Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 35 (part 1)

Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series on Mayflower descendants, focusing on Katie Crocker and her family line. Melissa is a genealogist who has a blog, AnceStory Archives, and a Facebook group, New England Family Genealogy and History.

Today I continue with my series “Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who,” focusing on the descendants of Mayflower passengers Stephen Hopkins, Henry Samson, Elizabeth Tilley, Francis Cook, Esther/Hester Mahieu, John Howland, and Edward Winslow.

Over the past few months, I have been researching the familial lines for my client Katie Crocker, daughter of James and Debra Sue (Pemberton) Crocker of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Katie’s Mayflower connection comes through her paternal line. GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives were a huge help with the probe into Katie’s lineage.

Katie has a double Hopkins line via Constance Hopkins (who married Nicholas Snow) and Damaris Hopkins (who married Francis Cook). Also, Katie has a double Howland line through Crocker cousins’ intermarriage (see genealogy).

The Crocker surname is well known in Cape Cod and most of Katie’s family have resided there for generations.

Photo: Lauchlan MacLean Crocker Sr. aka “Locky.” Courtesy of Katie Crocker.
Photo: Lauchlan MacLean Crocker Sr. aka “Locky.” Courtesy of Katie Crocker.

I found an obituary for Katie’s great-grandfather Lauchlan MacLean Crocker Sr. (1893-1947), son of Zenas Crocker and Annie Jean McLean, born at Marstons Mills, Massachusetts.

An article about Lauchlan Crocker, Boston Traveler newspaper 16 January 1947
Boston Traveler (Boston, Massachusetts), 16 January 1947, page 1

His obituary reported:

Sheriff Lauchlan M. Crocker of Barnstable County, whose long and colorful public career won him national prominence, died at Cape Cod Hospital today after a short illness. He was 53 years of age.

He was elected sheriff in 1932 and first gained prominence when he figured in the Peggy McMath kidnap trial in 1933 as presiding court officer. He has held the office continuously ever since.

…He was instrumental in establishing the Barnstable county house of correction and in building a new jail in 1934, which has been called one of the best of its size in the country. In addition to his duties as sheriff he served as master of the house of correction and jail master of the county.

…Previous to his election as sheriff he held many town and county offices, and was highway surveyor of the town of Barnstable for many years. He was born in Marstons Mills, Cape Cod.

Known as “Locky” to Cape Cod residents and visitors, Sheriff Crocker was a veteran of World War I. He was as well versed in agriculture as in matters concerning the county jail. Under his supervision inmates of the county house of correction each year grew enough produce to supply the county sanitarium, Hyannis State Teachers College, the Barnstable county health camp, the Barnstable high and village schools, and the jail itself.

Lauchlan married Wilhelmina Mary Sherman, daughter of James Horace Sherman and Dora C. Heise. The Marston Mills Historical Society photograph collection is featured on the Digital Commonwealth website and has several Crocker family photos.

Photo: Lauchlan Crocker’s home located on Prince Avenue, Barnstable, Massachusetts, built in 1830 by the Crocker family. Courtesy of Digital Commonwealth, Marston Mills Historical Society photograph collection.
Photo: Lauchlan Crocker’s home located on Prince Avenue, Barnstable, Massachusetts, built in 1830 by the Crocker family. Courtesy of Digital Commonwealth, Marston Mills Historical Society photograph collection.

One of his four sons, Captain Sherman (Neil) Crocker, was shot down over Germany in 1945.

Photo: Air Force Captain Sherman Crocker (1920-1945), the son of Sheriff Lauchlan Crocker, killed on 13 February 1945 when his P-47 fighter bomber was shot down near the Rhine River in Germany. Courtesy of Digital Commonwealth, Marston Mills Historical Society photograph collection.
Photo: Air Force Captain Sherman Crocker (1920-1945), the son of Sheriff Lauchlan Crocker, killed on 13 February 1945 when his P-47 fighter bomber was shot down near the Rhine River in Germany. Courtesy of Digital Commonwealth, Marston Mills Historical Society photograph collection.

Besides Sherman Crocker, Sheriff Crocker was father to three more sons: Laughlan MacLean Crocker Jr. (married Jean Lawton Sheraton); James Hawley Crocker (married Agnes Mary Shields); and Merle MacDonald “Col. Buzz” Crocker, Katie’s grandfather (married Jean Hazelton, a descendant of Stephen Hopkins).

Sheriff Crocker also had two daughters: Doris Crocker Easter (married Charles Metivier Easter); and Anne Wilma Crocker (married 1st Wayne Dee Hayes and 2nd Dale B. Weaver).

One interesting find about Katie’s great-great-great grandfather Zenas Crocker (1831-1898) was a stint in California when he followed the great Gold Rush. According to sources, he left for the gold fields in 1852 and stayed for seven years.

I found this 1856 advertisement in the Sacramento Daily Union. Zenas Crocker & Co. was offering a $100 reward for two stolen horses and the thief.

An article about Zenas Crocker, Sacramento Daily Union newspaper 6 December 1856
Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, California), 6 December 1856, page 1

After Zenas returned from California he became involved in the cranberry business.

Zenas was born to Zenas Crocker and Rebecca Holly Sampson/Samson, a descendant of Mayflower passengers Henry Samson, Francis Cook, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Photo: Zenas Crocker (1796-1877), son of Zenas Crocker and Hannah Bourne, and his wife (also his cousin) Rebecca Holly Samson (1799-1887), daughter of Crocker Samson and Rebecca Hawley. Courtesy of Katie Crocker.
Photo: Zenas Crocker (1796-1877), son of Zenas Crocker and Hannah Bourne, and his wife (also his cousin) Rebecca Holly Samson (1799-1887), daughter of Crocker Samson and Rebecca Hawley. Courtesy of Katie Crocker.

After his time looking for gold in California, Zenas married Susan Augusta Jones, daughter of Nathaniel Jones and Abigail Fish and a descendant of Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley.

The couple’s marriage announcement was published in the Daily Evening Standard on 24 July 1861.

An article about Zenas and Susan Crocker, Daily Evening Standard newspaper 24 July 1861
Daily Evening Standard (New Bedford, Massachusetts), 24 July 1861, page 3

Zenas and Susan’s son, also named Zenas, died in 1963 at age 99. According to the obit published in the Boston American, before he passed away Zenas was “honored by Barnstable’s selectmen by bestowal of a cane signifying he was the town’s oldest resident.”

An article about Zenas Crocker, Boston Record American newspaper 20 February 1963
Boston Record American (Boston, Massachusetts), 20 February 1963, page 22

Zenas Crocker was the father of Sheriff Lauchlan and the following: Susie M. Crocker (married Willard Edson Nickerson); Neil Lowell Crocker (married Hazel Wilds); and Zenas Crocker (married Merle Byron MacDonald).

To be continued…

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Note on the header image: “Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor,” by William Halsall, 1882. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

15 thoughts on “Mayflower Descendants: Who’s Who, Part 35 (part 1)

  1. Melissa, this is a great story. I love reading family history! Especially from Barnstable. The pics are wonderful too.

  2. I am all over the place in my research in finding my Mayflower Pilgrim(s). Still hoping to find descendants tying back to me. I have sent in over $500 on lineage matches just to hit brick walls. One was Mercy Bartlett marrying John Joy/Jay/Jaye. GSMS said she married John Ivey. I have seen several sources stating she did marry John Joy/Jay/Jaye/Ivey. They are rejecting this line. Can you offer any assistance? Thanks.

  3. Nice work. See my comment on the Tilley findings. I connect to Constant, brother of Edward, so you’re finding my roots while you look for other people.

  4. Very interesting. I am thinking I must have a Mayflower descendant as a branch of my family comes from Harwich, Barnstable, Ma.: Nathaniel Bassett & Sarah Chase; Nathan Basset & Mary Crowell/Crow; Nehemiah Harding & Abigail Smith to name a few.

  5. I believe I descend from Henry Samson on my father’s side and Brewster on my mother’s side. What are the verification requirements to apply for membership to the Mayflower Society? Thank you!

  6. I just recently found this page and the series and am catching up on it. I have a brick wall in my line that married a Crocker. I found this through a site I note lower in my comment regarding a remembrance book written by a cousin. I followed the line-up because the “lore” was a good story. I wasn’t able to prove the genealogy lineage for my brick wall in the book that was written by my 3rd great uncle’s son Nelson Crocker Hawks (would lead to Isaac Allerton, but the spouses are incorrect along the way), but perhaps his mother (Hannah Crocker 1812-1892, from Samuel Crocker/Mary Roe) knew the genealogy for her line much better and had that actually written down. It’s digitally archived at hawksinn.org — at the bottom of the page there is a digital archives section (best on a computer).

    Unfortunately, Nelson’s grandfather is a mystery and there is then a surname change in my line within a generation.

    I’m also connected through Samson. I just recently applied and it’s my first time applying for anything.

    1. Hello Melissa, thanks for sharing! I know these lines can be tricky especially if the families inter-married and have the same names! Do you connect with the Samson line that married Zenas Crocker? I sent you an email as well.

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