Master Surname Index



John Hancock

Ancestry of
John Hancock

Signer of the Declaration of Independence


Who was John Hancock?

John Hancock was an American patriot during the Revolutionary War. He is probably best known as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence where his large, iconic signature became the American synonym for the word signature. Very few Americans wouldn't know what to do if asked to put their John Hancock on a document.

John Hancock was a wealthy merchant prior to the revolution and he used that wealth to help support the American cause. He was also Boston's most well known smuggler. In 1775 he was elected President of the Continental Congress. After his stint in the Continental Congress, he returned home to Massachusetts where we became the first Governor of Massachusetts. The John Hancock Center in Chicago, the fourth tallest building in Chicago and the seventh tallest in the United States, currently bears his name.

Famous Kin

As a well known patriot of the American Revolution, it seems only fitting that John Hancock has kinship to a number of other prominent patriots including Samuel Prescott, the man who actually completed Paul Revere's midnight ride, Amos Lincoln, a Boston Tea Party participant, and Nicholas Gilman, a signer of the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. Presidents with family connections to John Hancock include, but are not limited to, Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, Gerald Ford, Rutherford B. Hayes, and both Presidents Bush. Celebrity cousins include movie actor Matt Damon, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Sally Field. Other notable kin are astronaut Alan Shepard, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, artist Norman Rockwell, and aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright.

Family Facts

Richard Charlton

Richard Charlton, who died in 1522, is the 7th great-grandfather of John Hancock. He lived at Apley in the town of Wellington in Shropshire, England. Richard Charlton is one of those ancestors that can cause trouble for genealogists. In the case of Richard Charlton, it is the fact that he has two daughters named Anne. First, there is daughter Anne who married Randall Grosvenor. She is the 6th great-grandmother of John Hancock. Second, there is daughter Anne who married Francis Yonge. Douglas Richardson in his Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families (2013, Vol. V, p. 480) gives the following source as the evidence for the two daughters named Anne: Currier-Briggs, English Wills of Col. Fams. (1972), pp. 3-8.


Some of the most recently added connections of famous kin for John Hancock

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Gov. Thomas Dudley

Colonial Immigrant Ancestor

17th cousin 4 times removed
via Albert III, Count of Namur

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William Sargent

(c1602 - 1682)
Great Migration Immigrant 1638

18th cousin 3 times removed
via Albert III, Count of Namur

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Edmund Waller

English Poet and Politician

19th cousin 2 times removed
via Albert III, Count of Namur

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Robert Catesby

Leader of Gunpowder Plot

17th cousin 4 times removed
via Albert III, Count of Namur

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Margaret Mead

Cultural Anthropologist

3rd cousin 5 times removed
via Henry Prentice

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Ichabod Goodwin

27th Governor of New Hampshire

19th cousin
via Henry II, King of England

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Ichabod Goodwin

27th Governor of New Hampshire

19th cousin
via Sir Saher IV de Quincy

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Ichabod Goodwin

27th Governor of New Hampshire

18th cousin 2 times removed
via John FitzGilbert (the Marshal)

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Milton Bradley

Founder, Milton Bradley Company

16th cousin 4 times removed
via Sir William de Ros

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Milton Bradley

Founder, Milton Bradley Company

19th cousin 2 times removed
via Sir Saher IV de Quincy

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Milton Bradley

Founder, Milton Bradley Company

18th cousin 2 times removed
via Sir William Longespee

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Milton Bradley

Founder, Milton Bradley Company

5th cousin 3 times removed
via Edward Gilman

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E. C. Segar

Cartoonist (Popeye creator)

15th cousin 5 times removed
via Sir William de Ros

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Theatre, TV and Movie Actress

12th cousin 8 times removed
via Alice Plumpton

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Sprague Grayden

TV and Movie Actress

4th cousin 6 times removed
via Anthony Eames

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Jane Seymour

3rd Wife of King Henry VIII

14th cousin 5 times removed
via Gottfried I, Count of Louvain

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Thomas Southworth

(c1617-1669)
Great Migration Immigrant 1628

17th cousin 2 times removed
via Gottfried I, Count of Louvain

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Constant Southworth

(c1612 - 1678/9)
Great Migration Immigrant 1628

17th cousin 2 times removed
via Gottfried I, Count of Louvain

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Roger Sherman

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

19th cousin 1 time removed
via Gottfried I, Count of Louvain

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Caesar Rodney

Signer of the Declaration of Independence

19th cousin 1 time removed
via Gottfried I, Count of Louvain

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Charles V

Holy Roman Emperor

11th cousin 8 times removed
via Henry II, King of England

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Charles V

Holy Roman Emperor

14th cousin 7 times removed
via William I, King of England

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Charles V

Holy Roman Emperor

14th cousin 7 times removed
via Malcolm III of Scotland

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Charles V

Holy Roman Emperor

14th cousin 6 times removed
via Maud of Northumberland

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Charles V

Holy Roman Emperor

14th cousin 5 times removed
via Ranulf III le Meschin

View entire list of famous kin for John Hancock

Please note: The ancestor reports on this website have been compiled from thousands of different sources, many over 100 years old. These sources are attached to each ancestor so that you can personally judge their reliability. As with any good genealogical research, if you discover a link to your own family tree, consider it a starting point for further research. It is always preferable to locate primary records where possible. FamousKin.com cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy and reliability of these sources.