Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822) — Mary Hollingsworth (1770/5 – 1830/1840) and Husband Benjamin J. Wofford

William Tatum Wofford, grandson of Mary Hollingsworth and Benjamin J. Wofford, from Library of Congress, Prints and Photographic Division

Or, Subtitled: Further Connections of the Hollingsworth and Wofford Families in Burke County, North Carolina, and Franklin County, Georgia

As noted previously, Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks’s daughter Mary appears to have been born between 1770 and 1775. Sadie Greening Sparks assigns 1773 as her year of birth.[1] A tombstone marking the grave of her husband Benjamin J. Wofford in Bartow County, Georgia, which was apparently placed there some years following his death, gives his year of birth as 1767.[2] Sadie Greening Sparks indicates that there’s a marriage bond in Randolph County, North Carolina, showing Mary’s intent to marry Daniel Brown, but the couple did not marry and Mary’s sister Hannah married Daniel Brown instead.[3] Mary Hollingsworth and Benjamin J. Wofford had married by 1790, it seems, since he appears on the 1790 federal census in Burke County, North Carolina, next to Jacob Hollingsworth, with a male over 16 in his household and one female.[4] Both Jacob and Benjamin are near Benjamin J. Wofford’s father William Wofford on this census.

13 thoughts on “Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822) — Mary Hollingsworth (1770/5 – 1830/1840) and Husband Benjamin J. Wofford

  1. Thank you for this information and your attention to detail. My 3rd gr grandmother was Fanny, the negro slave so I was glad to see her name mentioned in Jacob’s will. I found out through DNA testing that I am a Hollingsworth. I also saw that the other Fanny went to Calhoun County, AL, and I have DNA matches that lived there as well. So possibly she was my 4th great grandparent.


    1. Thank you so much for your comment and for telling me about this. It’s wonderful that you have been able to link your family tree to someone held in bondage in that period. I try constantly to track enslaved people who are named in documents of my family lines, to see if I can track living descendants and share the information I have with them — and I know how hard that can be. Fascinating, too, that you have confirmed you’re a Hollingsworth! That, too, is something I find repeatedly — and suspect in more cases than I can confirm: namely, that people held in bondage in my family lines were blood relatives, members of my own family who were held in slavery even though I suspect the families holding those relatives in bondage knew full well these were their relatives. You may have read Henry Wiencek’s The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White. That’s such a good historical study of this deeply troubling phenomenon of white Southern families enslaving their own blood relatives, and knowing full well they were doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have not read The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White. I will put it on my reading list for future reference. Fannie took the name Wofford (husband unknown). She was widowed by the time I saw her name in a census in 1870. Her first son was named Jacob. I also verified some of her children: Spencer, Alonzo, Charley, and Young. They lived in Bartow County, GA, which is where the her slaveowner, Benjamin Wofford died. My father was from Bartow County. Thanks again. Your blog is a blessing!
        Lisa Dempski


      2. Such amazing information — thank you so much for sharing it. It sounds as if Fannie may have had a connection to the Benjamin Wofford who married Jacob Hollingsworth’s daughter Mary. As you probably know, Jacob came to Georgia along with William Wofford and settled in Wofford’s settlement. It’s significant that Fannie named her oldest son Jacob, too. I do highly recommend the Hairston book. I think you’ll find it rewarding to read. So glad you find my blog worthwhile.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I do have DNA matches to the Woffords and the Millers (who married the Woffords). The Millers also married the Conners and that is my family line too. My African American Conner ancestors named their children after the slave owner’s children. I’m very blessed to find all this information and connections. I’ve never realized how huge this project has become!


    1. It sounds to me as though Fannie went from Jacob Hollingsworth’s wife Mary to their daughter Mary and her husband Benjamin Wofford after Mary Brooks Hollingsworth died. Does that seem to you to be what happened? Miller and Conner haven’t been names on my radar screen as I’ve worked on the Hollingsworth family. I will be on the lookout for them. Such fascinating pieces of information. I’m so grateful to you for sharing them.


  3. There were 2 Fannies. One was promised to Jacob’s wife, Mary Brooks Hollingsworth, and she died before Jacob did. So Fannie ended up in Calhoun County, AL living with Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth (the son) after the death of Jacob. This is the Fannie I suspect is my 4th gr grandmother and I have DNA matches in Calhoun county. My 3rd gr grandmother who is also named Fannie, went to Mary Hollingsworth, the daughter. She married Benjamin Wofford. Mary and Benjamin died soon after and their only heir that I see, died way before his parents did. I don’t know what happened after that, but I do suspect that she ended up with Benjamin Wofford’s nephew, James Whitney Wofford. I based it on his 1860 slave census (I couldn’t find any wills that referenced Fannie) and where his wife was living in 1870 in comparision to Fannie. James died in 1866. On my African American tree, the Conners married the Woffords – 2 Conner brothers married a Wofford, but I do not think these Woffords were related to each other. I just wanted to throw that in the fire. Lol.


    1. Thank you for clarifying that — two Fannies and two Marys! You’re so fortunate to be able to track the history of these ancestors who were enslaved in such a detailed way. I see that my notes on Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth say that, after he died in Calhoun County, Alabama, his widow Joicy brought to Texas a number of the enslaved persons named in Benjamin’s inventory back in Alabama, but that list doesn’t include Fannie, who appears in the 1844 inventory of Benjamin’s estate in Alabama. You’ve explained for me why she’s not in the later inventory in Texas: she remained in Alabama! There are definitely some really detailed records in this Hollingsworth family, which help track at least some enslaved persons mentioned in them. I will be on the lookout for Conners and Woffords as I work on this family in northeast Georgia.


      1. I think that the Fannie that was in Calhoun may have died there. If her inferred daughter was born 1800, then the mother could have been born Circa 1760? By the time she reached AL she may have been in her 80s. That’s my guess anyway.

        Are you a Hollingsworth?



      2. It sounds as if you’re exactly right: that Fannie likely died in Alabama. I’m not a Hollingsworth descendant myself, that I know of. My connection to Jacob and Mary Brooks Hollingsworth is that I descend from Mary’s brother Thomas Brooks, who was born about 1747 and died in 1805 in Wythe County, Virginia. So I’ve researched your Hollingsworths primarily because they tie into my Brooks family tree — but It’s a surname that I also find popping up frequently with various of my own family lines.

        Liked by 1 person

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