Graham & Ruth Hooke
We are part of the Hooke family living in Lancashire, UK. We have other close family members also living here in Lancashire, as well as Hookes living in the areas where Hookes have been more commonly associated historically, down south and in Norfolk. As is the way with families, we also have close relatives no longer named Hooke but who are very much part of the clan too.
Originally when I started this site circa 2014 my plan was two fold.
First I wanted to use the site to post pictures, videos and information about family life and interests that would also be of interest to our close family and friends. They would probably not be of much interest to most people but might be to us! That aspect of the site has not really been developed other than on the "Travel" page where there are links to Facebook photo albums of some of are holidays and trips. You will also find info about our connections with India and China via the menu links.
But secondly and chiefly, I wanted to use it to host some of the large resource of archive information and photos from our family history that we have inherited in paper/scrapbook/album form. The resources available include many photo albums of our part of the Hooke clan dating back to the early 20th Century and also a large resource of Oakden family history from the earliest days of photography in the mid19C until the mid 20C. We have paper family trees dating back to the 1700s and, using internet resources, I have now traced some of our direct ancestors, the Sleigh family of Pilsbury Grange, Derbyshire, to the early 1400s. The total number of names now is over 2,500 and I am holding back from adding new names of people who are too distant from the main family lines.
There will be Hookes, Oakdens and Sleighs and more out there, as yet unknown to us, who are interested in this history. You can contact us on
What I have attempted to do is research individuals from our family history, gathering resources and information about each one and trying to tell their stories. For some, there will be only a single page but for others there may be half a dozen or more. I have tried to provide helpful links to other pages to enable the stories to flow together, as well as to return to the main themes after taking a diversion to some specific side topic.
As of early 2019 I had posted up information and photos of my Great Grandfather George Archer Hooke and his wife Ellen and as much about Sir William Farren and Lady Mildred as I could find. Work on my grandfather Col Cyril Hooke was progressing slowly. The deaths of both my parents, George & Valerie Hooke, diverted me into producing pages about their lives, with their moving funeral services as the starting point. (George Hooke, Valerie Hooke). Following a visit to Norfolk to research Hooke family roots in 2018 I produced a number of pages of the Hooke Family History through the 17th-19th Centuries.
During 2019 I found out more from my mother's side, following a DNA test which revealed I was 8.3% Eastern European and 3.6% Ashkenazi Jewish. This explained the name, Benjamin Buck, as my grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather! Exploration of this side of the family revealed close connections with Thomas Barnardo as a first cousin's husband, three times removed and Somerset & Syrie Maugham following the same line of descent.
Early in 2020 it became evident that I was the closest living relative to Sir William Farren. The Churchill Archives at Cambridge, which held some papers and photos lodged by Lady MIldred Hooke/Farren, acknowledged copyright was most probably mine for the items which weren't copyrighted elsewhere. I updated the pags about Farren, especially those telling the story of the Flying Boat he built and flew in January 1918, with new photos and his flying log book entries.
So that is how this site came into being and it continues to be a huge work in progress. There is a strong possibility that it will never be finished, and indeed, it would be impossible for me to digitise everything contained in the 40+ archive boxes we have stored in our home and garage!
There will come a time when I pass on and family will have to decide what to do with all these archive boxes. That will be up to the next two generations but it is unlikely that they will be willing, or able, to make the space for all these boxes! Most of it is likely to be tipped. Therefore, my hope is that they will have sufficient interest in their ancestry to, at least, preserve this website by downloading it on to their own computers and keeping it for future generations of the ever-expanding family of whom the Hookes are just one part.
Updated November 2022