Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Hankses in:
 • Gurleyville Cemetery
 • Gurleyville
 • Tolland County
 • Connecticut
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial! Advertisement
Rodney Hanks
Learn about sponsoring this memorial...
Birth: Jun. 4, 1782
Tolland County
Connecticut, USA
Death: Nov. 6, 1846
Tolland County
Connecticut, USA

Rodney Hanks was an inventor and he also started the first silk mill in America. It was moved by Henry Ford to his museum at Dearborn, Michigan. It had a 25-foot over-shot water wheel, which had been previously operated by Azro Hanks.

He was born in the old homestead on Hanks Hill in Mansfield to Uriah and Irene (Case) Hanks, and he lived in Mansfield his entire life. For its time, it was quite large and known as "the mansion house." Family records described Rodney as having "blue or gray eyes, a prominent nose, dark brown hair, about 5 ft. 11 in. tall, broad shoulders and stooped considerably."

In 1836, he was commissioned captain of a light 'Inventry' [as quoted] Company of the 23rd Connecticut Regiment. He was quiet and pious. Among his activities were manufacturing woolen goods, swabs for cannons and machinery of various kinds.

One of his many inventions was the "horse combs", a machine for sewing 12 combs at once, which was a great saving of time and labor over the old way. He also invented a loom for weaving sheep's skin with the wool on.

American Mercury (CT), Nov. 24, 1818, p. 3:
A Farm for Sale.
IN North mansfield, containing two hundred and fifty acres with two Dwelling Houses, three Barns, wood and silk house, and other out-buildings suitably proportioned into Mowing, Pasture and Plow-land, and a plenty of Wood, Oreharding, Mulberry trees &c. for further particulars enquire of the subscriber living on the premises--a part, or the whole, sold as suits the purchaser.
_________RODNEY HANKS.
North-Mansfield, Nov. 14............5w95

In the name of God Amen I Rodney Hanks of Mansfield in the County of Tolland and State of Connecticut calling to mind the shortness of life and laboring under some indisposition of body yet being of sound disposing mind memory and understanding though the mercy of God, do make and ordain this my last Will & Testament in manner and form following (viz) First and principally I command my soul with the utmost humility unto the hands of Almighty God my Creator hoping for a blessed immortality through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ and my body I ? may be decently buried at the discretion of my friends and as to the Temporal interest which God has graciously given me I dispose of in the following manner I will that all my just debts together with my funeral expenses be paid by my Executor herein after named.
Item 1st I will and demise unto my beloved wife Olive Hanks one half of all my Real estate during her natural life --
Also I give unto my said wife one half of all the stock such as neat? Cattle horses sheep and swine as I shall own at the time of my decease and also all the provisions I may have on hand to be for her use and disposal forever - Also I give unto my said wife all my household furniture of every description to be for her use during her natural life and at her decease my will is that said furniture be divided equally among my four daughters (viz) Philena Meneely Olive Page Julia Conant Abigail Hitchcock
Item 2nd. I will and bequeath to my beloved son Frederick F. Hanks the use of one half of the real estate with I reserved in my deed to him which was during my natural life, and the natural life of my said wife I also give unto the said Frederick my clock and waggon harness.
Item 3rd I give and bequeath to my beloved son Edmund Hanks the use of one half of the real estate I reserved in my deed to him and also all my farming utensils and all my casks of every description.
Item 4th. I give and bequeath to my beloved son George R. Hanks one half of the real estate I reserved in my deed to him and also my one horse waggon.
Item 5th my will is that the remainder of my estate be divided among all my sons and daughters above named so that each sons I have shall be twice as much as each daughter
6th I do hereby constitute and appoint my sons Frederick F. Hanks and Edmund Hanks Executors of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this 26th day of January A. D. 1837 Rodney Hanks

Signed sealed published and pronounced by the said Rodney Hanks as his last will and Testament who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names.
Horace Hanks
Sophia Hanks
Edmund Freeman 
Family links: 
  Uriah Hanks (1736 - 1809)
  Irene Case Hanks (1735 - 1807)
  Olive Freeman Hanks (1780 - 1871)*
  Philena Hanks Meneely (1803 - 1887)*
  Frederick Freeman Hanks (1805 - 1875)*
  Edmond Hanks (1806 - 1861)*
  George Rodney Hanks (1808 - 1889)*
  Olive Hanks Page (1810 - 1882)*
  Julia Hanks Conant (1813 - 1900)*
  Samuel Hanks (1814 - 1818)*
  Benjamin Hanks (1755 - 1824)*
  Irene Hanks Crane (1757 - 1835)*
  Uriah Hanks (1760 - 1833)*
  Rodney Hanks (1782 - 1846)
*Calculated relationship
Rodney Hanks
Nov 6, 1846
age 64
Gurleyville Cemetery
Tolland County
Connecticut, USA
Created by: Mary Harrell-Sesniak
Record added: Jan 07, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32729885
Rodney Hanks
Added by: Mary Harrell-Sesniak
Rodney Hanks
Added by: Mary Harrell-Sesniak
Rodney Hanks
Added by: Perry W. Caldwell
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Keeper of the Stars
 Added: Apr. 27, 2014

- Keeper of the Stars
 Added: May. 31, 2012

- Keeper of the Stars
 Added: Apr. 25, 2012
There are 6 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED