List of Brooks Estate Files at the NC State Archives

The following list of BROOKS family estate folders were found in the Caswell County, North Carolina Series of Loose Estate Papers, 1772-1927; C.R. 020.508.8

Name Date
Christopher Brooks 1782
Thomas Brooks 1794
Ann Brooks 1808
Thomas Brooks 1824
Christopher W Brooks (Isabella Brooks) 1840
Sarah Brooks 1841
John K Brooks 1850
Isabella Brooks 1851
C W Brooks 1851
Thomas Brooks 1855

 

Amanuensis Monday – The Will of Thomas Brooks

Transylvanian Dutch blog author John Newmark started the Monday blog theme called Amanuensis Monday. According to John, “amanuensis” means:
“A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.”

This week I am posting a transcript of the will of Thomas Brooks of Caswell County, North Carolina written on the 31st of March, 1855.

The following will was obtained from the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina.  For more information on locating wills and ordering copies from the North Carolina State Archives, please reference my Looking for Wills at the North Carolina State Archives – Updated post.

The following will was found in the Caswell County Series of Original Wills, 1771-1927, box no. 1
Call no. 020.801.1

Summary of Will:

Written: March 31, 1855

Wife: Martha

Children:
William Brooks (<21 years of age)
Nicy Brooks
Mary Ann Brooks

Executrix:
wife Martha Brooks

Original Scanned Images:

Thomas Brooks Will 1855 p1

Thomas Brooks Will 1855 p1

Thomas Brooks Will 1855 p2

Thomas Brooks Will 1855 p2

Transcript of Will:

In the name of God amen I Thos Brooks of the county of Caswell and State of North Carolina being in mind the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death and being weak of body but of sound mind and disposing memory Blessed be God do this 31st day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty five publish and ordain this my last will and Testament in the manner and form following that is to say first of all I recommend my precious and immortal soul unto the hands of God who give it and my body to the earth to be buried in a decent and Christian like manner,

Item 1st I give and bequeath to Martha my wife my tract of land on which I live containing 237 acres more of less and my stock of all description plantation tools household and kitchen furniture wagon and harness and carriage also the provisions of all description on hand during her natural life or widowhood.

Item 2nd I will and bequeath to my son William Brooks when twenty one years of age a seventy five dollar horse and a good Saddle and bridle. Item 3rd I will and bequeath at the death or marriage of my beloved wife Martha, that in the event my daughters Nicy and Mary Ann are both or either of them single, they are to have one hundred dollars of my estate each and then come in for an equal division with the rest of my lawful heirs.

I hereby nominate and appoint my beloved wife Martha my executor to carry into effect this my last will and Testament herby ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament this day and date signed sealed and acknowledged to be the last will and Testament of Thos Brooks in presents of Charles G Russell and Byrd D Paylors.

Witnesses:
Charles G Russell
Byrd D Paylor

Thomas (His Mark X) Brooks (Seal)

Unfortunately, at this time, I do not know much about this family. Thomas Brooks’ estate was probated in 1855 because there is a file at the North Carolina State Archives in the Caswell County Loose Papers of the Estate Files for Thomas Brooks, dated 1855. My goal is to copy, scan, and transcribe the contents of that file the next time I got to the Archives. If you know anything about the family of Thomas and Martha Brooks, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me directly at ginger.reney at gmail dot com.

Related Posts:

The Wills of Richard Brooks (1789) and his wife Ann Brooks (1808)

My first trip to the Southern Historical Collection at UNC

This weekend I visited the Southern Historical Collection located on the 4th floor of the Wilson Library at UNC.  I checked out a box from the William S. Powell Papers. This was my first visit to the Collection library. I was allowed to bring my laptop and digital camera in, but had to use the loose leaf paper and pencils they provided to me. They do not provide photocopying services, and if I had not had digital camera, I would have been able to check one of theirs out for free. The only two conditions to using digital cameras were 1) I cannot use a flash and 2) I had to sign a form that said I would not reproduce any images I photographed without the written permission from the Southern Historical Collection.

The purpose of my trip was to find the research notes of William S. Powell that he used in writing his book, “When the Past Refused to Die: The History of Caswell Count, North Carolina.” On page 71, he mentioned my ancestor, “Colonel Henry Williams” as a Revolutionary War soldier and I would like to know what source Powell used to indicate that my ancestor was a Colonel or that he was a Revolutionary War soldier. I have blogged previously here and here that I can’t find any other documentation that he was a Colonel or participated in the Revolutionary War.

The box I reviewed had 5 folders in it which were not named or numbered. As I took a folder out, I had to insert a placeholder in its place. The first folder had printed pages from the book with some corrections Powell made. The 2nd and 3rd folder had correspondence Powell had with his publisher, the Caswell County Historical Association members, and Caswell County residents, just to name a few.  I found a few index cards with notations made of other collections titles that Powell reviewed (although he did not list the repository – whether they were contained in the Southern Historical Collection, the Duke Manuscripts, or North Carolina State Archives, for example), but no reference to any Revolutionary War Records.

In one of his letters to his publisher, Powell mentioned that he had indexed every name and place title he found in each record he reviewed on index cards. These cards were not included with these materials. Maybe he sent these cards to his publisher?

I learned a lot about writing a North Carolina history book from reading Powell’s correspondence.  I learned about the administrative practices of securing an agreement with a publisher and securing funds. I learned about feasibility and finding enough subject material to write about. I learned about how to get the county residents involved and soliciting submissions for historical essays on the history of places like churches, mills, houses, and schools.  I also found in his papers a guide that was written about how to write a county history including a list of subject matter and outline material!  I also saw some correspondence Powell had with people who disagreed with the information he wrote about their ancestors. This gave me great insight into what it would be like to write a historical book, which is something I would like to do someday!

So all in all, my trip was good. I would love to do more research in the Southern Historical Collection. I found their online finding aids to be very information and specific enough to determine if a collection is what I am looking for. Although I did not find exactly what I was looking for, I will not lose hope.

Henry Williams’ Role in the NC Militia During the Revolutionary War

Last year I wrote a postabout my ancestor Henry Williams, asking the question, Was he really a Revolutionary War Soldier? like William S. Powell indicated in his book When the Past Refused to Die: A History of Caswell County, North Carolina 1777-1977 (Durham, NC: Moore Publishing Company, 1977).

Although Powell did not provide sources in his book, he did note that he donated all research materials to the Gunn Memorial Library in Yanceyville, NC. I called the Library and they said they did not have any of Powell’s papers, but that they were probably located at UNC’s Wilson Library. The Finding Aid for Powell’s papers that are housed at the Wilson Library does mention papers relating to Caswell County History, but offers no specifics.

In the meantime, I happened to come upon the “Compiled service records of soldiers who served in the American Army during the Revolutionary war” – a set of microfilm put out by NARA that was scanned and digitized and put online for free public access on the Internet Archives website and can be downloaded for free here.

Henry Williams Service Card Front Page

Henry Williams Receipt Roll

Henry Williams Company Pay Roll

I downloaded 3 pages total.
The first page was the front of Henry Williams’ service card.
It had the following information on it:
Henry Williams
Collier’s Regiment
North Carolina Militia
(Revolutionary War)
Private | Private
Card Numbers:’
1. 37119798
2. 450594
Number of personal papers herein: 0

———————————–
Page 2:

W | Collier’s Regiment | N.C. Militia
Henry Williams
Appears on a Receipt Roll
under the following heading:
“Rec’d of Captin John Johnston specia tickets in
pay for the under Named for serving one Tour of
Duty under his Comand on the 16th of Decem.
1780 Discharged”
(Revolutionary War)
Roll Dated
July the 29th 1783
Remarks:
Number of Record: 1
W P Riply, Copyist

———————————–
Page 3:

W | Collier’s Regiment | N.C. Militia
Henry Williams
PW , Capt. John Johnstone’s Co. in Col.
John Collier’s Reg’t of No. Carolina
Militia, commanded by John Butler, Brigadier General.
(Revolutionary War)
Appears on
Company Pay Roll
of the organization named above,
dated: Dec 22, 1780
What time paid from Sept 8, 17__
What time paid to Dec 22, 17__
Number of Days 106
Pay per day in dollars 1
Subsistence per month 20
Total amount in dollars 176
Remarks:
Shannon Copyist
———————————–

And then another researcher I’ve been working with found the following on footnote.com – a scan of the Pay Receipt that included Henry Williams, a Private, no. 16 down on the left hand side.

Pay Roll for Capt John Johnstone’s Company

Pay Roll for Capt John Johnstone’s Company in John Collin’s Regiment of No. Carolina Militia Commanded by John Butler Brigadier General December 22, 1780.
No: 16
Name: Henry Williams
Rank: Pvt
What Time Paid from: 8 Sept
What Time Paid to: 22 Dec
Number of Days: 106
Pay per day in Dollars: 1
Subsistence per month: 20
Total amount in dollars: 176

———————————–

The existence of these documents is a good indication that our Henry Williams was a participant in the Revolutionary War, however, Powell’s book said he was a “Colonel” and these documents mention only a “Private” Henry Williams, so there is unfortunately some discrepancy.

I guess the hunt for Powell’s original source materials will continue. The Powell collection that is housed at the Wilson Library is huge. According to the finding aid, materials on Caswell County are in folders 121 and 16. I plan to peruse these folders in the new few weeks.

The Will of Ann Brooks, Caswell County, North Carolina, 1808

Ann Brooks was the wife of Richard Brooks.  She was probably actually the second wife of Richard Brooks.  She was mentioned in his will, written 1789.  You can read more about Richard and Ann Brooks here. It is quite possible her maiden name was “Armistead” and that her daughter, Frances Armistead Brooks was named after Ann’s father.
The following will was obtained from the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina.  For more information on locating wills and ordering copies from the North Carolina State Archives, please reference my Looking for Wills at the North Carolina State Archives – Updated post.

The following will was found in the Caswell County Series of Original Wills, (dates), box no. 1
Call no. 020.801.1

Summary of Will:

Written: March 4, 1806

To Grand Children:

Six Children of Ann’s son William Bird Brooks:
John, Robert, and William Brooks

Betsy, Ann and Joanna Brooks

Three Children of Ann’s daughter Frances A Sheppard:

Ann, Betsy and Polley Sheppard

Executor:  Son William Bird Brooks
Witnesses: Sol[omon] Graves, S. Graves, John L. Graves

The sale of Ann Brooks’ estate was held in February of 1808. Many of the articles in her estate were purchased by William B. and Jonathan Brooks.

Papers of her estate can be found at the North Carolina State Archives in the Caswell County Original Estate files, C. R. 020.508.8 Ann Brooks. 1808.

Original Scanned Images:

 

Transcript of Will:

In the name of God Amen – I Ann Brooks of the County of Caswell and State of North Carolina – on this 4th of March 1806 – being in perfect mind, health and memory thanks be given unto the Supreme being for the same calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is once appointed for all men to die, recommending my spirit to God who gave it, and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in a decent Christian-like burial at the discretion of my Executors; nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again through Christ, and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it pleased God to bless me with in life I give demise and despose of the same in the following manner -

To Wit. I give to William B. Brooke’s son Jno my young  Sorrell Mare at my death Item I give the resideue of my estate to my nine grand children Viz. William B. Brooks’s sons John Robert and William and daughters Betsey, Ann, and Joanna, and Frances A. Shepard’s daughters Ann Betsey and Polly to be equally divided at my death and my three granddaughters Ann Betsey and Polly Shepard equal parts to remain in the hands of my Executor until they marry or arise to lawful age and then paid by my Executor to them as they come of lawful age or marry.
Lastly I constitute and appoint my beloved son William B. Brooks the whole and Sole Executor of this my last will and Testament – revoking and annulling all other wills and testaments heretofore made by me and declaring this to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I Ann Brooks doth set my hand and affix my seal the day and year above within signed and sealed in the presence of

Sol Graves (Jurat)
S. Graves Jr
John L. Graves
Ann Brookes(sealed)

Caswell County Lawful court 1808
The Executor of this will was duly proved in open court by the oath of Solomon Graves Esquire one of the subscribing witnesses thereto and on Motion ordered to be recorded. At the same time William B. Brooks qualified Executor.
Test A Murphey CC
Recorded Book E folio 379
Test A Murphey CC


The Will of Richard Brooks, Caswell County, North Carolina, 1789

Richard Brooks was born about 1730 in either England or Virginia. In 1754, he and his brother Thomas were mentioned in a survey to divide the land of their father Jonathan Brooks in Kingston Parish, Gloucester Co., VA. He and his family stayed in Virginia until the 1780s. I first saw Richard Brooks in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1788 when he purchased 400 acres of land from George Barker. I have posted more information on Richard Brooks here.

Richard’s brother Thomas Brooks was my ancestor. He had moved from Virginia to North Carolina a few years before Richard. Thomas was found in Orange County, North Carolina in 1773 (Orange was the parent county of Caswell) when he purchased land. I have not yet found Thomas’ will (he died in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1819) . But I did find Richard’s will and it is posted below. If you are connected to this family, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or email me at ginger. reney at gmail.com.

The will of Richard Brooks was obtained from the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina.  For more information on locating wills and ordering copies from the North Carolina State Archives, check out  my Looking for Wills at the North Carolina State Archives – Updated post.

The following will was found in the Caswell County Series of Original Wills, 1771-1927, box no. 1 Call no. 020.801.1.

Looking for more information? Want to know who bought Richard’s kitchen dishes? Well, unfortunately, although he wrote a will, I did not find an estate file for him in the loose papers at the Archives. This doesn’t mean proceedings of his estate were not copied in a bound volume (check out the FamilySearch bound Probate Records here) To see a list of all available Brooks family Estate files in Caswell County, North Carolina, click here


 

Summary of Will:

Written: October 3rd, 1789

Wife:  Ann (Ann’s will can be found here)

Children:
William Bird Brooks (under 21)
Elizabeth “Betsy” Brooks
Frances Armstead Brooks
John Brooks
Ann Smith Graves

Executor: wife Ann and son in law Solomon Graves
Witness: W. F. Smith and Israel Barker

Original Scanned Images:

The original images are 16″ wide and were scanned in two pieces and then stitched back together using Microsoft PowerPoint software. There were 4 pages total which I have shown below.

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 1

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 1

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 1

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 2

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 1

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 3

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 1

Richard Brooks Will, Caswell County, NC, 1789, page 4

 

 

 

 

Transcript of Will:

In the Name of God Amen, I Richard Brookes of the County of Caswell and state of North Carolina, Being in a low state of health, but of perfect sense and memory thanks be to Almighty God for the blessing. But taking into Consideration the shortness and Uncertainty of this Transitory Life, and that it is appointed for all Men once to die, do make Constitute and ordain this my last will and Testament to be peformed, In manner and form following that is to say first and Principally I recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it me and my body to the Earth from whence it was taken to be Buried in Decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Executors whom I shall hereafter nominate and appoint – and unto such worldly goods as it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me in this life with I Give Dimiss and Depose of the same in Manner and form following and first my Desire is that all my Lawful Debts be paid, ….

Item; I lend to my Beloved Wife Ann Brookes, the Land and Plantation whereon I now live, with one third part of the rest of my Estate both real and personal, during her natural life or Widowhood, and at her Death or Intermarriage to be Equally Divided among my four youngest children (to Wit) William Bird Brookes, Betsy Brookes, Frances Armisted Brookes, and John Brookes, Excepting the land and plantation whereon I now live, which at my wifes death or Intermarriage I leave to be Equally divided between my two sons to Wit, William Bird Brookes and John Brookes and their heirs.

Item; I give and bequeath to my Daughter Ann Smith Graves one negro woman named Hannah, and one Negro boy named John,

Item, I leave all the remaining part of my Estate in the hands of my wife until my son William Bird Brookes shall arrive to the age of twenty one years and then to be equally divided among my four youngest children to Wit, William Bird Brookes, Betsy Brookes, Frances Armsted Brookes, and John Brookes. Except my Wife should Intermarry before my son William Bird Brookes arrives to the age of Twenty one years and then and in that case my will and Desire is that the division should be made at her intermarriage.

Lastly I appoint my beloved wife Ann Brookes and my son in law Solomon Graves, Whole and sole executrix and Executor of this my last will and Testament to be performed. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand affixed my seal this third day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty Nine.

Signed sealed published and Declared in presents of
W. Smith, Jurat
Israel Barker, Jurat
Signed Richard Brookes
Soloman Graves Qualified Executor

To learn more about Richard Brook(e)s of Caswell County, North Carolina, check out my other post here.

1790 Granville Co NC Census – Williams

1790 Granville County, North Carolina Census Report

There were 14 WILLIAMS families listed on this report. At the time of this post, the 1790 images were not available to view online at ancestry.com.

Name and Film No. information:

Capt Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 92; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Charles Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 91; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Daniel Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 90; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Gideon Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 90; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Jeremiah Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 90; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Jno Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 90; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
John Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 89; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Nath Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 91; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Sam Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 90; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Solomon Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 92; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Thomas Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 88; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Thos Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 91; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
Walter Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 89; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
William Williams Roll: M637_7; Page: 89; Family History Library Film: 0568147.
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