Children of Charles Brooks (1800/1 – 1861) and Wife Deniah Cornelius of Lawrence County, Alabama, and Itawamba County, Mississippi

When I tell you I’m providing an “outline” sketch of the children of Charles and Deniah, what I mean is that I’m providing only a few facts — especially dates of birth, marriage, and death — about each child and her or his spouse, and not all the information to be found about these people and their families. My hope is that those researching the families discussed below will find sufficient proven information here to connect their family trees to the proven Brooks lineage tracking back from Charles Brooks several generations to Mary Brooks, who died in 1787 in Frederick County, Virginia. You may have noticed that I do not document these accounts of the children of a well-documented couple as carefully as I document previous generations — but the information I offer you in these accounts is always backed up by documentation. I do always welcome corrections of mistakes and additions to my information.

Here are the children of Charles Brooks and Deniah Cornelius:

Photo of Sarah Eleanor Brooks Sullivan uploaded by James Boutwell to Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah Ellender Brooks Sullivan, San Saba cemetery, San Saba, San Saba County, Texas, created by James Boutwell

a. Sarah Eleanor/Ellender Brooks was born 8 December 1823 at Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama, where Deniah Cornelius Brooks’s mother Eleanor was still living at the time of Sarah Eleanor’s birth. The register of her grandfather Thomas Brooks’s bible gives Sarah’s name as Sarah E. Brooks. She was named for her grandmothers Sarah Whitlock Brooks and Eleanor Watkins Cornelius, and apparently used the spelling Ellender for the name Eleanor. 

On 23 June 1842 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, Sarah married Isaac Fletcher Sullivan, son of Rev. Clement Mabry Sullivan and Elizabeth Stembridge.[1] Clement Mabry Sullivan was a Methodist minister of McMinnville, Tennessee.[2] Following their marriage, Sarah and Isaac lived initially in Monroe County, Mississippi, then in Itawamba County until 1868, at which point they moved to Pilot Point in Denton County, Texas.[3]

Tombstone of Sarah Eleanor Brooks Sullivan, photo by LadyDi_60 and Donna Hill, at Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah Ellender Brooks Sullivan, San Saba cemetery, San Saba, San Saba County, Texas, created by James Boutwell

Isaac Fletcher Sullivan was born in 1819 at McMinnville, Warren County, Tennessee, and died 25 May 1869 at Pilot Point in Denton County, Texas. Sarah died 22 February 1904 at San Saba, San Saba County, Texas, where she’s buried in the San Saba cemetery.[4] Her tombstone gives her dates of birth and death. 

John Hiram Boyd, husband of Martha Jane Sullivan, photo from the archival photograph collection of Itawamba Historical Society
Frances Elizabeth Sullivan, photo uploaded by judykay1234 to her “Hendrick, Lindsey, Sullivan, Brooks” at Ancestry tree
William Fletcher Sullivan and brother Benjamin Dennis Sullivan, photo uploaded by Shawn Carney to his “Carney Chamberlain” tree at Ancestry
William Fletcher Sullivan, photo uploaded by Shawn Carney to his “Carney Chamberlain” tree at Ancestry
Benjamin Dennis Sullivan and wife Olive Florida, wedding photo uploaded by Shawn Carney to his “Carney Chamberlain” tree at Ancestry
Benjamin Dennis and Isaac Martin Sullivan, photo uploaded by Shawn Carney to his “Carney Chamberlain” tree at Ancestry

Sarah and husband Isaac had the following children, all with surname Sullivan: Martha Jane (abt. 1843-1896; married 1] Henry Claiborne Cook, 2] John Hiram Boyd); Charles Clement (1845-1931; married Margaret S. Green); John Fletcher (1848-1911; married Mary Elizabeth Kennon); Frances Elizabeth (1849-1934; married 1] John Henry Hendrick, 2] James Adolphus Taylor); Tennessee (1851-1922; married 1] Benjamin Alfred Rawls, 2] William B. Fair, 3] George Washington Weems); William Fletcher Sullivan (1854-1926; married 1] Sarah Frances New, 2] Mary Ellen Burns); James E. Sullivan (1857-1946; married Sarah Elizabeth Allison); Isaac Martin Sullivan (1860-1930; married Eunice Victoria Clark); and Benjamin Dennis Sullivan (1864-1946; married 1] Monterey Hinds, 2] Olive Florida).

b. Thomas Rowland Brooks was born 13 June 1825 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Thomas’s name is given as Thomas R. Brooks in the bible register of his grandfather Thomas Brooks. Thomas was named for his grandfathers Thomas Brooks and Rowland Cornelius.

On 15 October 1851 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, Thomas married Louisa Jane Buchanan, daughter of Simeon Buchanan and Martha Jane Seats[5]. Thomas and Louisa lived throughout their brief married life in Itawamba County. Thomas’s death date is recorded in his grandfather Thomas Brooks’s bible as 23 January 1863. He is said to be buried in Shiloh cemetery in Lee County, next to which his father Charles Brooks lived. If his grave was marked in the past, it appears not to be marked today. An estate packet for Thomas appears to be on file in Itawamba County.[6]

Louisa Buchanan Brooks was born in April 1834 in Humphreys County, Tennessee, and died about 1892 in Lee County, Mississippi. Following Thomas’s death, Louisa moved before 1870 to Lee County with her unmarried children.

Mary Deniah Brooks Turner with brother William A. and wife Eugenia Wall Brooks, early 1930s, Greenville, Texas, photo uploaded by Glen Horn to his “Horn Jr.” tree at Ancestry, courtesy John Thompson

The children of Thomas Rowland Brooks and Louisa Buchanan, all with surname Brooks, were as follows: Mary Deniah (1852-1937; married David Hampton Turner); Frances Corilla (1853-aft. 1920; married Hinton John Monroe Blanchard); Charles Thomas (1855-1863); Caledonia (1857-1911; married Green Berry Turner); John Wesley (1859-1918; married Ida A. Blackman); and William A. (1861-1935; married Eugenia Helen Wall).

c. Malinda Jane Brooks was born 28 October 1827 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Her name is recorded as Malinda J. in her grandfather’s bible. On 13 February 1845 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, Malinda married Malaciah Payne, son of William Payne and Mary R. Stewart.[7]

In 1857, Malinda and husband Malaciah moved their family from Mississippi to Sabine County, Texas, and before 1870, the family settled in Van Zandt County, Texas. It appears Malaciah died in that county between 1880 and 1900. Federal census records indicate that he was born 1826-7 in Alabama. The last record I find of Malinda is her listing on the 1900 federal census in Van Zandt County in the household of her son Charles F. Payne. I think it’s likely she died between 1900-1910, probably in Van Zandt County.

I have little information about the children of Malinda Jane Brooks and husband Malaciah Payne. They appear to have been as follows: Deniah (b. abt. 1852); Charles F. (b. 1854); Melissa (b. abt. 1856); John James (b. abt. 1858); and Mary J. (b. 1859).

d. David A. Brooks was born 25 July 1828 in Lawrence County, Alabama. On 8 February 1851 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, he married Elvira Cook, daughter of John Cook and Martha Sinclair.[8] During the Civil War, on 3 May 1862 at Fulton, Mississippi, David enlisted in Co. H of Mississippi’s 43rd Regiment of Volunteers (CSA). His service papers state that he was captured by Union troops at Water Valley, Mississippi, on 4 December 1862 and sent to military prison at Alton, Illinois, on 10 January 1863. He was then sent in a prisoner exchange to City Point, Virginia, on 1 April 1863. On 10 April, he was admitted to Episcopal Church Hospital in Williamsburg with diarrhea, and he died there on 15 April. David is buried in a section of Blandford cemetery at Petersburg, Virginia, in which Civil War soldiers are buried.

Elvira Cook Brooks was born about 1835 in Alabama, and is said to have died about 1876 in Itawamba County, Mississippi. Note that Elvira was a sister of Henry Claiborne Cook, first husband of Martha Jane Sullivan, daughter of Isaac Fletcher Sullivan and Sarah Eleanor Brooks.

The children of David A. Brooks and Elvira Cook were (all surname Brooks): Martha J. (abt. 1853-4 — 1892; married James Polk Davis); William H. Brooks (1855-aft. 1900); Sarah A. (b. abt. 1857); and David A. (b. abt. 1860).

e. Frances Eunice Brooks was born 11 July 1830 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Her name appears in the register of the bible of her grandfather Thomas Brooks as simply Frances Brooks. On 3 July 1856 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, she married William Daniel Johnson, son of Stephen Edward Johnson and Elizabeth Ann Gibson.[9] As a previous posting notes, Elizabeth Ann Gibson was a daughter of Sylvanus Gibson and Mary Orr, and a sister of Margaret, who married John Wesley Lindsey, of William A., John W. Lindsey’s business partner in Lawrence County, Alabama, and of Nancy Jane, wife of William Carothers Thomas, a merchant in Van Buren, where John W. and Margaret Gibson Lindsey first settled in Itawamba County, Mississippi.

I can find little verifiable information about the family of Frances and husband William Daniel Johnson after they appear on the 1860 federal census in Itawamba County. I see reports at numerous family trees online that William (who was born about 1837 in [Lawrence County] Alabama according to the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses) died in 1863-4, including reports that he died in Richmond, Virginia, but I find no information to verify these reports — and they cite no sources. I do not find a Civil War service record for William. I also cannot locate Frances and the two children listed in the William D. Johnson household on the 1860 federal census — Sylvanus and Elsey — in 1870 on the federal census. By 1880, Sylvanus was living as an unmarried laborer in the household of William Hampton Roper in Lee County, Mississippi, where his aunt and uncle Robert Christopher Johnson and wife Margaret Lindsey Brooks were also living. Robert was a brother of William Daniel Johnson, and Margaret was a sister of Frances Eunice Brooks. 

Living next door to Robert and Margaret in Lee County in 1870 are Charles F. Brooks and wife Elsinora — the daughter of Frances Eunice Brooks and William Daniel Johnson listed as Elsey on the 1860 federal census. Elsinora Johnson married Charles F. Brooks, son of Samuel K. Brooks and Mary Ann Puckett, in Lee County on 14 May 1879. Samuel K. Brooks was a brother of Charles Brooks, Elsinora’s grandfather. Samuel Brooks and his second wife Mary J. Gilstrap are two doors from Samuel’s son Charles F. Brooks in Lee County on the 1880 census, and two doors further is found the family of Samuel’s nephew John Cornelius Brooks, brother to Frances Eunice Brooks Johnson. On the following page are found two more sons of Samuel K. Brooks — Christopher Joseph and Thomas Jarrett Brooks. Note that, as we’ll see below, Samuel K. and Mary Ann Puckett Brooks’s son William Mack Brooks married Martha Ledbetter  Brooks, a sister of Frances Eunice Brooks, and that couple had a son William Robert Brooks who married Deniah Elizabeth Johnson, a daughter of Robert Christopher Johnson and Margaret Lindsey Brooks.

I think that if Frances Eunice Brooks Johnson had been alive in 1880, she’d likely be enumerated in Lee County close to all of these relatives. It appears to me Frances had died by 1880 and perhaps well before that date.  

As as I’ve just stated, the 1860 federal census shows William D. Johnson and wife Frances Eunice Brooks with two children, Sylvanus and Elsey. A number of online family trees indicate that another child, a son with the nickname Buck, was born to the couple in 1861. The 1880 federal census shows Buck living as an unmarried laborer in the household of John W. Erwin in Lee County, Mississippi, next door to the family of Hamp Roper with whom Sylvanus Johnson is living. The children of William D. Johnson and Frances Eunice Brooks appear, then, to have been as follows (all surname Johnson): Sylvanus Stephen (1858-1925; married Nell Verda Patterson); Elsinora or Elsie Nora (1859-1935; married 1] Charles F. Brooks, 2] David Alsobrook Pinkerton); and Buck, who may have been named William Daniel Johnson for his father. I have no further information about him other than his listing, aged 19, on the 1880 census noted above.

John Cornelius Brooks, photo uploaded by Denise Tipton to John Cornelius Brooks page at FamilySearch

f. John Cornelius Brooks was born 12 February 1832 in Lawrence County, Alabama. On 6 January 1853 in Itawamba County, he married Susan Buchanan, daughter of Simeon Buchanan and sister of Louisa J. Buchanan, whom John’s brother Thomas married.[10] In January 1999, Denise Tipton Gilliland of Yantis, Texas, a descendant of John Cornelius Brooks, emailed me a brief history of the family of John Cornelius Brooks, which she said she had received from Phillis Morgan of Jackson, Mississippi, in December 1998. I tried contacting Phillis Morgan at the email address attached to this history, but was unsuccessful. I do not know if Phillis Morgan compiled the history or if someone else wrote this history and sent it to her. It is possibly a family history written by John Corlan Brooks and Virginia Brooks that Corinne Crider cites in her notes about the family of John Cornelius Brooks. Digital copies of some pages of a family history that may be part of this same document have been uploaded by Denise Tipton Gilliland to a FamilySearch page for John Cornelius Brooks.

Tombstone of Susan Buchanan Brooks Laura LeCornu Young, Find a Grave memorial page of Susan Buchanan Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Ron Turner

This history states that John’s wife Susan Buchanan was born in Tennessee [Humphreys County] on 10 March 1838, daughter of Simeon Buchanan of Tennessee and Itawamba County, Mississippi, and that she died 18 December 1891, evidently in Lee County, Mississippi, where she’s buried in Shiloh cemetery next to Charles Brooks’s homeplace (and the homeplace of John Cornelius Brooks). Susan’s tombstone states that she was born in 1828 and died in 1891.[11] Various sources online including her Find a Grave memorial page give Susan the middle name Lucron or Lucran, a name found in no documents anywhere, but which appears to come from a mistranscription of the record of her marriage to John C. Brooks, which has misread the name Susan as Lucran. Following Susan’s death, John remarried on 28 February 1893 in Itawamba County to Ophelia Ann Ratliff, a widow Forbus.[12] Ophelia was the daughter of George Mitchell Ratliff and Martha Kirkland, and had been previously married to John Samuel Forbus.[13] The Ratliffs were large landowners in Itawamba County, and had been in Morgan County, Alabama, before moving to Itawamba.

Marriage record of John Cornelius Brooks and Susan Buchanan, Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 4, p. 112, showing Susan’s name as Susan, not Lucran
Mistranscription of Susan Buchanan’s given name as Lucran at Itawabma Historical Society’s transcription of Itawamba County Marriage Bk. 4

John Cornelius Brooks was a justice of the peace in Itawamba County. According to a report on an 1855 New Orleans directory of Itawamba County planters published in Itawamba Settlers in the fall of 1992, John was a planter at Maysville in Itawamba County in 1855.[14] To the best of my knowledge, there has not ever been a community in Itawamba County named Maysville. I suspect the New Orleans directory erroneously used the name Maysville to refer to Mooreville.

As a previous posting notes, John Cornelius Brooks lived on land cornering on the land of his father Charles Brooks adjacent to the Shiloh cemetery in which John’s wife Susan is buried, and prior to her death, John’s mother Deniah Cornelius deeded Charles’s land to Charles Simeon Brooks, son of John Cornelius Brooks — but an 1892 lawsuit over this land between John C. Brooks and his brother James C. Brooks resulted in the court ordering that the land be sold at auction, with David Hampton Turner, husband of Mary Deniah Brooks, a daughter of Thomas Rowland Brooks, buying the land.

The previously cited (unidentified) history of the family of John Cornelius Brooks states that he and wife Susan spent most of their married days in Lee County, Mississippi, where John worked as a miller, blacksmith, and a farmer to support his large family of offspring. He was never formally educated to be a doctor, but he had great talent as a country doctor. His own family required much of his attention and neighbors depended on his skill at setting broken bones and prescribing for their ailments

The family history of John Cornelius Brooks then states the following: 

Being attracted by adventure and favorable reports of farming opportunities, John C. Brooks left Mississippi in 1894 and went to Texas.  He first settled in Wood County, later moving to Navarro County, and finally living in Van Zandt County.  Six years after going to Texas, he died at the home of one of his younger sons, John Watson Brooks, near Mabank, Texas, on April 29, 1900.  His burial place is in the Elm Grove Cemetery, Van Zandt County, Texas.  The grave of John Cornelius Brooks is marked by a marble gravemarker erected by his heirs from the balance of his estate. The marble gravemarker for Susan Buchanan Brooks who is buried in the Shiloh Cemetery in Mississippi was erected after her death by her daughter, Sarah Malinda (Sal) Brooks Roper.

Tombstone of John Cornelius Brooks, photo by Frank Everett, Find a Grave memorial page of John Cornelius Brooks, Elm Grove cemetery, Roddy, Van Zandt County, Texas, created both Frank Everett, managed by Jannette Weathers

As previously noted, John Cornelius Brooks’s sister Malinda and husband Malaciah Payne also settled in Van Zandt County, Texas, and apparently died there. Malinda was possibly still living at the time her brother John came to Van Zandt County.

John’s wife Ophelia was still living when John moved from Mississippi to Texas. He and Ophelia divorced in Itawamba County prior to his move to Texas. Documents in a court packet recording the divorce state that Ophelia filed for divorce, accusing John of, among other things, having taken a switch to her when she had not prepared supper before he came home in the evening, and John apparently then accused Ophelia of lunacy.[15] Ophelia Ann Ratliff Brooks was born 21 August 1858 at Ratliff in Itawamba County, and died there 27 June 1927. She’s buried in Oak Grove cemetery at Ratliff with her parents.

Transcription of register of John Cornelius Brooks family bible, uploaded by Denise Tipton to John Cornelius Brooks page at FamilySearch, erroneously reading John’s birthplace as Lamar County, Alabama
Register of family bible of John Cornelius Brooks, uploaded by Denise Tipton to John Cornelius Brooks page at FamilySearch, showing his birthplace as Lawrence County, Alabama

The previously discussed history of John Cornelius Brooks states that John had a family bible which apparently passed down to members of his family. The register of this bible appears to be transcribed in the materials about John Cornelius Brooks that Denise Tipton Gilliland has uploaded to FamilySearch. Note that the information in this transcript that John was born in Lamar County, Alabama, is not correct. John was born in Lawrence County, Alabama, something clearly stated in the original bible register. Unfortunately, the misinformation about John’s birthplace as Lamar County, Alabama, is now found widely in family trees online, as is the misinformation that his first wife Susan Buchanan had a middle name Lucron or Lucran.

Deniah Martha Jane Brooks and husband Bolin White Hendrick with sons Tom, Clovis, and Lloyd photo uploaded by lyoung1941 to “Jesse Hendrick” tree at Ancestry
Euna Marcus Brooks, husband James Allen Bruner, and children, photo uploaded by Barbara Fisher to her “Bruner Family Tree” at Ancestry
Leonora Brooks and husband William Van Lesley with children, about 1906, photo uploaded by lesdavis59 to Ancestry, shared by David Land at his “Land Family Tree” at Ancestry
William Anderson Brooks, wife Ollie Bruner Brooks, children, photo uploaded by Dale Lindsey to his “Lindsey Family” tree at Ancestry

By his first wife Susan Buchanan, John Cornelius Brooks had the following children (all surname Brooks): Charles Simeon (1854-1937; married 1] Martha E. Wood and 2] Patience Mulviney Harris); Deniah Martha Jane (1856-1939; married Bolin White Hendrick); Margaret Ann Elizabeth (1858-1895; married Jeptha P. Estes); Almira Emaline (1860-1942; married William L. Young); Sarah Malinda (1862-1951; married John Watson Roper); Frances Lucinda (1864-1890; married James Allen Bruner); William Anderson (1866-1890; married Ollie O. Bruner); Euna Marcus (1868-1957; married James Allen Bruner); Leonora (1870-1959; married William Van Lesley); Ira Cornelius (1872-1941; married Mina V. Jeter); Wesley Phillip (1874-1928; married Jennie Pearl Owens); John Watson (1876-1928; married Mary Elizabeth Orman); and Mary Edith Sula (1878-1965; married Marion Cullen Taylor).

By wife Ophelia Ann Ratliff (Forbus), John Cornelius Brooks had a son Chester Arthur Brooks (1893-1956), who married Vivian Short.

Tombstone of James M. Brooks, photo by Kim R., at Find a Grave memorial page for James M. Brooks, Sonora cemetery, Fairlie, Hunt County, Texas, created by Brown/Belobraydic and maintained until 2022 by Searching Days Gone By

g. James M. Brooks was born 12 April 1835 in Lawrence County, Alabama. On 7 November 1857 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, he married Frances Hancock, daughter of Thornton B. Hancock and Elizabeth Spencer.[16] On 15 February 1862 at Holly Springs, Mississippi, James enlisted in Co. H of the 44th Mississippi Infantry, Blythe’s Regiment (CSA). His service papers state that he was wounded at the battle of Shiloh.

As a previous posting has noted, when James’s father Charles Brooks died on 25 October 1861 in Itawamba County, James administered his father’s estate. At some point after June 1866, when James presented a final settlement account for this estate to Itawamba court, and 1870, when his family appears on the federal census in Lamar County, Texas, James moved his family from Mississippi to Texas. James and Frances were joined in this move by her brother George Alexander Hancock (1837-1915) and wife Melissa Carolina Brown, who had also settled in Lamar County by 1870, moving there from Itawamba County, Mississippi. By 1880, George A. Hancock had settled in Delta County, Texas, where he died and is buried. Delta is contiguous to Lamar and also to Fannin County, where James and Frances Brooks lived, and to Hunt County, where James is buried.

By 1880, the family was living in Collin County, Texas. The previously cited 25 April 1915 statement of Tom Boyd regarding members of the Brooks family who went to Texas states that James M. Brooks eventually settled west of Ladonia in Fannin County, Texas.[17] Ladonia is very near the dividing line between Fannin and Hunt Counties; James is buried in the latter county at Fairlie about 13 miles south of Ladonia. 

James M. Brooks died on 5 November 1896 in either Fannin or Hunt County, Texas, and, as just noted, is buried near Fairlie in Hunt County, Texas, in Sonora cemetery.[18] His wife Frances Hancock, who was born in Pickens County, Alabama, in 1835-6, is said to have died in Texas on 18 February 1905, but I have not found verification of either this date or place of death, and have found no burial information for her. I cannot find Frances on the 1900 federal census. The children of James and Frances whom I can locate on the 1900 federal census are daughters Margaret Ozella, Ollie Eliza, and Willis. Margaret Ozella married William Houston Cobb on 31 August 1884 in Hunt County, Texas. This family was living at Wolfe City in Hunt County in 1900, 9.8 miles southwest of Ladonia and 7.8 miles northwest of Fairlie. Margaret Ozella Brooks and husband William Houston Cobb are buried in Mount Carmel cemetery at Wolfe City.

Tombstone of Ollie E. Brooks West, photo by Gala Sherman, Find a Grave memorial page of Ollie E. Brooks West, Bennington cemetery, Bennington, Bryan County, Oklahoma, created by Timeless Spirits, maintained by Find a Grave

Ollie Eliza Brooks married Harlin Mulkey West in Delta County, Texas, on 12 August 1894, and this family is enumerated in that county on the 1900 federal census, with Ollie’s brother Willis living in the household and listed as Mulkey West’s brother-in-law. As noted above, Ollie and Willis’s uncle George Alexander Hancock lived in Delta County, Texas, and is buried there.

James and Frances Hancock Brooks appear to have had the following children, all with surname Brooks: Melvida (b. abt. 1858); Margaret Ozella (1861-1938; married William Houston Cobb); William (b. abt. 1862-3); Ira James (b. abt. 1865); Ollie Eliza (1867-1911; married Harlin Mulkey West); and Willis (b. June 1871). 

h. Margaret Lindsey Brooks was born 2 October 1841 in Itawamba County, Mississippi. On 22 July 1859 in Itawamba County, she married Robert Christopher Johnson, son of Stephen Edward Johnson and Elizabeth Ann Gibson, a brother of William Daniel Johnson, who married Margaret’s sister Frances.[19]

Margaret and Robert spent their married lives in Itawamba and Lee Counties, Mississippi. They were in the latter county by 1880, living just west of Mantachie near the community of Eggville, in whose cemetery both are buried. Eggville is 5.5 miles west of Mantachie; Shiloh, where Margaret’s parents lived, is about halfway between the two places.

Tombstone of Margaret Lindsey Brooks Johnson, photo by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone, at Find a Grave memorial page of Margaret Lindsey Brooks Johnson, Eggville cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Ron Turner
Tombstone of Robert Christopher Johnson, photo by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone, at Find a Grave memorial page of Robert Christopher Johnson, Eggville cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill

Margaret died 30 June 1889. Her tombstone in Eggville cemetery records both her date of birth and of death, and states that she was the wife of R.C. Johnson; the birthdate is also in her grandfather Thomas Brooks’s bible).[20] Robert was born 6 April 1839 in Lawrence County, Alabama, and died in Lee County near Eggville on 9 February 1929. Robert’s tombstone gives his dates of birth and death, and his birthdate is also recorded in the bible of Margaret’s grandfather Thomas Brooks.[21]

Deniah Elizabeth Johnson and William Robert Brooks, photo uploaded by pommemom to her “Brooks” tree at Ancestry
William Robert Brooks, photo uploaded by pommemom to her “Brooks” tree at Ancestry
Tombstone of William Robert Brooks and Deniah Elizabeth Johnson Brooks, photo by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone, at Find a Grave memorial page of William R. Brooks, Eggville cemetery, Eggville, Lee County, Mississippi, created by

The children of Margaret Lindsey Brooks and Robert Christopher Johnson (all with surname Johnson) were as follows: William Christopher (1860-1942; married 1] Nancy T. Frederick, 2] Margaret A. Winters); Franklin Davis (abt. 1865-aft. 1893; married Mary Melissa Patterson); Deniah Elizabeth (1866-1943; married William Robert Brooks, son of William Mack Brooks and Martha Ledbetter Brooks); Charles Cornelius (abt. 1869-aft. 1880); Ollie J. (1870-1892; married Doctor [sic] Cuthbert Taylor); Martha Elizabeth (1872-1959; married Doctor Cuthbert Taylor); Emma Lou (1874-1958; married William James Lyle); Thomas S. (abt. 1877-aft. 1880).

Martha Ledbetter Brooks, photo uploaded by Debra O’Neill to See Find a Grave memorial page of Martha Ledbetter Brooks Brooks, Eggville cemetery, Eggville, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill
William Mack Brooks, photo uploaded by Debra O’Neill to Find a Grave memorial page of William Mack Brooks, Eggville cemetery, Eggville, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill

i. Martha Ledbetter Brooks was born 21 May 1844 in Itawamba County, Mississippi. Martha married her first cousin William Mack Brooks, a son of Samuel K. Brooks and Mary Ann Puckett. As previously noted, William and Martha had a son William Robert Brooks who married Deniah Elizabeth Johnson, daughter of Margaret Lindsey Brooks and Robert Christopher Johnson. Martha Ledbetter Brooks and William Mack Brooks married on 4 July 1865 in Itawamba County, Mississippi.[22] After marrying, the couple lived a number of years in Itawamba County, then right before 1880, they moved to Franklin County, Alabama, and lived there several years before moving to the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory between 1880 and 1900. By 1910, they had returned to Mississippi and were living at Eggville in Lee County. Martha died 16 October 1912 and is buried in the Eggville cemetery, with her tombstone stating her dates of birth and death (the birthdate is also in her grandfather Thomas Brooks’s bible).[23]

Tombstone of Martha Ledbetter Brooks by by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone, at Find a Grave memorial page of Martha Ledbetter Brooks Brooks, Eggville cemetery, Eggville, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill
Tombstone of William Mack Brooks by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone, at  Find a Grave memorial page of William Mack Brooks, Eggville cemetery, Eggville, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill

William Mack Brooks was born 4 December 1843 in Lawrence County, Alabama, and died 26 June 1919 at Eggville in Lee County, Mississippi. He’s buried with wife Martha in the Eggville cemetery with a tombstone stating his dates of birth and death.[24]

The children of Martha Ledbetter Brooks and William Mack Brooks are as follows (all with surname Brooks): William Robert (1869-1956; married Deniah Elizabeth Brooks); James Anderson (1868-1962; married 1] Martha Martin, 2] Rebecca Jane Turner); Minnie Belle (1872-1943; married George A. Hester); Trannie (1876-1970); Maggie (abt. 1877-aft. 1880); Andrew Jackson (1880-1957; married Ethie E. Brooks); and Bulah C. (1888-1917). Ethie E. Brooks, wife of Andrew Jackson Brooks, was a daughter of William Leonidas Brooks and Helen Alice Stephens; William Leonidas Brooks was a grandson of Samuel K. Brooks and Mary Ann Puckett.

j. William Glenn Brooks was born 16 February 1847 in Itawamba County, Mississippi, and died there on 12 April 1855. Both his birth and his death date are recorded in the bible of his grandfather Thomas Brooks.


[1] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 1, p. 204.

[2] See Leona Adams Loviska, Descendants of James and Agnes (Wilson) Adams with Fifty-seven Allied Families (n.p., 1978), p. 221.

[3] See J.H. Walker, “Boyd Family,” Itawamba Settlers 2,4 (December 1982), pp. 229-30, which provides information about this family including a transcript of the register of the bible of John Hiram Boyd, who married Isaac and Sarah’s daughter Martha. In 1982, the bible belonged to Daisy Sandlin. This article transcribes a 25 April 1915 statement of Tom Boyd about the history of this family. Thomas B. Boyd was a son of John Hiram Boyd by his first wife Mary Jane Keasler. See also the Find a Grave memorial page of Isaac Fletcher Sullivan, who died at Pilot Point, Denton County, Texas, and whose place of burial is not known; it was created by victorian lady.

[4] See Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah Ellender Brooks Sullivan, San Saba cemetery, San Saba, San Saba County, Texas, created by James Boutwell, with tombstone photos by LadyDi_60 and Donna Hill.

[5] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 3, p. 336. 

[6] See “Estate Settlements,” Itawamba Settlers 2,3 (September 1982), p. 170; packet is #369.

[7] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 2, p. 80.

[8] Ibid., Bk. 3, p. 331.

[9] I have not been able to find the original marriage record. FamilySearch’s database “Mississippi Marriages, 1800-1911,” indexes it and indicates that it’s Itawamba County marriage books 1-4 — but Bk. 4 ends with 1853, and this is an 1856 marriage. I do not find it in the index to either Bk. 4 or Bk. 5; the marriage should be in the latter book.

[10] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 4, p. 112.

[11] See Find a Grave memorial page of Susan Buchanan Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Ron Turner, with a tombstone photo by Laura LeCornu Young. 

[12] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 10, p. 100.

[13] On George M. Ratliff and wife Martha, see Bob Franks, “Martha M. Kirkland Ratliff Monument,” Itawamba History Review; and Find a Grave memorial page of George Mitchell Ratliff, Oak Grove cemetery, Ratliff, Itawamba County, Mississippi, created by Charles D. Parham, with a tombstone photo by LWB. Note that George M. Ratliff and Martha M. Kirkland married in 1837 in Morgan County, Alabama, where John Cornelius Brooks’s grandfather Thomas Brooks was then living; Thomas died in that county in 1838.

[14] “1855 New Orleans Directory of Itawamba Planters,” Itawamba Settlers 12,3 (fall 1992), p. 127.  

[15] The Itawamba County loose-records court packets documenting the divorce and John’s charge of his wife’s lunacy are estate settlement packets #834 and 926: see “Estate Settlements,” Itawamba Settlers 2,2 (June 1982), p. 61; and Itawamba Settlers 2,4 (December 1982), p. 199. I’m grateful to Bob Franks, publication editor and librarian for the Itawamba Historical Society, for sending me information from these court packets.

[16] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 5, p. 62.

[17] On this source, see supra, n. 3. 

[18] See Find a Grave memorial page for James M. Brooks, Sonora cemetery, Fairlie, Hunt County, Texas, created by Brown/Belobraydic and maintained until 2022 by Searching Days Gone By, with tombstone photos by Kim R.

[19] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Bk. 5, p. 191.

[20] See Find a Grave memorial page of Margaret Lindsey Brooks Johnson, Eggville cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Ron Turner, with a tombstone photo by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone.

[21] See Find a Grave memorial page of Robert Christopher Johnson, Eggville cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill, with a tombstone photo by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone.

[22] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Bk. 6, p. 138.

[23] See Find a Grave memorial page of Martha Ledbetter Brooks Brooks, Eggville cemetery, Eggville, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill, with a tombstone photo by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone.

[24] See Find a Grave memorial page of William Mack Brooks, Eggville cemetery, Eggville, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill, with a tombstone photo by Judy Harden/Barbara Wallace/Matthew Malone.

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