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:“Born in 1823 on the site where her death occurred and where she had always lived”
As the previous posting indicates, a brief biography of Robert Brooks in Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton, Warren and Pulaski Counties, Indiana states that his children with wife Rachel Adkins were Margaret, Thomas, William, Millie, Nancy, John, Betsy, Charlotte, Mary, Daniel, Sarah A., and James. This source appears to be listing these children in order of birth, but information about their dates of birth on various documents including federal census reports seems to provide a slightly different birth order for the children. I am indebted to researchers Thelma Brooks Morgan and Marilyn Merritt, both descendants of Thomas and Rachel, whose research notes I cited in the previous posting, for some of the following information about the children of Robert Brooks and Rachel Adkins:
Or, Subtitled: “Respected citizens, and … consistent members of the Methodist church”
The obituary of Robert Brooks, son of Thomas Brooks and Margaret Beaumont/Beamon, in the Methodist publication Western Christian Advocate states that he was born 8 November 1780 in Frederick County, Virginia. His tombstone in Abbot cemetery at Fickle in Clinton County, Indiana, states that he died 14 June 1847, aged 60 years and 7 months. Note that the date of birth implied by this tombstone inscription would be 14 November 1786, which conflicts with the date stated in Robert’s obituary. The 1830 federal census puts him in the 1780-1790 age category, while the 1840 federal census shows him born between 1790 and 1800.I find Robert first appearing on the tax list in Wythe County, Virginia, in 1803, which suggests that he was born by or before 1785.