Lawrence Shook and His Family

Lawrence Shook was born in 1733. He is first recorded as living in Frederick Co., MD in 1758. He moved to Hardy Co., WVa in 1773. He migrated to St. Clair Co., Illinois in 1801, where he died c.1820.

Lawrence had a close relationship with the German Baptist Brethren: his "Maiden's Choice" land in MD is near the Brethren Conococheague congregation's lands, he refused to swear an oath of allegience in 1770, and at least three of his children were married by a Brethren minister. Lawrence's parents may have been Brethren, or he may have converted to the Brethren after he settled near the Conococheague Brethren in 1758. Families associated with Lawrence in Maryland and West Virginia include the Stuckeys and Neffs, who also had deep Brethren ties. Both families, for example, are well represented among the earliest Brethren in Ohio [T. S. Moherman, "A History of the Church of the Brethren: Northeastern Ohio," Brethren Publ. House, 1914]. Interestingly, both the Stuckey and Neff surnames are Swiss in origin, and early members of these families were persecuted Swiss Anabaptists.

Lawrence's family may be one of the many Schoch/Schuck lines which were of the German Lutheran or Reformed faiths living in Pennsylvania. Alternatively, Lawrence's family was German Baptist Brethren from the Palatinate, or his family is descended from one of the New York Palatinate families that started out at Livingston Manor. More remotely, "Shook" might be a corruption of "Schaick" and his family is from one of the Van Schaick families that had lived in the New York City and Albany areas going back to the mid-1600's. The possibility that Lawrence and Herman Shook are brothers/cousins is fairly remote. Herman's family was from the Netherlands, he was a "Dutch scholar," and he was of the Reformed faith. Lawrence's family was probably from Germany, he was an illiterate blacksmith, and he was a "Dunker," which was a local name for German Baptist Brethren, referring to their practice of adult baptism.

The known children of Lawrence

  1. Soloman Shook (c.1763-aft. 1820). He may have married Hannah Valentine.
  2. Elizabeth Shook (c.1770-bef. 1801). She married Henry Neff Jr. on 23 May 1792. Henry was the son of Henry Neff, Sr., a Brethren minister. Henry Sr. grew up in Frederick Co. MD, came to Hampshire Co. about 1771-1774, and purchased land on Patterson Creek, WVa in 1779.
  3. Jonas Shook (bef. 1775-c.1826). He married Nancy or Agnes.
  4. Daniel Shook (c.1775-c.1830). He married Elizabeth Noel on 31 July 1796.
  5. Samuel Shook (1777-1830). Born on 25 Jan 1777 in WVa, died 9 Jun 1830 in St. Clair Co. Ill. He married Susannah Henkle.


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