Just the other day I had reason to go looking for the articles I had written on my research on John and Jacob Hocker, sons of my ancestor Johan Adam and Sophia Maria (Hershey) Hocker. I wanted to send links to someone who had emailed me regarding another Jacob Hocker, son of Adam and Eve (Hamaker) Hocker. To my surprise, I could only find one of the two articles I’d written online—part one On the Trail of John and Jacob Hocker. So, I went looking for the second half. Here’s what I found.
Tracing John Hocker’s Dauphin County Family Connections
John Hocker of Montgomery County, Ohio
In my previous article, I mentioned a lead from an article by Gaius M. Brumbaugh in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. He 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.1 The article states that the family moved to Montgomery County, Ohio in 1839. Additional Ohio and Brethren research provided more information on this family.
John Hocker was a farmer and minister of the River Brethren Church in Salem (now Englewood), Randolph Township, Montgomery County, Ohio.2 John was born in Pennsylvania circa 1788.3 His was one of six families to emigrate from Dauphin County, Pennsylvania to the area to found the Fairview Church.4 According to Catharine (Steirling) Hocker’s obituary, they came to Salem in 1839. 5 His family remained in the Salem, Ohio area and can be found in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 U.S. census for Montgomery County, Ohio. John died about 1868 in Salem, Randolph Township, Montgomery County, Ohio.
John “against the wishes of the father [married] Catharine Sterling, recently from Germany. John & Catharine (Sterling) Hocker settled in Hummelstown, Dauphin Co., Pa. where he was a minister of the River Brethren Church. They had 5 ch. in Pa. Anna, Adam, Catharine, Christiana and John. They moved to Oh. in 1839, where their dau. Mary K. Hocker was b. near Salem, Montgomery Co., O. Feb. 18, 1841. Dec. 4, 1862 she m. Rev. Jesse K. Brumbaugh.”6
John and Catharine had six children that lived to maturity. The eldest child was Anna. She was born 15 October 1824 in Hummelstown.7 Adam, the eldest son, was born 11 September 1828 in Dauphin County.8 Christiana was born 1 September 1830 in Dauphin County.9 Catharine was born 21 October 1832 in Hummelstown.10 John, Jr. was born 5 November 1834 in Dauphin County.11 The couple’s youngest child, Mary, was born 18 February 1841 in Salem, Ohio.12 The obituary records indicate that the family came to Ohio when Adam was aged 11, Catharine was aged 6, and John was aged 5. This put their immigration to Ohio in late 1839.
According to census records for Derry Township in 1830 there were two head of households named John Hocker living in the township. The household of the first John Hocker was adjacent to that of Jacob Hocker. There were two males living in the household—one under 5, the other 40 to 50—and two females—one 5 to 10, the other 20 to 30.13 John Hocker was the older inhabitant, placing his birth between 1780 and 1790.
The second John Hocker household contains five males, ages under five (2 males), 5 to 10, 15 to 20, and 20 to 30.14 As the eldest female is also aged 20 to 30, this John Hocker is probably aged 20 to 30, placing his birth between 1800 and 1810.
The first John Hocker household best matches that of our subject both in his details—born 1788—and that of his family—wife Catharine, born 1802; daughter Anna, born 1824; and son Adam, born 1828.
An examination of tax records for Derry Township for 1838 reveals four entries for John Hocker. The first lists John Hocker, a landowner, with approximately 144 acres, valued at $5,226. His name is crossed out and “A. Greiner” is written next to it. The second lists John and Jacob Hocker with 101 acres and a property valuation of $4,300. Their names are crossed out and “to Benjamin Hocker” is written in. The third entry is for John Hocker, a tenant; and the fourth entry is for John and Jacob Hocker, tenants.
Apparently, there were at least two John Hockers in this area who sold their property about 1838. The tax records consistently place both of these property owners in Derry Township between 1825 and 1838. John and Jacob Hocker first appear in 1823 as the heirs of Adam Hocker. John Hocker, owner of the 144 acres, first appears as a property owner in 1826.15 He appears in 1825 as a single man.16
The third John Hocker, the tenant, may have been either the John Hocker who transferred property to A. Greiner, or he may have been another John Hocker. There is not enough information in the 1838 tax records to make a final determination.
An examination of other years, both prior to and after 1838, reveals that John Hocker, tenant, was a miller. He first appeared in the records in 1837, also appears in 1838, but is apparently gone by 1840. It is also likely that he married in 1837. There are two entries for him, one as a tenant, the other as a single man, which is crossed out.17 Given his occupation and his change from single man to tenant, it is likely that this John Hocker is a third man.
So, in 1838, there are three men named John Hocker living in Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Who are they? And which of them is John Hocker, our subject?
John and Jacob Hocker
John and Jacob Hocker sold their Derry Township property to Benjamin Hocker on 2 April 1839. This property consisted of two pieces of land in Derry Township that had previously been owned by Adam Hocker, containing a total of approximately 114 acres. The first tract had been conveyed to Adam Hocker on 6 April 1803 by Jacob and Christina Frank, the second on 6 April 1815 by Jacob and Maria Krause. The Dauphin County Orphans court had granted the properties to “John Hocker, eldest son and Jacob Hocker, third son of the said Adam Hocker, deceased” after the partitioning of Adam Hocker’s estate.18 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. George and Adam were awarded from the estate another property located in Swatara Township.
According to the 1790 census of Harrisburg, Adam Hocker had one male under sixteen living in his household.19 The 1800 census of Derry Township, Dauphin County shows two males under ten and one between 16 and 26, living in Adam’s household.20 In the 1810 census, Adam had two males under ten (born after 1800), two males between ten and 16 (born 1795-1800), and one male between 16 and 26 (born 1785-1794) living in his household.21 The 1820 census shows males (one each) between the ages of 10-16, 16-18, 16-26, 26-45 and 45 and up.22
As the eldest son, John would have been the male under 16 years of age in 1790 and the male born between 1785 and 1794 in the 1810 census. At the time of the 1800 census enumeration either John was not living at home or the enumerator mistakenly recorded him as being over 16. John was most likely the 26-45 year old male living in Adam Hocker’s household. Adam’s second and third sons, George (age 26) and Jacob (age 24), were living on Adam’s property in Upper Swatara Township about 1820, and therefore would not appear in the 1820 census enumeration for their father.23
Neither John Hocker, nor Jacob Hocker were found in Dauphin County records after 1838. It is interesting to note, however, that both a John Hocker (the subject) and a Jacob Hocker were found in the 1840 census for Montgomery County, Ohio. John is listed in Randolph Township, while Jacob is listed in Perry Township. Additionally, John Hocker is listed as debtor in the administration accounts of Jacob’s widow, Barbara in 1849. 24
John Hocker and A. Greiner
Anthony Greiner and his wife Catharine transferred 111 acres along Walnut Bottom road in Cumberland County to John Hocker in a deed dated 30 March 1838.25 John continued purchasing land in Cumberland County, buying land from George and Mary Witters and Thomas Miller in 1840, and from the estate of Sarah Harper in 1849.26 In 1859 and 1860, John sold his property in Cumberland County and purchased land from Peter Hocker in Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County.27
John Hocker was born 6 May 1803/04 in Hockersville, Derry Township; he died 28 June 1884 in Dauphin Boro, Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County.28 According census records, John’s wife’s name was Elizabeth and their eldest child, Martin, was born circa 1827.29 A John Hocker married an Elizabeth Henrich (or Henry) on 14 Dec 1826 in the Tabor First Reformed Church, Lebanon, Pennsylvania.30 John and Elizabeth (Henry) Hocker were living in Derry Township in 1831, so it is likely that this is the couple that purchased land from Anthony Greiner in 1838.31 The 1803/04 birth date makes this John Hocker the second, younger man listed on page 116 in the 1830 census for Derry Township.
John Hocker, the tenant
The third John Hocker living in Derry Township in 1838 was a miller and was apparently married in 1837. John Hocker married Sarah Beinhower 3 Dec 1835 in Hummelstown, Derry Township.32 The couple is found in the 1840 U.S. census living in Lower Swatara Township and the 1850 U.S. census living in Highspire, Lower Swatara Township, Dauphin County.33 Deed research reveals land transactions in Swatara Township from 1854 through 1878. John Hocker was born 6 July 1815 and died 21 January 1882 in Churchville, Swatara Township.34
Thus, it would appear that the John Hocker, son of Adam Hocker, who sold land with his brother Jacob in 1839 best matches our subject. He was born in approximately the correct time period, his wife was named Catharine, and both John and Jacob Hocker appear in Montgomery County, Ohio in 1840. However, the “Hocker Bible Record” states that John Hocker was the son of Martin Hocker, an innkeeper at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.35
John Hocker, son of Martin Hocker
Martin Hocker was born to Adam and Elisabetha (Weidman) Hacker on 21 October 1768 near Brickerville, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and baptized on 29 November 1768 at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Brickerville.36 He died in Derry Township, Dauphin County on 25 April 1862, aged 93 years, 6 months and 4 days.37 He moved from Lancaster County to Harrisburg about 1790 when he appears in the 1790 U.S. census for Harrisburg, Dauphin County. Martin was married twice; first he married on 22 March 1799 Christiana Beinhauer, daughter of Peter and Christina (Stober) Beinhauer, in the Salem Lutheran Church.38 Christiana died on 15 December 1808. Second, he married Barbara Smith about 1809.39
According to Martin Hocker’s Last Will and Testament, he had the following children: “Peter, Catharine intermarried with Anthony Greiner, John, George, Christina intermarried with Henry Landis, Elizabeth intermarried with John Foorman, Martin, Mary, Jacob, Susannah intermarried with Christian Welpmer, Sarah intermarried with John Kaufman, Anna intermarried with Henry Seltzer, Barbara intermarried with Uriah Cassel, Molly intermarried with Daniel W. Miller.”40 Peter, born 1801; Catharine, born 1802; John, born 1804; George, born 1806; and Christina, born 1808, were the children of Martin and Christiana (Beinhauer) Hocker.41 Elizabeth, born 1810; Martin, born 1812; Mary, born 1814; Jacob, born 1818; Susannah, born 1822; Sarah, born 1824; Anna, born 1827; Barbara, born 1827; and Molly, born 1829, were the children of Martin and Barbara (Smith) Hocker.42
According to the International Genealogical Index [IGI], John Hocker, born 1804, was the son of Martin and Christiana (Beinhower) Hocker. This is supported by the 1810 census of Londonderry Township where Martin Hocker has 3 males (Peter, John, and George) under 10 years of age in his household, and the 1820 census where he has two males between 10 and 16 (John and George).43
This is the John Hocker who was married to Elizabeth Henry. According to the 1850 U.S. census, John Hocker, age 45, and his wife Elizabeth, were living in Upper Dickinson Township, Cumberland County. The 1860 and 1870 U.S. census enumerations show John, age 56 and 66 respectively, living with his wife Elizabeth in Upper Paxton Township, Dauphin County. This means that the John Hocker who bought land in Cumberland County from A. Greiner in 1838 and from Peter Hocker in Upper Paxton Township in 1860, was purchasing land from his brother-in-law and brother. 44
Thus, of the three men named John Hocker who were living in Derry Township in 1838, the best match to the subject is John Hocker, eldest son of Adam Hocker. John Hocker, son of Johan Adam Hocker and Sophia Maria Hershey, left Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania circa 1839 with his brother Jacob Hocker and moved to Randolph Township, Montgomery County, Ohio where he settled with his family. He died there 25 Mar 1868.
Additional information has turned up indicating the John’s wife Catharine’s maiden name may have been Kern. Her obituary reads:
“Hocker—Died near Union, Montgomery co., Ohio, March 18, 1892, aged 90 years, 1 month and 2 days, Christianna Catharine Hocker, maiden name Steirling, born in Kairchheim, Wurtemberg, Germany. Came to this country in the year 1817, married John Hocker of Hummelstown, Pa., came to Ohio, near Salem, in 1839. Her husband preceded her to his long home about twenty-four years. Both were members of the Brethren in Christ, known as the River Brethren. He, having been a minister in that church for years, and we believe he adorned his profession by an “upright walk” and a “chaste conversation” and his “works do follow him.” Funeral services at Fairview church by brethren Abraham Engle and Elder Jesse Stutsman, from Rev. xiv, 13 to a large concourse of people.”45
The information for the obituary was provided by her son-in-law Jesse K. Brumbaugh.
However, in her 1922 will Barbara Mae Kern, who never married, leaves money to the children of her “deceased sister Catharine Hocker,” namely Adam Hocker, John Hocker, Christiana Hershey, Catharine Herr and Mary Brumbaugh; also to Ann Felker (1825-1914) wife or widow of Jacob Felker and previously the widow of Jacob Moist (1820-1879) husband of the late Anna Hocker. These children match those of John and Catharine (Sterling) Hocker, so additional research/information is needed to clear up the question regarding Catharine’s maiden name.
- 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. ↩
- Mission on Taylor Street: The founding and Early Years of the Dayton, Brethren in Christ Mission (Grantham, Pennsylvania: Brethren in Christ Historical Society, 1987), page 16. “In keeping with the custom of the day, several men shared the ministerial duties, including…John Hocker.” ↩
- John Hooker household, 1850 U.S. Census, Montgomery County, Ohio, population schedule, Randolph Township, Salem post office, page 391, dwelling 1717, family 1717; National Archives micropublication M432, Roll 714; and John Hocker household, 1860 U.S. Census, Montgomery County, Ohio, population schedule, Randolph Township, page 327B, dwelling 966, family 946; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 1014. John was age 62 in the 1850 census and 72 in the 1860 census. ↩
- The History of Montgomery County, Ohio, (Chicago, Illinois: W.H. Beers & Co., 1882), Book III, Page 61. ↩
- Catharine Hocker obituary, The Evangelical Visitor, 15 Apr 1892, Page 128, Column 2. ↩
- 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. ↩
- Annie Hocker entry, International Genealogical Index (IGI), (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 1999), citing microfilm 1396430 for batch 5000498, sheet 52. ↩
- Adam Hocker obituary, The Evangelical Visitor, 15 Oct 1907, Page 16, Column 3. ↩
- Christianna Hocker Hershey obituary, The Evangelical Visitor, 15 Sep 1902, Page 359, Colum 3. ↩
- Catherine Hocker Herr obituary, The Evangelical Visitor, 10 Apr 1922, Page not recorded. ↩
- John K. Hocker obituary, The Evangelical Visitor, 27 Jul 1914, Page 20 and 21. ↩
- Mary K. Hocker entry, International Genealogical Index (IGI), (Salt Lake City: Family History Library, 1999), no sources recorded. ↩
- John Hocker household, 1830 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Derry Township, page 109, line 4; National Archives micropublication M19, roll 151. ↩
- John Hocker household, 1830 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Derry Township, page 116, line 22; National Archives micropublication M19, roll 151. ↩
- John Hocker entries, 1826-1838 Derry Township Tax Assessments, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, microfilm 4126-4128; Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. ↩
- John Hocker entries, 1825 Derry Township Tax Assessment, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, microfilm 4126 or 4127; Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. ↩
- John Hocker entry, 1837 Tax Assessment, Derry Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, microfilm not recorded; Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. ↩
- Dauphin County Deed Book M, Vol. 2: 99, 2 December 1823. ↩
- Adam Hawker household, 1790 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, page 86, line 12; National Archives micropublication M637, roll 8. ↩
- Adam Hocker household, 1800 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, page 202, line 16; National Archives micropublication M32, roll 40. ↩
- Adam Hocker household, 1810 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, page 2, line 9; National Archives micropublication M252, roll 54. ↩
- Adam Hacker household, 1820 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, page 109, line 31; National Archives micropublication M33, roll 102. ↩
- George Hacker household, 1820 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, page 101, line x; National Archives micropublication M33, roll 102; and Jacob and George Hocker entries, 1821-1824 Swatara Township Tax Assessment, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, microfilm rolls 4137-4139; Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In 1823, the entry changes to the “Adam Hocker estate” and he’s listed as a non-resident. Jacob and George Hocker are listed as tenants in 1824. ↩
- “Jacob Hocker, dcd, Accounts and Vouchers for Settlement,” Jacob Hocker accounts, Montgomery County probate file number 1833, Probate Court, Montgomery County, Ohio. ↩
- Cumberland County Deed Book WW, Vol. I: 59. ↩
- Cumberland County Deed Book WW, Vol. I: 61 and 62, and Deed Book H, Vol. 3: 160. ↩
- Cumberland County Deed Book B, Vol. 8: 501, and Dauphin County Deed Book M, Vol. 3: 518 ↩
- Johannes or John Hocker or Hacker entry, International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1999), no submission information; and John Hocker gravestone, Dauphin County Cemetery Records (Dauphin County (Pennsylvania: Daughters of the American Revolution, Harrisburg Chapter, 1941-1969), page not recorded (Dauphin Boro Cemetery). John’s date of birth is listed as 1803 on his gravestone and 1804 in the IGI entry. Estimated birth years from census records (1850-1880) support the 1804 date ↩
- John Hocker household, 1850 U.S. census, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Upper Dickinson Township, page 111, visit 211, family 212; National Archives micropublication 432, roll 772. ↩
- John Hocker entry, International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1999), citing microfilm 1,760,736. ↩
- “Heirs of Wendel Henry, dcd. To Wendel Henry, Exr.,” Dauphin County Deed Book G, Vol. 2: 52. John and Elizabeth Hocker, nee Henry, of Derry Township were listed as heirs of Wendel Henry, and as such signed a quitclaim, acknowledging that they had received the full sum of their inheritance specified by Wendel Henry’s will. The will can be found in Dauphin County Will Book D, Vol. 1: 386. ↩
- John Hocker and Sarah Beinhower marriage announcement, The Democratic State Journal, Vol. I, No. 40, Page 3, Wednesday, December 15, 1835. ↩
- John Haker household, 1840 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Lower Swatara Township, page 241; National Archives micropublication M704, roll 456; and John Hocker household, 1850 U.S. census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Highspire, Lower Swatara Township, page 187B, dwelling 55, Family 56; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 774. ↩
- John Hocker gravestone, Churchville Cemetery, Oberlin, Swatara Township, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Photographed by Kris Hocker, 7 April 2002. ↩
- Brumbaugh, “The Hocker Bible Record (PA, Ohio, Etc.),” National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 3: 67. ↩
- Weiser, Frederick, S., translator, Records of Pastoral Acts at Emanuel Lutheran Church, known in the 18th century as the Warwick congregation, near Brickerville, Elizabeth Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania 1743-1799, (Breinigsville, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania German Society, 1983), page 80. ↩
- Martin Hocker gravestone, Zion Evangelical Church cemetery, Hummelstown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Photographed by Kris Hocker, 21 November 2001. ↩
- Lutheran Theological Seminary, Lebanon County church records, Volume 9: Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lebanon: marriages 1794-1876, (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Lutheran Theological Seminary, 1969); Pennsylvania State Library, Forum Building, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, page 9. ↩
- Christiana Hocker gravestone, Zion Evangelical Church cemetery, Hummelstown, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, Photographed by Kris Hocker, 21 November 2001. ↩
- “Last Will and Testament of Martin Hocker,” Dauphin County Will Book G: 201. ↩
- Entries for Peter, Catharine, John, George and Christina Hocker, International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1999), no submission information. ↩
- Entries for Elizabeth, Martin, Mary Elizabeth, Jacob, Susan, Anna, Barbara, and Molly Hocker, International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah: Family History Library, 1999), no submission information. ↩
- Martin Hocker household, 1810 U.S. Census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, page 36 (581 written on page), line 13; National Archives micropublication M252, roll 54; and Martin Hocker household, 1820 U.S. Census, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, page 111, line 1; National Archives micropublication M33, roll 102. ↩
- Cumberland County Deed Book B, Vol. 8: 501, 2 April 1859. John Hocker and Elizabeth, his wife, of Dickinson Township, granted to Christian Treet, 60 acres, 115 perches, a part of which John had purchased from Anthony and Catharine Greiner, on 30 March 1838, Cumberland County Deed Book WW, Vol. 1: 59; and Dauphin County Deed Book M, Volume 3: 578, 1 September 1860. ↩
- Catharine Hocker obituary, “The Evangelical Visitor,” 15 Apr 1892, Page 128, Column 2. ↩