William Hancock 1580

William Hancock

updated: 8-14-04

by: Jay R. Hancock

Information above obtained by:


Francis Hancock, Nashville, GA

The information below was obtained at:


Genealogy for Hancock or Hancocke family from 1525:

This Hancock family descended from Thomas Hancock(e) who was born about 1525 in St. Mary Woolnot, London, London, England. One of his descendants, a William Hancock came to America in 1619. He was a member of The Virginia Company Of London which was created by King James I for the purpose of colonizing in America. The first settlement was established at Jamestown in 1607. As an investor in the Virginia Company, William traveled to Jamestown in 1619. He was a member of a group that founded Berkeley Hundred. On 22 March 1622 the settlement was attacked by Indians and William, along with many others, was massacred. Shortly after 1630, three of William's sons came to America. Augustine, Simon and William became prominent planters in Virginia and established a family line that today includes many thousands of their descendants. From Virginia, their descendants migrated throughout the southeastern and midwestern states and today are living in all parts of the country. Simon Hancock had a son named William, (this line had many Williams and Simons) One of this William Hancock line moved to Craven Co. North Carolina and then on to Lowndes, Berrian, Colquit and Cook counties of Georgia. Mary Jane Hancock the daughter of Elder Littleton Albritton Hancock married Dempsey Day Taylor. These Hancock's also married into the Joiner, Ivey, Hall, Jones, Dearham, Spencer families to name a few. In This line there is also a Hector Hancock who had a great granddaughter named Elizabeth Hancock who married John Hardison Redd in North Carolina. this family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and went west with that body. Elizabeth Hancock died 28 Nov 1853 in Spanish Fork, Utah, Ut and was buried 1853 in Spanish Fork, Utah.

About Berkeley Hundred, Virginia, where William Hancock died.

Information from: http://www.williamsburgonline.com/attract/attract_plantation.html

Berkeley–About 30 miles west of Williamsburg, just off Route 5, stands Berkeley Plantation. It is the site of the former town of Berkeley's Hundred, a place lost to history after a 1622 Indian attack. In early December of 1619, local colonists gathered here for a day of Thanksgiving, which was one year before the Mayflower landed and two years before the Pilgrims' "first" Thanksgiving in New England. In the early 1700s, the Harrison family purchased the land and built both a plantation and dynasty. This is the ancestral home of two presidents—Old Tippecanoe (William Henry Harrison) and his grandson Benjamin Harrison.

Information from National Park Service, USA:



On December 4, 1619 settlers stepped ashore at Berkeley Hundred along the James River and, in accordance with the proprietor's instruction that "the day of our ship's arrival ... shall be yearly and perpetually kept as a day of thanksgiving," celebrated the first official Thanksgiving Day. In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims held a celebration to give thanks to God for his bounty and blessings. This occasion was the origin of the traditional Thanksgiving as we know it today.

Information from:


The First Thanksgiving In America

By Dr. David L. Brown

What comes to mind when you think of "the First Thanksgiving" in America? Until this summer, I always thought of the New England Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims! But, on a recent trip I came across a bit of interesting information that changed my mind... as we visited Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, VA. This historic site is located on the James River between Williamsburg and Richmond Virginia. The official name is Berkeley Hundred Plantation. This was one of the first great estates in the New World and gained notoriety as the home of the Harrison’s: The family of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, two American Presidents and two Governors.

In 1619, 38 men [apparently including William Hancock] from Berkeley Castle in Glouscestershire England formed the Berkeley Company and received a grant of 8,000 acres in Virginia. They sailed England on the small ship Margaret. It was an arduous three-month voyage. Finally, on December 4th, 1619 they arrived at their New World destination. Captain John Woodlief and Anglican missionary George Thorpe led the troop ashore and then, followed the orders they had been given in England. And, what were they to do? Observe a time of Thanksgiving to the Lord. A plaque states, "The first official, annual Thanksgiving in America was observed by Berkeley’s brave adventurers on December 4, 1619." This Thanksgiving was celebrated more than one year before the Pilgrims set foot on New England’s shore.

"O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;" Psalms 107:1-2

Information from: http://www.malton.n-yorks.sch.uk/MSWeb/HistoryZone/buildings/berkeley_castle.html

Berkeley Castle

In 1153 Lord Maurice Berkeley completed this fortress by the Severn Estuary at the command of Henry II, and ever since it has been the home of the Berkeley family - one of England's oldest families who have given their name to numerous locations all over the world, from Berkeley Square in London to Berkeley Hundred in Virginia and Berkeley University in California.

For nearly 850 years twenty-four generations have not only preserved this ancient Castle but have gradually transformed a savage Norman fortress into a truly stately home with a wealth of treasures. Paintings by primarily English and Dutch masters, tapestries, furniture of an interesting diversity, silver and porcelain.

You may wander through the Castle at leisure or enjoy the free facility of a one-hour guided tour with a very experienced guide. The highlights of your tour through the Castle are the massive Norman Keep with the Dungeon and the cell where Edward II was murdered in 1327, the Picture Gallery, the Dining Room, the medieval Buttery and Kitchens, the Historic Great Hall and the magnificent State Apartments. You will find something of interest for all the family