Genealogy of Hanks bellfounders

including Meneely bellfounders,
plus connections to
Hitchcock, Jones, Kimberly and Oothout

This page presents a selective genealogy of the seven Hanks men who were bellfounders plus four Hanks women whose close relatives by marriage either were bellfounders or were involved in closely-related industries.  Also included are eleven Meneely bellfounders who were descendants of the Hanks-Meneely marriage.  Altogether, seven different bellfoundries were thus connected to this Hanks family.  Of that number, four made at least one chime, three of the four were among the most productive of early American chime makers, and one of those three made several carillons.

For completeness and cross-reference to other sources, most siblings are named and dated, and their spouses (if any) are similarly identified.  Descendants are usually counted but not named if they had no known connection with the bell trade in their generation.  Missing or questionable vital statistics for key people are marked with "?", but are left unmarked for other people.

DISCLAIMER:   This genealogy has been compiled from secondary and tertiary sources, and should not be relied upon as an authoritative source for genealogical data.  If you have a question or comment about the accuracy of any item of information found here, and are a member or registered guest of, you can find there a matching public family tree named "Hanks and Meneely Bellfounders," which provides considerable supporting evidence as well as further details.  Otherwise, you may contact the author of this page to discuss the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the information presented here or the supporting evidence upon which it is based.

The histories of the four most significant bellfoundries which the various men owned or in which they worked can be found elsewhere on this Website, within index pages for the chimes and carillons which those foundries produced.  Those index pages are linked from citations within the genealogy; their history sections are also listed and linked here, in chronological order:

The other three bellfoundries never produced any chimes or carillons, and so have no index pages.  Because of insufficient information, their histories have not yet been written.  They are as follows:

The genealogy is presented here in two versions - first a summary of the bellfounders and other key people, then in full (subject to the limitations given above).  Full generational numbering (*) appears in the summary, while abbreviated generational numbering (with appropriate indentation) is used in the full genealogy.


Genealogical summary

Uriah Hanks, farmer and general mechanic
1   (Col.) Benjamin Hanks, bellfounder, instrument maker, cannon maker
1.5   Truman Hanks, iron founder, bellfounder, investor in Niles industry in Cincinnati, OH
1.6   Julius Hanks, bellfounder, instrument maker
1.6.2   Oscar Hanks, mathematical instrument maker, bellfounder, brass founder
1.6.6   Arthur Hanks, bellfounder briefly with his cousin George
1.9   Marcia Hanks, m. + Isaac C. Oothout of West Troy, NY, probable relative of Jonas Volkert Oothout, sometime partner of bellfounder Andrew Meneely (see below)
8   Alpheus Hanks, telescope maker, iron founder, bellfounder, investor in Niles industry in Cincinnati, OH
8.1   Maria Hanks, m. + Jonathan Sands Niles, of Cincinnati, OH, industrialist?, partner in what became Niles Works (which took over George L. Hanks' bellfoundry after his death).
8.3   George Lucius Hanks, bellfounder, brass founder
10   Rodney Hanks, manufacturer of silk machinery, woolen goods, cannon swabs, and other machinery
10.1   Philena Hanks, m. + Andrew Meneely, instrument maker, bellfounder, and uncle of James Harvey Hitchcock (see below).
10.1.2   Edwin Andrew Meneely, bellfounder; m. + Caroline Kimberly, sister of George Hazard Kimberly, bellfounder and partner of Clinton Hanks Meneely (see below)   Andrew Henry Meneely, bellfounder   Andrew Ernest Meneely, bellfounder   Alfred Cluett Meneely, bellfounder   George K. Meneely, bellfounder
10.1.4   George Rodney Meneely, bellfounder, brass founder, capitalist
10.1.9   Clinton Hanks Meneely, officer in the Civil War, bellfounder   Wadsworth Meneely, bellfounder   William Roof Meneely, bellfounder   Chester Roof Meneely, bellfounder   Henry Tucker Meneely, bellfounder, yacht broker   Clinton Meneely, bellfounder
10.8   Abigail Irena Hanks, m. + Alexander Hitchcock (son of James Hitchcock and Margaret Meneely), brother of James Harvey Hitchcock, bellfounder in partnership with bellfounder Eber Jones, and nephew of Andrew Meneely (see above).

Genealogy in full

Uriah Hanks, patriarch of this family
b.1736 in Plymouth, MA, to Benjamin Hanks (1702-1787) & Mary White (1704-1772), 6th of 9 siblings;
d.1809 in Mansfield, CT
m.1755 + Irene Case (1735-1807) of Mansfield, CT
Occupation: farmer and general mechanic
  1. (Col.) Benjamin Hanks
    b.1755 in Mansfield, CT; d.1824 in West Troy, NY
    m.1775 in Windham, CT + Alice Hovey (1755-1836) of Mansfield, CT
    Occupation: bellfounder, instrument maker, cannon maker
    1. Sophia (1776-1861), m.1801 + Rev.Nathan Barrows (1775-1818); 5 children
    2. Lydia (1776-?)
    3. Fanny (1778-1843), m.1801 + Tertius Freeman (1779-1851), brother of Olive & Jerusha; 10 children (see Footnote 1)
    4. Horace (1780-1850), m.1801 + Sophia Wright (1782-1850); 8 children
    5. Truman Hanks
      b.1782 in Mansfield, CT; d.1846 in Hartford, CT
      m.1805 + Rebecca (Rebeckah) Freeman (1784/5-1850), sister of Zerviah
      Occupation: iron founder in Hartford CT (with Alpheus Hanks) and Troy NY (with Alpheus Hanks and Ephraim Gurley), bellfounder, investor in Niles industry in Cincinnati, OH
      Issue:   (see Footnote 1):
      1. Marcus A. Hanks (1807-27), d. in Cuba, unmarried
      2. Lucien Bonaparte/Benjamin Hanks (1807-90)
          m1.1831 + Mary Dexter (1786-1845); 5 children
          m2.1846 + Harriet Elizabeth Hyde (1820-98); 5 children
      3. Edwin R Hanks (1810-57), farmer, m.1830 + Mary Morgan (1814-?), no issue
      4. Truman Hanks, Jr. (1820-34)
      5. Mary Rebecca Hanks (1822-bef.1880), m.1840 + Henry Bradley Beach (1817-1907), 1 son, no grandchildren (son married a second cousin once removed - daughter of Zerviah Hanks Crane [see below])
    6. Julius Hanks
      b.1784 in Mansfield, CT; d.1846 in ?, [NOT 1874 in Chicago]
      m.1804/1808 in Mansfield, CT + Olive McCall (1786-1863)
      Occupation: bellfounder, cannon founder, instrument maker
      1. (dau)
      2. Oscar Hanks
        b.1810 in Gibbonsville, NY; d.1883 in Cincinnati, OH
        m.1839 + Mary Hobart Grenelle (1825-50)
        Occupation: mathematical instrument maker, bellfounder, brass founder
        1. Fenelon Hanks (1842-88), m.1875 + Sarah Ritchie; issue unknown
        2. Charles Grenelle Hanks (1844-1900), m.1868 + Rose Calvin James (1843-1925); 5 children
        3. Matilda Earle Hanks (1847-aft.1900), m.1870 + William D. F. Parrin (1845-c.1879); 4 daughters
        4. Thomas Grenelle Hanks (1850-aft.1900), m.1873 + Marion Louise Griffith (1850-aft.1900); 3 children (1 dau survived), 2 g.dau
      3. Julius Deming Hanks (1810-?), m.c.1830 + "Miss Tracy"; issue unknown
      4. Arthur Ellsworth Hanks (1812-13)
      5. Eleazer McCall Hanks (1816-16)
      6. Arthur Hanks   (See Footnote 3)
        b.1817 in Gibbonsville, NY; d.1897 in Cincinnati, OH
        m.1843 + Eliza A. Billings (1820-1901)
        Occupation: bellfounder, iron founder, brass founder, machinist, travel agent, farmer, trader
        1. Juliet E. Hanks (1847-?)
        2. William B. Hanks (1849-88), m.1875 + Adelia Badgly (1855-1935); 2 children, 2 grandchildren
        3. Olive Hanks (1855-?), m.1887 + Abner Woolman, 1 child
      7. Juliette Hanks (1818-42), m.1831 + Dr. John Creighton Hanchett (1806-80); 2 children, no grandchildren (but 2 more children by his second wife)
      8. Eugenia Hanks (1819-42)
      9. Amanda Hanks (1820-46), m.1840 + Marshall M. Strong (1820-64), no issue known
      10. Owen Glendower Hanks (1820-63), m.1845 + Caroline Matilda Morton (1820-89); 5 children
      11. Fingal Hanks (1823-29)
      12. Corinna Hanks (1828-43)
    7. Charlotte (1788-1834), m.1820 + Dr.Richard Bouton (1788-1878); no issue known
    8. Horatio (1790/twin-1838), m.1811 + Jerusha Freeman (1790-1856), sister of Tertius & Olive; 10 children (see Footnote 1)
    9. Marcia Hanks
      b.1790/twin in Windham, CT; d.1846 in ?
      m.1812 + Isaac C. Oothout (1788-?) of West Troy, NY
      Husband's connection: probable relative of Jonas Volkert Oothout (1814-1860), sometime partner of bellfounder Andrew Meneely (see below)
      1. Caroline Oothout (1815-?)
      2. Deborah Oothout (1817-?)
      3. Volkert Douw Oothout (1819-c.1894), m.c.1856 + Rhoda McIntyre (1834-19??); 4 children
  2. Irene (1757/twin-1835), m.1776 + Elisha Crane (1754-1847); 9 children
  3. Zilpha (1757/twin-1762)
  4. Uriah (1760-1833), m.1789 + Sara (Sally) Keeney; 1 child; m.1798 + Sarah Fitch Dorchester Henry (1767-1847); 4 children
  5. Lurancy (1764-1805), m.1785 + William Dexter (1757-1815); 4 children - one married Lucien B. Hanks (see above)
  6. Philena (1765-1805), m.1785 + Elijah Lyon (1765-?); issue unknown
  7. Libbeus (1771-75)
  8. Alpheus Hanks
    b.1777 in Mansfield, CT; d.1831 in Hartford, CT
    m.1801 + Zerviah Freeman (1777-1822), sister of Rebecca
    Occupation: telescope maker, iron founder in Hartford Ct (with Truman Hanks) and Troy NY (with Truman Hanks and Ephraim Gurley), bellfounder, investor in Niles industry in Cincinnati, OH
    Issue:   (see Footnote 1):
    1. Maria Hanks
      b.1803 in Mansfield, CT; d.1859 in Cincinnati, OH
      m.1831 in Hartford, CT + Jonathan Sands Niles (1801-78), of Cincinnati, OH
      Husband's occupation: industrialist, partner in what became Niles Works (which later made one chime after taking over George L. Hanks' bellfoundry; no other single bells are yet known)
      Issue:   (adopted her much younger sister Zerviah - see below)
        + 7 children, born in Cincinnati, 1833-45
    2. Julia Hanks (1804-1864), m.1836 in Cincinnati + Emor/Emer Whipple (1804-1843) of Vermont; no issue known
    3. George Lucius Hanks
      b.1813 in ?, NY (NOT 1831 in CT); d.1859 in Cincinnati, OH
      m.1836 in Hartford, CT + Julia A. Bunce (1812-96)
      Occupation: bellfounder and maker of two chimes, brass founder; see also Footnote 3
      1. Helen Elizabeth Hanks (1840-46)
      2. George T. L. Hanks (1847-1913), m.1872 + Rosalind Rea Mansfield (1847-1924); 3 children
      3. Louis Alpheus Hanks (1850-1910), unmarried
    4. Albert Sidney Hanks (1817-1850), m.1847 + Anna S. B. Jungmann (1827-?); 1 child, no grandchildren
    5. Zerviah Hanks (1821-1861+), m.1838 + Dr.Henry Crane (1820-1872); 10 children (one married a second cousin once removed, the son of Mary Rebecca Hanks Beach [see above])
      Upon her father's death, when Zerviah was just 11, she was adopted by her brother-in-law and sister, Jonathan Sands Niles and Maria Hanks Niles of Cincinnati (see above).
    6. (eight other children died in infancy)
  9. Marilla (1769-1854), m.1789 + Reuben Cross (1768-bef.1850); 6 children & at least 2 grandchildren
  10. Rodney Hanks
    b.1782 in Mansfield, CT; d.1846 in Mansfield, CT
    m.1803 + Olive Freeman (1780-1871), sister of Tertius & Jerusha
    Occupation: manufacturer of silk machinery, woolen goods, cannon swabs, and other machinery
    Issue:   (see Footnote 1):
    1. Philena Hanks
      b.1804 at Hanks Hill homestead in Mansfield, CT; d.1887 in West Troy, NY
      m.1826 in Mansfield, CT + Andrew Meneely, of West Troy, NY (1802-1851), eldest son of Andrew James Meneely (1770-1806) & Eleanor Cobb (1770-1827), immigrants from Ireland who had settled in West Troy.
      Husband's occupation: apprenticed to Julius Hanks (see above) in West Troy, NY, c.1817-23; then worked for Horatio Hanks (see above) at Auburn, NY, learning the trade of instrument maker and meeting his future wife (Horatio's cousin); bellfounder (1826-death) in the foundry where he had been apprenticed in West Troy, NY.
      Husband's older sister: Margaret (Peggy) Meneely Hitchcock (1790-1818), mother of bellfounder James Harvey Hitchcock (see below).
      Issue:   (see Footnote 2):
      1. Eleanor Sophronia Meneely (1827-53)
      2. Edwin Andrew Meneely
        b.1828 in West Troy, NY; d.1887 in West Troy, NY
        m.1851 + Caroline R. Kimberly (1831-1909), sister of George Hazard Kimberly (1837-1914), future bellfounder in partnership with Clinton Hanks Meneely (see below)
        Occupation: bellfounder (see list of chimes) with his brother George in West Troy, NY
        1. Andrew Henry Meneely
          b.1856 in West Troy, NY; d.1924 in Watervliet, NY
          m.c.1880 + Grace Bilmeyer Young (1865-1938) at Harpers Ferry, WV
          Occupation: bellfounder with his father (and later his sons) in West Troy, NY
          1. Edwin Andrew Meneely (1880-infancy)
          2. Grace Lois Meneely (1882-1961)
            m1.c.1904 + Park Howell (1873-?); 2 sons before divorce;
            m2.c.1919 + Henry Graton Gould (1879-1961), no issue; he adopted her sons
          3. Andrew Ernest Meneely (1885-1939), bellfounder with his father and brother in West Troy, NY; m.c.1921 + Bernice Slater (c.1898-aft.1947), no issue
          4. Lawrence/Laurence Young Meneely (1887-1961), m.1929 + Florence E. Mitchell (c.1887-?), no issue
          5. Dorothy Meneely (1889-1965), m.1911 + Walter Rae Harrington (1866-1942); 1 daughter, no grandchildren
          6. (Col.) John Kimberly (Sr.) Meneely (1890-1985), executive in brick industry; m.? + Sarah E Sudeley/Suderley (1894-1985), 1 son, 3 granddaughters
          7. Alfred Cluett Meneely (1891-1952), bellfounder with his father and brother in West Troy, NY; m.? + Dorothy Wheeler (1895-1952)
            Issue: Robert Wheeler Meneely (1929-2007) & 2 grandchildren (living)
          8. Eleanor Noel Meneely (1893-1973), m.? + Francis Bates Quackenboss (1888-1933); 1 daughter & 2 granddaughters
          9. Mary Margaret Meneely (1895-1968), m.1917 + Harold S. Dorrance (1892-?); 1 daughter
        2. George Kimberly Meneely (1858-1935), m.1909 + Agnes T. Bowen (1870-1949), no issue
        3. Edwin Clinton Meneely [1st] (1861-62)
        4. Edwin Clinton Meneely [2nd] (1863-68)
      3. Olive Eugenia Meneely [1st] (1829-30)
      4. George Rodney Meneely
        b.1831 in West Troy, NY; d.1915 in Albany, NY
        m.1856 + Achsah Bethniah Dickinson (1830-1917)
        Occupation: bellfounder with his brother Edwin in West Troy, NY; brass founder in Albany, NY; capitalist
        1. Eleanor C. Meneely (1857-1926), spinster
        2. Charles Dickinson Meneely (1860-1922), m.1903 + Mrs. Emily Frances Gahn/Gann (1874-1941; wid.Harvey), 1 son, 1 dau
      5. Olive Eugenia Meneely [2nd] (1833-37)
      6. Henry Clinton Meneely [1st] (1834-35)
      7. Henry Clinton Meneely [2nd] (1836-37)
      8. Eugenia Philena Meneely (1838-60), m.1859 + Charles Duncan Rousseau (1838-1910) of West Troy; no issue (though he later married again and had one son)
      9. Clinton Hanks Meneely
        b.1839 in West Troy, NY; d.1923 in Troy, NY; buried in his father's family plot in Albany Rural Cemetery
        m1.1862 + Josephine Elizabeth Roof (1844-1900) of Canajoharie and Troy, NY
        m2.1904 + Caroline M. Knox (1860-1930) of St.Paul, MN
        Occupation: officer in the Civil War, bellfounder, briefly in West Troy, NY, and then independently in Troy, NY (see list of chimes)
        Issue (all by first wife):
        1. Wadsworth Meneely (1864-1930), bellfounder with his father and brothers in Troy, NY; unmarried
        2. Eugenia Philena "Jennie/Genia" Meneely (1866-aft.1938), m.1903 (her 1st, his 2nd) + Rev. Samuel Snelling (1857-1937); one son died in infancy
        3. William Roof Meneely (1869-1961), bellfounder with his father and brothers in Troy, NY; operating New York office (at least 1900-40) and President (c.1930); m.c.1890 + Josephine A. Dater (1866-1948); no issue
        4. Chester Roof Meneely
          b.1876 in New York; d.1954
          m.c.1900 + Elizabeth Tucker (1874-1938)
          Occupation: bellfounder with his father and brothers in Troy, NY
          1. Eugenia Meneely (1902-94), m.1939 (her 1st, his 2nd) + George Bywater Cluett 2nd (1905-1957); 2 children
          2. Henry Tucker Meneely (1905-1988), bellfounder in Troy, NY for a short time, yacht dealer; m.1938 + Elizabeth Anderson Schofield (1914-2003); living descendants
          3. Chester Brownell Meneely (1908-1957), m.c.1930 + Louise H. Reed (1907-1961); 2 daughters
          4. Clinton Meneely (1908-aft.1947), bellfounder; m.1938 + Sarah R. "Sally" Hobart (1915-aft.1945), 1 son
          5. Elizabeth Louise Meneely (1913-1992), m.1938 + Gotthard Ernest Boehme (1905-1997); 2 children
        5. (2 sons and 4 daughters died in infancy)
      10. Juliet[ta] Augusta Meneely (1842-49)
    2. Frederick Freeman Hanks (1805-75),
        m1.1827 + Abigail Page (1808-90); 4 sons
        m2.c.1860 + Eliza M. Parker (1831-1908); no issue
    3. Edmond/Edmund Hanks (1806-61), m.1829 + Achsah Loomis Turner (1809-87); six children born 1830-48 (including Meneely Hitchcock Hanks); descendants survive to the present.
    4. George Rodney Hanks (1808-1889), m.1831 + Elizabeth Ward Conant (1812-80); six children; at least half survived to adulthood.
    5. Olive Hanks (1810-82), m.1829 + Jonathan Geer Page (1806-82); 3 children born between 1830 and 1837; descendants survive to the present
    6. Julia Hanks (1813-1900),
        m1.1831 + John Wing Conant (1804-54); 4 children.
        m2.1861 + Lucius Conant (1799-?); no issue together (but acquired 4 stepchildren)
    7. Samuel Hanks (1814-18)
    8. Abigail Irena Hanks
      b.1816 in Mansfield, CT; d.1884 in Jersey City, NJ; buried in Albany Rural Cemetery
      m.1836 in Mansfield, CT + Alexander Hitchcock (1816-72) of West Troy, NY, son of James Hitchcock (1790-?) and Margaret Meneely (1790-1818), m.1810.
      Alexander's brother James Harvey Hitchcock (1816-94) was a bellfounder in partnership with Eber Jones (see the list of Jones chimes)
      Adopted:  Louise Martell (1839-43)
      Issue:   (see Footnote 2):
      1. Julia Philena Hitchcock (1841-?), m.1858, no issue?
      2. Madeline Louise Hitchcock (1843-93), m.1866 + James Randolph Mercein (1840-?), 1 daughter & 1 grand-daughter
      3. Olive Hanks Hitchcock (1848-1929), m.1877 + George Willis Calvert Phillips (1845-1912); 2 daughters, no grandchildren

Note on generational numbering:  Genealogists have used a variety of numbering systems to simplify the matter of tracking relationships and distinguishing similarly-named individuals.  Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.  The system used here, while not the most compact, permits easy expansion when an additional descendant is discovered, without affecting the numbering of anyone except younger siblings of the discoveree and descendants thereof.  Direct descendants (whether natural or adopted) of the patriarch of the tree are sequentially numbered in their birth order under their parents, and their own number in that order is preceded by the appropriate parent's number, separated by a period (.).  Thus the number of periods in an individual's full number reflects how many generations separate that individual from the patriarch, and the individual components of that full number show the position of a particular ancestor in his or her own generation.  A disadvantage of this system is that it is awkward for use in cross references.  Fortunately we have little need of that usage.

For the truly curious, the full genealogy above does contain the full generation numbers, embedded within HTML comments to the appropriate places.  Also to be found there are the names and lifespans (when known) of some descendants implied by green text

Tangled relationships

Footnote 0:  When footnotes on "tangled relationships" were originally added to this page in 2011, it was thought that the five Freeman spouses listed above were all siblings, so that the children of those five marriages were simultaneously either double cousins or first cousins & first cousins once removed.  However, in late 2018 it was discovered that the parentage of two of those Freeman spouses was different from what had been thought; thus the pertinent comments above and footnotes 1 & 2 below have been revised accordingly.

Footnote 1:  Three of the Freeman spouses listed above were children of Frederick Freeman (1755-1818) and Abigail Thompson (1758-1794), while two of them were children of Frederick's second cousin Skeff Freeman (1755-1847) and Mary Aspinwall (1753-1830). 

Siblings Tertius and Jerusha Freeman married siblings Fanny and Horatio Hanks, respectively, while their sister Olive married Fanny & Horatio's uncle Rodney Hanks.  Thus children of each of the first two marriages are double cousins of children of the other, and simultaneously both first cousins and first cousins once removed of children of the third marriage.

Sisters Zerviah and Rebecca Freeman married Alpheus Hanks and his nephew Truman Hanks, respectively.  Thus children of each of those marriages are simultaneously both first cousins and first cousins once removed of children of the other marriage. 

Since Fanny, Horatio and Truman Hanks were children of Alpheus' and Rodney's oldest brother Benjamin, the relationship between all children of the two marriages and all children of the three marriages is simultaneously first cousins and first cousins once removed.  Relationships involving descendants of any two of these five marriages are similarly complicated.

Footnote 2:  Sisters Philena and Abigail Irena Hanks married men whose relationship was uncle and nephew:  Andrew Meneely's sister Margaret (Peggy) was the mother of Alexander Hitchcock.  Thus the children of each of those two marriages were simultaneously first cousins and first cousins once removed of the children of the other marriage.  Relationships involving descendants of these two marriages are similarly complicated.

It gets worse:  Since the sisters cited in Footnote 2 were daughters of one of the marriages mentioned in Footnote 1, there are even more complicated cousinly relationships involved among the descendants of those marriages.  Finding their exact natures is left as an exercise for the reader.

Footnote 3:  Arthur Hanks first appeared in the Cincinnati city directories as a partner with George L. Hanks and James McGraw in operating a bell and brass foundry.  Although census data soon revealed that he was born in New York, it took a long time to find out how he was related to the rest of the various Hankses in the genealogy above, so he was missing from this page for the first 15 years of its existence.

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