wild bill hickok family tree

Wild Bill Hickok Family Tree

As a historian with a focus on the Wild West, my experience digging into Wild Bill Hickok's family tree has been nothing short of fascinating.

I believe that in tracing his lineage, I'm unearthing the untold stories that shaped the man behind the myth.

My connection to Hickok's legacy deepens with each ancestor I uncover, revealing a saga intertwined with the birth of America.

This journey through Hickok's genealogy is not just academic; it's a personal quest to understand how his family's narrative contributed to his legendary status.

Key Takeaways

  • Wild Bill Hickok's English heritage is undisputed.
  • Wild Bill Hickok had two children: Willie Wilson and Jean H. Hickok.
  • Wild Bill Hickok had five siblings who played a role in the westward expansion.
  • Wild Bill Hickok had three marriages, with Agnes Mersman being his only confirmed wife.

Early Ancestry and Origins

Tracing back to his English roots, Wild Bill Hickok was born in Homer, Illinois, showcasing exceptional marksmanship even as a youth. Known as James Butler Wild Bill, his ancestry is a topic of interest for many enthusiasts.

If you're delving into the Geneanet family trees, you might encounter the Family tree of Tim Dowling, a notable family tree owner who traces the lineage of various historical figures, including Butler Hickok. Although an error hindered the map's display of Hickok's ancestral origins, his English heritage remains undisputed.

You won't find children in Hickok's branch as he'd none, but the legacy of Wild Bill Hickok continues to fascinate those exploring their own or America's storied past.

Birth and Immediate Family

While you've explored the ancestral background of Wild Bill Hickok, let's now focus on his birth and the family into which he was born.

Wild Bill Hickok, a notable figure in the American Old West, entered the world in Troy Grove, Illinois, on May 27, 1837. His parents, William Alonzo Hickok and Pamelia Butler, raised him alongside his five siblings.

His family tree includes three marriages—to Martha Jane Canary, Anna Wilson, and Agnes Mersman. From these unions, he'd two children: Willie Wilson and Jean H. Hickok.

Unfortunately, his life came to a tragic end when he was shot by Jack McCall on August 2, 1876, in Deadwood, Dakota Territory.

Researching through resources like the Tim Dowling genealogy database, you might discover more about the Hickok family and their relatives, including living persons connected to the Hickok lineage.

Siblings of Wild Bill

Wild Bill Hickok's five siblings—Oliver Cromwell Hickok, Lorenzo Butler Hickok, Horace Dewey Hickok, Celinda Hickok, and Lydia Hickok—each carved their own paths into the fabric of America's frontier history. They became integral parts of the communities they settled in, from the frontier territories of Kansas to the Dakota Territory.

As you delve deeper into the Hickok family tree, you'll find that Oliver, Lorenzo, Horace, Celinda, and Lydia ventured west, contributing to the westward expansion through their diverse experiences and occupations. Understanding the siblings' lives sheds light on the broader Hickok narrative, beyond the exploits of Wild Bill and his notable association with figures like Calamity Jane, whose real name was Martha Jane Canary.

The Hickok siblings' journey is a testament to the varied personal histories that shaped the American West.

Marital Connections

Moving beyond the shared journey of his siblings, let's examine Wild Bill Hickok's complex personal life, marked by his marital connections to Martha Jane Canary, Anna Wilson, and Agnes Mersman. Although Wild Bill's relationship with Martha Jane Canary, better known as Calamity Jane, is steeped in legend, there's no concrete evidence of their marriage. His union with Anna Wilson produced a son, Willie Wilson, adding a branch to the family tree. Agnes Mersman, his only confirmed wife, was a circus proprietor he married later in life.

To explore the family tree of Tim Dowling, living persons must directly contact the tree owner for information on major children and close relatives. Family trees powered by Geneweb facilitate this, ensuring privacy and allowing for the removal of your name if desired.

PartnerMarriage StatusChildren
Martha Jane CanaryApocryphalJean H. Hickok
Anna WilsonUnofficial, with sonWillie Wilson
Agnes MersmanOfficially RecordedNone Recorded

Notable Descendants

Exploring the lineage of Wild Bill Hickok, Jean H. Hickok stands out as his only notable descendant, a bridge to the tumultuous era of the American Old West through her parentage.

As the child of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, Jean's life and legacy hold a significant place in the narrative of her famous relatives. Her connection to this period is an intriguing element of the family tree of Tim Dowling, a genealogist whose family trees are powered by Geneweb.

When you delve into Dowling's extensive tree, you'll find that Jean H. Hickok is a relative whose history is intertwined with the lore of her notable ancestors, cementing her place in the tapestry of Wild Bill Hickok's Family tree.

Family's Geographic Movement

While examining the family tree of Wild Bill Hickok reveals Jean H. Hickok's unique heritage, it's equally important to trace the geographic paths this family followed, highlighting the movements that paralleled the expansion and transformation of the United States. The family tree root, as documented by Tim Dowling, originates in the East. Major children and living relatives of the family later moved westward, with some settling in the Midwest.

Family trees are powered by Geneweb, which indicates that living persons must directly contact the owner for access to recent data. The Hickok family notably resided in Troy Grove before Wild Bill's fame led him through Kansas and Nebraska, often in service with the Union Army.

Troy GroveEarly 1800sHickok family origin
KansasMid-1800sWild Bill's adulthood
NebraskaLate 1800sWild Bill's law enforcement

Legacy and Historical Impact

Wild Bill Hickok's legacy endures as a quintessential embodiment of the American Wild West. His reputation is cemented by his sharpshooting prowess and his role as a charismatic lawman. His life's narrative is vividly captured by researchers like Tim Dowling, whose family trees are powered by Geneweb. This ensures that even living persons, from children to grandparents, can trace their connections to this legendary figure.

Hickok's interactions with personalities like Jane Cannary (Calamity Jane) during the Civil War enhanced his notoriety.

Iconic moments in Hickok's life include playing poker at the time of his death, with a hand now known as the 'dead man's hand'. His storied encounters with outlaws and bandits also contribute to his legendary status.

Despite the passage of time, Hickok's story continues to intrigue and inspire. It is a testament to his indelible mark on American history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Wild Bill Hickok Have a Family?

Yes, you're right; Wild Bill Hickok did have a family. He was married three times and had two children, Willie Wilson and Jean H. Hickok, with his wives Anna Wilson and Martha Jane Canary.

What Was Wild Bill's Last Letter to His Wife?

Wild Bill's last letter to his wife, Agnes, conveyed his love and hopes for their future, despite his risky life. He thanked her for her support and wished for their family's well-being.

What Did Wild Bill Hickok Do as a Kid?

As a kid, you displayed exceptional marksmanship, quickly gaining recognition for your skill with a pistol, which later contributed to your legendary status as a sharpshooter in the American Old West.

Did Wild Bill Hickok Have a Wife?

Yes, you're correct; Wild Bill Hickok did have a wife. He married Agnes Thatcher Lake, a circus proprietor, on March 5, 1876, but their time together was short due to his untimely death.


In summing up, you've journeyed through Wild Bill Hickok's lineage, exploring his roots and family dynamics.

His ancestry offers a vivid tapestry of characters, from immediate kin to distant progeny.

The family's movements reflect their historical backdrop, while their legacy, etched by Wild Bill's legend, endures.

It's clear that each relative, whether showcased or hidden within the family album, contributes to the rich mosaic of Hickok's enduring story.