THE HANCOCK FAMILY
From a previous blog I have been asked to explain the relationship of Scarlett Hancock and William Hancock – who were both married to Ann Linton. They are indeed brothers, sons of John Hancock and Catherine Smith. In addition to Scarlett and William are a brother, John, and a sister, Susannah. Susannah is the answer to our question. She is a much younger sister who first lived with her brother Scarlett and his wife Ann Linton, and after his death, with William Hancock who had married his brother’s widow.
In approximately 1746/7 the 17/18 year old Susannah Hancock married the much older Moses Linton. He was a widower with two sons, Thomas and William. His first wife was very likely Susannah Harrison, daughter of Captain Thomas Harrison.
Moses and Susannah had three children – Catherine Linton, born 1748, who married Joseph Lewis; John Linton, born 1750, later a captain in the Revolutionary War, who married Ann Mason; and Moses Linton, born in 1752, who died approximately 1772. Moses Linton, Sr., was a Justice for Fairfax
County, until his death in 1752.
The young widow, Susannah Hancock Linton, married John Berkeley less than a year after Moses death. She had three infants to care for. Thomas and William Linton chose Burr Harrison as their guardian, proving they were over the age of fourteen. Nothing more is heard from these boys and they both died before 1775.
Susannah and John Berkeley had at least one son – his name was Scarlett Berkeley, named for the older brother who cared for her when she was young.
In 1763 a chancery suit was brought by Susannah and her second husband against William Hancock and George Brett in the court of Loudoun County. It reads:
Lettice Langfit, aged forty-six years, saith that Susannah Hancock, now wife to the complainant John Berkeley, had willed to her by Richard Brett two Negroes to wit, Cesar and Flora and Scarlett Hancock, one of the executors of the said Brett had the two said slaves in his possession eight years and that the said Scarlett Hancock received for several years five hundred and thirty pounds of tobacco due yearly for rents. After the said Hancock deceased, his widow, which was wife to the defendant [William Hancock] had the said slaves in possession two years and received the yearly rents. Ye said Susannah was always very meanly clothed, such as plain Virginia cloth and employed at leading the horses to plow and other services and was four years old or thereabouts when she first went to live with the said Hancock [Scarlett]. Susannah had some schooling but of little consequence and further saith not.
Signed: Lettice Langfit.
The slaves Flora and Cesar were included in the inventory of Moses Linton’s estate. Scarlett and William Hancock were the sons of John Hancock and his wife Catherine Smith Hancock, the step-daughter of Burr Harrison, Jr.
In Prince William County Deed Book A, pp. 228-232, Ann Linton, widow, of Hamilton Parish, Prince William County, Virginia, deeds to William Linton, her eldest son, 300 acres where she, Ann Linton, now lives between the Occoquon River and Marumsco Creek, 600 acres by deed dated 12 Oct 1696, settled by Ann Scarlett, widow, upon the said Ann Linton’s mother and Lettice Smith, mother of Catherine Hancock, which Catherine is now in possession of – she holds the lower dividend and Ann the upper or Northern division.