Over the holiday break I scanned a packet of genealogy materials that a new cousin of mine sent me back in August. This packet contained genealogy information he collected back when he was doing genealogy of our Binns and Brooks family in the 80s.
Some of the information contained correspondence between he and another researcher, Freida Scheibel (relation unknown to me at this time), and the genealogy reports she had compiled over the years. Her reports were actually sourced, pointing to information I did not know existed, like the estate records of my 3rd great grandfather, Iverson Lee Brooks and the non-culpative will of his wife, Bettie Brooks. From these records, she provided Iverson’s date of death as February 15, 1877 and Bettie’s death of July 22, 1907. Of course, I will need to look for copies of these wills and estate records myself to verify this information, but these are some good hints to get me going in the right direction.
This packet also contained various correspondence with another cousin named Lillian Brooks who was a Historian at a local Georgia Historical Society and DAR Chapter member. I found a letter from Lillian to my great-grandfather’s sister, Rubye Binns from 1957 in which she discussed the ancestry of Colonel Iverson Brooks. Lillian claimed that Iverson’s grandfather was George Brooks, a Revolutionary soldier from Virginia, because he gave a military bounty land grant to Iverson’s father, Christopher Williams Brooks when he was still a minor. I’ve written several posts refuting this claim in “The Parentage of Christopher Williams Brooks.”
Lillian Brooks also claimed that my 5th great-grandmother, Mary Graves of Caswell County, North Carolina, was the daughter of John Herndon Graves, the Revolutionary War Soldier. They were actually siblings. Lillian cited the DAR application no. 90023 for John Herndon Graves, however, there isn’t even a daughter named Mary listed, so I’m not sure why she said Mary was his daughter.
Another letter included in the packet was from Rubye Binns to my cousin Richard written in 1981. It talked about her siblings, including my great-grandfather, John Brooks Binns. It was very informative about how my great granduncles Roy and Howard (the oldest) ran cattle and opened a meat market; uncle Van went to Medical school; uncle John Lavert died young; and about how their father simply did not provide for them. She also mentioned that their grandmother, Bettie Lee Brooks was related to General Robert E Lee and was from Bell Buckle Tennessee. I have not seen any documentation about the relation to Robert E Lee. Doesn’t everyone claim to be descended or related to him? The tidbit about her being from Bell Buckle Tennessee might be helpful. Lastely, aunt Rubye mentioned that she sent most of her genealogy information to her niece Judy Whittaker’s mother-in-law, Mrs. Eloise Howard in Lake Providence, LA so that she could file a DAR application.
There was a letter to Richard from Mrs. Thelma Plunk, one of Aunt Rubye’s cousins, however, she did not provide any new information.
There were copies of the family bible of William Cole, a descendant of James Anthony, another Revolutionary War soldier ancestor from Virginia who’s daughter, Elizabeth Anthony married into the Binns family.
Lastly, there was a copy of a typed up “Binns Family History” document included. There was a bibliography, however, I did not see any references included in the actual text, so the bibliography sources would have to be evaluated individually.
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