Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Ruth Brooks (1775/1780 – 1837) and Husband William Greenwood (2)

According to G.W. Greenwood, Bartlett Greenwood moved his family to Kentucky about 1800, so the period in which this family would have been living in Botetourt was 1796-1800. A Bailey Greenwood appears on the tax list in Botetourt for the first time in 1796, the year after Bartlee drops from the Charlotte tax list, then disappears from the Botetourt tax list. On 13 July 1790, Bailey Greenwood and wife Nancy sold land in Botetourt.[2] Cameron Allen thinks that Bailey is Bartlett/Bartlee Greenwood, but other sources identify this man as a cousin of Bartlett and William Greenwood.[3]

Information about Bartlee Greenwood’s brief sojourn in Botetourt County in the time frame in which it seems his brother William married Ruth Brooks is important, since it opens the door for us to discover where Bartlee’s brother William Greenwood was living in the period in which he married Ruth Brooks. In 1792, Ruth’s parents Thomas and Margaret Brooks moved their family from Frederick County, Virginia, to Wythe County, Virginia. Ruth would have been twelve years old at the time if she was born in 1780, somewhat older if she was born prior to 1780. She was, it seems, not yet married.

As a previous posting indicates, I’ve concluded that Ruth’s sister Margaret married Joseph Day about 1792, perhaps in Botetourt County or in Wythe, where her parents were living. Joseph begins to show up in Botetourt records in 1790.

William Greenwood (Jr.) in Botetourt County, Virginia, Records

By 1798, William Greenwood begins appearing on the tax list in Botetourt County. He’s enumerated on the Botetourt tax list from 1798 to 1804.[4] When his older brother Bartlett moved to Botetourt County in or just after 1795, it appears his younger brother William accompanied him there, their parents having gone to Kentucky in 1794. 

My deduction is that Ruth Brooks married William Greenwood in Botetourt or Wythe County around 1798, when William Greenwood was heading a household in Botetourt, or in 1799, when William bought land in Botetourt County. Ruth’s sister and husband Joseph Day were living in Botetourt at this point. They left Botetourt for Kentucky in 1804. As we’ll see in a moment, William and Ruth Brooks Greenwood moved their family from Botetourt to what is now West Virginia the following year in 1805. The information in various published accounts cited in the last posting that William Greenwood and Ruth Brooks married in Petersburg, Virginia, is clearly incorrect.[5] With Ruth’s family living in Wythe County at the time of the couple’s marriage and William living in Botetourt County, this couple would not have married in faraway Petersburg on the other side of Virginia. 

Botetourt County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 6, pp. 633-5
Botetourt County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 4, pp. 561-2

On 4 January 1799, William Greenwood purchased from John Moore, both of Botetourt County, for £150 100 acres on the headwaters of Lapsley’s Run of James River in Botetourt.[6] John Moore and his wife Agnes Moore both signed, Agnes making her mark. The Moores acknowledged the sale at Botetourt court in February 1799. This land purchase tells us, I’m pretty sure, that William Greenwood and Ruth Brooks had married by this date or were planning to marry very soon. On 13 October 1801, John and Agnes Moore sold William Greenwood another piece of land, 112 acres, in Botetourt, with the deed noting that all parties were from of that county and that William paid $560 for the land.[7]

Virginia Land Office Grant Bk. 50, pp. 198-9

William continued acquiring land in Botetourt in the following year. On 13 July 1802, Wm Greenwood had a grant of 53 acres on Catawba Creek (the grant document spells the name as Cutawbo) in Botetourt.[8] I have not found deeds showing how any of the pieces of land William Greenwood held in Botetourt were disposed of as he and wife Ruth left that county.

Virginia Land Office Grant Bk. 60, pp. 576-8

According to Power’s History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, William and Ruth’s first-born child, a daughter Elizabeth, was born in Virginia in 1804, and their next child, Thomas, was born in what is now West Virginia in 1806.[9] As I stated a moment ago, William drops from the Botetourt tax list after 1804. These pieces of information suggest to me that the family moved from Botetourt to Kanawha County in what is now West Virginia in 1805. William Greenwood had a grant of 102 acres in Kanawha on 24 July 1810.[10] Kanawha is the parent county of Cabell, where the Greenwoods were living by 1814, Cabell being formed from Kanawha in 1809.

William Greenwood’s Kanawha patent of 102 acres is mentioned in an Augusta County, Virginia, circuit court case, Everett vs. Hopland (Hepburn) and Dundass, which indicates that the 112 acres William patented were on Mud River and were part of a tract of 496 acres that had been sold on 15 October 1793 by Mathew Vaughan and wife Mary of Goochland County to William Hepburn and John Dundass of Alexandria, and had been patented by Vaughan on 27 November 1787.[11]  

F.L. Burdette’s history of Ona in Cabell County notes that William Greenwood was an early settler on Mud River near Ona Station. The same history mentions Henry Dundas as an early settler in this vicinity.[12]

Cabell County, West Virginia, Deed Bk. 2, p. 21

On 8 September 1814William D. and Clarinda Morris sold to William Greenwood, all of Cabell County, Virginia, for $115, 55 acres on Mud River out of a tract conveyed to William by his father John Morris.[13] William D. and Clarinda Morris both signed, with no witnesses, and acknowledged the deed on 20 April 1815 when it was recorded. As we’ll see down the road, two daughters of William Greenwood and Ruth Brooks married sons of John Morris, a brother of William Droddy Morris: Elizabeth Greenwood married Montague A. Morris (a marriage that ended in divorce); and Elizabeth’s sister Anna married Calvary J. Morris, both sons of John Morris and his wife Jane Jordan. John Morris and his brothers William and Calvary (the uncle of the Calvary J. Morris who married Anna Greenwood) moved after 6 October 1825 from Cabell County, Virginia, to Sangamon County, Illinois.[14]

Cabell County, West Virginia, Deed Bk. 2, pp. 206-7

On 8 October 1816William and Ruth Greenwood sold to Esom Hannan, all of Cabell County, the land they had bought from William D. Morris in 1814.[15] The deed states initially that the selling price was $100, and then as it concludes that the full amount was $300. William and Ruth both signed with no witnesses. On 22 April 1817, the couple acknowledged the deed and it was recorded. Burdette’s history of Ona cited above states that Esom Hannan was another of the early settlers on Mud River near Ona Station.[16]

As noted in the previous posting, the William Greenwood family is found on the 1820 federal census in Cabell County, Virginia.[17] The census shows the household with 2 males under 10, 1 male 10-15, and 1 male 45+, and with 3 females under 10, 2 females 10-16, 2 females 26-44, and 1 female 45+. 

Cabell County, West Virginia, Deed Bk. 3, pp. 757-8

On 25 September 1824, William and Ruth Greenwood sold to John Turley, all parties living in Cabell County, for $300 a tract of 100 acres on Mud River.[18] The deed states that the Greenwoods had bought the land from Daniel Huddleston. William and Ruth both signed and Ruth relinquished dower on 4 October 1824, an indication that the couple were selling their homeplace in preparation for their move to Sangamon County, Illinois. According to Power’s History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, the Greenwood family arrived in Sangamon County, Illinois, in October 1824, settling in Curran township.[19] Turley was another early settler on Mud River near Ona, according to Burdette.[20]

In June 1826, Ruth was a founding member of Liberty Baptist church at Lick Creek in Sangamon County, according to Power.[21] When the church was founded, it was pastored by Elder John Morris, the father of Montague A. and Calvary J. Morris who married Greenwood sisters Elizabeth and Anna Greenwood, as noted above. In addition to Ruth Greenwood, founding members of the church included William D. Morris and his wife Clarinda.[22]

As has also been previously indicated, William Greenwood’s family is enumerated on the 1830 federal in Sangamon County.[23] The household has 1 male under 5, 1 male 10-14, 2 males 15-19, 1 male 20-29, and 1 male 50-59, along with 2 females 10-14, 1 female 15-19, and 1 female 40-49. As I stated previously, though William and Ruth are same age category on the 1820 census, in 1830, Ruth is in an age category a decade younger than her husband’s.

As the previous posting notes, Ruth Brooks Greenwood died in Sangamon County on 6 July 1837, with her husband William Greenwood dying there on 15 August 1855.[24] I have not been able to find burial information for either. I think it’s likely they’re buried in Sulphur Springs cemetery at Loami in Sangamon County, where a number of their children, including sons Thomas, John, and William and daughter Mary (Gibson), are buried. Liberty Baptist church, of which Ruth was a founding member, was at Loami.  

History of Sangamon County, Illinois includes interesting anecdotes about the activities of William Greenwood Sr., father of William Greenwood who married Ruth Brooks, during the Revolutionary War in Charlotte County, Virginia.[25] This source states,

William Greenwood’s father enlisted for the war of the Revolution. When marching orders came, he was unable to go, by reason of sickness. Wishing to have his place filled, he sent his son, Abraham — a brother of William — to serve until he could relieve him. When sufficiently recovered to do duty, he went to his command — found Abraham unwilling to go back — was resolved to continue in the service.

We hear of many of his peculiar exploits, many of them being upon the Tories. He constituted himself a forage company, and made the Tories his means for supplies. One day, calling at a Tory’s house, the old lady ordered him away in an emphatic manner. He had provided a strong line, with fish hook attached, well baited. He cast his line into a flock of geese; an old one seized it. He, obeying her command, rode away, taking the goose with him, to the chagrin of the old lady. He served to the end of the war, never forgetting to live upon the Tories. Of William’s children, all became heads of families. Many of them attained prominence in the educational and executive departments of State.

The Sangamon history does not name a source for this anecdotal information, which is included in its biography of James W. Greenwood (1834-1927), son of William and Ruth’s son John Greenwood (1810-1880).

In my next posting, I’ll provide information about the children of Ruth Brooks and William Greenwood.


[1] Cameron Allen, The Sublett (Soblet) Family of Manakintown, King William Parish, Virginia (Detroit: Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, 1985), p. 44.

[2] Botetourt County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 4, pp. 196-7.

[3] Allen, The Sublett (Soblet) Family of Manakintown, p. 44.

[4] I’m citing Botetourt County, Virginia, Personal Property Tax Lists, 1783-1851, available digitally at FamilySearch.

[5] John Carroll Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, Illinois: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), pp. 335-8; History of Sangamon County, Illinois; Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships, etc. (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), pp. 837-8; Frederick Greenwood, Greenwood Genealogies, 1154-1914: The Ancestry and Descendants of Thomas Greenwood, of Newton, Massachusetts; Nathaniel and Samuel Greenwood, of Boston, Massachusetts; John Greenwood, of Virginia, and Many Later Arrivals in America, also the Early History of the Greenwoods in England, and the Arms They Used (New York: Lyon, 1914), pp. 468-475; and Lincoln County Historical Society, Lincoln County, Kentucky (Paducah: Turner, 2002), p. 198.

[6] Botetourt County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 6, pp. 633-5.

[7] Ibid., Deed Bk. 4, pp. 561-2.

[8] Virginia Land Office Grant Bk. 50, pp. 198-9.

[9] Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, p. 335.

[10] Virginia Land Office Grant Bk. 60, pp. 576-8.

[11] Augusta County, Virginia, Circuit Court Case, Everett vs. Hopland (Hepburn) and Dundass, O.S. 278; N.S. 98.

[12] F.L. Burdette, “History Of Ona And Surrounding Country, Past And Present,” online at the website of West Virginia Department of Archives and History and also at Barry Huffstutler’s Doors to the Past website.

[13] Cabell County, West Virginia, Deed Bk. 2, p. 21.

[14] See Alfred Nelson Morris, “A Genealogy of the Morris Family with Historical Sketches” (1941, typescript in West Virginia Archives, online at the archives’ website). 

[15] Cabell County, West Virginia, Deed Bk. 2, pp. 206-7.

[16] See supra, n. 12.

[17] 1820 federal census, Cabell County, Virginia, Barboursville, p. 84.

[18] Cabell County, West Virginia, Deed Bk. 3, pp. 757-8.

[19] Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, p. 335.

[20] See supra, n. 12.

[21] Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, p. 459.

[22] See “Church and Family History Research Assistance for Primitive Baptist Churches in Sangamon County, Illinois” at the website of the Primitive Baptist Library of Carthage, Illinois.

[23] 1830 federal census, Sangamon County, Illinois, p. 293.

[24] Ruth Brooks Greenwood and William Greenwood’s dates of death are stated in Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois, p. 338, and Greenwood, Greenwood Genealogies, 1154-1914, p. 470. History of Sangamon County, Illinois, p. 837, transposes Ruth and William’s dates of death.

[25] History of Sangamon County, Illinois, pp. 837-8.

One thought on “Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Ruth Brooks (1775/1780 – 1837) and Husband William Greenwood (2)

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