Friday, June 22, 2018

The Margaret Hancock Garrett Photo Collection

Back in the 1980’s my husband’s grandfather, Otis Sylvester Garrett, shared some photos with me that had belonged to his mother, Margaret Susan Hancock Garrett. The envelope contained about thirty-five photos of Margaret’s Hancock family members around Dekalb County Missouri.  I would estimate that most of the photos were taken in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  At the time Otis showed me the photos, I had negatives and copies made at a local photo store, and then returned them to Otis.  Otis Garrett died in 1994, at the age of ninety-nine years, and I don’t know where the photos are today.  But, I am so thankful for the copies I made.  Recently I have digitized the copies for storage and sharing on my Family Stories website. 

The earliest notes I have on the Hancock family introduce Edward Hancock and his wife Jemima White who were living in Scott county Kentucky in the 1850’s.  Edward Hancock was noted as a wagon maker.  By 1860 the census places them in Daviess county Missouri with four of their younger children still in the household.  My husband’s family branch comes down from their son, Richard White Hancock, who lived most of his life in the adjoining counties of Daviess and Dekalb in the northwest corner of Missouri. 

Richard White Hancock, and his wife Elizabeth “Betty” Taylor, were the parents of nine identified children.  Six of these children, along with their spouses and offspring, are the subjects of the photograph collection. At the Family Stories website, you can find these photographs among the families of Kate Hancock (Henry Murray); Ben Hancock (Stella Peaslee); Julia Hancock (Worthy Redman); Jack Hancock (Alice Estes); Spencer Hancock (Vesta Fisher); and Fred Hancock (Fannie Baker).  

The photos are representative of everyday farm life in rural Missouri – couples, children, and cousins, doing the things that families do – with horses and cars, washtubs and hogs.  It is a lovely collection of photos.  Besides running their farms, several of the Hancock men were involved in construction, and there are photos identifying Hancock building projects.  Like their wagon-making ancestor, the Hancock’s were noted as builders.  One of the more thought provoking photos remembers Vesta Fisher Hancock and her young son Randall visiting Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City, shortly after the 1928 death of her husband Spencer Hancock, at the age of forty-six.

Finding ancestor photos has been an inspiring piece of the family history puzzle.  Perhaps this blog post will be the spark that reconnects a Hancock descendent with faces from their past.

For more details on Richard White Hancock and his family, visit his page at Family Stories,

Moving back in time:  Margaret Susan “Maggie” Hancock 1869 (wife of Isaac Sylvester “Ves” Garrett) > Richard White Hancock 1845 > Edward Hancock 1808.

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