Partners in crime may have had more than just a criminal connection. There may have been a family connection as well. Criminal associates are still associates that should be a part of your research process.
What the precise connection there is between the Gideon Rucker and Shem Cooke referenced in the 1773 notice regarding counterfeiters I can’t say. However both were “late” of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, suggesting they were at least working together. Gideon Rucker and Shem Cook have a possible familial relationship which won’t be stated here until I’m a little more certain of precisely what it is, but they do have probable connections to the same family.
The murder on the Mississippi in the 1770s we’ve mentioned here before. The Absalom Hooper was married to a woman whose last name was Holmes and it’s possible that there was some connection between Charles Holmes and the wife of Absalom Hooper. Innis Hooper is another member of Absalom’s family. The connection between the Hoopers and Holmes and the other two is not known at this point. Even if Richard Holloway and Reason Young were not related by marriage or biology, it’s possible that all the men had been associates of each other for some time, perhaps before their time in West Florida.
Criminal associates of your ancestor are still associates and may provide clues as to your ancestor’s origins.
Newspapers are a good way to learn the names of these associates, particularly in the pre-1800 time period from which these records were taken.
Note: These items came from digitally available newspapers at GenealogyBank.com.