Children of Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia) — Sarah Brooks (1750/1755 – 1810/1820) and Husband Ashdale (2)

Tombstone of Luke Woodward, Find a Grave memorial page for Luke Woodward, Woodward family cemetery, Rectortown, Fauquier County, Virginia, created by Hope, with tombstone photos by Hope

Or, Subtitled: Northern Virginia Family Making Tracks to West Virginia and Ohio

This posting continues the discussion of the children of Sarah Brooks Ashdale (1750/1755 — 1810/1820) that I began in the previous posting with information about Sarah’s son James, who was, I believe, the older of her two sons and possibly her oldest child:

Children of Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia) — Sarah Brooks (1750/1755 – 1810/1820) and Husband Ashdale (1)

Will of James Brooks, 16 August 1824, Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 5, pp. 158-9

Or, Subtitled: A Litany of Perhaps and Supposes: How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Ashdales? How Do You Hold a Moonbeam in Your Hand?

This posting on the Brooks line I now want to discuss will, I’m afraid, be full of words like “perhaps,” “suppose,” “seems likely” — qualifiers signaling how sparse the information I’ve been able to find about this family line is, so that the best I can do with it is to make educated conjectures on the basis of such limited evidence as appears to be available.   

Children of Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia) — Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and Husband George Rice (abt. 1743 – 1792): Documenting George’s Life, 1763-1792

Or, Subtitled: A Revolutionary Officer Who Rubbed Shoulders with Washington and Jefferson

14 December 1801 grant of Thomas Jefferson to Richard C. Anderson and Mayo Carrington, 2,000 acres from 4,000 acres granted to George Rice in Ohio for three years’ service as a captain of the Virginia line on 17 June 1783, from Raab Collection, Ardmore, Pennsylvania

My last posting in this series about Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and husband George Rice ended with a brief discussion of the first record I’ve found in Frederick County, Virginia, showing George as an adult who has come of age. This record is a Northern Neck grant of 300 acres in Frederick County that he received on 7 March 1763.[1] As I noted in the posting linked at the start of this paragraph, the grant shows that the land (which George Washington surveyed) lay along the line of the land of George’s father Patrick Rice. The posting linked above has a digital image of the land grant.

Children of Mary Brooks (d. 1787, Frederick County, Virginia) — Elizabeth Brooks (1747/1750 – 1816) and Husband George Rice (abt. 1743 – 1792)

Will of Elizabeth Brooks Rice, 18 February 1816, Frederick County, Virginia, Will Bk. 9, pp. 535-6

Or, Subtitled: “Your Orator Further Sheweth” — Valuable Inheritances and Predictable Litigation

With this posting, I’m climbing back up the Brooks family tree and starting to track lines stemming from another daughter of Mary Brooks, the earliest Brooks ancestor I’ve been able to prove. As I’ve indicated previously, Mary died testate in Frederick County, Virginia, with a will dated 9 July 1786.[1] In her will, Mary named children Mary (Hollingsworth), Elizabeth (Rice), Thomas, Sarah (Asdril [i.e., Ashdale]), Susanna (Haynes), and James. As the posting I’ve just linked says, I have not been able to discover the name of Mary’s husband, or her maiden surname, or where this family lived before I first catch sight of them in Frederick County, Virginia, records in March 1767.

Children of Mary Brooks (1745/1750 – aft. 15 May 1815) and Jacob Hollingsworth (1742 – 1822)

Tombstone of Hannah Hollingsworth Brown from her Find a Grave memorial page, Nacoochee Methodist cemetery, Sautee, White County, Georgia — see n. 3, infra

As we saw in the previous posting, the will that Jacob Hollingsworth made in Franklin County, Georgia, on 15 May 1815 names his children, noting that his son Samuel and daughter Sarah (Garner) had both predeceased him.[1]Before I start telling you what I know about Jacob’s children, a proviso: I haven’t done exhaustive research on them. What I’m sharing now are bits and pieces I’ve gathered through desultory research. Some researchers have done much more work than I have on some of these children — e.g., Sadie Greenings Spark on Samuel, James, and Benjamin[2] — and I’ll point you to that research as I discuss the children of Jacob Hollingsworth and wife Mary Brooks, who were as follows:

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): Wythe County, Virginia Years, 1793-1805 — Brief Addendum

Wythe County, Virginia, Court Order Bk. 1805-1808, 13 September 1808, p. 330

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.[1] 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.

Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805): Wythe County, Virginia Years, 1793-1805

Will of Thomas Brooks, 4 November 1804, Wythe County, Virginia, Wythe County, Virginia, Will Bk. 1, pp. 308-9

Or, Subtitled: Fertile New Land, Lead Mines, Shot Towers and Forges, and Movement from the Middle Colonies into the Valley of Virginia

With my first posting about Thomas Brooks (abt. 1747-1805), I shared my information about Thomas’s life in Frederick County, Virginia, up to 1792, when he moved his family to Wythe County, Virginia. My account begins with a March 1767 deed of Patrick Rice to his son John, which Thomas witnessed, the first certain record I have of him in Frederick County. Since, as my posting indicates, I have not found information about Thomas’s father, I haven’t been able to track this family line sufficiently to say with any certainty where Thomas Brooks was born — a point to which I’ll return when I discuss in more detail the information I have about Thomas’s mother Mary, who made her will in Frederick County on 9 July 1786, with the will being probated on 4 April 1787.

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.