When the Revolutionary War began, Thomas Hancock was too young to join the army. Toward the end of the war, when he was old enough, Thomas attempted to enlist. His two older brothers had already been killed in the fighting and Thomas’s mother, Jemima, was distraught at the prospect of losing her only remaining son. Upon learning the details, General George Washington told Thomas that his family had already sacrificed enough, that the war would be over soon anyway and sent him home to his mother.
Thomas Hancock was a third cousin of John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas was born in Massachusetts in 1763. According to his son Levi’s account, Thomas was about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He had dark eyes, black hair and was rarely ever known to lose his temper. “Indeed, he was called the best dispositioned man in all the country,” wrote Levi.
Thomas married Amy Ward in Massachusetts in 1785. Amy’s father, Jacob Ward, was a general in the Revolutionary War. Sarah Hancock, a daughter, wrote, “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.”
The Hancocks lived in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. While in Ohio, they heard the preaching of Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery. Thomas and his daughter Clarissa were the first to be baptized.
After joining the church, the Hancocks moved to Kirtland, Ohio, Far West, Missouri and Yelrome, a settlement about 45 miles from Nauvoo, Illinois. They experienced all the trials and hardships of the early members of the Church. Thomas died in Yelrome in 1844. Amy died in Iowa in 1847, en route to the Salt Lake Valley.
The connection between Eric Eastman and Thomas Hancock is as follows: Eric Eastman – Blance Savilla Jones – Amy Sophronia Whitney – Job Hall Whitney – Clarissa Alger – Clarissa Hancock – Thomas Hancock