Richard Brooks of Caswell Co., NC (1730-1790)

Richard Brooks was born about 1730, probably in Virginia, and died about 1790 in Caswell County, North Carolina.  In his will written October 3, 1789 he mentioned his wife Ann Brooks and his 5 children (see original will transcript here):

  1. William Bird Brooks (c. 1774-after 1830)
  2. Elizabeth “Betsey” Brooks (born c. 1789)
  3. Francis Armestead Brooks (c. 1781 – after 1860 in Alabama) married James Sheppard
  4. John Brooks (c. 1785 – after 1809)
  5. Ann Smith Brooks (c. 1770 – c. 1805), married Solomon Graves

Richard Brooks was living in Kingston Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia prior to his removal to Caswell County, North Carolina between 1770 and 1780.  Caswell County was formed from Orange County in 1779.  It is possible, Richard lived in Orange County, North Carolina from 1770-1779 when part of the county became Caswell County.

On December 10, 1754, Richard and Thomas Brooks were listed in a survey to divide land equally between the two men according to the last will and testament of Mr. Jonathan Brooks in Kingston Parish, Gloucester Co., VA. [1]

On April 10, 1770, Richard and his wife _____’s daughter, Ann Smith Brooks, was baptized in Kingston Parish, Gloucester Co., VA [1].  Unfortunately, I did not see a marriage record for Richard Brooks in the Kingston Parish Book.

Richard’s wife Ann was listed on the 1800 Caswell County, NC census report after he died. She was listed between the ages of 26 and 45, born between 1755 and 1774. This would have made her about 16 years of age at the time of Richard’s daughter, Ann Smith Brooks’ date of birth in 1770 in Virginia.  It is possible Ann Smith Brooks’ mother was someone other than Ann. It is also possible her mother’s maiden name was Smith, for whom she was named after.

Richard’s will was written in October of 1789 and proved in January of 1790.  His Wife, Ann Brooks’ will was written March 4, 1806 and was proved in January court of 1809.  In her will, she listed her 9 grandchildren, 6 of whom were the children of her son William Bird Brooks and 3 of whom were children of her daughter Frances A (Brooks) Sheppard. Her son in law, Solomon Graves (married to Ann Smith Brooks) was listed as executor. Ann Smith Brooks Graves must have died prior to her mother writing her will in 1806 since she was not listed as an heir (or she was not the daughter of Ann).

Richard and Ann Brooks’ son William Bird Brooks settled in Giles County, Tennessee after his parents died. He was married to Sarah Paine in Person County, North Carolina.

Richard and Ann Brooks’ daughter Frances Armistead Brooks Sheppard removed to Butler County, Alabama where she died about 1860.

Richard Brooks was probably the brother of Thomas Brooks and son of Jonathan Brooks of Gloucester County, Virginia.  I believe Richard’s brother, Thomas Brooks, and his wife, Mary Blacknall, were the parents of my ancestor, Christopher Brooks (1755-1781), along with his siblings, Sarah/Sallie Brooks Holderness, Charles H Brooks, Thomas Brooks Jr., George Brooks and possibly Mary and Jonathan Brooks.

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