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.

Follow Up on Brooks research

Ok, so this is proof of my digressions! I was working on the Brooks and Williams families before I went on vacation and since I got back I’ve opened a whole can of worms on the other side of my family! So now I have several working documents that I would like to get back to pertaining to my BROOKS line:

  • Christopher BROOKS- I have updated my files with the information I got from the Kingston Parish Records of Gloucester Co., VA; including information on the FLIPPIN family.
  • I have yet to review the pdf file on Jonathan BROOKS, the supposed progenitor of Christopher, via Thomas Brooks, that was sent to me by a Holderness family researcher, Kay Haden.
  • I copied all the WILLIAMS family estate and will records from the archives and still have yet to review and transcribe them. - Update: Estate records of Elizabeth Williams (1) and (2) were transcribed and posted to the blog here
  • I had some ongoing communication with fellow researchers of the Jeremiah Brooks family; Their Jeremiah Brooks settled in Person Co., NC. I learned some interesting things from these posts on the Brooks family ancestry.com board.

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.

———————————————-

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)

———————————————-

Dorothy Brookes & Thomas Flippin Family

———————————————-

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

The Parentage of Christopher William(s) Brooks, Part 3

In part 1 of this series I wrote that George Brooks is believed to be the father of Christopher Brooks because he heired to Christopher 1000 acres in TN as a military bounty land grant.

In part 2, I discussed my belief that Christopher Brooks Sr and Susannah Williams were the parents of Christopher Williams Brooks and NOT George Brooks and provided supporting documentation to support this belief. Most of the records related to Susannah Williams.

The following post focused on Christopher Brooks Sr.

This weekend I visited the NC State Archives and searched for Christopher William(s) Brooks’ Father, Christopher Brooks (Sr.) who supposedly married Susannah Williams. I searched the following records for Christopher Brooks Sr:

  • Caswell Co., NC List of Taxables for 1777, 1780, & 1784 , microfilm, Call No. 020.70001
  • Caswell Co., NC Index of Recorded Wills, 1777-1926, Volume 1, microfilm, Call No. 020.81001
  • Caswell Co., NC Record of Wills, Volumes A, B, C, microfilm, Call No. 020.80001. These records were also abstracted by Katherine Kerr Kendall’s “Caswell County, NC Will Books, 1777 – 1814 & 1814 – 1843″ which can be searched on ancestry.com
  • Caswell Co., NC Loose Papers of Estate Files, Call No. 020.508.080 – On 3/18/2006 I noted that there was a folder for Christopher Brooks, 1782 with Henry Williams as administrator; I can not find copies of these papers; Should be with my Christopher W. Brooks papers from 1840 and 1851. To Do: Locate and copy Christopher Brooks’ estate papers from 1782
  • Land grants from the State of NC, card catalog: Granville, Caswell, Orange, Edgecombe Counties
  • Caswell Co., NC Index to Real Estate Conveyances, Grantors and Grantees, microfilm

Unfortunately Christopher Brooks was not listed in any of these records. I did, however, find references to other families of interest and will post those results separately.

As a side, I also searched these records for George Brooks, who most researchers believe is the father of this Christopher William(s) Brooks. I did find some references to him here.

Part 1
Part 2

The Parentage of Christopher William(s) Brooks, Part 2

With all the confusion about who Christopher William(s) Brooks’ father was, (See the first post in this series) I started wondering what event occurred that first pointed me in the direction of Christopher Brooks Sr and Susannah Williams as Christopher William(s) Brooks’ parents. Here are some details:

Henry WILLIAMS mentioned daughter Susannah RICE in his will written 1785. By that time, Susannah was already remarried to William Higgason RICE. Their Caswell Co., NC marriage bond listed Wm H. Rice and Susannah BROOKS, married 20 Dec 1784. According to the Caswell Co., NC Guardian Accounts, William H. RICE was legal guardian of Christopher Williams BROOKS in 1797; Caswell Co., NC Record Book C, p. 262, October Court 1797: Christopher Williams Brooks orphan in acct. with William H. Rice guardian. Cash paid to George Somers, William Holderness; tax paid for 1795 and 96. (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s abstracts of Will Books, 1777-1814, p. 57).

Additionally, when Christopher Brooks Sr died in 1781, there were several court record entries for the administration of his estate:

  • December court 1781 Susannah Brooks resigned her adminisration of estate of her husband (Christopher Brooks) to her father, Colonel Henry Williams. (Source: Historical Abstracts of the Court of pleas and Quarter Sessions Minutes of Caswell County, Kendall: p.7, Dec 1781)
  • Adminstrators Bond in the amount of 500 pounds, dated 4 Dec 1781 signed by Henry Williams and Nath’l. Williams in presence of A. Murphey to bind Henry Williams as Administrator of Christopher Brooks, Deceased. Caswell County March Court 1782 – Inventory of estate of Christopher Brooks returned by Henry Williams, Administrator, and ordered to be recorded. Sold by David Shelton, Sheriff 24 Jan 1782. Buyers included Susannah Brookes, Henry Williams, William Holderness, Nath’l Williams, John Pane, Thos. Brookes.

Go back to Part 1
Continue to Part 3

Elizabeth Williams Estate Files 1814

I collected wills and estate records of the Caswell County, North Carolina WILLIAMS family members. The call number of the file box that had loose papers of estate records was:
C.R. 020.508.102.

The first folder I pulled was labelled: “Elizabeth Williams, 1814.”

I believe this folder contains estate records of two separate Elizabeths, one who died in 1813 and one who died in 1816. The following information is a summary of the pages enclosed in the folder.

(1) Elizabeth Williams, 1814:

Administrators bond, Nathan WILLIAMS 10 January 1814:
Nathan WILLIAMS, John HENSLEE, and Quintonn ANDERSON are bound onto Solomon GRAVES, chairman of the county court of Caswell in the sum of four hundred pounds to be paid to said chairman Solomon GRAVES, sealed this 10th day of January 1814.

Nathan WILLIAMS has been appointed administrator of all the singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of Elizabeth WILLIAMS dec’d, do make and cause to be made a true and perfect inventory of all singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of the deceased which have or shall come to the hands or possession of the said Nathan WILLIAMS…promises to make a true account and administer according to law…signed and sealed by Nathan WILLIAMS, John HENSLEE, Q. ANDERSON; test A. MURPHEY Clk.

———–

An inventory of the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd, returned to January court 1814, on oath by the administrator, Nathan WILLIAMS, and ordered to be recorded in book F, folio 395 by A. E. MURPHEY, clk:

An inventory of property Elizabeth WILLIAMS Decd leased and purchased of the 15th October 1813:

Two Negro men Viz: Sampson and Jacob
one bed and furniture
two cows and calf
two yewes and lambs
one pewter dish
two pewter basons
1/2 dozen pewter plates
one earthen dish
two earthen pans
two earthen mugs
one black walnut chest
one woman’s saddle
one iron pott and one iron skillet
fifty pounds that was willed but not received
returned by me Nathan WILLIAMS, admr.
———-

A list of a sale of the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS decd on the 24th day of January 1814, (Ordered to be recorded in book F folio 418, Test A. E. MURPHEY, Clk, April court 1814):

To Elizabeth WILLIAMS:
iron pot, $1.61
iron scillett, $0.71
earthan dish, $0.33 1/3
earthan pan, $0.11
mug, $0.41
walnut chest, $6.00
2 ewes? of lambs, $3.60
cow and calf, $13.30
Negro man Sampson, $101.53
$127.60 1/3

To Charles BROOKS: (Elizabeth WILLIAMS’ son in law)
1 earthen pan, $0.15
1 pewter bason, $2.00
1 pewter bason, $1.00
1 womans saddle, $2.00
1 bed and furniture, $29.00
$34.15

To James GRAVES:
1 small mug, $0.10
1 countepin? $4.00
Cow and calf, $10.25
$14.35

To Zachariah NEAL: (Married Rebecca RICE, dau of Susannah WILLIAMS Brooks and Wm H. RICE)
1 bed quilt, $6.75
$6.75

To Nathaniel L. RICE:
1 pewter dish, $1.10
Sheat?, $2.50
$3.60

To Hosea MCNEILL:
1/2 dozen pewter plates, $3.40
$3.40

To John HENSLEE:
1 Negro boy Jacob, $513.10
$513.10

Total: $702.95 1/3 by Nathan WILLIAMS, Administrator
——————
The following documents were included in the same file, but probably from another Elizabeth WILLIAMS, possibly the same Elizabeth who purchased items from the estate of Elizabeth WILLIAMS in 1814. This woman died between Jan 1814 and Jan 1816.

(2) Elizabeth Williams, 1816:

Administrators Bond, 8 January 1816, Nathan WILLIAMS, Henry WILLIAMS, and William LEA, bound unto Solomon GRAVES, chairman in the sum of five thousand pounds, in the county of Caswell, this 8th day of January 1816…Nathan WILLIAMS is appointed administrator of the singular goods and chattels, rights and credits of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd. Signed and sealed by Nathan WILLIAMS, Henry WILLIAMS, William LEA; A. E. MURPHEY, clk.

Sales estate 12 Jan 1816, (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS returned to April Court, 1816 and recorded in Book G, p. 179: Buyers were Henry WILLIAMS, Nathan WILLIAMS, etc., 12 Jan 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11).

Sales estate 29 Jan 1816 (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS returned to April Court 1816 and recorded in Book G, p. 180, Sales to: George Brooks, William H Rice, Nathaniel L Rice, Sally Brooks, Samuel Fielder, James Shepherd, John Penix, Williamson Rice, Devreu Hightower, Christopher Brookes, etc… 29 Jan 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11-12).

Inventory of Property, 7 Apr 1816 (not included in the estate file) of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd by N. WILLIAMS adm. returned to April court 1816, and recorded in Book G, p. 168: A memo on Nathan WILLIAMS; bonds on George Brooks, Susannah Rice, Henry WILLIAMS, Benjamin Spencer (this bond is doubtful). 7 Apr 1816 (Katherine Kerr Kendall’s Abstracts of Caswell County Will Books, p. 11).

An inventory of account of bonds and cash (Jan Court 1817) found in possession of Elizabeth WILLIAMS dec’d at her death, by Nathan WILLIAMS, adm., returned to court on oath by the administrator and ordered to be recorded, Test Azariah GRAVES, Clk, January Court, 1817. Recorded in book G p. 354, Test A. GRAVES, clk:

Cash on hand: $55.72
one bond on Henry WILLIAMS due 21 Nov 1807, $7.75
one bond on Nathan WILLIAMS due 25 Dec 1815, $89.75
one bond on George BROOKS and Nathan WILLIAMS due Mar 1810 for $200.00
one bond on Susannah RICE due 25 Dec 1815 for $60.00
one account on Benjamin CANTRAL for $2.50
One account on Nathan WILLIAMS for $164.84 & 1/4; total of $580.56 & 1/4;

One note on Benjamin SPENCER due on demand dated 26 Dec 1794 for the sum of 26 pounds, 3 sh., 10 3/4 pence; considered of no value in consequence of insolvency and non residence;

One note on Daniel WILLIAMS due on demand dated 17 Dec 1787 for the sum of 7 pounds considered of no value in consequence of being ______ long since;

The above statement I hereby certify contains all cash bonds and account which I found in the possession of Elizabeth WILLIAMS, decd. Sworn to Nathan WILLIAMS, adm.

——————–

WILLIAMS family, Lunenburg Co., VA

In 1757, Daniel Williams, planter, of Granville Co., NC deeded a tract of land consisting of 420 acres in Lunenburg Co., VA to his son, Henry Williams “for love and affection.” Henry and his wife Elizabeth lived in Lunenburg Co., VA through 1762. In 1764 Lunenburg Co was divided to form Mecklenburg Co., VA in the south. Henry and Elizabeth Williams were then listed as living in Mecklenburg Co., VA between 1765-1770; therefore this land must have laid in the area that was originally Lunenburg that became Mecklenburg Co., VA in 1764. The Willliams family removed to Orange Co., NC, then Caswell Co., NC about 1770.

Today I searched for Henry Williams in the USGenWeb Lunenburg Co., VA archive files for deeds and court records. Although I did not find any references to Henry Williams, my ancestor, I did find a family record file of Reverend John Williams, that was submitted by JoLee Gregory Spears. Reverend John Williams of Lunenburg Co., VA was a 1st cousin of my ancestor, Henry Williams.

JoLee’s family record contained a link to Reverend John Williams and Henry Williams’ grandfather, John Williams, the Wealthy Welshman published by Scott K. Williams.

This website was a wealth of information regarding the history of the Williams Family in America. Scott K. Williams’ two significant references were the following:

1) “Williams 300 Years of Leadership in America: A History of the Descendants of John Williams of Llangollen, Wales” by Lewis James Williams, 1997. This book can be found at the State Library of North Carolina.

2) The transcript of the Williams Family Bible written by John Drayton Williams, son of Washington Williams, grandson of Gen. James Williams; In 1910 Barbara A. McClung copied John D. Williams’ family bible that he wrote in 1845 which she borrowed from William D. Williams, Jr (Greenville, TN). If I’m not mistaking, this transcription by Barbara A. McClung is housed in the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at the Knox Co., TN Library and is copied in several rootsweb files online.

I am very excited about all the great publications references I have come across this week on my Williams family. Now I just have to find enough records to prove that Henry Williams is really my ancestor!!! I’m not sure of what the genealogy netiquette of saying this is, but proving that Henry Williams’ daughter, Susannah Williams Brooks Rice was married to Christopher Brooks, and that they were the parents of my ancestor, Christopher Williams Brooks, would disprove existing publications listing George Brooks as C W’s father.

With a little help from my new-found friend in TN, I hope to solve this mystery soon.

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