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Local Van Zandt County Authors

Van Zandt County Genealogical Society

This page is dedicated to our local authors who have taken the time to research and create a manuscript and have that manuscript published. This takes time and dedication to a particular subject. All these books contain material from Van Zandt County. If you or someone you know has published an article in a magazine, a book or other published material that you would like to share with others, please contact Sibyl and the material will be place on this page.

"Walter Roger & Anna McDonald Hinckley:



From England to the Colonies in the New World - 1635 to the present

via Ensign John Hinckley

by Mary Jane Gamon


Jane Gamon is a long time member of the Van Zandt Genealogical Society and served as editor of the society's quarterly publication, "Our Heritage," for almost a decade. This publication was awarded first place awards for excellence several times from the Texas State Genealogical Society's annual writing competions. She also has a weekly column published by the Canton Herald. This has also won a state award.


Samuel Hinckley set out from Tenterden, Kent County, England, in the early spring of 1634/35 for Massachusetts. He brought with him his wife and three of his four children. They were, of course, looking for a better life. Samuel and Sarah were farmers in England and intended to be farmers in the New World.

Samuel is listed as being of the "gentry" class on the manifest of the ship, "Hercules." This classification usually meant that he was armigerous and had the ability to live off rents from his lands. It is recorded in England that Samuel's father, Robert, was a gentleman and was able to give his children a good start in life. This is probably how Samuel started his farm in Tenterden and with the sale of this farm, was able to afford to bring his family to the Colonies. But once he came to the New World his classification was more of a "yeoman."

There was a great migration on the eve of the English Civil War and staying in England was not desirable. There was always the threat of arrest if one did not conform in religion and politics. So, the migrants of this era were not like those of an earlier time that were poverty stricken, but of a more middle class and some even brought capital with them. After all, Samuel did bring a servant with him, a kinswoman, Eliz Hinkle.

They must have known that life would not be easy in the colonies but the promise of land and personal freedom was an incentive so strong that they were willing to endure many hardships and dangers for that chance. They also chose to leave behind families that they knew that would never see again. There is no indication that Samuel ever returned to England and Sarah knew that she would never see her parents and siblings again. Men sometimes did travel back and forth and there is some indication that the oldest son, Thomas, who was born in England, did make at least two trips back.

Thomas became Governor of Plymouth Colony toward the end of James II's reign. New England was constituted a Vice-Royalty, with a Governor and Council . The Vice-Royalty was abolished after the fall of King James and Thomas Hinckley assumed the Governorship of the Colony.

The second surviving son was Samuel II who was born in 1642 in Barnstable. He remained on his father's estate, farming all of his life.

The third surviving son, John, was also born in Barnstable. He was later called Ensign John because of his rank in the Militia Company of Massachusetts. He was a man of some note and was often engaged in the affairs of Barnstable. John is the son from whom the line of Walter Roger Hinckley comes. John was the 15th child (some records show the 23rd) born to Samuel and Sarah Soole Hinckley.

Follow the Hinckley saga from England to the New World to Texas in this excellent family history by Mary Jane Gamon.

For copies of this book, write to Mary Jane Gamon, 808 VZ CR 3223, Wills Point, TX 75169. The book is soft-cover, spiral bound, and may be purchased for $20 plus $3 postage and handling.

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This page last updated 1 June 2007

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