The Move to Itawamba County, Mississippi, in 1840
As the posting linked above indicates, in April 1840, Charles relinquished his role as executor of his father’s will and estate to Milton McClanahan, and in July 1840 in Lawrence County, he filed a suit of debt against James Fuller and Berville M. Hodges, and it appears that shortly after that date, he made the move to Itawamba County, Mississippi, where he and his family are enumerated on the 1841 Mississippi state census.
Not long before he left Alabama, in addition to relinquishing his executorship of his father’s will, Charles returned a report to Lawrence County court for the guardianship of his nephew Rowland Cornelius Stewart, son of John Stewart and Elizabeth Cornelius. As we saw in the previous posting, Elizabeth was a sister of Charles’s wife Deniah Cornelius, and John Stewart gave bond with Charles for his marriage to Deniah. John died in Lawrence County on 17 April 1834, and Charles was then made guardian of John’s son Rowland Cornelius Stewart, who was born in March 1822.
As a previous posting notes, Charles’s nephew John Wesley Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey and Charles’s sister Jane Brooks, also moved from Lawrence County, Alabama, to Itawamba County, Mississippi, around the same time Charles Brooks relocated to Itawamba. In fact, it seems to me likely that John and his uncle Charles moved their families from Alabama to Mississippi at the same time, and that Charles settled near his nephew and for some years possibly farmed with John, who, in addition to owning farmland, continued his career as a merchant in Itawamba County.
By 1840, John W. Lindsey had settled in Van Buren in Itawamba County, where his brother-in-law William Carothers Thomas had opened a mercantile business in 1839, with John following him to Van Buren as a merchant shortly after this. John’s first wife Margaret Gibson was a sister of William C. Thomas’s wife Nancy Jane Gibson. Margaret and Nancy Jane were daughters of Sylvanus Gibson and Mary Orr of Lawrence County; documents in the estate file of John Stewart show that he and Sylvanus held adjoining land in Lawrence County and switched tracts of land there not long before John died in 1834.
By 1850, Charles Brooks and his nephew John Wesley Lindsey were joined in Itawamba by other siblings of John who moved over to Mississippi from Lawrence County, Alabama: John’s brother Thomas Madison Lindsey and sister Frances Rebecca Lindsey came to Itawamba not long after Frances Rebecca married Samuel Hiram Kellogg on 8 November 1848 in Lawrence County. As the posting I’ve just linked about Thomas states, on the 1850 federal census in Itawamba County, his family is enumerated next to a Thomas Dutton who is evidently closely related to the Thomas Dutton of Lawrence County discussed in the previous posting, in whose estate records Charles Brooks appears, and whose estate was appraised by Charles’s brother-in-law Dennis Lindsey and Dennis’s father Mark Lindsey.
It’s also important to note that Thomas Madison Lindsey’s wife Margaret Jane Torrence had a sister Elizabeth Grizelle Torrence, who married Sylvanus Gibson, a son of Sylvanus Gibson and Mary Orr, and a sibling to Margaret (married John Wesley Lindsey) and Nancy Jane (married William Carothers Thomas) discussed above. As has been noted previously, before he made his move to Mississippi, John Wesley Lindsey was in business in Lawrence County, Alabama, with William A. Gibson, another son of Sylvanus Gibson and Mary Orr.
Sylvanus Gibson (younger) and his brother William were involved in the cotton-shipping trade and among what drew members of the Gibson family and those connected to them to Itawamba County was the possibility of shipping cotton from farms in northwest Alabama and east Mississippi to Mobile down the Tombigbee River, which ran through Itawamba. Van Buren, where John W. Lindsey and his brother-in-law William C. Thomas set up business, was a port on the Tombigbee. As a previous posting indicates, when the younger Sylvanus Gibson (who married Elizabeth Grizelle Torrence) died on 11 December 1855, he was on a trip from Lawrence County, Alabama, through Mississippi with his business partner John Kitchens to look for new cotton land along the Mississippi River and new places from which to ship cotton.
Also among the nieces and nephews of Charles Brooks living in Itawamba by 1850 was his niece Martha Ann Lindsey, who had joined her brother John W. Lindsey at Van Buren by 1850 and whom John had sent to the female academy at Fulton being operated by Robert Overton Maupin and his wife Mary Louisa. As we’ve seen, when Robert O. Maupin died at Fulton on 9 March 1860 and after the death of his wife Margaret S. Gibson, John W. Lindsey then remarried to Mary Louisa, the widow Maupin, on 7 August 1866.
By 1860, yet another nephew of Charles Brooks and sibling of the other Lindsey siblings who had come to Itawamba would join his family members in Itawamba: This was Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks’s youngest son Dennis Edward Lindsey, who went to Itawamba to launch a mercantile career with his older brother John W. Lindsey, and was living with John in 1860.
Records of Charles in Itawamba County, 1840-1861
I don’t find Charles Brooks on the 1840 federal census in either Lawrence County, Alabama, or Itawamba County, Mississippi, but by 1841, Charles and his family were definitely in Itawamba, since the family is enumerated in that county on the 1841 Mississippi census. The census shows the household having nine members — Charles and Deniah and their first seven children, all born in Lawrence County, Alabama, before October 1841. Three more children would be born to them in Itawamba County.
On the same page of this census on which Charles Brooks’s family appears are also found Levi Galloway and Elendor Johnson. As noted previously, Levi Galloway also came to Itawamba from Lawrence County, Alabama, and Charles’s nephew John W. Lindsey appears in Levi’s estate records, as does Charles’s son John Cornelius Brooks. Unless I’m mistaken, Elendor Johnson is a member of a Johnson family into which two of Charles and Deniah’s daughters would marry in Itawamba County: Their daughters Frances Eunice and Margaret Lindsey Brooks married brothers, William Daniel and Robert Christopher Johnson, sons of Stephen Edward Johnson and Elizabeth Ann Gibson. Elizabeth was yet another sister of Margaret, Nancy Jane, William A., and Sylvanus Gibson, children of Sylvanus Gibson and Mary Orr discussed above.
On 9 August 1838 at the Pontotoc federal land office, Leonidas Franklin patented the northeast ¼ of section 11, township 9, range 7 in Itawamba County, 160 acres, a piece of land that Charles would buy in from Robert S. Wren 1853, as we’ll see in a moment. This land is just west of Mantachie and next to the Shiloh cemetery in which many members of the Brooks family are buried, and it appears this is where Charles and wife Deniah lived in the latter part of his life, with Deniah remaining on this land up to her death. The Shiloh cemetery is just across the Itawamba County line in Lee County, which was formed in 1866, and, as we’ll see later, it appears that Charles owned some land that fell into Lee County at that county’s formation. This land is some 12 miles north of Van Buren where Charles’s nephew John Wesley Brooks initially settled.
As a previous posting has shown, on 22 June 1842, Charles Brooks assigned his final share of his father’s estate to his brother James R. Brooks, with his note to Milton McClanahan stating this also indicating that Charles was writing from Itawamba County, Mississippi. The original note is in the Morgan County, Alabama, loose-papers estate file of Charles’s and James’s father Thomas Brooks. Charles’s nephew John W. Lindsey witnessed his uncle’s note. The posting linked at the start of this paragraph contains a digital image of the note. As the posting linked above also states, on 27 June 1842, James R. Brooks acknowledged receipt of $89 from the estate — probably the share of the estate that Charles had assigned to James five days before.
The 1843 Itawamba tax list for landowners shows Leonidas Franklin taxed for the 160 acres in section 11, township 9, range 7 that Charles Brooks eventually owned. I do not find Charles Brooks on this 1843 tax list. As far as I have been able to determine, he did not own land in Itawamba County prior to his purchase of 160 acres in 1853. Charles does appear on an 1846 tax list in Itawamba, but unless I’m mistaken, this tas list was not a list of those taxed for land but for personal property.
The family of Charles Brooks appears on the 1850 federal census in Itawamba County’s 6th district. The census lists Charles as a farmer, aged 50, born in Kentucky. In his household are wife Deniah, 47, born in Georgia, and children David, 21, Frances, 18, John, 16, James, 15, Margaret, 7, Martha, 5, and William, 3. The children prior to Margaret were born in Alabama, and Margaret and her two younger siblings in Mississippi. Frances, John, James, and Margaret are in school. Also in the household are Thomas Smith, 19, and John Tully, 22, both hired men born in Tennessee.
Charles also appears on the federal slave schedule in Itawamba in 1850 holding one enslaved person, a female aged 60. Charles’s nephew John W. Lindsey is on the same page of the same slave schedule, holding an enslaved girl aged 7. The proximity of Charles to his nephew John, who was living at Van Buren at this point, makes me wonder if Charles initially settled near John W. Lindsey and perhaps collaborated with John in farming before Charles acquired the 160 acres just west of Mantachie he had at the time of his death.
As has been noted in a previous posting, on 20 January 1851, David Dinsmore Lindsey, brother of Charles’s brother-in-law Dennis Lindsey, filed a final settlement of Thomas Brooks’s estate in Morgan County, Alabama. Dinsmore Lindsey had succeeded Milton McClanahan as administrators de bonis non in April 1847 after McClanahan resigned his administration of the estate as he moved his family to Texas. The final settlement report (the original is in Thomas Brooks’s estate file) shows that the estate still had a balance of $443.10, which had been distributed among the heirs. This final account also contains a list of legatees and heirs showing their whereabouts in January 1851, which states that Charles Brooks was in Mississippi.
Charles Brooks appears on the 1853 Mississippi state census in Itawamba County with a household comprised of four males and five females. On the same census page three households removed is Charles’s oldest son Thomas Rowland Brooks, who had married Louisa J. Buchanan in Itawamba County on 15 October 1851.
On 30 July 1853, Charles Brooks bought from Robert S. Wren the 160-acre tract mentioned above — the northeast ¼ of section 11, township 9, range 7 (Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 10, pp. 438-9). This land was adjacent to the Shiloh cemetery just west of Mantachie. purchased this from Robert S. Wren. According to Bob Franks, publications editor and librarian for the Itawamba Historical Society, Robert S. Wren was a stockholder in the town of Van Buren and one of the founders of that town, as well as a land speculator with considerable landholdings all over Itawamba County. I want to make a note here of profound thanks to Bob Franks for locating for me the 1853 deed of Robert S. Wren to Charles Brooks, when I had failed to find it — as well as other valuable material I’ll discuss in a moment. For further information about Robert S. Wren, see Bob Franks, “The Old Wren Road,” at the Itawamba History Review blog site.
Shiloh was a Methodist church whose cemetery was founded in 1837 by Rev. Lorenzo Dow Turner (1806-1896), first minister at Shiloh, whose son David Hampton Turner (1850-1928) married Mary Deniah Brooks, daughter of Thomas Rowland Brooks, the oldest son of Charles and Deniah Brooks. When Lee County was formed from Itawamba and Pontotoc in 1866, the line dividing Lee and Itawamba fell right across Shiloh church and cemetery, with parts of the property falling into Lee and parts remaining in Itawamba. As we’ll see in a moment, David Hampton Turner bought Charles Brooks’s 160-acre tract in 1892
The 1857 personal property tax list for Itawamba County shows Charles Brooks taxed for one poll. Charles and his family then appear three years after this on the 1860 federal census in Mooreville district of Itawamba County. This census gives Charles’s age as 59, noting that he was born in Kentucky, and states that his wife, whose name appears as Dinah here, is 55 and was born in Georgia. In the household is Charles and Deniah’s daughter Martha, the youngest of Charles and Deniah’s living children at this point. The son William Glenn Brooks who was born 16 February 1847 and is listed in the Brooks household in 1850 died 4 December 1855.
Again, note that Charles’s nephew John W. Lindsey moved his family from Van Buren to Mooreville sometime in the latter half of the 1850s and is found in Mooreville on the 1860 federal census. At the time this census was taken, Charles and his family were living, I think, on the 160 acres he had bought in 1853 from Robert S. Wren west of Mantachie adjacent to the Shiloh cemetery. When Lee County was formed from Itawamba in 1866, Mooreville fell into Lee. You can see Mooreville’s location, its relationship to Mantachie and Van Buren, and how Mooreville fell into Lee County in 1866, by comparing the two maps above. The first is a detail from J.H. Colton’s 1855 map of Mississippi showing Itawamba County with Mooreville (called Mooresville here) still in that county. The second is a detail from the 1888 Railroad Commissioner’s Map of Mississippi. I’ve marked Mantachee (presently spelled Mantachie) on the second map (it does not appear on the first) since this allows us both to locate Mooreville in relationship to Mantachie, and to see where Charles Brooks’s 160 acres just west of Mantachie at Shiloh, which is too small to appear on the map, were in relation to Mooreville and Van Buren.
Charles Brooks is enumerated on the 1860 federal slave schedule in Itawamba County holding two enslaved persons, a female aged 21 and a male aged 1. As a previous posting notes, John W. Lindsey also appears on the 1860 federal slave schedule in Itawamba holding eight enslaved persons. He is listed on the second half of the same page on which his uncle Charles is listed.
Charles’s Death in 1861
In material sent to me in the 1980s and 1990s by Kathleen Sullivan Grigsby of Lubbock, Texas, and Corinne Crider of Corsicana, Texas, Charles Brooks’s date of death is given as 15 October 1861 and his place of death as Itawamba County, Mississippi. Neither of these Brooks researchers provided a source for the date of death. I do not find this date of death in the transcription of the register of the bible of Thomas Brooks published in the journal Itawamba Settlers in September 1988. After Charles bought this bible at his father’s estate sale in Morgan County, Alabama, his and his wife Deniah’s dates of birth were recorded in the register, as were the dates of birth of their children. Does the original bible register also state dates of death for Charles and Deniah? If so, that information does not appear in the transcript published in 1988 — and it’s not clear to me where Corinne Crider and Kathleen Sullivan Grigsby acquired Charles Brooks’s date of death. Corinne was a great-granddaughter of Charles’s son John Cornelius Brooks, and Kathleen was a great-granddaughter of Charles’s daughter Sarah Eleanor Brooks Sullivan.
Charles had definitely died by 25 November 1861 when his son James M. Brooks applied for administration of Charles’s estate and was granted administration, giving bond on that date and being issued an order to appraise the estate. Charles’s loose-papers estate packet in Itawamba County contains an estate account filed by James M. Brooks in 1873 stating these dates. I am very grateful to Bob Franks for copying this and other documents from the estate packet for me.
Charles’s estate file shows James M. Brooks filing the appraisement of his father’s estate in Itawamba court in December 1861. The estate file also contains a sale account for the sale of personal property, which was reported to court on 27 January 1862 after a petition for the sale was approved by the court on 23 December 1861 as James M. Brooks returned the appraisement to court, so the sale took place at some point during that period. Buyers included Charles’s son Thomas R. Brooks, his brother Samuel, and his nephew John W. Lindsey.
On 24 March 1863, a further inventory was done with a sale of some of the estate’s land on 25 May 1863. The petition for the sale of this land shows that it was 10 acres of the southeast ¼ of section 10, township 9, range 7, so it’s evident that Charles died owning land in addition to the 160 acres he bought in 1853 from Robert S. Wren. An undated inventory of notes owed by the estate that seems to have been compiled as part of the original appraisement shows Charles’s estate owing his nephew John W. Lindsey and the firm of Clayton and Lindsey, among others. Bob Franks thinks — and I think he’s correct about this — that the note owed to L.D. Turner was for Charles’s funeral expenses, and that A.J. McWilliams, whom the estate also owed, was likely the doctor attending Charles in his final illness.
In June 1866, as James M. Brooks presented receipts and an account to the court, he noted that the estate holdings included $132.65 in Confederate money that was now worthless. This set of documents appears to be the final accounting James M. Brooks did as estate administrator, though there are documents in the estate file dating as late as 1873 which suggest that the estate settlement had continued up to that year.
Following Charles’s death, on 18 January 1878 in Lee County, his heirs deeded to Robert Christopher Johnson, husband of Charles and Deniah’s daughter Margaret Lindsey Brooks, for $40, 20 acres in Lee County, the northeast corner of the northeast ¼ of section 10, township 9, range 7 east. This land evidently came to Charles’s heirs by inheritance. Note that it would be contiguous to the 160 acres in the same township and range discussed above, and that it seems to be part of the same tract ten acres of which James M. Brooks received permission to sell in May 1863. This portion of Charles’s landholdings had clearly fallen into Lee at that county’s formation in 1866. Robert C. Johnson and wife Margaret may have lived on this land, since this couple are buried at the Shiloh cemetery outside Mantachie in Itawamba County.
On 19 November 1879 Charles’s widow Deniah deeded to her grandson Charles Simeon Brooks, son of John Cornelius Brooks, the 160-acre tract Charles had purchased in 1853 (Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 26, p. 170). This deed states that the land continued to be in Itawamba County in 1879, but the 1880 federal census I’ll cite in a moment suggests that the land had, in fact, fallen into Lee County in 1866 — or it’s possible that the county line bisected the Brooks family land, I think. Deniah’s deed of gift states that Charles was being given the land for taking care of his grandmother Deniah as long as she might live. Again, I’m grateful to Bob Franks for sending this deed to me.
According to Bob Franks, as a result of a court ruling in an Itawamba chancery court case of John C. Brooks vs. James M. Brooks, on 24 October 1892, Charles and Deniah’s 160 acres were sold at auction to the highest bidder, wtih David Hampton Turner purchasing the Charles Brooks farm (Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 28, p. 552 — the FamilySearch site does not have digital copies of this deed book). As noted previously, David Hampton Turner was son of Rev. Lorenzo Dow Turner, pastor of the Shiloh Methodist church to which the Brooks family belonged, and he married Mary Deniah Brooks, daughter of Charles and Deniah Brooks’s son Thomas Rowland Brooks.
Information about Deniah and the Cornelius Family
The Brooks family bible states that Deniah Cornelius was born 8 September 1804. As noted previously, both the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses give Georgia as Deniah’s birthplace. The 1870 and 1880 federal census also show Deniah born in Georgia. Various records show Deniah’s father Rowland Cornelius living in Franklin County, Georgia, from 1797 to 1809, at which point he moved his family from Georgia to Madison County, Mississippi Territory (later Alabama), where he died on 12 July 1822 and is buried in a family cemetery near Huntsville with a tombstone marking his grave. The Cornelius family came to Franklin County, Georgia, in 1797 from Spartanburg County, South Carolina.
John Bennett Boddie’s Historical Southern Families has a history of the Cornelius family that includes information about Deniah and her father Rowland Cornelius. This notes that Rowland was a substantial landholder in Madison County, Alabama, and also the owner of enslaved persons, with one of the enslaved persons willed by Rowland to his daughter Deniah.
On the 1880 federal census, which I’ve just cited, Deniah was enumerated in the household of her grandson Charles Simeon Brooks, son of John Cornelius Brooks, in Lee County, Mississippi. The census lists her as Charles’s grandmother and states that she is 75 years old and was born in Georgia. This census confirms that her grandson and his family were providing care for Deniah at the end of her life on the farm she and Charles had bought in 1853, and which she had given to her grandson.
Deniah’s listing on the 1880 federal census is the last record I have found for her. She died after this date, likely in Lee County, Mississippi. I have not found burial information for Charles Brooks or his wife Deniah. Bob Franks thinks it’s likely that Charles is buried in the Shiloh cemetery adjacent to his farmplace, probably in a grave that did not have a marker, since his estate file shows no payment to purchase a marker. I suspect this is correct and that wife Deniah is buried with him.
The name Deniah is found in a number of New England families at the period in which Deniah Cornelius was born. For instance, Martin White, son of Preserved White and Mary Terry of Springfield, Massachusetts, had by wife Lucy Collins a daughter Deniah, who was born 9 July 1798 in Springfield.
In my next posting, I will provide information about the children of Charles Brooks and Deniah Cornelius.
 The date of death I’m citing for John Stewart is given on his Find a Grave memorial page; he’s apparently buried in the Nichols Johnson cemetery at Speake in Lawrence County, Alabama. His memorial page, which has no tombstone photo, was created by MJB. I don’t spot a source for this date of death for John.
 See Bob Franks, “Van Buren: Itawamba County’s Old River Port Town Revisited,” at Itawamba History Review, the web log of Itawamba Historical Society. I’m grateful to Bob Franks for pointing out to me the Gibson connection that linked William C. Thomas and John W. Lindsey.
 See supra, n. 1.
 1841 state census of Mississippi, Itawamba County, p. 13.
 Mississippi State Vol. Pat. Bk. 2810, #491.
 See loose-papers probate file of Thomas Brooks held by the Morgan County Archives in Decatur.
 See David E. Conwill and Gloria Ann Conwill, “1846 Itawamba County Tax List,” Itawamba Settlers 8,1 (March 1998), p. 43.
 1850 federal census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, district 6, p. 350A (dwelling 645/family 652; 9 October).
 1850 federal slave schedule, Itawamba County, Mississippi, unpaginated (district 6; 7 October).
 The original document is in the loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks held by the Morgan County archives in Decatur. See also Morgan County, Alabama, Final Probate Record Bk. 11, pp. 226-9; and Morgan County, Alabama, Orphans Court Minute Bk. 10, pp. 232, 283.
 Mississippi state census, 1853, Itawamba County, p. 12.
 1860 federal census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, Mooreville, p. 131 (dwelling/family 852; 7 August).
 1860 federal census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, Mooreville post office, p. 65 (dwelling and family 421; 4 August).
 1860 federal slave schedule, Itawamba County, Mississippi, p. 461 (22 June).
 “Brooks Bible,” Itawamba Settlers 8,3 (September 1988), pp. 151-2.
 Itawamba County, Mississippi, Loose-Papers Estate Packets #281; see also“Estate Settlements,” Itawamba Settlers 2,2 (June 1982), p. 61; and “Itawamba County Probate Packets” at the online digital archives of the Itawamba County Historical Society.
 Lee County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 27, p. 265-6.
 See supra, n. 10, 15.
 In 1870, Deniah is enumerated in Itawamba County as Venair Brook, aged 66, born in Georgia, and heading a household with John, 18 or 16, Jane, 12, George, 10, and Susan, 8, all surname Brooks, all born in Alabama: See 1870 federal census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, township 8, Fulton post office, p. 360 (dwelling/family 170; 29 August). I cannot identify the young Brooks persons living with Deniah in 1870. And see the 1880 federal census, Lee County, Mississippi, township 9, range 7, p. 105 (ED 89; dwelling 119/family 125; 9 June). On the same page, the families of two of Deniah’s nephews are enumerate — Christopher Joseph and Thomas Jarrett Brooks, son of Samuel K. Brooks, brother of Charles Brooks.
 See Find a Grave memorial page of Rowland Cornelius, Cornelius cemetery, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, created by Clem W. Akins Jr., maintained by Debbie, with tombstone photos by Eureka Native. According to C. Wayne Austin, “Cornelius Cemetery,” at the site Tour Many Cemeteries in Northern Alabama Counties, reporting in 2012, the Cornelius cemetery “is in terrible shape with all the stones except for one or two pummeled, broken and fallen.” Austin notes, “It has undergone destruction at the hands of the uncontrolled tree growth and probably vandals in the past.”
 John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families, vol. 22 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1978), pp. 46-66.
 Allyn S. Kellogg, Memorials of Elder John White, One of the First Settlers of Hartford, Conn., and of His Descendants (Hartford, Connecticut: Case, Lockwood, 1860), p. 191.