Please send emails to Jan Joseph Shook Jr. at

Perhaps the best part of this web site has been interacting with family. I appreciate all the input. Thank you.

About this Website (v2.1b)

In January 2016, I moved this web site from a server in my basement to the Microsoft Cloud (Azure) with a static IP address. While the web site has been pretty stable over the past couple of years, about once a year the IP address would change and the site would be down for a day or two until I caught the problem. Moving to a hosting service will eliminate the occasional outage.

I've been working on the genealogy supporting this website for over 10 years now. The site began as a private collection of static web pages that I compiled into a single Compiled Help Module (*.chm) using Microsoft's HTML Help Workshop. The resulting *.chm file (or Help file) was easy to burn into a CD-ROM and distribute to interested family members. Unfortunately, the help file did not path style sheets effectively. So the solution did not port well (no one complained, but I'm sure the pages were not rendering as intended).

I purchased the domain in August 2013, and started porting the private website over to the public domain shortly after. In the process, I have converted the older (deprecated) framesets and indexing approach to a more modern grid-based layout (using Blueprint style sheets). At this time, the website is based on HTML5 (with no specific HTML5 tags), CSS 2, and the pages are still static. I am, however, looking into JQuery, Angular.js, and Bootstrap style sheets to evolve the website into a Responsive Web Design. I am a professional software architect, but this is not a commercial website. It is a hobby. My time is spent researching. So presentation is not as high a priority. That said, there are over 2,600 manually created and (lovingly) maintained files (2GB) in this website. If you View Source, you'll see careful attention to details (structure, comments, etc.).

What's New (Tech-wise)

v2.1b In 2Q2016, I moved this web site from a desktop computer in my basement to Microsoft's cloud platform. Over the last few years, the web site only went down once a year or so (when the IP address changed). Moving the site to the cloud would solidify availability and adding a static IP address would eliminate those yearly outages. Well, that was the plan. In June, the site went down for a couple of days. Believe it or not, traffic on this little ole web site had exceeded my account. I have since adjusted the account and the site should be solid from now on.

v2.1a Copied most of the web site to github, and in the process of working through the process of content publishing and source code management. This not only creates a resilient copy of the web site, but will also enable collaboration in the future.

v2.1 Ported XHTML4.01 to HTML5, cleaned up some of the deprecated XHTML tags, and instrumented the site with Google Analytics (GTAC).

v2.0. Ported the private website to the public domain. Indexing and navigation changed, a grid-based layout was added, and, in general, the website is much more polished than v1.0. In porting the website, I took a good pass at the genealogy.

v1.0. A private website documenting about 10 years of genealogy research.


Most of the information in this website is from the internet, which is absolutely fabulous for research and collaboration. Much of the genealogy is from, followed by pictures and documents from and, respectfully. I have also searched through cemeteries, libraries, and online family websites (much like this one). I have tried to document sources as best as possible with footnotes as appropriate. For these sources, you should be able to duplicate my work. For other information, please consider it a lead for your own research, as a lot of the information on the internet is speculative and often incorrect.


The picture of the pine tree on the Home page of this website was taken at the Pate Cemetery in the spring of 2013.

My curiosity about the Shook family began with a visit to the Pate Cemetery in Tomball, Texas as a teenager (ca. 1976). My great-grandmother, Tassie (Pate) Shook , is buried in this cemetery, and while she is the only Shook in this cemetery, it was Tassie that started my genealogical journey. When Tassie died in 1910, my grandfather Jesse Earl Shook, Sr., inherited about 20 acres of land from Tassie as a small child. Later in life, Earl donated about an acre of that land to formalize the private family cemetery. More than 100 years later, the remaining 19 acres of land surrounding the Pate Cemetery is still owned by the Shook family, and, consequently, continues to be a focal point of interest for the Shook family (in addition to the Pate and Sanders families).