Cattaraugus County Bible Records
HISTORY OF THE ACOCKS FAMILY

by FLOYD WESLEY SMITH


 
The history of the Acocks family is recopied here by FLOYD WESLEY SMITH  June, 2001. I was born on April 20, 1942, in Olean, N.Y. the son of William Carl Miller Smith Sr. and Eva May Acocks Smith. My mother was the daughter of Franklin Atherly Acocks and Bertha Susan Rice Acocks. The family history provided below was copied from a family bible by Leonard Wood Acocks in August 1943. Leonard was my mothers brother. This history was written by Judge William Baker Acocks (born: January 26th, 1821; Died: March 6, 1914)

I have attempted to make an accurate copy, but some the words in the right margin are partially missing or missing completely. Therefore, I will have to interpret what was missing. I feel that what you are reading was 99% copied verbatim .  Grammatical  errors and all as in the original copy. 
 

The history, as recopied begins below.

                                             HISTORY OF THE ACOCKS FAMILY

As written by the late Judge Acocks of Pittsfield.

William Acocks lived in Devonshire, with his fathers family which consisted, I think, of seven sons and three daughters.
He was pressed in to the British service at the time of the American Revolution and came to America in Burgoyne,s Army, remaining with them until they surrendered and were taken to Boston on parole.

The army being there sometime, he and his messmate, Joseph Bailey, from Yorkshire, England, like a good many others, left the British Army, stayed back and entered the American Service. Afterwards he married the Widow Lewis. Her maiden name was Mary Grant, and she lived in Boston. Her father was sea captain, and he and his vessel were lost at sea. Her mother died when she lived in Boston with a sister when she married Joseph Lewis and went to live in Charlestown. They had two children Joseph and Hannah. 

At the time of the Battle of Bunker Hill Mr. Lewis was killed, Charlestown was burned and she fled with her children and others to a point two miles south of the city and went into the cellar of a deserted house and dared not make a fire or noise for two days, in fear of being massacred by the Indians. Her house and everything in it burned, except  a few things she caught up in a hurry for the children. These and a set of silver spoons she tied up in a  handkerchief. She then came into the state farther and lived with a cousin until she married William Acocks.
To them were born two children William Acocks, Jr. born October 25, 1782. Thomas Acocks born in 1785, named for one of the uncles in England.

After the close of the War thet took up a piece of land in Charlemont, Mass. When William Jr. was fifteen years of age, being a stout healthy boy he went to York State to the town now called Palmyra and took up a piece of land, and put William Jr., to digging a well preparatory to putting up a house.
The father went to chopping to clear a piece of land to put in wheat, and a felling tree struck him on the head breaking his skull.
William Jr. went a half mile for help, and they removed him to their boarding house, and Mr. Flocks had him trephanied, but he died in forty eight hours. 
After the funeral, which had used up their means, William went to work. He got a bushel of wheat and carried it three and one half miles to mill on his back, and carried the flour home to his boarding house and Mrs. Flocks made him some cakes, to start for home with, and he gave her the balance of the flour.

In the meantime he did a very hard days work putting up a log fence for  thirty four cents. Then with his knapsack he started on foot for home over two hundred miles away to carry the sad news to his mother, as there were not many mail routes then. When he reached his mother he had four cents in money left. That was the second time his mother had been left a Widow and rather destitite.

William Chopped cord wood that winter to help support the family, which consisted of his mother himself, and Thomas, the Lewis children had gone to live with friends in Ponual, Vermont, where Hannah married William Crandall.
They settled in Chenango County, N.Y. and raised a family and died there, Joseph Lewis married, lived in Pittsfield MASS., and died there.

In the spring William went to work for Mr. Bagg to learn the blacksmith trade. It was near his mother where he could assist her.
When Thomas Acocks was old enough he went to work for Mr. Francis in the same neighborhood to learn the carpenter and joiners trade.

William Acocks, after he learned his trade, worked as a journeyman in Lanesboro, a town north of Pittsfield, where he married Phebe Baker in 1805, daughter of Francis and Elizabeth Kelley Baker, formerly of Cape Cod Mass. They settled in the town of Hancock west of Lanesboro.
William Acocks lived in Hancock twenty four years. They had four children, Eliza, born June 9th., 1810, James Lawrence born March 29th., 1814, Phebe Gray born August 23rd. 1818, died in May 1819, William Baker Acocks born January 26th. 1821, died March 6th., 1914. 
William Acocks carried on blacksmithing extensively in the village of Hancock besides all common work, making all kinds of edged tools and ploughshares.
He keep three fires going and part of the year a man cutting and making nails. He was Captain of a Company of Artillery at the time of the War of 1812, afterwards a Major, and was deacon in Baptist Church there several years.
Failing in business there he came to Chautauqua County, N.Y. in May 1830. His wife Phebe Baker Acocks died in December 1831, and was buried in the Fluvanna Cemetery

In March or April 1832, he married the window Melennathen.
She had two children Celestia, aged seven, and Seth aged four. Her maiden name was Lydia Caroline Kinsley.  Three children were born to them.   Grant Adams Acocks, born January 31, 1833, Mary Ann Acocks, born August 30th. 1834.   Cleveland Acocks, born October 9th. 1836.

William Acocks subsequently moved to Compton, Kane County, Illinois, and died there August 10th,. 1859, aged seventy seven years, and is buried at Kane County, Illnois.   His wife Lydia Caroline died July 23, 1889 aged ninety two years, and was buried by the side of her husband.
She died at the home of her daughter Mrs. Reed in Elgin Illinois.

                                       _______________________________________

Judge William B. Acocks, author of the fore going sketch of the Acocks Family was born in Hancock, Berkshire County Mass., in January 1821, died at his home in Pittsfield Pa., March 6th 1914, thus being 93 years and 39 days old ______ the oldest man in Pittsfield township, if not Warren County.
He came to Chautauqua N.Y. in 1830, then to Pittsfield in 1842, where he lived ever since.

William Baker Acocks was the son of William and Phebe (baker) Acocks who settled in Ellicot N.Y. in 1830.     Judge Acocks and his brothers layed out the town of Pittsfiled and named it after Pittsfield Mass., where their father had lived at one time.  William B.Acocks engaged in the blacksmithing buisiness from which he retired in 1880.  He served as Justice of the Peace for two terms, was Associate Judge of Warren County for five years from 1876 to 1881, and also held several other offices of the township.

He was married in June, 1843, to Mary Ann Dalrymple, who the daughter of Clark and Elizabeth Dalrymple. There was no children. His wife died in 1898
Judge Acocks has the unusual record of having voted in 18 Presidential elections, and of living through three fourths of the life of our National Government counting from the adoption of the Constitution in 1789.
Judge Acocks has been a life long member of the Presbyterian Church in Pittsfield and was a trustee at the time of his death. His funeral was held from the Church of which he was a member Monday afternoon, March the 9th 
                                                        ----End of Recopy--- 
 

The information provided below is partly from the recopy above and partly from other sources.

The direct lineage of the Acocks family line to Emily Louise Smith Sirline, Floyd Wesley Acocks Smith and Linda May Acocks Smith Gillmer ( the off spring of William Carl Miller Smith and Eva May Acocks Smith)  is noted below:
1. William Acocks: born-Devonshire, England approx. 1750-1760, died-Palmyra N. Y. 1798.
2. William Acocks Jr.: born - probably in Mass.Oct. 25, 1782, died-Comptonn, Kane County, Illnois,Aug. 10, 1859.
3. Grant Adams Acocks: born-Ellicot, Chautauqua County, N. Y. Jan. 31, 1833, died-Bottineau, ND. July, 16, 1887.
4. Franklin Atherly Acocks: born: Ellery  Center, N. Y. Aug. 27, 1866, died-San Antonio, Bexar County Tx., Sept. 16, 1953.  Note: Have copy of his newspaper obituary.
5. Eva May Acocks Smith born-Little Genessee, N. Y. Oct. 18, 1909, Died-Olean, N. Y. Jan. 4, 1959. Daughter of Franklin Atherly Acocks and Bertha Susan Rice Acocks.

Conclusions: 

#1. Wm. Acocks of Devonshire, England was allowed to remain in America and became a soldier in the Continental Army and therefore a veteran of the Revolutionary War. He had been pressed into service. That means he was forced to serve in the British Army. After the British surrender he was allowed to join the Revoluntionary Army and remain in the colonies.
#2. Wm. Acocks Jr. who was a captain (later a major) of a company of artillery during the War of 1812 would be a veteran of that war.
#3. Cleveland Acocks son of Wm. Acocks Jr. and Lydia Caroline Kinsley Acocks, born aug. 30, 1836; died March 7,1864 in Clinton, Ms from wounds acquired during a battle of the Civil war. While serving with (enlisted) B Co. 124th Inf. Reg. Il. He used the surname Acox.
#4. Franklin Atherly Acocks son of Grant Adams Acocks was a veteran of the Spanish American War and served as first sergeant of Company E 28th Regiment of Infantry, U. S. volunteers in the Philippine Islands.
#5. Leonard (U.S. Army), Grant (U.S. Army), Floyd (U.S. Navy) and Cleveland Acocks (U.S. Army) sons of Franklin all served in World War 2. Floyd, was aboard the battleship Missouri when the Japanese surrendered in 1945. He also served in the Korean War. They all survived the war/s.
#6. William Carl Smith Jr. son of William Carl Smith Sr. served in the Merchant Marine in World War 2.
 #7. Floyd Wesley Acocks Smith son of William Carl Miller Smith Sr. and Eva May Acocks Smith. Aviation Machinist Mate 3rd Class, (ADR3) United States Navy (enlisted). Veteran of the Vietnam War and served as an aircraft engine mechanic and flight line supervisor from 2/62 to 6/66. His unit Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 21 (VR-21) was in direct support of 3rd Marine Division during the Cuban Missile Crisis of Oct. 1962. Additionally, VR-21 transported, by C-118B, aircraft, personnel and supplies in support of operations in Vietnam.

The following notes are from the history books;

Note #1:  The British Army , consisting of 7,213 men, commanded by Lt. General John Burgoyne landed in Quebec, Canada on May 6, 1777. By June 13, 1777 he had marshaled his army in St. Johnís on the northern tip of Lake Champlain. On July 1, 1777 his fleet and army landed above Ticonderoga and within a few days had captured the area. The American army with a much smaller force  retreated, without a fight.
Note #2: Lt. General John Burgoyne surrendered to the American General Horatio Gates ( who by this time had much superior force of 20,000 men) at Saratoga, N.Y. on Oct. 17, 1777. (Saratoga is just north of Albany, N.Y.)  Among the captured prisoners of the English army  were 7 generals, 300 officers and 5000 men. I can only assumed that Wm. Acocks was among the 5000 men in the ranks.

 

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