Mary Magdalena Landis was born 4 February 1800 in Londonderry Township to Henry Landis Jr. and his wife Catharine Baum. She grew in Derry Township, most likely on land her father purchased from Adam Hocker in 1803.1 She had three sisters: Barbara, Elizabeth, and Sarah, and six brothers: Jacob, Henry,2 John, Adam, Samuel, and Joseph.
On 2 March 1819, Molly married George Hocker, son of Adam Hocker, in Zion Lutheran Church in Harrisburg.3 They most likely lived on Adam Hocker’s property in Swatara Township—as that’s the property that George received per his father’s probate. They had two children: Isemiah, born 9 May 1821,4 and Levi, born 17 January 1824.5 A little over a year after Levi’s birth, Molly died on 22 February 1825.6
I’ve often wondered how George managed after her death. He was a 31-year-old widower with two young children, aged one and four, and a farm to operate. He remarried in 1835, but for ten years he remained a widower. Did he love her? Miss her? How did he manage?
I think that answer to that is family. Both George and his younger brother Adam received the Swatara property from the probate. It’s possible that their mother Mary came to live with them and manage their household. Brothers John and Jacob, who were already married and had started their families, were living on the Derry Township property. Brother Benjamin was sixteen and may have already been apprenticing for his future as a merchant. George was the most in need of his mother’s assistance.
George and Adam shared the Swatara property through the mid-to-late 1830s when Adam sold his share to George and moved to Cumberland County. In the meantime, Adam had married Mary Hoover and started his own family. Molly’s children grew up surrounded by George’s family—grandmother, uncle, and cousins.
George and Mary Magdalena (Landis) Hocker had children:
- Isemiah Hocker (9 May 1821–7 Dec 1882) married Henry Wagner
- Levi Hocker (17 Jan 1824–31 Oct 1876) married Anna Frantz
This post is part of a blogging challenge entitled 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, created by Amy Crow of No Story Too Small in 2014. Participants were to write about one ancestor every week. I’m revisiting this challenge for 2017. This is my fifteenth 52 Ancestors post.
- Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book P1:132, Adam Hocker et ux to Henry Landis, 29 Apr 1803; online PDF, Recorder of Deeds, “Dauphin County Pennsylvania Public Web Search” (http://deeds.dauphinc.org : accessed 19 Mar 2013). ↩
- Molly’s brother Henry married Christianna Hocker, daughter of Martin and Christianna (Beinhauer) Hocker, in 1825. ↩
- Frederick S. Weiser, editor and translator, Records of Pastoral Acts at Zion Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, 1795-1827 (Birdsboro, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania German Society, 1987), page 90. ↩
- Zion Lutheran Church (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), baptismal record, page 130, “Jeremiah Hocker, child of George Hocker,”1821; index and image, Ancestry.com, “Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985” (https://www.ancestry.com : viewed 4 Feb 2012); citing Historic Pennsylvania Church and Town Records (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Historical Society of Pennsylvania). Subsequent documents show her name was Isemiah. ↩
- Churchville Cemetery (Oberlin, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania), Hocker family gravestone, section not recorded, personally read and photographed, 2002. ↩
- “Deaths,” (Harrisburg) Oracle of Dauphin, 26 Feb 1825. ↩