Monday, April 19, 2010

The Tookers

My Grandfather, Frank Clarke's mother was born Lizzie Tooker.  Her father was John Harvey Tooker, of Lyme, CT, who fought in the Civil War in Company F, 26th Connecticut Regiment.

John Harvey Tooker's father was born John Harvey Tucker (1790-1874)...and therein lies an interesting told by Sarah Bogue Tooker...

John's oldest son was born Oliver Tucker, 1817 in Lyme, CT. Apparently, at some point prior to 1839 there was another boy living in Lyme by the name of Oliver Tucker, who was reputed to be a thief. Rather than endure further speculation from the town rumor mill that it was his own son doing all the stealing, John changed the entire family's name to Tooker...which has always been a variation of the Tucker name. The following generations all carried that spelling as a result.

Now, according to church records above, John Harvey Tooker was baptized with that last name in 1793 (where Vashty and John are mentioned as parents). According to the church records, John was baptized as a Tooker, of course many years before he had his own son Oliver. I'm not sure how much weight old Sarah's story holds.  It is entirely possible that the church simply kept the names Tucker and Tooker as interchangeable for many reasons back then.

The first Tucker to arrive on US soil was John Tucker, born 1632 in England. He arrived in Boston sometime before 1677 (when his son Noah was born in Barnstable, MA).

The furthest I could trace the Tucker line to was John Tucker born 1520 in England. This is the same problem all genealogists face. The next earliest indication of an English Tucker was a series of Tuckers that lived during the Norman Invasion and fought alongside William the Conqueror. But there is a gap between the 1100's and 1520. Tucker was a name given to a person who was deemed courageous in battle, as to "tuck" was to beat raw cloth in water in order to thicken it.

The Tookers, Clarks, Halls, and Bogues all intermarried in CT in the 1800s.


Connecticut Town Church Abstracts (Lyme), Vol. 032

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