Working on the family of Susanna Brooks Harlan, a daughter of Thomas Brooks and Margaret Beaumont/Beamon’s, has been a real trip — significant gaps in records, wild twists and turns, hypothetical possibilities that I can’t prove, but which seem tantalizingly close to the truth. I can think of few other genealogical research projects I’ve undertaken in which I’ve encountered such surprises, with so many uncertainties and tangles. What follows is my attempt to sort out the tangles. My conclusions may be wildly wrong, but this is my best attempt to put together the facts as I can find them, and make a coherent narrative out of them.
Or, Subtitled: “Respected citizens, and … consistent members of the Methodist church”
The obituary of Robert Brooks, son of Thomas Brooks and Margaret Beaumont/Beamon, in the Methodist publication Western Christian Advocate states that he was born 8 November 1780 in Frederick County, Virginia. His tombstone in Abbot cemetery at Fickle in Clinton County, Indiana, states that he died 14 June 1847, aged 60 years and 7 months. Note that the date of birth implied by this tombstone inscription would be 14 November 1786, which conflicts with the date stated in Robert’s obituary. The 1830 federal census puts him in the 1780-1790 age category, while the 1840 federal census shows him born between 1790 and 1800.I find Robert first appearing on the tax list in Wythe County, Virginia, in 1803, which suggests that he was born by or before 1785.
Or, Subtitled: Estates, Chancery Cases, and Unresolved Questions about Land Disposition
This is a brief addendum to my previous posting about the Wythe County, Virginia, years (1793-1805) of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805). As that posting indicates, on 13 February 1804, Thomas bought 300 acres of land along Poplar Camp Creek south of the New River from Thomas and Sarah Herbert. This is the only land record for Thomas I have found in Wythe County records, though statements in the county court order books prior to 1804 make me think that Thomas was living on this land before he bought it, and possibly even from the time he came to Wythe County in 1793 — see the previous posting for information about this.