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

a. Son Brooks was born in June 1850 in Randolph County, Missouri. As we’ve seen, the 1850 federal census shows an unnamed son aged 5 months living in the household of Thomas W. and Nancy Westfall Brooks in November 1850.[1] I do not find this son on the 1860 federal census and assume he died between 1850 and 1860. Unless this son is the daughter Mary C. Brooks, aged 10, found in this household in 1860, in which case, perhaps the census taker in 1850 misgendered the unnamed child of Thomas W. and Nancy Brooks….

b. Mary C. Brooks was born 1850-2 in Randolph County, Missouri. As I’ve just stated, if the unnamed son found in the household of Thomas W. and Nany Westfall Brooks on the 1850 federal census is the Mary C. Brooks, aged 10, found in this household in 1860, then the census taker recorded the wrong gender for this child in 1850. Mary C. Brooks is in the household of Thomas W. and Nancy Brooks on the 1860 and 1870 federal censuses, aged 10 in 1860 and 18 in 1870.[2]

After 1870, I find no clear record of Mary C. Brooks. I have searched for a marriage record for her in Randolph County (and elsewhere, including Monroe County, where her widowed mother Nancy appears on the 1880 federal census), but have not found one. I do not find a match for Mary on the federal census after 1870, and haven’t found a burial record for her as Mary C. Brooks or with a married surname. 

Tombstone of John T. Brooks, photo by Nancy Meadows, at Find a Grave memorial page of John T. Brooks, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon

c. John T. Brooks was born 27 May 1853 in Randolph County, Missouri. His tombstone in Vince cemetery at Moberly, Randolph County, states that he died 6 October 1881, aged 28 years, 4 months, and 9 days.[3] I find John in his parents’ household on the 1860 and 1870 federal censuses cited previously, and in 1880, he’s living in the household of his widowed mother Nancy Westfall Brooks in Monroe County, Missouri.[4]

I find no indication that John T. Brooks married. He was single when he was listed in his mother’s household in 1880 a year prior to his death.

Tombstone of Elizabeth Ellen Brooks Vroman, photo by Joan Endsley, at Find a Grave memorial page of Elizabeth Ellen “Bettie” Brooks Vroman, Antioch Christian cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Joan Endsley, maintained by Nancy Meadows

d. Elizabeth Ellen Brooks was born 22 September 1855 in Randolph County, Missouri. Her tombstone in Antioch Christian cemetery at Moberly in Randolph County gives this date of birth and states that she died 20 December 1927.[5] The death certificate of Mrs. Bettie E. Vroman, who died in Union township, Randolph County, on 20 December 1927, states that she was aged 72 years, 2 months, and 28 days when she died.[6] The death certificate, for which her son John Henry Vroman of Moberly was informant, states that her parents were Thomas Brooks, born in Kentucky, and Nancy Westfall, born in Virginia, and gives pulmonary tuberculosis as her cause of death.

Marriage of Elizabeth Ellen Brooks to Ezra Josiah Vroman, Audrain County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. B, p. 334 (note mistaken name Mattie E. Brooks in the margin of the record)
“Masons to Confer Royal Arch Degree Tonight as Tribute to Service of E.J. (Dad) Vroman,” Moberly Monitor-Index (1 November 1935), p. 1, col. 6-7
“E.J. Vroman, 86, Dies at Milton; Funeral Sunday,” Moberly Monitor-Index (13 September 1940), p. 4, col. 3
Tombstone of Ezra Josiah Vroman, photo by Joan Endsley, at Find a Grave memorial page of Ezra Josiah Vroman, Antioch Christian cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Joan Endsley, maintained by Nancy Meadows

On 25 December 1877 in Audrain County, Missouri, Bettie Brooks married Ezra Josiah Vroman, son of Berent “Barney” Vroman and Dorinda Palmer.[7] Ezra was born 10 April 1854 in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and died 13 September 1940 at Milton, Randolph County, Missouri. He is buried with wife Bettie in Antioch Christian cemetery at Moberly.[8] An article in Moberly Monitor-Index on 1 November 1935 states that Ezra J. “Dad” Vroman, a retired farmer of Moberly aged 81, was to be made a Royal Arch Mason on that date by the Moberly Masonic chapter, and that he had been born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and had come to Missouri in 1868, settling seven miles east of Moberly, where he was a prominent farmer.[9] Ezra’s obituary in the same newspaper on 13 September 1940 provides further biographical information about him.[10]

Tombstone of Virginia S. “Jennie” Brooks, photo by PShannon, at Find a Grave memorial page of Jennie Brooks, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon

e. Virginia S. “Jennie” Brooks was born 17 March 1859 in Randolph County, Missouri. This date of birth appears on both her tombstone and her death certificate, for which her sister Emma Parrish of Moberly was informant.[11] Jennie Brooks died 27 April 1939 at the home of her sister Emma in Moberly and is buried in Vince cemetery, with her tombstone giving her dates of birth and death. Her death certificate states that her parents were Thomas Brooks, born in Kentucky, and Nancy Westfall, born in Virginia. Her death certificate states that she died of bronchial pneumonia complicated by pulmonary tuberculosis. Jennie is buried in Vince cemetery at Moberly.

Tombstone of Emily Frances Brooks Parrish, tombstone photo by Nancy Meadows, at Find a Grave memorial page of Emily Frances “Emma” Brooks Parrish, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon

f. Emily Frances “Emma” Brooks was born 10 June 1860 in Randolph County, Missouri. This date of birth is found on her death certificate, for which a Mrs. John Martin was informant.[12] Her tombstone gives only years of birth and death.[13]

Marriage of Emily Frances “Emma” Brooks top James W. Parrish, Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. B, p. 223

On 4 April 1880 in Randolph County, Emma Brooks married James W. Parrish, son of Charles Porter Parrish and Elizabeth Baker, at the Baptist church in Moberly.[14] The marriage record states that Emma was a resident of Monroe County at the time; as we’ve seen, her mother Nancy Westfall Brooks is enumerated there on the 1880 federal census. 

“Stroke Fatal to Mrs. E.F. Parrish,” Moberly Monitor-Index (26 October 1942), p. 4, col. 2

Emily died 25 October 1942 at her home in Moberly, and is buried along with husband James W. Parrish in Vince cemetery at Moberly. Her obituary in the Moberly Monitor-Index states that she died after having had a stroke several days previous.[15] Her death certificate also states that apoplexy was the cause of her death, and gives her full name as Emily Frances Parrish, stating that her parents were Nat [sic] Brooks and Nancy Westfall.

“A Pioneer Resident of Moberly Dead,” Moberly Weekly Monitor (7 December 1915), p. 1, col. 3
Tombstone of James W. Parrish, photo by PShannon, at Find a Grave memorial page of James W. Parrish, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon

James W. Parrish was born 3 April 1856 at Moberly and died 3 December 1915, also at Moberly. These dates of birth and death are stated on his tombstone.[16] His obituary in the Moberly Weekly Monitor speaks of him as a pioneer resident of Moberly and a highly esteemed citizen of that community, and indicates that he had died suddenly at age 59.[17]

g. George Brooks was born in or about 1862 in Randolph County, Missouri. As we’ve seen, he is enumerated in his parents’ household in Randolph County on the 1870 federal census, aged 8.[18] He appears again in the household of his widowed mother Nancy in Monroe County, Missouri, on the 1880 federal census, aged 18.[19] After this point, I have not found a clear record of George.

Tombstone of Samuel H. Brooks, photo by Joyce Escue Culver, at Find a Grave memorial page of Samuel H. Brooks, Fairmount cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, created by Eric Crow

h. Samuel H. Brooks was born 29 December 1866 in Randolph County, Missouri. This birthdate is given on his tombstone in Fairmount cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado.[20] The date of death on the tombstone is illegible in the photo provided at Samuel’s Find a Grave memorial page, but a transcription of tombstone information from Fairmount cemetery compiled by Stella Putnam Irish in 1949 states that the tombstone indicates that Samuel died 15 November 1900.[21]

Marriage of Samuel H. Brooks to Grace M. Wheeler, Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. 4, p. 609

On 4 March 1895 at Moberly, Samuel H. Brooks married Grace M. Wheeler, daughter of Samuel and Annie E. Wheeler.[22] Samuel H. Brooks and wife Grace are enumerated in Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado, on the 1900 federal census.[23] The census indicates that Samuel was a machinist in Denver. It states that both George and Grace Brooks were born in Missouri, George in December 1865 and Grace in January 1874, and that they had been married five years. 

Samuel and Grace appear on the 1900 federal census in Denver on 9 June. Samuel then died on 15 November, and I have not found information about his death other than the date recorded on his tombstone. I don’t find a match for Grace on the 1910 federal census. A Grace M. Brooks married Robert R. Howard in Denver on 22 May 1907, but I haven’t located this couple on the 1910 census, and cannot confirm that the Grace M. Brooks who married Robert R. Howard was Grace M. Wheeler, widow of Samuel H. Brooks. I also spot a Mrs. Grace M. Brooks in the Denver city directory from 1903 through 1911. In short, it’s not clear to me what became of Grace following Samuel H. Brooks’s death.


[1] 1850 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township, p. 269A (dwelling/family 977; 16 November).

[2] 1860 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township (dwelling 658/family 657; 28 July), p. 903; 1870 federal census, Randolph County, Missouri, Union township, Cairo post office p. 333 (dwelling 21/family 18; 29 June).

[3] See Find a Grave memorial page of John T. Brooks, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon, with a tombstone photo by Nancy Meadows.

[4] See supra n. 1-2 and 1880 federal census, Monroe County, Missouri, Union township, p. 664D (ED 56; dwelling/family 277; 19 June).

[5] See Find a Grave memorial page of Elizabeth Ellen “Bettie” Brooks Vroman, Antioch Christian cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Joan Endsley, maintained by Nancy Meadows, with a tombstone photo by Joan Endsley.

[6] A copy of the death certificate has been uploaded by Barb and Bob Beers to Elizabeth’s Find a Grave memorial page: see ibid.

[7] Audrain County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. B, p. 334.

[8] See Find a Grave memorial page of Ezra Josiah Vroman, Antioch Christian cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Joan Endsley, maintained by Nancy Meadows, with a tombstone photo by Joan Endsley.

[9] “Masons to Confer Royal Arch Degree Tonight as Tribute to Service of E.J. (Dad) Vroman,” Moberly Monitor-Index (1 November 1935), p. 1, col. 6-7.

[10] “E.J. Vroman, 86, Dies at Milton; Funeral Sunday,” Moberly Monitor-Index (13 September 1940), p. 4, col. 3.

[11] See Find a Grave memorial page of Jennie Brooks, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon, with a tombstone photo by PShannon; and death certificate of Jennie S. Brooks, Missouri Office of Secretary of State, Missouri Death Certificates, 1910-1969Randolph County, 1939, #15888, available digitally in Ancestry database Missouri, U.S., Death Certificates, 1910-1969.  

[12] Death certificate of Emily Frances Parrish, Missouri Office of Secretary of State, Missouri Death Certificates, Randolph County, 1942, #34607, available digitally at the website of Missouri Secretary of State. 

[13] See Find a Grave memorial page of Emily Frances “Emma” Brooks Parrish, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon, with tombstone photos by Nancy Meadows and PShannon.

[14] Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. B, p. 223.

[15] “Stroke Fatal to Mrs. E.F. Parrish,” Moberly Monitor-Index (26 October 1942), p. 4, col. 2.

[16] See Find a Grave memorial page of James W. Parrish, Vince cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by PShannon, with a tombstone photo by PShannon.

[17] “A Pioneer Resident of Moberly Dead,” Moberly Weekly Monitor (7 December 1915), p. 1, col. 3.

[18] See supra, n. 2. 

[19] See supra, n. 4.

[20] See Find a Grave memorial page of Samuel H. Brooks, Fairmount cemetery, Denver, Denver County, Colorado, created by Eric Crow with a tombstone photo by Joyce Escue Culver.

[21] Mrs. W.L. Irish (Stella Putnam Irish), “Burial Records of Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, Colorado, 1891-1906” (typescript, Denver, Colorado, 1949), available digitally in the FamilySearch database Colorado, Church Records, 1692-1942. The cemetery transcriptions were undertaken by the Peace Pipe chapter (Denver) of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and are now held by Denver Public Library.

[22] Randolph County, Missouri, Marriage Bk. 4, p. 609.

[23] 1900 federal census, Denver, Arapahoe County, Colorado, p. 7 (ED 52; dwelling 162/family 167; 9 June). The couple were living at 3924 Williams St. in Denver’s 7th ward, 4th precinct.

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