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Van Hook Family Heritage

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Van Hook Family Heritage - Page Text Content

S: Our Van Hook Heritage

FC: Our Van Hook Heritage | by Larry Matthew Van Hook

1: Front cover: painting by Leslie Van Hook of the old Van Hook homestead. You can still buy his work at this shop in Lebanon, TN. Recommend the originals if you can afford it! As of this writing, Leslie was in his 90s.

2: The Van Hook coat of arms has a long history. Riestraps lists the family as "of Courlande, originally of Holland." We know from James M. Van Hook of Charleston, Indiana (1899) that the motto was "Te Deus Defendet," which means "Defenders of God." The arms show up again in the historical record on July 4 1750 when it was reconfirmed to the Van Hook family. Ten years later a "Coat of Arms" was mentioned in the inventory of Aaron Van Hook (d. 1760 in North Carolina). The representation of the arms can change from generation to generation as long as it has the essential elements. The armorial representation found in Aaron's inventory had the name "Van Hoeck" which was one of a few variations in the spellings found in Dutch documents in New York. Arent would have given the arms to Lawrence and then to Aaron as was the custom to pass it along to the eldest son. The Coat of Arms was next given to Lloyd Van Hook who died in 1815 in New Jersey leaving it to his son Lawrence who died in 1847. His son, Marcus Aurelius Van Hook, had it when he lived in Jackson, Mississippi. It was he who corresponded with James M. Van Hook of Indiana who preserved some of the information contained on the arms in 1899. Marcus' son, Henry Ware Van Hook, left it to Benjamin Ormond Van Hook. The last person ever to see the representation was Benjamin's daughter, Alma Eugene. She took it to Power Elementary School in Jackson, Mississippi in 1934 where it was lost or stolen. Fortunately, she remembered enough of it to compare her recollection to Riestraps Armorial and what Bernice Keister knew; it was nearly identical. The Coat of Arms on the cover is a historical accurate depiction of the Van Hook Coat of Arms. Note: some dispute the historical accuracy of these claims.

3: What we know of our family before America is based on the tradition that followed our coat of arms. According to family tradition, we descend from a man named ROBERT, "a man of note in Holland in the year 1516." The Riestraps Armory states that our coat of arms goes back to Courlande, however. In 1516, Courlande was a territory near the end of the rule of the Teutonic Knights, now in Lithuania and Poland. Robert, by the way, is of Teutonic origin. Unfortunately, all of this is very much speculative. Our earliest known ancestor was a cordwainer, or fine leather shoemaker, named ARENT, son of ISAAC and AALTJE. We know very little for sure other than he was born in 1623 in the small town of Hookseil, situated today in Germany near the Baltic Sea. Arent emigrated to Amsterdam and became a citizen on January 19, 1652 and married his first wife, SARA VE DE CLIET the following March. Sadly, as would be the history for Arent, his wife died only a few years later. He remarried late January 1655 to GEERTJE EVERTS presumably while he continued his apprenticeship in his trade. This was the "Golden Age" for the Dutch--who created much of the foundation for modern capitalism. For whatever reason, he and Geertje decided to accept pleas from the Dutch West India Company to travel to New Amsterdam as they needed skilled labor. He knew that he could also supplement his income trapping beavers and selling their pelts--a very lucrative business in those days. So in the Spring, Arent and Geertje set sail aboard the Bonte Coe and arrived at New Amsterdam on July 9, 1655. Immediately, Arent leased a living space with Pieter Janszen. (Note: they still used patronymic naming so Janszen means "son of Jans" as Arent's was Isaacsen, usually shortened to Issax). The arrangement included the front room and part of the attic. Arent would need the front room if he were to easily receive customers to his shoemaking trade. Arent and Pieter agreed to share the profits from subletting the cellar, and both had access to the well and bleaching field in the back. (A bleaching field was part of a process perfected by the Dutch to whiten fabrics using lye and sunshine). Besides, it was across the street from the company store. | The Bonte Koe, translated as "The Spotted Cow," was described in 1659 as being 108 feet long, 24 feet wide, with a draft of 11 feet and had 10 guns, and a ship of the flute type. When Arent made the trip, it is documented as departing from Amsterdam after 19 April 1655 and arrived in New Amsterdam before 12 July 1655. It appears that this "before" date is July 9 because the first record we have of Arent in the New World is on July 9, 1655 where he is looking to lease a living and work space from Pieter Jansen. Previously, many Van Hook historians mistakenly assumed that Arent arrived in 1649 because his name appears in "The Register of Members of the Dutch Reformed Church Since 1649." However, Arent's location in the document is consistent with a 1655 arrival date. It is not clear why Arent and Geertje decided to make this voyage. We do know that the Dutch West India Company benefited from the publication of Adriaen van der Donck's Description of New Netherland. Some have speculated that Arent was Jewish, hiding his religion due to persecution. I have not found any evidence for this, especially since he immediately joined the Dutch Reformed Church. However, interestingly, in January of 1655, there was a new push for colonization by the Jews to take advantage of the 1650 "Freedoms and Exemptions Act."

4: By the following year, Arent and Geertje had their first child, ISAAC ARENTSEN (later called Isaac Van Hook), the first Van Hook born in America. Isaac was named, obviously, after his grandfather. EVERT, named after Geertje's father, was born soon after. The other children were: VROUWTIE (b. May 1657), AALIJE (b. 1658), GEERTJE, and BENNONY. Arent and Geertje were following the typical naming order for that day which is fortunate for us. This is gives us the only real evidence of the names of Arent's parents and in-laws. It is why we think it is safe to say that Arent's mother was named Aalje, as it was customary to name the second daughter after the father's mother. It may be that Bennony (or Bennoni) is the name of Arent's grandfather. (His son Bennony, by the way, lived a tragic life. He was accused of beating his step-daughter by a brother-in-law, and may have been killed in an Indian attack in 1686). Geertje must have died giving birth to Bennony since the Dutch Reformed Church, that Arent's family were members and their children were baptized, had to help hire a wet nurse for Arent in 1664. The name would be a fit biblical name (Gen. 35:18 "...for she [Rachel, wife of Jacob] was dying--she named her son Ben Oni."). He married for the third time to the widow, STYNTIE LAURENS, from whom the Wilson County, Tennessee Van Hooks descend, on August 9, 1665. Together they had five children: CATHERINA (b. September, 1666), LAWRENCE (b. 1670), VROWTJE (b. November, 1672), MARIA (b. July, 1675), and ROELOF (b. September 1677). We descend from Lawrence, who became a judge in Monmouth County, New Jersey. During this time we have various mundane events recorded about Arent's life. Although, I'm sure the rigors of colonial life would have invited many adventures, all we know is less exciting. For example, Arent had to sue a Jacob Vis over a borrowed mirror which he never returned. Jacob claimed he left it with another person named Thomas Chambers for safekeeping during all of the trouble with the Indians at Esopus (modern-day Kingston, NY). Arent also sued another man when he never received payment in beaver pelts promised him for a pair of shoes. In 1664 Arent signed the Oath of Allegiance when the British quietly took over the colony. Ostensibly, his lack of knowledge of British law got him into minor trouble. In 1667, for example, he was fined by the authorities for buying a straw bed from a soldier. Either way, he conducted business as usual; he was on the list of Burghers (licensed business) and living on High Street in 1665. One 1659 record says he was a "Master shoemaker." Do you realize how close we came to being Shoemakers? | The Ver Plank house (circa 1730) is an example of a Dutch house. The Ver Planks, by the way, are Van Hook cousins. (See http://www.fulkerson.org/1-vigne.html)

5: Arent and his growing family moved around a lot--working his trade and trapping beaver. He lived in New York, Brooklyn, and Esopus. Styntie died on April 20, 1682 at Esopus. It is recorded that Arent had to lay hands on his wife and swear before God, asking him to act if he lied, that he had nothing whatsoever to do with her death. After God didn't do anything, she was buried. Apparently, in 1682 criminal scientific investigation was quite primitive! He married two more times: ELIZABETH STEVENS in 1685 and MARIA HOBOCKEN in 1696 shortly before his death. Most of the children from Geertje stayed around New York and New Jersey. Many of the descendants of Issac and Evert are there even today. For a while their names were listed as "Van Hoek." Most of the descendants of Arent's children through Styntie are in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and many western states. Arent's son, Lawrence, our forebear, went into both business and public service. He was a successful merchant and aspiring judge. He amassed some amount of wealth before he died in 1725. The mayor of New York appointed him High Constable of the city in 1700 and later an assessor of the Dock Ward in 1705. (Interestingly, some of his descendants stayed with public service. Jacob Van Hook was sheriff in Halifax County, Virginia around 1807.) | He owned land in both New York City and Monmouth County, New Jersey. (Records show that some of his land in New York was adjacent to the oldest synagogue in Manhattan). By 1714 Lawrence was an Associate Justice of the Quarter Sessions of Monmouth County. He married Hannah Smith (1673-1747), daughter of Hendricks and Geertje Willems Smith. Henry was an emigrant from Lochem and a cadet with the Dutch West India Company. Lawrence was also religious. He was a member of the Old Brick Dutch Reformed Church in what is now Marlboro Township, which still exists. Lawrence was concerned about the spiritual condition of his community as he signed a petition on May 28, 1717 asking the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to send a minister to support 400 families living in Monmouth. Interestingly, this Anglican missionary organization still exists, although under a new name. King William III chartered the society with sending ministers to help revitalize the spiritual health of the colonies in 1701--a goal never fully realized until the Great Awakening. Lawrence's real impact upon religion in America, however, was through his daughter FRANCINKE (Frances).

6: Frances married the Reverend SAMUEL BLAIR, SR., a forebear of American Presbyterianism. After being licensed at age 21 in Philadelphia, he moved to New Jersey where he evidently met and married Frances Van Hook in the summer of 1735. In 1739 the requirements of his call sent him and his family (by then two children) to New Londonderry, Chester County, Pennsylvania at Faggs Manor to be the pastor of a new congregation. George Whitfield paid two visits to the congregation, and the church still exists today. It is the second oldest PCA church in America and Samuel Blair was the first pastor. Samuel Blair, with the support of Frances, started a school at the Faggs Manor church in which the venerable Rev. Samuel Davies was educated. Rev. Samuel Davies (1723-1761) went on to become the president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University. Rev. Davies, in fact, traveled to England to raise money to build Nassau Hall, the oldest building currently at Princeton. When he returned from Europe, he was asked about the preaching he heard in England and Scotland. After complimenting the various preachers there, he concluded that he heard no one better, in his opinion, better than his former teacher, Samuel Blair. By the way, Frances' mother, HANNAH, who died in 1747, is buried at Faggs Manor. It is the OLDEST known Van Hook grave in America. She evidently lived with the Blairs sometime after Lawrence died in 1725. Some of Samuel and Frances' daughters went on to marry accomplished Presbyterian ministers themselves such as Rev. David Rice, called the founder of Kentucky Presbyterianism, and William Foster, a Presbyterian preacher known by George Washington, and a Revolutionary War chaplain. Rev. William Foster is listed on the Army Chaplain Memorial at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Rev. John Carmichael married Sally Blair on April 24, 1775 and had three children. One daughter of theirs married Rev. Samuel Donnell, a Cumberland Presbyterian in Lebanon, Tennessee, although she died soon after arriving to Wilson County. | The grave marker of Rev. Samuel Blair at Faggs Manor Presbyterian Church. Frances Van Hook Blair's mother, Hannah's marker is there also. It is the earliest Van Hook grave still extant that I am aware of. The | One of Samuel Blair's fundraising brochures. (Library of Congress)

7: It should be noted that our half brother's and sisters (those that descend from Geertje Everts) were thriving as well. There is an interesting historical tidbit about Arondt Van Hook, who I surmise was the great-great-great grandson of Arent Isaacsen, by his son Isaac A. Van Hook. Below is an excerpt from an historical blog by Cyrus Patell and Bryan Waterman (2012): "In October, 1797, Arondt Van Hook, a tannery owner and former jailor, opened on 149 Water Street what contemporaries called the first 'Reading Room in America.' From eight in the morning until ten in the evening, the reading room provided visitors a selection of periodical and other texts as well as coffee and biscuits." Gentlemen paid a subscription to enjoy the company of others while reading and discussing literature and news. According to early reviewers, it was a great success. There may have been an added motivation for Arondt, however, than mere entrepreneurship. His son, Issac A. Van Hook, graduated from Columbia College and gave the commencement address on May 3, 1797. (The next page has some excerpts). His "Oration on War" was published in New York Magazine the following October--exactly when Arondt opened the reading room.

8: An Oration on War delivered May 3, 1797 at Columbia University by Isaac A. Van Hook. While the rest of the world is convulsed with the horrors of war, the philanthropist views these happy, these peaceful shores, and is consoled. Here the reign of PEACE, I trust, will have no end. Individuals may endeavour to infuse into the public mind, a portion of their prejudices and their passions, but the attempt will be fruitless. The deliberate voice of this country can never be for war, because no object can present itself, that attainment of which can compensate for its evils. Let the revolutions in Europe terminate as they will, the public mind will be enlightened, the public voice will henceforth be respected! Let us hail the auspicious morn of universal peace, whene'er it begins to appear! Let all the friends of human dignity and human happiness raise their voices to welcome its appearance! Let science and philosophy prepare all their charms and elegancies to accelerate its approach, to decorate its empire, and to secure its eternal duration! --Excerpted from: Irving Mark & Eugene L. Schwaab, Eds., The Faith of Our Fathers: An Anthology Expressing the Aspirations of the American Common Man 1790-1860 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952), p. 231. | Trinity Church Schoolhouse, on lower Broadway, Manhattan where Isaac may have very likely given his address in 1797, thirteen years after it reopened after the Revolution. | Old postcard of New Brunswick Theological Seminary where Isaac A. Van Hook graduated in 1819. The school is in New Jersey, part of Rutger's University. Isaac served as missionary to New Jersey and New York until he died in 1834.

9: Jacob Van Hook, Sr. (1761-1841), was the great grandson of Lawrence (grandson of Aaron (1698-1760), son of David (1725-1784). Jacob married Nancy Jones (1771-1807) and had seven children. Our family descends from Jacob Van Hook. Jacob played a central role in our family's Revolutionary War legacy. According to a The United States Magazine, and Democratic Review (1850), Jacob "was a deputy-sheriff at the time of the first Declaration of Indepen-dence reached Caswell County, and was selected, by the people assembled at the courthouse, to read it to the multitude." Later, having his needed musket and horse, Jacob enlisted as a Patriot and was mustered in 1780 under the command of Capt. John Douglas and marched from Caswell County Courthouse, North Carolina to Salisbury, crossing the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers all the way to Cowpens in South Carolina. They formed up under the South Carolina Militia commanded by Col. James Williams, who with other commanders formed a larger unit. Their mission was to engage the army of the British commander, Maj. Patrick Ferguson, who was leading a Loyalist militia. Ferguson's job was to protect the flank of Gen. Cornwallis whose army was just 30 miles away. (Many people don't know that Maj. Ferguson was the inventor of the Ferguson rifle, one the first breech loading rifles during that time). Unfortunately, for Maj. Ferguson, he aroused the dander of many backwoodsmen by issuing a strongly worded challenge for the locals, even those over the mountain to lay down their arms of suffer the consequences. Not having any of this, many men | from southwest Virginia and what is now Tennessee organized a militia to destroy Ferguson and his army. This is the other unit that our Jacob combined with, along with other North Carolina and South Carolina volunteers. These "Overmountain Men" may have included Samuel Van Hook who was from southwest Virginia. Samuel was a major progenitor of the Kentucky branch of Van Hooks. Samuel was either Jacob's cousin or his uncle; there is still some debate about Samuel in genealogical circles. Regardless, the Patriots caught up with the Tories at King's Mountain on October 7, 1780. Unable to fire at the Patriots who were fighting unconventionally and protected by the steep, rough terrain, Ferguson and his men were overwhelmed and defeated. Ferguson was shot off his horse and is buried at King's Mountain today. Jacob continued his service until the captured troops were taken north to Salem. Col. Williams died near the end of the battle and is buried in Gaffney, South Carolina near King's Mountain National Park. (One of Jacob's brothers may have been with him and was wounded according to the US Magazine and Democratic Review (1850)). [Interestingly, Col. James Williams is also my 5th great grand uncle from the Rice line] Jacob would have been present a week later when on October 14, the still angry Patriots held an impromptu series of court-martials. One Tory was hanged before the commanders were able to restore discipline.

10: As stated, Jacob stayed with the unit until reaching Salem, North Carolina with the remnant of the captured army--most of whom escaped but which about 130 remained. He later reenlisted and helped guard Hillsborough, North Carolina under Capt. Shadrack Hargis. Interestingly, the Battle of King's Mountain was a family affair for Jacob. For example, Capt. John Douglas, under whom Jacob mustered, was the husband of his cousin, Hannah DeBow, the daughter of his Uncle Lawrence. Some DeBow cousins moved to middle Tennessee just as the Van Hook family did. Whether he knew it or not, another spouse of one of Jacob's cousins, Capt. James Fulkerson, probably fought at King's Mountain under Col. Campbell. Fulkerson married Mary Van Hook. Mary was the daughter of Jacob's namesake, Uncle Jacob Van Hook and Hannah DeBow. We know that James Fulkerson's son-in-law, Benjamin Sharp, was at King's Mountain under Col. Campbell. Benjamin gives his vivid recollections not only on his pension application but also in "The American Pioneer" in 1843, one much used source by historians. Benjamin married Hannah, who was named after her grandmother. Benjamin was already in southwest Virginia where Jacob was to later move in 1807 (Halifax County, Virginia). Years later, James and Mary Van Hook Fulkerson provided their hospitality to a 24 year old Frenchman named Louis Philippe, Duc d'Orleans. Louis recounts his experience in his Diary of Travels in America: "We tarried in Abingdon to have two saddles repaired...We dined at Major Fulkinson's 12 miles from Abingdon. The countryside we passed through was one great forest with a few bogs and almost no houses. The major has a handsome property of 150 acres that he cleared himself. He has been settled there for 24 years. There is a copious spring near the house. He is eight miles from the main branch of the Holston River...On a further 450 acres Fulkinson thinks he has a thousand sugar maples.... The Frenchman later became King of France (1830-1848)! By the way, we are related to the Fulkersons in another way. Our grandmother, Ida Myrtle Reed Van Hook, descends from James's father, VOLKERT DIRCKSEN (1692-1758), which makes James Fulkerson our cousin as well and ourselves also Fulkerson descendants.

11: This Fulkerson line also eventually connects directly through maternal lines to GUILIAME VIGNE (d. 1632) through his daughter CHRISTINA . Vigne was a French Calvinist who emigrated to New Amsterdam in 1624. He owned land near what is now Maiden Lane downtown Manhattan. Tradition has it that it was so named because of his three daughters who used to wash clothes in the creek that was once there. Amazingly, Myrtle's husband, and our grandfather, Walter Eugene Van Hook, descends also from this same patriarch! However, he descends through Christiana's sister, RACHEL, who married CORNELIUS VAN TIENHOVEN, an infamous and unscrupulous character in New Amsterdam--having instigated war with the Indians and cheated on Rachel by actually bringing another woman back from Europe. According to contemporaries, Rachel didn't have a much better reputation. (You can read more: Mark Caldwell (2005), New York Night: The Mystique and Its History). Anyway, this makes Walter and Myrtle ninth cousins! Back to Jacob and the Battle of King's Mountain, Coleman Clayton attests to Jacob's veteran status on his pension record. It is likely that the 19 year old Jacob made friends with the 20 year old Coleman before the war. Coleman fought with Jacob under Douglas and Williams at King's Mountain. Like Jacob he was residing in Caswell County, North Carolina when he joined the war, however earlier than Jacob. Again, there is a family | connection. Coleman's cousin (Thomas Clayton) married Jacob's cousin (Susannah Bumpass). A remarkable event happened on February 14, 1781. Thomas Hargis, spouse of Jacob's first cousin, Bridget (daughter of Uncle Lawrence, who also may have been a veteran), was recruiting men to fight Gen. Cornwallis' advance back south toward Guilford Courthouse. He was doing this at David Van Hook's house (Jacob's dad), when he and the men he was recruiting were ambushed and captured by Col. Tarleton's cavalry. You may remember Col. Tarleton from your history lessons. Jacob's brother, Robert, claims he witnessed the entire episode even though he admits he was still a young boy at the time. Jacob enlisted again under Shadrack Hargis, Thomas' brother, in guarding nearby Hillsborough in early May, 1781. | Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross (1838-1893) was the great grandson of James and Mary Van Hook Fulkerson. He was a Texas Ranger, and military man. He was instrumental in the recapturing of Cynthia Ann Parker from the Comanche. He was eventually a Brigadier General of a Texas Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War. He was also a Senator and Governor of Texas, and president of Texas A&M. A university in Alpine Texas is named in his honor. This Van Hook descendant's picture hangs in the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco, Texas.

12: Jacob's uncle on his mother's side was also busy during the Revolutionary War. Take, for example, John Bumpass (or Bumpas). "[John] formed a company militia, of which he was Captain, and was active as a 'Regulator' as they called themselves. During the Revolutionary period, he won the nickname of 'Fighting John' by his activity against the Tories and Governor Tryon, even though he had been a hunting companion of Tyron. He was in Gen. Greene's army and was captured at the battle of Guilford Courthouse. He was taken to Lord Cornwallis who offered him freedom if he would take the oath of allegiance to the King, but he refused. Cornwallis so admired his forthright honesty and his devotion to what he believed right, that he released him saying that he had more confidence in John Bumpass than in many who had taken the oath. Prior to this, the government had opened a military road from Richmond, Virginia to Hillsboro, called the King's Highway, and had established a Court, at the latter place, which was called 'The Court of the King's Bench.' They also kept a number of mounted troops at Hillsboro to enforce mandates of the Court. This military road ran through the Bumpass plantation and made them easy prey for the British soldiers" (Heritage of Person County, Vol. 2, 1983). Jacob's son, JACOB Jr., married FRANCES NEWMAN (1800-1882) and likely received the benefit of land in the new state of Tennessee from his father's service. Unfortunately, Jacob died leaving Frances and the two children, JOEL NEWMAN VAN HOOK (1821-1902) and WINNIE JONES VAN HOOK (1819-1896), to fend for themselves in Wilson County, Tennessee, probably around 1829. (There may have been another son named Berry). Frances married Snowden Hickman (1803-1852) giving the Van Hook children some step-siblings, whose extended family would later connect with our family line since Joel Newman Van Hook would marry his cousin, MARY T. HICKMAN on January 5, 1842. Physically, Joel was a tall man (6'2") with blue eyes and light brown hair. He was a typical back-country pioneer, occasionally committing misdemeanors for fighting, brawling and gambling. He was a farmer and bought and sold farmland, at a profit if he could, even to his own relatives. One time he bought 49 acres from his Hickman relatives in two separate transactions for $430 only to sell the land shortly to Hope Skean, his brother-in-law for $500. | MG William S. Rosecrans led the Union forces at the Battle at Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN where Joel Newman Van Hook fought and was wounded. He didn't know that Gen. Rosecrans was his 7th cousin!

13: Sadly, Joel also bought slaves. We have records of him obtaining slaves named Sarah, Sam, Jane, etc. One slave presents our family with a bit of a mystery. In the Slave Narratives for Texas, a depression era government project, recorded is the testimony of a former slave by the name of WINGER VAN HOOK, living in Waco, Texas. You can read his entire testimony online. He states that his mother was SARAH VAN HOOK and was born March 15, 1849 in Wilson County, Tennessee. Documentary evidence proves that Joel did, in fact, buy a slave named Sarah in January 1849. He also had younger male slaves, anyone of which could have been Winger. As far as I have been able to discover through research in Lebanon and other places, Joel Newman Van Hook's family was the only ones with that name living in Wilson County in 1850. Winger mentions the Viverett family in the narrative which also lends credence that Joel Van Hook had to be the "Marse Van Hook" he states enslaved his family. In addition, the only geographical location he mentions in Tennessee besides Wilson County is Pilot Knob which is about 30 miles from Lebanon, southwest Gallatin. So, it is very likely that Winger served on the Van Hook plantation, if you can call it that. Unfortunately, we have some significant historical inconsistencies in Winger's narrative that I have not been able to explain. The biggest one, and the one most significant to our family, was the claim by Winger that his father was "ole' Marse Van Hook." If true, this means we have a whole undiscovered family branch! However, if Winger was correct on his birth date, and it seems that its specificity makes me think so, then Sarah would have been pregnant with him when she arrived to the Van Hook farm in January of 1849. Joel could not have been the father. We conducted genetic testing between both families and found no connection. Secondly, Winger says that "ole' Van Hook" died in the Civil War; he says that Marse Van Hook promised never to sell them and never did. However, I found a record that Joel Van Hook deeded Sarah and a male child to Jesse W. Rowlett in 1860. How could Winger get so many important facts wrong? Joel N. Van Hook did fight in the Civil War. He enlisted in Company B, 45th Infantry Tennessee Infantry Regiment and fought at the Battle of Shiloh and Stones River 1862-1863. He was wounded and sent to a hospital in Tullahoma to recover. (That building is now a landmark in Tullahoma shown to the left). | Confederate hospital in Tullahoma, TN | Jacob Thompson (1810-1885) was the grandson of Jacob and Nancy Jones Van Hook through their daughter Lucretia who married Nicholas Thompson. (Nicholas was the executor of Jacob Van Hook's estate). Jacob's story is an adventurous one! He was elected to the House of Representatives for Mississippi in the 1850s and Secretary of the Interior for President Buchanan. In the Civil War he was a veteran at various battles including Vicksburg. In 1864 he was asked by Jefferson Davis to lead a secret diplomatic mission to Canada. His story deserves a larger portion of this book, but for now, look up his story. Wikipedia does a great job: (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Thompson).

14: Dr. Zachariah Hickman (1835-1923) was Joel Newman Van Hook's step-brother (our great, great uncle). He attended Cumberland College and began a study of medicine. He again graduated from the University of Nashville in 1861, after which he moved to Illinois, not wanting any part of the Confederacy. He intended to locate in Kansas (a free state), but realizing that a border struggle was taking place, settled in Raleigh, Illinois. He volunteered as assistant surgeon in the 110th Illinois Infantry Regiment as a 1st Lieutenant after passing a medical exam at St. Louis. (His youngest brother, Jacob Snowden died in a battle at St. Petersburg, Virginia in 1863). Interestingly, Dr. Hickman also was at the Battle of Stone's River but on the side of the Union. After the war, in 1866, he decided he needed to rescue his mother, Frances Newman (Van Hook) Hickman, from the ravaged South. Frances was widowed in 1852 from Snowden Hickman, although she applied for a divorce previously. | Frances was living in a two story house with one room up and downstairs. It had a log smokehouse where Frances and Martha Ann would dig to get salt during the Civil War. The other children, including the Van Hook children, were already grown with their own families. Her son, William Caswell Hickman, had moved to Hickory County, Missouri, in 1857, and Zachariah was in Illinois. So, they were all alone--and now really impoverished due to the war. | A picture of the cemetery where Frances is buried at Cross Timbers, MO. | Frances and Martha Ann disposed of the Hickman family farm in Wilson County, leaving with $600, a wagon load of things she refused to give up, and a fine black mare, which they led behind the wagon. Son William drove and brother Zach rode a horse; Frances and Martha Ann stayed in the wagon. They first arrived at Benton, Illinois to Zachariah's home where they rested a few days before heading to William Caswell's house in Cross Timber's Missouri. She and Martha Ann stayed there the rest of their lives. She is buried in Walker Cemetery, located 2 miles north of Cross Timbers.

15: Joel Wright Van Hook (1858-1936) [immediate left] was one of the children of Joel Newman Van Hook and the one from which our family descends. Too bad the Van Hook's weren't big in retelling family stories! He was a tall man, nearly 6'6" and sported a big handle bar mustache. I've been told he was a very out-going man, completely unlike his son, Walter Eugene [above]. Joel married Annie Rice in 1883, the daughter of John Wesley Rice (1837-1899) [bottom left] and Rebecca Jane Welch (1838-1927). Joel was a farmer and love to play baseball, a pastime past down all the way to his grandson, Larry Van Hook, who wanted to play professional baseball early in life. | Ida Myrtle Reed Van Hook (1903-2001), aka Moma Hook, was our grandmother, was married to Walter Eugene Van Hook (1896-1969). Matthew, one of her grandsons, would often play at her house and enjoying her chocolate or pineapple meringue pies. She was a diminutive but tall enough to stand at the piano and play by ear all the great hymns. She was faithful in the Baptist church. One time her grandson looked on as a prisoner in the local jail wept as she shared the gospel. | Walter Eugene Van Hook (1896-1969) was not as tall as his father. He was a carpenter and a quiet man. He loved baseball and was a good pitcher in his day. Larry, his son, says he remembers him enjoyed watching Bonanza and the Monkees on television. When he was young he would hunt squirrels and ride horses, probably using the double barreled shotgun he inherited from his grandfather. He wasn't terribly pious but he did have a "born again" experience after his son, Howard, died. | For further discovery.... | --Order the book, "The Descendants of Arent Isaacszen Van Hoeck" (1998) by Larry Matthew Van Hook from Higgionson Publishers online. Also the complete family tree is available on the web at Ancestry.com and Rootsweb.com. | Larry Van Hook (b. 1945) son of Walter Eugene, with son, Larry Matthew Van Hook (b. 1968)

16: Judy was the daughter of C.S. Winfree (1904-1998) and Frances Louise Granstaff (1911-1995). Her family knew Vice-president Al Gore, Jr., since he was her distant cousin. Judy wasn't too happy about it since she became a strong Republican in the 1980s. But, hey, somebody famous is somebody famous right? When her first-born left for college, she experienced the beginning of the empty nest. She said the Lord reminded her that when he was born she committed him to Him. Now it was time to give him back. This is one of my favorite stories of Momma.

17: Mom's Fudge Pie 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/4 cup margarine or butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 2 eggs, 6 ounces of evaporated milk, 1 pie shell or homemade crust. (teaspoon of vanilla optional) Mix the first 5 ingredients in the order listed. The cocoa should be heaping tablespoons. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Then at 350 F for 20 minutes. | Granberry Pinkney Winfree (1857-1937) | Robert Eli Granstaff (1870-1932) | C.S. and Frances Granstaff Winfree

18: Tina Stamey Johnson (b. August 21, 1971) married Larry M. Van Hook (b. January 7, 1968) on May 23, 1992. They had three children: Jonathan Curtis (b. 1993), Victoria Hope (b. 1995), and Jacob Arent (b. 2001). She was a licensed social worker for the state of Texas. She home-schooled the children, and was an "extreme" coupon user! | One amazing thing about Tina and her family is that she was a VAN HOOK DESCENDANT too! Tina and Matthew were attending her grandfather's funeral when her great-uncle asked, "What is Tina's husband's name?" When he found out it was Van Hook, he exclaimed, "We have Van Hooks in our family!" Turns out it was very close. Tina's mother was Judy Henry (b. 1947) who married David Johnson (b. 1945). Judy's father was J. B. Henry (1922-1995), son of Oscar James Henry (1903-1931), son of WILLIAM VAN HOOK HENRY (1880-1881), son of Frame Woods Henry (1835-1896) who married FREDONIA CATHERINE VAN HOOK (1844-1901), daughter of WILLIAM GORDON VAN HOOK (1803/08-1849) of Lexington, Henderson County, Tennessee. The file on Jacob Van Hook, Sr., in the NC State Archives proved that Tina's Van Hook line descends from Jacob's son, John and Elizabeth Gordon Van Hook. My line originates from Jacob Van Hook, Jr. (See some of the documents in the Appendix). | Tina Stamey Johnson (b. 1971) "Stamey was the name of her relative who was killed in World War I." | Judy Ann Henry (b. 1947) married David Johnson (b. 1945). | J. B. Henry (1922-1995) "He never knew his grandfather's real name. All he knew was "Needem." | Oscar James Henry (1903-1931) "He didn't live long--we were lucky to have a picture!" | William Van Hook Henry (1880-1973) "It is amazing that 'Van Hook' appears again in this line with Tina!" | Fredonia Catherine Van Hook (1844-1901) "Fredonia and her half cousin, whom she married, Frame Woods Henry moved to Texas about 1868." | Julia Ann Collins (1805-1895) married William Gordon Van Hook. He was a doctor in Henderson County, Tennessee. She remarried William Henry, Jr. (1808-1884). William was the son of John Van Hook, son of Jacob Van Hook.

19: Larry Matthew Van Hook (b. January 7, 1968) followed a long line of military service. His dad (right) served in the Air Force, and his some of his brothers served in World War II. As mentioned, we had ancestors in the Civil War and Revolutionary War. Matthew endured two tours: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn (2007-2008, 2010-2011) with the STB, 1st Sustainment Brigade and STB, III Corps. He was at Camp Taji and Camp Victory. Before that he was an Air Force reserve chaplain from 2000-2007. He was brigade chaplain, after promoting to Major, for the 513th MI Brigade at Fort Gordon, Georgia. Matthew was a chaplain endorsed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. (Above: Matthew talks to former Army Chief of Chaplains while in Iraq, BG Doug Carver.) Matthew was at Fort Hood, Nov. 4, 2009 when 13 Soldiers were killed by Major Hassan. Four of his unit's Soldiers were shot but survived. He received a coin from Adm. Mullen, then head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. During his last deployment, Matthew completed his Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership and has since earned a MA in counseling.

20: Victoria Van Hook pretends to play a flute at Stones River National Civil War Battlefield | Joel Newman Van Hook was in Co. B, 45th Tennessee Infantry Regiment. Not far from here, according to family tradition, Joel was wounded in the buttocks as he climbed over a fence in the Confederate retreat.

21: (C) All Rights Reserved. E C Leatherberry. Used by Permission | Kindle Van Hook (b. 1766) was the youngest son of David and Lucy Bumpass Van Hook. He is credited for building the Van Hook Subscription School, the earliest known, still standing school in North Carolina. It was originally built at Paine's Tavern in 1810. Kindle married Anne Moore on November 25, 1800 in Caswell County and had at least three children: David, Mary and Solomon, who moved to Texas. | David Van Hook, probably son of Kindle, was a company commander of 11th Tennessee Calvary (Union). His home was Mineral Bluff, Georgia, just south of where Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina meet. Van Hook Glade Campground, just southeast of Franklin, NC, is named for him. Supposedly, his company captured part of this area in the Civil War. David died 13 April 1864 in Tennessee during the War.

22: (Above) We visited the North Carolina State Archives and found numerous documents relating to Jacob Van Hook, Sr. and his descendants. We were able to prove that Tina's family descends from Jacob, specifically from his older son, John Van Hook. This document is one of the documents that prove this connection. Notice that the correspondence includes William Henry. (Right) The document on the right is one of my artifacts from my collection. It is a judgment in favor of my 8th great grand uncle, Henry Van Hook, of Monmouth County, New Jersey. This may be the oldest document in private ownership relating to our family, dated 1745. Henry was the son of Lawrence Van Hook, grandson of Arent. The oldest known document is located in the Hague and is the marriage banns for Arent. You can find a picture of these documents online at www.vanhook.us or on Ancestry.com. (Right, next page) This picture depicts other Van Hook artifacts in my collection: A Van Hook Whiskey bottle (circa 1910), a back bar bottle and shot glass. There is a postcard showing Main Street in Van Hook, N.D. and a store token. Van Hook, N.D. was abandoned when a local dam was built. I also have a Sheriff's Bond for Archaelous Van Hook (1777-1844).

23: Van Hook Artifacts

25: Two Letters by Jacob Thompson (1810-1885). The letter on the left written during his tenure serving as Secretary of the Interior for President Buchanan, references Erastus Corning (1794-1872) and is addressed to the president. Corning was serving in Congress in 1858. Mr. Granger, mentioned in the letter, was presumably, Francis Granger (1792-1868), Chairman of the Whig National Executive Committee (briefly Constitutional Union Party or Opposition Party) (1856-1860). The letter to the right recommends that Charles King Mallory (1820-1875), a Probate Judge near Oxford, Mississippi at the time, be appointed Purser in the Navy.

26: Discovered that the stage and screen actor, Bill Paxton, is a direct descendant of Benjamin Sharp, making him a Van Hook descendant and my 7th cousin. Benjamin Sharp married Hannah Fulkerson, the daughter of Captain James Fulkerson and Mary Van Hook. This is the same line the Sullivan Ross descends mentioned previously. We also found out that former President James A. Garfield is my 7th cousin 4x removed connected materially through the Foutch (Granstaff) line by to the Puritans. We knew for some time that we are related to Franklin and Teddy Roosevelt through the Vigne line discussed previously. The same is true for Thomas Edison and General Rosecrans. We discovered that Tina is related to Daniel Boone. He is her 1st cousin 7x removed. However, Tina is also my 5th cousin 4x times removed making Daniel Boone the 1st cousin 7x removed of the 7th cousin 2x removed. (This also makes her related to General Morgan of the Revolutionary War). Tina's grandfather, Emery William Johnson, is my 7th cousin 2x removed. I think this makes her my 8th cousin through her Johnson line. So, she is my distant cousin both materially and paternally. Besides Sul Ross, I am related to Texas Ranger, John Coffee "Jack" Hays, who is my 2nd cousin, 6x removed. The connection is through my mom's Granstaff/Trammel line.

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Tina VanHook
  • By: Tina V.
  • Joined: about 5 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 3
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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Van Hook Family Heritage
  • This coffee table book highlights some major characters and connections with the Van Hook family specially geared toward those in or from Wilson County, Tennessee. Very interesting stuff. Written by Larry M. Van Hook. Includes the historically accurate Coat of Arms.
  • Tags: Van Hook, jacob, revolutionary, Arent, Wilson County
  • Published: over 4 years ago

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