Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: James R. Brooks (1818-aft. January 1851) — From Alabama to California for the Gold Rush

27 June 1842 receipt of James R. Brooks to Milton McClanahan for $250 from estate of Thomas Brooks, in Thomas Brooks’s loose-papers estate file in Morgan County, Alabama

Or, Subtitled: “Then began … the emigration to California, by land and sea, of 1849 and 1850,” P. Sioli, Historical Souvenir of El Dorado County, California

The family of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837) fascinates me because of the way Thomas and Sarah’s children scattered to so many different places. Only one daughter, Hannah, with husband Wesley Huffaker, stayed in Wayne County, Kentucky, where Thomas and Sarah raised their family. Six went to Lawrence and Morgan Counties, Alabama, where Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks spent the final year or two of their lives (in Morgan County): Jane (married Dennis Lindsey), Charles, Alexander, Samuel, James R., and Sarah. Charles and Samuel then moved from Alabama to Itawamba County, Mississippi, and Alexander lit out for Texas.

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Hannah Brooks (1811 – 1853) and Husband Wesley Huffaker 

Wesley Huffaker’s signature to 2 May 1850 letter to David Dinsmore Lindsey in loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks held by Morgan County, Alabama, Archives

Or, Subtitled: The one child of Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks who remained in Wayne County, Kentucky, dying there of childbirth

6. The sixth child of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837), Hannah Brooks, who was named for her grandmother Hannah Phillips Whitlock, was born 5 September 1811. This date of birth is recorded on her tombstone in Bethesda cemetery, at Bethesda in Wayne County, Kentucky, and in her obituary in the Louisville and Nashville Christian Advocate on 23 February 1854.[1] As with her brother Alexander Mackey Brooks, the sibling born immediately before her, her birthdate is not recorded in her parents’ family bible. We know she was a daughter of Thomas Brooks, however, since his 8 October 1838 will in Morgan County, Alabama, names Hannah Huffaker as his daughter.[2] As documents cited in the posting I have just linked state, Thomas’s estate documents show that Hannah’s husband was Wesley Huffaker.

Children of Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879) and Wife Nancy Westfall

Ezra Josiah Vroman, wife Elizabeth Ellen Brooks, and children, about 1901-3, photo uploaded by Richard G. to Find a Grave memorial page of Ezra Josiah Vroman, Antioch Christian cemetery, Moberly, Randolph County, Missouri, created by Joan Endsley, maintained by Nancy Meadows

Or, Subtitled: “She was the last of her family and is survived only by several nephews and nieces”

This posting is a continuation of a previous one in which I provided information about the children of Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879) by his first wife Nancy Gillespie. Following Nancy Gillespie’s death, on 29 March 1849 in Randolph County, Missouri, Thomas married Nancy Westfall, and that couple had the following children:

Children of Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879) and Wife Nancy Gillespie

History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Co., 1884), p. 550

Or, Subtitled: “Two splendid orchards, one in especial, containing 250 trees — apple, peach, cherry and other fruits”

This posting is a continuation of a previous posting in which I discussed the life of Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879), a son of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837) of Wythe County, Virginia, Wayne County, Kentucky, and Morgan County, Alabama. As that posting notes, Thomas Whitlock Brooks moved with wife Nancy Gillespie, daughter of Robert Gillespie and Margaret Edmundson, from Wayne County, Kentucky, to Randolph County, Missouri, in 1832. Nancy died in Randolph County between 1843 and 1 December 1848, and on 29 March 1849, Thomas W. Brooks married Nancy Westfall, daughter of Cornelius Westfall and Edith Wilson. 

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Thomas Whitlock Brooks (1805-1879) of Wayne County, Kentucky, and Randolph County, Missouri

History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri (St. Louis: National Historical Co., 1884), pp. 541-3

Or, Subtitled: “He entered land and devoted his time to improving his place and farming”

4. Thomas Whitlock Brooks, the fourth child of Thomas Brooks (1775-1838) and Sarah Whitlock (1774-1837), was born 22 December 1805. This date is recorded in his father’s family bible (and see also here). As the postings I’ve just linked state, I have not seen or found information about the bible’s provenance — except we know that the bible originally belonged to Thomas Brooks and was bought by Thomas’s son Charles at his father’s estate sale in April 1839 — and haven’t seen the original bible register. I’m relying for information on a transcript of the register (by an unidentified person) published in 1988.[1] The transcriber of the bible read the name of this son of Thomas and Sarah Whitlock Brooks as Thomas R. Brooks. A biography of George H. Cottingham, who married Thomas Whitlock Brooks’s daughter Sarah Margaret, in History of Randolph and Macon Counties, Missouri, gives Thomas Whitlock Brooks’s middle initial as B., and a biography of Thomas’s son William C. Brooks in the same work shows it as N.[2]

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Margaret Brooks (1803-1855) and Husband Ransom Van Winkle — Morgan County, Illinois, Years

29 June 1847 (or 1849?) receipt of Ransom Van Winkle for payment of his inheritance in right of wife Margaret from Thomas Brooks, and for his brother-in-law Thomas Whitlock Brooks’s share of inheritance, in loose-papers probate file of Thomas Brooks held by the Morgan County Archives in Decatur

Or, Subtitled: “[They] settled on the unbroken prairie, prepared to cultivate the soil; there were spent the last days of the old folks”

This post is a continuation of a previous post tracking the family of Margaret Brooks, daughter of Thomas Brooks and Sarah Whitlock, and her husband Ransom Van Winkle in Wayne County, Kentucky. An obituary of their son Alexander Van Winkle confirms that Ransom and Margaret Brooks Van Winkle moved their family to Morgan County, Illinois, in the fall of 1829.[1] 

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Margaret Brooks (1803-1855) and Husband Ransom Van Winkle — Wayne County, Kentucky Years

Tombstone of Margaret Brooks Van Winkle and Ransom Van Winkle, Franklin town cemetery, Franklin, Morgan County, Illinois, by Connie Clark: see Find a Grave memorial page of Margaret Brooks Van Winkle, created by Vicki

Or, Subtitled: A Southeastern Kentucky Family Migrates to West Central Illinois, Late 1820s

The third child of Thomas Brooks and wife Sarah Whitlock of Wythe County, Virginia, Wayne County, Kentucky, and Morgan County, Alabama, was

Children of Thomas Brooks (1775 – 1838) and Wife Sarah Whitlock: Jane and Charles Brooks

Bond of Charles Brooks and John Stewart, 24 January 1823, for Charles’s marriage to Deniah Cornelius, see Lawrence County, Alabama, Marriage Bonds and Licenses 1820, available digitally at FamilySearch

Or, Subtitled: Wherein I Confess That I’ve Made a Whopper of a Mistake, about Which I Need to Tell Readers of This Blog

I need to start this posting with a confession. I make mistakes. I know that will shock you profoundly[!]. In working on this posting, I discovered I have made a colossal one, one that reverberates through previous postings about my Brooks family. Finding that I have gone wrong about one key piece of information will now require me to backtrack through previous postings and correct multiple erroneous statements based on one big wrong turn.

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

Original will (holographic, page 1) of Thomas Brooks of Morgan County, Alabama,, 2 October 1838, in loose-papers estate file of Thomas Brooks held by Morgan County Archives

Or, Subtitled: The Mystery of an Estate Selling Land to Which the Decedent Does Not Have Title

With this posting, I’ll provide information about the final phase of the lives of Thomas Brooks and wife Sarah Whitlock, after they moved in November 1836 from Wayne County, Kentucky, to Morgan County, Alabama, to join their adult children who had settled in adjoining Lawrence County, where Thomas’s brother James had died in 1835and Wayne County neighbors including Rev. Elliott Jones.  As I state at the end of the previous posting, because both Thomas and Sarah died not very long after they made their final move to Alabama, and doctors’ receipts in Thomas’s estate file indicate that medications like laudanum and morphine were prescribed for what appear to have been painful illnesses, I suspect that both were already sick at the time of their move, perhaps both with a lingering, debilitating illness such as cancer.

Thomas 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 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.