Earliest American history records our family name.|
Although lineages would be difficult to confirm, due to a lack of existing records, this treatise will give you an indication of the possibilities that exist.
In 1587 Governor White left his famed Lost Colony on Roanoke Island.
In the list of those left behind we find the name JOHN BROOKS.
It is interesting to note that in the colony of Indians at Pembroke, N. C., we find a Revolutionary soldier named John Brooks.
Remembering that these Indians spoke English when first discovered by white men we can only surmise that these names and the English language came from the famed Lost Colony.
In 1639 William Hawley appeared in Virginia, as Governor of North Carolina, and leave was granted by the Virginia Legislature for him to colonize it by taking 100 persons from Virginia.
An English obituary says, "John Brooks of Stepney, died in Virginia. Admo. to his widow, Mary Brooks, 7-5-1684.
In 1694 Henry Brooks proved his right to 50 acres of land in Albemarle, N. C., for the transportation of himself into the colony.
In 1708 and 1709 Henry Brooks and Samuel Brooks are found on records of Bath County, N. C.
In 1707 John Brooks made his will in Currituck County, N. C., and left a widow, Mary, daughters Elizabeth, Frances and Mary, and left his plantation to his son, John Brooks.
John Brooks was granted land by the Lords Proprietors on the Morratuck River (Indian name for Roanoke) in Bertie County.
This land was included in Edgecombe County at its formation and in 1734 John Brooks and his wife, Winnifred, sold this same land in Edgecombe County, N. C. This is the same John Brooks and wife, Winnifred, that sold 640-acres of land in Bladen County, N. C., that had been granted John in 1738,
In 1746 John Brooks was granted 200 acres in Craven County, NC, and while he is not called John Brooks, Jr., it seems that he was John, Jr.
There are no records in Cumberland for John Brooks, Jr., and very few in Chatham County.
John Brooks and his wife, Catherine, sold land in Craven County, NC, that had been patented by him in 1745.
In 1740 he is listed in Craven County, NC, with a group of "discenting persons called Baptist."
From Craven County he went to Pitt County, NC, where in 1763 he deeded his son, James Brooks, land that he had bought from Samuel Vines in 1756.
On 9-25-1754 James Brooks was granted land in Craven County on the East side of Swift Creek.
In 1768 he sold this land and at this time he is listed as James Brooks, planter of Pitt County, N. C.
In Pitt County he was granted much land, some on Swift Creek.
This is the same James Brooks that was deeded land by his father, John Brooks, In Pitt County, N. C. in 1763.
John May, Sr., was granted 520 acres of land in Orange County, N. C. by agents of the Earle of Granville in 1756. In 1760 he deeded this land to John May, Jr.
He was also granted land that he left to his daughter Selah, in Pitt County, N. C.
This is the same John May that died in Richmond County, Ga., and named his daughter, Selah, in his will.
He was also the father of Jane May that married John Brooks, Jr.,
Among the Revolutionary soldiers of North Carolina we find -"John Brooks, 12-1-1759, in Carteret County, N. C. d. 5-29-1833." "William Brooks, b. 1745 at 'Yellowbritches, Pa', enlisted from Frederick County Md., 1776; enlisted from Guilford County, N. C., 1779; moved from Guilford to Rutherford County, N. C., where he died 1-22-1844." "William Brooks, b. 8-14-1754, Middlesex County, Va., enlisted from Hertford County, N. C., 1778; volunteered in 1780 and served 3 months for a younger brother then about 16 years old and of delicate constitution. He died in Gates County, N. C., 1837 where he lived after the Revolution.
"Jonathan Brooks, b. 6-7-1762 in Gloucester County, Va., moved with his father, when quite young, to Brunswick County, VA., lived there four or five years and moved to Caswell County, N. C. Enlisted 1778, discharged Oct. 1779; enlisted 1780 and served 3 months. He was living in Guilford County, N. C., in 1832."
"James Brooks, b. 3-30-1765 in Amelia County, Va., enlisted May 1781 while a resident of Prince Edward Vo. Va. d. Wilkes County, N. C. 4-20-1838."
Many others are found in the North Carolina Roster of Revolutionary Soldiers. These records are taken from pension papers on file in Veterans Administration in Washington, DC.
Records of the six sons of John and Susan Brooks have not been easy to follow. The family came into North Carolina and had scattered land grants. The many with names, James and John, without further designation, have made them difficult to follow. Thomas seems to have been the first to settle in Orange County, though he left records in Cumberland County. Joab Brooks, Sr., also left records in Cumberland County. There are no records there for his other four sons. Thomas, Joab, Mark and Isaac Brooks died in Chatham County, N. C. Their sons, John Brooks Jr., and James Brooks, went to South Carolina and Georgia, where both seem to have died.
JOHN BROOKS, SR., ESQUIRE
This record is concerned with the family of John Brooks, Esq., Sr. Tradition says he brought his wife, Susan, and six sons to Virginia, lived there a short while, then came to North Carolina, about 1735. An old genealogy of the family written by Joseph Headen in 1869 says, "The first Brooks that ever lived in Chatham County came from Fayetteville, N. C., having owned that land where the town now stands." Again it says, "He first stopped in the West Indies with his five other brothers, then they came to Virginia and stopped awhile, there the brothers separated, three of them went North, the other three came South." Joseph Headen married a great granddaughter of John Brooks, Sr., and he was born during the life of some of the sons of John Brooks, Sr. Those six brothers could not have been the sons of John Brooks, Sr., as they were too young to have been pioneering.
The first record found of John Brooks, Sr., in North Carolina was in 1735 when he was granted land in Bladen County, later included in Cumberland County. Bible records show that he came from near the mouth of the James River in Virginia. Another Bible record says "John Brooks and consort, Susan, from England, thought about 1700." Through succeeding generations there has been handed down a chest known as the "Sea-Chest" and said to have been brought from England by Susan Brooks, wife of John Brooks, Sr. On the side of the chest in original lettering is "S.B. - 1735." So with all this evidence left behind, we accept the tradition that John Brooks, Sr., brought his family of six young sons and his wife, Susan, from England to America in the early part of the seventeen hundreds.
Colonial Records of North Carolina gives us interesting items on the life of John Brooks, Sr., in Bladen County, N. C. Soon after settling there John Brooks, Esq., appeared before the council appealing to the Court to settle a land question. After he had been granted land he built a mill on what he supposed was his own land. Later the adjoining land was granted and it was found that the mill was on his neighbor's grant. The Court adjusted the trouble by granting John Brooks, Esq., the land on which he had built his mill, and adding more land to the other grant. In 1743-49-50 and 51, John Brooks, Esq., was appointed as Justice of the Peace for Bladen County, N. C. It must be remembered that at this time county courts were composed of Justices and they were called the Commission of Peace. In 1754 an Act was passed by North Carolina Legislature to erect a county from the upper part of Bladen County and St. David's Parish was established. John Brooks, Esq., was appointed vestryman for this parish. The new county is now Cumberland County, N. C. On 3-18-1756 the name of John Brooks was dropped as Justice of the Peace for Cumberland County. It was at this time that John and his family moved to Orange County, N. C., now Chatham County.
Cumberland County records show that on 10-1-1756 John Brooks, Esq., of Cumberland County sold Edward Dunsfield land that had been patented to him 9-10-1735, it about ten miles above Rock Fish Creek." He sold it "in consideration of the sum of eight pistols, to him in hand paid by the said Edward Dunsfield." Then in 1757 John Brooks, Esq., of Orange County sold Edward Dunsfield 100 acres in Cumberland County and joining the tract of 400 acres which he sold him in 1756. This definitely establishes the date of his removal to Orange County, N. C.
On 5-9-1755 John Brooks was granted 640 acres in Orange County, N. C., by the agent of Lord Granville. All of his grants in Orange County total about 1,500 acres. His home was included in Chatham County when it was formed in 1770. John Brooks, Sr., settled on the South side of Tick Creek, about three miles east of Ore Hill, N. C. His son, Thomas Brooks, settled on the South side of Rocky river near the Hugh Dixon Mill, now called Thomas' Mill, originally built by John Harris. His sons, Joab and Mark Brooks, settled on the 'head waters of Ephraim's Creek, about two miles northwest of Ore Hill. At or before the death of John Brooks, Sr., the homeplace fell to his youngest son, Isaac Brooks. Tradition says that John Brooks, Sr., and his sons, traveled from Cross Creek in Cumberland County, NC, to Orange County (now Chatham) in canoes up the waters of the Cape Fear River and Deep River, leaving their canoes about where the town of Gulf now stands. They went North on foot for about fifteen miles, and after locating the place for their future home, they returned to their canoes and went back to Cross Creek for their family.
Records show us that John Brooks, Sr., was a man of influence. The family in England had been outstanding before they came to America. Named among the incorporators of the Virginia Company, 1609, was Sir John Brooks, listed "in Virginia Commission 1631." So it is easy to understand why John Brooks, Esq., came to America and was immediately identified as a member of the Courts in his adopted land. He also seems to have been a man of wealth. He built what was then considered a costly home. The house was a two story building, framed, weatherboarded ceiled, and had glass windows and paneled doors. A good building that stood until about 1940.
John Brooks, Esq., deeded his lands to his children and the deeds were presented to the Courts in November, 1767, proved by the oath of Thomas Brooks, and ordered to be recorded. An estate sale in Orange County N. C., in 1762 refers to him as "Old Brooks." It is evident that he was born about 1690 and died about 1766 or 67. Records indicate that he might have had a daughter, Martha Goodman. When John Brooks deeded gifts of land to his sons, he also deeded land to Martha Goodman. She was the wife of Samuel Goodman and they lived in Cumberland County. Records show they sold several large tracts of land there. On 4-28-1768 they sold Arthur Mabson of New Hanover County, N. C., land in Cumberland County, joining the Rutherford plantation. In 1764 he sold the Hannah Goodman plantation in Cumberland County. Their daughter, Hannah Goodman, married Micajah Terrell, a brother of Ruth (Terrell) Brooks. In 1768 Joab Brooks presented a land dispute to the Courts against Samuel Goodman and the Courts settled the case in favor of Joab Brooks. It is interesting to note that we find them in the same section of South Carolina with members of the Brooks family. On 2-19-1788 John Williams of Laurens County, S. C., sold Samuel Goodman his original grant of 1765.
John Brooks, Esq., an English gentleman, married Susan came to America and died in Chatham County, N. C., about 1766. They had issue:
1. Thomas Brooks, b. about 1710, d. 1796 in Chatham County, N. C., married in
Virginia, Mary , probably Mary Harris.
2. Joab Brooks, Esq., member of the early Courts of Orange County, N. C. b. about 1712, d. 1775 in Chatham County, N. C., m. Catherine Dimmaux.
3. John Brooks, Jr. b. about 1715, married Jane May, daughter of John May, from Virginia to North Carolina and then to Georgia.
4. Mark Brooks (or Marcus) b ' about 1720, d. about 1819, m. Fannie Harris of the Granville County Harris family.
5. James Brooks, born about 1725, died after 1812 in Georgia, said to have married Elizabeth Smith, m. 2nd about 1765 Margaret Thomason, daughter of Simon Thomason, from Chatham County, N. C., to Pendleton District, S. C.
m. 3rd Unity
6. Isaac Brooks, b. about 1727, d. 1825, m. 1st Ruth Terrell, b. about 1730,
d. about 1790; m. 2nd Hannah Harper, widow.
JOAB BROOKS, ESQ.
Joab Brooks, Sr. son of John and Susan Brooks, traditionally came with his parents from England to America. He was first in Virginia and we find him in Orange County before his father settled there, but only for a short time. Court Minutes of Orange County show that the inventory of the estate of Anthony Williams was presented to Court in 1752 by Joab Brooks, Esq. In 1756 and 1757 he was granted land in Bladen County, now Cumberland County, N. C. In October 1758, Joab Brooks of Orange County, N. C., sold William Lomax of Cumberland County, N.C., "land which the said Joab Brooks received by a certain letter patent dated A.D. 1757." In 1761 he was granted 375 acres "in the county of Orange on the waters of Ephraim's Creek." it was on this land that Joab Brooks lived and it was included in Chatham County at its formation from Orange County, N. C. His grants included more than a thousand acres. In 1757 Joab Brooks, Esq., was appointed a Magistrate of Orange County and in 1758 he was a member of the governing body. In 1761 he refused to:qualify,.-as a member of the Court, probably because of his Regulator sympathies. In 1765 he was again a member of the Commission of Peace in Orange County. Records show that he served in this capacity in 1769 and 1770. The North Carolina Booklet says that the entire body of the Courts of 1769-70 was made up of Regulators, including "the most prominent men of the County." As a citizen of Chatham County, N. C., we find him appointed on a Road Commission to lay out a road from Dr. James McCarroll's to Chatham County Court House in 1771. His brother, Isaac Brooks, was one of the first Representatives from Chatham County to the N. C. Assembly and while acting in this capacity he presented a bill to build a road through his section of the state. Joab Brooks was on the Commission to lay out this road. It was to be a road from "Dan River through Guilford, Chatham and Cumberland counties, to a point called Campbellton", now Fayetteville. This road ran through the Joab Brooks plantation and on through the old John Brooks plantation. Part of the road is still in use and by the side of this road on the old Joab Brooks plantation, about a mile south of Siler City, N. C., can be found the graves of Joab Brooks, Jr., and his wife, Ruth Terrell (Brooks) Brooks. One can guess that Joab Brooks, Sr., is buried there but no stone marks the grave.
In 1774 Joab Brooks, Esq., was appointed Judge of the County Court of Pleas and Quarter Session. On Nov. 14th, 1775, his Will was proved in Court by Thomas and Isaac Brooks, his Execs., and his estate was ordered to be sold. In 1777 the Court appointed Margaret Brooks, guardian of Isaac and Larkin Tippett Brooks, orphans of Joab Brooks, dec'd. and in 1778 Thomas Brooks was appointed guardian of Sarah, Joab and John Brooks, orphans of Joab Brooks, deces'd and the same court ordered Thomas Brooks to deliver to Margaret Brooks the estate of Isaac and Larkin Tippett Brooks and heired by them from their father, Joab Brooks, dece'sd. An old genealogy of the Brooks family written by Joseph Headen in 1869 says that Joab Brooks married Catherine Dimmaux. Since every generation has carried the name of Catherine Dimmaux down to the present time, we assume this is correct, and that Catherine Dimmaux Brooks was dead and the Margaret Brooks mentioned above was a daughter and the children under guardianship are the minor children. It is evident that Joab Brooks, Sr., was born not later than 1715 and we know he must have had more grown children when he died, but their names have not been established. Only two of these minor children remained in Chatham County. Joab Brooks, Jr., heired the old home plantation and lived and died on it. Larkin Tippet went to Tennessee but returned to Chatham County, N. C., where he died. The Will of Joab Brooks, Sr., has not been found and is supposed to have been lost in a fire.
Joab Brooks, Sr., m. Catherine Dimmaux and had issue
1. Margaret Brooks, probably went to Tennessee.
2. Larkin Tippett Brooks, b. about 1772, went to Tenn., but returned to Chatham County, where he married about 1790, Catherine, daughter of Thomas Brooks, Jr., and wife, Martha Temple. Larkin Brooks, d. 1837.
3. Sarah Brooks, m. and went to Tennessee.
4. Joab Brooks, Jr., b. 1-29-1770, d. 3-26-1844, m. his first cousin, Ruth Terrell Brooks, daughter of Isaac and Ruth (Terrell) Brooks, of Chatham County, N. C. Ruth Terrell Brooks, b.9-17-1774, d. 11-1-1884. They lived on the old Joab Brooks, Sr., plantation and they are buried there in the family burial ground by the road their fathers sponsored in the State legislature and helped to build.
5. Isaac Brooks, b. about 1774, m. in Chatham County, N. C., Ruth Evans, b. 1775, daughter of Ruth Evans of same county whose Will dated 11-24-1802 and probated 1803. She named the following children, Owen, John, Thomas and Aaron Evans; Sarah Emerson, Abigail Pyle, Ruth Brooks, Rebeccah Evans and mother, Mary McPherson. Of these children, Sarah married James Emerson and went to Tenn., and Ruth married Isaac Brooks and went to Tenn. Isaac Brooks and wife, Ruth Evans, seem to have gone to Tenn. between 1800 and 1810, as shown by census records. They were in Chatham County, N. C. in 1800 but do not show in the later census records. They stopped first in Maury County, Tenn., where on 7-23-1810 he is listed as Capt. Isaac Brooks of 27th Regiment of Maury County. The 1850 census shows both Isaac and Ruth Brooks in Cannon County, Tenn., and listed with them is a) Isaac Brooks, Jr., b. 1815 in Tenn., m. Elizabeth E. b. 1816 in Tenn., and their children:
(1) Larkin Brooks, b. 1839
(2) Owen Brooks, b. 1841
(3) Catharine Brooks, b. 1843
(4) Nancy Brooks, b. 1850, all born in Tennessee.
6. John Dimmaux Brooks, b. 1775.
John Dimmaux Brooks (sixth child of Joab Brooks, Sr., and Catherine Dimmaux) was born the same year his father died, 1775. Court records show that two of his brothers, Larkin Tippett and Isaac had his sister Margaret Brooks appointed as their guardian in May, 1776. Larkin was three years older than John and Isaac was one year older.
On the second Monday in May, 1778, the Court ordered that Thomas Brooks be appointed Guardian to Sarah, Joab, and John Brooks, orphans of Joab Brooks, dec.
John Dimmaux Brooks, b. 1775, went to Tenn. m. 1793 Rebecca Boyd McKaughan, b. 1775 in Pa., daughter of Archibald McKaughan, Jr., and wife Jane Mercer, from Pa. to Tenn., and granddaughter of Archibald McKaughan, Sr., m. near Belfast, Ireland, Rebecca Boyd, daughter of Alexander Boyd of Belfast, Ireland. The latter came to New York and then to Pa. and then to Tenn. Rebecca (Boyd) McKaughan d. 11-8-1812 in Jackson County, Tenn., age about 100 years. After his marriage, John D. Brooks came back to Chatham Co. N. C. for only a few years, but records show him buying and selling, and he also shows up in the census.