William Hook born 1759 (Inquests)

by dklopp, Sunday, February 08, 2015, 15:44 (2115 days ago)

In his military file, William HOOK stated he was born in Gloucestershire in the year 1759. He enlisted in the Continental Army in Virginia USA in 1781. I have conducted searches in the emigration list, the christenings available through Ancestry.com, and looked for marriages in the time frame he would have been born.

I have no idea as to when or why or with whom my William would have gone to America. Does anyone have a missing William HOOK in their family? I wish he would have provided more details in his records to point me in the right direction.

Without a parish to work with, this is a needle in a haystack search.

Thanks for any assistance!

William Hook born 1759

by RogerrGriffiths @, Swindon, Sunday, February 08, 2015, 18:23 (2115 days ago) @ dklopp

I've done a bit of digging, but not come up with much. Apparently there were/are Hook's in Virginia. FoD.net parish records do have a few Hook's but not your man or not obviously so. I thought the name was an anglicised version of de la Hogue ie a Norman knight who came over with William the Conquerer. I used to live in the village of Hook in North Hampshire. The Hook family were still resident until the 1960's. The 18th Century house is now the Hook House Hotel. I looked up the origins of the name Hook and got so many vague answers I gave up.

I would have thought that research in Virginia is best way to go.

I wish you every success.

William Hook born 1759

by MPGriffiths @, Sunday, February 08, 2015, 20:44 (2115 days ago) @ RogerrGriffiths

Can see from Ancestry there are a number of Public Members Tree - which shows William HOOK aged 14 arrived in America in 1773 (i.e. US & Canada Passenger & Immigation List Index, 1500-1900 - I don't have access to see the full record) - to see where William sailed from etc - or whether he sailed alone

This probably isn't the correct family - Christian names are carried through many generations and are clues

Children of William HOOK and Mary McKEE

Thomas 1783, Elizabeth 1785, William 1792, Samuel 1795, Joseph 1798, Mary 1800, Esther or Hester 1803, Josiah 1809 and Robert 1811.

On Ancestry, Robert and Elizabeth HOOK - are having children christened at Bristol around that time - with similar names - and naturally, Bristol was and is a Port.

Robert - 21 July 1751 (St John Baptists, Bristol, Gloucester, England)
Robert - 20 July 1755 - ditto
William - 20 July 1755 - ditto
Elizabeth - 1763 - Saint Mary's Redcliffe, Bristol, Gloucester, England
Joseph - 1766 - ditto

William Hook born 1759

by dklopp, Monday, February 09, 2015, 14:19 (2114 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks for your reply. I descend from William HOOK and Mary McKEE's youngest son, Robert born in 1811. I'm trying to find where William lived in Gloucestershire before coming to America. I've found two christenings for a William HOOK both in the year 1758; one in Shipton Moyne and the other in Stroud. I need something concrete to tie him to a family in England. I was hoping someone across the pond would have a record or document about a William (from their family) leaving the country. Since he was a British subject there are no ship manifests to look for as I would for my German families.

I have a subscription to Ancestry. Do you know the name of the Public Tree which states he arrived in 1774 at age 14? There may be more documentation through that lead.


William Hook born 1759

by MPGriffiths @, Monday, February 09, 2015, 15:08 (2114 days ago) @ dklopp

Is your tree on Ancestry ??

There are many Public Members Trees on Ancestry with William HOOK born 1759 and Mary McKee (got to 20 but there are more) - if you look at all these trees - they may hold new information for you - including Military 1780 - and Census 1782, 1810, 1820, residence 1830 etc.

1780 aged 21 Military

Served in the Revolutionary War as orderly in Capt. John Neils' Virginia Co. The military unit was responsible for guarding prisoners of war in the Hessian Barracks in Western Frederick Co. This is how he met Mary McKee

Are any of the first generation children christened with middle names - which can include a Surname which gives extra clues.

On one file on the net - one Son is listed as William L HOOK - christened 1792.

If you listed the census returns/baptisms etc on this forum - with the whole family - this would help.

and quoting his Military records (dates) in which he states he was from Gloucestershire

Ancestry - do have Gloucestershire Wills available - which includes some HOOK(E)'s.

William Hook born 1759

by dklopp, Monday, February 09, 2015, 21:59 (2114 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

I have William HOOK's complete lineage after he arrived in America. My focus now is toward his English records. I am always doubtful with the public trees on Ancestry as very few provide any sources and many are just duplicates of other trees.

That said, I did investigate the immigration entry for 1773. I found him in the book Bonded Passengers to America which lists "William Hook of St. Margaret Westminster SW Oct 1773". As William was born in Gloucestershire, he should have been listed in the Oxford Circuit in Volume VI not the Middlesex Volume II. Of course, that's not to say he couldn't have made his way to London. I have purchased the books mentioned above with the hope there will be enough details included to make a definite connection. I should receive them in the next week or two.

Thank you for your interest in my search! I am grateful for any assistance this forum can provide.

William Hook (Bonded 1773)

by MPGriffiths @, Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 07:49 (2113 days ago) @ dklopp

As William HOOK was bonded - assume he travelled with his Master?

Ancestry does have a list of

UK Register of Duties Paid for Apprentice Indentures 1710-1811


These are registers of the money received for the payment on taxes for an apprentice's indenture between 1710-1811. The records include sum received, name, address, and trade of master, name of apprentice, dates of articles of apprenticeship. Up until 1752 the Apprentice's parents name were included - but rare after that.

The dates for the records are for when tax was paid and may be some years after the Apprenticeship not when it started or finished. In total, on Ancestry - there are 523,475

This information is also on the National Archives.

Searching for Gloucestershire etc - various names turn up including Little Dean etc - so a useful research tool for this forum.


The only Wm HOOK around that time is

Master's Name: Robert HOOK (Cordwainer)

Apprentice Name: Wm HOOK

Residence Location: East Healthy, Sussex

Payment Date: 29 April 1773


Searching : St Margaret, Westminster, Middlesex for HOOK

27 April 1770

James HOOK - Master: occupation, Waterman & Lighterman - Apprentice: Sam Godfrey (for 7 years)


St Margaret's London (bounded by the River Thames to the East and River Crane to the West



Tracing Watermen Ancestors



It might be possible that your William HOOK came to London by Waterways etc.

William Hook (Bonded 1773)

by dklopp, Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 16:25 (2113 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Thanks for sharing this formation. My ancestry subscription is only for United States records. It is interesting that his apprenticeship was for him to be a shoemaker. My HOOK family were farmers and millers (grist mills and lumber businesses).

I will investigate his master Robert HOOK in the event William traveled to America with him which certainly seems plausible. William, Robert, James and Samuel are all family names which have been used repeatedly in every generation. I think I've finally have a crack in my brick wall. LOL

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your help!

William Hook (Bonded 1773)

by MPGriffiths @, Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 17:28 (2113 days ago) @ dklopp

? do question whether this is your William HOOK in 1773 in East Healthy, Sussex - as Robert HOOK has two more apprentices in Easthothyly/Easthoathy, Sussex in 1780 and 1784.

Will have another look at the UK Register of Duties Paid for Apprentices' Indentures 1710-1811…

William Hook (Bonded 1773); East Hoathly, Sussex

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, February 15, 2015, 19:26 (2108 days ago) @ MPGriffiths

Apologies Diane for being late with this, but in case it helps I think the aforementioned placename is East Hoathly, not far inland from the southcoast resorts of Brighton & Hastings.

Useful map and other links here, including one to a Diary dating from the mid 1700s which mentions a few local Hooks.

Also see http://www.easthoathlyandhalland.co.uk/the-villages

By coincidence my own FH researches show more recent links to this part of Sussex and the Dean - I really need to revisit them and find out why !.

Here's another FH forum thread which may well link into the trees you've seen on Ancestry.
from this thread http://genforum.genealogy.com/hook/messages/1009.html

I strongly suspect MPG's earlier post re the river/sea ports and Bristol is relevant in your case, Diane. It seems a little odd nowadays, despite Gloucester dating back well before Norman times, until recently the County town of Gloucestershire was the much bigger city of Bristol; in the times of William Hook it was a major port for the whole of Britain, especially wrt Virginia - slaves & tobacco.

I've just found this tantalising hint that just maybe there was a Hook family who may have traded in or even from Bristol before 1830, but cannot find any more information at all... ???

Pigot's Directory of Gloucestershire, 1830, has this entry
"GIBBONS & GARRETT, Miller at Hook's Mills, Bristol"

Finally, I presume you've seen this US site which includes a brief mention of William ?

William Hook born 1759

by rookancestrybest @, United Kingdom, Thursday, May 21, 2015, 22:25 (2013 days ago) @ dklopp

I don't know if this is any help but I have Hooks and Rooks in my family tree from the area. Some of the ROOK family have been mistranscribed as Hook. It might be worth searching Rook as well as Hook!

William Hook born 1759

by dklopp, Thursday, May 21, 2015, 22:33 (2013 days ago) @ rookancestrybest

Thank you for your reply! I'll keep Rook in mind during my search.

William Hook born 1759

by sanspang, Thursday, January 19, 2017, 21:41 (1404 days ago) @ dklopp


I am descended from William Hook and Mary McKee through their son Thomas>Addison>Edgar>daughter Lucy.

I am on Ancestry and have always been curious about the circumstances of William's travels to America and any English connections.

I came across your posts and am wondering if you could summarize what you have learned about William to date. My family has documentation that he served in the Continental Army and some in earlier generations have become members of the DAR.



William Hook born 1759

by dklopp, Friday, January 20, 2017, 19:56 (1403 days ago) @ sanspang

I always thought it was odd that William would have emigrated alone. In that time frame, most people traveled with at least one relative. Another researcher suggested to me that our William may have been one of the many individuals sent from England to the American Colonies for minor misdemeanors; a way of clearing out the overcrowded prisons.

From the book "Bonded Passengers to America" Volume II, by Peter Wilson Coldham, on page 134: "William Hook, of St. Margaret Westminster, was sentenced for "transportation" in October 1773". The next available ship would have been the Justitia with Captain Finlay Gray in January 1774 which carried 170 bonds from London to Virginia.

An individual had to be at least 14 years old to be transported and most bonds lasted up to seven years. Our William would have been 14 years old at the time of sentencing, possibly 15 by the time he set sail and 21 years old by the end of seven years. He then would have been of age to join the Virginia Militia and fight in the Revolutionary War. Of course, this is all conjecture but the ages correspond, so this theory is worth considering.

The movie Moll Flanders is a great example of how the Bond system worked. Upon arrival, many bonded persons were treated no differently than indentured servants. Once they had fulfilled their bond, they were free to pursue a new life in America or they had the option of returning to England.

I have visited the Hook homestead in Hampshire County as well as the small cemetery where the family is interred. The cemetery is located on the neighboring farm, once a part of the original Hook property. The log house has been well-preserved. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the cemetery with its broken wooden fence and weedy lot. Once in a while the farmer whacks down the overgrowth, but it really is not looked after.

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