… continuing the research of Mary Jane Riker‘s family in Venango (and Crawford) County, PA.
In 1854, James Hancox, the husband of Mary Jane Riker, was appointed the guardian of Eliza Riker, daughter of Henry Riker, late of Crawford County. It seems like a good bet that Eliza is Mary Jane’s sister, but I need something to verify that. Although Henry is the person I am most interested in, searching the Crawford County probate indexes on FamilySearch for all Rikers seemed like a good idea.
There are just two Rikers listed in the Register’s Docket indexes:
- Henry Riker: Rough Dckt vol. 1 p. 396; Will Dckt vol. B p. 304
- Harvey Riker of Steuben: Rough Dckt vol. 2 p. 426; Will Dckt vol. C p. 418
First, Henry Riker’s will removes all doubt about whether he is Mary Jane’s father and confirms that Harvey, listed above, is his son:
“… my will is that Mary Jane (now the wife of James Hancock) and Harvy, my youngest son have and share equal alike in
my land and all other affects – fifty acres of Land lying in Troy Township Crawford Co. Pa… “
Both of these wills are shining examples of the research treasures that can be found in probate records, and both records have an astonishing amount of information. Using the information found in these two records, and what I previously knew about Mary Jane, I can begin to put together a picture Henry Riker’s family (and will need to develop a research plan!):
Henry Riker d. May/June 1848. His wife likely died before him, as she is not mentioned in his will. Henry owned 50 acres of land in Troy Township, Crawford Co. and part of lot 1306 Donation Tract.
Children of Henry Riker:
- Mary Jane Riker, b. 22 Nov 1829 [likely Chautauqua Co.] New York, d. 14 Feb 1860, Cherrytree, Venango, PA of tuberculosis. Buried in Breedtown Cemetery, Cherrytree. Married James H. Hancox 6 Mar 1848. Children of James and Mary Jane Hancox:
- Reuben Henry Hancox (22 Jan 1849 – 22 Nov 1938)
- John Lewis Hancox (30 Jul 1850 – 12 Sep 1865)
- Edward Hancox (22 Jun 1852 – 17 Jan 1908)
- Maryette Hancox (17 May 1854 – 17 Nov 1927)
- Almira Hancox (29 Aug 1856 – 21 Dec 1910)
- Angelette Dagget Hancox (15 Jan 1859 – 31 Oct 1862)
- Charles Riker, b. abt 1831. Served in the US Army in 1862 [Civil War]. Child of Charles Riker:
- Francis Harvey Riker (bef. 1862 – )
“… said brother is now a Soldier in the Army of the United States and case he should be slain or die and not return, I give the one third which I do hereby bequeath to him, to his son Francis Harvey Riker…” [Will of Harvey Riker]
- Parthena Riker, b. abt 1833. Married ___ Banta. Children of Parthena Banta:
- John Banta (bef. 1862 – )
- Anna Marie Banta (bef. 1862 – )
- Harvey Riker, b. abt 1835, d. bet. Nov 1862/Jan 1863. Lived in Steuben, Crawford Co. Likely never married and had no children.
- Eliza Riker, b. abt 1837. Married [bet. 1854/1862] Martin G. Evans, and they lived in Ellicott, Chautauqua, NY in Nov 1862.