Hook Genealogy


Biographical Sketch

James Hook and Virginia Eller both descended from families which came to America at very early dates. With the possible, but not probable, exception of one or two very early wives, not a single one of their ancestors landed in America later than 1750

The Hook name came from England, the Eller name from Germany. James and Virginia, however, were far from being pure English or German. Both had an admixture of Scotch in their veins and Virginia on her mother's side was descended from a French Huguenot exile who came to America late in the seventeenth century. And then to spice their nationalistic tendencies and make them real Americans, they had between them some blood of the Dutchman and Irishman handed down from grandparents and great grandparents.

Both families, back to their native land and far beyond, were Protestant in their religious beliefs. The early Hooks were Episcopalians. The name was spelled "Hooke" by the emigrant Thomas who came to Maryland from England in 1668. His son James was one of the founders of the Rock Creek Parish of the Episcopal Church in what is now Washington, D. C., and donated to the erection of the chapel in 1719. He was elected a warden of the parish in 1732 and served in that capacity for one year.

James' sons, John and James, moved to what later became Frederick County, Maryland, in 1740 and their names are mentioned in connection with the founding of the All Saints Parish of the Episcopal Church in Frederick, Maryland, in 1742. The Hook Estates in Lower Frederick County grew to contain many hundreds of acres and were christened Potomac Hills by John's brother James. The old Mansion House, stately and silent, still stands (1924) on the western slopes of Catoctin Mountain overlooking the broad plains of Catoctin Valley.

John's son James moved to what later became Greene County, Pennsylvania, in 1771. He was a Captain in the Virginia Militia from 1774 to 1776. In 1776 he was commissioned a Captain in the Thirteenth Virginia Regiment, Continental Line, and served under General Washington at Brandywine and Germantown, and at Valley Forge. He drew away from the church of his father, probably because that church was slow to establish itself in the frontier communities, and helped to found a Methodist Church for which he donated the land in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, for the church, parsonage and cemetery.

James' son Stephen married Anna Grant, said to have been a half sister of the father of President Grant. Stephen and Anna Hook became the parents of James Grant Hook who married Sarah Lyle, and they in turn became the parents of James Hook of this sketch who married Virginia Eller. Sarah Lyle was a member of the Methodist Church and the daughter of William Lyle whose father and grandfather emigrated from Toreagh, County Antrim, Ireland, to New Jersey in 1741. Her mother was a daughter of Samuel Maholm, a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and the son of James Maholm who emigrated to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, from Ireland between 1745-1750.




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