Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Susanna Brooks and Husband Ezekiel Harlan (2)

Pennsylvania Gazette (20 September 1753), p. 3, col. 2

Or, Subtitled: “Wears a cap or wig, black velvet jacket and breeches, and ruffled ſhirts, but may change his apparel”

My previous posting tells you that Susanna Brooks and her husband Ezekiel Harlan have led me on a merry chase as I’ve tried to figure out even the most basic facts about them on the basis of limited evidence, including which particular Ezekiel Harlan Susanna married, when she was born, when and where the couple met, and when and where they died. I’ve become fairly confident that the Ezekiel Harlan whom Susanna married was an Ezekiel Harlan who was born in 1769-1770, and was the son of Ezekiel Harlan (born 1732-6) who was son of Ezekiel Harlan (1707-1754) and wife Hannah Oborn of Chester County, Pennsylvania. To add to the confusion created by the plethora of Ezekiels in this line, the Ezekiel Harlan born in 1769-1770 had a son Ezekiel, too, who was likely born around 1787-8, and who appears in records of Hardin County, Kentucky, along with his father.

Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Susanna Brooks and Husband Ezekiel Harlan

Hardin County, Kentucky, Deed Bk. D, pp. 426-8

Or, Subtitled: “From there on, all trace is lost”

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.

Children of Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747 – 1805) and Wife Margaret: Margaret Brooks (1772 – 1857) and Husband Joseph Day

Kentucky State Historical Society and State Archives, Grayson County, Kentucky, Registry of Deaths 1857, in Kentucky Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1852-1910digitized at the Family Search site

Or, Subtitled: “Joseph Day Junr hath been Guilty of unneceſsary frequenting places of divertion & dancing”

In this posting, I’m returning to my ongoing project of tracking family lines stemming from Mary Brooks, who died in Frederick County, Virginia, in 1787. In previous postings, I’ve tracked the following children of Mary and their descendants: Mary (1745/1750 – abt. 1815), who married Jacob Hollingsworth; Elizabeth (1747/1750 – 1816), who married George Rice; Sarah (1750/1755 – 1810/1820), who married an Ashdale/Asdale/Asdell; and James, who did not marry. As I’ve also noted in this series of postings about the children of Mary Brooks, I know nothing about her daughter Susanna except that Mary’s will identifies Susanna as Susanna Haynes. 

Children of Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia) — Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Husband Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822)

Fort Hollingsworth, photograph (June 2015) by Wikimedia user Gwringle, at the Fort Hollingsworth-White House page at Wikimedia Commons

Or, Subtitled: Migration of Families with Quaker Roots from Pennsylvania through North Carolina into Northwest Georgia by 1790

Chester County, Pennsylvania, Beginnings of Jacob Hollingsworth

Alpheus H. Harlan, History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, and Particularly of the Descendants of George and Michael Harlan, Who Settled in Chester County, Pa., 1687 (Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Press, 1914), p. 33

As has been noted previously, Jacob Hollingsworth, who married Mary Brooks about 1767-8, was the son of Samuel Hollingsworth and Barbara Shewin of Chester County, Pennsylvania. In his history of the Harlan family long connected to the Hollingsworths, Alpheus Harlan indicates that Jacob was born about 1740 or 1742.[1] According to J. Adger Stewart in his classic study of descendants of Valentine Hollingsworth, the immigrant ancestor, the first son of Samuel and Barbara Shewin Hollingsworth, also named Samuel, was born about 1740.[2] Stewart evidently bases this estimated birthdate on the fact that Samuel and Barbara married in 1738. He does not suggest a birthdate for Jacob, but implies that Jacob was born about 1742. As Alpheus Harlan notes, Samuel Hollingsworth was a farmer of Birmingham township in Chester County, and died there in November 1751.[3] This suggests that Jacob Hollingsworth was born in Birmingham township in Chester County.

Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia): What I Know (and Don’t) about the Earliest Generation of This Brooks Family

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

Or, Subtitled: “Of English Descent” or “a Native of Ireland” — Take Your Pick

As I stated at the end of my penultimate posting, after having shared with you the information I have about Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747- 1805), I now want to focus on Thomas’s mother Mary Brooks, who died testate in Frederick County, Virginia, with a will dated 9 July 1786.[1] Mary’s will was proven in Frederick County court on 4 April 1787, so she died at some point between those two dates. This will is just about the sum total of what I know of this Brooks family in the generation prior to Thomas Brooks. 

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.