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.

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

Original will (holographic, page 1) of Thomas 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 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.