In working through my Hocker family research, I’ve eventually come to George Hocker of Slate River Mills and his family. George’s two eldest sons have provided me with more than their fair share of speculation and frustration.
The 1850 census for District 2, Buckingham County includes George and his family:1
- George Hocker, 49, Male, Farmer, $13,000, b. Buckingham
- Evalina Hocker, 35, Female, b. Buckingham
- Adam Hocker, 26, Male, Miller, $25, b. Buckingham
- Howel Hocker, 23, Male, Miller, $25, b. Buckingham
- Amanda Hocker, 18, Female, b. Buckingham
- George Hocker, 15, Male, None, b. Buckingham, attended school within the year
- Edmund Hocker, 14, Male, b. Buckingham, attended school within the year
- Margaret Hocker, 12, Female, b. Buckingham, attended school within the year
- James Sudbury, 25, Male, Farmer, b. Buckingham, person over 20 years who cannot read or write
In 1860, George and family and his son Adam are living in two adjoining households.2
- Adam Hocker, 33, Male, Miller, $0, $4600, b. Virginia
- George Hocker, 50, Male, Farmer, $15,000, $13,450, b. Virginia
- Evaline T. Hocker, 45, Female, b. Virginia
- George [W?] Hocker, 29, Male, Manager, b. Virginia
- Edmund T. Hocker, 24, Male, b. Virginia
- Margaret G. Hocker, 22, Female, b. Virginia
I haven’t been able to locate [Amos] Howell in the 1860 census. Since Adam’s age is more in line with Howell’s from the 1850, I’ve wondered if this is not Adam, but Howell, but census ages are notoriously inaccurate, so…
In 1870, I’ve found Amos Howell Hocker. He was working as a farm manager in 1870 in Maysville, Buckingham County, Virginia.3 But I haven’t been able to locate Adam in 1870.
The 1850 census is the only record I’ve seen of there being two sons of George named Adam and Amos Howell. In my most frustrated moments, I’ve wondered if there really were actually two sons. Since I can’t find both of them in census records in the same year after 1850…
Well, I may have found my answer. Searching the web for random mentions of either, I hit upon “Buckingham County: The Battle of Rich Mountain” on the slate river ramblings… website. It quotes a speech supposedly prepared in 1884 in which the name “Adam Hocker” is listed amongst those Buckingham County men killed at the Battle of Rich Mountain on 11 Jul 1861.
Adam, an unmarried man in 1860, would have been likely to volunteer to fight a year later. If he died in 1861, that would explain why I’ve never found him in later census records.
Next steps: to prove that Adam joined Company E of the 20th Virginia Infantry (Lee’s Guards).
- George Hocker household, 1850 United States Federal Census, Buckingham County, Virginia, population schedule, District no. 2, page 414B, dwelling 463, family 463, lines 27-35; index and digital images, FamilySearch.org, “United States Census, 1850” (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M88R-PD5 : accessed 07 Sep 2012), citing NARA micropublication M432, roll 937 ↩
- George Hocker household, 1860 United States Federal Census, Buckingham County, Virginia, population schedule, District 1, post office: Buckingham Courthouse, page 16, dwelling 121, family 121, lines 28-32; image, Internet Archive, “Population schedules of the eighth census of the United States, 1860, Virginia” (http://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1337unix#page/n386/mode/1up : accessed 7 Sep 2012); citing NARA micropublication M653, roll 1337. ↩
- AH Hocker, 1870 United States Federal Census, Buckingham County, Virginia, population schedule, Maysville Township, page 2, dwelling 11, family 11, line 9; Ancestry.com, “1870 United States Federal Census” (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 Sep 2012); citing NARA micropublication M593, roll 1637. ↩