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).
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]
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.