Or, Subtitled: Tales of Runaway Matches and Stolen Brides
This posting continues and concludes the previous posting about Johnson H. Brooks (1815-1875), son of James Brooks and Nancy Isbell. In what follows, I’ll provide an outline sketch of Johnson’s children by his two wives Elizabeth Hunter (Gailey) and Olive Jane Gibson. As with previous outline sketches of grandchildren of James and Nancy Isbell Brooks that I’ve posted recently here, I’ll point you to George A. O’Reilly’s valuable book The History of the E. James Brooks Family of Lawrence County, Alabama for further information and documentation.
Or, Subtitled: More Affrays! —“His bellicose disposition led him into many a brawl with others, one of which cost him very dearly, since by it he lost an eye”
This posting is a continuation of two previous postings (here and here) discussing the children of James Brooks (1772-1835) and Nancy Isbell of Wayne County, Kentucky, Warren County, Tennessee, and Lawrence County, Alabama. The previous postings have discussed their children Godfrey Isbell Brooks, Thomas R. Brooks, Hannah Isbell Brooks, Margaret C. Brooks, and James Irwin Brooks. The next child of James Brooks and Nancy Isbell was:
Or, Subtitled: “Honoured Sir — If your Dignity will permit me to make a statement to you in regard to our frontier county“
In a previous posting, I summarized the salient facts about the life of Benjamin Benton Hollingsworth, Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks’s last child — literally, the Benjamin of their declining years. As we see in the posting I’ve just linked, Benjamin was born after 1784 in Randolph County, North Carolina, and died 18 August 1844 in Benton County, Alabama. We can conclude, more specifically, that Benjamin was likely born in or after 1785, since he does not appear with other males of his family on the tax list in Franklin County, Georgia in 1801, which indicates that he was not yet 16 or became 16 in 1801 after the tax list was compiled. As Sadie Greening Sparks also notes, he does not appear as a drawer in the 1805 Georgia land lottery, and this means he was under 21 in 1805, therefore born after 1784. Because Benjamin witnessed a deed of Joseph Dunnigan to Abner Dunnigan in Franklin County, Georgia, on 20 August 1803, a legal act that required him to be 18 years old at the time (though I’ve seen instances of minors witnessing deeds, too), I suspect he was born in 1785: see below for more about this deed.
As we’ve seen, researchers have placed the birth of James Hollingsworth, the seventh child (and fourth son) of Jacob Hollingsworth and Mary Brooks, between 1777-1780 in Guilford or Randolph County, North Carolina (Randolph was created from Guilford in 1779). In their classic accounts of the Hollingsworth and Harlan families, J. Adger Stewart and Alpheus Harlan both have James born in 1777. Sadie Greening Sparks thinks that he was born in 1780.
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.
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. The second is Mark’s signature as he gave bond on 19 October 1839 for his marriage to Mary Ann Harrison in Lawrence County. 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.
Or, Subtitled: Bald Judicial Caputs and Spelling Eleemosynary
James B. Speake and Sarah Brooks Lindsey had eight children — Henry Clay, John Marshall, Dennis Basil, James Tucker, Charles Washington, Daniel Webster, Mary Frances, and a baby who died at birth. Mary Frances died at age four. The only information I have found about the last two children is in the 17 February 1924 letter of James and Sarah’s son Charles Washington Speake to A. Howard Speake of Brooklyn, New York, cited in a previous posting. My previous posting provides biographies of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster Speake from Dictionary of Alabama Biography, as well as photographs of both of them previously owned by Harold Layman Speake, a descendant of their brother Charles Washington Speake.
Or, Subtitled: Alabama Fever and Skyrocketing Cotton Prices as Alabama Opened to White Settlers
By 9 September 1818, Dennis Lindsey had moved his family from Wayne County, Kentucky, to Lawrence County, Alabama, since he patented a piece of land on that date in township 7, range 6 west, section 8 at the Huntsville land office. Alabama would become a state the following year, so this land was in Mississippi Territory when Dennis Lindsey patented it. As my previous posting showed, this land was adjacent (on the west) to what would become the town of Oakville in Lawrence County, a town that Dennis would play a role in founding. The fact that Dennis Lindsey disappears from Wayne County, Kentucky, tax returns after 1816 and then shows up acquiring land in Lawrence County, Alabama, in 1818 indicates, I think, that he moved his family to Alabama in 1817. The Huntsville Republican newspaper contains a notice on 14 October 1817 (p. 3, col. 4) that an unclaimed letter was waiting in the Huntsville post office for Dennis Lindsey, further evidence that he moved to Alabama in that year.
Or, Subtitled: The Challenges Encountered in Tracking “Wm. Lindsey Run Away”
And now to William Lindsey, the one child of Dennis Lindsey about whom I have substantial documentation — if, that is, I’m correct in identifying the William named as a son in Dennis’ will with a William Lindsey who had a precept on 5 July 1768 for 300 acres of land north of the Enoree River in South Carolina. We know from subsequent deeds that I’ll discuss later that this land was in Spartanburg County after the formation of that county, and that William Lindsey lived from the latter part of the 1760s north of the Enoree in southern Spartanburg County (but not on this 300 acres, which he sold in October 1772) until he disappeared from county records in the early 1800s. By 1806, his son William ceases to appear as Jr. in county records, and it seems to me that the father had died by then. I have been unable to locate estate records for the older William that would provide a date of death.