On the Trail of John and Jacob Hocker

Part One: Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

Adam3 Hocker (Adam2, Christoph1) came to Dauphin County in the late 1780s. He is listed as a tavern owner in the Harrisburg tax list of 1787. About 1787, he married Sophia Maria Hershey, probably in Harrisburg. This couple had eight children, as follows:

  1. John4 Hocker, born 30 Aug 1788, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
  2. Anna Barbara Hocker, born 26 Apr 1791, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
  3. George Hocker, born 21 Jan 1794, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
  4. Jacob Hocker, born 22 Sep 1796, Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania and possibly baptized 12 Feb 1797, Zion Evangelical Church, Hummelstown [1]
  5. Benjamin Hocker, born 1 Mar 1799 and died 14 Mar 1799, Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
  6. Johan Adam Hocker, born 19 Jun 1802, Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania and baptized 19 Jan 1803, Zion Evangelical Church, Hummelstown [2]
  7. Benjamin Hocker, born 1 Dec 1805, Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania
  8. Elizabeth Hocker, born 5 Jan 1811 and died 25 Aug 1811, Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

Adam died in testate about Nov 1821 in Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. His heirs petitioned the Orphans Court to partition Adam’s estate in May 1822. [3] John and Jacob Hocker purchased two tracts of land in Derry Township from their father’s estate in 1823. [4] George and Adam Hocker purchased their father’s Swatara Township property from the estate.

John and Jacob Hocker appear in the 1830 U.S. census for Derry Township, Dauphin County, living adjacent to each other. [5] The households were enumerated as follows:

John Hocker

    Male under 5 (born 1826-1830)
    Male 40-50 (born 1780-1790)
    Female 5-10 (born 1820-1825)
    Female 20-30 (born 1800-1810)

The eldest male in this household was John Hocker, the eldest female, most likely his wife, Catharina. The baptisms of two daughters of John and Catharina were recorded in the Zion Evangelical Lutheran church in Hummelstown prior to 1830. Either Margareth Hocker, baptized on 27 Jul 1823 [6], or Anna Hocker, born 15 Oct 1824 and baptized 12 Jun 1825 [7], died prior to this census enumeration. Because later records include Anna, it can be inferred that it was Margareth that died. Otherwise, the members of this household match the known information about John Hocker, son of Adam Hocker.

Jacob Hocker

    Male born under 5 (born 1826-1830)
    Male born 30-40 (born 1790-1800)
    Female under 5 (born 1826-1830)
    Female 20-30 (born 1800-1810)

The eldest male in this household was Jacob Hocker, the eldest female, his wife Barbara. The younger male and female were likely children of this marriage.

Although, no marriage record has been located for the marriage of Jacob and Barbara, we know they married based on two documents. The first was the inquest for the estate of John Noll. In it the petitioner Jacob Hocker is named as being “intermarried with Barbara Noll, eldest daughter and heir at law of the late John Noll, late of Derry Township…”[8] The second, mentioned below, was the sale of property John and Jacob bought from their father’s estate.

John and Jacob Hocker do not appear in the records of Derry Township after 1838. They appear in township tax records between 1823, when they appear as the heirs of Adam Hocker, and 1838 when their names are crossed out and “to Benjamin Hocker” is written in. [9] The brothers sold their Derry Township property to Benjamin Hocker on 2 April 1839. [10] John Hocker and Catharine, his wife, and Jacob Hocker and Barbara, his wife, all signed the deed. Their brothers George and Adam Hocker were their sureties.

What happened to John and Jacob after 1838? We know from the tax records that they did not remain in the area, but these records provide no hint as to their destination. A possible lead appeared in an article in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Gaius M. Brumbaugh wrote an article in Volume 19, Number 3 (1931) that states that John Hocker, son of Martin Hocker, married Catharina Sterling and settled in Hummelstown, Pa. where he was a minister in the River Brethren Church. [11] The article states that the family moved to Montgomery County, Ohio in 1839.

The next installment will examine this article as a lead on John and Jacob’s destination after they left Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

Footnotes:

1 “Book 1: Zion Evangelical Lutheran, Hummelstown, Parish Records, 1766-1941,” Dauphin County Church Records (Gettysburg, PA: Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1968), Volume 7:19. The transcription indicates that Jacob was the child of “Phillip and Polly Hacker [alternate spelling of Hocker].” However, subsequent research into Hockers in the Dauphin County area turned up no Phillip Hacker/Hocker in census or tax records. It is possible that this is a clerical error – either in the original document or the transcription – and he should be recorded as the son of Adam Hocker. A nephew, Martin, is mistakenly listed as the son of “Adam and Barbara Hacker” instead of Martin and Barbara.
2Ibid, page 24.
3 Dauphin County Miscellaneous Deed Book E, 1: 618, 16 May 1822.
4 Dauphin County Orphans Court, Book E: 452, 2 Dec 1823.
5 John and Jacob Hocker households, 1830 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Derry Township, page 109, line 4-5; National Archives micropublication M19, roll 151.
6 “Book 1: Zion Evangelical Lutheran, Hummelstown, Parish Records, 1766-1941,” Dauphin County Church Records (Gettysburg, PA: Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1968), Volume 7:73.
7 “Book 1: Zion Evangelical Lutheran, Hummelstown, Parish Records, 1766-1941,” Dauphin County Church Records (Gettysburg, PA: Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1968), Volume 7:77.
9 “John Noll, Inquest Awarded,” Dauphin County Orphans Court, Book G: 207, 11 Aug 1831.
9 John Hocker entries, 1838 Derry Township Tax Assessments, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, microfilm 4126-4128; Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
10 Dauphin County Deed Book M, 2:94; Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
11 Brumbaugh, Gaius M., “The Hocker Bible Record (PA, Ohio, Etc.),” National Genealogical Society Quarterly (Washington, D.C.: National Genealogical Society, September 1931), Vol. 19, No. 3: 67.

Cite This Page:

Kris Hocker, “On the Trail of John and Jacob Hocker,” /genealogy the genealogy & family research site of Kris Hocker, modified 27 Dec 2011 (http://www.krishocker.com/on-the-trail-of-john-and-jacob-hocker/ : accessed 26 Nov 2014).

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