Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Samuel K. Brooks (1815-1898)

Reverend Jesse Cunningham, photo uploaded by Dunnfamilyline7570 to Ancestry tree, “My Family Tree

As it records Samuel’s birthdate, the transcript of Thomas Brooks’s bible register also states that he was baptized by the Reverend Jesse Cunningham. Jesse Cunningham (1789-1857) was a pioneer Methodist minister of the Holston Methodist Conference of east Tennessee, whose family came to what would become Knox County, Tennessee, in 1786 from Botetourt County, Virginia — the parent county of Wythe County, where the Brooks family lived before heading to Kentucky.[3] In 1787, the Cunninghams and other settlers of this region from North Carolina and Virginia established a Methodist society at Pine Chapel on the south bank of the French Broad River at the mouth of Big Pigeon River. As the biography of Jesse Cunningham (the surname is spelled Cunnyngham here) in A.H. Redford’s The History of Methodism in Kentucky notes, in 1815, the year in which he baptized Samuel K. Brooks, Jesse Cunningham was traveling the Wayne County, Kentucky, Methodist circuit.[4]  

Lawrence County, Alabama, Years, 1835-1856

I’m fairly certain that Samuel K. Brooks is the Samuel Brooks who married Jane Matthews in Lawrence County, Alabama, on 3 August 1835.[5] Samuel received license for this marriage on 31 July, and on 3 August Reverend John R. Young performed the marriage. To my knowledge, no other Samuel Brooks of an age to marry was living in Lawrence County at this time. Samuel K. Brooks did have a first cousin Samuel F. Brooks who was six years younger than Samuel K., and who lived in Lawrence County. I think that younger Samuel (born in 1821) was too young to be marrying in 1835, and the fact that the marriage record uses no middle initial points to the fact that only the older Samuel, Samuel K. Brooks, was of age in Lawrence County in 1835.

Marriage license and return, marriage of Samuel Brooks to Jane Matthews, Lawrence County, Alabama; in original marriage papers on file at Lawrence County courthouse or archives

I have not been able to find any information about Jane Matthews beyond this marriage record. The only Matthews (or Mathews or Mathis) family I spot on the 1830 federal census in Lawrence County is the family of Thomas B. Matthews.[6] This household had a female aged 5-9 years in 1830. If this female married in 1835, her age in 1830 would have had to have been closer to 10 than 5 — but I have no way of knowing if Jane Matthews could be Thomas B. Matthews’s daughter.

18 December 1836 promissory note of Samuel K. Brooks and J.H. Huffaker to Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file, Morgan County, Alabama

As previous postings have noted (and here), the Morgan County, Alabama, estate file of Samuel Brooks’s father Thomas Brooks has a promissory note that Samuel K. Brooks and J.H. Huffaker made to Thomas Brooks on 18 December 1836 for $300.[7] Samuel’s brother Charles Brooks witnessed this promissory note. As another previous posting notes, it’s clear to me that Jacob H. Huffaker was related in some way to Wesley Huffaker, husband of Samuel’s sister Hannah Brooks, though I do not know the exact relationship.

13 May 1838 mortgage deed of trust, Samuel K. Brooks to Thomas Brooks, Mark Lindsey as trustee, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file, Morgan County, Alabama

As a previous posting states, on 13 May 1838, Samuel mortgaged property to his father Thomas Brooks in a deed of trust, with Mark Lindsey acting as trustee.[8] The original deed of trust is found in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County, and it was also filed in Morgan County, Alabama, Deed Bk. D, pp. 68-9. It states that Samuel was indebted to Thomas for a note dated 20 January 1838, in the amount of $50 with $5 credit by Thomas on 7 May 1838; and for a note of $300 dated 18 December 1836, due 23 December 1839. Thomas excuses the legal interest accruing on these debts. 

In the deed of trust, Samuel mortgaged to his father a sorrel horse five years old last spring; two bay mares, one five years old and one about seven; a saddle, bridle, and martingale; a cow and calf; a (Lapeau?) watch; six glass tumblers and one four-glass caster; and one saddle bag. Samuel Brooks, Mark Lindsey, and Thomas Brooks all signed, and on 4 July 1838, all acknowledged the deed and it was recorded. Note that the fact that Samuel mortgaged household goods tends to confirm that he had married and established a household by this date.

As previous postings have noted, two of Mark Lindsey’s sons, Dennis and David Dinsmore Lindsey, married daughters of Thomas Brooks, Jane and Sarah Brooks. Mark’s son Fielding Wesley Lindsey married Clarissa Brooks, a first cousin of Jane and Sarah; Clarissa was a daughter of James Brooks and Nancy Isbell

Morgan County, Alabama, Marriage Bk. 1, p. 351, #1183

If I’m correct in thinking that the Samuel Brooks who married Jane Matthews in 1835 in Lawrence County was Samuel K. Brooks, then it appears Jane had died by 27 September 1838 when Samuel K. Brooks received license in Morgan County to marry Mary Ann Puckett, daughter of Jared Puckett and Anne Collins.[9] The marriage record does not contain information about the actual date of the marriage and who officiated at it. As a previous posting notes, this marriage took place less than a month before the death of Samuel’s father Thomas Brooks.

As has been previously noted (and here) Samuel K. Brooks’s brother Alexander Mackey Brooks married Mary Ann’s sister Carolina or Caroline Puckett in Lawrence County on 2 July 1835, and Samuel and Alexander’s brother James R. Brooks married a Jane Puckett whose parents I have not verified. Jared Puckett was a brother of Richard Puckett, who represented Lawrence County in the Alabama legislature in 1836-7, and who is characterized in James Edmond Saunders’s book Early Settlers of Alabama as the “leading man” of Oakville, the community in Lawrence County in whose formation Dennis Lindsey, who married Jane Brooks, a sibling of Samuel, Alexander, and James, played a large role.[10]

As a previous posting notes, the 2 October 1838 will of Thomas Brooks in Morgan County left to his sons Samuel and James the whole of his land in Morgan County on which he and wife Sarah lived, and all his livestock (horses, cattle, hogs, and sheep), wagon gear, and farming utensils.[11] Samuel and James were Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks’s youngest sons. This bequest and other indicators suggest to me that these two sons were farming with their father at the time of Thomas’s death. The only other son of Thomas remaining in Morgan County at the time of Thomas’s death was his oldest son Charles, who was well-established with a wife and family, and who would move to Itawamba County, Mississippi, in 1840. Thomas’s other son who had lived in Lawrence County up to the time of his father’s death, Alexander Mackey Brooks, left Alabama for Texas in the fall of 1838, either immediately before or soon after his father’s death.

The will of Thomas Brooks also lists his children to whom he had previously given $100 legacy money — each child received that amount — and includes his son Samuel among those who had received this legacy money. As previous postings have noted, it appears that this legacy money was coming to Thomas Brooks’s children from the estate of their grandfather Thomas Whitlock, who had died in Cumberland County, Kentucky, in or around May 1830.

At the 20 April 1839 sale of Thomas Brooks’s personal estate in Morgan County, his son Samuel was among the buyers.[12] As the posting I’ve just linked notes, at their father’s estate sale, his youngest sons Samuel and James both bought two beds with their furniture. In addition, Samuel purchased a volume of Wesley’s notes, a lot of books, a looking glass, a folding table, two pitchers, and kitchen and dining room items including a lot of queensware, a dish and platter, two bowls, a lot of knives and forks, and a cupboard and chest. Samuel also bought two smoothing irons, a churn and coffee pot, a judge, eight chairs, a bucket, wash pan, and strainers, a tin bucket, a kettle and hooks, a wash tub, a pot rack, an oven and lid, a tray and sifter, a pail and cup, a lot of pot ware, and a table. I’m not quite sure what a judge was, but am assuming it was a kitchen item, since it’s listed after the churn and coffee pot.

As noted above, Samuel married Mary Ann Puckett on 27 September 1838, and his father Thomas died less than a month later on 25 October. Samuel was establishing his married life with Mary Ann as his father died — I have found nothing indicating he had children by Jane Matthews — and would have needed these household items for his new household. I suspect, in fact, that Samuel and Mary Ann lived in their parents’ homeplace in Morgan County following Thomas’s death, and for several years farmed the land Thomas bequeathed to them and to Samuel’s brother James.

20 April 1839 promissory note of Samuel K. Brooks, Mark J. Lindsey, and J.H. Huffaker to Charles Brooks as executor of the estate of Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County

As a previous posting notes, the estate documents show that on the day of the estate sale on 20 April 1839, Samuel K. Brooks signed a promissory note along with Mark J. Lindsey and J.H. Huffaker to pay Charles Brooks, executor of the estate of Thomas Brooks, $120.15. Mark J. Lindsey was Mark Jefferson Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks, and a first cousin of Samuel K. Brooks. The original promissory note is in Thomas Brooks’s estate file in Morgan County.[13]

18 June 1842 receipt of Samuel K. Brooks to Milton McClanahan, administrator of Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County

A 9 March 1840 account of the estate of Thomas Brooks filed by Charles Brooks (and see also here) as Thomas’s executor shows Samuel K. Brooks owing various notes to Thomas’s estate. The notes owed by Samuel included one for $10 with J.H. Huffaker, and another note for $39.12¼ with J.H. Huffaker and with Samuel’s brother James.  When Thomas’s estate was inventoried, a note for the balance of $150 owed by Samuel K. Brooks and J.H. Huffaker was among Thomas’s holdings, along with a note for $45 for Brooks and Huffaker — evidently, Samuel K. Brooks and Huffaker.[14] Also in Thomas Brooks’s estate file is a receipt written and signed by Samuel K. Brooks on 18 June 1842 to Milton McClanahan, who had succeeded Charles Brooks as estate administrator, for $150 as part of Samuel’s share of his father’s estate.[15]

The family of Samuel K. Brooks was enumerated on the 1850 federal census in Lawrence County’s 8th district.[16] Samuel’s name is given as Samuel K. Brooks, aged 32, a farmer born in Kentucky. In the household are wife Mary A., 30, born in Tennessee, and children Thomas, 10, Robert, 8, William, 6, Christopher, 4, and Samuel, 2, all born in Alabama.

Samuel K. Brooks is also on the 1850 Lawrence County agricultural schedule in district 8 with 30 acres of improved land and 20 acres unimproved.[17] As I stated above, I think that following Thomas Brooks’s death, initially Samuel and wife Mary may have lived with their family on what had been Thomas and wife Sarah’s homeplace in Morgan County, but that land — for which I have not found clear deeds — may then have been sold by the estate in 1840, and at that point, it seems Samuel and Mary Ann may have moved over to nearby Lawrence County. I have not found deeds in Lawrence County showing Samuel buying land there.

The 20 January 1851 final account of the estate of Thomas Brooks filed by David Dinsmore Lindsey, who was administrator in 1851, lists Samuel Brooks of Lawrence County, Alabama, as one of the heirs of the estate.[18] A digital image of the list of heirs in this account is at the posting I have just linked.

Itawamba and Lee County, Mississippi, Years, 1856-1898

In 1856, Samuel K. Brooks moved from Lawrence County, Alabama, to Itawamba County, Mississippi, joining his brother Charles Brooks and nephew John Wesley Lindsey there. As the posting I’ve just linked also indicates, John W. Lindsey was joined in Itawamba County by siblings Thomas Madison Lindsey, and Rebecca Frances Lindsey with husband Samuel Hiram Kellogg, Dennis Edward Lindsey, and Martha Ann Lindsey. Thomas moved on to McLennan County, Texas, and Rebecca Frances and husband Samuel H. Kellogg went to northwest Louisiana.

My information about Samuel’s years in Itawamba and Lee Counties, Mississippi, is sketchy. I suspect further research could be done to track in the records of both counties. Unfortunately, the deed books in Itawamba County are not indexed in the period in which Samuel lived there, and I am not sure I have tried to find information about Samuel in these records.

The 1860 federal census shows Samuel and his family at Mooreville post office in Itawamba County, Mississippi.[19] Saml. K. Brooks is aged 44, a farmer with $1,000 real worth and $600 personal worth, born in Kentucky. In his household are Mary A., 40, born in Tennessee, and children Thomas J., 20, Wm. M., 16, Christopher, 14, Samuel H., 12, Ann S., 10, Mary C., 5, and Charles F., 3.  All the children except for Charles were born in Alabama; Charles was born in Mississippi. William, Christopher, Samuel, Ann, and Mary are all in school. Listed next to Samuel on this census are his nephews John Cornelius and James M. Brooks, sons of Charles Brooks. On the following page is Lorenzo Dow Turner, who, as a previous posting states, pastored the Shiloh Methodist church in whose cemetery Samuel and wives Mary Ann Puckett and Mary J. Gilstrap are buried. The census indicates that Samuel had settled close to his brother Charles near the Shiloh church.

As has also been noted previously, when John Wesley Lindsey first arrived in Itawamba County in 1840, he established himself as a merchant at Van Buren, but in the late 1850s, he moved to Mooreville, the post office for Samuel K. Brooks in 1860, and set up a mercantile business there. When Lee County was formed in 1866 from Itawamba, Mooreville fell into Lee County, with the county line running through the property of Shiloh Methodist church. Maps showing Mooreville and Shiloh are at this posting.

As a previous posting has indicated, Samuel K. Brooks shows up in mortgage records made in Lee County to Mary Louisa, the second wife of John Wesley Lindsey, who was the widow of Robert Overton Maupin when John married her, and who evidently held property that had come to her as Robert O. Maupin’s widow. On 10 February 1869, when R.L. Jennings mortgaged property to Mary Louisa Lindsey in Lee County, Samuel K. Brooks acted as trustee in the deed of trust.[20] And on 1 March 1869, when H.R. Berry made a mortgaged to Mary Louisa in Lee County, Samuel was again the trustee.[21]

Samuel and his family were enumerated on the 1870 federal census in Lee County.[22]  Saml. K. Brooks is aged 54, born in Kentucky, a farmer with $650 real worth and $465 personal worth. Wife Mary A. is 50, born in Tennessee. In the household are children Mary J., 15, Charles, 12, and Robert J., 9.  Mary J. was born in Alabama, and all children after her in Mississippi. Mary J. and Charles are in school. Enumerated on the same page is the family of Samuel’s nephew John Cornelius Brooks, son of Charles Brooks

Tombstone of Mary Ann Puckett Brooks,, photo by Lynn Brooks Ellis, at Find a Grave memorial page of Mary A. Puckett Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill

On 7 December 1871 in Lee County, Samuel’s wife Mary Ann Puckett Brooks died. She is buried in Shiloh cemetery with a tombstone stating that she was born 27 June 1820.[23] Mary Ann was born in Williamson County, Tennessee.

Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 7, p. 452

As the 1870 census cited above indicates, at the time his wife Mary Ann Puckett died, Samuel was left with three minor children still at home. On 17 September 1873 in Itawamba County, he married again.[24] He married Mary J. Gilstrap, daughter of Lewis Gilstrap and Prudence Ellis. The marriage record shows Samuel receiving license on 16 September for the marriage, with Reverend Lorenzo Dow Turner, pastor of Shiloh Methodist church, performing the marriage the following day. 

According to my notes, on 13 February 1877 in Itawamba County, David Meriwether deeded property to Samuel K. Brooks. Unfortunately, my citation for this deed turns out to be incorrect, and I have not been able to locate it in Itawamba deed books, so I do not have details about this transaction.

Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 24, p. 55

On 9 March 1877, C.M. and Thomas Meriwether deeded to Samuel K. Brooks, all identified as “of the state of Mississippi,” 80 acres in Itawamba County.[25] The land was the west ½ southwest ¼ of section 2, township 9, range 7 east. Samuel paid $400 for it, with the deed stating that he had paid $263 of that sum. The Meriwethers both signed with witnesses J.B. Webb and G.F. Meriwether. G.F. Meriwether acknowledged the deed on 9 March 1877 in Jasper County, Georgia, and the deed was filed and recorded in Itawamba County on 2 April 1877. 

In 1880, Samuel K. Brooks and his family were enumerated in Lee County, Mississippi.[26] The census states that the family was living in township 9, range 7. Samuel is listed as aged 64, a farmer born in Kentucky with both parents born in Virginia. His wife Mary J. is 52, born in Georgia with both parents born in Georgia. In the household are sons Robert J., 19, and Samuel A., 32, both born in Mississippi. Samuel’s wife Elizabeth, 25, born in Tennessee, is also living in the household. Robert is a farm laborer and Samuel is an agent for a washing machine company. On the same census page are listed Samuel’s son Charles F. Brooks and his family, his nephew John Cornelius Brooks, and his niece Margaret Brooks with husband Robert Christopher Johnson and their family. On the following page are found Samuel’s sons Christopher Joseph and Thomas Jarrett Brooks and their families, and Samuel’s sister-in-law Deniah Cornelius Brooks, living with grandson Charles Simeon Brooks and family.

Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 24, pp. 371-2

On 24 March 1883 in Itawamba County, J.M. Cayce sold to Samuel K. Brooks an undivided quarter interest in two tracts of land in Itawamba County.[27] The land was the east ½ northwest ¼ of section 1, township 9, range 7, and the south ½ southwest ¼ of section 36, township 8, range 7. Samuel paid $200, with $100 already of that amount already paid as cash in hand. J.M. Cayce signed, and in Lee County, he acknowledged the deed before J.W. Houston, mayor of Guntown, and it was recorded (in Itawamba).

Tombstone of Samuel K. Brooks, photo by Laura LeCornu Young, at Find a Grave memorial page of Samuel K. Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill
Tombstone of Mary J. Gilstrap Brooks, photo by Lynn Brooks Ellis, at Find a Grave memorial page of Mary J. Gilstrap Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Ron Turner

Samuel K. Brooks died in Lee County, Mississippi, on 19 August 1898, and as stated above, he is buried in Shiloh cemetery with wives Mary Ann Puckett and Mary J. Gilstrap.[28] Mary J. Gilstrap’s tombstone states that she was born 12 October 1828, and that she died 28 December 1906.[29]

On 12 January 1997, Cathy Hendon of El Paso, Texas, wrote to tell me that two pages of Samuel K. Brooks’s probate are of record — in Lee County, apparently. I do not have a copy of this document. According to Cathy Hendon, the first page of the probate file shows that Samuel’s son Christopher Joseph Brooks was the estate administrator, and after Christopher died in 1900, another administrator was appointed. 

If I had to guess, I’d guess that Samuel K. Brooks was named for Samuel Kennedy/Canada/Canaday (1790-1862), a neighbor of Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks on Otter Creek in Wayne County, Kentucky, who witnessed an 8 November 1836 deed of Thomas and Sarah to Thomas Marcum for land on Otter Creek.

In my next posting, I’ll share the information I have about Samuel K. Brooks’s children by Mary Ann Puckett. To the best of my knowledge, he and wife Mary J. Gilstrap did not have children.


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

[2] See Find a Grave memorial page of Samuel K. Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill, with a tombstone photo by Laura LeCornu Young.

[3] Wythe was formed from Montgomery, which was formed from Fincastle, Fincastle being formed from Botetourt.

[4] See A.H. Redford, The History of Methodism in Kentucky, vol. 2 (Nashville: Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1869), pp. 364-8. See also Worth S. Ray, Tennessee Cousins: A History of Tennessee People (Austin, Texas; 1950), p. 361; and R.N. Price, Holston Methodism, from Its Origin to the Present Time (Nashville: Publishing House of M.E. Church, South, 1912), pp. 138-9. 

[5] Lawrence County, Alabama, Orphans Court Marriage Bk. B, p. 146; and see the original marriage papers on file at Lawrence County courthouse or archives.

[6] 1830 federal census, Lawrence County, Alabama, p. 291.

[7] 18 December 1836 promissory note of Samuel K. Brooks and J.H. Huffaker to Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file, Morgan County, Alabama.

[8] 13 May 1838 mortgage deed of trust, Samuel K. Brooks to Thomas Brooks, Mark Lindsey as trustee, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file, Morgan County, Alabama.

[9] Morgan County, Alabama, Marriage Bk. 1, p. 351, #1183.

[10] James Edmond Saunders, Early Settlers of Alabama (New Orleans, 1899), p. 123.

[11] The original holographic will, apparently written by Thomas’s grandson John Wesley Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks, is in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County. A transcribed copy is in Morgan County, Alabama, Orphans Court Final Record Bk. 7, pp. 134-5. Thomas’s signature to the will indicates that he was feeble and apparently very sick when the will was made, hence the need to have John Wesley Lindsey write the will as Thomas dictated it.

[12] 20 April 1839 account of sale of personal estate of Thomas Brooks, Morgan County, Alabama, compiled by Charles Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County.

[13] 20 April 1839 promissory note of Samuel K. Brooks, Mark J. Lindsey, and J.H. Huffaker to Charles Brooks as executor of the estate of Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County.

[14] See Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County and Morgan County, Alabama, Orphan’s Court Minute Bk. 5, p. 394.

[15] 18 June 1842 receipt of Samuel K. Brooks to Milton McClanahan, administrator of Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County.

[16] 1850 federal census, Lawrence County, Alabama, district 8, p. 403 (dwelling 546/family 545; 4 November).

[17] See Myra Borden, “Agricultural Schedules, 1840-1910,” Old Lawrence Reminiscences 11,3 (September 1997), p. 68.

[18] 20 January 1851 final account of estate of Thomas Brooks by David Dinsmore Lindsey, administrator, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County, Alabama.

[19] 1860 federal census, Itawamba County, Mississippi, p. 132 (dwelling/family 865; 13 August). 

[20] Lee County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 1, p. 381.

[21] Ibid., p. 383.

[22] 1870 federal census, Lee County, Mississippi, Saltillo post office, p. 401A (dwelling/family 303; [no day given] August 1870).

[23] See Find a Grave memorial page of Mary A. Puckett Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Debra O’Neill, with a tombstone photo by Lynn Brooks Ellis.

[24] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Marriage Bk. 7, p. 452.

[25] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 24, p. 55. 

[26] 1880 federal census, Lee County, Mississippi, p. 104B (ED 89; dwelling 111/family 117; 8-9 June).

[27] Itawamba County, Mississippi, Deed Bk. 24, pp. 371-2.

[28] See supra, n. 2. 

[29][29] See Find a Grave memorial page of Mary J. Gilstrap Brooks, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, created by Ron Turner, with a tombstone photo by Lynn Brooks Ellis.

2 thoughts on “Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Samuel K. Brooks (1815-1898)

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