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.
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
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. 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. 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. This suggests that Jacob Hollingsworth was born in Birmingham township in Chester County.