Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Susanna Brooks and Husband Ezekiel Harlan

Established Information about Susanna and Husband Ezekiel Harlan

First, what I know for certain about Susanna Brooks and her husband Ezekiel Harlan (the surname is also spelled Harland, Harlin, Harling):

1. As we’ve previously seen, the 4 November 1804 will of Susanna’s father Thomas Brooks in Wythe County, Virginia, names a daughter Susanna Harland.[1]

2. As we’ve also seen, an Ezekiel Harland appears in the Wythe County estate records of Thomas Brooks as one of Thomas’s heirs, so it’s clear that Ezekiel is the husband of the daughter named in Thomas’s will as Susanna Harland. On 14 September 1808, Wythe court minutes say that through his attorney Andrew McHenry, John Foster had requested an injunction against Jesse and Robert Brooks as executors of Thomas Brooks, to prevent Jesse and Robert from putting Ezekiel Harland’s share of Thomas Brooks’s estate “out of their hands” without an explicit court order.[2] The court granted Foster’s request for the injunction and David Peirce gave bond with Foster in this legal action. This court record tells us, then, that Ezekiel Harlan(d) was an heir of Thomas Brooks’s estate. 

Wythe court minutes for 11 September 1810 say that in the case of John Foster v. Jesse Brooks and others as executors of Thomas Brooks, Foster had requested that David Peirce be made a defendant in this case and that the court restrain him from paying any money in his hands to defendants Ezekiel Harland and Robert Brooks without a court order.[3]

The court minutes for this session then go on to state that in the case of Thomas and John Foster v. Ezekiel Harland and others, an order of publication had been issued to Harland to appear in court in December — but as I’ll show you in a moment, by this point, Ezekiel Harlan was living in Kentucky. 

On 5 November 1810, Wythe court minutes note that the case of John Foster v. James Brooks, Ezekiel Harland, Robert Brooks, and Jesse Brooks, executors of Thomas Brooks, was in chancery court. Court minutes state that the court had ordered that Robert and Jesse Brooks, executors of Thomas Brooks, pay Foster the money in their hands due to Ezekiel Harland as a legatee of Thomas Brooks.[4]

This court entry tells us plainly that Ezekiel Harlan/Harland was husband of Thomas Brooks’s daughter named in Thomas’s will as Susanna Harland, and that John Foster was, it appears, suing Ezekiel for debt and seeking to claim Harlan’s portion of his inheritance from Thomas Brooks to satisfy the debt Foster claimed Harlan owed him. 

The John and Thomas Foster pursuing these legal actions against Ezekiel Harlan and the executors of Thomas Brooks were sons of a Thomas Foster who made his will in Wythe County on 3 May 1808, with the will being probated on 9 May 1809.[5] In 1799, Thomas Foster purchased 306 acres on Poplar Camp Creek in Wythe County from Thomas and Sarah Herbert, a tract that adjoined Thomas Brooks, Jesse Evans, and Foster’s own land.[6] We’ve met Thomas Foster previously as we looked at Wythe County court and deed records in the 1790s showing that Foster was his neighbor and that both Thomas Brooks and Thomas Foster bought land from Thomas and Sarah Herbert.

In 1811, Thomas Foster’s heirs sold the Foster homeplace on Poplar Camp to William Sanders and wife Polly and to James Bell, who then sold it to David Peirce. David Peirce was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, 8 April 1756, and died in Wythe County on 28 October 1833, with John Foster administering his estate. He appears to have moved from Chester County to Tennessee after the Revolution, then to Wythe County by 4 October 1798, when he married Mary, daughter of William Bell there. In 1807, David Peirce acquired the Poplar Camp Furnace from the Herberts.[7] David Peirce had extensive business interests in Wythe County, including a tavern, and it’s noteworthy that he came to Wythe County by way of Tennessee from Chester County, Pennsylvania, where, as we’ll see down the road, Ezekiel Harlan, father of the Ezekiel Harlan who married Susanna Brooks, was born and grew up. For more information on David Peirce, who was an appraiser of Thomas Brooks’s estate, and on his Poplar Camp Furnace near Thomas Brooks’s land, see this previous posting.

3. I have found one precious document proving that Susanna, daughter of Thomas Brooks, did marry Ezekiel Harlan. This document also helps us sort several generations of men named Ezekiel Harlan who have been conflated with one another, and to identify the particular Ezekiel Harlan who married Susanna Brooks. On 14 July 1809, Ezekiel Harlan and Susannah his wife of Hardin County, Kentucky, sold Samuel Bennett of Green County for $900 1,000 acres known as Bulgers Grove in Hardin County (see the image at the head of this posting).[8] The deed states that this tract was on the south side of a large grove of timbered land in the barrens on the northeast side of the road leading from Severns Valley to Hardin’s settlement. Ezekiel signed the deed, with Susannah making her mark and with witnesses John Rowe, John Ford (mark), and Ezekiel Harlan Junr. John Rowe and John Ford proved the will the same day and it was recorded 3 December 1809.

This deed tells us that an Ezekiel Harlan whose wife was named Susanna, whose son Ezekiel, as we’ll see shortly, lived close to Susanna’s sisters Sarah with husband John Lahue and Margaret with husband Joseph Day in Grayson County, Kentucky, by 1810, was in Hardin County, Kentucky, by 1809 with wife Susanna, and that they were connected to a younger Ezekiel Harlan also living in their section of Kentucky at the time. When this information is put together with the information about Thomas Brooks’s daughter Susanna in Thomas’s will and Ezekiel Harlan in Thomas’s estate records, I’m confident that the Ezekiel Harlan with wife Susanna selling land in Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1809 is the man who married Susanna Brooks.

Ezekiel Harlan Begins Appearing in Hardin County, Kentucky, Records, 1800

Here’s the information I’ve gathered about those two Ezekiel Harlans, Sr. and Jr., who appear together in this 1809 Hardin County, Kentucky, deed (I’ll refer to them as elder and younger, unless a specific record uses the Sr.-Jr. tag: 

Hardin County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1800, p. 8, available digitally at FamilySearch

Ezekiel Harling (this is the spelling used) was in Hardin County, Kentucky, by 1800, when he appears on the tax list in that county taxed for 120 acres on Asheraft (Ashcraft?) Creek entered and patented by Hart.[9] He is taxed for one white poll and three horses. As I’ve just stated, I’ve concluded that the Ezekiel Harlan younger who witnessed the 1809 Hardin County deed of Ezekiel Harlan elder and wife Susanna was Ezekiel’s son (I suspect by a wife prior to Susanna), and that he was born around 1787-8. If that conclusion is correct, he was not of age in 1800, so the Ezekiel listed on Hardin County’s 1800 tax list is Ezekiel elder with wife Susanna Brooks. Note that the list uses no Sr. or Jr. designation since only the older Ezekiel was of age by this time.

I have not found a record of Ezekiel Harlan acquiring this land or showing how he disposed of it. Note that this tax entry suggests that he was already in Kentucky by 1800. I have not found a record indicating when and where Ezekiel Harlan and Susanna Brooks met and married. This is a point I’ll discuss in some detail in a subsequent posting providing information about Ezekiel and his father, also named Ezekiel Harlan, in South Carolina and Georgia prior to 1800.

Wayne County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1803, p. 13, available digitally at FamilySearch

Ezekiel Harlan then appears on the tax list in Wayne County, Kentucky, in 1803 (as Ezekiel Harlen) and 1804 (as Ezekiel Harlin). In 1803, he is taxed on 8 August for 200 acres on Beaver Creek entered by Robert Henderson, one white male poll, and one horse.[10] In 1804, Ezekiel is taxed in Wayne County with no land, one white poll, four horses, one stud, and three cows.[11]

As we note Ezekiel Harlan’s appearance on the tax list Wayne County, Kentucky, in 1803-4, keep in mind that Ezekiel’s brother-in-law Thomas Brooks had moved from Wythe County, Virginia, to Wayne County, Kentucky, in 1798, buying land on Beaver Creek, where Ezekiel was taxed for 200 acres in 1803. Jesse’s older brother Thomas had moved to Wayne County, Kentucky, in 1798. Thomas’s brother James Brooks then joined Thomas in Wayne County in 1803, and when their brother Robert left Wythe County, Virginia, in 1805-6, he joined his brothers Thomas and James in Wayne County, Kentucky, apparently leaving there in 1806. Thomas’s brother Jesse would then come to Wayne County from Wythe County in 1811, living there ten years before moving to Barren County, Kentucky. 

I have not been able to find a record showing how Ezekiel Harlan acquired the 200 acres of land for which he was taxed in Wayne County in 1803, or what became of that land.

Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. B, pp. 415-6

An August 1804 deed explains why Ezekiel Harlan disappears from the Wayne County tax list after 1804: on 13 August 1804, George Helm of Hardin County, Kentucky, deeded to Ezekiel Harlin of Wayne County, Kentucky, three tracts of 1,000 acres each and one tract of 835½ acres in Hardin County.[12] The deed has no witnesses and it makes no mention of any price Ezekiel paid for this land. George Helm acknowledged the deed 14 August and it was recorded 25 August. One of these tracts is the 1,000-acre tract known as Bulgers Grove that Ezekiel and Susanna Harlan sold to Samuel Bennett in 1809. 

The LaRue-Helm Family Connection to Ezekiel and Susanna Brooks Harlan

On 9 December 1797, Squire Boone deposed before Hardin County justices Samuel Haycraft and Charles Helm about an entry of 3,335 acres in that county made by Isaac LaRue Sr. This land adjoined an entry that Edward Bulger had made in a grove near the road to Hardin’s settlement, Boone stated. Boone’s testimony established that Bulgers Grove adjoined Isaac LaRue’s entry.[13]

Squire Boone (1744-1815) was a brother of Daniel Boone, and was an early explorer of what became Hardin County. As with the Harlan family to which Ezekiel Harlan belonged, he was of Quaker stock in Pennsylvania prior to his settlement first in North Carolina and then in Kentucky. As Otis May Mather notes, Isaac LaRue, who entered 3,335 acres in Hardin County next to Bulgers Grove, appears, along with other members of the LaRue family, to have had an arrangement with Squire Boone by which Boone was entering Hardin County land for Isaac and other Larues in the 1770s and 1780s.[14] The LaRues came to Kentucky from Frederick County, Virginia, where, as we’ve seen, Susanna Brooks Harlan’s family lived before they moved to Wythe County, Virginia. Prior to their Frederick County years, the LaRues were in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where the Boones lived, and appear to have had ties to the Boones going back to that period.

Note, too, the name George Helm, who deeded large tracts of land in Hardin County to Ezekiel Harlan in 1804. George Helm (1773-1822) married Rebecca LaRue, daughter of John LaRue and Mary Brooks, on 14 May 1801 in Elizabethtown, Hardin County’s seat. John LaRue (1746-1792) was a son of the Isaac LaRue about whom Squire Boone made the 1797 deposition discussed above. He married Mary Brooks about 1783, in Frederick County, Virginia.[15] The Charles Helm who was one of the Hardin County justices before whom Boone deposed in 1797 was George Helm’s brother. In a moment, we’ll be meeting some of these same names all over again as we examine records of Ezekiel Harlan’s son Ezekiel Harlan younger. 

Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. B, pp. 288-9

Ezekiel Harlan Younger, Son of Ezekiel Harlan Elder, Comes of Age by 1805

Ezekiel Harlan’s son Ezekiel had come of age by 25 December 1805, when John Vertrees and wife Nanny sold to Ezekiel Harlan Junr., all of Hardin County, Kentucky, for £90 150 acres on Cave Creek in Ohio County, Kentucky, from a tract of 400 acres granted to John Vertrees on 2 December 1785.[16] The deed has no witnesses. John Vertrees proved it the same day and it was recorded 8 January 1807.

As we’ve seen in a previous posting, on 8 August 1809, John Vertrees sold John Lahue, husband of Sarah Brooks Lahue, 50 acres on Cave Creek in Ohio County from the same 400-acre tract.[17] As we’ll see in a moment, Ezekiel Harlan younger married Elizabeth, a daughter of George Burkhart of Hardin County, before or around 1809, and the 1850 federal census indicates that Elizabeth was born in or around 1786. I think that her husband Ezekiel Harlan Jr. was around his wife Elizabeth’s age and was venturing out on his own as he bought land in 1809 and established a place for himself and his new wife.

John Vertrees (1779-1856) was the son of a pioneer settler of Severns Valley in Hardin County, Kentucky, an older John Vertrees (1741-1803). The younger John Vertrees who sold land in Ohio County to Ezekiel Harlan and John Lahue married Nancy Haycraft in Hardin County in 1799 and moved later in his life to Illinois, where he died and is buried.[18]

Hardin County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1809, southern district, p. 8, available digitally at FamilySearch

Ezekiel Harlan elder makes his last appearance on the tax list in Hardin County in 1809, the same year in which he and wife Susanna sold the 1,000-acre tract they had bought in 1804 from George Helm to Samuel Bennett. In 1809, Ezekiel is taxed in Hardin County for 2,833 acres on Sinking Creek, land that the tax list states that I. LaRue had entered.[19] I find no record showing how Ezekiel Harlan disposed of the land he had acquired from George Helm in 1804 other than his sale of 1,000 acres with wife Susanna to Samuel Bennett in 1809. In my view, Ezekiel and wife Susanna then left Hardin County. I have found no record of where they went or died, though later I’ll tell you about a diary entry of a distant cousin of Ezekiel that suggests a possibility for the couple’s final place of residence.

Records for Ezekiel Harlan Younger from 1810 Forward

From 1810 forward, the records I find for Ezekiel Harlan in Hardin (and Grayson and Breckinridge) County, Kentucky, all pertain to Ezekiel the younger, son of Ezekiel Harlan elder. Ezekiel Harlan younger is enumerated on the 1810 federal census in Grayson County, Kentucky, with his household comprised of one white male under 10, two white males 16-25, and one white female 16-25.[20] His name is given as Ezekiel Harlin. This is the only Ezekiel Harlan (of any spelling) I can find on the 1810 federal census in Kentucky. Note that the adults in this household were born between 1785 and 1794, a birth range that fits the date of birth of Ezekiel Harlan younger’s wife Elizabeth Burkhart indicated by the 1850 federal census, which states that she was 64 years old in 1850, and therefore born in 1786 or thereabouts.

In previous postings, I have suggested that the Ezekiel Harlan/Harlin found on the 1810 federal census in Grayson County, Kentucky, was the husband of Susanna Brooks. I have now determined that this man was the son of the older Ezekiel Harlan who was born about 1769-1770, to whom Susanna Brooks was married by the time her father made his will in 1804: the older Ezekiel was the father of the Ezekiel Harlan who appears on the 1810 federal census in Grayson County, Kentucky. I have also concluded that the younger Ezekiel is the son of Ezekiel elder by a wife prior to Susanna Brooks, and in a subsequent posting, will explain my reason for concluding this.

I noted previously that Ezekiel Harlin is enumerated two households from John Lahue and wife Sarah Brooks in Grayson County on the 1810 federal census, with Joseph Day and Margaret Brooks on the following page — and I stated that Ezekiel’s wife was Susanna Brooks, sister of Sarah Brooks Lahue and Margaret Brooks Day. This Ezekiel Harlan was, I have now decided, the step-nephew of Sarah Lahue and Margaret Day, and his wife was Elizabeth Burkhart — and I’ll make a note of correction to the posting linked just above.

Grayson County, Kentucky, was formed in 1810 from Hardin and Ohio Counties, by the way, and joins Hardin on the southeast. The county lost records in 1864 and 1896, with extant probate records beginning in 1856 and extant land records in 1897.

Grayson County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1810, p. 6; available digitally at FamilySearch

Ezekiel Harlin appears on 21 July on the 1810 tax list for Grayson County, Kentucky, with 150 acres on the Waters of the Rough entered for John Vertrees.[21] Ezekiel continues on the Grayson County tax list in 1811, taxed between 5-15 June for 150 acres on Cave Creek entered for Vertrees, with two horses; and again in 1812 (28 May) with 150 acres on Cave Creek, one white male over 21, and three horses.[22] As we’ve seen previously, John and Sarah Brooks Lahue seem to have lived continuously on Cave Creek in Grayson County from the time they moved there in 1806, when this land was in Ohio County, up to the end of their lives, with John Lahue buying 150 acres on Cave Creek from John Vertrees on 8 August 1809.[23]

Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. E, pp. 336-7

The next record I find for Ezekiel is a 1 September 1814 deed of 80 acres by his father-in-law George Burkhart Senr. with wife Barbara of Hardin County to Ezekiel Harland of the same county for £10.[24] The deed states that the land was on the south fork of the Nolin River in Hardin County. George Burkhart signed the deed and acknowledged it on the same day and it was recorded 4 October 1814. Note that there is no designation here of Ezekiel as Jr., another indicator to me that his father and step-mother left Hardin County after their sale of 1,000 acres to Samuel Bennett in 1809.  

Breckinridge County, Kentucky, Will Bk. 1, p. 24

Ezekiel Harlin (this is the spelling used) then made a will in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, on 3 July 1816.[25] The will identifies him as Ezekiel Harlin Junr., a designation that may have been used here even if his father and step-mother had moved out of Kentucky because they had retained land in Hardin County, though I’ve found no deeds showing them disposing of land after 1809. Ezekiel Harlin Junr. names as his heirs his beloved wife Elizabeth and children Eliza, Sarah, George, Ellender, and Mary. The will makes Isham Enlow of Hardin County and William Love of Grayson County his executors. It was witnessed by Thomas C. Lampton and Jo. Kincheloe, with Thomas C. Lampton and Joseph Kincheloe proving the will at November court in Breckinridge County. Note that Ezekiel’s will shows no daughter in his family with the name Susanna. His one son is named George, the name of his wife’s father.

The LaRue-Helm Connection Emerges Again

Note the name Isham Enlow in the 1816 will of Ezekiel Harlin. This brings us back full circle to the LaRue-Helm families I discussed above. As I’ve noted, the George Helm who deeded land in 1804 to Ezekiel Harlan elder in Hardin County married Rebecca LaRue, daughter of John LaRue and Mary Brooks. After Mary Brooks’s husband John LaRue died in 1792, Mary remarried to Isom Enlow (1767-1816).[26] This is the Isham Enlow whom Ezekiel Harlan younger made one of the executors of his will; Isom appears to have died at some point in 1816 after Ezekiel made his will. 

The intertwinings here connectingMary Brooks and her first two husbands John LaRue and Isom Enlow and this Harlan family are interesting indeed: In 1804, the elder Ezekiel Harlan with wife Susanna Brooks is deeded tracts of land in Hardin County, Kentucky, by George Helm, whose wife Rebecca is a daughter of John LaRue and Mary Brooks; and in 1816, when Ezekiel Harlan younger, son of the older Ezekiel, makes his will in Breckinridge County, which adjoins Hardin, the younger Ezekiel made Mary Brooks’s second husband Isom Enlow one of his executors. 

These connections are made even more interesting by the fact that, like the LaRue family and the family to which Susanna Brooks Harlan belonged, Mary Brooks’s roots appear to lie in Frederick County, Virginia. According to Otis Mather in his study of the LaRue family entitled Six Generations of LaRues and Allied Families, John LaRue, son of Isaac LaRue and Phebe Carman, was born 24 January 1746 in Frederick County, Virginia, and he married Mary Brooks there in or around 1783.[27] Mary was born 3 May 1766, evidently in Frederick County.[28] Mather’s information about Mary’s ancestry and Brooks family connections is sketchy, and information about her family roots in other sources is also sparse. Mather thinks that Mary was a member of a Brooks family for which Brooks Station in Bullitt County, Kentucky, was named — a family that, according to some sources, had roots in Chester County, Pennsylvania, before some branches of the family went to Frederick County, Virginia, and others to Kentucky.[29] Mather notes that Isaac LaRue, a son of John LaRue’s brother Jacob LaRue and wife Mary Frost, married Elenor Brooks, who was probably of the same family as Mary Brooks, he thinks.[30] This marriage seems to have occurred in the mid-1790s after the LaRue and Brooks families had moved from Frederick County, Virginia, to Kentucky.

To make the intertwinings of the LaRue, Brooks, and Harlan families more interesting: By John LaRue, Mary Brooks had a daughter Margaret “Peggy” LaRue (1789-1864) who married Conrad Walters (1781-1853), son of Conrad Walters (1755-abt. 1829) and Grace Wildman.[31] As we’ll see subsequently when I discuss Rebecca Brooks, a sister of Susanna Brooks Harlan, Rebecca married Jacob Walters (1785-1846), a brother of Conrad Walters younger who married Peggy LaRue. Jacob and Rebecca married 11 April 1807 in Hardin County, Kentucky.

I cannot say with certainty that Mary Brooks (LaRue) (Enlow) (Rathbone) is related by blood to the Brooks family of Susanna Brooks Harlan, but it’s definitely interesting that these two Brooks families both seem to have roots in Frederick County, Virginia, and that there are various interconnections between them in Kentucky. Mary Brooks, by the way, married a third time following Isom Enlow’s death in 1816. In 1819, she married Thomas Wells Rathbone in Hardin County, Kentucky. Mary died 1 April 1843 in LaRue County, Kentucky. She is celebrated in Kentucky history for having been the midwife assisting Nancy Hanks Lincoln at the birth of Abraham Lincoln.[32]

Following the death of Ezekiel Harlan younger in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, by November 1816, in 1817 William Love appears as Ezekiel Harlan’s executor on the tax list of Grayson County, Kentucky, where he is taxed (his surname is given as Harlin) for 300 acres on the Waters of the Rough.[33] I think that half of this land belonged to Ezekiel Harlan’s estate, and that it’s the 150 acres Ezekiel Harlan had bought from John Vertrees in 1805. I find Love taxed in 1816 in Grayson County for 158 acres on the on Rough.

In 1818, William Love appears again on the Grayson County tax list taxed for 300 acres on the Rough, with the tax list noting he’s Ezekiel Harlan’s executor.[34] In 1819 and from then forward, Love is again taxed in Grayson for various pieces of land, but the 300 acres on the Rough are not mentioned, nor does the tax list state that Love is Ezekiel Harlan’s executor.[35] Tracking the disposal of Ezekiel’s land in Grayson County is made difficult if not impossible, since, as I noted previously, the county has lost records and its land records begin only in 1897. I also have not found any record showing how or when the land Ezekiel acquired from his father-in-law George Burkhart in 1814 in Hardin County was disposed of, just as I’ve found no record of any other sale of land by Ezekiel Harlan Sr. in Hardin County after Ezekiel and wife Susanna sold Samuel Bennett 1,000 acres there in 1809.

Ezekiel Harlan Younger’s Wife Elizabeth and Children George and Elender/Ellen

Alpheus 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), pp. 74-5

I do not find Ezekiel Harlan’s widow Elizabeth with their children on the federal census in 1820 or 1830. According to Alpheus Harlan in his classic study of the Harlan family in America, Elizabeth Burkhart Harlin moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1834 — evidently from Kentucky — and died there.[36] Harlan gives Elizabeth’s maiden name as Buckhart; Burkhart is correct. Harlan states that Ezekiel and Elizabeth’s son George W. Harlan/Harlin preceded his mother in moving to Indiana, settling in Madison County, Indiana, in 1832 and then moving to Indianapolis (Marion County), to with his mother in 1834.

Elizabeth Burkhart Harlan is enumerated (as Elizabeth Harlin) on the 1850 federal census in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, in the household of her daughter Elender/Ellen, who married John L. Welshans in Marion County on 19 February 1833.[37] The census states that Elizabeth was aged 64, indicating a birth year for her of 1786 or thereabouts. It incorrectly gives her birthplace as Indiana, though it shows her daughter Ellen born in Kentucky in about 1816. In 1860, Elizabeth is no longer in her daughter’s household or to be found on the federal census, so it appears she died between 1850 and 1860.

Marion County, Indiana, Will Bk. D, pp. 183-4
Mrs. Susan Harlan Dead,” Indianapolis News (29 November 1900), p. 8, col. 5

Alpheus Harlan states that Ezekiel and Elizabeth’s son George W. Harlan was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, on 28 July 1813, and died 29 June 1867 in Indianapolis (but see the probate date of George’s will stated below).[38] On 26 December 1837 in Indianapolis, George married Susan Miller, daughter of Jacob Miller and Elizabeth Bryson. George died testate in Marion County with a will dated 24 June 1864, proved 27 June 1867.[39] George’s widow Susan Harlan Miller died in Indianapolis 29 November 1900, according to an obituary in Indianapolis News.[40]

Reason Rawlings Harlan’s Information about Ezekiel Harlan Elder After 1809

As I state previously, I have not found a record of Ezekiel Harlan elder and wife Susanna Brooks Harlan following their 1809 sale of land in Hardin County, Kentucky, to Samuel Bennett, and I’ve concluded that, in selling that 1,000 acres to Bennett, they were making preparations to move away from Hardin County. According to Alpheus Harlan, a cousin of Ezekiel named Reason Rawlings Harlan (1758-1835/8) states in a journal he kept for the last quarter of his life that on 12 September 1825, he was in St. Louis, and was told while he was in that city that Ezekiel Harlan had been in St. Louis in 1816.[41] Alpheus Harlan identifies this Ezekiel Harlan as the man living in Hardin County, Kentucky, who was father of the Ezekiel Harlan who married Elizabeth Burkhart (incorrectly called Buckhart by Alpheus Harlan).

Reason Rawlings Harlan was a son of Moses Harlan (born abt. 1729, married Eleanor Rawlings) of New Castle County, Delaware, and Frederick County, Virginia. Moses’s father James Harlan (born 1692) was a brother of Ezekiel Harlan (1679-1731), grandfather of the Ezekiel Harlan who married Susanna Brooks. James Harlan moved about 1738 to Frederick County, Virginia, where Moses Hardin married his wife Eleanor Rawlings. 

Alpheus Harlan notes that Reason R. Harlan had a close connection to a James (1755-1816) and Sarah Harlan who were living in Mercer County, Kentucky, in December 1805 when they sold land in Hardin County, Kentucky, to Thomas Gibson of Hardin County.[42] James Harlan was a first cousin of Reason R. Harlan; James’s father George Harlan (born 1718) was a brother of Reason’s father Moses Harlan. James Harlan was an early settler of Kentucky, with his brother Silas Harlan, joined a company of adventurers from Virginia and Pennsylvania raised by Capt. James Harrod in May 1774, taking part in skirmishes against the native peoples. On this expedition, the company embarked in canoes on the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, traveling to the mouth of the Kentucky River and ascending from there to the mouth of a creek called Landing Run, now Oregon, in the lower end of Mercer County, Kentucky, arriving eventually at the place where Harrodsburg now stands.[43]

About 1778, James and his brother Silas (who commanded a company under General Rogers Clark in the Illinois campaigns) built a stockade fort on Salt River seven miles above present Harrodsburg, Kentucky, which they called Harlan Station. Silas was killed at the battle of Blue Lick Springs on 19 August 1782.[44] I mention these details because James Harlan and his wife Sarah evidently knew Ezekiel Harlan elder personally, and owned land in Hardin County, Kentucky, at the same time Ezekiel had land there — and some of Reason R. Harlan’s information about Ezekiel, which Alpheus Harlan records in his history of the Harlan family, apparently came from his cousin James Harlan and James’s wife Sarah.

The preceding account tells you what I can establish with some certainty about Susanna Brooks, daughter of Thomas Brooks and Margaret Beaumont/Beamon, and her husband Ezekiel Harlan. As is obvious, there are large pieces of information I have not been able to uncover — e.g., when Susanna was born, and when and where this couple met and marred. Were they married by the time I first find Ezekiel Harlan on the tax list in Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1800? Did they ever live in Wythe County, Virginia, where Susanna’s father died in 1805? Who were Ezekiel’s parents, and what was his story? When and where did Ezekiel and Susanna die? 

In my next posting, I’ll discuss Alpheus Harlan’s suggestion that the Ezekiel Harlan who married Susanna Brooks was an Ezekiel Harlan born in the early 1730s in Chester County, Pennsylvania, son of Ezekiel Harlan and Hannah Oborn of Chester County. I’ll also discuss Ralph M. Buffington’s suggestion that Ezekiel and Hannah’s son Ezekiel followed his brother Ellis Harlan, an Indian trader who lived among the Cherokees and had a Cherokee wife, south in the mid-1750s,[45] and I’ll share records I’ve found showing that Ellis Harlan’s brother Ezekiel began acquiring land in Granville (later Edgefield) County, South Carolina, in the latter half of 1750s, and by 1758 was apparently living in Cherokee territory across the Savannah River in what became Wilkes County, Georgia. 

Ezekiel Harlan had a son Ezekiel who was born about 1767-9, and who is, I’ve concluded, evidently the Ezekiel Harlan who married Susanna Brooks — if Alpheus Harlan is correct in linking the Ezekiel Harlan living in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s to the Ezekiel Harlan born in the early 1730s in Chester County, Pennsylvania, though Alpheus Harlan’s account of this family misses one generation of Ezekiels, who appears more clearly in Ralph Buffington’s study of the Buffington family, which includes information about the Harlan family.


[1] Wythe County, Virginia, Will Bk. 1, pp. 308-9.

[2] Wythe County, Virginia, Court Order Bk. 1805-1808, 14 September 1808, p. 336.

[3] Ibid., Bk. 1809-1812, 11 September 1810, p. 153.

[4] Ibid., 15 November 1810, p. 164.

[5] Wythe County, Virginia, Will Bk. 1, pp. 436-7. On the Foster family, see Mary B. Kegley, Early Adventurers on the Western Waters, vol. 3: The New River of Virginia in Pioneer Days 1745-1805 (Marceline, Missouri: Walsworth, 1995), pp. 268-9.

[6] Wythe County, Virginia, Deed Bk. 2, p. 339. See also Kegley, Early Adventurers on the Western Waters, vol. 3, pp. 268-9.

[7] Kegley, Early Adventurers on the Western Waters, vol. 3, pp. 324-334.

[8] Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. D, pp. 426-8.

[9] Hardin County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1800, p. 8, available digitally at FamilySearch. The name of the creek is not clear, and I can find no match to it as I search names of waterways in Hardin County, Kentucky.

[10] Wayne County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1803, p. 13, available digitally at FamilySearch

[11] Ibid., 1804, p. 17, available digitally at FamilySearch.

[12] Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. B, pp. 415-6.

[13] Otis May Mather, Six Generations of LaRues and Allied Families: Containing Sketch of Isaac LaRue, Senior, Who Died in Frederick County, Virginia, in 1795, and some Account of his American Ancestors and Three Generations of His Descendants and Families Who Were Connected by Intermarriage, Among Others, Carman, Hodgen, Helm, Buzan, Rust, McDonald, Castleman, Walters, Alexander, Medley, McMahon, Vertrees, Keith, Wintersmith, Clay, Neill, Grantham, Vanmeter and Enlow; Copies of Six Old Wills and Other Old documents; Various Incidents Connected with the Settlement of the Nolynn Valley in Kentucky; Also a Chapter on the La Rue Family and the Child Abraham Lincoln (Louisville, Kentucky: Dearing, 1921), pp. 165-6, citing a deposition of Boone in a book marked “The Boone Book” held by the Hardin County clerk.

[14] Ibid., pp. 30-1. 

[15] See ibid., pp. 76, 79, 88.

[16] Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. B, pp. 288-9.

[17] Ibid. Bk. D, pp. 196-7.

[18] See Find a Grave memorial page of John Vertrees, Gunn cemetery, Morgan County, Illinois, created by Sarah Martin Neely, with tombstone photos by Shirley and Mark/Kara Phillips. For information about the older John Vertrees, see Find a Grave memorial page of John Vertrees, Old Vertrees burial ground, Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky, created by Linda K.

[19] Hardin County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1809, southern district, p. 8, available digitally at FamilySearch. The initial is ambiguous and could be J. The land had evidently been entered either by Isaac LaRue or his son John.

[20] 1810 federal census, Hardin County, Kentucky, p. 240.

[21] Grayson County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1810, p. 6; available digitally at FamilySearch

[22] Ibid., 1811, p. 5, available digitally at FamilySearch; 1812, p. 7, available digitally at FamilySearch

[23] See supra, n. 17.

[24] Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. E, pp. 336-7.

[25] Breckinridge County, Kentucky, Will Bk. 1, p. 24.

[26] Mather, Six Generations of LaRues and Allied Families, pp. 83-4.

[27] Mather, Six Generations of LaRues and Allied Families, pp. 75, 79.

[28] Ibid., p. 79.

[29] Ibid., p. 83. On the Chester County, Pennsylvania, roots of the Brooks family that founded Brooks Station in Bullitt County, Kentucky, see Sherry Lee, “Brooks family one of county’s earliest,” The Pioneer News (Shepherdsville, Kentucky) (7 March 2014), online at Pioneer News website.

[30] Mather, Six Generations of LaRues and Allied Families, p. 49.

[31] Ibid., pp. 48, 94.

[32] See ibid., pp. 84, 159; Find a Grave memorial page of Mary Brooks Rathbone, Phillip’s Fort cemetery, Hodgenville, LaRue County, Kentucky, created by Robin Poindexter. 

[33] Grayson County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1817, p. 10; available digitally at FamilySearch.  

[34] Ibid., Bk. 1818, p. 10; available digitally at FamilySearch

[35] Ibid., Bk. 1819, p. 12; available digitally at FamilySearch

[36] Alpheus 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. 75.

[37] 1850 federal census, Marion County, Indiana, Indianapolis, p. 208B (dwelling 222/family 223; 18 July). The marriage of John L. Welshans and Elender Harlin appears in Indiana State Library’s index to Indiana marriages through 1850.

[38] Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan family, p. 75. For George’s marriage, see also Indiana State Library’s index to Indiana marriages through 1850.

[39] Marion County, Indiana, Will Bk. D, pp. 183-4.

[40] “Mrs. Susan Harlan Dead,” Indianapolis News (29 November 1900), p. 8, col. 5.

[41] Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p. 74.

[42] Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. C, pp. 142-4; the microfilmed copy of this deed book available through FamilySearch omits the first page of this deed, so details such as the deed’s exact date, the acreage of the land, etc., are missing. On the connection between Reason Harlan and James and Sarah Harlan, see ibid., pp. 111-2.

[43] Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, pp. 105-6.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Ralph M. Buffington, ed., The Buffington Family in America (Houston: Mary B. Webb, 1965), p. 203.

One thought on “Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Susanna Brooks and Husband Ezekiel Harlan

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