Terry Hammock's Family Reveals New Information
Although Mr. Hammock's claims have been refuted by official records, the John Wayne family, Maureen O'Hara, Rex Allen, Jr., and even Hammock's own family, he continues to promote his fictional family tree, duping dozens of unsuspecting people in the process.
In a recent email from Ms. Ann Hayden, who is Mr. Hammock's paternal aunt (a sister to Mr. Hammock's father, Billy Gene Hammock), Ms. Hayden reveals that Dr. Morrison did not, in fact, preside over the birth of Mr. Hammock's father, but rather a Dr. Baker was the attending physician. Ms. Hayden pointed out that this information came directly from her mother, Lela Clements Hammock, whom Ms. Hayden states recorded the birth dates and attending physicians name for each of her children; thus proving yet again that Mr. Hammock's claim to be the grandson of John Wayne is completely false.
New Information Regarding Terry Hammock (a.k.a. "John T. Wayne")
In spite of all of this, Mr. Hammock continues to promote himself as John Wayne's grandson. He goes from event to event defrauding unsuspecting people as he relates fictional stories about his family history.
Now, however, comes another interested party into this strange saga. Someone who can apparently shed some light on the veracity or falsity of Mr. Hammock's claim. Someone with allegedly first hand information. Rather than having me tell you what this person wrote, I think it best to allow her to speak for herself, and tell her side of this story:
“This is Ann Hayden I am John T. Wayne's (Terry Hammocks) aunt. He is my nephew and i am sick of him running my mother down. He didn't start all of this until his dad died, and by the way his dad met his real dad Victor Hammock, and I talked with his brother and he said that the meeting they had discussing what the “big secret” was never happened. And he also waited until my mother was not herself to where she could answer any of his questions. I am appalled at his audacity. He is a shame to our family and the way that he has brought our mothers and his grandmothers name through the mud. He is living in a fantasy world and found a way to make his books sell. His own son said that 15 years ago he said was related to Mark Twain, and now 15 years later he is related to John Wayne! I wonder who will be next?
I know that I am telling the truth. I use to have respect for him until he started all of this. Had he started this before my mom was not in her right mind she would have put a stop to this mess. He even tried to tell me that I was named after John Wayne, with my name being Mary Ann. He thinks it was a cover up for Marion, I told him that I was named after a Black Lady that my mom worked with that kept asking her if she had a girl to name me after her. I think he has built this big fantasy and somehow got lost into it, and for that I feel sorry for him. I pray that someday he will acknowledge the truth, and I give an apology to his family and all the people that have bought into his lies and scam. I guess making money is important to him but I believe you don't prosper by hurting others and that is exactly what he has done and is still doing.”
“Terry Hammock, you are so right the truth is going to come out and prove you once again to be the liar you are. Your dad was my half brother and your granddad is Victor Hammock. I do not appreciate the lies that you have formed around my mother and your grandmother, and if your dad was still alive you would not have ever started this mess because he would have put and end to it since he did meet his father and it was not John Wayne. Other family members are tired of your lying and deceit.”
The most recent incarnation of a John Wayne mystery relative is a man known as John T. Wayne, who claims to be John Wayne's grandson. An investigation revealed that the individual calling himself “John T. Wayne” is actually Terry Wayne Hammock. Mr. Hammock writes western fiction novels and bills himself as the “new standard in western fiction.” I haven't read any of his books, and therefore I am not able to comment on his claim to the “new standard,” but I do, however, know quite a bit about John Wayne and I can state without hesitation that Mr. Hammock is in no way, shape or form related to John Wayne.
My investigation into Mr. Hammock's claim revealed that according to Mr. Hammock himself, his father was Billy Gene Hammock and his grandmother was Lela Clements. Checking census records, birth records, marriage records and death records revealed that Lela Clements was born November 6, 1917, and she passed away on March 23, 2013. Billy Gene Hammock was born February 21, 1935 and died on Friday, April 24, 2009 at the age of 74. Records state that Billy Gene Hammock's father was Victor Hammock, who was born February 2, 1915 in Tennessee, and died February 17, 1958 in Fulton County Kentucky. Although this seems to put Mr. Terry Wayne Hammock's claim to rest, it doesn't. Although Victor Hammock is listed as the father of Billy Gene Hammock (Terry Wayne Hammock's father), 1940 census records reveal that Billy Gene Hammock's parents, Lela and Victor, were not married at the time of his birth. In fact, in the 1940 census, five-year old Billy Gene is listed as a brother to 22 year old unmarried Lela Clements.
Listing an illegitimate child as a sibling was a common practice in that time and place, so I have little doubt that Billy Gene Hammock was born out of wedlock. And this does raise the question of just who is his actual father. According to Terry Wayne Hammock, “My father was Billy Gene Hammock. He was born in Feb of 1935. He was not given the name Wayne because he was born out of wedlock to my grandmother. The doctor who delivered my father was John C. Morrison M.D. For those of you who don't recognize this; John Wayne was born Marion Robeert Morrison. Why the doctor covered up my fathers birth was simple. The Duke was married to his first wife at the time and she was at home in California having a baby of her own. My father never knew who his earthly father was and he died not knowing. After his death in 2009 my brothers and I sat around the dinning room table and wondered, "What is the big stinking secret? Why can't we know who our grandfather is?" You see, granny was still alive at the time and she still wouldn't tell us. A pact? I don't know, but when she had her 95th birthday in Nov of 2012 I decided to do some digging. I found my answers in the newspaper from 1934. It was all there and I now have all of the pieces to the puzzle. I know I am John Wayne's grandson.”
Mr. Hammock is so sure he is the grandson of John Wayne that he allegedly had his name legally changed to “John T. Wayne.” The question that comes to mind, however, is, where is the evidence? Mr. Hammock claims that he discovered the answers in a newspaper from 1934. He goes on to say that “it was all there and now I have all the pieces to the puzzle.” At least one newspaper article relates that he also had a DNA test done, the results of which allegedly show that he really is John Wayne's grandson. But again, where is the evidence? Where is the proof, the documentation, that will validate his claims? The answer to these questions is no one knows and Mr. Hammock isn't saying. However, even though the evidence supporting his claim is apparently non-existent, there is evidence that refutes his claim, and shows that not only is he not John Wayne's grandson, but that he could not be John Wayne's grandson. Let's take a look at this evidence, shall we?
There are two areas of evidence refuting Mr. Hammock's claim. The first is DNA. In order to prove, with DNA, that John Wayne was Mr. Hammock's grandfather, both Mr. Hammock and John Wayne would have to be tested to prove grandparentage. Mr. Hammock states that he “decided to do some digging” into his ancestry in November 2012. By that time John Wayne had been dead for 33 years, and unable to provide a DNA sample. I think it is safe to say that none of John Wayne's children would provide samples of their DNA, so the simple fact of the matter is, Mr. Hammock does not have any DNA evidence to support his claim.
The second area of evidence refuting Mr, Hammock's claim is availability. Mr. Hammock claims the reason his father's birth was “covered up” was because John Wayne's wife was in California “having a baby of her own.” Mr. Hammock's father was born February 21, 1935. John Wayne's first four children were born in 1934, 1936, 1939, and 1940. His first wife, Josephine, was not “at home in California having a baby of her own” as Mr. Hammock claims. In the preface to his book, “ Ole Slantface,” Mr, Hammock claims that John Wayne was in Hickman, Kentucky in the spring of 1934, at a party held by Marsha Morrison, the daughter of Dr. John C. Morrison, the only physician in Hickman at that time. Allegedly, Dr. Morrison was a relative of John Wayne, whose birth name was Marion Robert Morrison.
Mr. Hammock goes on to claim that John Wayne and Mr. Hammock's grandmother, Lela Clements, found themselves attracted to one another and after a sexual affair, Lela became pregnant with Mr. Hammock's father, Billy Gene Hammock. Allegedly, while this was going on, John Wayne's wife was in California having a baby of her own.
There are a few problems with this story of Mr. Hammock's. First, John Wayne's first child, Michael, was born November 23, 1934, not in the Spring of 1934 as Mr. Hammock claims. Second, There is no record of a Dr. John C. Morrison ever being related to John Wayne's family, nor as a friend of his family. In fact, there is no evidence that Dr. Morrison ever met anyone in John Wayne's family. Perhaps the strongest bit of evidence that refutes Mr. Hammock's claim, is that John Wayne could not have been in Hickman, Kentucky at the party where Lela Clements became pregnant.
Mr. Hammock's father, Billy Gene Hammock, was born February 21, 1935. He was conceived, therefore, in June 1934, just as Mr. Hammock claims. A check of John Wayne's filming schedule for that time period reveals the following: Between December 1933 and June 1934, John Wayne was in the Alabama Hills, an area in the Owens Valley, west of Lone Pine in Inyo County, California, that was popular with film makers. During that time period, John Wayne made “Lucky Texan,” “West of the Divide,” “Blue Steel,” “Randy Rides Alone,” and “Star Packer.” In May 1934, John Wayne signed an eight-picture deal with Monogram Studios. After filming of “Star Packer” was completed he went immediately on location in the General Grant National Forest east of Fresno, California to film “The Trail Beyond.” From June 1934 through September 1934 Wayne was involved with filming “Trail Beyond,” “Lawless Frontier,” “'Neath the Arizona Skies,” “Texas Terror,” and “Rainbow Valley.”
Clearly, while Billy Gene Hammock was being conceived in Hickman, Kentucky, John Wayne was over 2,000 miles away busy making motion pictures. Therefore, without doubt, it is impossible for Terry Wayne Hammock (aka John T. Wayne) to be the grandson of John Wayne.