Genealogy Ramblings

Scarlett Hancock’s Will

Note by Phyllis Brown:  Scarlett Hancock was the son of John Hancock and Catherine Smith.  In October of 1740 John Hancock, now a citizen of Bladen County, North Carolina, deeded all his land in Virginia as well as personal estate, to his eldest son, Scarlett Hancock, for 100 pounds sterling. 
Scarlett was the grandson of Edward Smith and Lettice Green.  His great-grandfather William Green died before December of 1687, when Edward Smith “received of Martin Scarlett five thousand pounds of tobacco, one feather bed and furniture being due to my wife left her by her father Mr. William Green deced as by his last will appears and therefore do forever discharge ye said Martin Scarlett from ye same.  As Witness my hand, Edward Smith”.  Martin Scarlett married the widow, Ann Green.  He held extensive property on the Occoquan Bay, Murumsco Creek, and other areas in what today would be Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford counties.  Most of his land passed down to his step-children and their descendants.  Scarlett Hancock was named for Martin Scarlett, as were several others in the family.
Scarlett Hancock was a rather young man when he died, leaving a wife and two young children.  His widow, Ann Linton Hancock, married his brother, William Hancock.

Will of Scarlett Hancock

In the name of God, amen.  I, Scarlett Hancock, of Prince William County, being sick and weak, but of sound and perfect sense and memory, so by these presents make, appoint and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following.

I give  and bequeath to my loving wife Anne Hancock the plantation on which we formerly  lived commonly called or known by the name of Old Field with the land adjoining thereto together with four Negroes, viz, Cloe, Bess, Kate and Bristoll, and a third part of my stock and household goods during her natural life and afterwards to my son John and his heirs and the Negroes to be equally divided between my son and daughter, John and Anne Hancock, and their heirs.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my loving daughter, Anne Hancock, the plantation in the fork of the creek where William Davis now lives with all the land belonging thereto to her and her heirs forever.  Item.  I give and bequeath to my said daughter, Anne Hancock, four Negroes, viz., Titus, Sharp, Sarah and Giles, and a third part of all my stock and household goods.

Item.  I leave and bequeath to my loving son, John Hancock, whereon I now live in the neck on Murumsco Creek and all the land thereto belonging as also four hundred acres of land left me by Richard Brett as will appear by the said Brett’s will, to him and his heirs forever.  Item.  I leave and bequeath to my said son, John Hancock, four Negroes, viz., Nero, Galba, Pall and Jacob, and a third part of all my stock and household goods.

Item.  It is my will and desire that Negro Dick be sold for the most that can be got for him.  Lastly I ordain and appoint my loving wife Anne Hancock, John Gregg, Marmaduke Lawson and Moses Linton, executors of this my last Will and Testament.

Scarlett Hancock

Signed, sealed, published and declared to be my last Will and Testament in presence of

John Gregg, Ambrose Hewlet, Simon Gosling, Mary Watson

At a Court held for Prince William County, March 23rd, 1740.  This will was presented in court by Anne Hancock, John Gregg and Marmaduke Lawson, three of the executors therein named (Moses Linton, the other executor refusing the burden thereof) who made oath thereto and the same being proved by the oaths of Ambrose Hewlet, Simon Gosling and Mary Watson, three of the witnesses was admitted to record and on the motion of the said executors and their performing what is usual in such cases certificate was granted them for obtaining probate thereof in due form.  Catesby Cocke

4 replies »

  1. I love the way these old Wills are worded. It is a shame the simplicity of them have far left and now more long and complicated ones have taken their place.

  2. It is a pleasure to see all of the data that I have unearthed over the many years verified, and WITH PICTURES. My line is from George who was a brother of Scarlett andI am still working to connect to the Hancocks of Princess Anne County. Of great interested is how the fact that William is named as a brother of Scarlett is deduced or proven. I have thought that he was the son of Samuel and Johan Hancock, making him a cousin of Scarlett. Any info or proofs would be great.

    Millie Starr

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