|James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok|
My 6th cousin, 4x removed
"Western Figure. Born in Troy Grove, near Ottawa, Illinois, he took part in the Kansas struggle preceding the Civil War, was a driver of the Butterfield stage line, and gained fame as a gunfighter. He was an assistant station tender for the Pony Express and the Rock Creek, Nebraska station. He served as a union scout in the Civil War. After the war he became deputy United States Marshal at Fort Riley (1866), Marshal of Hays, Kansas (1869), and Marshal of Abilene (1871). His reputation as a marksman in desperate encounters with outlaws made him a frontier legend. Hickok once shot and killed his own deputy in error, which was the downfall of his career as a lawman. After a tour of the east with Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show (1872-1873), he went to Deadwood, South Dakota where he was murdered by Jack McCall while playing cards at the #10 Saloon. The hand Hickok had held, a pair of aces and a pair of eights, thereafter became known as "The Dead Man's Hand."
Wow, anyway James Butler Hickok was or is my 6th cousin, 4x removed and we share as our common ancestor his 5th great grandfather and my 9th great grandfather, William Hickok (?-1645), whose life story as we know it shall begin this new chapter in our blog. Incidentally, the spelling of our ancestor's surname in historical documents is all over the place including Hickox, Hitchcock, Hickox, Hickock, and more but just to keep it simple we are going to stick with the more modern spelling of the family name, Hickok.
|Voyage to America in 1635|
Unfortunately or at least adding to the confusion, there are other websites and family trees that suggest that my great grandmother's maiden name was really Elizabeth Stacy who was born in 1624 and who emigrated to America with her parents Simon and Elizabeth Clerke Stacy around 1635. The family soon moved to Ipswich located about 35 miles north of Boston. Assuming that Elizabeth Stacy was still living in Ipswich around 1641 when she was around 17 years old, it is hard to imagine that William Hickok met her there and they later married and then moved to Connecticut, but then again, who knows. We are going to have to accept that my 9th great grandparents' names are simply William and Elizabeth (unknown) Hickok.
It would appear that William and his new wife Elizabeth moved to the new community of Farmington shortly following their marriage in 1641. The community of Farmington located about 10 miles west of Hartford, had been established by residents of Hartford only a year earlier following their purchase of the land from the local Tunix Indian tribe. William and Elizabeth Hickok are thus credited with being among the founding residents of Farmington. Farmington has the distinction of being the oldest inland community west of the Connecticut River and being the twelfth oldest community in the future State of Connecticut. Some of the earliest of the communities of Connecticut include Windsor (1633), Wethersfield (1634), Hartford (1636), Saybrook (1636), and New Haven (1637). It is estimated that by around 1637 nearly 1,000 people had moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut including many of my ancestors. Our Hickok ancestors undoubtedly soon constructed a small log cabin on their new property in Farmington and quickly cleared the land, planted crops, and most likely raised some farm animals. Their life of course would have been very difficult as it was for all of the original settlers of Farmington and other early rural communities. Nevertheless they were to have two sons born within a few years of moving to their new home, Samuel Hickok who was born in 1643 and Joseph who was born in 1645. Samuel is my 8th great grandfather and his brother Joseph is the 4th great grandfather of our cousin Wild Bill Hickok. Both boys would have been born in their parents small home and undoubtedly without the benefit of a doctor overseeing their births.
|Multiple early deaths like smallpox|
There are no records that exist or at least that we could find, that tell us what happen to my then 12-year old 8th great grandfather Samuel Hickok when his mother and his then step-father died in 1655. We only know that at around the age of 24, Samuel married an 18-year old girl named Hannah Upson who also lived with her family in Farmington. What we find interesting is that Hannah's father, Thomas Upson, who also happens to be my 9th great grandfather, also died of an epidemic illness in Farmington around the same time period as Samuel Hickok's mother and his step-father. Thomas Upson's wife Elizabeth Fuller Upson, my 9th great grandmother, was fortunate to have escaped death during this epidemic and almost immediately following her husband's death she married a man named Edmund Scott. Now here comes a little bit of speculation. Samuel Hickok and his brother and his step-sister and step-brother having lost their parents were undoubtedly sent to live with different families in Farmington. In the case of William he was possibly "adopted" by Edmund Scott and his new wife Elizabeth Upson Scott along with all of their family including Elizabeth's then 9-year old daughter Hannah Upson. This being the case, Hannah and Samuel grew up together, became wonderful friends and then more, and on 25 October 1664 they married. Pure speculation of course. Incidentally Hannah's father Thomas Upson, is credited with being one of the original founders of Hartford, Connecticut having first settled there in 1638. He shortly thereafter moved to the new settlement later to be called Farmington, in the early 1640s and he too is credited with being one of the founders of Farmington. Thomas Upson did not actually marry Elizabeth Fuller, who was to be his second wife, until early 1647 and there is some evidence via a court record dated 21 August 1646 that Thomas and Elizabeth may have given birth to a daughter prior to their marriage. It was implied in the court records that "Elizabeth was sentenced to be severely corrected for an offense against morality" which certainly implies that she did something morally wrong. The exact date of Hannah Upson's birth is not known but it is usually noted as being sometime in 1646 or maybe before her parents marriage. Not that it really matters.
|Waterbury on the Naugatuck River|
Early Map of Waterbury (Mattatuck)
"Serj Samuel Hickox" name on map
Samuel Hickok Jr, was around 22 years old in 1690 when he married 21 year old Elizabeth Plumb daughter of John and Elizabeth (Norton) Plumb from Milford, Connecticut. Exactly how Samuel and Elizabeth met is a mystery as Milford and Waterbury are around 30 miles apart which was quite a distance back in the late 1600s. The fact that the families may not have known each other might suggest that it was an arranged marriage which in 1690 might not have been that unusual. On the other hand both settlements sat on the shores of the Naugatuck River and its contributory the Housatonic River which would have greatly reduced the difficulty in travelling between the two communities. John Plumb's grandfather and my 9th great grandfather, Robert Plumb (1617-1655), emigrated with his father from County Essex, England to America around 1635 and he is credited with being one of the earliest settlers in Milford in 1639. His son John Plumb was born in Milford in 1648 and he married Elizabeth Norton in 1668. Elizabeth's family as turns out lived in Farmington, Connecticut which is almost 50 miles from Milford so here again is another example of how two individuals who lived so far apart were able to meet each other and eventually wed. We know very little about the Plumb family other than according to an early historian named James Savage, "he (John Plumb) was a man of distinction."
|An Old Fulling Mill|
Elizabeth Plumb Hickok was in her early 40s when her husband died and she was left with at least seven surviving children ranging in age between a few months old to around 20 years old. It is likely that all of her children were still living at home. Elizabeth lived until the age of 77 but we know nothing about her life following the death of her husband other than she undoubtedly continued to raise her children. Her youngest child, my 6th great grandmother Silence was 24 years old when she married Abraham Bennett in 1737. Her mother who was then around 68 years old, undoubtedly attended her youngest daughter's wedding as she had the weddings of all of her other children.
6th great grandparents: Silence Hickok m Abraham Bennett
5th great grandparents: Abraham Bennett m Jersuha Wanzer
4th great grandparents: Comfort Bennett m Abigail Miller
3rd great grandparents: Sally Bennett m Joseph Livesay
2nd great grandparents: Ellen Livesay m David Reynolds
Great grandparents: Ella Reynolds m Henry Spaulding
Grandparents: Helen Spaulding m Charles S Baker
Parents: Charles A Baker m Marian Patterson
Living generation: Charles A Baker Jr
Anne Baker Fanton
Joan Patterson Baker
And so ends another story . . . .