Herman Shook and His Family

Herman Shook is recorded under several different names: Herman, Hearmon, Harmon, Harmonus, Hermanus. His surname is recorded as Schuck, Shook, Shuck, etc. His given name was most likely Hermannus Schoch or Schoock. "Hermannus" is the Latinized version of "Herman," used for christenings. Herman's father was probably Herman Schoock/Schoch (c.1685-?), who lived in the Netherlands. The name "Herman" was traditionally passed down in the family. To reduce confusion, the eldest Herman Schoch will no longer be mentioned, as no firm record of him is known to me. Herman Shook's children all used "Shook," so this Americanized version will be applied to Herman himself. Herman's namesake son will be referred to as "Herman Jr." though some records use Harmonus Jr. Herman's sister was Catherine, whose last name is often given as "Schoch." Information on Herman comes from Rohrbach, "Rohrbach Genealogy, Vol. 3" (1982); Joseph E. Rigor, "The Genealogical Records of Reiger, Rieger, Regur, Regar, Ragar, Rager, Reger, Reager, Reagor, Rigour, Rigor and Allied Families" (1966); Larry G. Shuck, "Shuck; Shock; Shook; Schuck; Schock; Schoock; Schug; Schuh; Shough" (1990); Frank D. Shobe, The Record of the Shobe Family in America" (1954); the Vandehey website; WFT v.4 #3399; Anne Walker, "Life and Achievements of Alfred Montgomery Shook" (1952); and Wright Frost, "The Frosts and Related Families of Bedford County, Tennesee." (1962).


Catherine Shook (1716-?)


She was probably born in the Netherlands, though one source places her birth in Benken, Basel Canton, Switzerland. See the discussion of Herman's birthplace below. She married Anthony Rieger/Reager, Jr., about 1740 in Pennsylvania (probably in Tulpehocken). He was the son of Anthony Rieger Sr. and Juditha Schaub, and was born in Basel on 8 July 1713 and died 1 Aug 1780 in VA. Anthony Sr. (born 1690 in Benken, Basel) and Juditha (born 1690 in Benken, Basel; died c.1720) married c.1712 and had three children: Anthony Jr., Burckhart (1717-?), and Barbara (1719-?).

After Juditha died, Anthony Sr. married Barbara (Wurtz) Schaub (1690-?). Their children are Johannes Jacob (c.1724-19 May 1758) and Maria (?-?). Another source lists Ursula (?-?). These children were also born in Basel, Switz. Baptisms have been recorded for many of them; this fact indicates the family's Swiss Reformed Church membership. Another indication of their religious affiliation is provided by Rohrbach, "Rohrbach Genealogy, Vol. 3" which shows the Reagers and Schucks on a list of communicants of the South Fork German Reformed Church in Virginia (now WVa) in 1767 (p. 30).

Barbara Wurtz's first husband was Jacob Schaub, who died c.1722. The probable relation between Jacob and Juditha (siblings/cousins?) has not yet been established. Barbara and Jacob had four children. Jacob Schaub (1714- 1771) married Barbara Heyer. Elizabeth (1716-?) did not come with the rest of the family to America. Anna Schaub (1719-?) probably married Herman Shook (below), because only such a close relation could account for the fact that Herman was named as an executor of both Anthony Sr.'s and Anthony Jr.'s wills. Anna was thus the step-sister to Anthony Sr.'s children: Anthony Jr., Barbara, etc. Martin (1721-1792) married Elizabeth Heyer. Martin Schaub/Shobe was a neighbor of Herman and Lawrence Shook in Hardy Co. WVa. [WFT v.6 #4208]

Anthony Rieger, Leonard Hyer, and several other families were making plans in 1736 to leave Basel, for economic reasons. See Frank D. Shobe, "The Record of the Shobe Family in America." The Rugers and the Hyers, along with Jacob Shaub (1714-1771) and Simon Schunck, arrived in Philadelphia 24 Sept 1737 on the "Virginus Grace." [WFT v.2 #4618]

Barbara married Frederick Gerhardt on 14 Feb 1740 in Tulpehocken Reformed Church, Philadelphia, PA. The source of this info says that Barbara was not born in Basel but in Bicken, Germany. Barbara and Frederick had nine children. Frederick's first marriage to Elizabeth Fisher resulted in one child, John Peter Gerhardt, who was born 28 Oct 1737 and baptized in Langenelbot, Germany. John Peter was living in Berks Co. in the 1790's. Barbara and Frederick are buried at North Heidelberg Church in Berks Co., PA. [Hofftree website]. Barbara's brother Burckhart died in Berkeley Co., PA and his descendants became Ragars.

Since Catherine married Anthony c.1738 (and her brother Herman married Anna c.1744) it seems likely that her family came to America around the same time as the Reagers and Schaubs. Of course, since no ship list has yet been found to contain a Herman Schoch/Schuck, only speculation is possible. The fact that Herman is described as "Holland Dutch" (see below) indicates that his family is from the Netherlands, not Switzerland. If so, the family may have arrived in America by way of New York City, since New York was still heavily Dutch though controlled by England. Bittinger describes the emigration of the Hyers, Schaubs, Reagers, Stuckeys, and other families from Benken Switz. They all immigrated through Philadelphia c.1737, and lived first in Tulpehocken, then Berks Co., and then Lancaster Co., PA. They came to the South Branch of the Potomac (Hardy Co., West Virginia) around 1747. These families were heavily intermarried, along with the Shooks. It is thus likely that Catherine and Herman traveled with them. Catherine and Anthony had most of their children in Lancaster Co., while Herman went on to West Virginia.

Catherine and Anthony had nine children; the first was born in Berks Co., while the rest were born in Lancaster Co., PA. [Vandehey] [Alfred M. Shook] [Jadetree website]

  1. Barbara Reager/Rieger (1740-aft1795). Born in Tulpehocken Twp., Berks Co., PA. Married John Rohrbach/Rorabaugh c.1760. Died in Hardy Co., WVa.
  2. Judith Reager. She married Johann Ulrich Spohr.
  3. Jacob Reager
  4. Anthony Reager, III (1746-1824)
  5. Mary Reager (1747-c1804). She married Georges Simon.
  6. John Reger (c.1750-?)
  7. Magdalen Reager
  8. Henry Reager
  9. Martin Reager



Herman Shook (c.1718-1789)

Herman Shook was probably born in Gelderland, Netherlands. One source places his birth in Basel, Switz. He married Anna Schaub about 1744, probably in PA. Anna was the daughter of Jacob Schaub and Barbara Wurtz (see above). Anna came with her mother, brother Jacob, and step-family on the "Virginus Grace" in 1737. Herman therefore married his sister's brother's half-sister. One source says that Anna married Peter Shaver on 21 May 1740, so perhaps Anna married twice. Herman bought land in Hampshire/Hardy Co., WVa in 1749, where all his children were born, and he died there in 1789.

The fact that his wife, his wife's family, and his sister's family all were of the Reformed denomination, and that these families continued to have close relations in Lancaster Co. PA, Hardy Co. WVa, and in Tennessee, heavily supports the idea that Herman himself was of the Reformed religion and lived in Lancaster Co. PA before moving to WVa. However, some members of these familes also were Brethren Dunkers.

Interestingly, descendants of Herman claim that his family was Holland Dutch; one describes him as a "Dutchman, could read no English, though a Dutch scholar." These comments are reprinted in Anne Walker, "Life and Achievements of Alfred Montgomery Shook" (1952) For Harmonous to be a Dutch scholar, he must have been raised, and probably born in, the Netherlands. A "scholar" would have been someone who could read and write, and perhaps owned a few books; these were memorable accomplishments in colonial days. If Herman's parents were from the Netherlands, their surname originally was "Schook" or "Schoock." Families by both names lived in the province of Gelderland. For example, Martinus Schoock was a prominent Netherlands philosopher who debated with Rene Descartes in the mid 1600's. Those who place Herman's and Catherine's birthplaces in Switzerland may be assuming that they were born in the same town as their eventual spouses. However, their marriages took place after the Rugers and Schaubs arrived in PA in 1737, though all were of marriageable age before then. It is my hypothesis that Herman and Catherine were already living in Tulpehocken, PA when the Rugers and Schaubs arrived, and they met because they were of the same Reformed faith and possibly attended the same Tulpehocken Reformed church.

Another hypothesis which can account for both Herman's Dutch culturing and for the close ties between the Rugers, Schaubs, and Shooks, is that Herman's family was originally Swiss and that he and his sister were born in Basel. If so, the family would have moved to Holland c.1720-1725, and from there to America c.1730-1735 to await a reunion with the Rugers and Schaubs. Why would they have moved? Since the family was Reformed, only economic reasons would have driven them to Holland, not religious persecution.

Herman and Anna had seven known children.

  1. William Shook (c.1745-c.1813). He married Catherine Sears abt. 1766. They migrated c. 1786 to Knox County TN, and then to Flat Creek, TN c.1811.
    1. Margaret Shook (1766-1838). She married 1st __ Brock. She married 2nd Anthony Reager (1746-7 Sept 1824) about 11 Dec 1789. Anthony was son of Johannes (1715-19 May 1758) and Dorde Pfau. They had nine children. [WFT v.4 # 4031]
    2. William Shook Jr. (1767-1840). Married Elender Waters (1770-?) in 1792. 10 children.
      1. Abraham Shook (18 Jan 1793-7 Nov 1868). Married Martha Keith (1795-1858) on 4 Dec 1817.
        1. James Keith Shook (1823-?). Married Elizabeth H. Green. 10 children: Alfred Montgomery, William Abraham, Mary Ann, Cynthia Jane, Rufus, Martha, Nathan, Ella, Charles Paschal, James Allen.
        2. Cynthia A. Shook (?-?). Married James C. Hanley.
        3. George A. Shook (1829-?). Married Sarah Newman. Had 5 children in 1860: Mary, Joseph, Abraham, George, Lou.
        4. Oliver Street Shook (c.1831-?). Married Elizabeth Ross Haralson c.1855. At least 4 children: Martha, Robert, Fannie, Virginia.
      2. Anna Waters Shook (16 Nov 1794-?). Married Enoch Floyd on 23 Sept 1813.
      3. William Shook III (19 Feb 1796-?). Married Margaret Beard on 3 Nov 1818.
      4. James Shook (19 Jan 1798-?). Married Nancy Cross on 26 Oct 1820.
      5. Levi Shook (30 Oct 1799-?). Married Elizabeth Cannada on 4 Nov 1828. They moved to Lawrence Co. MO.
      6. John Shook (27 Nov 1801-?). Married Mary Keith on 7 Sept 1826. At least 4 sons: Isaac, Jack, Frank, Donnelly.
      7. Isaac Shook (30 Oct 1803-c.1864). Married Mariah Shipman on 6 Aug 1835.
      8. Jacob Shook (8 April 1806-?). Married Elizabeth Bell on 8 April 1806. 3 children.
      9. Jonathan Shook (6 Mar 1810-?).
    3. Abraham Shook (1770-c.1855). Married Mary Donaldson. 2 children.
    4. Isaac Shook (?-?)
    5. Sarah Shook (1774-c.1850). Married Isaac Willson in 1796. 12 children.
    6. Magdalene Shook (c.1776-?). Married Samuel Montgomery in 1797.
    7. Jacob Shook (1777-1834). Married Eleanor Veach. Migrated to Harrison Co., IN. 7 children.
    8. Herman Shook, Jr. (1778-?). Married Margaret McMillan in 1808. Migrated to Harrison Co. IN. 9 children.
      1. John Shook (1809-1863)
      2. William P. Shook (10 Dec 1810-?)
      3. James Shook (13 Feb 1813-?). Married Mary __. 4 children.
      4. Lavina Shook (3 Dec 1814-?). Married Thomas Goble.
      5. Mary Shook (24 July 1817-?)
      6. Alexander Shook (3 Aug 1819-26 Feb 1892). Married Mary Jane Goble. 5 children.
      7. Samuel F. Shook (21 Dec 1821-25 April 1916)
      8. Abraham W. Shook (3 Aug 1823-2 June 1902)
      9. Nancy Shook (26 July 1826-1826)
    9. Mary Ann Shook (1782-c.1845). Married Thomas Carpenter in 1801.
    10. Jemima Shook (c.1785-?). Married Rowley McMillan in 1807.
    11. John Shook (c.1790-?). Married Catherine Wilson in 1816.
    12. Elizabeth Shook (c.1790-?). Married David Daniel on 13 Aug 1813.
  2. John Shook (c.1747-1790). He married Elizabeth __ abt. 1770. Elizabeth had a daughter, Mary, from a previous marriage. John had no children of his own.
  3. Herman Shook, Jr. (c.1749-1824). He married Barbara __. He was the only Shook still residing in Hardy Co. VA in 1820. 9 children.
    1. Herman Shook, III (?-?). Married Mary Judy in 1816.
    2. Elizabeth Shook (?_?). Married Abraham Neff.
    3. Jacob Shook (1788-8 Aug 1858). Married Maria __. He is buried in Richmond, VA.
    4. Solomon Shook (?-?). Married Clary Stump.
    5. Margaret Shook (?-?). Never married.
    6. Jemima Stump (?-?). Married __ Stump.
    7. Dorothy Shook (?-?). Married John See.
    8. Nancy Shook (?-?). Married Jacob See.
    9. John Shuck (?-c.1841). Married Ruth __. 7 children: James, Martha, Matilda, Caroline, Laura, Ann, John.
  4. Peter Shook (c.1750-?). Married Marie Margaret Ruth on 6 April 1769 in Cumberland Co., PA. 5 known children.
    1. John Shook (1770-?). Married Eve __.
    2. Harmonous Shook (1774-19 April 1850). Married Susannah Hegler (1776-29 July 1853) c.1805. They lived in Greene and Darke Co., OH. He died in Darke Co. OH.
      1. Elizabeth Shook (1806-?). Married Andrew Birt in 1825. 9 children by 1850.
      2. Elijah Shook (1809-1863). Married 1st Susannah Judy (1812-1842). 2nd Jane Graham.
      3. Peter Shook (1811-?). Married Susannah __. Had 9 children by 1850.
    3. Peter Shook Jr. (1776-?). Went to Greene Co. OH.
    4. David Shook (1779-1830). Married Magdaline Hagler on 1 May 1803.
    5. Mary Shook (1781-1864). Married Philip Spahr on 12 June 1803.
    6. Jacob Shook ? (?-?)
  5. Priscilla Shook (1755-1817). She married Joseph Carr in 1799. Because they went to St. Clair County, Illinois with Lawrence's family, some sources infer that Priscilla was Lawrence's daughter. A more likely possibility is that she is Herman's daughter, but she and Joseph were Baptist Brethren and went to Illinois to join other members of this church. Other members of Herman's family also went to Illinois.
  6. Catherine Shook (c.1760-7 Feb 1838). She married John Brake c.1784. She died near Berlin, Lewis Co. WVa. See Nancy Jackson and Linda Brake Meyers, "Colonel Edward Jackson," pp 55-59.
  7. David Shook (c.1760-bef 1850). He married Susanna __ c.1784. Moved to KY and then IL. 9 children.
    1. William Shook (1785-1874). Married Rachel Wease in 1812. 4 children.
    2. Mary Shook (1790-aft 1850). Married Thomas Walker c.1820.
    3. Elizabeth Shook (1793-aft 1850). Married George Miller in 1815.
    4. Nancy Shook (c.1795-aft 1840). Married Phillip Bishop in 1810.
    5. Benjamin Shook (1800-aft 1850). Married Abby Eaton in 1821.
    6. Charity Shook (1802-aft 1850). Married James Conrad.
    7. Daughter Shook (1805-?)
    8. Daughter Shook (1807-?)
    9. Elijah Shook (c.1810-aft 1840). Married __ in 1828.

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