 on July 1, 1784.

Near the end of Joseph’s enlistment his commanding officer had this to say, Joseph “has served faithfully and was a good soldier, is Honorably discharged (from) the service, he first receiving his whole pay and arrearages of pay and clothing, the receipts of which may be seen on the back of this, his discharge”.  Signed Frederick Vernon, Major.

With the end of his Revolutionary War enlistment in sight, Joseph took up the privledge of matrimony.  In the year 1781, he married Catherine Baltimore, sister of Philip Baltimore.  Their mother, by a previous marriage, had six children.  The whole Stotts family was captured by Indians, and the husband killed.  The children were taken to different villages and never heard from again, while Mrs. Stotts was sold as a slave to the French.  Mrs. Stotts and another woman were the only two, out of a group of ten, that survived an escape and subsequent journey.  Mrs. Stotts then married Mr. Baltimore, and had the aforementioned children.  Mrs. Baltimore married a third time, Mr. Wallace, son of Mary (Bush) Wallace.

Joseph had lost his father to the Indians, and married a woman who lost her father the same way.

Joseph and Catherine would share in the excitement of moving West.  When the United States would sign Indian treaties, they would be among the first to pioneer the frontier.  Together they would share the hardships, the joys, and enjoy the ideals of a country in the making.  History was coming out of the Dark Ages and they would watch as the country pounded out a Constitution, and give religious liberty to its citizens.  Philip Baltimore, followed Joseph and Catherine most of their married life.

Through tax rolls, James Shaw, another “Hancock” researcher, found Joseph and Catherine Hancock residents of Bedford County, PA from 1785-88.  During this time, Joseph Hancock was admitted to membership in the Presbyterian Church of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania in 1786.  Then, Joseph HanDcock was found in the 1790 census of Franklin County, PA.

According to a letter from his daughter, Cynthia Reeder (Hancock), Joseph Hancock’s family moved from South Pennsylvania and his friends at William’s Town, to Mason County, Kentucky.  In 1790, just one year before Joseph bought land there, Indians were attacking riverboats, plundering settlements and scalping their victims.  In spite of this, Joseph had to get in the middle of it all.  Deed book A, page 49 dated 10 Feb 1791 shows  Joseph and Catherine purchasing 100 acres of land from Charles Pelham for 5 shillings.  Philip Baltimore bought 50 acres nearby, July 1792.  Joseph paid real estate tax in Mason County from 1791 to 1799.  Sophie was born there in 1796.  Mason County was later divided into 21 counties south and east of Cincinnati, OH along the Ohio River.

While they lived in Kentucky, the Indians and the White Man were learning to live with each other.  Most of their learning experiences were not pleasant.  What follows on the next few pages are thoughts in part, or direct quotations from a book “History of Maysville and Mason County” Volume One.  This book was “discovered” by James Shaw and he shared his discovery with this writer.

On the 24th of March 1791, one month after Joseph bought land there, the Indians attacked and killed all the men on one riverboat.  They took the women as hostages, and used them as shields to attack a second boat.  A fierce battle broke out and both sides sustained losses.  Three days after the boat arrived in Limestone, Kentucky, a band of men went back to the scene only to find that hogs had eaten much of the carcasses.  They shoveled what remained into the river.  Forays continued until a militia was raised on April 20, 1791 that included 570 fighting men.  In 1792, the forays increased, so 12 spies were employed to detect Indian activity across the county.  The spies were employed from March 31 to Dec 9, 1792, to increase security and aid in chases.  And, “to better combat the ravages of the Indian, the legislature, on June 24, 1792, approved passage of an act to arrange the State in Divisions, Brigades, Regiments, Battalions and Companies.  The County of Mason formed the entire Fifteen Regiment”.

“In August of this same summer (1792), upon the report of the commanding officer of the Fifteenth Regiment, the following were elected officers in the regiment:

“CAPTAINS:  Lawrence Williams, Spencer Records, John Fitch, James Ward, Daniel Mitchell, Moses Wood, Joshua Baker, Simon Kenton, William Brooks, Samuel Smith, Meredith Helm, Benjamin Whiteman and George Lewis.

“LIEUTENANTS:  Adam Bravard, Nathan Evans, Richard Richetts, William Bennett, Nathan Fitch, JOSEPH HANCOCK, John Cartes, Thomas Kirling, John Raines, William Ross, William Helm, John McDole and Henry Bailey.

“ENSIGNS: Benjamin Ludwell (?), Mills Stephenson, Thomas Fitzgerald, Alexander Walker, James Wilson, PHILIP BALTIMORE, John Dishay, David Sturling (?), Thomas Gorins, Isaac Drake, James Harmon and Joist Fry” (page 111-12).

The residents of Mason County were getting weary of the Indian attacks, and finally the government became involved, and when it came time for the treaties to be signed, “all were ready and glad enough for accord”.  The following account is provided because Joseph Hancock was an officer of the Mason County Regiment, and it is likely that he attended on this chase.

“On the 22nd of April, 1793, came the final and most emphatic of all the orders forbidding scouting and marching expeditions across the Ohio (River) into Indian territory.  And, as had been the unfailing case every time had come one of these unfair, unnecessary mandates, the Indians took the chance and liberty for fatal plunges across the river, into Mason County.

“One of these foraging parties the Masons could stand, but early in the spring came news that Morgan’s Station had been taken, and a drove of horses from Strode’s.  The militia of Mason could not stand this and be quiet.  A party was raised, almost before the print from the order commanding them not to had time to thoroughly dry, and the march taken up.

“The Indians were reported making for the Ohio, with their prisoners and loot.  The Mason county party, consisting of thirty-three men, was at once divided into three divisions, or detachments.  Captains Kenton, James Ward and Joshua Baker were placed in command of these.  The whole party finally was ready and crossed the Ohio at Limestone, landing just above the point now held by the northern approach of the Maysville suspension bridge.

“On the afternoon of the third day out, they came upon a fresh Indian trail and followed it until darkness, stopping near Reeves Crossing.  Here examination disclosed the fact they were in the immediate neighborhood of their object.  The horses were immediately taken back and tied, to prevent surprising the Indians.  A council was held and Captain Baker offered to reconnoitre.  Accordingly he took one man and crept forward.  The Indians he found encamped on the bank of a creek, their horses tied between the camp and the position held by the whites. Following Baker’s report, the party decided not to attack until morning.  Captain Baker and his men were to face around to a position on the bank of the stream in front of the Indian camp.  Captain Ward was to hold the ground in the rear, and Kenton the side not protected by the barrier of the River, thus guarding against a retreat of the savages.

“It was agreed not to attack until light enough to provide for accurate shooting, but before Kenton and Ward had reached their appointed positions the bark of a dog was heard, then a rifle shot rang out into the early morning stillness.  It was the signal for the attack.  Baker’s men instantly started shooting.  Kenton and Ward rushed the the Indian camp, and the battle was on.  To their surprise they found Baker and his men in the rear, instead of in front of the Indian camp, this foiling the plan of attack.  The Indians rallied quickly, retreated a few paces and, taking cover, began to return the white’s fire with deadly consequence.  Still too dark to fire accurately, the Indian leader, none other than the celebrated Tecumseh, sent a part of his men to the rear, for the horses belonging to the Mason countians.  When they were brought front, the Indians easily made their escape, not however, without leaving their camp plunder and provisions.  The Indians bore with them John Ward, brother of Captain James Ward, the only one of that party killed.  In Bakers misdirected detachment Jacob Jones had been killed, and general ill feeling was rife throughout.

“The general belief was that through Baker’s blunder the battle had been lost.  The whites made their way, horseless and through the rain, as best they could.  Nor was it a cheerful little army that reached Limestone the following day, although they had taken from the deserted Indian camp a large supply of powder, lead and blankets” (pages 113-14).

For many years the residents of Mason County would farm with one hand on the plow, and the other on a flintlock.

On the 20th day of January 1797, Benjamin Wood wrote out his will.  He named Philip Baltimore as his son-in-law, and bequeathed unto him a colt and a black heifer.  He also desired that his “good and trusty friend Joseph Hancock” to either sell or rent his property and divide the income equally amongst his children.  The will was witnessed by Jo Henry Symonds and Catherine Hancock (page 330-331).

Joseph and Catherine lived in Kentucky about ten years.

Following their pioneer spirit, on December 28, 1802, Joseph and Catherine bought 170.18 acres of land straight from the U.S. Government, in Hamilton County, now called Montgomery County, Ohio.  On today’s map, his property was two miles Southeast of Centerville, Ohio.  John was born there in 1804 and Cynthia in 1806.  They apparently sold their Kentucky property from their Ohio address, because Mason County deed book K, page 191 dated 7 Dec 1807 shows that Joseph and Catherine, OF Montgomery County, Ohio, sold 100 acres to Andrew Merrell for 130 pounds.  In 1810 Joseph paid $1.04 property tax for the year.  Philip Baltimore had a connecting lot just west of him, and at least five families of Reeders lived in Washington Township in 1812.

The U.S. Government started selling this land soon after Indian treaties were signed and surveys made.  U.S. Government Land Patents, are actually free and clear titles, that were issued as soon as land was paid off.  Interesting records survive involving the payments on Joseph’s land.  These records are taken from the actual tract book in the land office when cash payments were made.


paid          Dec 28, 1802            80.00

paid          Aug 16, 1803            71.22

discount                              8.78

paid          Dec 30, 1807            70.40

discount                              9.60

paid          Dec 26, 1811           102.76


total @ $2.00 per acre                342.76

less discounts                        324.38

U.S. Patent issued Jul 30, 1812


Joseph had lived in Centerville about 12 or 13 years, when on September 12, 1815, he entered the land office in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Speculating about his future, he purchased 662.16 acres, again from the U.S. Government, in the Cincinnati Land Tract, further West in Ohio.  Later surveying placed that property in Wayne County Indiana.  Shortly after he bought the Indiana property, he started thinking about selling his first Ohio property.  From the book “A Sense of Place” by the Centerville Historical Society we discover that “In February 1816, Solomon Miller purchased 160 acres from Joseph and Catherine Hancock at a price of $2,000”.  His net gain on that sale was $1675.62!  That ended  Joseph’s interest in Montgomery County.  In keeping with his past habits, Philip Baltimore, Catherine’s brother, also bought land further West in the Cincinnati Land Tract on October 31, 1816.

The very same year, towards the middle of 1816, Catherine died.  This writer doesn’t know the exact date or even where, but I suggest two possibilities.  First, Catherine died in Ohio.  Joseph, about 58, married a second time Diana Reeder about 34, in Ohio.  In this scenario, I suggest his second marriage to have taken place very late in 1816 or early 1817.  James Shaw and I believe this is Diana’s second marriage also, and to start a new life together, they moved to his newly acquired property in Indiana.

The second possibility is this.  Catherine died in route or just after moving to Wayne County Indiana.  A question now arises as to how  Joseph would have had the opportunity to marry a Reeder in Indiana.  Here’s how.  On February 15, 1817, James Reeder also bought property in the Cincinnati Land Tract, and owned land across Joseph’s property line to the South. This would leave the possibility of a daughter or widow, being available, when Joseph became a widower himself.  In this scenario, the marriage would have to be after February 15, 1817.  He may even have journeyed back to Montgomery County Ohio to marry Diana Reeder.

In any case, by 1817 Joseph Hancock, Philip Baltimore and James Reeder are all neighbors near Hagerstown, Indiana.  The records show that he has, by this time married to Diana Reeder.

Joseph’s payment record for his Hagerstown, Indiana property is as follows:



paid          Sep 12, 1815            860.80

discount                              132.44

paid          Sep 8, 1819             217.00

paid off      Sep 2, 1820             148.11


total @ $2.00 per acre               1,358.35

less discount                        1,225.91

U.S. Patent issued Dec 29, 1820


In 1817, Joseph, Diana and thirteen others formed a congregation and became charter members of the Salem Primitive Baptist Church.  This church is located halfway between Hagerstown and Greens Fork, Indiana.  Joseph and Diana were members there for some time, and their names often appear in the minutes of their meetings.  These interesting church records related to the Hancock’s follow:

A.   December 1817 – Diana Hancock and Ana Oldham were commissioned to visit Elizabeth Sayers and find the reason of the non attendance.

B.   March 1818, July 1818, November 1819 and October 1820, Joseph Hancock was chosen as moderator for the church business meeting.

C.   June 1818 – Joseph was chosen as a deacon.

D.   February 1819 – Joseph Hancock and Henry Garrett investigated a “story” that resulted in William Martindale being excommunicated for immoral conduct.

E.   October 1819 – Samuel Taylor was licensed to preach the Gospel.  He was ordained in September 1821, and was the minister of this church from 1830-1833.  (See note below about Samuel).

F.   February 1821 – the church released Joseph Hancock from being a deacon by his own request.

G.   January 1823 – Joseph served on a committee with three others to resolve a difference between their church and another’s.

H.   August 1825 – Joseph Hancock and others oppose the Bethlehem’s Church for stating “that the scriptures are incorrect, and that errors are to be found in them”.

I.  March 1830 – an issue over “articles of faith” and “Whither we will retain them (members) or not”, resulted in this action.  “The minority refusing to submit (to) the Church withdrew the right hand of fellowship from them who are as follows, Joseph Hancock, James Martindade, John Baldridge, Diana Hancock, Mary Baldridge and Sarah Sears”.

J.   October 1832 – “Brother and sister Hancock restored to fellowship”.


After Joseph Hancock died, this last church record involves Diana.

K.   May 1842 “Sister Hancock and Sister Millett requested letters of dimission which was granted”.


Joseph and Diana sold off several pieces of property in Wayne County, Indiana.  Three lots we know Joseph and Diana sold are:


#1.  To Hugh Murphy     80 acres for $200

Deed book C pp 394-5 dated April 26, 1822.

#2.  To Jonathan Shaw   50 acres for $200

Deed book F pp 204-5 dated June 15, 1825.

#3.  To Samuel Taylor   169 acres for $300

Deed book G pp 74-5 dated June 12, 1826.


(Samuel Taylor, by the way, is his son-in-law.  Samuel married Joseph’s daughter, Mary, on July 27, 1808.  Samuel was a Justice of the Peace in Hagerstown.  Jonathan Shaw is related to James Shaw, a researcher who shared information for this booklet).  Selling these lots left Joseph with 363 acres.  There must have been more activity, because when he filed for his pension, he is down to 100 acres.  At the age of 70, it was from the Wayne County Court in Indiana, that Joseph applied for his pension.


It looks as if a Revolutionary War pensioner had to qualify within certain income figures, and health limitations.  A good deal of this pension covers just such information.  Now the file:




Before Joseph could receive his pension, he had to prove to the satisfaction of the Court, that he was indeed wounded.  Exactly one year to the month previous to applying for his pension, he was examined by court appointed doctors.  Their report follows:


State of Indiana:  Be it remembered that at the Wayne Circuit Court of the term of August in the year 1827 on the 4th judicial day of said court, the same being a court of record in and for the county of Wayne and State of Indiana, personally appeared Joseph Hancock a Revolutionary War solider about 70 years of age and was duly sworn to the following affidavit attached to the certificate of Loring A. Waldo and Joel Pennington, two regular physicians and surgeons of the County of Wayne and State of Indiana afore said, “We the undersigned physicians and surgeons of the County of Wayne and State of Indiana having this day examined Joseph Hancock a Revolutionary War soldier about seventy years of age and five feet, nine inches high, of around his right shoulder from minute inspection and examination of the wound do find it to have been done by a musket ball and do give it as our opinion that in consequence of said wound the said Joseph Hancock has become entirely incapable of making a substince by manual of any kind”.



Loring A. Waldo

Joel Pennington

this 27th day of

August 1827

Joseph Hancock’s own statement as he swears to the Court that he was wounded, follows:

State of Indiana

Wayne County

Personally appeared in open court Joseph Hancock and being first duly sworn saith that he received the above described wound in an attack upon the British piquet guard of Sir Henry Clinton near New Brunswick in the State of New Jersey o the 18th day of March 1777 whilst in the service of the United States in the Continental Establishment in a company commanded by Captain Andrew Mann in the 8th regiment of the Pensylvania line.  Sworn and subscribed in open court August 30, 1827.


Joseph x Hancock

One year later, after having satisfied the Court, Joseph applied for his pension.  That record follows:

State of Indiana, Wayne County has this twenty-fifth day of August 1828 personally appeared in the Wayne County circuit court, it being a court record, for the third judicial district of the State of Indiana.  Joseph Hancock a resident of the said county of Wayne, aged 70 on the 21st of July last, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provision made by the acts of congress of the 18th of March 1818 and the 1st of May 1820 that he, the said Joseph Hancock enlisted for the term of three years on the 20th day of August 1776 in the State of Pennsylvania in the company commanded by Captain Andrew Mann was in the 8th regiment commanded by Colonels McCoy and Wilson, whose Christian names are not recollected, on the Continental Establishment that he continued to serve in the same corps until the 3rd day of April 1780 when he was discharged from the service at Pittsburgh in the State of Pennsylvania that he hereby relinquishes every claim whatsoever to a pension except the present that his name is not on the roll of any state that the following are his only reasons for not making earlier application for a pension that he always thought it would be a degradation of himself and tarnish his reputation as a soldier of the Revolution to burden the country with his support whilst he could by any exertion of his own support himself by his labor.

And in persuance of the act of the 1st of May 1820, I do solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States on the 8th day of March 1818 that I have not since that time by gift, sale or in any manner disposed of my property or any part there of with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval services of the United States in the Revolutionary War passed on the 18th day of March, 1818, and that I have not, nor has any person in trust for me, any property, contract, or debts due to me, nor have I any means than what is contained in the schedule hereunto annexed and by me subscribed.

100 acres of 3rd rate land valued at ……     $125.00

The yearly rent where of would not be

more than $10 dollars per annum

3 cows  ……………………………..       18.00

1 blind mare  ………………………..   10.00

1 horse  …………………………….   15.00

15 head of hogs  ……………………..   17.50

household furniture exclusive of bedding ..   15.00

farming utensils ……………………..    4.00

9 head of sheep ………………………    6.50



Joseph x Hancock




The said Joseph Hancock further saith that he is by occupation a farmer and that for the last 12 months he has been almost entirely unable to persue his occupation in consequence of the loss of sight and disability resulting from a wound he received by the passage of a musket ball through his right shoulder which wound he received in the skirmish near New Brunswick in the year 1777 whilst fighting against the common enemy.  That his family consists of a wife named Diana aged about forty-six and three children named Enoch aged 14, Simeon aged 12 and Philip aged 10, each of whom is about as capable of labor as boys their age commonly are.  That since the 18th of March 1818 the following changes have taken place in his property:


PROPERTY OWNED MARCH 1818 – that at that time he owned the same land that is in the above mentioned schedule, but owed $77.50 for it.  He owned two horse creatures and a small stock of meat cattle about the same quantity he now owns except what has since died, and that his household furniture and farming utensils is about the same now that they were at that time, natural wear expecting.

Sold since 1818 – two horses sold.  One to Jane McClanahan for $35.00 and the other to Helen Low for $30.00.  That money was paid to Robert Ewing for cash before that time lent to pay on the land in the above schedule the amount borrowed was $77.50, and I have since paid $66.50 of that amount.  Ewing resides out of this state.

WHEN SOLD – The above sales took place in the year 1824 and I have occasionally sold young cattle to pay my debts and support my family.  I have never mortgaged my property or received a judgement against me upon which I had any property sold since 1818 or before.

The said Joseph Hancock says that the whole amount of property by him sold or disposed of in any way whatever, excepting the two horse creatures, does not exceed the value of thirty dollars since the 18th of March 1818.

Sworn to and declared on the 25th of August in the year 1828 before and in the Wayne Circuit Court aforesaid.  I, David Hoover, of the Wayne Circuit Court do hereby certify that it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the said Joseph Hancock did serve in the Revolutionary War as stated in the preceding declaration, against the common enemy for the term of more than nine months under one engagement on the Continental Establishment.  I also certify that the foregoing oath and the schedule thereunto annexed are true copies from the record of the said court and I do further certify that it is the opinion of the said court that the total amount of the property exhibited in the afore said schedule is two-hundred and six dollars.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the said court on this 25th day of August 1828.

David Hoover

Wayne County Court


His pension was allowed, and he received $8.00 per month starting on 25 Aug 1828.  On July 5, 1831, just a few years after applying for his pension, he made out his will. It follows:

WILL OF JOSEPH HANCOCK (Revolutionary War)

In the name of God Almighty, I Joseph Hancock of Wayne County, State of Indiana, being of sound mind and memory, do make and ordain that my will and testament in manner and form is followed to wit.  First, I give my Spirit into the hand of Him Who gave it and my body to be buried in (a) decent Christian burial.  Secondly, I give and bequeath unto my wife Diana the equal third part of my personal estate after my debts and other expenses are paid.  Also one equal third part of real estate so long as she, the said Diana shall be and remain my widow.  Thirdly, I give and bequeath unto my son Philip B Hancock the whole of my estate both real and personal after my debts and funeral expenses are paid / subject however to the bequest above made to my wife, Diana Hancock.  (Now be it known that the reason why I have not mentioned my other children in this last will and testament is because I consider it is so that I have given to my children in their outfitting in life equal or nearly so to what I have hereby bequeathed to my son Philip).  Fourthly and lastly I so hereby appoint and constitute my trusty friend Jonathan Platts, my sole executor to see this my last will and testament carried into effect according to law, and I do hereby ratify and confirm the above as my last will and testament as also hereby revoking any disannulling all former wills by me made or intended to be made in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifth day of July in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and thirty one 1831.


Witness                                         his

David Platts                          Joseph x Hancock

Jonathan Platts                            mark


He collected his pension for only five years as he died September 2, 1834.  The arrears of pension due the decedent, covering the period from March 4, 1834 to September 2, 1834 were paid on November 29, 1834 at the pension agency in Corydon, Indiana, to I.W. Kinter, as attorney for the widow.


Philip would have been about 16 years old when his father died.


James Shaw believes Joseph is buried in Olive Branch Cemetery, 2 miles north east of Hagerstown or in the Salem Primitive Baptist Church cemetery 3 miles east of Hagerstown, Indiana.  James admits however, that neither tombstones or burial records do not show this.

The stories that could be told about Joseph would be long and illustrious.  Had they been recorded, those stories would have made more interesting reading.  If he participated in history the way it is written here, he probably killed a few British soldiers, and after the War, some Indians.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all, if later research tells that Philip Baltimore was in the Revolutionary War with Joseph.  Later, traveling in covered wagons, to various places during the expansion of the West required co-operation and help from family and friends.  Friends made during those years of stuck wagons, dying horses, dry wells and other deprivation, became lifetime friends. This must have been the relationship Joseph had with Philip Baltimore, because Joseph would honor his friend by naming one of his sons after him.

The next biography introduces Philip Baltimore Hancock.  Philip, like his father before him, keeps pushing West.

Children born to Joseph Hancock, Jr., Catherine Biltmore and Diana Reeder are:

JOSEPH HANCOCK (Jr)           b 21 Jul 1758      d 2 Sep 1834     m

Bedford Co. PA    Wayne Co Ind

Catherine Baltimore (1)       b        1759     d        1816    m        1781

Maryland    Montg. Co. OH?

Diana Reeder (2)              b        1782     d        1857    m        1817

Mary/Samuel Taylor           b                 d 27 Jan 1845    m 27 Jul 1808

Hagerstown, IN   Mont. Co OH

Joseph M/Susan Milman       b                  d        1820    m 27 Jul 1808

Hagerstown, IN   Greene Co OH

Nancy/Ben Warren             b                  d                m 7 Oct 1802

Hamilton Co OH

Sophie/Virgil Gilver         b 14 May 1796     d 17 Sept 1871   m 20 Jun 1816

Mason Co. KY      Madison Co. IN   Bistula, IN

Elizabeth/Levi Bain          b                  d                m 2 Mar 1802

Hamilton Co OH

John/Elizabeth Pollard       b 8 Mar 1804      d 14 Mar 1886    m 4 May 1826

Mont Co. OH        Madison Co. IN   Hagerstown IN

Catherine/Samuel Cavoult     b                  d                m 11 Apr 1810

Mont Co OH

Naomi/ 1 William Martindale b                  d                m 20 Jun 1816

Hagerstown IN

2 Rufus Way

3 Amos Vinson

4 John Zeke

Cynthia/Jonathan Reeder      b 16 June 1806    d 3 Aug 1894     m 16 May 1823

Mont Co. OH        Elwood, IN       Hagerstown IN

Enoch Reeder/Nancy           b         1814    d                m 29 May 1834

Hagerstown IN

Simeon (2)                   b         1817    d                m

Philip B/Mahala Adamson      b         1818     d       1860     m 5 Mar 1836

Hagerstown IN       Kansas War      Hagerstown IN


JOSEPH HANCOCK NOTES: (1)  The fathers’ of William’s Town, recognizing the merits of their hometown boy, decided to rename itself Hancock Town, in Joseph’s honor, for his service in the Revolutionary War.  However, this name change did not come about quickly.  Ralph Donley,  a Hancock, Maryland historian specializing in deeds and surveys, made an interesting observation.  In 1791, the State of Maryland was doing road surveys.  In half of the surveys, your town was called William’s Town.  In the other half, the surveys identified your town as Hancock Towne.  Ralph observed that in 1791, local people were still divided in their minds as to its proper identification.  The town later went from Hancock Towne to simply, Hancock, Maryland.

JOSEPH HANCOCK NOTES: (2)  There was a Thomas Williams mentioned way back in Joseph’s Rev. War pension record.  I would like to suggest that Thomas was Joseph’s compatriot in the war and maybe even the proprietor of William’s Towne.  Thomas and Joseph are connected in the records as having been paid money to travel “express”, probably to make a delivery.

JOSPEH HANCOCK NOTES: (3)  James Shaw  and I both suspect, that since Joseph was 58 and Diana was 34 when they married, that Diana was also into her second marriage.  We think that Enoch, listed in Joseph’s pension file, was Diana’s child by her first marriage, and is actually Enoch Reeder.

JOSPEH HANCOCK NOTES: (4)  Any purchaser of land in the Cincinnati Land Tract did not have to pay taxes for five years.  Any reader who plans to search tax records should keep this fact in mind.


JOSEPH HANCOCK NOTES: (5)  Observe on the map below, how part of the Cincinnati Land Tract originally all in Ohio, was later surveyed into Indiana.  This is how Joseph ended up with Indiana property.


4 Responses to Joseph Hancock-Post War

  1. Dorothy Thompson

    Thank you for this Bruce. I’m absolutely ecstatic to be running across your very detailed account of our ancestor. I’m a descendant of Ephraim Millman Hancock, my 2nd Great Grandfather. He was one of the Grandchildren of Joseph, Jr. who lived with him after their parents were killed. Ephraim moved his family to Iowa and there is where all of my more recent ancestors lived.

    Dorothy Thompson (Thornton)

    • Bruce Hancock

      You are welcome. Very interesting. Do you know how your great grandparents died? I collaborate with a woman in Indiana that is from your side of the family if there is an interest in further information exchange.

  2. Dianne Pierson

    My thanks as well. Cynthia Hancock Reeder, one of Joseph Hancock and Catherine Baltimore’s daughters, is my great-great-great grandmother on my mother’s side.

  3. Scott Zacharias

    Excellant work! My Grandmother’s maiden name was Daisy Julia Reeder. Her great grandparents were Jonathan and Cynthia Hancock Reeder. I agree with your statement that the Hancocks, Reeders and Baltimore were pioneers in common before coming to Indiana Territory. By chance do you know the name of Jonathans father? Thank you.

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