Read the Hancock County Geneology Society information.
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Formed in 1827, Hancock County is located in the central part of the state. The county seat is Greenfield, which
is noted throughout the nation as the home of Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. The original Riley cabin is now
the kitchen of the Riley home at 250 West Main Street. The beautiful carved staircase, built by Riley's father,
is still in excellent condition. Riley's whimsical, friendly verses written in Hoosier dialect achieved a great
John Hancock, for whom the county is named, was born in Massachusetts in 1737 and became a significant factor prior
to and during the Revolutionary War. A Harvard graduate, Hancock inherited a thriving mercantile business that
reputedly profited from smuggling to avoid the onerous taxes applied by the British. He led the Stamp Act opposition
and worked closely with Samuel Adams in the anti-British campaign. A member of the Continental Congress he was
the first and boldest signer of the Declaration of Independence. In 1780, Hancock was elected Governor of Massachusetts.
Hancock county lies between the thirty-ninth and fortieth parallels of latitude, and between the eighty-fifth and
eighty-sixth meridians of longitude west of Greenwich. The eighty-sixth meridian lies about three miles west of
our western boundary line. The county is bounded on the west principally by Marion county on the north by Hamilton
and Madison counties; on the east by Henry and Rush counties, and on the south principally by Shelby county. Greenfield,
the county seat, is located on the National road, twenty miles east of the city of Indianapolis.