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.

Caswell Co NC Wills – BROOKS

The following original wills are housed at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The collection title is “Caswell County, North Carolina Series of Original Wills, 1771-1927″ and the call number is C.R. 020.801.1. The Brooks family wills were contained in the first box of the series (no. 1).  There might have been more Brooks family wills contained in the box written after 1900. I only inventoried those wills written before 1900 (on 10/25/2008).

  1. Richard Brookes, dated 1790 (wife Ann)
  2. Ann Brooks, dated 1808 (wife of Richard)
  3. Thomas Brooks, dated 1855 (wife Martha)

The will of Richard Brookes was recorded in Caswell County, North Carolina Will Book B, p. 321.  This will was abstracted in Katherine Kerr Kendall’s book “Caswell County, North Carolina will books, 1777-1814″ on page 30. (See entry below)

Abstract

The abstract reads the following:

Richard Brooks (spelled Brookes on original) [actually the "e" is crossed out on the original that I looked at in 2008] – Will – w. 3 Oct 1789. Wife Ann; 4 youngest children William Bird Brooks (under 21), Betsy Brooks, Frances Armstead Brooks, John Brooks; daughter Ann Smith Graves; Exec: wife Ann and son in law Solomon Graves. Wit: W. F. Smith, Israel Barker.

The will of Ann Brooks was recorded in Caswell County, North Carolina Will Book E, p. 379.  This will was abstracted in Katherine Kerr Kendall’s book “Caswell County, North Carolina will books, 1777-1814″ on page 109. (See entry below)

abstract

The abstract reads the following:

Ann Brooks – Will – w. 4 Mar 1806. Son William B. Brooks; 9 grandchildren: Wm B. Brooks sons John, Robert, & William and daughters Betsy, Ann, and Joanna; Frances A. Sheppard’s daughters Ann, Betsy, and Polley.  Exec:  son Wm B. Brooks. Wit:  Sol Graves, S. Graves, John L. Graves.

The will of Thomas Brooks includes the following:

Thomas Brooks – Will – written 31 Mar 1855
Wife: Martha Brooks
Children: son William Brooks (under 21), daughters Nicy and Mary Ann.
Exec: Wife Martha Brooks
Wits: Charles G Russell and Byrd D Paylor

There was no estate folder for Richard Brookes at the archives. There are, however, estate folders for the Thomas and Ann Brooks listed above.

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Goals:

  1. To copy, scan, and transcribe the wills of Richard, Ann, and Thomas Brooks of Caswell Co., NC from the Archives

- Update 10/25/08:  These 3 wills were copied by the Archives.

-  Update 4/2/09: Wills were scanned into my computer and info entered into my genealogy software.

-  Update 9/7/2010:  The wills of Richard, Ann, and Thomas Brook(e)s were scanned, transcribed and uploaded to this blog.

  1. To copy, scan, and transcribe the estate records of Ann and Thomas Brooks of Caswell Co., NC from the Archives

Sources:

  1. Caswell County, North Carolina Series of Original Wills, 1771-1927, C.R. 020.801.1, North Carolina State Archives.
  2. Katherine Kerr Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina will books 1777-1814. 1784 tax list. guardians’ accounts 1794-1819 and Caswell County North Carolina will books 1814-1843. guardians’ accounts 1819-1847. 1850 & 1860 census mortality schedules powers of attorney from deed books 1777-1880, can be searched online at ancestry.com.

Related Posts:

Brooks family estate records from Caswell County, North Carolina

Flippin – Brooks NC Connections

In an earlier post, I noted that a Dorothy Brookes married Thomas Flippin, 1769, Gloucester Co., VA. They had 3 known children, – Armistead (b. 1770), Jenny (b. 1775), and Thomas Flippin (b. 1773) – who were born in Gloucester Co., VA. and recorded in the Kingston Parish Registry.

Although Dorothy Brooks’ parents are not known by me at this time, I believe she is connected to one of the Thomas Brooks families of Gloucester Co., VA and Caswell Co., NC.

The following are Brooks – Flippin references from Caswell Co., NC:

April court 1790 – Henry Flippin, orphan of Thomas Flippin, late of Gloucester Co., VA, chose Thomas Brooks Sen. to be his guardian. Thomas Brooks Jun, attorney, was appointed power of attorney to demand and receive all negroes, money, etc. due said orphan from the estate.

January Court, 1794 – Armistead Flippin reported the inventory of the estate of Thomas Brooks, dec’d.

April Court 1795 – Armistead Flippin purchased items and reported on the sale of items from Thomas Brooks’ estate (co-admin. Jane Brooks)

[Note: I am not sure if the Thomas Brooks estates in 1794 and 1795 are for the same person because Jane is only mentioned as co-admin on the later one - To Do: Copy and review estate file of Thomas Brooks, 1794, Caswell Co., NC]

April Court 1798 – Jane Brooks and Armistead Flippin produced an account settlement for the estate of Thomas Brooks, Jun. (listed payments to persons)

Note GS 5/18/07: It is possible that Jane Brooks was the wife of Thomas Brooks and she administered his estate along with Armistead Flippin. Jane was probaby “Jenny” Flippin from the Gloucester Co., VA Kingston Parish Registry, daughter of Thomas Flippin and Dorothy Brookes, born Feb 10, 1775. Kay Haden (khaden at comcast dot net) included this information in the pdf file she sent to me on 5/17/07 on Jonathan Brooks. In her file, she listed Thomas Brooks Jr married Jane “Jenny” Flippin 16 Feb 1791 in Caswell Co., NC. She cited W. Leigh Brooks and IGI as her sources for this information.

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Additional Flippin family references in Caswell Co., are:

Janurary court 1804 – Armistead Flippin is allowed to keep 1 negro named John from the estate of Henry Dixon Jr; The legatees “agreed he shall keep for his share of estate.”

Note: Armistead Flippin must be connected to the Dixon family somehow to receive items from his estate.

In 1808, Samuel Flippin purchased items from the estate of Phillip Cox.

Brooks family references from Kingston Parish, Gloucester / Matthews Co., VA

Yesterday I emailed Kay Haden who posted a rootwebs family tree file that included information on the Brooks, Williams, and Holderness families. In her file, she lists Thomas and Mary Blacknall Brooks as the parents of Elizabeth (md. Holderness), George, Charles, and Christopher Brooks (md. Susannah Williams). In her email, she listed the Kingston Parish Registry of Gloucester (later Matthews Co.), VA as her source for the information on George and Christopher Brooks. I found copies of the registry online on ancestry.com. I was able to pull all of the references to the Brook(e)s families, as well I found the connection to the Flippin family.

There were 17 entries for Brook(e)s family members in the Kingston Parish Registry of Gloucester Co., VA (Kingston Parish became Mathews County, VA in 1791). Some of the entries indicate time of birth, marriage, death, and familial relationships. There are two page numbers listed at the end of each entry, the first is the page in Matheny’s book; the second page number is the page of the original vestry register.

Thomas Brooks & Mary Blacknall Family:

Thomas Brooks married Mrs. Mary Blacknall, Dec. 16, 1749, by Rev. Richard Locke. License. (3/217)

1. George Brookes, son of Thomas and Mary. Born May 8 and Baptized June 12, 1757. (32/14)

2. _______her Brookes, son of Thomas and Mary. Baptized February 1_, 1755. No page listed.

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George Brooks & Susannah Davis Family:

George Brooks married Susannah Davis, May 18, 1756. (3/221)

1. John Brooks, son of George and Susanna. Born May 8 and Baptized November 15, 1767. (32)

2. Joyce Keeble Brookes, daughter of George and Susanna. Born May 30 and Baptized June 30, 1762. (32/23)

3. Nancy Brookes, daughter of George and Susanna. Born January 20 and Baptized March 13, 1774. (32/156)

4. Susanna(h) Brookes, daughter of George and Susannah. Born April 21 and Baptized June 16, 1765. (32/28)

5. Thomas Brookes, son of George and Susanna. Born February 26, 1757. (32/14)

6. William Brookes, son of George and Susanna. Born October 12 and Baptized December 9, 1770. (32/38)

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Dorothy Brookes & Thomas Flippin Family

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Other miscellaneous Brook(e)s family entries:

Johannah Brookes married Henry Robinson, Nov. 7, 1765. License. (19/225)

Mary Brookes married Thomas Jones, May 12, 1763. License. (224)

Ann Brooks married Christopher Dawson, June 25, 1758. (6/222)

Ann Smith Brooks, daughter of Richard and ______. Born April __, 1770 and Baptized April 11, 1770. (32/37)

Joseph Brooks married Frances Murry Killigrew, Dec. 29, 1754. (3/220)

Source information: Kingston Parish, Virginia Register, 1749-1827 by Matheny, Emma R., comp. Richmond, VA: 1963. Source Location: Ancestry.com & Olivia Raney History Library, Wake Co., NC

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