Children of Robert Brooks (1780 – 1847) and Rachel Adkins

Lawrence County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 181

a. Margaret Brooks was born in December 1804 in Wythe County, Virginia. On 21 September 1826 in Lawrence County, Indiana, she married John Tucker Moberly, son of Levin Moberly and Nancy Tucker.[2] Margaret and husband John Moberly were living out of Indiana in June 1848 when the petition to probate the estate of her father Robert Brooks discussed in the last posting was filed in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. The couple apparently first went from Indiana to Cooper County, Missouri, where the 1850 federal census (Cooper County, Missouri, p. 150B) shows them living, with John T. Moberly listed as a physician. Margaret’s age is given as 45 and her birthplace as Virginia. The petition to probate Robert Brooks’s estate indicates that Robert died owning land in Missouri as well as Indiana, so it’s perhaps understandable that several of his children went from Indiana to Missouri.

Jefferson County, Iowa, Will Bk. A, pp. 133-4

According to Richard K. Thompson at Find a Grave, Margaret died 3 September 1884, aged 84-5, and is buried with husband Dr. John T. Moberly in Evergreen cemetery, Faifield, Jefferson County, Iowa. Thompson states that after John T. Moberly’s death on 1 September 1861, Margaret remarried to Joseph Hickenbottom. John T. Moberly died testate in Jefferson County, Iowa, with a will dated 20 August 1861 (probated 4 September) naming wife Margaret (Will Bk. A, pp. 133-4). John T. Moberly’s Iowa death record states that he was aged 62 years, 9 months, and 21 days when he died on 1 September 1861, pointing to a birthdate of 11 November 1798; he was born in Rowan County, North Carolina. Margaret’s second husband Joseph Hickenbottom was born 10 October 1802 in Cumberland County, Kentucky, and died 6 April 1882 at Fairfield, Jefferson County, Iowa, according to his obituary in Fairfield Ledger (12 April 1882, p. 3, col. 7). Joseph is buried with first wife Rebecca Ferguson in Union cemetery at Lockridge, Jefferson County, Iowa. Biographical information about Joseph is also to be found in a biography of his son James Hickenbottom in Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties, Iowa (Chicago: Lake City, 1890), pp. 607-608).

At his Ancestry tree “Eha Family,” Ancestry user cararart630 includes a photo of the Moberly tombstone in Evergreen cemeetery by Richard K. Thompson, and notes that it is so weathered as to be almost illegible. Note that if Margaret was 84-5 and died in 1884, her birthdate would have preceded her parents’ marriage. The 1880 federal census shows Joseph and Margaret Hickenbottom living at Fairfield in Jefferson County (p. 402B), with Margaret’s age given as 67 and her birthplace as Virginia. The couple are also in Fairfield, Jefferson County, in 1870, with the federal census in that year (p. 73A) stating that Margaret was 64 years old and born in Virginia.

At his “Olsen/Ewer/Miner/Moberly Family Tree” at Ancestry, Ancestry user LWood7194 transcribes valuable historical documents speaking of the life of Dr. John Tucker Moberly. These include a 1901-2 account of the history of the Moberly family written by Elisa Moberly, aged 76-7, a daughter of John T. Moberly’s brother Walter Granville Moberly, which states,

Uncle John Moberly came from there to Lawrence county, Indiana and there married Margaret Brooks. In the early settling of Iowa, they moved to Fairfield, Iowa and ever lived in peace until his death in 1861 or 1868. His widow died in 1884. They had no children.

LWood’s Ancestry tree cited above also contains an excerpt entitled “Some Fairfield Township History” (P. 269), which states the following:

The Fairfield Ledger–The first resident physician in Fairfield was Dr. J. T. Moberly, who lived at what is now 500 South Main Street and died there in 1861. The place and date of his birth cannot be learned. [North Carolina] He is remembered as a tradition by many, and must have been an outstanding citizen, who took part in all community affairs. It is recorded that he was “the truest and best of men;” that he was “humane;” that he was “careless of fees.” The Indians called him “Big Medicine” and they bothered him so much that he was compelled to keep a big stick in his office. This he would shake at them and say “Puck-a-cjee” [get out of here]. Dr Moberly was a good speaker and prominent in public meetings. He left a good name, and seems to have been a worthy leader of his profession into Jefferson County.

Finally, LWood’s Ancestry tree transcribes notes from a 2 September 1861 meeting of the Old Settlers Association of Fairfield discussing preparations that group made for the funeral of Dr. John T. Moberly.

b. Mildred Brooks was born about 1807-8 in either Kentucky or Tennessee. The 1850 federal census shows Milley Meek enumerated with husband William Meek and their children at Fairfield township in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and states that Milley was 44 (born in 1808) and born in Kentucky.[3] Both the 1850 and the 1860 federal censuses indicate that William Meek was born in Kentucky in 1808.

Milly Meek is listed on this census with her husband William Meek and their children in Fairfield township of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, with her age given as 53 and her birthplace as Tennessee.[4] I don’t find a record of Mildred Brooks Meek on the federal census after 1860, though she was still living in Tippecanoe County on 18 May 1866, when she began receiving a widow’s pension for her husband’s Union service during the Civil War (see below).

Civil War widow’s pension application (WC 74230) of Milly Brooks Meek in NARA, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War Veterans, ca. 1861 – ca. 1910, RG 15, available digitally at Fold3

Other biographical information about Mildred appears in a pension file containing documents showing that she filed for a pension for her husband’s Civil War service following his death in service on 1 or 3 December 1863.[5] The pension file and his service papers state that William Meek enlisted 4 (or 8) July 1863 in Company I of Indiana’s 116th Volunteers (Union), while residing at Lafayette in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. According to his wife Milly’s affidavit in the pension file, William died due to illness while in service at Richmond, Kentucky; government reports in the file give the date and place of death as 3 December 1863, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Milly Brooks Meek made her affidavit applying for a pension in Tippecanoe County on 25 February 1864, stating that she was 57 years old. The affidavit (which is in the pension file) says that she and William Meek married in October 1827 in Lawrence County, Indiana, and that her maiden name was Milly Brooks. She had not remarried following William’s death and he had left no surviving children under age sixteen; the youngest child, Nancy, was over twenty-one in 1864. Milly was residing at Lafayette in Tippecanoe County when she made the affidavit. 

Transcript of marriage record of William Meek and Milly Brooks, from Milly Brooks Meek widow’s pension application (WC 74230) in NARA, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War Veterans, ca. 1861 – ca. 1910, RG 15, available digitally at Fold3
Lawrence County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 217

The pension file has a circuit court transcript of a marriage record showing that Daniel Lyles, justice of the peace, joined William Meek and Milly Brooks on 28 October 1827 in Lafayette County, Indiana (the actual day of the marriage is not stated, but license was issued on the 28th).[6] The file shows Milly being awarded the pension on 18 May 1866, but does not state a date of death for her, at which point pension payments ceased. I have found neither a date of death nor a burial record for her.

Lawrence County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 159

c. William Brooks was born in 1808, according to researcher Marilyn Merritt (see the link in the opening paragraph for information about her). Marilyn places William’s birth in Tennessee; her notes do not cite a source for this information. William married Lilly Todd on 19 January 1826 in Lawrence County, Indiana.[7]

By the time his father Robert Brooks died on 14 June 1847, William had abandoned his wife and children, according to notes of Thelma Brooks Morgan. The June 1848 petition for probate of Robert’s estate discussed in the previous posting states that William was a non-resident of the state of Indiana when his lands were attached in Tippecanoe County on 25 January, and that his father had paid debts belonging to William.

By 1850, Robert’s wife Lilly headed their household on the federal census in Brown County, Indiana, and I find no record of William on this census or afterwards.[8] A number of family trees at online sites have mistakenly conflated this William Brooks with a William Brooks who was born in 1808 and who died in 1884, and is buried at Haynesville cemetery in Ohio County, Kentucky. A photo of that other William’s tombstone has unfortunately been uploaded to these family trees as a photo of the tombstone of William Brooks, son of Robert Brooks and Rachel Adkins.

d. Thomas D. Brooks was born about 1809 in Tennessee, his birthplace on the two federal censuses on which I’ve been able to find him, the 1850 and 1860 censuses. The 1850 federal census, which enumerates Thomas and his family in DeKalb County, Missouri, shows him born in 1809 in Tennessee.[9] The 1860 federal census, which lists Thomas and his family in Mineral township in Jasper County, Missouri, has Thomas born in 1809 in Tennessee.[10] This census report gives Thomas the middle initial D. 

On 15 November 1835 in Clinton County, Indiana, Thomas Brooks married Mary Loveless, daughter of Joseph Loveless and Dorothy Rogers (Clinton County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1, p. 4). Based on the birthplaces of their sons James and William, it appears that Thomas and Mary Brooks moved from Indiana to northwest Missouri between 1837 and 1842. DeKalb County, where the family was living in 1850, is in northwest Missouri. Jasper County, where they’re found in 1860, is in southwest Missouri. Thomas and Mary evidently moved their family to the southwest part of the state between 1850 and 1860. I have not found death records or burial information for either Thomas or Mary. This Thomas Brooks has been hopelessly confused in online family trees with a Thomas Dorsey Brooks who lived in Texas and is an entirely different man, and hints provided by Ancestry don’t help the confusion one little bit: vis-à-vis Ancestry hints, our attitude should always be, Caveat emptor.

Lawrence County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 271
See Find a Grave memorial page of John H.A. Henderson, Shiloh cemetery, Colfax, Clinton County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library, with a tombstone photo by Thelma Brooks Morgan

e. Nancy Brooks was born about 1809-1811 in Tennessee. The 1850 federal census shows her at Perry township in Clinton County, Indiana, aged 41, born in Tennessee, with her children by first husband John H.A. Henderson, who had died in Clinton County on 11 January 1849. Nancy Brooks married John Henderson on 8 January 1829 in Lawrence County, Indiana.[11] According to a brief biography of John H.A. Henderson at his Find a Grave memorial page (Shiloh cemetery, Colfax, Clinton County, Indiana), John died 11 January 1849 during a cholera epidemic in Clinton County, Indiana, in which many members of the Brooks family also died.[12] John’s tombstone states that he was aged 41 years, 8 months, and 1 day when he died, yielding a birthdate of 10 March 1807.

Nancy Brooks Henderson remarried on 20 November 1850 in Clinton County to Robert Moore. Nancy and husband Robert Moore appear in Perry township, Clinton County, on the 1860 federal census, which shows Nancy as 49 and born in Tennessee.[13] This document shows Robert as 63 and born in Pennsylvania. The 1870 federal census shows Nancy Moore heading her household in Perry township, Clinton County, aged 59 and born in Tennessee.[14] It appears her husband Robert died between 1860 and 1870. I have found no further record of Nancy and do not have death or burial information for her.

f. John Brooks is said to have been born about 1812 in Washington County, Indiana Territory. I say “is said” to have been born around this date because I have found no source corroborating this information, which appears in records of both Thelma Brooks Morgan and Marilyn Merritt (see the first paragraph above for a link with information about these two researchers). John died in 1847, according to Morgan and Merritt, so he did not appear on any federal census that provided the exact age of those enumerated.

Priscilla House Anderson, uploaded to Ancestry by R_Vanderwielen to his “Vanderwielen Family Tree
See Find a Grave memorial page of Priscilla House Anderson Ryan, Jefferson cemetery, Jefferson, Clinton County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library, with a tombstone photo by Thelma Brooks Morgan

On 8 October 1835 in Clinton County, Indiana, John married Priscilla House Anderson, son of James Anderson and Priscilla House.[15] I think that the birthdate assigned by Morgan and Merritt to John Brooks perhaps depends on his date of marriage and also on Priscilla House Anderson’s known birthdate, 6 August 1817.[16]

John predeceased his father Robert Brooks died on 14 June 1847, according to Thelma Brooks Morgan, who cites Robert’s estate records in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, which state that John Brooks was dead and name his children.[17] According to Morgan, a letter written to an Anderson family researcher, Mrs. Konapack, states that John Brooks was a captain on a riverboat who was also a pugilist or boxer who gave boxing exhibitions aboard his riverboat.[18] According to Morgan, John Brooks died in either Linn County, Missouri, or Clinton County, Indiana, and he may have had the middle name Robert. I have not found more specific death or burial information for him.

g. Elizabeth Brooks is said by researchers Marilyn Merritt and Thelma Brooks Morgan to have been born about 1813 in Washington County, Indiana Territory. As with her brother John, Elizabeth did not live to the point at which federal censuses began to state the exact age of those enumerated. The June 1848 petition to probate Robert Brooks’s estate discussed in the previous posting states that Elizabeth was living when her father died 14 June 1847, but died about 1 January 1848.

Lawrence County, Indiana Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 285

On 18 June 1829 in Lawrence County, Indiana, Elizabeth married John W. Winfrey.[19] I have not found burial information for Elizabeth or information about John W. Winfrey other than his listings on the 1830 and 1840 federal censuses in Lawrence and then Adams Counties, Indiana.[20] Both place his birth between 1810-1819. By 1850, Elizabeth Brooks and John Winfrey’s daughter Charlotte B. Winfrey, who had married William Henry Stillwell in Lawrence County, Indiana, on 3 October 1849, was living with Henry Stillwell in Iowa City, Johnson County, Iowa, with her younger sister Rachel L. Winfrey in the household.[21] I do not find their brother Robert B. Winfrey — all are named in the June 1848 petition to probate Robert Brooks’s estate — on the 1850 federal census, nor do I find John W. Winfrey on it. The petition to probate Robert’s estate states that John Winfrey and his children were living out of state in June 1848. Could John and his son Robert have died by 1850? If so, they were living in June 1848 when the petition to probate Robert Brooks’s estate was made.

h. Charlotte Brooks is said by Thelma Brooks Morgan and Marilyn Merritt to have been born about 1815 in Washington County, Indiana Territory. On 16 May 1833 in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, she married George Ward.[22] The June 1848 petition for probate of Robert Brooks’s estate says that George and Charlotte Brooks Ward were living out of Indiana by that date. I have not been able to find further information about him. A George W. Ward who was born 7 August 1815 and died 13 September 1853 is buried in Monroe cemetery, Tippecanoe County, with his tombstone dating his date of death and that he was aged 38 years, 1 month, and 6 days at the time of his death.[23] I have no information indicating that this is the George Ward who married Charlotte Brooks, but his date of birth and place of burial suggest that he might well be Charlotte’s husband, and note that Thelma Brooks Morgan created a Find a Grave memorial page for George W. Ward.

i. Mary Brooks was born about 1818 in Lawrence County, Indiana, according to Thelma Brooks Morgan and Marilyn Merritt. Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana states that Robert Brooks and Rachel Adkins had a daughter Mary and places her after Robert and Rachel’s daughter Charlotte (though, as we’ve seen, Robert and Rachel’s children do not seem to have been born in precisely the order suggested by this biography).[24] Mary is not mentioned in the June 1848 petition to probate the estate of her father, and is thought to have predeceased Robert Brooks.

j. Daniel Brooks is another child of Robert and Rachel Brooks listed in the preceding biographical source who is not mentioned in the petition to probate Robert’s estate and who is thought to have predeceased his father — that is, prior to 14 June 1847. Morgan and Merritt place his birth about 1820 in Lawrence County, Indiana. 

Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 2, p. 135

k. Sarah Ann Brooks was born 11 March 1823 in Lauramie township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and died 26 February 1905 in the same place.[25] On 16 December 1839 in Tippecanoe County, she married William Bell, son of Thomas Bell and Elizabeth Hiatt. As noted in the previous postingBiographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana contains biographical information about William Bell including his date of marriage to Sarah Ann Brooks, with the year erroneously stated as 1840 and not 1839, the year shown in their marriage record.[26]

Sarah is buried with her parents and husband in Abbott cemetery at Fickle in Clinton County, Indiana. Her Find a Grave memorial page transcribes the following obituary that appeared in the Lafayette [Indiana] Daily Courier on 27 February 1905:[27]

By the death of Sarah A. Bell at 7:30 Sunday morning, one of the few remaining pioneers of Lauramie Township is removed. She was born in 1823 on the site where her death occurred and where she had always lived. Death came as a result of the infirmities of age. She would have been 82 on the 11th of March. She was married to William Bell in 1839, and to this happy union seven children were born, three of whom survive; Chester with whom she lived many years; Vance, of Mulberry and Clyde, of Pasadena, California. Her husband died in 1873, since which time she has remained a widow. She was a member of the U. B. Church lived a life of Christian devotion. She was a loving mother , a devoted wife, a sympathizing friend of a kind neighbor. She had a wide circle of friends who not only feel the loss themselves, but who sympathize with the bereaved relative in their misfortune. The funeral services will be conducted from the M. E. church of Fickle tomorrow morning at 10:30 by Rev. J. E. Sherrill. Interment will be made at Abbott Cemetery. 

See Find a Grave memorial page of William Bell, Abbott cemetery, Fickle, Clinton County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library, with a tombstone photo by SunCacher

William Bell’s tombstone in Abbott cemetery at Fickle, Clinton County, Indiana, states that he died 25 May 1875, aged 60 years, 7 months, and 9 days, indicating a birthdate of 14 January 1814.[28] His biography in Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana states that he was born in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia near Harper’s Ferry.[29]

l. James Brooks was born about 1825, according to Morgan and Merritt. I have found no information about him other than his listing as a son of Robert Brooks and Rachel Adkins in Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana and in the June 1848 petition of Robert Brooks’s heirs for division of Robert’s estate, which states that James was living out of Indiana at that date.


[1] Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana, vol. 2 (Chicago: Lewis, 1899), p. 1049.

[2] Lawrence County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 181.

[3] 1850 federal census, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Fairfield township, p. 127B (1673; 6 October).

[4] 1860 federal census, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Fairfield township, Lafayette post office, p. 968 (dwelling 1720/family 1797; 23 July).

[5] Milly Brooks Meek widow’s pension application (WC 74230) in NARA, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War Veterans, ca. 1861 – ca. 1910, RG 15, available digitally at Fold3.

[6] The original record in Lawrence County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 217, also leaves the date of marriage blank, noting that William Meek received license to marry Milly Brooks on the 28th.

[7] Ibid., p. 159.

[8] 1850 federal census, Brown County, Indiana, Johnson township, p. 244A (dwelling 5/family 6; 3 August).

[9] 1850 federal census, DeKalb County, Missouri, district 28, p. 436b (dwelling/family 336; 26 October). 

[10] 1860 federal census, Jasper County, Missouri, Mineral township, Blytheville post office, p. 880 (dwelling 803/family 781; 13 July).

[11] Lawrence County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 271.

[12] See Find a Grave memorial page of John H.A. Henderson, Shiloh cemetery, Colfax, Clinton County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library, with a tombstone photo by Thelma Brooks Morgan. On the cholera epidemic in Indiana in 1849, see Staff of Indiana Magazine of History, Suddenly, Last Summer (In Lafayette),” at Indiana Public Media’s Moment of Indiana History website.

[13] 1860 federal census, Clinton County, Indiana, Perry township, Colfax post office, p. 93 (dwelling/family 678; 21 July). 

[14] 1870 federal census, Clinton County, Indiana, Perry township, Colfax post office, p. 394B (dwelling 98/family 99; 11 June).

[15] Clinton County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 1, p. 4, certificate #127.

[16] Priscilla’s tombstone in Jefferson cemetery, Jefferson, Clinton County, Indiana, appears to state that she was aged 51 years and 5 months when she died on 1 January 1870: see Find a Grave memorial page of Priscilla House Anderson Ryan, Jefferson cemetery, Jefferson, Clinton County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library, with a tombstone photo by Thelma Brooks Morgan. Priscilla is buried with husband Jesse Ryan, whom she married after John Brooks’s death. The memorial page and other research reports by Thelma Brooks Morgan state that Priscilla was born 6 August 1817 in Fairfield County, Ohio. See also Thelma Brooks Morgan, “Anderson Family,” at Thelma Brooks Morgan Family Homepage online. Information about this Anderson family also appears in Thomas Jefferson Anderson and Nancy Dunlevy Anderson, Life and Letters of Judge Thomas J. Anderson and Wife, Including a Few Letters from Children and Others; Mostly Written During the Civil War; a History (Columbus, Ohio: J.F. Heer, 1904).

[17] Morgan, “Anderson Family.”

[18] Ibid. Thelma Brooks Morgan also stated this in research notes she sent me in the 1990s.

[19] Lawrence County, Indiana Marriage Bk. 1818-1836, p. 285.

[20] 1830 federal census, Lawrence County, Indiana, p. 71; 1840 federal census, Adams County, Indiana, (Quincy), p. 65.

[21] 1850 federal census, Johnson County, Iowa, Iowa City, p. 161A (dwelling/family 207; 10 September). This census erroneously has Charlotte born in Iowa and Rachel in Illinois.

[22] Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 2, p. 22.

[23] See Find a Grave memorial page of George W. Ward, Monroe cemetery, Tippecanoe County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library, with a tombstone photo by TCHA.

[24] See supra, n. 1. 

[25] See death certificate of Sarah Ann Bell, Indiana Department of Health, Death Certificates 1905, Tippecanoe County, #189, available digitally at Ancestry. Her son Chester Bell was informant.

[26] See supra, n. 1. The marriage is recorded in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Marriage Bk. 2, p. 135.

[27] See Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah Ann Brooks Bell, Abbott cemetery, Fickle, Clinton County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library.

[28] See Find a Grave memorial page of William Bell, Abbott cemetery, Fickle, Clinton County, Indiana, created by Thelma Brooks Morgan, maintained by TCHA Research Library, with a tombstone photo by SunCacher.

[29] See supra, n. 1.

2 thoughts on “Children of Robert Brooks (1780 – 1847) and Rachel Adkins

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