Thomas Jefferson Brooks (1835/8 – 1862): Addendum and Corrections to Previous Posting

Thos J. Brooks to James Bruze Bastrop DB L 444-5

Or, Subttitled: There’s always more to be found in historical rexearch

Another interruption to my series of postings about Thomas Whitlock (abt. 1745 -1830): During the past two weeks, I did research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. One of my research goals on this trip there was to retrieve material I cannot download from the FamilySearch site via my home computer, since this material is in locked filed at FamilySearch, and can be accessed only via computers within the Family History Library system.

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: James R. Brooks (1818-aft. January 1851) — From Alabama to California for the Gold Rush

27 June 1842 receipt of James R. Brooks to Milton McClanahan for $250 from estate of Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County, Alabama

Or, Subtitled: “Then began … the emigration to California, by land and sea, of 1849 and 1850,” P. Sioli, Historical Souvenir of El Dorado County, California

The family of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837) fascinates me because of the way Thomas and Sarah’s children scattered to so many different places. Only one daughter, Hannah, with husband Wesley Huffaker, stayed in Wayne County, Kentucky, where Thomas and Sarah raised their family. Six went to Lawrence and Morgan Counties, Alabama, where Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks spent the final year or two of their lives (in Morgan County): Jane (married Dennis Lindsey), Charles, Alexander, Samuel, James R., and Sarah. Charles and Samuel then moved from Alabama to Itawamba County, Mississippi, and Alexander lit out for Texas.

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

Samuel K. Brooks and wife Mary J. Gilstrap, photo uploaded by phalefamilytree to the Ancestry tree, “Hale/McConnell/Craig Family Tree”

Or, Subtitled: A volume of Wesley’s notes, a lot of books, a looking glass, a lot of queensware, etc.

8. The eighth child of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837), Samuel K. Brooks, was born 19 December 1815 in Wayne County, Kentucky. This date of birth is recorded in his parents’ bible. When the bible register was transcribed and published in 1988 in the journal Itawamba Settlers, Samuel’s name was transcribed as Sanford.[1] It’s clear that Sanford Brooks is Samuel K. Brooks, since the same date of birth is recorded on the tombstone of Samuel K. Brooks in Shiloh cemetery in Lee County, Mississippi.[2]

Samuel K. Brooks tombstone, Shiloh cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi, a close-up photo taken by William D. Lindsey

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Hannah Brooks (1811 – 1853) and Husband Wesley Huffaker 

Wesley Huffaker’s signature to 2 May 1850 letter to David Dinsmore Lindsey in loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks held by Morgan County, Alabama, Archives

Or, Subtitled: The one child of Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks who remained in Wayne County, Kentucky, dying there of childbirth

6. The sixth child of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837), Hannah Brooks, who was named for her grandmother Hannah Phillips Whitlock, was born 5 September 1811. This date of birth is recorded on her tombstone in Bethesda cemetery, at Bethesda in Wayne County, Kentucky, and in her obituary in the Louisville and Nashville Christian Advocate on 23 February 1854.[1] As with her brother Alexander Mackey Brooks, the sibling born immediately before her, her birthdate is not recorded in her parents’ family bible. We know she was a daughter of Thomas Brooks, however, since his 8 October 1838 will in Morgan County, Alabama, names Hannah Huffaker as his daughter.[2] As documents cited in the posting I have just linked state, Thomas’s estate documents show that Hannah’s husband was Wesley Huffaker.

Children of Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899): Adopted Daughter Rebecca Ann Chiek and Son Thomas Jefferson Brooks

“Who’s Who in Texas and Why? Robert A. Brooks,” Austin American (4 November 1916), p. 4, col. 6

Or, Subtitled: “Often has the editor of this paper heard his father speak of Tom Brooks and of his tender regard for him”

Rebecca Ann Chiek Brooks Collier

As a previous posting indicates, Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899) and his second wife Aletha Sorrells adopted a daughter, Rebecca Ann Chiek, who is enumerated in their household in Houston, Texas, in 1860 as Ann, aged 9.[1] This census gives A.M. Brooks’s surname, but the other family members — his wife Aletha, her granddaughters Mary and Fanny, both of whose surname was Moffatt, and Ann — are not given surnames in this census.

Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899): Information about His Second Wife Aletha Sorrells

Mary Jane Moffatt Harriman’s 4 September 1896 affiedavit in Brazos County, Texas, District Court case #2809, 15 March 1895-15 October 1897, Mary J. Harriman et al. vs. D.C. Giddings et al., as transcribed by George W. Glass in Aletha Sorrels Hope Freel Patterson Pierce Brooks

Or, Subtitled: “She was born in Georgia and her father moved with her to Mississippi”

What I’m sharing with you about the second wife of Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899), Aletha Sorrells (Hope, Freel, Patterson, Pierce) is for the most part not my own research. I’m borrowing shamelessly from George W. Glass, the genealogist who, as I told you in a previous posting, compiled a number of dossiers full of genealogical notes, transcripts and copies of documents, and other material relating to the history of Aletha Sorrells. I cited some of Glass’s collections extensively in my last two postings about Alexander M. Brooks — in particular, his “Hope Family Notes [and] Notes on Aletha Sorrels Hope,” “Aletha Sorrels Hope Freel Patterson Pierce Brooks,” and “Miscellaneous Notes on the James Hope Family.”

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899) — Houston Years and Final Years in Tyler County, Texas

“A.M. BROOKS DEAD: An Old Citizen of Houston Passes Away at Warren,” Houston Post (13 February 1899), p. 8, col. 2

Or, Subtitled: “In the death of Major A.M. Brooks, a good man has gone to his reward”

This posting continues two previous ones chronicling the life of Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899), son of Thomas Brooks and Sarah Whitlock, from his birth in Wayne County, Kentucky, through his (first) marriage in Lawrence County, Alabama, in 1835 and then his move to Texas in 1838 and his life in Bastrop, Texas, up to 1859. This posting about Alexander will focus on the final part of his life in Houston after he married his second wife Aletha Sorrells (Pierce) there in 1849, and then his final three years in Warren, Tyler County, Texas.

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899) — Move to Texas and Years in Bastrop

Brooks-Wilbarger House, Bastrop, Texas, photo made 12 March 1834 by L.C. Page Jr. for Survey HABS TX-33-C-6, at the Historic American Buildings Survey site maintained by Library of Congress

Or, Subtitled: “I came to Texas in the fall of 1838 and have lived here ever since”

This posting is a continuation of a previous one chronicling the life of Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899), a son of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Sarah Whitlock of Wythe County, Virginia, Wayne County, Kentucky, and Morgan County, Alabama. The previous posting focuses on Alexander’s years in Wayne County, Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Alabama. As it notes, according to testimony Alexander gave on 1 November 1895 in the Brazos County, Texas, District Court case, Mary J. Harriman et al. vs. D.C. Giddings et al., his move from Alabama to Texas took place in the fall of 1838.[1]

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Alexander Mackey Brooks (1808-1899) —Wayne County, Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Alabama, Years

Transcript of bible register of Alexander M. Brooks, from a 1 November 1895 deposition of A.M. Brooks in Brazos County, Texas, District Court case #2809, 15 March 1895-15 October 1897, Mary J. Harriman et al. vs. D.C. Giddings et al.

Or, Subtitled: “He left Lindsay to clear up the debts of the firm, which brought him to the ground”

5. Alexander Mackey Brooks, the fifth child of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837), was born 8 September or 8 November 1808. The two sources I’ve found providing a record of his date of birth have conflicting information, and I’m inclined to think the 8 November 1808 date is correct, since it’s a transcription of a bible register in which Alexander recorded his date of birth.

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Jane and Charles Brooks

Bond of Charles Brooks and John Stewart, 24 January 1823, for Charles’s marriage to Deniah Cornelius, see Lawrence County, Alabama, Marriage Bonds and Licenses 1820, available digitally at FamilySearch

Or, Subtitled: Wherein I Confess That I’ve Made a Whopper of a Mistake, about Which I Need to Tell Readers of This Blog

I need to start this posting with a confession. I make mistakes. I know that will shock you profoundly[!]. In working on this posting, I discovered I have made a colossal one, one that reverberates through previous postings about my Brooks family. Finding that I have gone wrong about one key piece of information will now require me to backtrack through previous postings and correct multiple erroneous statements based on one big wrong turn.