Children of Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879) and Wife Nancy Gillespie

It appears that Thomas married a third time, while Nancy Westfall was still living — so I am assuming he and Nancy divorced — to Mary E. Reid, daughter of John S.B. Reid and Nancy Hocker. That marriage took place in Randolph County on 25 December 1873. Thomas died 3 October 1879, and Nancy Westfall Brooks died 21 August 1887. The couple are buried together in Vince cemetery at Moberly in Randolph County.

Thomas W. Brooks had children by both of his first two wives. Unfortunately, I have not found a list of all of those children in any document, and the following list may well be incomplete. I have not found a probate record for Thomas W. Brooks (or for his wives), listing his heirs. As the posting linked above indicates, the 1884 History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, contains biographies of Thomas’s son William Cleveland Brooks and his son-in-law George H. Cottingham, who married Sarah Margaret Brooks, and, though both have biographical information about these two children of Thomas W. Brooks and Nancy Gillespie, naming their parents, neither biography provides information about other children of Thomas W. Brooks.[1]

The children of Thomas W. Brooks by wife Nancy Gillespie, insofar as I have discovered information about them, are as follows:

a. Daughter Brooks was born 1821-5 in Wayne County, Kentucky. As the previous posting indicates, the 1830 federal census shows a female aged 5-9 in the household of Thomas W. Brooks, who was his daughter by Nancy Gillespie, I’m assuming, and I have not discovered her name or whether she lived to maturity.[2]

b. Daughter Brooks was born 1831-5, probably in Randolph County, Missouri. Unless the female aged 5-9 found in Thomas’ household on the 1840 federal census is his daughter Sarah Margaret, who was born in 1835 (see below), then Thomas W. Brooks and Nancy Gillespie had a daughter born in this time frame whose name I have not found.[3]

Tombstone of Sarah Margaret Brooks Cottingham, photo by Nancy Meadows, at Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah Margaret Brooks Cottingham, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Dottie Colleen K.

c. Sarah Margaret Brooks, who  was named for her grandmothers Sarah Whitlock Brooks and Margaret Edmundson Gillespie, was born 4 April 1835 in Randolph County, Missouri. The death certificate of Margaret Cottingham states that she died 16 April 1924 in Prairie township northeast of Clark in Randolph County, aged 89 years and 12 days.[4] The death certificate states that Margaret Cottingham was the daughter of Thomas Brooks, a Kentucky native, and wife of George Cottingham. The tombstone of Sarah M. Cottingham in New Hope Methodist cemetery at Clark in Randolph County gives her date of death as 16 April 1926, stating that she was 89 years and 11 days at death.[5]

Tombstone of George Hardman Cottingham, photo by Nancy Meadowsn, at Find a Grave memorial page of George Hardman Cottingham, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows, maintained by Dottie Colleen K.

On 22 February 1858 in Randolph County, Sarah Margaret married George Hardman Cottingham, son of Berkeley Townsend Cottingham and Ruth Lucinda Hardman.[6] George was born 17 October 1833 in Shelby County, Illinois, and died in Randolph County on 6 March 1887. He is buried with wife Sarah Margaret in New Hope cemetery at Clark. George H. Cottingham’s biography in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, states that he farmed in Randolph County, and at one point was in the business of saw-milling and lumber, as well as flour-milling. It also notes that a Methodist Episcopal church — the New Hope church — was situated on his and wife Sarah Margaret’s farm, and that George had given the land on which the church was built, along with funds for its construction. 

In an article entitled “New Hope Church Near Renick to Revive Homecoming Sunday” published 17 July 1947, the Moberly Monitor-Index provides historical information about the church. George H. Cottingham Jr., son of George H. Cottingham and Sarah Margaret Brooks, is cited in the article saying that his mother named the church, and that as it was built, rock for its foundation was quarried for free and logs donated for its construction. George Cottingham says that the logs were hauled to the sawmill of W.C. Brooks, who sawed them for free. The Cottinghams boarded for free those constructing the church.

d. Daughter(s) Brooks: two daughters aged under 5 are in Thomas W. Brooks’s household in 1840.[7] If the female aged 5-9 (see above) is not Sarah Margaret, then one of the two younger girls may be Sarah Margaret, in which case there was a daughter born 1831-1835 whose name I do not know. The other female aged under 5 in 1840 may be a daughter named as Irene on the 1850 federal census and as Laura in 1860, who is 9 in 1850 and 20 in 1860. If the second female aged under 5 in Thomas’s household in 1840 is not this daughter, then there’s another daughter in this age range whose name I have not found.

e. William Cleveland Brooks was born 12 April 1838 in Randolph County, Missouri.[8] His biography in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, of which a digital image appears in the last posting, states that he grew up in Randolph County working on his father’s farm, and at age 20, began working in a sawmill, which he later bought after his marriage, when he then acquired the first steam-operated mill in the county. On 25 February 1864 in Randolph County, he married Sarah F. Galbreath, daughter of James A. Galbreath and Ardenia Marshall.[9]

William C. Brooks’s biography states that he served in the First Missouri State Militia and then in the First Missouri Cavalry (Union) during the Civil War. His service packet shows him enlisting as a private in First Missouri Cavalry in Benton County, Arkansas, on 13 December 1863, a farmer, aged 27, born in Indianapolis, Indiana — a birthplace that is clearly incorrect.[10] The service papers describe him as 6 feet tall with blue eyes, dark hair, and light complexion. He was assigned to Co. B and then served in Co. D and L. 

William C. Brooks’s biography states that following his marriage, he continued farming while maintaining a sawmill business. As the previous posting indicates, he lived in Prairie township, apparently near Moberly. His biography states that he farmed and operated his business with an unnamed brother who was evidently his brother James M. Brooks, who married Nancy Galbreath, a sister of William C. Brooks’s wife Sarah.

Tombstone of William Cleveland Brooks, photo by Nancy Meadows, at Find a Grave memorial page of William Cleveland Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by David Sharp
Tombstone of Sarah F. Galbreath Brooks, photo by Nancy Meadows, at Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah F. “Sallie” Galbreath Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows

William C. Brooks died in Randolph County 1 September 1895.[11] He and wife Sarah are buried in New Hope Methodist cemetery at Clark in Randolph County.[12] Note that this is the cemetery in which William’s sister Sarah Margaret and husband George H. Cottingham are also buried. Sarah F. Galbreath Brooks’s tombstone states that she was born 25 April 1841 and died 23 July 1885.[13]

Tombstone of Irene L. Brooks Dulaney, photo by Nancy Meadows, at Find a Grave memorial page of Irene L. Dulaney, Oakland cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Melissa (Neko)

f. Irene Laura Brooks was born 27 January 1841 in Randolph County, Missouri, and died there on 17 June 1903.[14] As we’ve seen, she appears as Irene, aged 9, in Thomas W. Brooks’s household on the 1850 federal census, and as Laura, aged 20, in this household on the 1860 federal census.[15]

Randolph County, Missouri, Probate Bk. C, p. 60

At Randolph County court on 25 April 1859, in Randolph County, two children of Thomas W. Brooks, Anna L. and James, chose their father as their guardian, and Thomas W. Brooks gave bond in the amount of $200 for the guardianship.[16] The court record states that Anna L. and James were both over 14 years of age. 

Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 368
“Aged Citizen Passed to His Last Home,” Moberly Democrat (25 January 1920), p. 1, col. 6

I can find no match to the Anna L. Brooks of this guardianship record other than Thomas W. Brooks’s daughter Irene of the 1850 federal census and Laura of the 1860 federal census. On 28 October 1868 in Randolph County, Anna L. Brooks married Joseph B. Dulaney, son of George Hume Dulaney and Mary Jane Brassfield.[17] Joseph was born 15 November 1826 in Kentucky and died 19 January 1920 in Sugar Creek township, Randolph County, where he farmed. He is buried with wife Irene L. — as her tombstone gives her name — in Oakland cemetery at Moberly in Randolph County.[18]

g. James M. Brooks was born 1842-2 in Randolph County, Missouri. As we’ve seen, both the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses indicate a birth year of 1842 for him.[19] James’s death record in the register of the home for disabled soldiers in which he died Danville, Illinois, on 16 January 1904 states that he was aged 60 when he died.[20] This would place James’s birth in 1844. The 1844 birthdate is indicated as well by James’s Union service papers, which state that when he enlisted in Co. G of the Missouri S.M. 9th Cavalry on 1 March 1862, he was aged 18.[21]

Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 395
NARA, Historical Register of National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938, RG 15: Danville, Illinois, Register of Entries, 4500-5999, #5781; available digitally in Ancestry database National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938
“Personals and Local,” Moberly Monitor Index (19 January 1904), p. 4, col. 3

On 14 December 1869 in Randolph County, James married Nancy Galbreath, a daughter of James A. Galbreath and Ardenia Marshall, and a sister to Sarah F. Galbreath who married James’s brother William Cleveland Brooks.[22] As noted previously, the register of the home for disabled soldiers at Danville, Illinois, states that James died there 16 January 1904.[23] He had gone there from Moberly, Missouri, on 25 November 1903. According to the register, he was buried in the cemetery of the soldiers’ home and then his body was exhumed on 18 January and taken to Moberly for burial. A notice in the “Personals and Local” section of Moberly Monitor Index on 19 January states that James M. Monroe had died at the Old Soldiers Home in Danville, Illinois, and his remains had been brought on the 19th to his home in Monroe County, Missouri, with burial in New Hope cemetery (Randolph County) to follow on the 20th.[24]

Tombstone of James M. Brooks, photo by Nancy Meadows, at Find a Grave memorial page of James M. Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows
Tombstone of Nancy Galbreath Brooks, photo by Nancy Meadows, at  Find a Grave memorial page of Nannie Galbreath Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows

James’s grave in New Hope is marked with a military marker that does not give his dates of birth and death.[25] His wife Nancy Galbreath Brooks is also buried at New Hope cemetery with a tombstone stating that she was born in 1843 and died in 1889.[26]

The register of the Danville, Illinois, disabled soldiers’ home states that James M. Brooks was 6 feet tall with light complexion, gray eyes, and gray hair. It also states that he could not read or write.


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

[2] 1830 federal census, Wayne County, Kentucky, p. 228.

[3] 1840 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, p. 284.

[4] Death certificate of Margaret Cottingham, Randolph County, Missouri, Missouri Office of Secretary of State, Death Certificates, 1910-1969: Randolph County, 1924, #12231; available digitally in Ancestry database Missouri, U.S., Death Certificates, 1910-1969

[5] See Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah Margaret Brooks Cottingham, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Dottie Colleen K., with a tombstone photo by Nancy Meadows.

[6] The date of marriage is in the biography of George H. Cottingham in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, p. 550.

[7] See supra, n. 3.

[8] The date and place of birth are stated in his biography in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, pp. 541-3, which states that his parents were Thomas N. [sic] Brooks and Nancy Gillispie {sic] of Wayne County, Kentucky, and Randolph County, Missouri. 

[9] The date and place of marriage are in ibid., and see also Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 286.

[10] See NARA, Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Missouri RG 94, available digitally at Fold3.  

[11] The date and place of death are stated in a petition his daughter Ardena Brooks made 7 September 1895 for guardianship of her minor siblings; the petition is in Randolph County, Missouri, Probate Case Files #491, Brooks Heirs.

[12] See Find a Grave memorial page of William Cleveland Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by David Sharp, with tombstone photos by Nancy Meadows and David Sharp. The tombstone is a military marker with no dates of birth and death.

[13] See Find a Grave memorial page of Sarah F. “Sallie” Galbreath Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows, with tombstone photos by Nancy Meadows and David Sharp.

[14] These dates are recorded on the tombstone of Irene L. Dulaney: see Find a Grave memorial page of Irene L. Dulaney, Oakland cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Melissa (Neko), with tombstone photos by Nancy Meadows and Melissa (Neko).

[15] 1850 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township, p. 269A (dwelling/family 977; 16 November); 1860 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township (dwelling 658/family 657; 28 July), p. 903.

[16] Randolph County, Missouri, Probate Bk. C, p. 60; and see “Randolph County Court, April Term, 1859,” The Randolph Citizen [Huntsville, Missouri] (29 April 1859), p. 2, col. 6.

[17] Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 368.

[18] See Find a Grave memorial page of Joseph B. Dulaney, Oakland cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Melissa (Neko), with tombstone photos by Nancy Meadows and Melissa (Neko). See also “Aged Citizen Passed to His Last Home,” Moberly Democrat (25 January 1920), p. 1, col. 6.

[19] See supra, n. 15.

[20] NARA, Historical Register of National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938, RG 15: Danville, Illinois, Register of Entries, 4500-5999, #5781; available digitally in Ancestry database National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938.

[21] NARA, Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Missouri, RG 94; available digitally at Fold3.

[22] Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. A, p. 395.

[23] See supra, n. 20.

[24] “Personals and Local,” Moberly Monitor Index (19 January 1904), p. 4, col. 3.

[25] See Find a Grave memorial page of James M. Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows with a tombstone photo by Nancy Meadows.

[26] See Find a Grave memorial page of Nannie Galbreath Brooks, New Hope cemetery, Clark, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Nancy Meadows with a tombstone photo by Nancy Meadows.

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