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Ann's origins haven't been found before she married Robert Hancock in Manchester Cathedral. The Hancocks lived in the Chorlton upon Medlock neighborhood of Manchester. Ann had ten children while they lived in in England, but only six survived. In October 1841 she sailed with her family to New York on the ship Italy, arriving the following January. They settled in Williamsburgh (later spelled Williamsburg), now a part of Brooklyn. The houses they lived in are described on Robert's page.
     Both Robert and Ann were associated with, if not members of, the Church of England through the baptism of their first child in 1821. By 1823 they, presumably both, converted to Methodism. Robert stayed a Methodist, but Ann didn't. She wrote the following letter that was presented at the New York Monthly Meeting of Friends ("Quakers") on 2 April 1845:

"Dear Friends,

I have attended your meetings a long time with satisfaction and believe fully in the correctness of the principles professed by Friends.

I remain your friend, Ann Hancock"

Meetings were set up to determine if she was to be accepted into the Meeting. After an interview with her, a committee reported that "she appeared to be convinced of friends principles and said she had made the request from a sense of duty and was willing to abide by the decision of the meeting; and upon enquiry it appeared her life and conduct are orderly." She was accepted at the meeting of 1 October 1845.
     The New York Friends recorded her death as the wife of Robert, a "non-member," and that she was buried in Prospect Park Cemetery. The latter was laid out for Friends burials, but Ann was probably not ever buried there. Her death certificate says the burial was at Cypress Hills Cemetery, and that is where her stone can still be found in a family plot. The certificate also says she died at 162 Bedford Street of "pneumonia notha," a now archaic name for (acute in this case) bronchitis. She also suffered from heart disease. Family tradition says that Ann was not only a Friend but also an "herb doctor." According to Margaret Sinclair, "some insisted on paying and to others she said [using "thee" in the style of Friends] 'If my medicine helped thee, I am amply paid."

children of Ann Pownall and Robert Hancock:

i. Martha b. abt. 1821 (bap. 18 Nov 1821, Manchester Cathedral)
ii. Mary b. 5 June 1823 (bap. 7 Sep 1823, Oldham St. Wesleyan Church, Chorlton on Medlock)
iii. Maria b. 9 January 1825 (bap. 17 Apr 1825, Grosvenor St. Chapel, Chorlton on Medlock), d. by prob. 1835
iv. Margaret b. 22 November 1826 (bap. 18 February 1827, Grosvenor St.) v. John b. 21 December 1828 (bap. 29 Mar 1829, Grosvenor St.), d. 14 November 1835 (bur. Rusholme Rd. Cemetery)
vi. Ann b. 23 April 1831, d. after 1851 (in uncle John Hancock's will)
vii. Sarah b. 25 March 1833, d. 17 January 1911
viii. Maria Harriet b. 10 November 1835, d. 19 March 1838 (bur. Rusholme Rd. Cemetery)
ix. Robert b. 6 December 1836, d. 2 Apr 1838 (same)
x. Samuel John, b. 19 February 1839, d. abt 1862, perhaps San Antonio, TX
xi. Emma Pownall b. 10 June 1843, d. by 1850

vital records sources:


all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted