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

To facilitate clearer discussion of the direct line of five Ezekiels in this lineage, I’ll direct your attention to the chart below, which labels the generations of Ezekielsl I through V. As the chart suggests, I’ve concluded that Susanna Brooks’s husband Ezekiel Harlan was Ezekiel IV in this lineage. I’ve also concluded that Ezekiel V was born to Ezekiel IV by a spouse prior to Susanna Brooks, and that Ezekiel IV married Susanna only after he moved from South Carolina to Kentucky between 1791-1800 — and I’ll explain my reasons for coming to these conclusions below.

In my previous posting, I told you that I thought Ezekiel Harlan IV and wife Susanna Brooks were the parents of Ezekiel Harlan V. As I’ve thought further about this matter, it now seems clear to me that Ezekiel Harlan IV did not marry Susanna Brooks until 1800-3, and she is not the mother of his son Ezekiel V. Both Ezekiel IV and Ezekiel V can be documented in the records of Edgefield and Abbeville Counties, South Carolina, and in Georgia records, prior to their move from South Carolina to Kentucky between 1791 and 1800, a move I cannot document by pointing to any particular document, but one that I think circumstantial evidence substantiates.

Summary of Established Information about Susanna and Ezekiel from Previous Posting

My previous posting (linked at the head of the first paragraph above) provides documentation for what I know about the daughter named in the 4 November 1804 will of Thomas Brooks in Wythe County, Virginia, as Susanna Harland. It points you to the following pieces of information:

• We can deduce that Susanna’s husband was named Ezekiel Harlan because Ezekiel appears in Thomas Brooks’s estate records as Thomas’s heir.

• An Ezekiel Harlan with wife Susannah made a deed on 14 July 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky, both signing the deed (Susannah by mark). Ezekiel IV

• A younger Ezekiel Harlan (the deed calls the man selling the land Sr. and the younger Ezekiel Jr.) witnessed this land sale and appears, from a number of indicators, to be a son of Ezekiel Harlan elder — in my view, by a wife prior to Susanna Brooks. Ezekiel IV and V

• Ezekiel Harlan younger lived and owned land on Cave Creek in Grayson County, Kentucky, near Susanna Brooks’s sister Sarah and her husband John Lahue, who also lived on Cave Creek, and also near Susanna Brooks’s sister Margaret and her husband Joseph Day. Ezekiel V

• That younger Ezekiel, who married Elizabeth, daughter of George Burkhart in Hardin County around or before 1809, was likely around the same age as his wife Elizabeth, who was born in 1786 according to the 1850 census. His father came of age between December 1786 April 1789, and I think Ezekiel (V) was likely born 1787-8 just as his father came of age. Ezekiel V

• If Susanna Brooks and Ezekiel IV were parents of Ezekiel V, then it appears that the couple would have been married by around 1787. Since Ezekiel IV was living in Abbeville County, South Carolina, at that date, and Susanna was no doubt living with her parents in Frederick County, Virginia, I think a 1787 marriage for this couple is very unlikely, and this is among the reasons that I’ve concluded that Ezekiel V was the son of the Ezekiel IV by a wife prior to Susanna. Ezekiel IV and V

• I have not found any record that enables me to determine when Susanna Brooks Harlan was born. I cannot find Ezekiel IV on any federal census. If Susanna and Ezekiel IV had married by 1800-4, as it appears to me they did, then her birthdate would seem to fall prior to 1785 and perhaps some years before that. This is about the closest I can come to estimating Susanna’s date of birth with the sparse information I have at present. A 1785 birthdate would place Susanna in the age range of her brother Jesse Brooks, who was born 1783-6, and her sister Rebecca Brooks Walters, who was born in 1786.

• We know that Ezekiel IV and Susanna had married by 4 November 1804, when Susanna’s father made his will. And we know that Ezekiel IV was in Hardin County, Kentucky, by 1800, per the county’s tax lists, and that he then lived in 1803-4 in Wayne County, where Susanna’s brothers Thomas and James lived, before acquiring large tracts of land in Hardin County from George Helm in 1804. I think it’s very likely that Ezekiel Harlan and Susanna Brooks met and married at some point after he arrived in Hardin County by 1800, and that it was Ezekiel IV’s marriage to Susanna Brooks that led to the couple living in Wayne County in 1803-4. I’ll talk further about this below. Ezekiel IV

• I do not know, either, when and where Ezekiel Harlan IV and Susanna Brooks Harlan died. It seems to me that when they sold Samuel Bennett 1,000 acres in Hardin County on 14 July 1809, they were preparing to move out of Hardin County and probably away from Kentucky. I have found no further record of them in Kentucky. A 5 November 1810 Wythe County, Virginia, court record pertaining to the estate of Thomas Brooks cited in the previous posting suggests that the Wythe Court presumed Ezekiel IV to be still alive at that date, though the record does not specify where he and wife Susanna were living.

Ezekiel V died testate in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, about November 1816. In his classic study of the Harlan family, Alpheus Harlan notes that a journal kept by Ezekiel’s cousin Reason Rawlings Harlan states on 12 September 1825 that he had been in St. Louis on that day and had been told that Ezekiel Harlan was in St. Louis in 1816. Alpheus Harlan identifies this Ezekiel with the man living in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s, who was, he thinks, Ezekiel III: His account of this line misses Ezekiel IV between III and V. Ezekiel IV and V

Alpheus Harlan’s Hint: Ezekiel V Is Connected to Ezekiel III

Now I’d like to move from these established facts (without definite information about when Susanna Brooks was born and when and where she and Ezekiel Harlan IV married) to a plausible deduction about the Ezekiel Harlan who married Susanna Brooks. I’ve just referred to Alpheus Harlan’s classic study of the Harlan family. As the previous posting shows us, Alpheus Harlan identifies the Ezekiel Harlan who settled in Hardin County, Kentucky, and who was father of Ezekiel Harlan who married Elizabeth Burkhart and died in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, in 1816, as Ezekiel Harlan III, son of Ezekiel Harlan II of Chester County, Pennsylvania.[1] As he notes, Ezekiel III was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, between 1732-6. Alpheus Harlan thinks that Ezekiel III followed his brothers Ellis and Jonathan south from Pennsylvania in his early manhood and may have settled with them in Cherokee territory, “and from there on all trace is lost.”

As I’ll show in a moment, there’s abundant evidence to prove that Ellis Harlan, son of Ezekiel Harlan II and Hannah Oborn, did go south from Chester County, Pennsylvania, in the 1750s to trade with the Cherokees and settle among them, and that he married a Cherokee wife and had children by her. But note that, even as he says that all traces of Ellis’s brother Ezekiel III were lost after Ezekiel III followed Ellis south, Alpheus Harlan also thinks that Ezekiel III had a son Ezekiel who married Elizabeth Burkhart (he erroneously gives her surname as Buckhart) and lived with her in Hardin County, Kentucky. The documented information provided in my last posting fairly conclusively proves that the Ezekiel Harlan IV, who had a wife Susanna by 1809, and who lived in Hardin County, Kentucky, was the father of Ezekiel Harlan V with wife Elizabeth Burkhart. The Ezekiel who married Elizabeth Burkhart, Ezekiel V, was, it can be shown, in actuality the son of Ezekiel Harlan IV and not Ezekiel III. 

Alpheus Harlan’s knowledge of the Harlan family in America was encyclopedic, and he had abundant documentation at his fingertips. I suspect he had good reason to think that the two Ezekiel Harlans found in Hardin County, Kentucky, records in the early 1800s were closely connected to Ezekiel Harlan III, son of Ezekiel Harlan II. But I think there’s good reason to conclude that the Ezekiel Harlan (IV) who was father of Ezekiel V was a son of an Ezekiel Harlan (III) whose parents were Ezekiel Harlan II and Hannah Oborn: There is an additional Ezekiel in the line of Ezekiels running down to Ezekiel Harlan with wife Elizabeth Burkhart, one whom Alpheus Harlan misses.

(An aside: Alpheus Harlan does not mention this, but Ezekiel Harlan V served as a soldier from Hardin County, Kentucky, in the War of 1812. He appears on a February 1813 muster list of an infantry company commanded by Captain Edward Rawlings in the Kentucky militia under command of Lieutenant-Colonels Nicholas Miller and Benjamin Wright. Edward Rawlings married Sarah Vertrees, sister of the John Vertrees who, as the last posting showed us, sold land in Hardin County in 1805 to Ezekiel Harlan V and in 1809 to John Lahue, husband of Sarah Brooks.)[2]

Ralph M. Buffington’s Contribution to Identifying Ezekiel III and IV

For information about Ezekiel Harlan III after he left Pennsylvania in the 1750s, and about his son Ezekiel IV, who married Susanna Brooks as I’ve concluded, we need to turn to Ralph M. Buffington’s study of the Buffington and Harlan families of South Carolina and Georgia. According to Ralph Buffington, Ezekiel III and Ellis Harlan (1731-1815/9), sons of Ezekiel Harlan II and wife Hannah Oborn, left Pennsylvania for the Carolinas around 1754 due to troubles in the French and Indian War period, with their younger brother Jonathan following a few years later. Ralph Buffington thinks Ezekiel III and brother Ellis may have settled initially in the old Tryon-Waxhaws area on the North Carolina-South Carolina border.[3] Ralph Buffington and other Buffington researchers think that joining Ellis and Ezekiel Harlan III in the Carolinas were an older sister Mary and her husband Thomas Buffington. 

According to an article at the USGenweb site for Polk County, Tennessee, entitled “The Buffington & Harlan Families,” whose author is not identified, 

The Harlans and Buffingtons were related Quaker families from Pennsylvania and came to South Carolina by 1754. … They settled in Abbeville District, owning land on Turkey Creek. This put them in proximity of Indian trader Robert Gouedy and other Indian traders, including John Vann. They went into business with Vann, then with the Dewes (Dues) family of Abbeville District.

Documents Re: Ellis Harlan, Son of Ezekiel II

According to Linda Sparks Starr, documents in the Pennsylvania Archives show that Ellis Harlan was a licensed Indian trader in the period 1765-1771.[4] Ellis was among Indian traders present at the signing of the Henderson Purchase in March 1775, and in October 1776, he carried a flag of truce from the Overhill Cherokees to Virginia commander William Christian. When he returned with the message that the Americans still planned to attack the Cherokee Nation, Dragging Canoe threatened to scalp him.[5] At some point around 1775, Ellis married Catherine Kingfisher (Walker), a Cherokee woman who was the daughter of Kingfisher and Nancy Ward, and had a family by her as he lived among the Cherokees.[6]

A deposition given by Samuel Wilson before the county’s gentlemen justices on 15 April 1777 at the courthouse in Washington County, then North Carolina and later Tennessee, states that Ellis Harlan and other Indian traders who understood Cherokee were at the March 1775 meeting at which Henderson & Company purchased Cherokee lands.[7]

Ellis Harlan appears in numerous documents through the 1780s indicating that he was an Indian trader living among and often interpreting for the Cherokees and other native peoples. For instance, a 22 July 1782 letter of Joseph Martin to Virginia governor Benjamin Harrison states that Ellis Harlin had returned the previous evening from a trip to the Chickamaugas and found them desirous of peace.[8]

In his History of the Lost State of Franklin, Samuel Cole Williams transcribes entries from a journal kept by Moravian brother Martin Schneider in 1783-4 as he traveled in the state of Franklin (now East Tennessee). On 26 December 1783, Schneider wrote that he had stayed at the house of Colonel Joseph Martin near Long Island, and it was believed that when he stayed there, Martin was in the Cherokee towns with Mr. Harland, an Indian trader, 40 miles away. On the 28th, Schneider reached Harland’s residence, finding him not there and that Martin and Harland had left on Christmas day.[9]

According to an 11 June 1788 letter Joseph Martin wrote from Abingdon, Virginia, to Virginia governor Edmund Randolph, Harlan was living in Chota (now Tennessee) until attacks from white settlers made it unsafe for whites or Cherokees to remain there.[10] A 1797 letter of Silas Dinsmore, U.S. agent to the Cherokees, to Tennessee governor Sevier held by the Tennessee State Archives, lists white men who were then authorized to be in the Cherokee Nation. The list included “Ellis Harlin Trader, licenced [sic] 18thJanuary for 2 years.”[11]

There is, as I’ve said, abundant documentation for the claim of Alpheus Harlan, Ralph Buffington, and others, that Ezekiel Harlan II and Hannah Oborn of Chester County, Pennsylvania, had a son Ellis who went from Pennsylvania by the mid-1750s to South Carolina and then into the Cherokee Nation, where he was an Indian trader and married a Cherokee woman, Catherine/Ka-Ti Kingfisher. The documents I’ve just cited are the tip of the iceberg. 

There’s also good documentation to show that Ellis had a brother Ezekiel III who joined his brother Ellis in South Carolina and Cherokee territory, with Alpheus Harlan claiming that “all trace is lost” of Ezekiel III from that point, while at the same time, he tells his readers this same Ezekiel III had a son Ezekiel V who married Elizabeth Burkhart and lived in Hardin County, Kentucky. But if the Ezekiel Harlan III (Harlin, Harling, Harland) whom Ralph Buffington identifies as a son of Ezekiel II and brother of Ellis Harlan is the man Ralph Buffington thinks he is (and I think Ralph Buffington is correct about this), then all traces of him weren’t “lost” at all after he left Pennsylvania and headed south. It’s fairly easy to document his life in South Carolina and Georgia from the mid-1750s up to his death in 1786 in Abbeville County, South Carolina. 

Interesting Historical Context for Departure of Ellis and Ezekiel Harlan III from Chester County, Pennsylvania

By 31 March 1757, Ezekiel III had obtained land in what was then Granville County, South Carolina, and later Edgefield County: On that date, he had a plat for 150 acres in Granville County on Turkey Creek, waters of St. Stephen’s Creek.[12] The precept for this land is dated 1 March 1757. Note that this is only three years from the time that Buffington researchers think Ellis Harlan, his brother Ezekiel III, and their sister Mary with husband Thomas Buffington arrived in South Carolina. (Granville County was effectively eliminated in July 1769 with the formation of judicial districts, at which point places in former Granville County were part of 86 District; Edgefield and Abbeville Counties, both of which later appear in records of Ezekiel III and IV’s land, were formed in 1785 from 96 District.)

South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk. 6, p. 307

Then there’s this interesting document, which seems to corroborate that Ezekiel Harlan III, son of Ezekiel Harlan II and Hannah Oborn of West Marlborough township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, vanished from Chester County in or around 15 September 1753 — in just the time frame in which Alpheus Harlan suggests he disappeared from Chester County records, though if Alpheus Harlan knew of this record, he did not cite or mention it: The Pennsylvania Gazette reports on 20 September 1753 that on 15 September, “Ezekiel Harlan, junior, late of the township of West Marlborough,” had made his escape from the Chester County sheriff. Ezekiel was a “young man, ſlim bodied, about five foot nine inches high, fair complexion, thin face,” and he wore a cap or wig, black velvet jacket and breeches, and ruffled shirts, though he may have changed his attire after having made his escape. Quite a natty dresser for a young Quaker man…. (A digital image of this Pennsylvania Gazette notice is at the head of the posting.)

I have not found any record explaining why Ezekiel Harlan III was in the custody of the Chester County sheriff in 1753. It’s worth noting in this context that after he settled in South Carolina, the colony’s criminal journals record a bond for him on 17 October 1770 in an action entitled The King v. Ezekiel Harlin for Suspicion of Robbery (South Carolina Criminal Journals Bk. 1, p. 75). Hugh Middleton and Charles Williams gave bond with Ezekiel in this case, whose outcome I do not know: I have not seen the original document, only an abstract of it via the consolidated index to South Carolina records available at the South Carolina Archives website.

New Garden (Chester County, Pennsylvania) Friends Monthly Meeting Minutes 1746-1768, p. 119, originals at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, available digitally in Ancestry’s U.S. Quaker Meeting Records 1681-1935

Not long before Ezekiel III went on the lam and apparently joined his brother Ellis in heading south to South Carolina, their father Ezekiel Harlan II was disowned by the New Garden Quaker monthly meeting in Chester County. New Garden minutes state on 28th 4th month 1753 that Ezekiel Harlan (II) had “fallen into yEvil of drinking strong Liquor to Exceſs” and had been disowned after attempts had been made to restore him to the way of truth from the time his infractions were first reported in 5th month 1751.[13] New Garden minutes from 5th month 1751 up to Ezekiel’s disownment on 28th 4th month 1753 document the several attempts his fellow Quakers made to work with him regarding the charge of “drinking strong Liquor to Exceſs” and another of swearing, to no avail.[14]

This is another record not cited by Alpheus Harlan, if he knew of its existence — and I find it difficult to imagine he would not have known of it, because he was an assiduous researcher of the Quaker records in Pennsylvania for this Harlan family. I find it difficult to imagine, too, that their father’s troubles with their Quaker meeting at the very time Ellis and Ezekiel Harlan III set out for South Carolina had nothing at all to do with their decision to uproot themselves and begin a new life in South Carolina. 

Documenting Ezekiel III and IV in South Carolina and Georgia

So by March 1757, as we’ve just seen, Ezekiel Harlan III was establishing himself in South Carolina. Less than a year later, on 7 February 1758, Ezekiel III then sought a grant for 100 acres in Georgia on the Broad River at Pistol Creek about sixty miles above Augusta, Georgia, with the land he was seeking to claim lying next to that of Indian trader John Vann. This land was in what became Wilkes (and finally Lincoln) County, Georgia, but at this time was Cherokee territory.[15] Ezekiel’s petition to the Georgia governor and colonial council for this land grant states that he was already “settled in the Province” — that is, he was likely living on the land for which he was petitioning. Alex M. Hitz thinks that Ezekiel III had married by this time and is among eleven settlers shown on an August 1773 map with houses built by themselves on the west side of the Savannah River between the Little River and the Broad River.[16]

February 1758 petition of Ezekiel Harlan in Journal of Proceedings and Minutes of the Georgia and Council, in Allen D. Candler, ed., Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, vol. 7 (Atlanta: Franklin-Turner, 1906), p.723

Anne Goodwin notes that the 100 acres Ezekiel Harlan III claimed in Georgia were on Broad River adjacent land petitioned by John Vann on Pistol Creek about 65 miles north of Augusta. She notes that Ezekiel’s petition was approved on 5 June 1762, and cites a memorial for this land filed by Ezekiel’s agent, Edward Barnard, Esq., on 16 December 1762, which describes the land as being in St. Paul’s Parish and bounded on the east by the Savannah River and Pistol Creek, on the west by Gideon Chivers, with other sides vacant. This memorial was filed after the land was granted (a second time) on 7 December 1762. She also notes that this land was “at the ford on the Cherokee Path 60 miles from Augusta” — that is to say, by settling at that precise spot, Ezekiel Harlan III would probably have been seeking to set himself up next to John Vann as a trader among the Cherokees and/or among those trading with the Cherokees.[17]

As Anne Goodwin explains, in 1765, the British built Fort Charlotte in South Carolina across from the mouths of Broad River and Pistol Creek at the Savannah River. John Vann had originally owned the land on which the fort was built, but had lost it to debt. The fort was built to protect settlers and traders traveling along the Savannah and along the Cherokee trail. On 12 July 1775, American forces seized the fort.[18]

Ezekiel Harland (III) is on a list of those to whom the Cherokees ceded land in Wilkes County, Georgia, on 7 December 1773. This document states that the Cherokees ceded Ezekiel 100 acres. In other words, this was an official recognition by the Cherokees of Ezekiel’s claim to the land for which he had petitioned in 1758 and on which he claimed to have been living by February 1758.[19] Also noteworthy in the list of white settlers to whom the native tribes ceded land in Georgia in 1773: The same list includes a Jacob Hollingsworth to whom the Creeks ceded 100 acres on the Ogeechee River in what also became Wilkes County.[20]

This Jacob Hollingsworth is not, it seems to me, the man who married Susanna Brooks Harlan’s aunt Mary Brooks. That Jacob Hollingsworth and wife Mary were living in Guilford (later Randolph) County, North Carolina, at this point, and did not come to Georgia until they moved from Randolph to Burke County, North Carolina, in 1788 and shortly after this across the Savannah to what were probably Cherokee lands in Franklin County, Georgia, though the white settlers in this region claimed to own the land lawfully. As Randy Hollingsworth notes, Hollingworth researchers have sought to identify the Jacob Hollingsworth to whom the Creeks ceded land in 1773 in what would become Wilkes County, Georgia, without much success.[21] The 100 acres ceded to him on the Ogeechee were between two trading paths, so he may well have had an interest in trading with the native peoples as Ezekiel Harlan did, and would likely have been related to the Jacob Hollingsworth who married Mary Brooks, whose roots lay in Chester County, Pennsylvania, as Ezekiel Harlan’s did, and who was, in fact, related to Ezekiel Harlan, as I’ll explain shortly.

Jim Farmer has further information about the connection between Ezekiel Harlan and John Vann. He notes that when Ezekiel Harlan filed his claim for 100 acres on Pistol Creek in Georgia on 7 February 1758, John Vann also filed a claim for land on the mouth of Pistol Creek at Broad River, along with other of his neighbors and long-time associates.[22] Farmer thinks Vann and others requesting Georgia land in February 1758 had actually moved to Georgia by 1757 and were requesting land they had already settled. Farmer also notes that by 1758, Vann had a trading company at the confluence of the Broad and Savannah Rivers, and was doing business with the Cherokees selling goods supplied by the firm of Augusta merchant Edward Barnard[23] — information documented in lawsuits filed by Robert Gouedy, who had a similar company on the South Carolina side of the Savannah and resented Vann’s intrusion into his business. When open conflict erupted in 1759-1760 between white settlers and the Cherokees in what’s called the First Cherokee War, Farmer thinks John Vann was likely killed, since all records of him cease after this time.

If Ezekiel Harlan’s (III) February 1758 petition for land in Georgia is correct in claiming that he was already living on the 100 acres he claimed in what became Wilkes (and later Lincoln) County, Georgia, in February 1758, he nonetheless continued making land claims in South Carolina after that date. On 31 March 1761, Ezekiel Harlam (as the plat spells his name) had a grant of 100 acres in Granville County, South Carolina.[24] An 8 May 1761 memorial for 100 acres for Ezekiel Harland on Turkey Creek in Granville County may be a memorial for this land grant.[25]

South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk. 15, p. 295

On 13 October 1766, a plat for 200 acres granted to Ezekiel Harlain (this is the spelling used) in Granville County at the mouth of Long Cane Creek bordering the Savannah River was recorded.[26] The precept for this land was on 2 September 1766.

According to Ralph Buffington, Ezekiel Harlan III was engaged in trade with the Cherokees by 1767 when his nephew Ezekiel Buffington gave up farming and joined his uncle Ezekiel Harlan in the Indian trade.[27] Ezekiel was a son of Mary Harlan and Thomas Buffington.

South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk. 15, p. 294

On 2 January 1768, Ezekiel Harlain (this is the spelling used) III had another plat for land in Granville County, South Carolina, in this case, for 50 acres on the Savannah River.[28] Also in 1768, Chester County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas records show both Ellis and Ezekiel Harlan III forfeiting land they still owned in Chester County for judgments of debt in lawsuits filed by Davison Filson against Ellis and a Mendenhall whose given name I have not found against Ezekiel.[29] I have not seen the actual court minutes, but suspect that they document the fact that Ellis and Ezekiel had left debts behind in Chester County when they left there in the mid-1750s — and could it have been that Ezekiel was in custody of the Chester County sheriff in 1753 due to debt?

South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk 15, p. 294

On 21 July 1770, Ezekiel Harlan III had another plat for land on the Savannah River in Granville County, South Carolina. This plat was for 150 acres; the land was on the Savannah near the mouth of Long Cane Creek bounded east by Ezekiel’s land and southwest by the Savannah.[30] The precept for this grant is dated 6 February 1770.

The final record I find for Ezekiel III is an 18 July 1785 deed in Wilkes County, Georgia, showing that Ezekiel Harling with Elizabeth Patterson of Granville County, South Carolina, sold to Zachariah Lamar the 100 acres Ezekiel had claimed in Georgia in 1758.[31] The deed specifies that the land was on Pistol Creek and the Savannah River. It was witnessed by Owen and Ellender Shannon. I have not been able to see the original deed, since Wilkes County records are under lock and key in the digital holdings at the FamilySearch site. I’m relying on abstracts I find in various sources. I’d be particularly interested to discover whether the deed identifies Elizabeth Patterson as Ezekiel’s wife, as some researchers have concluded she was. If they were married, I’d wonder why Elizabeth seems to have her maiden surname in this deed. On the other hand, if she signed the deed relinquishing her interest in the land, then it would seem she must have been Ezekiel’s wife. 

Georgia Georgia Grant Bk. TTT, p. 735

Following Ezekiel’s death, on 12 July 1790, Georgia again confirmed his ownership of this 100 acres, with the newly registered grant stating that Ezekiel was deceased and that the grant had been issued under an old warrant and survey now being assured for his heirs.

Ezekiel III Dies in 1786, and Ezekiel IV Appears in South Carolina and Georgia Records

Ezekiel Harlan III had died by 4 December 1786 when his son Ezekiel Harland IV (this is the spelling used) petitioned in Abbeville County, South Carolina, to be placed under the guardianship of John McCoy, who gave bond for the guardianship.[32] This document specifies that Ezekiel IV was still a minor, so it would appear that he was born after 1768.

Abbeville County, South Carolina, Probate Files box 107, package 2862

Ezekiel Harlan IV had come of age, however, by 8 April 1789, when he sold to James Tutt and Richard Freeman 75 acres each on the Savannah River in Edgefield County, South Carolina, with the deed stating that Ezekiel Harlin (the spelling used) was a resident of Edgefield County.[33] Ezekiel IV signed the deed by mark. The deed specifies that this land had been granted to Ezekiel Harlin Sr. (III), father of Ezekiel Harlin Jr. (IV), who was selling the land. Taken together, the 1786 guardianship petition and this 1789 deed indicate that Ezekiel Harlan IV was born about 1769-1770. 

On 16 March 1790, Ezekiel Harlen IV (as the surname is spelled) of Edgefield County sold to John McCoy 200 acres on the Savannah River in Edgefield County.[34] Once again, Ezekiel signed by mark with witnesses Sims Middlebrook (using his mark) and John and Jeremiah Miles. On 13 July 1790, John Miles proved the deed and it was recorded.

Ezekial Harlan IV (this is the spelling used) appears on the 1790 federal census in Abbeville County, South Carolina.[35] His household contains two males under 16, one male 16 and over, and two females. Note that this census places the birth year of Ezekiel before 1774, and it suggests that he may have had a wife by 1790, with children by her. . Note that this census places the birth year of Ezekiel before 1774, and it suggests that he may have had a wife by 1790, with children by her. Note, too, that the 1789-1790 deeds I’ve just cited state that Ezekiel IV was living in Edgefield County when those deeds were made, while the 1790 federal census and the August 1791 deed discussed below both place him in Abbeville County, where he seems to have been living in 1786 when he petitioned for a guardian.

On 16 August 1791, Ezekiel Harling IV of Abbeville County, South Carolina, sold to Thomas Freeman of Edgefield County 75 acres in Edgefield adjacent John McCoy, from land granted to Ezekiel’s father Ezekiel on 4 December 1771.[36] Ezekiel signed by mark with John McCoy and Ezephaniah Nobles (using his mark) witnessing. On 1 September 1791 McCoy proved the deed.

Ezekiel IV Disappears from South Carolina/Georgia Records after 1791 and Goes to Kentucky — Or So I Conclude

With this August 1791 land sale showing Ezekiel IV living in Abbeville County at that date, I cease finding records indicating that Ezekiel was continuing to live in South Carolina and buying or selling land there. The March 1794 will of Joseph Tolbert in Edgefield states that he of his legatee John McCoy was involved in a land dispute in Wilkes County, Georgia, with Exekell Harling (this is the spelling used for both names), and asks that John McCoy secure title to the land in question — but the will does not suggest that Ezekiel Harlan was living in either South Carolina or Georgia at this date.[37] Ezekiel Harling (as the name is spelled) also appears in a list of book notes owed to the estate of George Bussey when Bussey died in Edgefield in 1798 — but, again, nothing in this record suggests that Ezekiel was living in Edgefield at this point.[38]

Though Ellis Harlan, brother of Ezekiel III, continues to appear in land records in South Carolina in the 1790s and early 1800s, often in conjunction with his nephews Ezekiel and Oborn Buffington, Ellis’s nephew Ezekiel IV drops from South Carolina land records after he makes his final land sale in Edgefield County in August 1791. Abbeville County records are, of course, lost for the most part after two disastrous courthouse fires in 1872 and 1873, so tracking Ezekiel in Abbeville records is largely impossible. To me, the disappearance of Ezekiel Harlan IV from South Carolina records after his 1791 sale of land in Edgefield County suggests that he moved elsewhere. I think — following the lead of Alpheus Harlan, linking Ezekiel III to Ezekiel V in Hardin County, Kentucky — that Ezekiel Harlan IV is the man of that name found on the tax list in Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1800. I have not found information to explain why Ezekiel IV relocated from South Carolina to Kentucky at this point in his life.

To recap: 

• In his classic study of the Harlan family in America, Alpheus Harlan states that after Ezekiel Harlan III, son of Ezekiel Harlan II and wife Hannah Oborn of Chester County, Pennsylvania, left Chester County by the mid-1750s and presumably joined his brother Ellis Harlan, an Indian trader among the Cherokees, in the South, all traces of Ezekiel III were lost.

• Yet Alpheus Harlan suggests that this same Ezekiel Harlan III was father of an Ezekiel Harlan V who lived in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s and died in adjacent Breckinridge County in 1816.

• As we’ve seen, the father of the Ezekiel Harlan (V) who died in Breckinridge County in 1816 was almost certainly an Ezekiel Harlan (IV) whose wife by 1809 can be proven to have been named Susanna, who lived in Hardin County from 1800 forward.

• If Alpheus Harlan had sound reasons to think that the Ezekiel Harlan (V) who died in 1816 in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, was closely connected to Ezekiel Harlan III, then the most likely way to explain this connection is to propose that Ezekiel Harlan IV, who can be shown to have been the son of Ezekiel Harlan III, is the name of this name who ended up in Hardin County, Kentucky, by the early 1800s with his son Ezekiel V —though Alpheus Harlan appears not to have known of the existence of Ezekiel Harlan IV, or to have known that Ezekiel III was in South Carolina and Georgia from 1757 to his death in 1786, with a documented son named Ezekiel (IV) continuing to live in South Carolina up to 1791.

• Once again: The question this account raises is, If Ezekiel Harlan IV, whose wife in Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1809 can be shown to have had the name Susanna, married the daughter of Thomas Brooks named in Thomas’s 1804 will as Susanna Harland, then when and where did Ezekiel Harlan IV and Susanna Brooks marry?

As I’ve suggested previously, I think the likeliest explanation for when and where Susanna Brooks and Ezekiel Harlan IV married was that this marriage occurred after Ezekiel relocated from South Carolina to Kentucky between by 1800, and before Susanna’s father made his 1804 will naming his daughter Susanna Harlan(d).

The fact that after appearing on the Hardin County tax list in 1800, Ezekiel Harlan IV then appears in 1803-4 on the tax list in Wayne County, suggests to me that Ezekiel had by this point likely encountered Susanna’s brother Thomas Brooks, who was in Wayne County by 1798 — and that Susanna may have been living with her brother Thomas in the early 1800s and she and Ezekiel Harlan perhaps met in Wayne County in 1800-3 and married there. By 1804, the same year in which Ezekiel Harlan acquired land in Hardin County from George Helm, Susanna’s sister Margaret and her husband Joseph Day had moved from Virginia to Hardin County, and they’d be joined there in two years by another sister Sarah and husband John Lahue. Another sister, Rebecca, was also in Hardin County, when she married Jacob Walters, son of Conrad Walters Sr. and Grace Wildman, there on 11 April 1807.

A Hypothesis about How Ezekiel IV Connected to the Brooks Family: Possible Role of Jacob Hollingsworth?

A hypothesis about how Ezekiel Harlan might have connected to this Brooks family after he moved to Hardin County, Kentucky, by 1800: Ezekiel Harlan IV was a cousin of Jacob Hollingsworth, who married Mary Brooks, an aunt of Susanna Brooks Harlan. Jacob Hollingsworth’s grandmother Hannah Harlan Hollingsworth (1681-1748, married Samuel Hollingsworth) was a sister of Ezekiel Harlan II the father of the Ezekiel Harlan III. As was Ezekiel Harlan III, Jacob Hollingsworth was born into a Quaker family in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1742, a decade or less after Ezekiel Harlan III was born to a Quaker family in the same county. 

By the time Ezekiel Harlan IV made his move from South Carolina to Kentucky between 1791-1800, his cousin Jacob Hollingsworth with wife Mary Brooks had settled in Franklin County, Georgia, some 60 miles from where Ezekiel Harlan IV was living in South Carolina. Given their kinship connection and proximity at the time Ezekiel Harlan apparently moved from South Carolina to Kentucky, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that these cousins with Chester County, Pennsylvania, Quaker roots, knew each other and that this link accounts for the connection between Ezekiel Harlan and the Brooks family after Ezekiel settled in Kentucky.

Ezekiel I, Interpreter for and Trader with Native Peoples, and Potential Explorer

Some other interesting historical details add context to this story: There’s also the fact that Ezekiel Harlan I, grandfather of the Ezekiel III who came to Georgia and South Carolina with his brother Ellis is described in the journals of the Pennsylvania Colonial Council as an Indian interpreter. Minutes of the Pennsylvania Council show that at its meeting in Philadelphia on 20 May 1723, Governor William Keith communicated to the council a speech given by Whiwhinjae, king of the Gannawese Indians, on 18 May that had been rendered into English by Ezekiel Harlan, “interpreter.”[39] The council minutes state that Ezekiel Harlan was present at the council meeting along with “Indian Smith,” both as interpreters. Pennsylvania colonial records also indicate that Ezekiel I was a trader with the native peoples at Brandywine and Conestoga before 1718.[40]

Pennsylvania Provincial Council Minutes, 20 May 1723, transcribed in Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, vol. 3 (Pennsylvania: Jo. Severns, 1852), pp. 216-7

Ezekiel Harlan I was also involved shortly before his death in June 1731 in a scheme of four men to establish a colony in what later became Kentucky, in which Swiss and German immigrants would be settled. On 30 March 1731, Jacob Stauber, John Ocks, Ezekiel Harlan, and Thomas Gould presented a proposal to the British Lords Commissioner of Trade for the grant of a tract of land on which to settle German-speaking Protestant families. They proposed to identify this tract as the “province of Georgia,” and stated that it would lie beyond the mountains of Virginia as far as the Mississippi River. Stauber was German and Ocks Swiss. Ocks had settled in London and become a Quaker before coming to America. The petition states that Stauber (whose surname is anglicized as Stover in some records) and Harlan, who was born in County Down, Ireland, before his Quaker parents George and Elizabeth Duck Harlan came to Pennsylvania, had lived in Pennsylvania upwards of 20 years at the time they made this petition.[41] As historian Warren Hofstra says, commenting on this petition, which came to naught, “As an Indian interpreter for the Pennsylvania government, Harlan knew the physical and cultural terrain of the backcountry intimately.”[42]

Ezekiel I, whom Jo Henn describes as a “land speculator,” died in London on 31 June 1731 after having voyaged overseas on business, having made his will in Chester County before he died.[43] He was apparently buried in the no longer extant Bunhill Fields cemetery in central London. Since his petition along with the others asking for the grant of a tract of land in present-day Kentucky is dated March 1731, it seems to me very likely it was the very business of presenting this petition to the Lords Commissioner of Trade that had brought Ezekiel I to England at the time of his death.

From not long after this Quaker Harlan family, whose roots lie in Yorkshire, England, came to Pennsylvania from Northern Ireland in 1687, some of its members appear to have had a strong interest in interacting with the native peoples, learning their languages, and trading with them, as well as in extending settlement westward from the original colonies into territory inhabited by the native peoples.

The Quaker Context to This Story

In moving from Pennsylvania down to South Carolina and Georgia and trading with the native peoples there, and, in the case of Ellis Harlan, marrying a Cherokee woman and living among the Cherokees, Ellis and Ezekiel Harlan III were carrying on family traditions and interests. Nor was this really unusual behavior among Quakers of this period, who stood out among colonial settlers of the Eastern seaboard for their sympathetic approach to the native peoples, and who often played a leading role as Indian interpreters and traders for that reason.

Ellis Harlan and his brother Ezekiel III were also not by any means the first wild boys to leave Quaker homes in Pennsylvania in the 18th century and head to territory owned by the native peoples. As Thomas P. Slaughter shows in his study of Quaker naturalists John Bartram and John’s son William, John Bartram was so frustrated by the fecklessness of his son William that he sent William from Philadelphia to the Carolinas to live among his Quaker relatives there, with hopes that William would marry a rich Quaker wife, possibly a cousin, and settle down.[44]

But instead of doing his father’s bidding, William Bartram went exploring and collecting native flora through the Carolinas into Florida and Cherokee territory in Georgia, painting a very sympathetic picture of the Cherokees, in whom he insisted, as a good Quaker, the inner light resided just as it resided in him. It was, in fact, precisely the recognition of many Quakers that the native peoples were human beings in whom “something of God” was found as much as in those of European descent that motivated some Quakers to learn the languages of the native peoples and trade with them, though it also has to be noted that the motives for this interaction were not entirely altruistic, since those trading among the native peoples and occupying their land were also benefiting from the interaction.

I recount these historical details to note that strong cultural ties, in addition to family ones, would have bound together Ezekiel Harlan IV, who married Susanna Brooks, and Jacob Hollingsworth, who married Susanna’s aunt Mary Brooks and who settled not too far away from where Ezekiel IV’s father Ezekiel III settled, after both families moved south from Chester County, Pennsylvania. Though by the time they went south both the Hollingsworths and the Harlans had lost their Quaker connection, this shared heritage continued to determine quite a bit about their actions, including whom they interacted with, and their business decisions, including, for the Harlans, the choice to engage in trade with the native peoples of the Southeast. I think it’s entirely possible that a link between Ezekiel Harlan IV and his kinsman Jacob Hollingsworth accounts for Ezekiel’s having met Susanna Brooks, and, I suspect, her brother Thomas, after Ezekiel moved to Hardin County, Kentucky, in or before 1800. 

Brief Postscript

A number of online and published accounts of the family of Ezekiel III state that he had, in addition to a son Ezekiel IV, another son or sons and a daughter Elizabeth who married a German immigrant to South Carolina, Peter Ouzts. Many of these same accounts give as the wife of Ezekiel III the Elizabeth Patterson who, as I noted above, apparently sold his 100 acres in Wilkes County along with Ezekiel in 1785. Unfortunately, I haven’t found in any of these accounts documentation either for Elizabeth Patterson as Ezekiel III’s wife, or documentation of the other children he is said to have had in addition to Ezekiel IV. I have an open mind about the possibility that his wife was, in fact, Elizabeth Patterson and that they had children in addition to Ezekiel IV, but I’d welcome documentation to show this.

In addition, many of these accounts are clearly wrong in claiming that this Harlan (or Harling, the surname spelling often used in South Carolina) family came to South Carolina from Germany. There’s abundant information to disprove that claim. I would also urge readers to discount the claim of many other online family trees that Ezekiel III was a Cherokee. Many online trees label both Ezekiel III and his brother Ellis, both born to Quaker parents of easily proven English descent in Chester County, Pennsylvania — where no Cherokees lived in the 1730s or at any other point — as Cherokees. Ellis definitely did marry a Cherokee wife and have children by her, but neither he nor his brother Ezekiel had Cherokee blood.


[1] 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.

[2] Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Kentucky: Soldiers of the War of 1812 (Frankfort: Capitol Office, 1891), p. 219; and “Hardin County, Kentucky, Biographies,” at the Kentucky Genealogy Trails website.

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

[4] Linda Sparks Starr, “The Mystery Indian Trader or The Evolution of a Legend?” at USGenweb site for McMinn County, Tennessee, evidently citing Tennessee Ancestors, 5,1 (April 1989), pp. 2-4.

[5] John P. Brown, Old Frontiers (Kingsport, Tennessee: Southern Publishers, 1938), pp. 11, 156-7.

[6] See Zella Armstrong, The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga, Tennessee, vol. 1 (Chatanooga: Lookout, 1931), p. 51, on Catherine Kingfisher and her three husbands including Ellis Harlan.

[7] William P. Palmer, ed., Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts, vol. 1,(Richmond: Walker, 1875), p. 283.

[8] “Joseph Martin and Cherokees — Documents,” Publications of the Southern History Association, 8,6 (November 1904): this letter is transcribed on p. 449.

[9] Samuel Cole Williams, History of the Lost State of Franklin (New York: Press of the Pioneers, 1933), p. 260; footnote 2 states that Harland was Ellis Harland or Harlin.

[10] NARA, Continental Congress Papers: State Papers, Virginia, 1775-1788, vol. 2, p. 623, M247; available digitally at Fold3.

[11] A transcript of the letter by Helen Hewitt, noting that the original is in Tennessee State Archives, was posted by Deborah Morefield as “Silas Dinsmore in Cherokee Country 1797 — Letter,” at Genealogy.com on 25 March 2003. 

[12] South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk. 6, p. 307.

[13] New Garden (Chester County, Pennsylvania) Friends Monthly Meeting Minutes 1746-1768, p. 119, originals at Friends Historical Library, Swarthmore College, available digitally in Ancestry’s U.S. Quaker Meeting Records 1681-1935.

[14] See ibid., p. 110, 20th 8th month 1751; p. 111, 27th 5th month 1751; p. 112, 28th 3rd month 1752; p. 117, 24th 2nd month 1753.

[15] Allen D. Candler, ed., Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, vol. 7 (Atlanta: Franklin-Turner, 1906), p.723, transcribing the original petition in Journal of Proceedings and Minutes of the Governor and Council, February 1758. 

[16] Alex M. Hitz, “The Earliest Settlements in Wilkes County,” Georgia Historical Quarterly 40,3 (September 1956), p. 262-276. According to Hitz (p. 263), a survey for Ezekiel’s 100 acres dated 7 December 1762 is in Georgia Colonial Grant Bk. D, p. 246, and a resurvey was made 16 April 1758 and is in Bk. C, p. 77 (p. 264).

[17] Anne Goodwin, “Jesse Hooper, Pioneer of Georgia,” Hooper Compass 2,2 (February 2001), p. 89, citing Mary Bondurant Warren and Jack Moreland Jones, abs., Georgia Governor and Council Journals 1753-1760 (Danielsville, Georgia: Heritage Papers, 1991), pp. 103, 125’ and Mary Bondurant Warren, ed., and Eve B. Weeks and Robert S. Lowery, abs., Georgia Land Owners’ Memorials 1758-1776 (Danielsville, Georgia: Heritage Papers, 1988), p. 72.

[18] Goodwin, “Jesse Hooper, Pioneer of Georgia.”

[19] Ceded Lands Journal, f. 824, p. 5, as cited in Robert S. Davis, The Wilkes County Papers, 1773-183: A Compilation of the Genealogical Information Found in Collections of Loose Court, Estate, Land, School, Military, Marriage, and Other Records of the Ceded Lands and Wilkes County, Georgia, from 1773 to 1833, with a Few Additional Papers from Earlier and Later Periods (Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1979), p 15. 

[20] Ceded Lands Journal, f. 822, p. 8, as cited in Davis, The Wilkes County Papers, p. 1

[21] Randy Hollingsworth, “Hollingsworth, Jacob (b. 1774) of GA – A Genealogy Jig Saw Puzzle,” at Doug Hollingsworth’s Hollingsworth Ancestry site. 

[22] Jim Farmer, “John Vann: Captain with the Georgia Rangers,” Pioneers Along Southern Trails blog.

[23] On Edward Barnard and his mercantile interests, see Robert Paulett, An Empire of Small Places: Mapping the Southeastern Anglo-Indian Trade, 1732-1795 (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2012), pp. 94f.

[24] South Carolina Colonial Land Grants Bk. 10, p. 9.

[25] South Carolina Memorial Bk. 14, p. 73.

[26] South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk. 15, p. 295.

[27] Buffington, The Buffington Family in America (Houston: Mary B. Webb, 1965), p. 203.

[28] South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk. 15, p. 294.

[29] Chester County, Pennsylvania, Court of Common Pleas Docket 1767-9, p. 39.

[30] South Carolina Colonial Plat Bk 15, p. 294.

[31] Wilkes County, Georgia, Deed Bk. A, p. 64.

[32] Abbeville County, South Carolina, Probate Files box 107, package 2862.

[33] Edgefield County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. 3, pp. 302-6.

[34] Ibid., Deed Bk. 4, pp. 130-5.

[35] 1790 federal census, Abbeville County, South Carolina, p. 460.

[36] Edgefield County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. 5, pp. 166-170.

[37] Edgefield County, South Carolina, Will Bk. A, p. 56.

[38] South Carolina Inventories and Bills of Sale, Bk. 10, p. 184.

[39] Pennsylvania Provincial Council Minutes, 20 May 1723, transcribed in Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, vol. 3 (Pennsylvania: Jo. Severns, 1852), pp. 216-9. 

[40] See Charles Augustus Hanna, The Wilderness Trail: Or, The Ventures and Adventures of the Pennsylvania Traders on the Allegheny Path, vol. 2 (New York and London: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1911), p. 333, citing Pennsylvania Colonial Records, vol. 3, pp. 33, 231, 246, 261, 406).

[41] See ”Documents Relating to a Proposed Swiss and German Colony in the Western Part of Virginia (Concluded),” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 29,3 (July 1921), pp. 287-291; Ann V. Strickler Milbourne, “Colony West of the Blue Ridge, Proposed by Jacob Stauber and Others, 1731, Etc.,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 35,2 (April 1927), pp. 175-190; and Douglas C. McMurtrie, “An Early Project to Establish a Province of Georgia in the Region Now Known as Kentucky,” Filson Club Historical Quarterly 18,1 (January 1944), pp. 29-36. The original petition and documents pertaining to it are in the Public Records Office in London.

[42] Warren Hofstra, The Planting of New Virginia: Settlement and Landscape in the Shenandoah Valley (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins, 2004), p. 87.

[43] Jo Henn, “Ezekiel Harlan (1679-1731), Quaker, Yeoman, and Land Speculator,” at the Climbing My Family Tree site.

[44] Thomas P. Slaughter, The Natures of John and William Bartram (New York: Knopf, 1996). 

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

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