Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879) of Wayne County, Kentucky, and Randolph County, Missouri

As we’ll see in a moment, Thomas was issued three federal land certificates in Randolph County, Missouri, in 1835, each of which gave his full name as Thomas Whitlock Brooks. Thomas Brooks and Sarah Whitlock named their first son Charles after Sarah’s brother of that name, who died three years prior to Charles Brooks’s death. Their next son, Thomas Whitlock Brooks, was named for Sarah’s father Thomas Whitlock. Thomas Whitlock Brooks consistently signed his name as Thomas W. Brooks, and since he came of age in Wayne County, Kentucky, while his father, the elder Thomas, was still living there, the initial would have been significant to distinguish these two men of the same name from each other.

Wayne County, Kentucky, Beginnings

I’m placing Thomas Whitlock Brooks’s birth in Wayne County, Kentucky, since abundant documentation puts his parents in that county at the time of Thomas’s birth, and various documents indicate that Thomas himself lived there up to his move to Missouri in 1832. The previously cited biography of Thomas’s son William Cleveland Brooks states that William’s father Thomas N. [sic] Brooks was “originally from Wayne county, Ky.” and that Thomas married Nancy Gillespie (the biography spells the surname as Gillispie) of the same state, and moved his family from there to Randolph County, Missouri, in the fall of 1832.[3]

I have not found a record of Thomas Whitlock Brooks’s marriage to Nancy, daughter of Robert Gillespie and Margaret Edmundson. The biography of Thomas and Nancy’s son William implies that the couple married in Wayne County, Kentucky, where both were living at the time of the marriage. There is an inexplicable gap in the marriage bonds of Wayne County, Kentucky, in the period 1812-1832 — see this previous posting for a discussion of that gap.

Thomas W. Brooks was listed as head of a household on the 1830 federal census in Wayne County, and this suggests to me that he and Nancy Gillespie had married by that date.[4] His household includes one male aged 20-29, one female aged 5-9, and one female 20-29. The age of the younger female, who is probably a daughter and whose name I have not found, indicates that Thomas Whitlock Brooks married Nancy Gillespie between 1821 and 1825, and given his birth year of 1805, likely closer to 1825 than to 1821. The census also tells us that Thomas’s wife Nancy was in his age bracket. This census entry lists Thomas as Thomas W. Brooks. Nancy Gillespie Brooks’s widowed mother Margaret is enumerated on the same census page on which Thomas W. Brooks’s family is found.

Thomas W. Brooks to Edmunson/Edmonson Gillespie, Wayne County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. E, p. 448

Proof that Thomas W. Brooks married Nancy, daughter of Robert Gillespie, is found in a deed Thomas made to Edmonson or Edmunson (the deed uses both spellings) Gillespie in Wayne County on 19 September 1831.[5] The deed states that Thomas W. Brooks was one of the legal heirs of Robert Gillespie, deceased, of Wayne County, and for $140, he was deeding his share in Robert’s landed estate to Edmonson/Edmunson Gillespie. Thomas acknowledged the deed on the day he made it and it was recorded 10 October 1831. Though the deed itself does not give Thomas Brooks a middle initial, it shows him signing as Thomas W. Brooks. It also spells the Gillespie surname as Gillispie.

Will of Robert Gillespie, Wayne County, Kentucky, New Will Bk. A, p. 17

Nancy Gillespie’s father Robert Gillespie made a will in Wayne County on 31 May 1819.[6] The will names wife Margaret and son James and speaks of other children without naming them, noting that Robert’s youngest child was not yet of age. The will made Robert’s son James Gillespie and Andrew Cowan executors.

As has been previously noted, on the same day that Robert Gillespie made this will, he made a codicil to it leaving to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church in Wayne County land on which to erect a meeting house. These trustees included Thomas Brooks, John Francis, Isaac Huffaker, Thomas Isbell, Elliott Jones, John Vanwinkle, James Lear, and James Frost. Thomas Brooks was, of course, the father of Thomas Whitlock Brooks. John Francis and James Frost were witnesses to Robert Gillespie’s will, and Francis was the father of Leah Francis, wife of Thomas Isbell. Thomas Isbell was a brother to Nancy Isbell, who married James Brooks, brother of Thomas Brooks. As numerous previous postings have stated (and here and here), Elliott Jones was, like Thomas Brooks, a Methodist minister in Wayne County, who went along with the Lindsey and Brooks families to Lawrence-Morgan Counties, Alabama. As has also been noted, John Vanwinkle was an uncle of Ransom Van Winkle/Vanwinkle, who married Margaret Brooks, sister of Thomas Whitlock Brooks.

As a previous posting states, the church erected on the land Robert Gillespie donated was Bethesda Methodist church. The church was about five miles southwest of Monticello in Wayne County, near where Thomas Brooks lived.

On 20 September 1819, Wayne County court appointed Thomas Brooks, Thomas Moody, John Miles, and John Francis to appraise Robert’s estate.[7] An estate inventory was filed on 16 October 1819 by Thomas Moody, John S. Miles, and John Francis.[8] There’s an undated sale bill following it. 

I have done little research on the Gillespie family, but it’s worth noting that, as with the Brooks family, the family lived in southwest Virginia prior to moving to Kentucky. Robert Gillespie married his wife Margaret Edmondson in Washington County, Virginia, two counties west of Wythe County where the Brooks family lived, on 5 November 1800.

A James Gillespie who is identified as the son of Robert and Margaret Edmondson Gillespie by a number of Gillespie researchers[9] married Rhoda Van Winkle in Wayne County on 27 February 1839.[10] It’s not clear to me which Rhoda Van Winkle married James Gillespie. But it’s interesting that the Gillespie family to which Nancy Gillespie Brooks belongs connects by marriage to the Van Winkle family in Wayne County into which Thomas Whitlock Brooks’s sister Margaret married

I don’t find a clear match for James Gillespie on the 1840 federal census, but two federal land certificates on 10 January 1840 show him buying land in Randolph County by that date, with the certificates stating that he lived in Randolph County. As we’ll see in a moment, James sold this land to Thomas W. Brooks in December 1841, and he had died by 19 April 1845, when Thomas W. Brooks, as administrator of the estate of James Gillespie, placed a notice in the Boon’s Lick Times of Fayette, Missouri, that he would apply at May term in Randolph County for the final settlement of the estate of James Gillespie, deceased (Boon’s Lick Times [Fayette, Missouri], 19 April 1845, p. 3, col. 1).

I don’t find Thomas W. Brooks on the tax list in Wayne County prior to 1827. The 1827 tax list shows two men named Thomas Brooks taxed in Capt. Daniel Shearer’s company, one with seven tracts of land who is clearly the Thomas who is father of Thomas Whitlock Brooks.[11] The other Thomas is taxed for no land and is evidently Thomas’s son Thomas Whitlock Brooks. Thomas W. Brooks appears as Thomas Brooks Jr. on the 1828 tax list of Wayne County, Kentucky, taxed for 50 acres on Otter Creek.[12] Thomas W. Brooks is on the 1829 tax list in Wayne County, taxed for 100 acres of land.[13] He appears again in 1830 with no land listed for him.[14]

Move to Randolph County, Missouri, and Establishing Foothold There

As has been noted, the biography of William Cleveland Brooks, son of Thomas Whitlock Brooks and Nancy Gillespie, states that his parents moved from Kentucky to Randolph County, Missouri, in the fall of 1832.[15] According to Howard W. Marshall, the largest group of migrants to Randolph County, which is in the Little Dixie area of Missouri, were Kentuckians, who came to this area because the land was similar to what they left behind in Kentucky and because Daniel Boone had pronounced it good land.[16] Marshall notes that this region was heavily Southern in character, unlike the Ozarks to the South, and settlers of the region brought enslaved people with them.[17] A “Southern regional personality” stamps this area of Missouri, leaving a “Southern imprint” in the region.[18]

30 September 1835 certificate to Thomas Whitlock Brooks, Randolph County, Missouri, Missouri State Vol. Pat. Bk. 520, p. 309, certificate 5813

Thomas began acquiring land in Randolph County immediately upon his relocation there. On 19 October 1832, he claimed federal land at the Fayette land office, receiving a certificate for 31.61 acres on 30 September 1835.[19] The certificate names Thomas as Thomas Whitlock Brooks of Randolph County, Missouri, and states that the tract was the southwest ¼ southwest ¼ of section 31, township 55 north, range 15 west. 

This land adjoined Isaac and Josiah Harlan, a family we’ve met before in discussons of the Brooks family. Thomas’s aunt Susanna Brooks married Ezekiel Harlan, and in the generation prior to that, Mary Brooks married Jacob Hollingsworth, whose grandparents were Samuel Hollingsworth and Hannah Harlan. The Isaac Harlan (1777-1850) whose land adjoined the land Thomas Whitlock Brooks bought in Randolph County, Missouri, in 1832, receiving a certificate in 1835, was a son of Isaac Harlan and Jane Davis, who moved from Frederick County, Virginia, to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where Isaac younger was born. Josiah was Isaac’s son.[20]

11 October 1835 certificate to Thomas Whitlock Brooks, Randolph County, Missouri, Missouri State Vol. Pat. Bk. 550, p. 138, certificate 7161

On 1 October 1835, Thomas received a certificate for another 63.22 acres in Randolph County for which he had filed at Fayette on 20 June 1833.[21] This land was the east ½ southwest ¼ of section 31, township 55 north, range 15 west. Again, the certificate is made out to Thomas Whitlock Brooks of Randolph County.

14 November 1835 certificate to Thomas Whitlock Brooks, Randolph County, Missouri, Missouri State Vol. Pat. Bk. 540, p. 109, certificate 6634

On 14 November 1835, Thomas Whitlock Brooks had another certificate for 31.61 acres in Randolph County, the northwest ¼ southwest ¼ of section 31, township 55 north, range 15 west.[22] By the end of 1835, then, Thomas Whitlock Brooks had received certificates for three pieces of federal land in section 31, township 55 north, range 15 west in Randolph County. Plat maps of the county show this land on Silver Creek in Silver Creek township in the southwest corner of Randolph County.[23] History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, states that this now-defunct township was the oldest township in the county, with the most fertile tracts in the county.[24]

Land initially acquired by Thomas W. Brooks in Randolph County, Missouri, highlighted, Randolph County plat map from An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Randolph County, Missouri (Philadelphia: Edwards Brothers, 1876), pp. 5

On 17 July 1838, Thomas W. Brooks of Randolph County, Missouri, appointed James Gillespie his attorney in Wayne County, Kentucky, to receive from James Carver Thomas’s share of the estate of his deceased father-in-law Robert Gillespie.[25] The power of attorney states that Thomas W. Brooks’s wife Nancy was a child and heir of Robert Gillespie. Thomas signed the power of attorney as Thomas W. Brooks, and with the document recorded in Wayne County is an attestation by Robert Wilson of Randolph County, Missouri, that Thomas W. Brooks had proved it in Randolph County. James Cowan presented the document in Wayne County on 18 October 1838 and it was recorded on 29 October.

Thomas W. Brooks, power of attorney to James Gillespie, Wayne County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. G, pp. 445-6

As we’ve seen previously, the 2 October 1838 will of Thomas Whitlock Brooks’s father Thomas Brooks in Morgan County, Alabama, names Thomas W. Brooks as Thomas’s son and states that Thomas and his siblings Margaret Vanwinkle, James Brooks, and Sarah Lindsey were each to have $100 legacy money that Thomas had already given to his other children. As the posting I’ve just linked notes, this legacy money was evidently money coming to them from the estate of their grandfather Thomas Whitlock, who died in Cumberland County, Kentucky, around May 1830.

10 January 1840 certificate to Thomas Whitlock Brooks, Randolph County, Missouri, Missouri State Vol. Pat. Bk. 2740, p. 420, certificate 13763

On 10 January 1840, Thomas W. Brooks had a certificate for 80 more acres of land in Randolph County, Missouri, from the federal land office at Fayette.[26] This tract was the west ½ southeast ¼ of section 36, township 55, range 16. Thomas had claimed the land at Fayette on 19 December 1836. The land bordered Jonathan Haines (1793-1846), who was apparently a son of Evan Haines of Chester County, Pennsylvania. The name Haines/Haynes stands out for me here because of the marriage of Susanna Brooks, an aunt of Thomas W. Brooks’s father, to a Haines/Haynes spouse whose given name I have not found, and, as a previous posting states, I suspect Susanna married into a Haines/Haynes family in Frederick County, Virginia, with roots in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Haines and Thomas “Brookes” are mentioned in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri as early settlers of Charitown township in the northwest corner of Randolph County.[27] Though, unless I’m mistaken, Thomas had initially settled in Silver Creek township in the southwest corner of the county, I think he may then have moved north to the rich prairie land of the county’s northwest corner in Charitown township by 1840. 

Thomas did, however, soon sell the piece of federal land he acquired in Charitown township in January 1840. The index to Randolph County, Missouri, deeds shows a deed by Thomas W. Brooks and wife Nancy on 9 January 1841 in Randolph County, to Jonathan Haines, for the west ½ southwest ¼ of section 36, township 55, range 16. The index states that this deed is recorded in Randolph County, Missouri, Deed Bk. C, p. 363, but the microfilmed and digitized holdings of the county’s deed books at FamilySearch does not include this deed book. This appears to be the tract of federal land Thomas acquired in January 1840.

The 1840 federal census shows the family of Thomas W. Brooks in Randolph County, Missouri.[28]  The household includes one male under 5, one m. 30-39, two females under 5, one female 5-9, and one female 30-39, as well as an enslaved female under 10. The adult male and female are, of course, Thomas and his wife Nancy. The young male is their son William. One of the younger females is daughter Sarah Margaret, who was born in 1835. The youngest daughter is perhaps a daughter listed in the family in 1850 and 1860 as Irene (1850) and Laura (1860), born in 1841 (1850) or 1840 (1860).

On 18 December 1841, James Gillespie sold to Thomas W. Brooks for $300 120 acres in Randolph County, the east ½ southeast ¼ of section 1 and northwest ¼ southeast ¼ of section 1, all in township 55, range 15.[29] The deed does not specify where the parties lived. James Gillespie signed. No witnesses are listed, but there’s an attestation from court clerk R. Wilson, who also stated that on the day of the deed, James Gillespie appeared before him with Joshua and Evan Haynes attesting to his identity and Gillespie acknowledged the deed and it was recorded. This suggests to me that James Gillespie may not have been living in Randolph County when he made this deed, but was perhaps back in Wayne County, Kentucky. As I noted previously, James had two certificates for this tract of federal land on 10 January 1840 — and this is James Gillespie, brother of Thomas W. Brooks’s wife Nancy.

Note the reference in this deed to Evan Haynes, a name discussed above in connection with Thomas Brooks’s neighbor Jonathan Haines, whose father was Evan Haines. This given name ran through the Haines/Haynes family in Randolph County, Missouri.

As a previous posting notes, on 20 June 1847 in Morgan County, Alabama, on behalf of Thomas Whitlock Brooks, his brother-in-law Ransom Van Winkle received $250, a portion of Thomas W. Brooks’s share of the estate of Thomas Brooks, in Morgan County, Alabama. The posting I’ve just linked contains a digital image of the receipt Ransom wrote for this transaction, the original of which is filed in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County. Ransom was the husband of Thomas W. Brooks’s sister Margaret; the couple moved from Wayne County, Kentucky, to Morgan County, Illinois, in the fall of 1829.

Death of Nancy Gillespie Brooks and Marriage to Nancy Westfall

On 1 December 1848, Thomas W. Brooks sold to John J. Damuron for $600 120 acres in Randolph County, the east ½ southeast ¼ of section 1, township 55, range 16.[30] The deed does not specify where Thomas W. Brooks and John Damuron lived; presumably both were in Randolph County. Thomas signed the deed, signing as Thomas W. Brooks, and proved it on 4th December, when it was recorded. This is the tract of land Thomas had bought from his brother-in-law James Gillespie in December 1841. Thomas sold it for twice what he paid for it seven years earlier.

Something important to note about this 1 December 1848 deed of Thomas W. Brooks to John J. Damuron: The deed mentions no wife for Thomas. It appears Thomas’s wife Nancy had died between 9 January 1841, when the couple sold land to Jonathan Haines, and 1 December 1848, when Thomas alone deeded land to John Damuron. Thomas W. Brooks and Nancy Gillespie’s last child appears to have been their son James M. Brooks, who was born in 1843 according to a death record I’ll cite when I discuss the children of Thomas and Nancy. This birthdate would place Nancy’s death between 1843 and 1 December 1848.

On 7 March 1849, Jesse B. Holloway and Elizabeth his wife sold to Thomas W. Brooks, all of Randolph County, for $400 the west ½ northeast ¼ of section 21, township 54, range 13, and the northwest ¼ southeast ¼ of section 21, township 54, range 13 in Randolph County.[31] The deed does not specify acreage. Jesse and Elizabeth Holloway both signed and on the day of the deed acknowledged it. 

This land is in Union township, where the 1850-1870 federal censuses will show Thomas living. It appears to me that following his wife Nancy Gillespie’s death and as he married his second wife Nancy Westfall, Thomas moved from Chariton township over to Union, which is in east-central Randolph County on the border with Monroe County.[32] I think this is where Thomas spent his final years until he died at the home of his son William in 1879 in Prairie township south of Union. Vince cemetery, in which Thomas and wife Nancy Westfall are buried, is in Union township.

Thomas W. Brooks marriage to Nancy Westfall, 29 March 1849, Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 123

On 29 March 1849, Thomas W. Brooks married Nancy Westfall in Randolph County.[33] Nancy was the daughter of Cornelius Westfall (1790-1874) and Edith Wilson, who moved to Randolph County in 1838 from Lewis County, Virginia (now West Virginia), and who are thought to be buried in Vince cemetery, though no tombstones are extant to verify this.[34] A biography of their son William H. Westfall in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, states that Cornelius and Edith Westfall “were highly respected residents of Randolph county and the father was a man of sterling worth and great industry.  He was one of the most energetic farmers of his vicinity and he and his wife were faithful church members.”[35]

On 24 August 1850, Thomas W. Brooks and Nancy his wife of Randolph County, Missouri, mortgaged to Randolph County the west ½ northeast ¼ of section 21, township 54, range 13, and the northwest ¼ southeast ¼ of same coordinates in Randolph County.[36] The mortgage says that Thomas was indebted to Randolph County and the land would be for the use of inhabitants of school township 52 of range 14. Thomas had executed a note to the county for $103.64 on 19 August. Thomas and Nancy both signed, with Thomas signing as Thomas W. Brooks. Both acknowledged the deed on 24 August and it was recorded on the 26th. In the margin next to the mortgage is a note by the county clerk that the debt was paid on 12 February 1852. The land mortgaged is the land Thomas bought from Jesse and Elizabeth Holloway in March 1849. Nancy is, of course, Nancy Westfall Brooks, not Nancy Gillespie Brooks.

In 1850, the family of T.W. Brooks is enumerated in Union township in Randolph County, Missouri.[37] T.W. Brooks is aged 45, a farmer with real property valued at $450, born in Kentucky. Wife Nancy is 35, born in Virginia. Children enumerated in the household are Sarah, 15, Cleveland, 11, Irene, 9, James, 8, and an unnamed son, 5 months, all born in Missouri.  

On 20 January 1851, as David Dinsmore Lindsey, who married Thomas W. Brooks’s sister Sarah, filed the final settlement of the estate of Thomas Brooks in Morgan County, Alabama, he filed a list of the children and legatees of Thomas Brooks. The list included Thomas Brooks, residence Missouri. The link I’ve just provided contains a digital copy of this document, the original of which is in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County, Alabama. The final settlement states that the estate still contained $443.10 to be divided among the heirs.

On 6 February 1852, Thomas W. Brooks and wife Nancy sold William Evans, all of Randolph County, Missouri, for $650 the west ½ northeast ¼ of section 21, township 54, range thirteen, and the northwest ¼ southeast ¼ of same coordinates in Randolph County.[38] Thomas and Nancy both signed, Thomas as Thomas W. Brooks, and acknowledged the deed on the same day. It was recorded on the 7th.  This appears to be the land Thomas had bought from Jesse and Elizabeth Holloway in March 1849.

On 13 April 1852, Thomas W. Brooks and Nancy his wife of Randolph County mortgaged land to the county after Thomas made three notes to the county on 10 April in the amount of $332.80.[39] The land mortgaged was for the benefit of inhabitants of school township 53, range 14, and township 54, ranges 14 and 15, and was the northeast ¼ northwest ¼ section 25, the south ½ southwest ¼ of section 24, and the northeast ¼ northeast ¼ section 26, all in township 54, range 13. Thomas W. Brooks and wife Nancy both signed, and both acknowledged the mortgage on the same day, 13 April, and it was recorded on that day. A note in the margin states that the debt was released when Thomas W. Brooks took a new mortgage on different numbers of land on 27 February 1858. I have not found deeds showing Thomas purchasing this land; I suspect it may have come to him through his marriage to Nancy Westfall. Perhaps this is actually the land on which Thomas and Nancy lived after they married, and not the tract Thomas bought from Jesse and Elizabeth Holloway.

On 2 September 1858, the Randolph Citizen of Huntsville, Missouri, announced a sheriff’s sale of property of Thomas W. Brooks after a judgment handed down in the in case of Reese Davis vs. Thomas W. Brooks and George W. Westfall (Randolph Citizen [Huntsville, Missouri], 2 September 1858, p. 2, col. 5. The land to be sold was in township 54, range 13.

On 26 April 1859, the Randolph Citizen of Huntsville, Missouri, carried a legal notice that Anna L. and James Brooks, 14, had chosen their father Thomas W. Brooks as their guardian and curator, and that Thomas had given bond in the sum of $200 (Randolph Citizen [Huntsville, Missouri], 6 April 1859, p. 2. col. 6). James is Thomas’s son James M. Brooks, who, as we’ve seen, is in Thomas’s household on the 1850 federal census aged 8, and who appears again in 1860 in his father’s household (see infra) aged 18. If he and Anna L. were both 14 in 1859, then they may have been twins and Anna L. would be Irene of the 1850 federal census and Laura of the 1860 federal census.

Final Years

The 1860 federal census shows Thomas Brooks (the census listing has no middle initial) and his family in Union township in Randolph County.[40] Thomas Brooks is aged 54, a farmer born in Kentucky with $1,200 real estate and $400 personal estate. Wife Nancy is 35, born in Virginia.  Children listed in the household are Wm. C., 23, Laura L., 20, Mary C., 10, John T., 7, Ellen E., 4, Virginia S., 2, Emma, 1, and James M., 18, all born in Missouri. The children from Mary to Emma are Thomas’s children by wife Nancy Westfall. The census states that Laura, Mary, and John had attended school in the last year. James and William C. are listed as farmers, presumably farming with their father. Listed on the same census page is the family of Nancy Westfall Brooks’s older brother George W. Westfall, another indicator to me that Thomas W. Brooks and wife Nancy were probably living at this point on land in Union township that came to Thomas from the Westfall family.

On 11 April 1861, Thomas W. Brooks and Nancy his wife in Randolph County made a mortgage to Ruth Scott and Eliza Pollard of Monroe County, Missouri, for a note of $124 the Brooks had made to the other two parties on 1 January 1861.[41] Thomas and Nancy mortgaged the northwest ¼ northwest ¼ of section 25, the northeast ¼ northwest ¼ of section 25, and the northeast ¼ northeast ¼ of section 26, all in township 54, range 13 west. Thomas W. Brooks and wife Nancy both signed, and they acknowledged the mortgage on 13 April and it was recorded 31 March 1862.

I don’t have any specific information on a connection Thomas W. Brooks and wife Nancy may have had to Ruth Scott and Eliza Pollard. Ruth and Eliza were sisters and were Kentucky natives. Eliza Ann Scott married Braxton Carter Pollard, also a Kentucky native, in 1860 in Monroe County, Missouri.

T.W. Brooks and his family appear on the 1870 federal census once again in Union township in Randolph County.[42] The family is listed at Cairo post office. T.W. Brooks is 64, a farmer born in Kentucky, with $2,000 real worth and $400 personal worth. Wife Nancy is 46, born in Virginia. In the household are children Mary C., 18, John T., 17, Ellen E., 15, Virginia S., 13, Emma, 10, George, 8, and Samuel, 4, all born in Missouri. John is listed as working on his father’s farm, and Ellen, Virginia, and George have attended school in the past year. Cairo appears on county maps a few miles north of Moberly, on the St. Louis, Kansas City, and Northern railroad line.

The biography of Thomas W. Brooks’s son William Cleveland Brooks in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, states that Thomas W. Brooks “passed away at the residence of his son William C., on October 3, 1879.”[43] The 1870 and 1880 federal censuses show William C. Brooks living in Prairie township in the southeast corner of Randolph County, where William operated a sawmill and farmed, according to his biography. The biography also indicates that William lived in Prairie township, close to Moberly, I think; it’s in this township of Randolph County, then, that Thomas W. Brooks died in 1879.

Nancy Westfall Brooks tombstone, photo by Nancy Meadows, Find a Grave memorial page of Nancy Westfall Brooks, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon

Thomas Whitlock Brooks is thought to be buried in Vince cemetery just northeast of Moberly in Randolph County, though, as his Find a Grave memorial page for this cemetery states, there is no marker for a grave for him in the cemetery.[44] The memorial page states that is burial in the cemetery is recorded in an “old listing.” His wife Nancy Westfall Brooks is buried at Vince with a marker stating that she was the wife of Thos. Brooks and died 21 August 1887, aged 63 years, 8 months, and 4 days.[45] This would give Nancy a birthdate of 17 December 1823. As has been noted, Nancy’s parents Cornelius and Edith Wilson Westfall are also thought to be buried at Vince, and other members of the Westfall family are buried there, as are Thomas and Nancy’s children John T., Virginia/Jennie, and Emily.

Thomas W. Brooks marriage to Mary E. Reid, 25 December 1873, Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. B, p. 40

Since Thomas’s wife Nancy died after Thomas died with a tombstone stating that she was the wife of Thos. Brooks, I’m not quite sure what to make of a marriage record that shows Thomas W. Brooks marrying Mary E. Reid in Randolph County on 25 December 1873.[46] I know of no other Thomas W. Brooks living in Randolph County at this time except Thomas Whitlock Brooks. The 1870 federal census shows Mary E. Reid, aged 16, living at home in Prairie township, Moberly post office, with her parents John S.B. Reid and Nancy Hocker Reid. John was a Kentucky native born in 1825. In 1880, Mary is listed as Mary E. Brooks, widowed, and is living back with her parents. 

Did Thomas and wife Nancy Westfall divorce after 1870 and before 25 December 1873, and did Thomas marry a third time to Mary E. Reid? If so, there seem to have been no children by this marriage. I’ll discuss Thomas’s children by his wives Nancy Gillespie and Nancy Westfall in a subsequent posting.


[1] “Brooks Bible,” Itawamba [Mississippi] Settlers 8,3 (September 1988), pp. 151-2.

[2] History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Co., 1884), pp. 541-3, 550. 

[3] Ibid., p. 542.

[4] 1830 federal census, Wayne County, Kentucky, p. 228.

[5] Wayne County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. E, p. 448.

[6] Wayne County, Kentucky, New Will Bk. A, p. 17.

[7] Wayne County, Kentucky, Court Order Bk. A, p. 384.

[8] Wayne County, Kentucky, Appraisements and Inventories Bk. A, pp. 216-7.

[9] See, e.g., query of Georgia R. Cole of Terre Haute, Indiana, in Edmondson Family Bulletin 13,1 (Oct.-Dec. 1980), p. 16.

[10] Wayne County, Kentucky, Marriage Bk. 1832-4, p. 23.

[11] Wayne County, Kentucky, Tax Bk. 1827, p. 34.

[12] Ibid., 1828, p. 9.

[13] Ibid., p. 7.

[14] Ibid., 1830, p. 5.

[15] See supra, n. 2.

[16] Howard W. Marshall, Old Families of Randolph County, Missouri (Moberly, Missouri: Randolph County Historical Society, 1976), p. 10.

[17] Ibid., pp. 10-11.

[18] Ibid., p. 13.

[19] Missouri State Vol. Pat. Bk. 520, p. 309, certificate 5813.

[20] See Esther Harlan Wells, The Family History of Isaac Harlan & Elizabeth Hoover Smith 

[21] Missouri State Vol. Pat. Bk. 550, p. 138, certificate 7161.

[22] Ibid., Bk. 540, p. 109, certificate 6634.

[23] See An Illustrated Historical Atlas of Randolph County, Missouri (Philadelphia: Edwards Brothers, 1876), pp. 5, 51.

[24] History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, pp. 169-171.

[25] Wayne County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. G, pp. 445-6.

[26] Missouri State Vol. Pat. Bk. 2740, p. 420, certificate 13763.

[27] History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, p. 153.

[28] 1840 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, p. 284.

[29] Randolph County, Missouri, Deed Bk. D, pp. 120-1. 

[30] Ibid., Bk. G, p. 310.

[31] Ibid, Bk. H, pp. 262-263.

[32] See History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, p. 162.

[33] Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 123.

[34] See Find a Grave memorial page of Cornelius Westfall, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Dennis Peterson.

[35] History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, p. 615. See also the biography of Cornelius and Edith Westfall’s daughter Elizabeth Westfall DeGarmo in the same volume, pp. 614-5.

[36] Ibid., pp. 263-4.

[37] 1850 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township, p. 269A (dwelling/family 977; 16 November).

[38] Randolph County, Missouri, Deed Bk. H, pp. 638-9. 

[39] Ibid., pp. 719-720.

[40] 1860 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township (dwelling 658/family 657; 28 July), p. 903.

[41] Randolph County, Missouri, Deed Bk. O, pp. 10-11.

[42] 1870 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township, Cairo post office p. 333 (dwelling 21/family 18; 29 June).

[43] History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, p. 542.

[44] See Find a Grave memorial page of Thomas Whitlock Brooks, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows.

[45] See Find a Grave memorial page of Nancy Westfall Brooks, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon, with tombstone photos by Nancy Meadows; see also P. Ellsberry, Cemetery Records of Randolph County, Missouri, vol. 3 (Chillicothe, Missouri, ca. 1965), p. 25.

[46] Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. B, p. 40.

3 thoughts on “Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879) of Wayne County, Kentucky, and Randolph County, Missouri

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