Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805): Frederick County, Virginia, Beginnings

Will of Mary Brooks, 9 July 1786, Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 5, p. 158

Or, Subtitled: “I will and bequeath to my beloved son Thomas Brooks, whom I likewise constitute make and ordain my whole and sole Executor”

I’ve now finished telling you what I know of Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838), who moved with his parents from Frederick County, Virginia, where he was born in 1775, to Wythe County, Virginia, in 1793, and from there to Wayne County, Kentucky, in 1798. As I’ve also shown you, at the very end of his and his wife Sarah’s lives, the couple moved their family from Kentucky to Morgan County, Alabama, in November 1836, and in 1837, Sarah died at the home of their daughter Jane Brooks Lindsey in Lawrence County, Alabama, with Thomas dying under Jane’s care in 1838.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Alabama Years, 1836-1838

Original will (holographic, page 1) of Thomas Madison Brooks of Morgan County, Alabama,, 2 October 1838, in loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks held by Morgan County Archives

Or, Subtitled: The Mystery of an Estate Selling Land to Which the Decedent Does Not Have Title

With this posting, I’ll provide information about the final phase of the lives of Thomas Madison Brooks and wife Sarah Whitlock, after they moved in November 1836 from Wayne County, Kentucky, to Morgan County, Alabama, to join their adult children who had settled in adjoining Lawrence County, where Thomas’s brother James had died in 1835and Wayne County neighbors including Rev. Elliott Jones.  As I state at the end of the previous posting, because both Thomas and Sarah died not very long after they made their final move to Alabama, and doctors’ receipts in Thomas’s estate file indicate that medications like laudanum and morphine were prescribed for what appear to have been painful illnesses, I suspect that both were already sick at the time of their move, perhaps both with a lingering, debilitating illness such as cancer.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Kentucky Years, 1798-1836

Thomas Brooks’s affidavit, 10 March 1804, Wayne County, Kentucky, in Whitlock v. Whitlock, Commonwealth of Virginia Chancery District Court, Staunton, box 10, file 38

Or, Subtitled: “A Rough Hardy Race of Men, Very Large & Stout, & Altogether an Excellent Population, for a New Country”

Thomas and Sarah Brooks Establish Their Young Family in Kentucky (1798-9)

In the previous posting about Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838), I track him up to 1798, when he moved with wife Sarah Whitlock and infant daughter Jane from Wythe County, Virginia, to Pulaski (soon to be Wayne) County, Kentucky. As that posting notes, when the Brooks family made that move, Thomas and Sarah were a young couple, he 23 and she 24. You may have noticed that the previous postings discussing the Virginia beginnings of this Brooks family cited no records for Thomas in Wythe County other than tax records — with the exception of the record in his family bible stating that Thomas and Sarah married 14 February 1796.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Virginia Beginnings, 1775-1798

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

Or, Subtitled: A Virginia ➤ Kentucky ➤ Alabama Migration Pattern

Introduction: Now the Brooks Family Line

At the end of April 2021, I completed a lengthy series of postings that I began in November 2019. This series shared my information about my Lindsey immigrant ancestor, Dennis Linchey, who arrived in Richmond County, Virginia, aboard the ship Expectation some time before 1 June 1718 as an indentured servant from Ireland, and about his descendants. The series of postings that runs from November 2019 to April 2021 provides all the information I have about the descendants of Dennis Linchey, whose surname shifted to Lindsey before his death in August 1762 in Granville County, North Carolina — though my series does not follow family lines down to the last generations in each line.

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Mark Jefferson Lindsey (1820-1878)

Pen-and-ink drawing of Mark Jefferson Lindsey from “an old family bible,” reproduced in Henry C. Lindsey, The Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas, 1982), p. 3

Or, Subtitled: Migration of Alabama Families to Northwest Louisiana, Late 1840s and Early 1850s

Establishing Mark’s Birthdate

In the bible of his sister Frances Rebecca Kellogg, Mark Jefferson Lindsey recorded his birthdate, stating that he was born “in the year 1820 Oct the 9,” son of D. and Jane Lindsey. Above the diary entry, Mark has written the date on which he made this record: “December the 4 1853.” We’re able to know that Mark himself wrote this entry since his handwriting matches that of other documents he wrote. In the signatures of Mark below, note the stylized J, for instance, with the loop running back through the top of it, and the stylized capital M. The first is from a 15 September 1838 deed of trust between Jacob H. Huffaker and John M. Davis in Oakville, Lawrence County, Alabama, for a debt Huffaker owed Davis, with Mark signing as trustee.[1] The second is Mark’s signature as he gave bond on 19 October 1839 for his marriage to Mary Ann Harrison in Lawrence County.[2] The birth record for Mark in his sister Frances Rebecca’s bible is, it’s easy to ascertain, written in the same hand — by Mark himself.

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Frances Rebecca Lindsey Kellogg (1831-1916) — Alabama-Mississippi Years

Bible of Frances Rebecca Lindsey and Samuel Hiram Kellogg, first page of birth entries

Or, Subtitled: Matching Signatures to Handwriting in Old Bible Entries

When I work to figure out certain pieces of information about the life of Frances Rebecca Lindsey and her husband Samuel Hiram Kellogg, I come up against a number of puzzles. I have never been able to solve these despite repeated attempts to do so. They include the question of when, where, and how Frances and Samuel met and the question of Samuel’s antecedents prior to his marriage to Frances Rebecca. 

I now have some answers to the two questions posed above. Please see this subsequent posting.

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Thomas Madison Lindsey (1821-1898)

Ancestry user Evelyn May has uploaded this photo to her tree Evelyn May/McCoy Family tree, with a caption stating that it is a photo of Thomas Madison Lindsey. Since photography came along after 1860 for the most part, this photo would have to date from the 1860s, I think, before he turned 50 years of age.

Or, Subtitled: “Jumping High into the Air and Touching His Toes with His Hands, He Gave a Loud Yell or Yodel”

In my account of the children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks, I am going to skip from their second child, Sarah Brooks Lindsey Speake, to the couple’s fourth child, Thomas Madison Lindsey. I’m setting Dennis and Jane’s third child, Mark Jefferson Lindsey, aside for now. He’s my direct ancestor, my 2-great-grandfather, and because I have more information about him than about most of his siblings, I will save my account of his life until last, as I discuss the children of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks.

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: John Wesley Lindsey (1814-1903) — Mississippi Years

Detail from Colton's 1855 Map of Mississippi
Detail from G. Woolworth Colton’s 1855 map of Mississippi showing Van Buren, Itawbamba County — from Colton’s Atlas of the World (New York : J.H. Colton, 1855-56), at the Library of Congress website

Or, Subtitled: Westward Ho As Businesses Falter and New Opportunities Beckon

In my first posting tracking the life of John Wesley Lindsey, son of Dennis Lindsey and Jane Brooks, in Wayne County, Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Alabama, up to 1840, I noted that John had long puzzled me: I could track his life up to the point that he disappears from records of Itawamba and Lee County, Mississippi, around 1870, but after that, I couldn’t follow him. I couldn’t follow him until I realized that he was the J.W. Lindsay who married M.A. Wester in Red River Parish, Louisiana, on 15 December 1878, and that he and Mary Ann Nobles Wester then settled at Marthaville in Natchitoches Parish, where John died in 1903. The families of John’s siblings Mark Jefferson Lindsey, Margaret Lindsey Hunter, and Rebecca Lindsey Kellogg had all settled in Red River Parish, and John had evidently gone out to Louisiana to join them by 1878. Continue reading “Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: John Wesley Lindsey (1814-1903) — Mississippi Years”

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: John Wesley Lindsey (1814-1903) — Wayne County, Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Alabama, Years

Lindsey, John W., Signature to Original Will of Thomas Brooks
John Wesley Lindsey’s signature as witness to will of his grandfather Thomas M. Brooks, 2 October 1838, Morgan County, Alabama (from loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks, Morgan County)

Or, Subtitled: Weathervane Turns on Fortunes of North Alabama Merchant Planters in 1830s

John Wesley Lindsey’s Birth in Wayne County, Kentucky, April 1814

In line with their strong Methodist commitments, Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks named their first child (and eldest son) John Wesley, after the founder of Methodism. As we’ve seen, Dennis had a brother who also bore the name Wesley — Fielding Wesley Lindsey. Another brother, William Burke Lindsey, was named for the first Methodist circuit rider in Wayne County, Kentucky, at the time the Lindsey family lived there. John B. McFerrin, another Methodist circuit rider whom James Edmond Saunders mentions in connection with Mark and Dennis Lindsey in his Early Settlers of Alabama, as we’ve noted, provides abundant information about William Burke in his History of Methodism in Tennessee.[1] Continue reading “Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: John Wesley Lindsey (1814-1903) — Wayne County, Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Alabama, Years”

The Children of Mark Lindsey (1774-1848) and Mary Jane Dinsmore: Dennis Lindsey’s Wife Jane Brooks (1797-1852) and Their Children

Lindsey, Jane, Account for Boarding Mother and Father
Account of care Jane Brooks Lindsey’s provided nursing and lodging her parents in the final months of their lives, 13 November 1839, from loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks, Morgan County, Alabama

Or, Subtitled: Losing a Husband and Both Parents within Two Years and Carrying On

Notes About Jane Brooks, Wife of Dennis Lindsey

I have to admit that, in doing family history, I sometimes find myself being partial to one ancestor more than the rest. Jane is one of those ancestors to whom I’m partial. As I think about her life, what stands out is the amazing strength she displayed in trying times. I admire her. As I noted in a previous posting, when her husband Dennis Lindsey died at the age of 41, he left her a young widow of 39 with eleven children, four of them not over 10 years of age. One, the couple’s last son Dennis Edward, was a newborn, in fact. Continue reading “The Children of Mark Lindsey (1774-1848) and Mary Jane Dinsmore: Dennis Lindsey’s Wife Jane Brooks (1797-1852) and Their Children”