William Martin Hanks

b. 16 March 1850, d. circa 1880
William Martin Hanks|b. 16 Mar 1850\nd. c 1880|p91.htm|John Armstrong Hanks|b. 19 Apr 1812\nd. 27 Apr 1889|p87.htm|Euphemia Matthias Morris|b. 10 May 1822\nd. 29 Mar 1850|p88.htm|John Hanks|b. 1770\nd. 29 Jun 1839|p99.htm|Jane D. Armstrong|b. bt 1768 - 1769\nd. 22 Nov 1851|p100.htm|Enos Morris|b. c 10 Apr 1773\nd. 18 Feb 1832|p1929.htm|Elizabeth (—?—) (Hough-Morris)|b. c 1785\nd. 25 Aug 1824|p1930.htm|

Uncle of Louise Underwood.
Great-granduncle of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Underwood and Allied Families
     William Martin Hanks was born on 16 March 1850 in Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina.1 He was the son of John Armstrong Hanks and Euphemia Matthias Morris. He married May Pink Maner on 5 March 1879 in Brazoria County, Texas.2 He died circa 1880 in Brazoria County.3
     Martin was barely 16 years old when he moved to Texas with older siblings Virginia, John and Louisa, a fact that concerned his father. The following quotes are from a letter Dr. Hanks wrote to his son John, 19 December 1866:

     Dear Son I want you to supervise Martin while (under) your eye, & endeavor to assist him in making a man of himself as he says he intends to do—If he gets a situation see to it that he gets among moral young men...

     I have not drank a drop since Martin left nor will ever do so again until I see him again...

And in another letter to John dated 19 April 1869, he wrote:

     I am proud to hear so favorably of Martin my youngest by your Mother. I have never been satisfied about his going off so young, and but for your advice he never should have gone. Had he remained here he would now have completed his studies with Capt. Denson & been eminently qualified for all the active duties of life. As it is I fear his reminescences of the life of a foreman [perhaps farmer] in after life will not be so very pleasant. His present position and opportunities may compensate him for lost time if properly improved. George Poe commands a salary of $600 and his board in Raleigh and he is not so good a scholar as Martin was when he left. I console myself, however, by the letters from Lou and Puss all of which say he is a good moral boy & is now very pleasantly situated.

In a letter to John W. Hanks dated 9 May 1873, his stepmother Catherine Walker Hanks wrote,

     So Martin's engagement is all broken off, he seems unfortunate in that as well as in business he must have owed Mr. U. a larger amount, to take all his cotton to pay him.

     Martin's grandniece, Virginia Munson McGee, says she was always told that he was killed "in a tragic altercation with a friend when he was thirty years old" while "sowing his wild oats;" that he was "apparently stomped to death in an altercation with Mr. Charlie Winstead..." and that "Strangely, the families remained friends and nobody seemed to blame him." Mr. Winstead taught Ginger's Sunday School class when she was a child, and she says she never could imagine how such a frail little man could have stomped anyone to death.

     Martin and May Hanks had no children.3

Additional Data

William Hanks appeared on the 1 June 1850 Federal Census of Lower Regiment, Chatham County, North Carolina, in the household of his father John A. Hanks.4 Click to view image

Martin Hanks appeared on the 1 June 1860 Federal Census of Pittsboro, Chatham County, North Carolina, in the household of his father John A. Hanks.5 Click to view image

W.M. Hanks appeared on the 1 June 1870 Federal Census of Marlin, Falls County, Texas, in the household of his brother J.W. Hanks.6 Click to view image

William Martin and May Hanks appeared on the 1 June 1880 Federal Census of Brazoria County, Texas, enumerated 24 June 1880.7 Click to view image


  1. [S273] Letter from B.R. Randolph (Houston, TX) to George P. Munson Jr., 23 Aug 1964; Laura M. Cooper (1804 Holm Oak St., Arlington, Texas).
  2. [S2] Brazoria County Marriage Book 3: 388, no. 388, County Clerk's Office, Angleton, Texas.
  3. [S28] Interview with Virginia (Munson) McGee (Mrs. Virginia M. McGee; Houston, Texas), by Laura Munson Cooper, 1966. Transcript held in 2003 by Cooper (1804 Holm Oak St.; Arlington, TX 76012-5608).
  4. [S59] John A. Hanks household, 1850 U.S. Census, Chatham County, North Carolina, population schedule, Lower Regiment, page 451B-452A, dwelling 4, family 4; National Archives micropublication M432, roll 624.
  5. [S58] John A. Hanks household, 1860 U.S. Census, Chatham County, North Carolina, population schedule, Eastern Division, Pittsboro post office, page 13/7A, dwelling 105, family 101; National Archives micropublication M653, roll 892.
  6. [S687] J.W. Hanks household, 1870 U.S. Census, Falls County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 1, Marlin, page 64/4, dwelling 24, family 24; National Archives micropublication M593, roll 1584.
  7. [S52] W.M. Hanks household, 1880 U.S. Census, Brazoria County, Texas, population schedule, Precinct No. 2, enumeration district (ED) 18, sheet 37B, dwelling 372, family 372; National Archives micropublication T9, roll 1292.