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.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Kentucky Years, 1798-1836

Thomas Brooks’s affidavit, 10 March 1804, Wayne County, Kentucky, in Whitlock v. Whitlock, Commonwealth of Virginia Chancery District Court, Staunton, box 10, file 38

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.

Thomas Madison Brooks (1775-1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837): Virginia Beginnings, 1775-1798

“Brooks Bible,” Itawamba [Mississippi] Settlers 8,3 (September, 1988), pp. 151-2

Or, Subtitled: A Virginia ➤ Kentucky ➤ Alabama Migration Pattern

Introduction: Now the Brooks Family Line

At the end of April 2021, I completed a lengthy series of postings that I began in November 2019. This series shared my information about my Lindsey immigrant ancestor, Dennis Linchey, who arrived in Richmond County, Virginia, aboard the ship Expectation some time before 1 June 1718 as an indentured servant from Ireland, and about his descendants. The series of postings that runs from November 2019 to April 2021 provides all the information I have about the descendants of Dennis Linchey, whose surname shifted to Lindsey before his death in August 1762 in Granville County, North Carolina — though my series does not follow family lines down to the last generations in each line.

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Mark Jefferson Lindsey (1820-1878)

Pen-and-ink drawing of Mark Jefferson Lindsey from “an old family bible,” reproduced in Henry C. Lindsey, The Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas, 1982), p. 3

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.[1] The second is Mark’s signature as he gave bond on 19 October 1839 for his marriage to Mary Ann Harrison in Lawrence County.[2] 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.

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey Hunter (1834-1921)

William and Margaret Lindsey Hunter, abt. 1870, photo uploaded by Kelly Browne to Margaret’s Find a Grave memorial page, Liberty cemetery, Martin, Red River Parish, Louisiana

Or, Subtitled: “Prominent as Planters, Merchants, Ministers of the Gospel”

Margaret Tranquilla Lindsey, daughter of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks, was born 14 January 1834 at Oakville in Lawrence County, Alabama. This date of birth is found on her tombstone at Liberty Baptist cemetery, Martin, Red River Parish, Louisiana.[1] Margaret’s son William Marshall Hunter pastored Liberty church for a number of years. It was founded by Reverend John Dupree, grandfather of Marshall’s wife Laura Jane Dupree.

Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: John Wesley Lindsey (1814-1903) — Wayne County, Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Alabama, Years

Lindsey, John W., Signature to Original Will of Thomas Brooks
John Wesley Lindsey’s signature as witness to will of his grandfather Thomas M. Brooks, 2 October 1838, Morgan County, Alabama (from loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks, Morgan County)

Or, Subtitled: Weathervane Turns on Fortunes of North Alabama Merchant Planters in 1830s

John Wesley Lindsey’s Birth in Wayne County, Kentucky, April 1814

In line with their strong Methodist commitments, Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks named their first child (and eldest son) John Wesley, after the founder of Methodism. As we’ve seen, Dennis had a brother who also bore the name Wesley — Fielding Wesley Lindsey. Another brother, William Burke Lindsey, was named for the first Methodist circuit rider in Wayne County, Kentucky, at the time the Lindsey family lived there. John B. McFerrin, another Methodist circuit rider whom James Edmond Saunders mentions in connection with Mark and Dennis Lindsey in his Early Settlers of Alabama, as we’ve noted, provides abundant information about William Burke in his History of Methodism in Tennessee.[1] Continue reading “Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: John Wesley Lindsey (1814-1903) — Wayne County, Kentucky, and Lawrence County, Alabama, Years”

The Children of Mark Lindsey (1774-1848) and Mary Jane Dinsmore: Dennis Lindsey’s Wife Jane Brooks (1797-1852) and Their Children

Lindsey, Jane, Account for Boarding Mother and Father
Account of care Jane Brooks Lindsey’s provided nursing and lodging her parents in the final months of their lives, 13 November 1839, from loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks, Morgan County, Alabama

Or, Subtitled: Losing a Husband and Both Parents within Two Years and Carrying On

Notes About Jane Brooks, Wife of Dennis Lindsey

I have to admit that, in doing family history, I sometimes find myself being partial to one ancestor more than the rest. Jane is one of those ancestors to whom I’m partial. As I think about her life, what stands out is the amazing strength she displayed in trying times. I admire her. As I noted in a previous posting, when her husband Dennis Lindsey died at the age of 41, he left her a young widow of 39 with eleven children, four of them not over 10 years of age. One, the couple’s last son Dennis Edward, was a newborn, in fact. Continue reading “The Children of Mark Lindsey (1774-1848) and Mary Jane Dinsmore: Dennis Lindsey’s Wife Jane Brooks (1797-1852) and Their Children”