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The Hocker/Hawker Family

Part 2

Robert Hawker and Amy Selby, the Parents of Elizabeth (Hawker) Pruitt

Amy Selby, the wife of Robert Hocker, was born around 1679 in Prince George's Co., Md., and was the daughter of William Selby, born in Maryland in 1656. Robert Hocker and Amy Selby were married before Nov. 5, 1698 (the date her father's last will was written - see below) and had the following children:

Much of what we know about Robert Hocker and Amy Selby comes from Robert Hocker's 1711 will. From the will, we know the names and birth dates of their four children, the name of Amy's father, and the fact that Robert Hocker received a good deal of land from William Selby when he married Amy. This latter fact is also corroborated by William Selby's 1698 will (see the "Sixthly" provision), proved on Feb. 25, 1699 (per Gregorian calendar). From Robert Hocker's will we also learn that Amy died before Robert, sometime between the birth of daughter Amy in July 1708 and the death of Robert around the end of April or early May of 1711. The will provides that the executor, Thomas Brook(e), Jr. is "to take into his care my dear babes and their estates beseeching him ... to deliver each their part when they arrive at the age within mentioned...." Thomas Brooke was a man of some prominence in Maryland, so it is unlikely, but not out of the question, that he raised the four children. None of Robert's three siblings were mentioned in the will, even as witnesses, so it is not obvious that any of them stepped up to raise the kids. Perhaps probate records will reveal how the children spent the next ten or so years of their lives until they "came of age."

Elizabeth Hawker, the daughter of Robert Hocker and Amy Selby, married Samuel Pruitt I in Prince George's Co., Md. around 1720. For more on the Pruiett genealogy, go to Pruiett, Part 1.

Nicholas Hawker and a Daughter of Ambrose Cook, the Grandparents of Elizabeth (Hawker) Seal

Nicholas Hocker, the son of John Hocker and Elizabeth Wright, married Sophia Sim around 1710 in Anne Arundel Co., Md. One source indicates she was born in Maryland in 1690. Another says she was christened in Scotland on July 6, 1684. Nicholas Hocker and Sophia Sim had the following children:

The Hawker families lived in an area of Prince George's Co., Md. that first became part of Frederick County in 1748 and then Montgomery County in 1776. The 1733 List of Taxables taken by Charles Perry, constable for Rock Creek Hundred in Prince George's Co., Md. showed:

Samuel Pruitt 1
Nicholas Hawkes [Hawker] 2
   Philip Hawkes [Hawker]

Another indication of how close the Pruitt and Hawker families were is the notation on the inventory of Samuel Pruitt's estate, taken by John Riddle on June 11, 1765, that Philip Hawker was one of two "nearest akin." Today "akin" is described as an archaic term for "related by blood." Philip Hawker was the oldest son of Nicholas Hawker and would have been Elizabeth (Hawker) Pruitt's first cousin.

Sophia Sim died before 1735 and Nicholas Hawker then married a daughter of Ambrose Cook in 1735; her first name is not known at this time. Nicholas Hawker and his new wife had the following child:

In 1759 Ambrose Cook Hawker married Lydia Butt, the daughter of Samuel Butt and Elizabeth Swearingen of Frederick Co., Md. In the late 1780s, the couple and their children moved to Pittsylvania Co., Va. They had the following children:

William Seal, Jr. was born in Pittsylvania Co., Va. in 1769, the son of William Seale. William Seal, Jr. and Elizabeth (Betsy) Hawker were married on Oct. 23, 1790 in Pittsylvania Co., Va. For more on the Seals genealogy, go to Seals, Part 1.

It's interesting to note that several family names appear again and again in the everyday lives of the Hawkers in both Maryland and Pittsylvania Co., Va. Many members of these families moved to Pittsylvania County during the same time period, between the early 1760s and the late 1780s. This group included the Hawkers, Pruitts, Butts, Swearingens, Riddles and, to a lesser extent, DuValls. It's clear that they all lived relatively close to each other in Maryland and worshipped at the same churches. These family names appear frequently in the surviving records from Queen Anne Parish (established in 1704, with St. Barnabas as the parish church), or Prince George's Parish (established in 1726, with Rock Creek as the parish church). While the Pruitts do not appear as often as others, it's likely that many of them met future husbands and wives in church-related activities. Colonial life often revolved around the Anglican Church and these families were no different than others at the time.

Ambrose Cook Hawker Will
Ambrose Cook Hawker Will

Ambrose Cook Hawker, the father of Elizabeth (Hawker) Seals, died in Pittsylvania Co., Va. before July 19, 1819, the date his will was proved in court and recorded. The will, which he signed on Nov. 23, 1812, mentioned his sons Ambrose, William and Philip Hawker; granddaughter Polly Butt; the heirs of his children Drusilla Butt, Priscilla Clarke, and Basil Hawker; and daughters Darcas Rice, Sarah Riddle, Mary Thompson, Elizabeth Seal, Anna Butt, Lydia Rice, and Deborah Earp.

Samuel Butt, father of Lydia (Butt) Hawker, died on Sept. 6, 1786 in Montgomery Co., Md.

The sons of Ambrose and Lydia Hawker, Ambrose, William and Philip, continued to live in Pittsylvania Co., Va. The census records for 1820 and 1830 suggest that the three brothers lived quite close to each other.

1820 Census - Pittsylvania County [Census Record]
Philip Hawker1111
William Hawker112111
Ambrose Hawker1122212
1830 Census - Pittsylvania County [Census Record]
Philip Hawker211
Ambrose Hawker122
William Hawker1111111

Philip and William Hawker died in 1856 and 1857, respectively, in Pittsylvania Co., Va. We do not know at this time when Ambrose Hawker died.

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