Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822)

1. Hannah Hollingsworth was born in 1769, probably in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died 16 November 1841 in Habersham (later White) County, Georgia. On 12 August 1788 in Randolph County, North Carolina, she married Daniel Brown, son of Daniel Brown and Grace Thompson. Daniel and Hannah are buried in Nacoochee Methodist cemetery at Sautee in White County, Georgia, near the present community of Helen, which is thought to be where both died — though the town of Helen postdates them.[3]

Hannah’s tombstone (see the top of this posting) states,

Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Hannah Brown who departed this life on the 26th November 1841 in the 72nd year of her age. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.

Tombstone of Daniel Brown from his Find a Grave memorial page, Nacoochee Methodist cemetery, Sautee, White County, Georgia — see n. 3, infra

Daniel Brown’s tombstone states,

Beneath this stone lies the remains of Daniel Brown who departed this life June 19th 1852 in his 88th year. He lived a constant pious member of the M.E. Church for 45 years and died in the faith of his Savior.

Note that the tombstone places Daniel Brown’s birth in 1764.

A point to recognize now: there’s really no strong evidence for exactly when most of Jacob and Mary Hollingsworth’s children were born. Many researchers have assumed that Samuel and Sarah were the oldest two children, since they predeceased their father. In my view, Hannah was likely the oldest, and we do know her birth year — 1769 —from her tombstone, assuming this is a reliable source. I see no reason to doubt the testimony of the tombstone, either, since it appears to date from soon after Hannah’s death. Because I think it’s likely her parents married in 1767-8 (and see here), I think Hannah was their first-born child. Note that Jacob’s paternal grandmother was Hannah Harlan Hollingsworth (1681-1748). 

2. Samuel Hollingsworth was probably born about 1768-1770, likely in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died before 8 August 1802 in Franklin County, Georgia. According to Sadie Greening Sparks, a marriage bond in Randolph County, North Carolina, shows Samuel marrying Mary Garner there in 1788.[4] Samuel’s birthdate has been estimated by researchers as between 1768 and 1770 based on the date of his marriage.[5]

Following Samuel’s death in 1802, his widow Mary remarried to Thomas Lenoir before October 1805 in Franklin County, Georgia. Mary died before 2 January 1815 in Franklin County. A Find a Grave memorial page which notes that no burial information about her has been found suggests that Mary was born in 1770, but on what basis that birthdate is being proposed, I am not clear.[6]

Samuel was named for his paternal grandfather Samuel Hollingsworth. His father Jacob Hollingsworth also had a brother Samuel.

3. Sarah Hollingsworth was born about 1770-1, probably in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died before 15 May 1815 in Franklin County, Georgia. Sarah married James Garner, and if this is a younger James Garner living next to a John Garner and an older James Garner on the 1790 federal census in Randolph County, North Carolina, the couple married prior to 1790.[7] The younger James Garner’s household in 1790 has a male aged over 16, one female, and two males under 16. If Sarah’s marriage was around the same date as the marriages of her siblings Hannah and Samuel — 1788 — then researchers may be correct in assuming she was one of Samuel’s older children. As we’ve seen, Sarah’s mother Mary Brooks had a sister Sarah.

Tombstone of Benjamin J. Wofford from Find a Grave memorial page of Benjamin J. Wofford, “Sgt. Benjamin J. Wofford Gravesite,” see n. 9, infra

4. Mary Hollingsworth was born 1770-1775 in Guilford County, North Carolina. Sadie Greening Sparks thinks Mary (who was named for her mother) was born about 1773.[8] A tombstone marking the grave of her husband Benjamin J. Wofford in Bartow County, Georgia, gives his year of birth as 1767.[9] The tombstone appears to have been placed at the grave at some point later than Benjamin’s death in 1836.[10] As noted previously, Benjamin Wofford was definitely of age and evidently married by 1790, since he shows up on the federal census of that year in Burke County, North Carolina, next to Jacob Hollingsworth and near his father William Wofford with a household comprised of a male over 16 and a female.[11] As also stated in the posting I’ve just linked, Sadie Greening Sparks says that there is a 1788 marriage bond for Mary Hollingsworth and Daniel Brown in Randolph County, North Carolina, but that the couple did not marry. Mary’s sister Hannah married Daniel Brown in that year in Randolph County.

Transcription of information given on tombstones in Hollingsworth cemetery, Preston, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, by Virginia Pearce Packer in July 2008 — see n. 13, infra

5. Jacob Hollingsworth was born in 1773, according to J. Adger Stewart and Alpheus Harlan.[12] However, at least one source that is apparently reporting dates inscribed on Jacob’s tombstone in Hollingsworth cemetery at Preston, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, gives his date of birth as 11 August 1775. A document that appears to be a transcript of the information given on tombstones in this cemetery by Virginia Pearce Packer in July 2008 is found at a number of Ancestry trees, and this document indicates that Jacob’s tombstone gives the preceding birthdate and 16 December 1848 as his date of death.[13] The Find a Grave memorial page for Jacob Hollingsworth in Hollingsworth cemetery at Preston, Louisiana, has the same dates of birth and death, though no photo of the tombstone.[14]

Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana (Nashville and Chicago: Southern, 1890), pp. 65-6

Though both Stewart and Harlan rightly note that Jacob went to Louisiana and died there (in Caddo Parish, Stewart says),[15] in her transcript of his tombstone Virginia Pearce Packer erroneously states that he was born in Pennsylvania and died in Nacooch [sic] Valley, Georgia. The biography of Jacob’s grandson Claiborne Jasper Foster (1834-1898), son of Jacob’s daughter Mary Hollingsworth and husband Flavel Foster, in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana states,[16]

Jacob Hollingsworth, the maternal grandfather [of Capt. C.J. Foster], was one of the very early settlers of Caddo Parish, La., having come here in 1839 or 1840, and here spent the rest of his life.

Jacob Hollingsworth Jr. (who was named for his father) was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died at Blossom Hill in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, some 20 miles south of Shreveport. About 1801, probably in Franklin County, Georgia, he married Sarah Martin. Sarah is buried in the Hollingsworth cemetery at Preston, with her tombstone apparently stating that she was born 7 July 1783 and died 28 September 1852.

Tombstones of Thomas H. Hollingsworth and Amelia Terrell Hollingsworth from Thomas’s Find a Grave memorial page at Fairview Presbyterian cemetery, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia — see n. 17, infra

6. Thomas H. Hollingsworth was born in 1777 in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died 16 May 1836 at Lawrenceville in Gwinnett County, Georgia. We know Thomas’s year of birth from his tombstone in Fairview Presbyterian cemetery, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, which states,[17]

Departed this life May 16, 1836, in the 59th year of his age.

On 1 November 1808 in Franklin County, Georgia, he married Amelia Terrell, daughter of Simon Terrell and Sarah Thompson. Amelia is buried with Thomas in the Fairview cemetery with a tombstone stating that she departed this life 4th October 1846 in the 60th year of her life.[18]

7. James Hollingsworth is thought to have been born between 1777-1780 in Guilford or Randolph County, North Carolina (Randolph was created from Guilford in 1779).[19] I find James on tax lists in Franklin County, Georgia, from 1802, so he was of age by that year, and perhaps earlier. On 16 May 1813 in Franklin County, James married Mary Jones, daughter of James Jones and Mary Todhunter. Mary’s sister Joicy had married James’s brother Benton Benjamin Hollingsworth on 3 September 1809.

Tombstone of Mary Jones Hollingsworth Cunnyngham from her Find a Grave memorial page, Patton cemetery, Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee — see n. 21, infra

James Hollingsworth died in Franklin County, Tennessee, after making his will on 2 July 1822 in that county. The will has no probate information, but according to Sadie Greening Sparks, it was probated in 1824.[20] Mary is buried in Patton cemetery at Pelham in Grundy County, Tennessee, with her tombstone showing that she was born 11 June 1786 and died 10 May 1859. A photo of Mary’s tombstone is at her Find a Grave memorial page; she had married James Cunnyngham following James Hollingsworth’s death, and was buried as Mary Cunnyngham.[21] The 1850 federal census gives Mary’s birthplace as Virginia.[22]

Note that Mary Todhunter Jones, mother of Mary and Joicy Jones who married James and Benjamin Hollingsworth, was a sister of Evan Todhunter. As has been noted, Evan Todhunter’s daughter Mary Hunter married Jacob Garner, son of Sarah Hollingsworth and James Garner, and Evan’s son John. T. Hunter moved to Lawrence County, Alabama, where his daughters Cassandra and Elizabeth married sons of James Brooks and Nancy Isbell — Thomas R. Brooks and Johnson H. Brooks. John T. Hunter’s son William married Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey, and William’s sister Mary Jane Hunter married Margaret’s brother Samuel Asbury Lindsey. Margaret and Samuel were children of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks. James Brooks was Jane’s uncle, and he was a nephew of Mary Brooks who married Jacob Hollingsworth.

8. Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth was born after 1784 in Randolph County, North Carolina, and died 18 August 1844 in Benton County, Alabama. As Sadie Greening Sparks notes, Benjamin is listed as under 21 in the 1805 Georgia land lottery, and this places his birth after 1784.[23] Benjamin’s date of death is stated in his loose-papers probate file in Rusk County, Texas.[24] The probate file says that Benjamin Hollingsworth died in Benton (later Calhoun) County, Alabama. An estate record was later filed in Rusk County, Texas, Benjamin’s widow Joicy Jones Hollingsworth having moved there and died there. This information is in the probate petition filed in December 1858 in Rusk County by William Clark Kelly, Benjamin and Joicy’s son-in-law, who married their daughter Mary Ann. 

Will of Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth from loose-papers probate file of Benjamin Hollingsworth, Calhoun County, Alabama, box 2, folder #155
Letter of Harry Hollingsworth of Inglewood, California, 15 April 1986, to Calhoun County, Alabama, clerk, in loose-papers probate file of Benjamin Hollingsworth, Calhoun County, Alabama, box 2, folder #155

A probate file for Benjamin Hollingsworth in Calhoun County, Alabama, contains a will that Benjamin wrote at his home, Walnut Spring, on 1 May 1841.[25] The will notes that he was living in Benton County when he made it; Benton was renamed Calhoun County in 1858. The will was proven on 7 September 1844 in Benton County. This appears to confirm that Benjamin died in that county.

On 3 September 1809 in Franklin County, Georgia, Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth married Joicy Jones, daughter of James Jones and Mary Todhunter. According to Sadie Greening Sparks, Joicy is buried on a hill on the “Spring Place” in Rusk County, Texas, with a marker reading as follows:[26]

Sacred to the Memory of Joicey Hollingsworth / Born Feb. 14, 1791 / Died Aug 6, 1858 / Friend after friend departs / Who has not lost a friend / There is no union of the hearts / That finds not here an end / Were this frail world our final rest / Living or dying none were blest.


In this posting, I have focused on nailing down birth, marriage, and death information for the children of Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks. In a subsequent posting or posting, I will share some of the documentation I have on these children, and will provide information about the children of each of the couples discussed above.

[1] The original will is in the loose-papers estate file of Jacob Hollingsworth, Franklin County, Georgia; originals held by Georgia Archives, digital copies at Family Search website. The will is also recorded in Franklin County, Georgia, Court of Ordinary Minutes, Bk. 1814-1823, p. 127.

[2] Sadie Greening Sparks, “Samuel Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Garner,” “James Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Jones,” and “The Family of Col. Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth & Wife Joicey Jones of Franklin Co., Georgia, Franklin Co., Tennessee, Benton Co., Alabama, and Rusk Co., Texas,” online at Loy Sparks’s website dedicated to the memory of Sadie Greening Sparks.

[3] See Find a Grave memorial pages of Hannah Hollingsworth Brown and Daniel Brown, Nacoochee Methodist cemetery, Sautee, White County, Georgia. Both were created by Reuben Glen Davis Sr. and are maintained by Kimmie Kitchens and Courtney Gilstrap. Both pages have tombstone photos by Sandy Hulsey.

[4] Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia,” online at Loy Sparks’s website dedicated to the memory of Sadie Greening Sparks. And see also ibid. I have searched for the bond but have not found it.

[5] Sparks, ibid., and Samuel Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Garner” thinks Samuel was born in 1767. J. Adger Stewart, Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, Sr. (Louisville: Morton, 1925), gives 1770 as his date of birth (p. 143). Alpheus H. Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, and Particularly of the Descendants of George and Michael Harlan, Who Settled in Chester County, Pa., 1687 (Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Press, 1914) also gives 1770 as Samuel’s date of birth (p. 83).

[6] Find a Grave memorial page for Mary “Polly” Garner Hollingsworth Lenoir, created by LABG.

[7] 1790 federal census, Randolph County, North Carolina, p. 289.

[8] Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia.”

[9] See Find a Grave memorial page of Benjamin J. Wofford, “Sgt. Benjamin J. Wofford Gravesite,” maintained by Find a Grave user Evening Blues.

[10] This tombstone may be the Revolutionary War marker for which James M. Puckett of Atlanta, an SAR member, made an application to the U.S. Army’s Memorial Division on 12 August 1966. The application states that the marker should show Benjamin’s birthdate as 1767 and his year of death as 1836. This application states, however, that Benjamin is buried at Stamp Creek in White County and not in Bartow County: see NARA (St. Louis), Applications for Headstones, 1/1/1925 – 6/30/1970, RG 92 M1916; digitized in Ancestry’s collection U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1970.

[11] 1790 federal census, Burke County, North Carolina, p. 101.

[12] Stewart, Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, Sr., pp. 143, 146; Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, and Particularly of the Descendants of George and Michael Harlan, Who Settled in Chester County, Pa., 1687, p. 83.

[13] This document, “Hollingsworth Cemetery,” was originally uploaded to a McGuire family tree at Ancestry by Ancestry user Msmtmactx. The name of the tombstone transcriber and the date on which she produced the transcript are written on the first page of “Hollingsworth Cemetery.” 

[14] See Jacob Hollingsworth Find a Grave memorial page, Hollingsworth cemetery, Preston, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, maintained by Scout Finch. Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia,” also has these dates of birth and death for Jacob.

[15] See supra, n. 12.

[16] Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana (Nashville and Chicago: Southern, 1890), pp. 65-6.

[17] The tombstone record is transcribed in Atlanta History Center, Cemetery Records for Atlanta and Vicinity, vol. 11: 1874-1932, p. 23; digitized at Ancestry as Fulton and Campbell Counties, Georgia, Cemetery Records, 1857-1933Thomas’s Find a Grave memorial page at Fairview Presbyterian cemetery, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, has photos of the stone uploaded to the page by Find a Grave user K. The page was created by Stacy Ann Williams.

[18] Atlanta History Center, Cemetery Records for Atlanta and Vicinity, vol. 11: 1874-1932, p. 23. A photo of the tombstone by Find a Grave user K is at Amelia’s Find a Grave memorial page in Fairview cemetery, created by Stacy Ann Williams.

[19] Both Stewart and Harlan give 1777 as James’s date of birth: Stewart, Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, Sr., p. 143; Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, and Particularly of the Descendants of George and Michael Harlan, Who Settled in Chester County, Pa., 1687, p. 83. Sadie Greening Sparks has James born in 1780: Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia.”

[20] Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia.” Harlan erroneously states that James died in Georgia; Stewart states that he died in Franklin (now Grundy) County, Tennessee: see supra, n. 12. 

[21] See Find a Grave memorial page of Mary Cunnyngham, Patton cemetery, Pelham, Grundy County, Tennessee, created by Sharon Goodman with a photo of the tombstone by Sharon Goodman. See also Sadie Greening Sparks, “The Family of James Jones & Wife Mary ‘Polly’ (MNU) of Franklin & Habersham Co., Georgia.” 

[22] 1850 federal census, Grundy County, Tennessee, district 3, p. 366B (dwelling 79/family 81; 25 October).

[23] Sparks, “The Family of Jacob Hollingsworth & Wife Mary Brooks of North Carolina & Georgia.”

[24] Loose-papers probate file of Benjamin Hollingsworth, Rusk County, Texas, #563.

[25] Loose-papers probate file of Benjamin Hollingsworth, Calhoun County, Alabama, box 2, folder #155. The will in this probate file appears to be the original will with Benjamin’s signature, though the file also has a letter by Harry Hollingsworth of Inglewood, California, dated 15 April 1986, to the Calhoun County clerk, which states that the original will was held by the Alabama Archives and was a “floating will,” of which he was donating a copy to Calhoun County. I think perhaps the copy Harry Hollingsworth was donating was his transcript of the original will — and the original may now be in the Calhoun County file.

[26] Sparks, “The Family of James Jones & Wife Mary ‘Polly’ (MNU) of Franklin & Habersham Co., Georgia.” A Find a Grave memorial page for Joicey Jones Hollingsworth created by David Matthews gives the name of the cemetery as Sulphur Springs cemetery and states that the tombstone is “out in a big field” south of highway 84, east of Rusk County Road 3226 and north of Rusk County Road 3227, about 5 miles north of Cushing, 6 miles south of Laneville, 7 miles west of Mt. Enterprise, and 11 miles east of Reklaw. The memorial page does not have a photo of the tombstone. In notes she sent me in July 1997, researcher Melrose Trimble of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, states that an application for a Mexican War pension by a soldier named Stone also gives Joicy Jones Hollingsworth’s dates of birth and death. Melrose Trimble’s notes say that this pension application was abstracted by Maude McLure Kelly in the Bledsoe-Kelly Collection at Sanford University Library. The Stone of this record is evidently connected to Hugh L. Stone, who married Fannie E. Kelley, daughter of Mary Ann Hollingsworth and William C. Kelly. Mary Ann was, as noted above, a daughter of Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth and Joicy Jones.

6 thoughts on “Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822)

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