Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822) — Jacob Hollingsworth (1775 – 1848) and Wife Sarah Martin

As the posting linked at the start of this posting also states, Jacob Hollingsworth Jr. was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, and died at Blossom Hill in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, about 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 stating, according to Virginia Pearce Packer, that she was born 7 July 1783 and died 28 September 1852.

I have not found a record of the marriage of Jacob Hollingsworth to Sarah Martin, and have seen no information indicating that other researchers have found this marriage record. Numerous family trees online give Sarah’s surname as Hogg. As was noted in a previous posting, there are numerous ties in Franklin County, Georgia, records between the Hollingsworth family and Martin families in that county. I haven’t seen any records showing Hollingsworth-Hogg connections in Franklin County in the time frame in which Jacob Hollingsworth Jr. and Sarah Martin are thought to have married. I think she was far more likely Sarah Martin, a name that has been passed down in oral histories of this family and as a given name among their descendants, than Sarah Hogg.

The Franklin County, Georgia, Years

As the posting I have just linked indicates, Jacob Hollingsworth Jr. bought from Isaac Thomas 100 acres in Franklin County on 25 July 1799, with the deed stating that this land was on the middle fork of Broad River joining the land of Jacob Hollingsworth Sr. and James Martin.[3] Jacob Hollingsworth Sr. witnessed this deed and it was recorded 14 October 1801 after Jacob Sr. proved it on 5 October 1801. As I’ve just noted, various researchers think that Jacob Jr. married Sarah Martin about 1801 when this deed was recorded: I think James Martin was likely related to the Sarah Martin whom Jacob Jr. married, and that he bought this land as he married Sarah.[4]

As was also discussed previously, I think it was Jacob Hollingsworth Jr. and not his father who bought 60 acres in Franklin County on the middle fork of Broad River from Caleb Jones on 14 August 1801.[5] On the same day, Jones sold him another 87½ acres on both sides of the north fork of the Broad.[6]

Again, I’d note that these land purchases occurred around the time Jacob is thought to have married Sarah Martin. Since the deed for the 60-acre tract mentions appurtenances on the property, I think it’s possible Jacob was buying that piece of land as a homeplace for him and his new bride. I also think it’s likely that the Jacob Hollingsworth who, along with Thomas Hollingsworth, bought 250 acres on the south side of Leatherwood Creek in Franklin County on 2 September 1808 from Samuel and Elizabeth Boling is Jacob Jr. and not Jacob Sr.[7] Thomas was born in 1777 and was close to his brother Jacob in age, and as we’ll see when we discuss Thomas and his wife Amelia Terrell, there were kinship connections between the Martin and Terrell families.

We’ve also seen that Jacob Hollingsworth Jr. was named in his father’s 15 May 1815 will in Franklin County, Georgia, which made the following bequest to him:[8]

I will and bequeath to my four Sons Jacob[,] Thomas[,] James[,] and Benjamin Hollingsworth the balance of my Estate including the following Negroes by name Jack[,] Harvey[,] Harry[,] Lett[,] and Marien to be Equally divided between my four Sons aforesaid at my desease

As a previous posting also notes, Jacob Hollingsworth Jr. moved his family to Alabama not long after he signed a receipt in Franklin County on 12 April 1816 for a payment made to his niece Hannah Hollingsworth by her step-father Thomas Lenoir.[9] Jacob was acting as guardian of Hannah, a daughter of his deceased brother Samuel Hollingsworth and wife Mary Garner, who married Thomas Lenoir following Samuel’s death. The payment was made to Hannah as Samuel’s heir.

The Monroe County, Alabama, Years

The move of Jacob Hollingsworth Jr.’s family to Monroe County, Alabama, took place sometime between 12 April 1816, when he signed for this payment to his niece Hannah, and the birth of his daughter Fidelia Hollingsworth on 11 December 1817. The 1850 federal census shows Fidelia born in Alabama, while it indicates that the sibling born immediately prior to her, her sister Frances, was born in Georgia. Frances was born 24 April 1815.[10]

26 October 1806 request of Jeptha Harrington to Georgia governor for permission to pass through Creek lands, at Georgia Archives, available in digital form at the Virtual Vault of the Archives online (pp. 2-3)

A decade before he moved his family to Monroe County, Alabama, Jacob appears in a record of a group of men going from Franklin County, Georgia, into the Creek Nation. On 26 October 1806, Jeptha Harrington of Franklin County applied to the governor of Georgia for a passport for himself, Jacob Hollingsworth, and James, Alexander, and John Martin to pass through the Creek Nation to Natchez Territory or surrounding country.[11] The passport application contains a note of recommendation by Colonel Asa Allen, who represented Franklin County multiple times in the Georgia legislature, stating that he knew the five men requesting the passport and they were of good repute, and a notation that the order was taken on 8 November 1806. (See the head of this posting for the first page of this passport document.)

Monroe County, Alabama, to which Jacob Hollingsworth relocated his family from Franklin County, Georgia, in 1816, was created in 1815 following the Creek Cession of 1814. The county initially comprised all the lands ceded by the Creeks with the treaty of Fort Jackson ending the Creek War in 1814, and was later made smaller by the formation of multiple counties from the initial large county.[12] Jacob Hollingsworth’s trip into the Creek Nation in 1806 — in the company of three Martin men — was perhaps an expedition of interconnected men from Franklin County, Georgia, into what would soon become the state of Alabama, to scout out new land onto which they hoped to move their families when this land was ceded by its native American owners. Or it’s also possible that, having seen the fertile lands of south Alabama on this expedition, Jacob then resolved to move his family to them after they opened up to settlers in 1814. Dr. Harold Graham, a researcher of the family of Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks, told me in a July 1997 letter that Jacob moved to Alabama with several of his wife Sarah’s Martin relatives.[13] Perhaps these included some of the Martin men who accompanied Jacob into the Creek Nation in 1806.

Tracking the Hollingsworth family’s years in Monroe County, Alabama, is made difficult by the loss of the county’s early records in a disastrous courthouse fire in 1833 that destroyed all records up to that point. We know from an 1829 lawsuit in the Monroe circuit court that Jacob was definitely in Monroe County by February 1824.[14] On 27 September 1824, James H. Draughan, as executor of the estate of Robert Draughan, filed suit against Jacob Hollingsworth and Daniel and Philemon Bozman/Bozeman in Monroe County in a case of debt. Jacob Hollingsworth’s response to Draughan’s plea states inter alia that he had sold property in Monroe County to Daniel Bozman in February 1824, and that Bozman was his son-in-law.

Daniel Bozeman (the usual spelling of the surname) married Jacob and Sarah Martin Hollingsworth’s daughter Sarah in Monroe County on 30 April 1820. Philemon Bozeman was Daniel’s father. Note that Sarah’s marriage to Daniel Bozeman places the Hollingsworth family in Monroe County, Alabama, by April 1820.

7 June 1824 federal patent to Jacob Hollingsworth, Monroe County, Alabama, Alabama Credit Volume Patent Bk. 115, p. 189, #234

In the absence of land records in Monroe County up to 1833, it’s not easy to document Jacob Hollingsworth’s activities in this county from the time he moved there until he made his final move to Caddo Parish, Louisiana, in 1839 or 1840. Federal land records do, however, indicate that he was an active buyer of tracts of federal land in that county from 7 June 1824, when he acquired his first piece of federal land there, into the 1830s. His first patent on 7 June 1824 at the Old Cahaba land office was for 320 acres in Monroe County, and it shows him residing in that county when he purchased the land.[15] From June 1824 up to 18 August 1837, when he made his last federal land purchase in the county, Jacob filed five more patents in Monroe County. By August 1837, he had acquired 640.15 acres of federal land in the county.

It’s clear from the 1830 federal census that, either prior to moving to Alabama or after he arrived there, Jacob had also been buying enslaved people to work his increasing landholdings. The 1830 federal census shows him with a household comprised of himself and wife Sarah and seven children, as well as 19 enslaved persons.[16] Jacob’s son-in-law Daniel Bozeman is enumerated on the same page, as is a James P. Martin, with 15 enslaved persons. James Martin may be a relative of Sarah Martin Hollingsworth, I think.

The Caddo Parish, Louisiana, Years

As has been previously stated, a biography of Jacob Hollingsworth’s grandson Claiborne Jasper Foster (1834-1898), son of Jacob’s daughter Mary Hollingsworth and husband Flavel Foster, states that Jacob Hollingsworth, was one of the very early settlers of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, and that he arrived there in 1839 or 1840, dying in the parish.[17] I do not find Jacob on the 1840 federal census. I also do not find Jacob’s sons Samuel and Jacob James Hollingsworth on this census, though both had married in Monroe County prior to 1840. Jacob James died in Caddo Parish on 20 August 1840 and is buried in the Hollingsworth family cemetery at Preston, Louisiana.

In 1840, Jacob Hollingsworth’s sons-in-Daniel Bozeman, Flavel Foster, and Charles F. Harris (who married Jacob’s daughter Amanda Melvina after her first husband Richardson Foster died) were all still in Monroe County, Alabama, though they’d all move to Caddo Parish, Louisiana, shortly.[18] The last marriage of Jacob’s children recorded in Monroe County records was the marriage of his son Thomas A. Hollingsworth on 11 January 1842 to Euphemia Caroline Lindsey. Euphemia died on 13 November 1842 in Caddo Parish and is buried in the Hollingsworth family cemetery there. These pieces of information suggest to me that, if Jacob Hollingsworth did move to Caddo Parish in 1842, he may have moved to Louisiana in stages, with back-and-forth movement for a year or two between Louisiana and Alabama.

Samuel Augustus Mitchell, Map of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas (Philadelphia, 1860), online at University of Texas’ Portal to Texas History
1 April 1843 federal patent to Jacob Hollingsworth of Caddo Parish, Louisiana, Louisiana State Volume Patent Bk. 480, p. 164, #1742

Jacob was definitely in Caddo Parish by 1 April 1843, when he bought 160 acres of federal land at the Natchitoches land office.[19] The patent for the tract states that the land lay in both Caddo and DeSoto Parish. If you have a close look at the 1860 Mitchell map showing the location of Blossom Hill in Caddo Parish, where Jacob settled, you’ll see how close that place is to the DeSoto line. Following this, up to 1 September 1849, Jacob bought ten more pieces of federal land in Caddo Parish at the Natchitoches land office.[20] The last six certificates were issued to him posthumously on 1 September 1849, obviously on land claims he had filed prior to this death. In all, from 1843-1849, Jacob bought 1,154.81 acres of federal land in Caddo and DeSoto Parishes. Determining what Jacob did with all of his landholdings in these parishes, or whether he bought other property in his years in Louisiana, is unfortunately made difficult by the fact that Caddo parish conveyance records are under lock and key in the digitized files of the Family Search website.

As noted previously, Jacob Hollingsworth’s tombstone indicates that he died on 16 December 1848. From the time he moved to Caddo Parish, he was living at Blossom Hill south of Shreveport; this is very likely where he died. As also noted above, he’s buried in the Hollingsworth family cemetery at Preston in Caddo Parish.

Jacob’s landholdings in Louisiana suggest that he was a substantial planter — and, it has to be noted that his success as a planter depended heavily on the labor of enslaved people, as it also depended on taking away the land of the native peoples: the extension of the plantation system of the antebellum South depended on dispossessing the native peoples of their land and on the coerced labor of enslaved human beings.. As stated previously, the 1830 federal census shows Jacob owning enslaved people in Monroe County, Alabama. At the time of his death, he owned some 58 enslaved people at Blossom Hill. We can determine this because following Jacob’s death, his son oldest son Samuel managed Jacob’s plantation up to Samuel’s death on 2 December 1870. The 1850 federal slave schedule for Caddo Parish shows Samuel at Blossom Hill with the 58 enslaved people from his father’s estate listed in his possession.[21]

Biography of James Martin Foster, Alcée Fortier, Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (Madison, Wisconsin: Century, 1914), pp. 170-1
Shreveport Times, 12 December 1900, p. 2, col. 3-4

Biographies of Jacob’s descendants in Caddo and nearby parishes also speak of the family’s large landholdings and lucrative plantations in northwest Louisiana. For instance, the previously cited biography of Jacob’s grandson Claiborne Jasper Foster, son of Flavel Foster and Mary Hollingsworth, says that C.J. Foster and his brother James owned an “immense plantation” in Bossier Parish (and see his obituary in Shreveport Times on the same point) and by 1890, when the biography was written, he owned 5,000 acres in areas around Shreveport and had “met with more than the average degree of success in pursuing [a planter’s calling].”[22] (See this previous posting for a digital image of the biography.) Alcée Fortier’s 1914 biography of Claiborne Jasper Foster’s brother James Martin Foster states that James was “one of the largest and most successful cotton planters in the state of Louisiana.”[23]

And an 1890 biography of Jacob’s great-grandson William Rochelle Hollingsworth (1856-1918), a grandson of Jacob’s son Jacob James Hollingsworth, states that, through his partnership with S.E. Russ Jr. in the firm Russ & Hollingsworth, he owned 1,700 acres of land near Shreveport and was doing an “extensive and paying” trade with his business partner.[24] Scout Finch’s biography of William R. Hollingsworth at his Find a Grave memorial page (Forest Park East cemetery, Shreveport) says the following about him:

When he was 23 years old, he was already running a plantation in Natchitoches with his mother, Sarah, and her brother, James McCracken. He owned Gahagan and Evelyn plantations in Red River parish. W. R. Hollingsworth would become an extremely prosperous Shreveport planter….

In my next posting, I’ll provide a list of the children of Jacob Hollingsworth and Sarah Martin, and of their spouses, with information about each.

[1] J. Adger Stewart, Descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, Sr. (Louisville: Morton, 1925), pp. 143, 146; and 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), p. 83.

[2] 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.” A digital image of this document is found in a previous posting. The Find a Grave memorial page for Jacob Hollingsworth in Hollingsworth cemetery at Preston, Louisiana, maintained by Scout Finch has the same dates of birth and death, though no photo of the tombstone.

[3] Franklin County, Georgia, Deed Bk. NNN, pp. 88-9.

[4] Sadie Greening Sparks also thinks that Jacob married Sarah Martin, and that the marriage occurred about 1801: see Sadie Greening 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.

[5] Franklin County, Georgia, Deed Bk. NNN, pp. 100-1.

[6] Ibid., Bk. O, pp. 20-1.

[7] Ibid., Bk. RRR, pp. 31-2.

[8] 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.

[9] This receipt is in the loose-papers estate file of Samuel Hollingsworth, Franklin County, Georgia; a digital image of it is in this previous posting.

[10] See 1850 federal census, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, Western District, p. 178A (dwelling 257/family 242; 6 September), for the listing of Fidelia and husband Erastus Crosby and their family; and p. p. 166B (dwelling 66/family 52; 20 August), for the listing of Frances and husband William Crosby and their family. The surname “Crosby” is spelled “Crausby” in these census entries.

[11] This document is held by Georgia Archives, and is available in digital form at the Virtual Vault of the Archives online. This passport is transcribed in Mary G. Bryan, Passports Issued by Governors of Georgia, 1785-1809 (Washington, D.C.: National Genealogical Society, 1959), pp. 17-8.

[12] See Kathryn Braund, “Summer 1814: The Treaty of Ft. Jackson ends the Creek War,” at the National Parks Service website; and Christopher Maloney, “Treaty of Fort Jackson,” at Encyclopedia of Alabama online.

[13]  Dr. Graham told me this in a 23 July 1997 letter he sent me from his home in Belle Chasse, Louisiana.  

[14] See George N. Stewart, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Alabama Embracing the Decisions Made in the Year 1827[-1831], vol. 3 (Tuscaloosa: David Ferguson, 1835), pp. 243-7, summarizing the suit of Bozman et al. v. Draughn exor. A countersuit filed by the Bozmans and Jacob Hollingsworth went to the Alabama Supreme Court, and is summarized at the Caselaw Access Project website.

[15] Alabama Credit Volume Patent Bk. 115, p. 189, #234.

[16] 1830 federal census, Monroe County, Alabama, p. 50. 

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

[18] 1840 federal census, Monroe County, Alabama, p. 239. Daniel Bozeman and Charles Harris are listed next to each other. Flavel Foster is on the same page, next to James P. Bozeman. 

[19] Louisiana State Volume Patent Bk. 480, p. 164, #1742.

[20] Ibid., Bk. 490, p. 149-151, #1377, 1380-1; Bk. 501, p. 203, #3037; Bk. 520, pp. 224-5, #3388-9; Bk. 530, pp. 530, pp. 6, 499, #3675, 4189; and Bk. 540, pp. 273, 356, #4488, 4573.

[21] 1850 federal slave census, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, Blossom Hill, December 1850; unpaginated. The 1850 federal census shows Jacob’s widow Sarah living with the family of her daughter Amanda Melvina and husband Charles F. Harris, and with son Samuel living nearby — all at Blossom Hill: see 1850 federal census, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, p. 320 (dwelling and family 13, 7 December) and p. 323 (dwelling and family 44, 10 December). 

[22] Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana, pp. 65-6.

[23] Alcée Fortier, Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (Madison, Wisconsin: Century, 1914), pp. 170-1.

[24] Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana, p. 348.

2 thoughts on “Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822) — Jacob Hollingsworth (1775 – 1848) and Wife Sarah Martin

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