Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia): What I Know (and Don’t) about the Earliest Generation of This Brooks Family

Transcript of will of Mary Brooks, 9 July 1786, Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 5, p. 158

Or, Subtitled: “Of English Descent” or “a Native of Ireland” — Take Your Pick

As I stated at the end of my penultimate posting, after having shared with you the information I have about Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747- 1805), I now want to focus on Thomas’s mother Mary Brooks, who died testate in Frederick County, Virginia, with a will dated 9 July 1786.[1] Mary’s will was proven in Frederick County court on 4 April 1787, so she died at some point between those two dates. This will is just about the sum total of what I know of this Brooks family in the generation prior to Thomas Brooks. 

Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805): Wythe County, Virginia Years, 1793-1805 — Brief Addendum

Wythe County, Virginia, Court Order Bk. 1805-1808, 13 September 1808, p. 330

Or, Subtitled: Estates, Chancery Cases, and Unresolved Questions about Land Disposition

This is a brief addendum to my previous posting about the Wythe County, Virginia, years (1793-1805) of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805). As that posting indicates, on 13 February 1804, Thomas bought 300 acres of land along Poplar Camp Creek south of the New River from Thomas and Sarah Herbert.[1] This is the only land record for Thomas I have found in Wythe County records, though statements in the county court order books prior to 1804 make me think that Thomas was living on this land before he bought it, and possibly even from the time he came to Wythe County in 1793 — see the previous posting for information about this.

Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805): Wythe County, Virginia Years, 1793-1805

Will of Thomas Brooks, 4 November 1804, Wythe County, Virginia, Wythe County, Virginia, Will Bk. 1, pp. 308-9

Or, Subtitled: Fertile New Land, Lead Mines, Shot Towers and Forges, and Movement from the Middle Colonies into the Valley of Virginia

With my first posting about Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805), I shared my information about Thomas’s life in Frederick County, Virginia, up to 1792, when he moved his family to Wythe County, Virginia. My account begins with a March 1767 deed of Patrick Rice to his son John, which Thomas witnessed, the first certain record I have of him in Frederick County. Since, as my posting indicates, I have not found information about Thomas’s father, I haven’t been able to track this family line sufficiently to say with any certainty where Thomas Brooks was born — a point to which I’ll return when I discuss in more detail the information I have about Thomas’s mother Mary, who made her will in Frederick County on 9 July 1786, with the will being probated on 4 April 1787.

Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805): Frederick County, Virginia, Beginnings

Will of Mary Brooks, 9 July 1786, Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 5, p. 158

Or, Subtitled: “I will and bequeath to my beloved son Thomas Brooks, whom I likewise constitute make and ordain my whole and sole Executor”

I’ve now finished telling you what I know of Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838), who moved with his parents from Frederick County, Virginia, where he was born in 1775, to Wythe County, Virginia, in 1793, and from there to Wayne County, Kentucky, in 1798. As I’ve also shown you, at the very end of his and his wife Sarah’s lives, the couple moved their family from Kentucky to Morgan County, Alabama, in November 1836, and in 1837, Sarah died at the home of their daughter Jane Brooks Lindsey in Lawrence County, Alabama, with Thomas dying under Jane’s care in 1838.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Alabama Years, 1836-1838

Original will (holographic, page 1) of Thomas Madison Brooks of Morgan County, Alabama,, 2 October 1838, in loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks held by Morgan County Archives

Or, Subtitled: The Mystery of an Estate Selling Land to Which the Decedent Does Not Have Title

With this posting, I’ll provide information about the final phase of the lives of Thomas Madison Brooks and wife Sarah Whitlock, after they moved in November 1836 from Wayne County, Kentucky, to Morgan County, Alabama, to join their adult children who had settled in adjoining Lawrence County, where Thomas’s brother James had died in 1835and Wayne County neighbors including Rev. Elliott Jones.  As I state at the end of the previous posting, because both Thomas and Sarah died not very long after they made their final move to Alabama, and doctors’ receipts in Thomas’s estate file indicate that medications like laudanum and morphine were prescribed for what appear to have been painful illnesses, I suspect that both were already sick at the time of their move, perhaps both with a lingering, debilitating illness such as cancer.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Kentucky Years, 1798-1836

Thomas Brooks’s affidavit, 10 March 1804, Wayne County, Kentucky, in Whitlock v. Whitlock, Commonwealth of Virginia Chancery District Court, Staunton, box 10, file 38

Or, Subtitled: “A Rough Hardy Race of Men, Very Large & Stout, & Altogether an Excellent Population, for a New Country”

Thomas and Sarah Brooks Establish Their Young Family in Kentucky (1798-9)

In the previous posting about Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838), I track him up to 1798, when he moved with wife Sarah Whitlock and infant daughter Jane from Wythe County, Virginia, to Pulaski (soon to be Wayne) County, Kentucky. As that posting notes, when the Brooks family made that move, Thomas and Sarah were a young couple, he 23 and she 24. You may have noticed that the previous postings discussing the Virginia beginnings of this Brooks family cited no records for Thomas in Wythe County other than tax records — with the exception of the record in his family bible stating that Thomas and Sarah married 14 February 1796.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Virginia Beginnings, 1775-1798

“Brooks Bible,” Itawamba [Mississippi] Settlers 8,3 (September, 1988), pp. 151-2

Or, Subtitled: A Virginia ➤ Kentucky ➤ Alabama Migration Pattern

Introduction: Now the Brooks Family Line

At the end of April 2021, I completed a lengthy series of postings that I began in November 2019. This series shared my information about my Lindsey immigrant ancestor, Dennis Linchey, who arrived in Richmond County, Virginia, aboard the ship Expectation some time before 1 June 1718 as an indentured servant from Ireland, and about his descendants. The series of postings that runs from November 2019 to April 2021 provides all the information I have about the descendants of Dennis Linchey, whose surname shifted to Lindsey before his death in August 1762 in Granville County, North Carolina — though my series does not follow family lines down to the last generations in each line.

The Conundrum of Sorting John Lindseys, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, Latter Half of 1700s and Early 1800s

South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk. 9, p. 1

Or, Subtitled: “’Curiouser and curiouser!’ Cried Alice”

These notes about the challenge of sorting men named John Lindsey in records of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in the latter part of the 1700s and early part of the 1800s begin with the conundrum of a 20 March 1817 deed of William Lindsey to Spencer Bobo, both of Spartanburg County.[1] I discussed this deed in detail in a previous posting. As that posting notes, William Lindsey deeded to Spencer Bobo 200 acres on which William was then living, stating that he was selling “all the plantation and tract of Land where I now live supposed 200 acres more or less with every appurtenance thereunto belonging N. adjoining said Bobo’s land, E. joining Brewton, S. joining John Lindsey, and W. joining John Crocker.” The witnesses to this deed were John Lindsey and James Brewton/Bruton.

Bridget Tobin Ryan (1818-1873) of Co. Kilkenny, Ireland: Records Possibly Pointing to Her Family Members

Tithe Applotment listing for Edd Tobin, Deerpark townland, Rossinan civil parish, County Kilkenny, 1833

Or, Subtitled: In the Absence of Records Necessary to Prove Genealogical Connections, One Goes A-Fishing

In a previous posting, I explained my reasons for concluding that my ancestor Bridget Tobin, who was born in 1818 in County Kilkenny, Ireland, and who married Valentine Ryan, son of John Ryan and Margaret Oates, in Kilmacow parish on 20 January 1833, perhaps had a sister Catherine who married John Walsh in the same parish on 20 January 1833. The same posting notes that Daniel Tobin married Bridget Walsh in Kilmacow parish on 12 February 1832. My posting asks if it’s possible that Daniel Tobin is another sibling of Bridget Tobin Ryan. I also noted that Edmond Tobin married Mary Comerford in Templeorum parish on 23 July 1839, with the marriage record stating that the couple lived at Buckstown. That would place Daniel in the same area as Bridget, Catherine, and Daniel, and would point to the possibility that he could be another sibling of Bridget.

John Ryan (Bef. 1785) and Wife Margaret Oates of Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland: New Information

Engraving of Bessborough House, County Kilkenny, Ireland, from John Preston Neale, Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland , vol. 2 (London : Sherwood, Neely, and Jones, 1820), p. 273

Or, Subtitled: Papers of Landed Estates as Sources of Genealogical Information

In previous postings (here and here), I’ve told you that the earliest ancestor I’ve been able to prove in my southern County Kilkenny, Ireland, Ryan family is a John Ryan who appears to have been born prior to 1785, and who married Margaret, daughter of John Oates and Eleanor Thompson of Tybroughney/Tibberaghney, a townland in the civil parish of Fiddown in County Kilkenny. As the postings that I’ve just linked tell you, I first catch sight of John and Margaret Oates Ryan in the register of their Catholic parish, Templeorum, when their first child, a son named Valentine, was baptized in that parish on 6 May 1805.