Chatham County, North Carolina

b.1690(ENG) d.1766(NC)
B. (ENG) D. (NC)

1. Thomas Brooks ....b. 1710(ENG) d.1796m. Mary Harris.... b..?.. d.(NC)
2. JOAB BROOKS.... b. 1712(ENG) d.1775(NC)
3. John Brooks,Jr b. 1715(ENG) d. 1790(NC)m. Jane May b....d....(NC)
4. Mark Brooks b.1720(ENG) d. 1819(NC)m. Fannie Harris b....d....(NC)
5. James Brooks B. 1725(ENG) d.1812(NC)m. Elizabeth Smith B....d....(NC)
6. Isaac Brooks b.1727(ENG) d.1825(TN) m. Ruth Terrell b....d....(TN)


This record is concerned with the family of John Brooks,Sr.,Esq.. Tradition says he brought his wife, Susan, and six sons to Virginia, lived there a short while, then came to North Carolina, about 1735. He first stopped in the West Indies with his five brothers,and then came to Virginia. Here the brothers separated, three of them went North, the other three came South."

The first record of John Brooks,Sr. in North Carolina was in 1735 when he was granted land in Bladen Co., later included in Cumberland Co. 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 of this evidence left behind, we accept the tradition that John Brooks,Sr., brought his family of six 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 Co.,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 land was on his neighbors grant. The Court adjusted the problem by granting John Brooks,Esq. the land on which the mill stood, and added more land to the other grant. In 1742-49-50- and 51, John Brooks,Esq. was appointed as Justice Of The Peace for Bladen Co. 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 James Parish was established. John Brooks,Esq. was appointed Vestryman for this Parish. The new county was what is now Cumberland Co.,NC. 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 Brooks and his family moved to Orange Co.N.C.(now Chatham County.) Cumberland Co. records show that on 10-1-1756 John Brooks,Esq. of Cumberland Co. sold Edward Dunsfield land that had been patented to him 9-10-1735,"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 (Chatham 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( Chatham County ), N.C.

On 5-9-1755 John Brooks was granted 640 acres in Chatham County,N.C., by the agent of Lord Granville. All of his grants in Chatham County total about 1.500 acres His home and lands were 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 Co. (now site of Fayetteville,N.C., to Orange County(Chatham County) 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 ten miles, and after locating the place of their future home, they returned to their canoes and went back to Cross Creek for their families.

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. 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.