Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Susanna Brooks and Husband Ezekiel Harlan (2)

Pennsylvania Gazette (20 September 1753), p. 3, col. 2

Or, Subtitled: “Wears a cap or wig, black velvet jacket and breeches, and ruffled ſhirts, but may change his apparel”

My previous posting tells you that Susanna Brooks and her husband Ezekiel Harlan have led me on a merry chase as I’ve tried to figure out even the most basic facts about them on the basis of limited evidence, including which particular Ezekiel Harlan Susanna married, when she was born, when and where the couple met, and when and where they died. I’ve become fairly confident that the Ezekiel Harlan whom Susanna married was an Ezekiel Harlan who was born in 1769-1770, and was the son of Ezekiel Harlan (born 1732-6) who was son of Ezekiel Harlan (1707-1754) and wife Hannah Oborn of Chester County, Pennsylvania. To add to the confusion created by the plethora of Ezekiels in this line, the Ezekiel Harlan born in 1769-1770 had a son Ezekiel, too, who was likely born around 1787-8, and who appears in records of Hardin County, Kentucky, along with his father.

7 thoughts on “Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Susanna Brooks and Husband Ezekiel Harlan (2)

  1. Thank you for sharing your thorough and well-documented study of the ancestry of Ezekiel Harlan (Harling) III and his descendants. He is my 4th great grandfather. Your research and conclusions discussed in your blog are consistent with mine in almost all particulars, with a few minor exceptions. First, with regard to Ezekiel III’s move from Pennsylvania to South Carolina, I believe he was the first of the Harlans to make that journey. In other words, Ezekiel’s brother Ellis followed him, and not the other way around as suggested in Alpheus Harlan’s book. My opinion is based in part on the dates of land grant records for South Carolina and Georgia mentioned in your blog, but also on portions of the London Grove and New Garden (Chester, Pennsylvania) monthly meeting minutes of the Society of Friends in the year 1764 that are referenced in the FamilySearch profile of Ellis Harlan LZGC-4H2. The minutes indicate that Ellis Harlan was disowned in that year after having been found “guilty of drinking to excess and also suffered such an unguarded disposition to prevail as to quarrel with & strike several persons, and while under dealing by that meeting hath gone as is apprehended to Carolina.” Presumably, he was still living in Pennsylvania as of the date of the Quaker proceedings.

    Second, regarding your reference to the Quaker record of the disownment of Ezekiel Harlan II, the text of the record itself does not indicate which Ezekiel Harlan is the subject of the proceeding, but in light of other evidence, it seems more likely related to Ezekiel III, a few months prior to his arrest in September 1753.

    Finally, with regard to Thomas Buffington’s marriage to Mary Harlan, I would refer you to the Alpheus Harlan genealogy, page 23, profile no. 16 relating to Thomas Harlan. A note in that entry, based upon records of Trinity (Old Swede’s) Church in Wilmington, DE, suggests that the Mary Harlan who married Thomas Buffington may have been the widow of Thomas Harlan, Mary (Carter) Harlan. The marriage occurred 12 January 1753.

    On the subject of the other children of Ezekiel Harlan III besides Ezekiel IV, I am not aware of definitive documentary proof, but can offer some circumstantial evidence. Alpheus Harlan listed three children, Sarah, Mary, and Ezekiel IV before he “lost trace.” According to my research, Ezekiel III and his wife, whoever that may have been, also had the following additional children: Jacob, Michael, Elizabeth and John Harling. Having found no other record of the name Harlan or Harling other than Ezekiel III living in old Edgefield County in the 1750s to 1780s, I have presumed that any Harlans or Harlings that are of record in Edgefield in the succeeding generation must have been his children. They are documented primarily in U.S. Census records beginning in 1800 and records of some land transactions. In addition, there is an Edgefield County marriage record showing that Elizabeth Harling was married to Peter Ouzts in 1786. Here is the address of an abstract available on line:

    Thanks again for sharing your work.

    Kind regards,

    Steven Ouzts


    1. Thank you for this extraordinarily helpful comment, Steven, full of good information I didn’t have and needed to correct errors in my research on this line. I’m very happy to know about the monthly meeting minutes tracking Ellis and showing him in Pennsylvania longer than his brother Ezekiel. It also makes sense that the Ezekiel disowned by their monthly meeting was Ezekiel III and not his father Ezekiel II, as I had concluded. Do you have any records showing why Ezekiel III was jailed in Chester County? I’ve searched for information, but haven’t found it. I appreciate, too, the good information about Thomas and Mary Buffington and her tie to the Harlans. I’ll make corrections in my posting, crediting you for the new information I’m using to correct mistakes.

      I’m gathering from what you say that the name of Ezekiel III’s wife or wives in South Carolina is not known. I have been unable to get a copy of the original deed in which he and Elizabeth Patterson sold his Wilkes County, Georgia, land grant, and have only seen abstracts of that record, which don’t explain who Elizabeth is. I have wondered why she’d be using a maiden surname if she’s his wife.

      Thanks for helping me understand, too, how the children of Ezekiel III in addition to Ezekiel IV can be established. I agree with you that, with no other Harlan-Harling in the Edgefield region to be the progenitor of these younger Harlings, it seems certain Ezekiel III is their father. Am I right to understand, too, that you haven’t found South Carolina records of Ezekiel IV after he sold his land in South Carolina? I haven’t found further records, and this is one reason that I think he may very well have gone up to Kentucky and married Susanna Brooks, whose family did have Harlan connections already through the marriage of Susanna’s sister Mary to Jacob Hollingsworth, whose grandmother was a Harlan.

      Again, I’m very grateful to you for this good information and for your having shared it with me.


  2. Good afternoon, Dennis, and thank you for your reply. This is in response to the questions you raise on several topics. First with regard to your question about the nature of the charges that lead to the arrest of Ezekiel Harlan III by Sheriff Isaac Pearson of Chester County, PA. on or about September 1753, I have not been able to find any other information. It seems to me that the situation must have been rather serious for the young Mr. Harlan to risk escape and for the Sheriff to offer such a seemingly substantial reward for his re-capture, but I know nothing more, except that Ezekiel must have made good his escape and eventually fled to South Carolina. In those days, the usual route from Pennsylvania to the southern colonies was the “Great Wagon Road” leading down through the Shenandoah Valley into the Carolinas, but it is possible that Ezekiel may have travelled by sea. According to the “Harlan Family Genealogy” (pp. 30-33), two of Ezekiel III’s uncles, Joseph Harlan and Benjamin Harlan, owned two sailing sloops together and were engaged in the coastal trade, sailing out of Wilmington, Delaware. About a year before Ezekiel III’s arrest in Chester County, Joseph Harlan lost his business partner when his younger brother Benjamin, age 23, became suddenly ill and died at sea while returning from a trading voyage to St. Estatius, West Indies aboard the sailing sloop Nancy. Benjamin dictated a will before he died, leaving his half-ownership interest in the two sloops to Joseph and making additional bequests to his sister Elizabeth White, his cousin Ezekiel Leonard, and his nephew Ezekiel Harlan, to whom he bequeathed 40 pounds sterling. Regarding the fate of Joseph Harlan thereafter, the “Harlan Family Genealogy” says only that he was known to reside in Wilmington, DE in August 1752 “after which no record has been found by the compiler.” Joseph’s wife, Hannah Roberts, is said to have died in August 1753.

    It is only an unproven theory, but I mention it because Charleston, South Carolina was one of the major ports of call in the coastal trade in those days, especially involving trade with the West Indies, and Ezekiel III may well have arrived in South Carolina through the port of Charleston, rather than through the Valley of Virginia and North Carolina. In those years, as you know, South Carolina was actively recruiting Protestants to settle the backcountry frontier and offering land grants as inducements. Further, to lend some credence to my theory, I have found a record in the South Carolina Archives indicating that on March 30,1757, pursuant to precept dated March 1, a person named Joseph Harlan was granted a plat of survey on a petition for a land grant of 250 acres on Turkey Creek, Granville County, South Carolina. On March 31, 1757, also pursuant to a precept of March 1, Ezekiel Harlan likewise was granted plat of survey for 100 acres on Turkey Creek. In my mind, this was no coincidence. I am convinced that Joseph Harlan and his nephew, Ezekiel, were in Charleston, South Carolina at the same time in pursuit of land grants. For reasons unknown, it appears that Joseph never perfected his grant, but we know that Ezekiel III did so, and furthermore, that in the following year he appeared in nearby Savannah, GA seeking land in Georgia. It is entirely possible that Ezekiel III escaped to Charleston or Savannah and lived there in the years immediately following his escape from Chester Gaol.

    Sorry to go off on that tangent, but it is of interest to me and perhaps may even be of some use to you in your efforts to find connections between the Harlans and Brooks families.

    Regarding the identity of the wife or wives of Ezekiel III, I have very little information. You already know about the connection with Elizabeth Patterson. I have nothing to add on that subject and have no answers to the questions you raise. I have not seen the original deed either, only abstracts. I do have some equally enigmatic information about another woman named Anna Margareta Braunen, who may have been married to Ezekiel III at some point. By way of background, Anna Margareta Braunen, then age 23, was a German immigrant who arrived in the port of Charleston sometime around January 31, 1765, to petition for a land grant offered to Protestant immigrants willing to settle in the South Carolina backcountry pursuant to the terms of the law known as the South Carolina Bounty Act. She appears to have been a widow, traveling with two young children who apparently died at sea on the voyage from Europe. According to the records of the King’s Council, Ms.Braunen’s petition for land was presented at a Council meeting on January 31, 1765 and she was granted 100 acres in Granville County, where she eventually settled.

    More than thirty years later, in 1798 and 1799, this land originally granted to Ms. Braunen in 1765 was the subject of two deed transactions transferring ownership to a man called Samuel Jinkins. The two transactions are described in “Edgefield County, South Carolina Deed Books 16, 17 and 18”, abstracted by Wells, Carol (Heritage Books, Inc. 1997). At pages 54 and 55, the source describes as follows two transactions found in Deed Book 17 at pp. 204-206 and 213-215 concerning a conveyance of 100 acres on Little Turkey Creek, Edgefield County, South Carolina:

    “p. 204-206 John and Jacob Harlin to Samuel Jinkins, Deed, 13 November 1798, $150, 100 acres granted to Margaret Brannan 1 October 1765 on Little Turkey Creek a branch of Big Turkey Creek of Savannah River, Bounding on land of Barbary Michals and vacant land when surveyed, descended by heirship to John Harlen and Jacob Harlen his brother. Wit. William Crabtree, W. Davis. /s/ John (x) Harlen /s/ Jacob Harlen . . . Proven 1 March 1799 by William Crabtree; John Blocker JP. rec. 2 July 1799.

    “pp. 213-215 Margaret Harlin to Samuel Jinkens, Deed, 24 January 1799, $5, 100 acres granted to sd Margaret 1 October 1765 lying on Little Turkey Creek of Big Turkey Creek of Savannah River when known by the name of Margaret Browner (sic), sd lands now in possession of sd Samuel Jinkins. Wit Arthur Simkins, George Youngblood. /s/ Margaret (M) Harlen. Proven 11 March 1799 by George Youngblood; John Blocker J.P. Rec. 2 July 1799.”

    As you can see, the descriptions of these transactions indicate that the subject property had “descended by heirship” to John Harlen and Jacob Harlen, his brother, and yet there is a separate deed from Margaret Harlin conveying any interest that may have remained with her. Obviously, Margaret Harlen was still alive when the transactions occurred, so the question arises as to how ownership had descended by heirship to John and Jacob Harlen. Perhaps upon her marriage to Harlan the land title had by law been transferred to her husband, but I do not know enough about a women’s rights of property in those days to opine on that subject. These facts, considered along with other sources, do seem to indicate that at some unknown date, Margaret Braunen and Ezekiel Harlan III were married.

    Finally, in answer to your question about South Carolina or Georgia land transactions after 1791 involving Ezekiel IV, I have no information. The last transaction that I know of is described in Edgefield County, South Carolina Abstracts of Deed Books 1-12, p. 60 (Southern Historical Press, copyright 1985), abstracts by Ge Lee Corley Hendrix, C.G. , as follows: Deed Abstract – “16 August 1791: Ezekiel Harling of Abaville (sic) to Thomas Freeman of Edgefield Co., S.C. for 50 pounds sold 75 acres in Edgefield Co. on the Savannah River bounded by John McCoy, SW Savannah River, & W by vacant land. Said land was granted unto Ezekiel Harling’s father (to wit) Ezekiel Harling, Senr. 4 December 1771. s/ Ezekiel Harling. Wit. Ezepheniah (x) Nobles, John McCoy, who swore by oath 1 September 1791 before Aquila Miles, J.P.”

    Based upon my research, it appears that in several transactions, beginning around 1789 and ending with the 1991 deed, Ezekiel IV sold the entirety of the 200 acres previously granted to his father in 1769 as well as the 150 acres granted to his father in 1771. It sure seems like he was preparing to leave the State.

    I hope at least some of this lengthy exposition proves interesting or useful.

    Kind regards,



    1. This is very helpful and very interesting, Steven. I’m grateful to you for the information. The information about Joseph Harlan doesn’t seem to me a tangent at all, given that he ended up claiming land on Turkey Creek where Ezekiel III also claimed land. It would definitely make sense to think he may have helped Ezekiel arrive in South Carolina, especially given his ownership of a sailing sloop.

      I have wondered if Ezekiel III may have had more than one wife and children by both. There seems to have been little interaction between Ezekiel IV, whom we can definitely prove as a son of Ezekiel III, and the other very likely children of Ezekiel III in the Edgefield area. If Ezekiel IV left South Carolina and went up to Kentucky as I think he may well have done, then that choice would make even more sense if his siblings in South Carolina were half-siblings and not full ones. It’s interesting that the Rev. Alexander McDougal, who married Rachel Brooks, sister of Susanna who married Ezekiel Harlan, moved from South Carolina to Hardin County, Kentucky, right around the same time I think Ezekiel IV made the same move:

      That does seem to demonstrate that there was a certain migration pattern going on in this period in which people from South Carolina were moving up to that part of Kentucky. At the same time, my ancestors Mark and Mary Jane Lindsey and Mary Jane’s mother Margaret Dinsmore and sibling John Dinsmore moved from Spartanburg County (next to Union County where Alexander McDougal lived) to Wayne County, Kentucky.


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