Cox Characters
Conclusions to Confusions

Part 4: Chapter 25

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Family History of Anna Devota Hanks

by David W. Cox

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Devota Hanks married Marvin Wesley Cox in 1938. She was 25. He was 29 and had just gone through a divorce. Four months after their 46th wedding anniversary on 22 April 1984, Marvin died. Devota lived another six years, passing away on 24 May 1990. She and Marvin produced two sons, and raised them with Charles, Marvin’s first son by Ina Gene Edwards.

Although only a Cox by marriage, Devota certainly had plenty of Cox character. She enjoyed pranks and practical jokes. She lost one third of her left index finger in an accident while still a young woman (when she pointed to a frozen cut of meat that her brother Clay was cutting with a meat cleaver, and she never went to the doctor). She loved retelling the story of how she used to shock fellow church-goers by placing the finger under a nostril while seated in the choir.


From my earliest childhood days, I remember my grandmother as fun loving. She taught us grandchildren a very old game that she called "Fox and Geese" which we played with buttons from her sewing machine’s bottom drawer and a homemade board. She was family-loving and partial (she had her favorites among her offspring and offspring’s offspring), rather erudite in Biblical matters, and very devoted to her church, her "Savior", and her principles (an ultimate source of conflict between the two of us). She had many talents: teaching, counseling, writing poetry, cooking, sewing, quilt-making. She was an excellent counselor as I recall; ironically, tact was not her forte. But perhaps it would have been in contradiction with the American pioneer spirit that undergirded her character.

Devota’s paternal line takes us to a connection with Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The Hanks line leads to Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England; it can be traced about as far back as the religious history of Malmesbury, England—the 5th century AD! The Hanks Historical Review noted in its first issue, "The Hanks have been in Malmesbury since before King Athelstan’s day and it appears that at least two Hankses were named by him, and that the name goes back at least a hundred years further, and probably more than that.".

First we’ll sketch Devota’s paternal lineage, the Hanks side, then her maternal lineage, the Goodbody line. The Goodbody family originated in Ireland. Click onwards to the next two chapters for that data.


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