John William Hancher

                                              ┌── Thomas Hancher
                                              │    1773-1862 
                        ┌── James Hancher ────┤
                        │    1821-1911        │
                        │                     └── Eleanor Brown
                        │                          1785-1864 
John William Hancher ───┤
B: c1855                │
D: ?                    │
                        └── Anza E. Johnson
John William Hancher     [ID 10492] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Born about 1855, Ohio.1,2  

In 1940 John organized a Hancher/Hanshaw/Henshaw family reunion, held at the home of Joseph W. Hancher; after the reunion John sent out the following letter to family members:3

Hanshaw-Hancher Family Party
August Sixteenth

Affectionate Greetings
To All of you and Yours:

Previous advices justified our expectations that many Henshaws, Hanshaws, Hinshaws, Handshews, Hachers and others of the common blood, though of different names through incidents of marriage, would constitute the Family Party, as invited, August 16, current.  Despite two daysí rain, beginning August 15, a creditable number drove in at the gates bearing two flags.  The remnant which did arrive took refuge indoors.  

The capacity of that noble old farmhouse was taxed.  The host-family was most hospitable, the fellowships were delightful, the basket contents were abundant and delicious.  Nothing was lacking but the absentees.  The promised order was followed, except the afternoon visit to the Old Mill, which was abandoned by common consent.  

After thirty years' quest, I learned August 16, that I, John William, am the son of James, of Thomas, of William, of John, of Nicholas, of John, of the original Joshua of Boston, of William of Poxteth Park, England, of Sir Thomas Henshawe of England.  

Permanent organization being recommended, your 1939-1940 chairman requested that from our large personnel, some other be chosen permanent chairman.  Re-elected by unanimous vote, I suggested and unanimous approval was voted that I appoint a Chairman's Council of five to nine persons to organize, set forth purposes, policies, plans, programs and otherwise cooperate with the Chairman in guiding these commendable undertakings.  

It was recommended that careful study be made to determine whether our gatherings shall be held annually, biennially or triennially.  Suggestions have reached me from sources various and sundry that, instead of annual gatherings, we hold a general Family Party once in two or three years and that gatherings of groups in different sections of the country be held annually.  

Resolutions of grateful appreciation were unanimously voted to: the Joseph W. Hanchers for their most cordial hospitality and for their family invitation to adopt their home as the permanent rendezvous of the Henshaw-Hancher Family Party; to all absent invitees prevented from attending by weather conditions or other arbitrary incidents; to Mr. and Mrs. Mark Hancher for voluntarily pledging this year's Family Party expense, of roundly $25.00, and immediately paying the pledge; to the un-named firm which covered the 1939 Family Party expense of roundly $55.00.  

Please write at once - a postal card will be acceptable - and say which of these suggestions you prefer or recommend.  Please read this report - letter; then see that it goes the rounds to all members of your family, neighbors of the blood and in-laws.  

Yours Under the Family Bond,
John W Hancher
3500 Fourteenth Street
Washington, D.C.  
September 16, 1940

N.B. Your cousin, Virgil
M. Hancher of Chicago, was
Elected President of the
University of Iowa the ninth
Of September

Note: John's ancestry as he outlined in his letter above has since been determined to be incorrect - his great-great-great grandfather, Nicholas Hancher, was not the son of John Henshaw as had often and erroneously been repeated since the late 1800s.4  


  1. 1860 census, Whigville P.O., Marion Township, Noble County, Ohio; roll M653-1020, page 345, line #1, dwelling #1225, family #1165.
  2. 1870 census, Summerfield P.O., Marion Township, Noble County, Ohio; roll M593-1252, page 161, line #11, dwelling #298, family #288.
  3. Contribution from Helen McFarlane Greenley citing: letter to Eleanor Faye Hancher McFarlane.
  4. See: John Henshaw #209.

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