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.
The previous posting ended its chronicle of Joshua Wilson and Mary Rice’s lives on 13 January 1812 as they relinquished to John Postlethwaite the inn they had leased from him in Lexington, Kentucky, and had managed for eight years. The posting states that at this point, the Wilsons moved from Lexington to Louisville, Kentucky. Robert C. Jobson thinks that they had actually moved to Louisville by 1811, prior to the 13 January 1812 relinquishment of their lease on Postlethwaite’s inn. In his 1983 Filson Club History Quarterly article chronicling the life of Joshua and Mary’s grandson John Clark Bayless, Jobson says that Joshua Wilson first appeared on the scene in Louisville in 1811 as a “wealthy entrepreneur.” According to Jobson, the Wilsons’ soon-to-be son-in-law Abijah Bayless arrived in Louisville the same year when he began a dry-goods mercantile business there.
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 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.