"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

PIONEER FAMILIES

THE SHOOK FAMILY

Like the "Keith Hollow" and the "Norman Thicket," the "Shook Graveyard," during the writer's childhood years, was a not-too-definitely, located landmark to which reference was often made without its significance being fully explained. There was a vague idea in his mind that these places were named for families whose names had otherwise disappeared long ago from the Flat Creek Community; but the writer had not the slightest suspicion that the names were for distant relatives or even for ancestors as in the case of the Shooks. Not until he learned that his great­grandfather, George Allen Reagor, was buried in the Shook Graveyard, did he ever take the trouble to pay it a visit. To any reader who might like to make a similar visit, a few directions are given. If the approach is from Shelbyville, he should travel a little less than a mile after passing through the junction of roads at Flat Creek on the way to Lynchburg and park his car in front of the house across the creek to the right of the highway. By following a path almost perpendicular to the highway for about three-fourths of a mile, most of the way parallel to a wire fence, the Shook Graveyard will be reached just over the crest of the hill which hides it from view on the highway.
To the writer's surprise on his first visit in the spring of 1958, the name Shook was not found on a single tombstone. To any present-day observer the cemetery would more appropriately be named the Reagor Graveyard, for Reagor is found on quite a number of the monuments. Most, if not all of the inscribed monuments are for Anthony and Margaret Shook Reagor descendants and their families. It is assumed that the earliest Shooks in Bedford County, William Shook, his two sons, William, Jr., and Abraham, and their wives, are buried in some of the graves which are marked only by three hewn limestone rocks placed upon them. If there were ever any inscriptions on these stones, they are not discernible now. The graves of Margaret and Anthony Reagor, ancestors of all the Reagors in and from to Flat Creek area, presumably were buried also in graves with such marker or with only a small limestone headstone without any inscription. The earliest inscriptions on monuments in the Shook Graveyard are these: "David Floyd, born June 19, 1786; Died Dec. 18, 1856, Aged 70 yrs and 6 months and "Mary Magdalene Floyd, Consort of David Floyd, born Dec. 9, 1793 died Nov. 22, 1856, aged 62 yrs., 11 mo., 13 days." Mary Magdalene Floyd was the daughter of Anthony and Margaret Shook Reagor granddaughter of William Shook, Sr., who was the progenitor of all Shooks who once lived in Bedford and Franklin Counties. It is believed that the last burial in the Shook Graveyard was that of Edd Coleman, a bachelor descendant of the Shooks and Reagors. He died November 29, 1926, but a monument was not erected for him until 1960. Until recent years, loyal Shook and Reagor descendants saw to the care of this family cemetery even it had long been off a public road. Although the Shook name seems to have been lost to the Flat Creek Community by the time of the Civil War and although the name of Reagor seems likewise destined to be lost to the Community within another generation perhaps more than half the children born within the Flat Creek Community during the past hundred and fifty years had Shook and Reagor ancestry whether or not they ever knew it.

Although the Shook family had an appeal of its own to the writer because of its significance to his ancestry, a more careful study of the Shook family has resulted from efforts to unravel the mysteries of the ancestry of Anthony Reagor, who married Margaret Shook. It was fortunate indeed to find that other Shook descendants had already done considerable study on the Shook family, thereby greatly reducing the need for original research. With this glimpse at the climax of its interest, we turn now to the Beginning of the story of the Shook family as it is believed to have been established in this country and follow our own line from Hermanus Shook,who is believed to have been our earliest progenitor in America, to Margaret Shook, through whom the Reagor descendants get their Shook ancestry.

The earliest of his Shook ancestors with whom the writer has become acquainted through records and stories is Hermanus Shook. According to tradition, Hermanus Shook came to America from Holland before , and it is thought that his forebears were of German origin. One of his grandsons, Abraham Shook, in a letter on June 19, 1868, spoke of his lather as, "a Dutchman, could read no English, though a Dutch Scholar. Although this Abraham Shook of Franklin County, Tennessee, spoke thus of his "Grandfather Shook," the context of the letter strongly says that he may have been speaking of his great-grandfather, Hermonous Shook. His lack of a command of written English accounts largely, for the great variety in the spelling of his name. The first name has been given such variations as, Hearmon, Harmonous, Herman, Harfand perhaps others. Shook has also been spelled Shuch, Shock, and Schrook. There are instances in which the name is spelled more than one time in the same document. Due to the efforts of the Shook family to become like their English friends and neighbors while not giving up all of culture and traditions, it is possible that the pronunciation of the name varied from time to time as much as the spelling. We shall refer to this ancestor, presumably our earliest Shook in America, as Hermanus except where quotations from documents require it to be spelled otherwise. This particular spelling has been selected from the available largely because it seems to be a compromise between the Dutch English. His namesake son will be referred to as Harmon, Jr., for the simple reason that this spelling seems to be used most frequently for him in documents and other records.

The earliest record on Hermanus Shook seems to be found among those of Augusta County, Virginia, where on August 28, 1750, "Hermanm Skout," along with his neighbors of later years, Anthony Reagor and Anthony Reagor, Jr., was added to the list of tithables (Abstracts of Records of Augusta Co., Va. by Lyman Chalkley, Vol. 1, p. 42). Taken out of context, the name Hermanus Skout would have made little impression; but alongside the names of two Reagors, it leads to the conclusion that an error has been made in spelling or in copying this name and that it refers to the "Hearman Shuck" who was named executor in the will of "Anthony Reagor" in 1769 and the "Herman Shuck" who was recognized by the Hampshire County Court as the executor of "Anthony Reagor" when the will was proved on May 8, 1770, and the "Hearmon Shuck" who on October 27, 1775, was made executor of the will of "Anthony Reagor" of Hampshire County who signed his name as "Anthony Reagors." With such variations of spelling as in these documents, the use of "Skout" instead of a more usual spelling does not seem sufficient reason to exclude a man from a list of his neighbors!

It is likely that in 1750 Hermanus Shook was already living on the land where he made his home for the balance of his life. At any rate, the fact that his name is found in the records of three counties does not indicate necessarily that he changed the place of his residence. Hampshire County, in which Hermanus Shook was a resident when he made his win in 1780, was carved out of Augusta and Frederick Counties on December 13, 1753-4; and Hardy County, in which his will was proved on June 8, 1798, was formed from Hampshire County. (Hampshire and Hardy Counties were in Virginia before the Civil War but are now a part of West Virginia.) In his will (Hardy County Will Book No. 1, p. 35) Hermanus Shook indicated the location of his home as being "situate on the South Fork," now called the South Branch, of the Potomac River. Wills and other documents indicate that the Sears as well as the Reagors (Reagors) were Hermanus Shock's neighbors. James Sears' daughter Catherine married Hermanus Shock's oldest son, William Shook, as evidenced by the Sears will in which he directed his son William Sears, "to pay to his Sister Catherine Shook twenty pounds current money" (Hampshire County Will Book No. 2, p. 61).

The relationship between the Shook and Reagor families also appears to have been more than that of friendly neighbors. There are strong indications that Anthony Reagor, Jr., married Catherine Shook, Hermanus Shock's sister. It has also been suggested that Hermanus Shook may have married Anthony Reagor, Jr.'s, sister Barbara or their half-sister Anna Shobe. While no firm verification has been found for any of these probable marriages, documentation which strongly hints at the brother-in-law relationship is offered and explained in the section, Early History of the Reager* in America, in Chapter V.

Although his wife was mentioned for her "lawful thirds," her name is not found in Hermanus Shock's will. Children named in the will, in addition to his "eldest son William Shook," are John Shook, Hermonos (Jr.) Shook, and David Shook, the latter two being made executors of the will. Mentioned also are "all the rest of my children both Boys and Garls-

John Shock's will, a fifth son of his father is identified. John Shook, no natural heirs, named in addition to his wife, Elizabeth Shook,step-daughter Mary, and his "affectionate brothers." These brothers included in addition to those named above, Peter Shook (Hardy County Will if No. 1, p. 60). The names of the other "Boys and Garls" mentioned Hermanus Shock's will may never be known; but this is not of great significance to the study of William Shook and his descendants whom the writer is attempting to follow from "the South Fork of the Potomac River" in Hampshire County, Virginia, to "the waters of Big Flat Creek" in Bedford County, Tennessee.

When Hermanus Shook made his will in 1780, all of his sons seem to have been living in what was then Hampshire County, Virginia, though the fact that his "eldest son William Shook" was not made one of the executors of the will indicates that a migration of some sort was already contemplated. When a census of Hampshire County was taken in 1784, none of them had moved away. In 1786, however, the List of Tax payers of Hardy County, formed in 1785, included the names of Harmon (Hermanus) Shook and his three sons, David, John, and Peter; but the names of William Shook and Harmon Shook, Jr., are not found on the list. Neither are any Shooks found on the lists for Hampshire County after Hardy County was carved out of it. What became of Harmon Shook, Jr., has not been determined by the writer; but it is assumed that, if William Shook had not already settled in Tennessee by 1786, his migration in that direction was at least already under way. William Shook

It is thought that William Shook, son of Hermanus Shook, was born Virginia about 1745; but there is no verification for either the location of the date from any records which have come to the attention of the writer. Like his father, William Shook was a pioneer. Twice after the age of forty he left a settled community to begin life anew in a sparsely settled wilderness.

Tennessee had not been organized as a territory when William Shook is believed to have arrived in what is now Knox County. The land on which he settled had not been recognized by the United States Government as open for settlement, though the Cherokee Indians had relinquished it to the State of Franklin by the Treaty of Dumplin Creek. A comparison of records indicates that "Shook Mill Creek," along which William Shook's land lay, is now known as Burnett's Creek, south of the French Broad River, about nine miles from Knoxville. No recorded titles were made to land in this territory until 1806, when the State of Tennessee opened the land for entry. Those already occupying the lands were permitted to have a survey made and to gain title to their property through the "right of occupancy and possession."

The earliest record which has been found for any Shook in Knox County, Tennessee, is in J. M. G. Ramsey's Annals of Tennessee, Pages -593. Ramsey relates that on April 22, 1794, William Casteel, wife, and children were killed by Indians in their home south of the French Broad River, nine miles from Knoxville and two miles from the residence of Dr. James Cozby. Their bodies were found by Anthony Reagan, who had gone to the Casteel home to go hunting with Casteel. Another child Elizabeth, later Mrs. Dunlap, was badly wounded and "was taken to Mr Shock's, who then owned Major Swann's Mill, where Dr. Cozby dressed her wounds," while Reagan alarmed the settlement. To the writer, the name Anthony Reagan (Reagan) is more significant than "Mr. Shock's," for it is his firm conviction that here is another error in spelling or copying and that William Casteel's hunting pal and discoverer of his tragic end was in fact Anthony Reagor, who married William Shook's daughter Margaret Shook Brock in 1789. (For another reference to this event, turn to the Anthony Reagor of Tennessee section of Chapter V.)

The early marriage records of Knox County provide further evidence of the residence of the Shook family. Between 1796 and 1808, names of four of William Shock's children, Sarah, Magdalene, Mary Ann, Jemima, and Harman, are included in the marriage records; and another of his children, Abraham Shook, was bondsman for two of these marriages (C. A. T. H. M., Vol. 6, pp. 11-16). Dates and other details are included in the list of William Shook's children which will be presented later.

More than twenty years after he is thought to have made his home south of the French Broad River and more than ten years after Tennessee became a state, William Shook finally gained legal possession of his land, and record was made of it. On February 10, 1807, a survey was made of 148 acres on Shook Mill Creek in the "District south of French Broad and Holston Rivers." He received the land under the "right of occupancy and possession" clause. It was recorded as Grant No. 602 on June 8, 1809 (Tennessee Grant Book 1, p. 602). Meanwhile, it had been recorded with a drawing of the plat on May 4, 1807, in the Knox County records (South French Broad Entries, 1806-1807, p. 474). Earlier, in 1806, William Shook and his four sons, William, Jr., Isaac, Jacob, and Harman, were included in Captain Hazilet's Company of Knox County Tax Lists; but William, Jr., and Isaac were the only sons who owned land.

On Burnett's Creek, near the 1960 home of James B. Bolin, are evidences of an old mill dam. This is thought to have been the site of William Shock's mill on the creek which once was known as Shook Mill Creek.

The Census Report of Hampshire County, Virginia, in 1784 indicates that William Shook had eleven children. Since family Bible records give May 29, 1766, as the birth date of his daughter Margaret, he probably married not later than 1765. If he was twenty years of age at the time of his marriage, he must have been born about 1745. This would place him between forty and forty-five when he first settled on the creek which later bore his name. Although the name of the creek has been changed, his name has been preserved in Shocks Gap, a community within the general vicinity of where William Shook settled.

On October 11, 1811, William Shook sold what must have been the last remaining twenty-one-and-one-half acres of his land to Joshua Mofl' day (Knox County Deed Book 0-1, p. 139) and apparently moved shortly thereafter again to the wilderness—this time to the neighborhood of Flat Creek, in Bedford County, Tennessee. His estimated age at this time was approximately sixty-five. This move probably would not have been made (fed it not been accompanied by his son Abraham Shook and preceded by another son, William Shook, Jr., and by his daughter Margaret who had married Anthony Reagor.

Marshall Wilson, a Shook descendant of Knoxville, Tennessee, who included a section on the Shook family in his book, You Take It From Here, Suggested that William Shook probably died in Knox County shortly after 1811; but since the name of "William Shook, Senior," appears on the Bed­ford County Tax List of 1812 along with the names of his sons, William and Abraham, and his son-in-law, Anthony Reagor (Reagor), was living in Bedford County at the time of his death that he was probably the first adult buried in the Shook Graveyard, unless it was his wife Catherine. No way has been found to determine if Catherine was living at the time of his removal to Bedford County; but the ^Bedford County Census Report for 1820 does not indicate that either William or Catherine Shook were living at that time. The Shocks included E that census report were William Shook (Jr.), age "45 and over," William Shook (III), age "16-26," and Abraham Shook, who apparently accompanied his father to Bedford County.

The writer is indebted to Marshall Wilson fort the preparation of a fist of William and Catherine Sears Shock's children. Except for a few minor corrections, omissions, and additions, the list is copied in form similar to that used in You Take It From Here.

1. Margaret Shook, first child of William and Catherine Sears Shook, Was born May 29, 1766, and died September 18, 1838. As she is the greet Shook ancestor of the writer and many other natives of Flat Creek, [Tennessee, her story is told in greater detail in the next section of this chapter.

2. William Shook, Jr., was born in Hampshire County, Virginia, December 11, 1767, and died about 1840 in Bedford County, Tennessee. March 20, 1792, he married Blender Waters, whose parents were early settlers of East Tennessee. He and his family moved from Knox County to Flat Creek, in Bedford County, in 1807. There were ten children whom a number of distinguished descendants have come.

3. Abraham Shook, according to the Census Report of 1850 for Bed­ ford County, was born about 1770. He moved to Bedford County from County late in 1811 or early in 1812. He appears to have died in ford County between 1850 and 1860. His wife's name is not known, tore about him is found in a subsequent section, Shook Relatives and neighbors.< P>

4. Isaac Shook received Tennessee Land Grant No. 992 for 64 acres, surveyed February 11, 1807, which he sold to Jacob Tarwater, December 1810. He received another tract of land on the headwaters of Shocks in 1828. Whom he married or when he left Knox County is not known.

5. Sarah Shook was born in Hampshire County, Virginia, in 1774. She married her cousin, Isaac Willson, in Knox County, Tennessee, November 28, 1796, and bore him twelve children. Her brother Abraham was bondsman on her marriage license. She died soon after 1850, according to Marshall Wilson, a descendant, mentioned earlier as the author of You Take It From Here.

6. Jacob Shook was born December 17, 1777, and died December 22 1834. On July 24, 1810, he married Eleanor Veach, of Sevier County' Tennessee, who became the mother of his seven children. He was a Baptist minister and settled in Harrison County, Indiana

7. Magdalena Shook married Samuel Montgomery in Knox County on July 19, 1797. Abraham Shook was bondsman, and Hugh Allen White was witness.

8.Mary Ann Shook was born December 21, 1782, and died before 1845. She married Thomas Carpenter HI in Knox County, Tennessee, on June 13, 1801. A descendant of this union was Colonel William T. Carpenter, whose research into Shook family history has provided much of the information used in this chapter.

9. Harmon Shook married Margaret McMillan on February 16, 1808, in Knox County, Tennessee. The family removed to Harrison County, Indiana, in 1814, accompanying Thomas and Mary Ann Shook Carpenter.

10. Jemima Shook married Rowley McMillan on March 8, 1807, in Knox County, Tennessee.

11. John Shook married Catherine Wilson on August 7, 1816, in Knox County, Tennessee. She was probably a sister of Isaac Willson who married Sarah Shook. John and Isaac Shook are listed in the United States Census Report for Monroe County, Tennessee, in 1830; but there are no land records for either name in that county. It is assumed, but not verified by any document, that John and Isaac Shook of Monroe County were the sons of William and Catherine Sears Shook.

Although in 1962 there were Shook descendants living in Knox County, the Shook name had disappeared through migration to Bedford County, Tennessee, Harrison County, Indiana, and elsewhere by 1830. After the Civil War a new Shook family came to Knox County from North Carolina. They were the progenitors of later generations of Shocks in Knox County. Margaret Shook (1766-1838)

Margaret Shook, first child of William and Catherine Sears Shook, according to Bible record, was born May 29, 1766, and died September 18, 1838. Her parents are thought to have been living in Hampshire County, Virginia, at the time of her birth. She had been living in Bedford County, Tennessee, more than thirty years at the time of her death. Family tradition that Margaret Shock's first husband was a man by the name of Brock is verified by the Bible record of a son, George Allen Brock, who was born February 17, 1787. In the absence of any documentary evidence, however, the writer is unwilling to agree with Marshall Wilson's report that the name of her first husband was James Brock. It is likely that Margaret's husband was a brother of the James Brock who was bondsman for the marriage of Willoughby Robertson and Mary Brock in Knox County, Tennessee, on September 3, 1793. When the census was taken in 1820, there lived in Franklin County, Tennessee, a George A. Brock, age 26-45, 5 a James Brock, age above 45. It is reasonable to assume that the former was Margaret's son by her first marriage and that he had accomplished his uncle, James Brock, and his first-cousin, Abraham Shook, to Franklin County. There is a tradition in the Reagor family that George Brock later lived in Paint Rock, Alabama, in Jackson County, which borders Franklin County, Tennessee. Jackson County records prior to 1850 have been lost, and none since that date have been found for George Allen Brock. Unless assistance comes from his descendants, none of whom have been discovered, the mystery of the Shook-Brock-Reagor relationship may never be solved. The most intriguing part of the mystery is the naming of Margaret's seventh child by her second husband James Brock Reagor. It is not likely that this son would have been the namesake of his mother's previous husband, whereas he might well have been named for a friend of the family, conceivably a brother of Margaret's first husband.

According to Bible record, Margaret Shook Brock married Anthony Reagor on December 11, 1789. The writer has made a number of attempts to find a public record of each of Margaret Shock's marriages but has never been able to do so in Knox, Green, or Hawkins Counties of Tennessee or in any of the counties of Virginia where either of the marriages might have been suspected of having taken place. Margaret and Anthony Reagor had nine children. All of them are thought to have been born before the family left Knox County to settle on land along Big Flat Creek in Bedford County, Tennessee. It is through Margaret Shook that the writer shares with many other natives of Flat Creek, Tennessee, the Shook blood and interest in the Shook story. So far as is known, Margaret Shook is the only member of the Shook family who had descendants living in Flat Creek in 1962. More about Margaret Shook and her descendants is found in Chapter V in the sections, Anthony Reagor of Tennessee (1746-1824), The Children of Anthony and Margaret Shook Reagor, and others which follow. Shook Relatives and Neighbors

Since Margaret Shook was the last in the line of Shooks whom the write can claim as an ancestor, the Shook chapter might well have ended with her story. The influence of the Shook family upon the Flat Creek Community during the first half century of its development from a wilderness, however, justifies the inclusion of information on other Shook relations. Although Margaret's father, William Shook, Sr., was the earliest generation of the Shook family to settle in Flat Creek, he was not the first his family to do so, as has been indicated earlier. There are no records to pin point the arrival in Bedford County of Anthony and Margaret Shook Reagor with their children; but the very lack of such records indicates they preceded William Shook, Jr., for whom the year, 1807, has sufficient. verification to be accepted. As has been pointed out previously, William Shook, Jr., was included in the Knox County Tax List of 1806- but on December 3, 1807, "William Shook, Jr., late of Knox County,"' gave power of attorney to James Montgomery for the purpose of transferring certain land to Francis Ramsey (Knox County Deed Book M-L p. 307). Evidence that Flat Creek was his new location is found in an excerpt from a grant which he later received "on the east waters of Big Hat Creek, a south branch of Duck River, adjoins 24 1/2 acre tract of said William Shook . . . surveyed 20 Oct. 1809. Signed by Governor 3 Oct. 1810. Recorded 11 Nov. 1811," (Tennessee Grant Book D, p. 528). More specific, if less authoritative, is a letter written in 1868 by William Shook, Jr.'s son, Abraham Shook, in which he stated that all of his father's family, except the two youngest, were born in Knox County and then "emigrated to Bedford County in 1807 and were raised there." The Bedford County Tax List of 1812 which designates the elder William Shook as "Senior," rather than the younger as "Junior," is further indication that the younger Shook had been in the Flat Creek Community longer and that his name had become better established there than his father, who had arrived just a short while before the Tax List was compiled.

William Shook, Jr.'s home is thought to have been on land later known as the D. D. Hix Farm, which was owned in 1962 by Richard Gordon. Other Shocks are thought to have lived within the general vicinity of the Shook Graveyard. Although William Shook, Jr., left no descendants in the Flat Creek Community, a short sketch on each is presented from family records and traditions.

1. Abraham Shook, first son of William and Blender Waters Shook, was born in Knox County, Tennessee, January 18, 1793, and died in Franklin County, November 7, 1868. He served in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. By 1820, he had settled in Franklin County where on December 14, 1817, he married Martha Keith. This is the Abraham Shook who, from Winchester, Tennessee, on June 16, 1868, wrote his nephew, William B. Shook in Illinois, that his father, William Shook, Jr., had "emigrated to Bedford County in 1807." Some of his other letters have helped to identify other members of the Shook family. One of his distinguished descendants is the central figure in the Life and Achievements of Alfred Montgomery Shook, a book by Anne Kendrick Walker. Others are Alfred Montgomery Shock's son, Paschal Green Shook, who made the book available to the writer, and Mrs. Lora Shook Francis, of Winchester, Tennessee, who provided considerable information for Anne Kendrick Walker. In studying the Shook family, care must be taken to distinguish this Abraham Shook, son of William Shook, Jr., from his uncle, Abraham Shook, who lived in Bedford County from 1812 until 1850.

2. Anna Waters Shook, daughter of William and Elender Waters Shook, was born in Knox County, Tennessee, November 16, 1794. On September 23, 1813, she married Enoch Floyd, a Methodist preacher and a very fine cabinet maker. Enoch Floyd was a brother of David Floyd who married Anna Waters Shock's first-cousin, Mary Magdalene Reagor. Enoch and Anna Waters Shook Floyd are reported to have moved to Jackson County, Alabama, about 1835.

3. William Shook III, son of William and Elender Waters Shook, was in Knox County, Tennessee, February 19, 1796. He married Margaret Beard on November 3, 1818. Little else is known about him, but he probably was the father of the William B. Shook of Illinois to whom Abraham Shook wrote a letter in 1868.

4. James Shook, fourth child of William and Elender Waters Shook, s born in Knox County, Tennessee, January 19, 1798, and married Nancy Cross on October 26, 1820. Little else is known about him.

5. Levi Shook, fifth child of William and Elender Waters Shook, was born in Knox County, Tennessee, October 30, 1799, and married Elizabeth Cannada, November 4, 1828. They were living near Flat Creek in 1830 it later moved to Missouri. Levi S. Reagor, son of Anthony Wayne Reagor, was born about 1843 and apparently was named for this cousin.

6. John Shook, sixth child of William and Elender Waters Shook, was born in Knox County, November 27, 1801. He married Mary Keith, Martha's sister, September 7, 1826. Like his brother Abraham, he was teacher in Franklin County, Tennessee. Later he moved to Jackson County, Alabama, where he reared a family.

7. Isaac Shook, seventh child of William and Elender Waters Shook, born in Knox County, October 30, 1803, and married Mariah Shipman, August 6, 1835. They had a daughter, Julia,, who married John Baker who was living in New Market, Alabama, in 1915. Isaac Shook was living in Flat Creek in 1850 and was one of the early ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church which was organized there in 1855. :Kendrick Walker reports that Isaac Shook was"' editor of the Banner of Peace, official organ of that church, when he died after the Civil War.

8. Jacob Shook, eighth child of William and Elender Waters Shook, born in Knox County, April 8, 1806, and married Elizabeth Bell, November 6, 1828. They seem to have left the Flat Creek Community between 1830 and 1840. Two sons were killed in the Civil War, and their daughter was living in Lincoln County, Tennessee, in 1868, according to a letter written by Abraham Shook of Franklin County.

9. Elender Shook, ninth child of William and Elender Waters Shook, was born February 16, 1808, after her parents had moved to Flat Creek, February 6, 1829, she married Robert C. Morgan. By 1859, Elender Shook Morgan had died, and Abraham Shook, executor of her father's was having difficulty in locating her daughter, Sally Morgan.

10. Jonathan Shook, last child of William and Elender Waters Shook, born in Flat Creek, March 6, 1810. Nothing further is known about He probably died young.

Abraham Shook, brother of William Shook, Jr., and Margaret Shook Reagor, appears to have been accompanied by their father, William Shook, St., when he came to Flat Creek in 1811 to 1812 to make his future home. This Abraham Shook, not to be confused with his nephew Abraham Shook who settled in Franklin County, already had a family when he moved to Flat Creek. Earlier, he had acquired legal title to land on Bakers Creek (now Hines Creek) in Knox County "by right of occupancy and possession." This he sold on December 10, 1811 (Knox County Deed Book 0 p. 338), a few weeks after his father had sold his land in apparent preparation for migration to Bedford County, where they could enter their new land grants and join other members of the Shook family already settled near Flat Creek. They arrived early enough for both father and son to be included in the 1812 Tax List of Bedford County.

An interesting side light on the transfer of Abraham Shock's land in Knox County to Isaac Beane was the reservation of "two acres containing meeting house and graveyard and likewise allowing the congregation liberty of the spring." No present-day church seems to be located on this two-acre reservation; nor has the graveyard been identified positively.

Although public records firmly establish Abraham Shook as a resident of the Flat Creek Community from 1812 until 1850, the writer has been unable to identify a single present-day descendant of this pioneer kinsman; and the utter lack of family records on this branch of the Shook family complicates any search for them. The 1850 Census Report for Bedford County lists Abraham Shook as eighty years of age. This places his birth date at about 1770, when his parents, William and Catherine Sears Shook, lived in Hampshire County, Virginia. Included in his household in 1850, were a William Shook, age twenty-five, presumably a son or grand­son, and Katherine Shook, age nineteen, presumably William's sister or his wife. Also in the household, was seventy-one-year-old Sarah Rambo. It is a conjecture of the writer that she was Abraham Shock's widowed sister who had formerly been married to her cousin Isaac Wilson in Knox County on November 28, 1796. Who had been Abraham Shock's wife is not known; but she probably was living in 1840 when the census report indicated that there was a female in the household who was between fifty and sixty years of age, as well as one between seventy and eighty years old. Some explanation is due those who are not familiar with census reports. In 1850 the names of all members of a household were listed with their ages. Prior to that time, the names of only the heads of families were listed; but other members of the household were indicated by the number in each age group for male and female.

The reference to Sarah Rambo brings to mind a paragraph in a privately owned paper, Notes and Reminiscences from Uncle William Floyd Given to Charles E. Gowen in the Summer of 1904 in His 84th. Year. The following is quoted.

Sallie Skidmore, Sallie Rambo and Peggy Howlin were the old "witches whom the Reagors and others so much feared. They verily believed in their power to Hoodoo and bewitch. But to make a picture of the "witch" and shoot it with a "silver bullet," they believed would "break the spell." This Abraham Reagor once did to "set right" the deformed twins, Isaac and Jacob. Uncle Tommy Dean performed the same "feat" when a thief had stolen his horse. So the old Salem "witchcraft" creeps down the centuries.

Sallie Skidmore is thought to have been Sarah Keith, who married William Skidmore. She was sister of Daniel Keith, who married Catherine Reagor, daughter of Anthony and Margaret Shook Reagor. The other "witch," Peggy Howlin, has not been identified. Of course, the only significance was that they were old women whom people did not know or understand very well.

Benjamin Shook, head of another Shook family in 1850, was a farmer, over thirty-five. It is assumed that he was a son of his eighty-year-old neighbor, Abraham Shook. His wife's name was Sarah. They had three sons, Benjamin, William, and James, ages ten, eight, and two, respectively.

In 1860 the census taker did not list a single Shook in the Flat Creek Community where the Shook family had figured so prominently during the first half century of its development from a wilderness. It would be interesting to know what became of Benjamin Shook and his family and of the William Shook who was living with Abraham Shook in 1850.


Shook Family Cemetery

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