I ended my previous posting, which inaugurated a new set of postings focusing on the family of Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and husband George Rice, by telling you that my next posting would begin documenting Elizabeth and George’s lives in detail. Since I made that promise, I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to get a clear grasp of one basic and essential part of that documentation: when was George Rice born? I have yet to find a document that makes the birth year plain, and haven’t run across other researchers who’ve found that evidence, either.
Or, Subtitled: “Your Orator Further Sheweth” — Valuable Inheritances and Predictable Litigation
With this posting, I’m climbing back up the Brooks family tree and starting to track lines stemming from another daughter of Mary Brooks, the earliest Brooks ancestor I’ve been able to prove. As I’ve indicated previously, Mary died testate in Frederick County, Virginia, with a will dated 9 July 1786. In her will, Mary named children Mary (Hollingsworth), Elizabeth (Rice), Thomas, Sarah (Asdril [i.e., Ashdale]), Susanna (Haynes), and James. As the posting I’ve just linked says, I have not been able to discover the name of Mary’s husband, or her maiden surname, or where this family lived before I first catch sight of them in Frederick County, Virginia, records in March 1767.
Or, Subtitled: Texas Ranger’s Account Casting Light on a Mysterious Disappearance
As the previous posting indicates, though the life of Orlando Newton Hollingsworth (1836-1919?), son of Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth and Joicy Jones, is well-documented in a number of biographies, information about when and where Orlando died seems surprisingly difficult to find. Orlando was a Texas state legislator with a degree from the University of Virginia, a lawyer in Austin, founder of an academy in San Marcos, and was for some years Texas Superintendent for Public Instruction. The high profile he enjoyed as a public figure accounts for the several well-documented biographies written about him. But these biographies either state that his date of death is “unknown”or that he died in 1919, with the day and month and place of death unspecified.
Or, Subtitled: Distinguished Careers in Public Service, Law Firms and Oil Wells, with a Mysterious Disappearance After the Law Comes Knocking at the Door
As we saw in the previous posting, in his 1 May 1841 Benton County, Alabama, will, Benjamin Hollingsworth states that he and wife Joicy Jones Hollingsworth had had the following children: Stephen, Wyly B. (whose name appears as Wiley in other documents), Asenath (Allen), Mary Ann (Kelly), Hannah Belzora, Benjamin, Benton, and Orlando. The will notes that Wiley had predeceased his father.
Or, Subtitled: Long Trek of a Family from Franklin County, Georgia, to Tennessee, Alabama, and, Finally, Texas
At some point not very long after his 29 July 1831 sale of land with son-in-law Alexander E. Patton in Franklin County, Tennessee (with the deed being recorded 2 June 1834), Benjamin Hollingsworth moved to Benton (now Calhoun) County, Alabama — perhaps around 1835, Sadie Sparks thinks. Benjamin was in Benton County by 6 June 1836 when citizens of Jacksonville in that county presented a resolution to Alabama Governor Clement Clay, noting that at the meeting at which the resolution was passed, a committee of six persons had been appointed to draft the “sense of the meeting.” This committee included Col. Benj. Hollingsworth. Digital images of the first and last pages of this resolution are above, with Benjamin’s signature on the last page.
Or, Subtitled: “Honoured Sir — If your Dignity will permit me to make a statement to you in regard to our frontier county“
In a previous posting, I summarized the salient facts about the life of J Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth, Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks’s last child — literally, the Benjamin of their declining years. As we see in the posting I’ve just linked, Benjamin was born after 1784 in Randolph County, North Carolina, and died 18 August 1844 in Benton County, Alabama. We can conclude, more specifically, that Benjamin was likely born in or after 1785, since he does not appear with other males of his family on the tax list in Franklin County, Georgia in 1801, which indicates that he was not yet 16 or became 16 in 1801 after the tax list was compiled. As Sadie Greening Sparks also notes, he does not appear as a drawer in the 1805 Georgia land lottery, and this means he was under 21 in 1805, therefore born after 1784. Because Benjamin witnessed a deed of Joseph Dunnigan to Abner Dunnigan in Franklin County, Georgia, on 20 August 1803, a legal act that required him to be 18 years old at the time (though I’ve seen instances of minors witnessing deeds, too), I suspect he was born in 1785: see below for more about this deed.
As we’ve seen, researchers have placed the birth of James Hollingsworth, the seventh child (and fourth son) of Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks, between 1777-1780 in Guilford or Randolph County, North Carolina (Randolph was created from Guilford in 1779). In their classic accounts of the Hollingsworth and Harlan families, J. Adger Stewart and Alpheus Harlan both have James born in 1777. Sadie Greening Sparks thinks that he was born in 1780.
Or, Subtitled: “He was proverbial for his honesty and integrity.”
Thomas Hollingsworth was the sixth child of Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks, and was possibly named for Mary’s brother Thomas Brooks (bef. 1747 – 1805) (and see here and here). We’ve seen previously that his tombstone in Fairview Presbyterian cemetery in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, states that he died 16 May 1836 in his 59th year: this places his birth in 1777. He was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died in Lawrenceville, the county seat of Gwinnett, to which he and wife Amelia moved their family in 1825 from Franklin County, Georgia.
Or, Subtitled: From Georgia to Alabama to Louisiana — Westward Migration of a Plantation Family
As has been noted in a previous posting, though J. Adger Stewart and Alpheus Harlan both indicate, in their histories of the Hollingsworth and Harlan families respectively, that Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks’s son Jacob was born in 1773, a transcription of his tombstone record indicates that the tombstone has a birthdate of 11 August 1775 and a death date death of 16 December 1848. The posting I’ve just linked discusses a transcription of the tombstones found in the Hollingsworth family cemetery at Preston, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, done by Virginia Pearce Packer in July 2008, which contains these dates of birth and death for Jacob Hollingsworth Jr.