By: : Jonesborough Genealogical Society     

     Vikings in Greeneville? Well, not exactly, but about eight hundred years later, Robert Hood, who had the blood of these Norsemen in his veins, was one of the first settlers on land which is now a part of Greeneville. After exhaustive research, the late Dellman Hood published The Tunis Hood Family: Its Lineage and Traditions in 1960. After years of trying to discover an English “Hood” connection, he found the name to Hoed and Tunis Hood to be Theunis Hoed, eldest son of Jan hoed (John Hood) and Rachel Van Bunschoten who were married in October 1717-18 in the Dutch Reformed Church of Kingston, NY. Jan, who was born at the turn of the 17th century in New York city, was the son of Jasper Hoed and Cathrina Andries, married in the Dutch Reformed Church of New York City, June 7, 1696. Jasper was the son of a Danish father and Dutch mother, Rachel was the daughter of Theunis Eliasz Von Bunschoten and Gerritje Garrit of Kingston, NY. Theunis, short for Antheunis or Anthony, came from Bunschoten, Utrecht Province, Holland, about 1670. Gerritje was the daughter of Captain Gerrit Thyssen and Hermantje Heermans, married November 29, 1664, in the Old Dutch Reformed Church of New Amsterdam (New York). These lines are carried back a generation or more in the book, which is available at the Johnson City Public Library.

    In 1732, John hood and wife, Rachel, accompanied by her sister, Rebekka, and husband Barent Nieukerk (Barnet Newkirk) migrated to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, settling in the Back Creek Valley section of what is now Berkeley County, West Virginia, where Hood received a patent to 1175 acres on November 12, 1735. The children of John and Rachel Hood, all registered in the baptismal register of the old Dutch Reformed Church in Kingston, NY, were: Theunis, Johannes (John) Jacobus, Cathrina, Gerritjin and Rebekka. Hood converted to the Quaker faith, and with several other families founded the Hopewell Friends Meeting House near Hedgesville, West Virginia (then Orange County, VA) in 1734.

     Tunis, the oldest son, moved on down to Augusta County and settled in Mecklenburg County, NC about 1775. The one which interests us is the next son, John Jr., who moved on to Augusta County, Virginia about 1742, where he died before August 1, 1771. In the records kept by the Rev. John Craig, first pastor of Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church in what is now Rockingham County, VA, are entries that he baptized Robert and Margaret Hood, children of John Hood, on April 27, 1749 and John Hood, another son, on Nov. 27, 1749.

     Robert Hood, son of John, moved down the Holston River, living a while in Washington County, VA, before moving on to Greene County, TN, where he lived on what is now the south edge of Greeneville. He operated the first general store in that area. He died in 1793, and his wife, Elizabeth, was named as one of the administrators of the estate. The known children of Robert and Elizabeth Hood were John B. Hood; Elizabeth Hood, who married Patrick Neil, William Hood; Mary Hood, who married John Garvin; and Robert Hood Jr. Another child may be Annis Hood, who married a Thompson.