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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Hancock family come from? What is the English Hancock family crest and coat of arms? When did the Hancock family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Hancock family history?

The name Hancock originated with the Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled Britain. It is derived from from the baptismal name for the son of John, which was originally derived from the diminutive form Hann, a popular English name derived from the Flemish Hann, when translated means John. The suffix cock was added to the surname to indicate familiarity.


One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Hancock has appeared include Hancock, Hancox, Hancocks, Hancocke, Handcock and others.

First found in Yorkshire where one of the first records of the name was Hanecock Birunc who was listed in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Warynus Hancok, Robert Hancok, Willelmus Hancok and Agnes Hankok as all living in Yorkshire at that time. [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hancock research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1737, 1793, 1631, 1707, 1692, 1699, 1703, 1707, 1654, 1701, 1692, 1693, 1654, 1726, 1692, 1699, 1676, 1723, 1703, 1714, 1721 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Hancock History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 59 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hancock Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Hancock family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 181 words(13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Hancock arrived in North America very early:

Hancock Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Nicholas Hancock, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1607
  • Nicholas Hancock settled in Virginia in 1608
  • John Hancock settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Nathaniel Hancock, who landed in Carnbridge, Massachusetts in 1635
  • Andrew Hancock, who arrived in Virginia in 1649

Hancock Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Jacob Hancock, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
  • Thomas Hancock settled in Maryland in 1775

Hancock Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • George Hancock, aged 22, landed in South Carolina in 1812
  • Elizabeth Hancock, aged 41, landed in New York, NY in 1842
  • Robert Hancock, who arrived in New York in 1846
  • T J Hancock, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • S Hancock, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (b. 1940), American Grammy award winning jazz musician
  • John Hancock (1737-1793), American merchant, statesman, Patriot of the American Revolution, signor of the Declaration of Independence, president of the Second Continental Congress, first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Nick Hancock (b. 1962), English actor, comedian and television presenter
  • Tony Hancock (1924-1968), English comedian
  • Albany Hancock (1806-1873), English naturalist, biologist, supporter of Charles Darwin
  • Sheila Cameron Hancock CBE (b. 1933), English actress and author
  • Thomas Hancock VC (1823-1871), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Barry John Hancock (1938-2013), English footballer
  • Sir William Keith Hancock (1898-1988), Australian historian and Rhodes Scholar
  • Ralph Hancock (1893-1950), Welsh landscape gardener



  • Anthony Hancock and Some of His Descendants: A Genealogy by Harold H. Shepard.
  • History of the Hancock and Barton Families: From Virginia to California: Allied Families, Corlews, Donahoos, and Holways by Hancock Family Organization.

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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Hancock Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hancock Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 June 2014 at 13:02.

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