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Here's a Rough Cut at the Family History. May not be exactly correct. If you want, contact me by EMail.
About 1695, Johann Jacob Höch was born. He married his first wife, Anna Maria Schindler in his early 20’s and they had 4 children. By this time, the city-states of pre-emergent Germany were constantly warring with each other. The taxes were heavy and the rulers were conscripting their sons to be soldiers. Johann decided he didn’t want to lose his sons to war and took the opportunity to go to America - not an uncommon thing in those days.

They took a boat from Monheim (Mannheim) to Amsterdam and caught a ship to America. The trip down the Rhine was not easy, and they had to pay several tolls to local strongmen. In the early 1700’s, Germans were being sent to America by the English and had to work to pay their way. They usually went to New York to work in the mines for the English. They were treated very badly and the word was out to avoid New York. So the Höchs decided on South-Central PA where the “Pennsylvania Deutsch” were gathering.

The Höchs boarded the ship “Mortonhouse” in 1729 and sailed to Philadelphia where they made their way to York county. Anna had another child and died during childbirth sometime after 1730. Jacob remarried Anna Margaretha(?) in 1732. Johann was a German Lutheran Preacher, shopkeeper and craftsman, making a good living for his family; he died in 1766. Some of Johann’s children were involved in the Revolutionary war. One had a land deed signed by Ben Franklin. It looks like Johann’s family had a falling-out. Some of them went to North Carolina, one to Canada and some to KY.

Their 5th child, our ancestor, Johann Andreas (Andrew) Hoke, was born March 20, 1732/33 in Manchester, York County, PA. Andrew appears to have served 1755 in the French/Indian war and from 1776 until 1780 in the American Revolution. In 1780 He was Private 2nd Class in Capt Reinhart Botts Company, 3rd Battalion, Manchester Militia.

William Samuel Hoke, the 4th child of Johann Andreas Hoke, was born April 24, 1782. By the time of the 1800 census, (William) Samuel struck out on his own, heading down the Ohio river to Jefferson County, KY (Louisville).

For the 1800 census, a rule was made to make all entries in English, so many of the Höchs got their legal names changed at that time. I found the 1790 & 1800 census of the same family and their name went from Höch to Hoke. After that, only Hoke appeared. Others became Hogg, Hake, Hough, High, Hoak, etc.

Samuel first married Margaret (Cox) Donaldson. After 7 children, she died at childbirth and Samuel remarried Elizabeth (who was married to a Baber, who had died) who was Margaret’s sister. That family seems to have had problems, too. About 1834 they had Robert, then William and Enos. Robert didn’t get along with his stepfamily, and left home to wander in central KY. So in the early 1850’s, after his dad died, he apparently met up with an Indian woman, probably a banished Chickasaw, named Magahaw. Central KY at that time was a “no man’s land” for 3 Indian tribes.

Their first child, William Enos, was born August 9, 1856 in Jefferson County, KY. Robert named him after his 2 brothers. In the late 1860’s, Robert, Magaha, Wm and Elizabeth, moved to the Coal Bluff, IN area - perhaps by way of Green County. Magaha moved with Robert; one record indicates he was married to a Sara McGath and another to Catherine McGoughy. It is possible that an Indian wife was not popular at this time due to the Indian wars and they moved to Indiana, changed her name. Robert must have married her somewhere along the line, because he divorced her and remarried. Magaha died about 1920 in Rosedale.

There are conflicting accounts of Robert, and he had more than one wife. His last wife was Rebecca Elizabeth Helton, who had married a Runnels, then a Grayless and had 2 boys who were adopted by Robert.
The Robert - William - Vern Hoke Family of Vigo County, IN
Updated July 26, 2003


Terry L Hoke

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