Family Stories

John Hancock 1765 Survey


This survey for John Hancock, dated September 30, 1765, is part of a packet I received from the Virginia Historical Society, from their Tayloe Papers.  Evidently Mr. John Tayloe had copies made of a number of wills, deeds and surveys, that pertained to his property or that around it.  Fortunately for us he did, since many of the originals have now been destroyed.

John Hancock is most likely a son of Scarlett Hancock who died in Prince William County, Virginia, in 1740.  The land that is surveyed was owned by Martin Scarlett, a rather important man in Prince William County, which at that time was Stafford County, was also a Burgess for the county in the capital at Williamsburg.  Scarlett Hancock was the son of John Hancock and Catherine Green, who was a daughter of Edward Smith and Lettice Green, who was a step-daughter to Martin Scarlett.  Mr. Scarlett had no living heirs at the time of his death and passed his estate to the children of his wife Anne, who first married William Green.

Prince William County

By virtue of a writ of ad quod damnum dated the ninth day of September, 1765. In company with the sheriff and sworn jury, and Mr. John Hancock and Thomas Lawson, Gent., I began this 30th of September, 1765, to survey and lay out a sale of land from Martin Scarlett to Thomas Norman for 300 acres, date the 30th of March 1687. Beginning at A, on the Platt, a marked black walnut on the Bay of Occoquan or River Side, extending through with a line of marked trees north 46, west 203 poles to a large lemon box oak in the line of Bainbridge or Straton patent. Then south 42 then north another line of marked trees 200 poles to a common red oak at D. Thence south 47 ½ entering the low grounds of 200 poles and rejoining the Poquoson Gent., at 244 poles and continuing through the Marsh 334 poles to the river side at G. Then up the river, the several M orders of line to H at the beginning, containing 429 acres of land and marsh.

Then at the further request of Mr. John Hancock, I laid off one hundred acres of land on the upper side of the river on the Platt, beginning at A on the riverside, extending thence North 26, west 125 poles to Thomas Settles, and west 76 poles to F, then south 47 ½, 280 poles to H on the river side, thence up the river to the beginning and contains one hundred acres as aforesaid.

Then at the further request of the said Mr. Hancock I laid down the line F and E, south 42, west 124 poles, leaving one hundred on the upper or back line and two hundred and twenty nine acres for the said Hancock.

Surveyed by Bertrand Ewell, S., Prince William County

Charles Byrns and John Dowell, Chainmen

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2 replies »

  1. Is this the same John Hancock who boldly signed the Declaration of Independence so the King could read it without his spectacles?Ron

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