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: 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.