About Vachel Hancock
Vachel Hancock was born about 1768 in Virginia, the son of John and Sarah Hancock. The Virginia IGI lists the marriage of John and Sarah in 1767. It also lists a son, John, born about 1770. The family moved to Randolph County, Hilisborough
District, North Carolina sometime between 1772 and 1787.
On 23 September 1787 John Hancock made a will that was probated in March 1788 in Randolph county. The will left one-half of the land to Vachel and the other half to John. Vachel was married to Elizabeth in 1788 in Randolph County. The 1790 Census for Randolph County shows Vachel as a head of house with one young son. Next door was his mother, Sarah, with one male over 16 (evidently John) still at home. The 1800 Census shows both John and Vachel still in Randolph County. By this time Vachel has five sons and two daughters. In 1810 John was still in Randolph County but Vachel was not.
Vachel began acquiring land in the Indiana Territory as early as 1807. The records of the Jeffersonvifle Land Office contain eleven entries between 7 October 1807 and 20 August 1817 that show that he acquired 1,871 acres in Harrison and Clark Counties. When Floyd County was created in 1819 his property became a part of Floyd County. Vachel died intestate about 1819. We have his estate papers. We also have the estate papers of Sarah Hancock, apparently his mother, dated 1821 and also filed in Floyd County.
Vachel and Elizabeth had about ten children. Patsy, born about 1790, was married 8 February 1809 to Caleb Newman in Harrison County, Indiana. This was the first marriage recorded in Hairison County. Caleb Newman later became County Recorder for Floyd County. John, born 1792, married Mary French 7 January 1813. Thomas, born 1795, married Elizabeth Watson 12 June 1818.
In 1819 John Hancock (another John Hancock) and his wife, Jane Skeen, along with their large extended family - some of whom were grown and married - moved from Wilson County, Tennessee to Harrison County, Indiana where they established the Hancock Settlement in Blue River Township. Hancock’s Chapel was built in 1820. This family acquired substantial acreage in Harrison County during the next few years. (Jane Skeen Hancock had two sisters living nearby in Polk Township, Washington County. Martha Skeen was married to Joshua Crow and Sarah Skeen was married to John Wilson.)
No relationship between Vachel and John has been established. The two families were neighbors although Vachel died about the time John arrived in Harrison County. John Hancock was born in 1769 in Bute County (which became Franidin), NC. Vachel was born in 1768 and lived in Randolph County, NC. No connection has been found between these two families in North Carolina or Indiana. It would seem likely that some descendants of both families are still living in Southern Indiana at this time.
(Some Southern Indiana (Harrison County) Pioneers Submitted by Arvil D. Hancock)