Clarissa Hancock

Female 1790 - 1870  (79 years)


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  • Name Clarissa Hancock  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Born 3 Sep 1790  Longmeadow, Hampden Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Buried Jul 1870  Parowan, Iron Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Clarissa was buried at the Parowan Cemetery.
    Died 22 Jul 1870  Parowan, Iron Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I131  Alger
    Last Modified 9 May 2017 

    Father Thomas Hancock, Jr.,   b. 21 Nov 1763, Longmeadow, Hampden Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Oct 1844, Morley (now Tioga), Hancock Co., Illinois, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Mother Amy Ward,   b. 28 Feb 1769, Somers, Tolland Co., Connecticut, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jan 1847, Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married 25 May 1786  Longmeadow, Hampden Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Error alert: Some references add another child to this family - Eliza or Elizah Hancock, born 1782 or 1788 in Old Sprinfgield, Massachusetts and died 1 Aug 1878 or 1 Aug 1885.
    Family ID F3226  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Samuel Alger,   b. Est 1786, Uxbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Sep 1874, Saint George, Washington Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 88 years) 
    Married 25 Feb 1808  Uxbridge, Worcester Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Samuel Alger,   b. 1809, Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. Eli Ward Alger,   b. 11 Mar 1809, Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Aug 1890, Kirksville, Adair Co., Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     3. Saphony Alger,   b. 1813, Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. Fanny Ward Alger,   b. 30 Sep 1817, Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Nov 1889, Indianapolis, Marion Co., Indiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
     5. Amy Saphony Alger,   b. 27 Sep 1818, Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Mar 1899, Trenton, Grundy Co., Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     6. John Alger,   b. 5 Nov 1820, New Lyme, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Feb 1897, Saint George, Washington Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     7. Alvah W. Alger,   b. 11 Oct 1822, Willoughbeach, Lake, Ohio, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Kirtland, Lake Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Samuel H. Alger,   b. 31 Jul 1826, Willoughby, Lake Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Jul 1909  (Age 82 years)
     9. Thomas Alger,   b. 14 Aug 1828, Mayfield, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Feb 1862, Chillicothe, Livingston Co., Missouri, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 33 years)
     10. Clarissa Alger,   b. 2 Jun 1830, Chagrin Falls, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Mar 1907, Parowan, Iron Co., Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
    Last Modified 31 Jul 2015 
    Family ID F26  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • **********
      ?i?"Clarissa Hancock was born on 03 September 1790 in Springfield, Hampden, Massachusetts to Thomas Jr. and Amy Ward Hancock. She was the first daughter and third child of nine children. Based on her positioning in the family, the time frame and her gender, and the fact that there are histories of at least three of her brothers, SoJomo1l, Levi and Joseph, I am concluding that Clarissa probably lacked a formal education and was unable to read and write.
      I will rely heavily on the journals of Clarissa's brothers that are included in a book written by Ivan Haskell of Payson. It's entitled "Experiences of Payson Pioneers." Quotes from his book and the histories will be in a indented.

      "Thomas was not old enough to join the army at the commencement of the War and having two brothers in the service of the Revolution, one had died from
      its service (Elijah), and the other ill (Jonathan), he went to join about the close of the war. General Washington being posted in the matter, said, "no, you go back with your parents. This is the last battle; it's now death or victory. You've lost two brothers and one will not make much difference now.

      Thomas' height was 5 feet 9 inches, with black eyes and hair and was noted for his courage and his great strength, also his activity and durability. He was a Bible reader and a follower of the same, choosing the patriotic society, cultivating the spirit of liberty, free trade, and sailor's rights.

      Thomas Hancock, 6th child of Thomas Sf. and Jemima Wright Hancock, married Amy Ward, the daughter of General Jacob Ward of Lexington, Mass. Thomas took his mother, Jemima and the rest of the family and moved to the State of New York, after his father's death, 4 March 1804. They settled in Bloomfield, York State."

      The family consisted of seven children. Two more daughters were born in New York. The youngest, Amy, lived to be two years old and is buried in Wolcutt, Wayne, New York next to her grandmother, Jemima Wright who died one month earlier in Aug 1809 .

      "Thomas Sf., had been reduced to a pauper during the Revolutionary War in the town of Longmeadow, Mass. This loss was caused by the lack of commerce with the mother country at the commencement of the Revolutionary Waf. He had invested heavily in the trade of gingshang root, a perennial sweet, and famous for its medicinal properties. It grows spontaneously in the Eastern states, where it was dug, dried, and shipped to England, making a profitable business in the times of peace. "

      Solomon's history gives some insight into their life as he states:

      " ... being our parents were reduced in property and monetary worth, we became suitable subjects for the western frontiers, preparing the way for the coming civilization and the generations of man. We sought game of the woods, such as deer, elk, moose, black bear, and the smaller game, together with fish and fowl, all of which were plentiful and a little bread and beans, with prudent care, made a living.

      We were in York State and also Vermont, thus deprived of proper schooling, so our education was limited. Our first schooling was such that I first done the house work and then walked to school six miles and back every day. We were well pleased with Vermont.

      My parents read the Bible to their children and explained it to them, taught them to pray also. To keep the Sabbath was a must, to keep it Holy to the Lord and to be attentive to the minister at meetings. "

      This then describes the atmosphere of Clarissa's home life.
      Around 1815 Thomas Jf. and Amy Hancock moved from Bristol, Ontario, New York to around Buffalo, New York and on to Erie, Pennsylvania to Chagrin, Ohio. Clarissa's brother Levi notes in his history:

      "We moved from York State with 7 children to Bristol for two years, then to Pitts Town of Ontario County. We later moved to Bloomfield to Samuel Alger's, my brother-in-law that my sister Clarissa Hancock had married near 1808."

      The seven children mentioned would be without Clarissa. As there were a total of eight children born to Thomas Jf. and Amy. The oldest child and son, Elijah, died in 1818 in New York.

      Clarissa's younger sister, Sarah, gave the following memory.

      "My mother was a daughter of General Jacob Ward, spoken of in Lexington, Mass. in the History of the Revolutionary War of 1776. Many an hour I've listened to the tales of war, or of the wild woods, and since reading the history of the United States, I find that what Joseph Smith Jf. said is true, without fault or boast."

      Clarissa married Samuel Alger 25 February 1808; it is not clear where they were living. I'm assuming that Clarissa with her husband Samuel Alger remained in Massachusetts while the Hancock family moved to New York because their first child was born in March 1809 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts. In fact, their first five children were born there. John Alger, their sixth child was born 05 Nov 1820 in Ohio. His four younger siblings were also born in Ohio. So it's evident that sometime between September 1818 and November 1820, they moved from Massachusetts to Ohio. Clarissa's parents had moved to Chagrin, Ohio in 1819. The fact that Samuel Alger was in the Ohio Militia may account for the various locations.

      Levi Ward Hancock's history gives some clarity as to their whereabouts in 1820,

      "April 11, 1820, father gave me a paper he had signed, to give me permission to be on my own, at my request I might add. I boiled some sour sap into molasses and then went to work in a cabinet shop at Chagrin, Cuyahoga, Ohio, for James Spalding. I inadvertently bumped his nose with my head and caused it to bleed extensively. He cussed me badly and I left the 1st of May. I went to my brothers and then to my fathers. At the end of a week, I left without purse or script, not knowing where I was going or what I would do. I left through Chagrin, Painesville, Austinburg and there inquired where Lebonon was. I had a sister (Clarissa) there whose name is Alger. The man I asked knew them and gave me directions. It was 50 miles away. I traveled 44 miles before I stopped for the night.

      I lived with them and helped him (Samuel Alger) build some fine buildings and also a sawmill. I was taught many things that I didn't understand. I have written since I was 14 and he let me write here, even giving me paper and ink. I played the fife, flute, and even the violin, they even gave me clothes to wear. Samuel Alger was a Lieutenant in the Ohio Militia and I ate with the officers. I also went to dances that winter. I made up tunes and helped the eldest boy do the chores.

      I was small for my age, weighing 95 Ibs. but very active and stout. I and Samuel went to a house-log rolling and some stout men were lifting an elm log. Samuel went to the butt end of the log and lifted it so easy, the whole crowd was in awe. Steven Bishop challenged him to a wrestle, and Samuel could throw him easily.

      Samuel bought a place in Chagrin and did cabinetwork. He moved his wife and family there. I went to work where Samuel worked this summer and in the fall, I went to Rome and worked on spinning wheels, bed-steads and reels. "

      It would appear that while the entire family joined the Mormon Church at nearly the same time, 16 November 1830, they didn't all immigrate to Utah in the same company. Clarissa's brother Joseph was one of the 3000 men and families to go west during the winter of 1845. The exodus began 4 February. In July 1846 their journey was interrupted by an army courier. He was instructed to go to Council Point on the Missouri River where Brigham Young was. Here he assisted in making a ferry across the river and establishing the place that would become Winter Quarters. He and his wife and family didn't arrive in Salt Lake until 1851, having lived in Big Grove, Iowa since 1848.

      Clarissa's nephew, Mosiah Lyman Hancock, son of Levi, gives some insight from his journal regarding the trek west. He states:

      " ... We went over to Elk Horn and was organized in Zera Pulsipher's company of 50. He was captain. There was John B. Butcher, John Bills, Wm. Burgess, John Alger, Samuel Alger, Lewis the tinner, Brother Bunday, Brother Neff, and Charles Pulsipher. "

      They traveled in the Brigham Young Company (his second). A description of the organized companies is taken from the book "The Story ofthe Latter-Day Saints" by James B Allen and Glen M. Leonard. It states:

      "The military-style organization he (Brigham Young) established was not uncommon in westward travel and soon became the pattern for Mormon exiles. About fifty families comprised the basic unit of travel. Each fifty, sometimes subdivided into groups of ten, was led by a captain who supervised the march, maintained discipline, and oversaw the work of commissarians, guards, herdsmen, and other officers."

      This then was the mode of travel to the Salt Lake V alley with the Hancocks in the group captained by Zera Pulsipher, John's father-in-law. This group arrived in the Salt Lake Valley the 22nd day of September 1848, after wintering in Winter Quarters, Nebraska where Clarissa's granddaughter, Olivia Alger, my great-great grandmother, was born 23 Jun 1847. In the 1860s John served a mission to the east and his brother, Alva, returned to Utah with him. As well as a sister-in-law, Sarah Ann, who John married, and her young children. It's reported her husband died in the Civil Waf. This would be Thomas. There is no evidence that the other children of Clarissa and Samuel came West. The only information on them is death places in Missouri for three of them. Fanny can be tracked to Indiana. Whether Clarissa ever saw these six children again is unknown.

      Phebe Adams Hancock wife of Solomon records, " .. .I left the state of Missouri in the Spring. I had eight in my family to care for, Mother and Father Hancock lived with me. Father Hancock was seventy five years old. We had only one small wagon and I walked every mile to the State of Illinois. We lived in Hancock County till we left for the Rocky Mountains. We left Nauvoo in 1846 and reached a place we later named Winter Quarters and my husband (Solomon) died 2nd December 1847 there. "

      There is no mention made of the death of Father (Thomas, Jf.) Hancock, although it appears that he did not complete the trek west. Genealogy records indicate that he died 01 October 1844 in Hancock County, Illinois.

      Again, quoting from the book "The Story ofthe Latter-Day Saints", the conditions under which these ancestors lived is noted:

      Diets in the camps were necessarily limited. One much-needed product obtained from Missouri was potatoes, but many Saints subsisted on little more than com bread, salt bacon, a little milk, and a little fresh meat. The lack of fresh vegetables during the first summer caused many to contract scurvy, known among the Mormons as blackleg. The potatoes, horseradish discovered at old Fort Atkinson, and cold weather finally brought relief, but not before disease had claimed its toll. The numbers who died of scurvy, consumption, and chills and fever during that first summer were not recorded, but from mid-September 1846 to May 1848 these ailments caused 359 deaths at Cutler's Park and Winter Quarters.

      As mentioned above, Clarissa's brother, Solomon was one of those who died in Winter Quarters 02 December 1847. Alvah, a brother died 17 July 1847 and another brother, Thomas is said to have died while crossing the plains 04 January 1848. So Joseph, Levi, Clarissa and Sarah were the four remaining Hancock children. Histories document that Joseph, Levi and Clarissa arrived in Utah. It is assumed that Sarah did also. Mother Hancock (Amy) died in Kanesville, Iowa on 14 January 1847. Therefore, Clarissa endured the death of her mother and three brothers in a year's time, not to mention nieces and nephews, plus the hardships of travel, and parting with six of her children.

      Clarissa's brother Levi served with the Mormon Battalion, and it isn't clear exactly when he arrived in Utah. He was married the 24th of February 1849 in Salt Lake.

      In 1862 (or 1864) the Algers were called to help settle the Dixie Mission. Clarissa and husband Samuel and their daughter Clarissa and husband Francis Whitney settled in Parowan. Clarissa's son, John and family went on to St. George.

      Mosiah Lyman Hancock's journal states the following and is credited to his daughter Amy Baird:

      "Although father was not with us much I noticed that he had many good ways about him. He had such a light step and would be close by you before you knew he was anywhere around. He was a good public speaker and a splendid dancer, in fact he was called "Fancy Dancing Hancock" as was John Hancock, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and who was a brother of father's great grandfather. "

      The above statement is factual insofar as a relationship to John Hancock (signer) is concerned. It's a little farther removed that Mosiah's history would indicate as it is a 3rd great-grandfather of his father Levi, Clarissa's brother. That is assuming that the line ties in with Nathaniel. There is still research in that area.

      In Dec 1850 Clarissa and Samuel left on a mission to explore and settle southern Utah. By this time, their daughter Clarissa had married Francis Tuft Whitney. Samuel and Clarissa and the Whitneys with 280 other families went to Center Creek, or what is now Parowan, Iron, Utah on 13 January 1851, under the leadership of George Albert Smith. Following their release in 1853, Clarissa and Samuel returned to Salt Lake City until 1865 when they again returned to Parowan where they made their home. Clarissa died in Parowan on 22 July 1870, six weeks short of her 80th birthday. Family records state that she is buried in Parowan. At the time of this writing her grave has not been located. (Addendum 2004: the grave has been located and pictures taken.)

      Clarissa was mother to ten children.

      Eli Ward
      John
      Samuel - died young
      Alva
      Saphony - died young
      Samuel
      Fanny
      Thomas
      Amy Saphony
      Clarissa ?/i?

      ("Clarissa Hancock Alger wife of Samuel Alger and mother of John Alger" by Carol Easterbrook wolf 4th great-granddaughter - 2000)
      **********

      In 1830, Clarissa heard speaches by Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdrey. She was immediately converted to Mormonism and baptized.

      Compiled and edited by Allen Alger, Alger Family Historian - e-mail: alger@alum.mit.edu

  • Sources 
    1. [S137] Foremothers web site, (Http://Foremothers.homestead.com), accessed 9 Apr 2010), Clarissa Hancock - http://foremothers.homestead.com/Samuel_and_Clarissa_Alger.html (Reliability: 3).

    2. [S138] John P. Pratt genealogy, Pratt, John P.John P. Pratt, (http://www.johnpratt.com/), accessed 9 Apr 2010), John Alger - http://www.johnpratt.com/gen/7/2.john_alger.html (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S158] Life of Levi Hancock, Levi Hancock, p. p. 1, 14 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S139] Utah State History, State of Utah, (http://history.utah.gov/apps/burials/execute/searchburials : 2010), accessed 9 Apr 2010), Burial record for Clarissa Alger (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S31] Alger files - Alger, Dennis Wayne, Dennis Wayne Alger, Family group record for Thomas Hancock and Amy Ward - 3 Jan 1994 (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S140] Alger e-files - Alger, Matthew T., Matthew T. Alger, Descendants of Thomas Alger - 14 Aug 2003 - p. 6 (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S80] Alger files - Horting, Luanne, Luanne Horting, Clarissa Hancock Alger - by Carol Easterbrook Wolf, 4th great-granddaughter - 2000 (Reliability: 3).

    8. [S124] Family of Adam, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (https://familysearch.org/ : copyright 2008), accessed 10 Feb 2017), LDKR-163 (Reliability: 3).


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