MFA Quarterly December 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS   December 2005/February 2006   QUARTERLY    Vol. 5,   No. 2                 



Story of Joseph – As in Joseph Middlebrooks ……………..……………………………………… 14


2006 MFA Meeting …………………………………….………………………………………………………18


 FHL Books Online ……………………………………..……………………………………………………… 18

Land Descriptions …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 20


1846 Land Deed Transcribed …………………………………………..……………………………….. 23

1890 Land Deed Transcribed ……………………………………………………..…………………….. 22


Letter of Appreciation……………………………………………………………………………………….. 24

Queries ………………………………………………………….……………………………………………….. 25


Brothers in War of 1836 ……………………………………………………………………………………. 25

Train Kills Boy …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26

Senior Class of 1929 ………………………………….…………………………………………………….. 27

Numbers ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31

Surnames ………………………………………..………………………………………………………………. 31

Origin of Words ……………………………………….……………………………………………………….. 27

May Queen of 1945 …………………………………….…………………………………….…………….. 28


Obituary …………………………………………………………………………………………….. .………….. 28

MFA File ………………………………………….…..………….………….………………….………………… 29

Editor Page ………………………………………..…………..………………………….…………………….. 30

Dianne’s Files ………………………………………….…………………………………………………………30




Story of Joseph

As in Joseph Middlebrook


[Note:  Geneva Garrett is a direct descendant of Joseph, through Ibzan.  Many thanks to her for letting us use her records to write the following article.  Without her help and the help of others, this article would not have been possible.]


North Carolina

     Joseph Middlebrook (1770 [1773]–1853) was most likely born in Caswell County, North Carolina, as the youngest child of Isaac and Anne Middlebrook. On Joseph’s tombstone, his birth date is engraved as 1773.  If Joseph was born in 1773, then he was not a child of Isaac and Anne.  The records of North Carolina show that Isaac died in 1771.[1]  In case of errors, we will believe that Joseph is one of the seven sons of Isaac and Anne.



    It is believed that Joseph and Rachel Baxter Middlebrook went to Warren County when they first arrived in Georgia.  Warren County was created in 1793 from four different established counties. 

     According to the land deeds and tax records, Joseph was in Georgia by 1793, the year Hancock County was created. His name was first recorded in Hancock County in the Tax digest of 1794.  He was also listed in the 1796 Tax Digest.

      On April 12, 1797, Joseph paid “thirty pounds Sterling” to purchase sixty-six acres of land, located in Hancock County, from Dr. Seth and Pollie Kennedy.  The waterway located on the land was Shoulderbone Creek (also known as Shoulder Bone Creek).  John Middlebrook was the witness to the deed, recorded May 29, 1800, in Deed Book C, pages 357-358, Hancock County Superior Court, Sparta, Georgia.  Joseph’s brother Thomas was also living in the same area.  Hancock County did not use land lot numbers and districts.  Even today (2005), they do not use districts and land lot numbers.[2]

     John, brother of Joseph, bought one hundred and twenty-eight acres of land from a Dr. Kennedy.  The land was located on the waters of the “Watery Fork of Buffaloe” in Hancock County and sold for the “…sum of sixty-five pounds.”  In 1797, Georgia was still under British rule, using British money. The deed was recorded May 29, 1800. 

     Joseph and his brother Robert purchased an estate in 1801, and in 1803, Joseph was a buyer of an estate in Hancock County. 

     Sometime before 1805, Joseph moved to Greene County, Georgia, where he was listed in the 1805 Land Lottery.  He did not receive a draw.  It is possible that Joseph never moved from Hancock to Greene County, but the county absorbed him.

     Green County, Georgia, was surveyed in 1784. Lots were sold in the county seat, Greensboro, where settlers began building “rude” cabins in 1786.  The county is one of the oldest to be created and was named for General Nathaniel Greene.

    All of Georgia’s land was once inhabited by Indians.  “In 1773, the Cherokee, Creek, and Chickasaw Indian chiefs signed a treaty in which they granted 2 million acres of land to Georgia.”[3]

     Sometime before 1811, but after 1805, Joseph was in Jones County, where he purchased 101¼ acres located on the watercourse of the Ocmulgee River. 

     The Ocmulgee (original name Okmulgee) River was once a tributary of the Altamaha River, approximately 255 miles long. The name of the river probably comes from a Hithiti Indian phrase, oki mulgis, meaning “bubbling water.”[4]  Now the river arises in Atlanta, Georgia, by the confluence of the Yellow, South, and Alcovy Rivers, which joins the Lake Jackson reservoir.  Downstream from Lake Jackson, the river flows past Macon, at the fall line of Georgia, and joins the Oconee River to form the Altamaha River near Lumber City, Georgia.

     On April 9, 1812, Joseph purchased Land Lot 201 from Arthur Burney of Wilkinson County, Georgia.  No description of the land was given.  The deed is recorded in Deed Book D, page 203, Jones County, Georgia. According to the tax and county maps, the land is located on River Road at Jackson Hill Road and Plantation Road in Jones County.

     A land deed was instrumented between Joseph Middlebrook, Sr., and Thomas Carter on January 7, 1817, for one hundred acres of land located in Jones County.  The land was in Land Lot 201 in the 12th District, on the waters of Oakin.  (Oakin could be short for Ocmulgee.) The deed was recorded on February 20, 1817, in Deed Book J (1817–1818), page 158.

     On April 23, 1817, Joseph sold one hundred, one and three-fourths acres of land to William Baldwin.  The only description given was:  South Land Lot 207 adjoining Cadenhead.  According to the tax map of Jones County, this land was in the 12th District.  The transaction was recorded in Deed Book J (1817-1818), page 283.



It is not known when Joseph actually set foot on the soil of Alabama, but he most likely met up with other families in Forsyth, Georgia, traveling the Federal Road in Monroe County, which was close enough that Joseph could easily reach it.  Joseph was living on the Jones County side of the Ocmulgee.  The distance from Forsyth to the state line of Georgia and Alabama is about 160 miles. Traveling by oxen or wagon just twenty miles per day would take at least eight to ten days. 

     The Federal Road was first used as a postal road and went through Creek Indian land after the Creek Indian War in 1813-1814.  The Creeks had given permission for the creation of a horse path to be used for mail delivery.  An 1818 map of Alabama shows that the Federal Road ran from the Georgia-Alabama line to Fort Mims, Alabama.  Greene County, Alabama, was created in 1819 from “part of the land ceded to the Federal government by the Choctaw Cession of 1816” and named for General Nathaniel Greene of Georgia.

     Sometime after 1817, Joseph traveled to Greene County, Alabama, where three of his children were married; Anna, Thomas, and Seaborn all married in 1827.  There were other children:  Elizabeth, Ibzan, and James.  James was only two years of age when the family left Georgia.

    The Middlebrooks family in North Carolina carried on their faith as Primitive Baptists by joining the Salem Baptist Church in Greene County.  Rachel died in 1830 and Joseph left Alabama shortly thereafter.

     The land owned by Joseph was located between the Tombigbee and Black Warrior Rivers.[5]



     The next move was to Oktibbeha County, Mississippi.  The distance from Ft. Mims, as the crow flies, is about 312 miles, and it likely took Joseph fifteen days or more to arrive in Oktibbeha.  By September of 1836, Joseph was in Oktibbeha, where he purchased 80 acres of land. The following month, he purchased an additional 80 acres of land.[6]

     Land deeds are written very differently in Mississippi.  Examples: Deed dated September 1836: “…tract of land lying …in the survey of public land … vange 14 east….” Another deed dated November 1836: “…a parcel of land, the W ½ of the NW quarter and the west half of the south east quarter of section twelve in township seventeen of vange No. 14 E each containing 80 40/100 acres on a legal subdivision of said section….”[7]  Joseph sold this land to his sons James B. and Seaborn Middlebrook in 1842. 

     The land records of the Mississippi Land Patents were transferred from public lands to private ownership.  Some of the lands were from the United States Government; others were from homesteading, Indian cessions, or bounty given to military veterans.  Baxter (Thomas) and James received two plots each.  Thomas received 320.32 acres on November 11, 1840; James received 321.14 acres on April 4, 1842.[8] [9]

     Oktibbeha County was originally part of the lands belonging to the Choctaw Indians.  The Indian meaning of Oktibbeha is “icy waters.”  A creek by the same name as the county is the boundary line between the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian Nations.  Presbyterian missionaries established the first permanent settlement in Oktibbeha County about 1820.  The county seat is Starkville.[10]

     Joseph moved again, this time to Chickasaw County, Mississippi, which was established in 1836 and named for the Chickasaw Indians.  It is surrounded by five other counties which were created from land that was originally part of Chickasaw County.  This move covered a distance of only forty-five miles.  Joseph died in 1853 in the town of Buena Vista, Mississippi.[11]  If Joseph was born in 1770, he would have been 83 years of age; if in 1773, as on the grave marker, he would have been 80 years old.         

     Migration was slow due to problems with the Creek and Cherokee Indians in Georgia, and the Choctaw and Chickasaw in Alabama and Mississippi.  Only after the Creek Indian War of 1813-1814 and the removal of all Indians did the migration grow. 

     “The people who lived in this county migrated from many places with many different races and creeds…looking for a better way of life….”[12]



     Description of land in Georgia and Alabama is very different from the way it is described in Texas. Varas and Leagues are uncommon words to the people that live in the south.  AVara is a Spanish-American measure of length corresponding to an English yard.  In Texas, the vara is accepted as equal to thirty-three and one-third English inches.  A League is a land measure that varies from 12,750 to 24,250 feet. In England, a length is about three statute miles – a mile fixed by statute that equals 5,280 feet.[13]

      One of Joseph’s children lived and died in Dripping Springs, Texas. The town is located 25 miles west of Austin in northern Hays County.  The first settlers arrived about 1849 and opened a permanent post office.  In 1884, the town had a population of 130.  There were several businesses, including a steam gristmill, a cotton gin, and a school ― Dripping Springs Academy.  The town has steadily grown, for in 1990, the population was over 1,000.[14]



On behalf of the by the Board of Directors


The 2006 MFA Meeting will be held on July 27, 28, and 29 at Nachitoches, Louisiana.  (Nachitoches is pronounced NAK-uh-tush, with the last two syllables spoken close together.) The meeting will be at the Holiday Inn Express located at the intersection of Interstate 49 and Louisiana Highway 6. Individual room cost is $68 per day, with either one king size bed or two double beds. The Hotel is located approximately three miles from the Nachitoches downtown historic area and less than 20 miles from area historic plantations.  This is Louisiana’s oldest town.  This year’s theme is about the migration of our Middlebrook/s family ― “Our Migrating Ancestors.”  

      The Team Leaders have been notified, so don’t be surprised if you are contacted about your lineage.




FHL Books Online at BYU

By Warren Wetmore

Submitted by Charles Middlebrooks of Texas


(Editor’s Note:  Just remember to always get another source when looking for kinfolks.) 

This message is incredibly cool! You can go to the Brigham Young University website and do searches of over 5,000 books which the Family History Library has put on-line. “… [T]he LDS Family History Library has announced that it has begun the process of digitizing and making available on the Internet all of the Family History books in their collection. These are primarily books in the “929.273 Series” that are currently housed on the first floor of the Family History Library (previously housed on the fourth floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building).  At the present time (September 2005), about 5,000 books have been digitized and are available, and BYU has announced that approximately 100 titles a week are being added to the on-line collection. Copyright issues are playing a role in determining the order in which this task progresses; books out of copyright are being done first.
     As these Family History books are digitized and placed on-line, an entry is being placed in the Family History Library on-line catalog with a hyperlink to the digitized image. By going to the FHL On-Line Catalog, you can search for a specific name, find a book that has been indexed using the name, and view it on-line, flipping through the pages as separate “pdf” images, much the same as if you were on the first floor of the Family History Library. 
     Of course, the indexing that is available through the FHL Catalog is only as good as the human indexers who made it; typically they only include the “top” 4 to 6 names that appear in each book in their indexing efforts.  But there is even better news!
     The digitized images of these Family History books are actually being stored on the electronic servers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
     By going directly to the BYU web site to view the images, genealogists are provided with several additional possibilities that they have never had before. You are now able to do full-text searches on each book, and on every digitized book in the collection. Now you can locate the small two-paragraph entry on Grandpa Ebenezer McGarrah that is buried in one of the Family History books that you would otherwise have never thought to look at before. This can open up a huge new possibility for extending lines, getting past brick walls, and uncovering new relatives!

How to Find the Digitized Images?

Go to the web site of the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU:  On their home page, follow the links “Find Other Materials/ Electronic/On Line Collections at BYU.” Click on the “Text Collections” tab and select “Family History Archive” from the list of collections that are displayed.
     You would then normally want to use the “Search All” feature with the “Search Full Text” box checked, although the “Advanced Search” will allow very high-powered searches that will allow certain phrases to be searched for and other words to be used to exclude potential hits. As you make selections from the “hits” that are displayed, you will need to use the “Click Here to View Item” button near the top of the screen to display the actual image of the page. You can page through the entire document using the index displayed on the left side of the screen. Each page may be printed after being viewed.
     One interesting sidelight: when you are at the first web page for the Family History Archive (the page that lets you begin a search), click on the “Browse the Collection” button. This will display every Family History book that has been digitized and is available in the collection.
     You can scroll through this list in much the same way as if you were walking up and down the stacks at the library. At the top of the first page of search results, the number of hits, which (in this case) is the number of books in the collection, is displayed.  If you keep track of this number, you can get a pretty good idea of how fast titles are being added to the collection as you revisit the web site from time to time. I think you will want to visit this site often as the collection grows!



Submitted by Leonard Middlebrooks


Land in the original thirteen colonies was surveyed using the Indiscriminate Metes and Bounds surveying system.  This system relied heavily on existing landmarks such as trees, creeks, and branches.  The states of Kentucky and Maine used this system, as did parts of Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Vermont.  The physical boundaries of a piece of property can be described by using the following definitions.   The actual location of the property is obtained by plotting adjacent land descriptions and piecing these together in jigsaw-puzzle fashion.


Metes and Bounds (property descriptions that contain several different types of information):


  • Survey lines, used to determine the property boundaries, consist of a direction and a distance. An example is “N23E 100 chains (ch, cha) or N 117 poles (p, pol).”  The N23E example would be a boundary line 23 degrees east of north and would be 6,600 feet (100 ch x 66 ft/ch) in length. Two types of direction heading systems were normally used: degree and compass point.
  • Descriptions of the creeks, trees, and other natural features encountered along the boundaries of the property. Particular attention is paid to trees or other markers at the corners of the property. An example is “post oak near branch.” Attention is generally paid to creeks and their direction of flow, but not always.
  • Names of abutting property owners (neighbors). An example is “with Henry Dixon’s line,” meaning the particular boundary is adjacent to Henry Dixon’s property.




The steps sometimes lead to varying information of interest to the genealogist:


  • Land Entry is the first step in the deed acquisition process.  The owner files, or enters, the information for the property with the county authorities. A warrant is then issued to the local surveyor.
  • Warrants were generally issued by the county authorities, directing the surveyor to complete a survey of the described land. This simply means that a surveyor is instructed to measure the boundaries of the noted land and produce a plan or plot of the property.
  • Plat, Plan or Plot sketches, describing the property, were made by the surveyor in his surveyor’s book. This was done as the surveying team, possibly with neighbors as witnesses, walked the property. The surveyor would start at a known point, called the first station, and proceed on a compass heading to the next station or pointer, measuring as he proceeded. In our Isaac’s time, surveyors used a Gunter’s chain or a surveyor’s “pole” to measure distance. The Gunter’s chain was comprised of 100 chain links, each 0.66 feet in length, and is different from today’s Engineer’s chain that is composed of 100 one-foot-long links. A pole, 16.5 feet long, was used for smaller tracks of land. Typically, any distinct surface features were noted, such as a creek crossing. Unfortunately, the angle and direction of flow was not always noted. When a warrant, plot, or deed says that the property is located on the waters of a creek, it means it is located in the watershed of the named creek.  In the case of Isaac and Ann’s land description, “the property is located on the waters of Hogan’s creek” could mean that the land is located anywhere from the top of the ridge separating Hogan’s and Moon’s Creeks to the actual water’s edge of Hogan’s creek. Since one of the boundaries is not defined as Hogan’s Creek itself, we know that the property is not bounded by the creek, but separated by someone else’s property.
  • Deeds are the final step and define the conditions of the transfer of ownership as well as the physical description of the land obtained from the Plat.




  • Acreis the English unit of area equal to 43,560 square feet, or 10 square chains, or 160 square poles.  A square mile is equal to 640 acres.
  • Chain is the Gunter’s chain equal to 66 feet or four poles.
  • Chain carriers were the surveyor’s assistants. Their position was one of responsibility and they took an oath as “sworn chain carriers” attesting that they would perform their job properly.
  • First station is the beginning point of survey, aka ”point of beginning.”
  • Monument is a term that means a permanently placed marker such as a stone shaft sunk into the ground.
  • Meander is used as in “the stream or road meanders” (twists or turns).
  • Out is a measurement term used that is equivalent to ten chains (660 feet). The chain carriers started a line with the Gunter’s chain and 10 stakes. A stake was driven at the end of each chain length, and when they had used all 10 stakes, they were “out” of stakes.
  • Poleis a rod that is 16.5 feet in length.



Research by Lana Shelton

Transcribed by Neal Middlebrook and Dianne Middlebrooks


This Deed made this 24th day of March 1890 between Amelia Middlebrook of the first part and Frances Middlebrook of the Second part all of the County of Caroline. Witnesseth that in consideration of the sum of One hundred and fifty dollars cash in hand paid by the said Frances Middlebrook to the said Amelia Middlebrook, the receipt whereof hereby acknowledged, doth grant bargain and Sell with general warranty unto said Frances Middlebrook a parcel or lot of land in the Upper part of Caroline County Containing Twelve and a half acres and known as Racel Middlebrook lot hundred north by the lands of Adison Taylor, East by Main road leading from Chilesburg to B. G. Smith by the land of W. C. Gatewood, West by the land of B. Anderson.

Witness the following Signature and Seal the day and year first above written.


Amelia (her x mark) Middlebrook


State of Virginia

County of Caroline, to Wit:


          I A. G. Smith a Notary Public in and for the State and County aforesaid, do certify that Amelia Middlebrook whose name is signed to the annexed paper bearing date on the 24th day of March 1890 has acknowledged the same before me in my County aforesaid.

Given under my hand this 24th day of March 1890.  A. G. Smith N. P.


In Caroline County Court Clerk Office April 14th 1890, “The foregoing Deed with the annexed certificate was this day received in the Office.  It is admitted to record and truly recorded.” (Signature is cut off.)  

Deed Book B 45, Pg. 179


The Caroline County Court Clerks Office, August 10th 1846.

The following Deed of Trust was acknowledged before me in my Office and admitted to Record.

Teste, John L. Pendleton CC.


Truly Recorded



This Indenture made and entered into this 4th day of May in the year 1846, Between Lucy Middlebrooks (widow of John Middlebrooks decd.), Thomas Middlebrooks, John Middlebrooks, Matilda Crawley (late Middlebrooks) and Jane Middlebrooks of the County of Caroline of the one part and William Gatewood of the same county of the other part witnessed that the said Lucy, Thomas, John, Matilda and Jane the parties of first part for and in the consideration of the sum of twenty-five dollars and fifty cents lawful money to them in hand paid by the said William Gatewood, the receipt whereof the said Lucy Middlebrooks, Thomas Middlebrooks, John Middlebrooks, Matilda Crawley and Jane Middlebrooks do hereby acknowledge have granted bargained and sold and by these presents do and each of them doth grant bargain and sell and convey unto the said William Gatewood his heirs and assigns a certain piece or parcel of land lying and being said County of Caroline containing by a Survey made this day by William Moncure Surveyor of said county 12 ¾ acres be the same more or less and bounded as follows. Beginning at a white oak stump, & cedar corner to said Gatewood and run thence S. 16 to 30 poles to a red oak in corner to Geo. S Dickinson, thence N 83 to 109 poles to a Rock on the Ridge path, thence up said path N 3, Sixty___& ½ poles to a white & Red Oak painted on said Gatewood line, thence N 85 ½ and E 115 poles to the beginning, and is the same piece or parcel of land of which John Middlebrooks late of the said county died sieged (a longtime illness) and on which the said Lucy his widow and the said Thomas Middlebrooks at the present resides – To have and to hold the said 12 ¾ acres of land with the apprentices thereto belonging to him the said William Gatewood his heirs and assigns forever.  And the said Lucy Middlebrooks, Thomas Middlebrooks, Matilda Crawley and Jane Middlebrooks (the widow and heirs at law of the said John Middlebrooks decd.) for themselves their heirs Executors & Administrators do hereby covenant and agree to and with the said William Gatewood his heirs & assigns that they the said parties of the first part and their heirs the said pieces or parcels of land with its apprentices unto to him the said William Gatewood his heirs and assigns, against them the said Lucy Middlebrooks, Thomas Middlebrooks, John Middlebrooks, Matilda Crawley, & Jane Middlebrooks  and their heirs and against all persons whomever shall and will be by heirs presents forever warrant and defend. Initially whereof the said parties of the first part of their Indenture have hereunto set their hands and affix their seals this day and year first above written.


Signed sealed & delivered in presence of initialed

before signing & delivery


Lucy (her X mark) Middlebrooks

Thomas (his X mark)      Middlebrooks

Matilda (her X mark) Crawley

John (his X mark) Middlebrooks

Jane (her X mark) Middlebrooks


Wm A. Moncure as to all Josephus Gatewood Test       

Lucy B. Gatewood Test                     

In Caroline County Court ClerksOffice August 10th 1846

The foregoing deed was this day received & proven by the

 ____ of the _____thereto and admitted to Record.


Teste,     John L. Pendleton C. C.    Truly Recorded  Teste


Caroline County, named for Queen Anna, wife of England’s George II, was established in 1728 from Essex, King and Queen, and King William Counties.

      Children of John and Lucy Turner Middlebrooks were:  Thomas, John, Matilta, Jane, Sarah (born 1792) and two infants who died.

     Lana Shelton has found numerous deeds in Caroline County with the surname of Middlebrook or Middlebrooks.  As of February 2006, it is not known whether the following Middlebrooks given names are related to any of our lines:  Martha A. E., William, James K. P., L. C., Amelia, Frances, and C. T. Middlebrooks. 

[See the June MFA Newsletter, Vol. 4, June 2005, for John’s military record.]

     Now that you have read both deeds, did you find ten identifying items in the first deed and eleven in the second? Answers are on the last page.





A Letter of Appreciation was recently sent to Doyle and Stella Middlebrooks from Georgia’s Old Capital Museum Society, Inc., located in the Old Capital Building in Milledgeville, Georgia.  Doyle and Stella graciously donated their collection of letters, pictures, and other memorabilia to the Society to be displayed in a rotating gallery space where the Doyle and Stella Middlebrooks Collection will be interpreted.

     The exhibit also has a “turn-of-the-century” camera that has been restored and will actually make pictures.

     Doyle and Stella, originally from Texas, currently live in Macon, Georgia.  Their ancestor is John Floyd Middlebrooks, who left Georgia sometime after the War Between the States.




Looking for information on Elizabeth C. Middlebrooks who married James Trice.


Please remember, when you change your e-mail address, you will not receive any mail from the Association.  We have six people who have changed their addresses; can you help us find  Sheryl Carson, J. D. Gray, April Middlebrooks, Sid Middlebrooks, Judy Morris, Sharon Wickware?  Please contact Leonard if you do locate them.  Thanks.



Brothers in War of 1836


Eli C. and Edward Middlebrooks were called up for service in the War of 1836.  As more and more white settlers moved into the area, friction between the Creek Indians and the settlers flared up into war.  Much of the military operation centered on Columbus (Muscogee County, Georgia), since it was right across the Chattahoochee River from the Creek Indian Reservation in Alabama.

     Eli was mustered in by Captain H. Hutchinson as a Private in Colonel Virgil H. Walker’s Company.  His induction date was May 16, 1836, and his duty was to guard the Chattahoochee River in Harris County, Georgia.  On May 15, 1836, Georgia’s Governor Schley arrived in Columbus to muster the Georgia Militia into service.  At this time in Georgia’s history, she had a regular Militia, made up of all men between the ages of 15 and 60.

     Eli’s battalion was discharged after serving fifteen days; he was on guard duty for six of those days.  All guards were to be paid and had to furnish their own rations. Eli was never paid.

     On May 19, 1836, the Federal Army was ordered to suppress the Creek Indians so they could not join up with the Seminole Indians in the Florida swamps, and to begin the removal of the Creeks.

     Twelve days after Eli was called up, his brother, Edward, was also called to join in the War of 1836.  Edward served in the 67th Regiment, 2nd Division, 9th Brigade, Georgia Militia.  Edward also was a guard on the Chattahoochee River in Harris County, Georgia.  He served only two days – May 28-30, 1836. 


Edward Middlebrooks (born 1813, died March 22, 1877), son of Isaac Middlebrooks and Elizabeth Thompson, married Martha Ann Davis on September 19, 1842 in Harris County, Georgia.  Martha (born 1823, died 1893) is buried in the Middlebrooks Cemetery near Hopewell Community, Harris County, Georgia.


Eli C. Middlebrooks (born August 24, 1817, Harris County, Georgia, died October 4, 1875, Mooresville, Lee County, Mississippi), son of Isaac Middlebrooks and Elizabeth Thompson, married Martha Margaret Pound August 9, 1844, in Harris County, Georgia.  Martha, daughter of Richard Pound and Cynthia Harkness, was born August 1, 1826, and died July 21, 1889, in Mooresville, Lee County, Mississippi.  She is buried in the Boguefalah Baptist Church Cemetery, Lee County, Mississippi.


SOURCES:  Research by Jean Shroyer, Dianne Middlebrooks.  Internet ― Creek Indian Wars ―


Train Kills Meridian Boy At Chunky

Submitted by J. A. Middlebrooks


The above headline was published in The Meridian Star on August 8, 1930, Meridian, Mississippi. 

The Place

     Chunky, Mississippi, is a small town, with only 344 occupants listed on the 2000 Census. 

The Boy

     The boy, who was eighteen years of age, was Charles B. Middlebrook. 


     Charles was on his way from Meridian to Jackson, Mississippi, in        search of full-time employment.  He had been a messenger boy at   the Southern Railway office on a part-time basis for about a year.  The trip from Meridian to Jackson is about 90 miles. 

The Accident

     According to the newspaper article, Charles and another teenager were walking on top of some boxcars, heading toward the rear of a freight train passing through Chunky, Mississippi.  They were trying to escape the cinders from the engine that were pelting them.  The two boys were nearing the caboose when Charles lost his footing and was killed when he fell off the moving train, about twenty miles from home.

Funeral Home

     His body was taken directly to the funeral home in Meridian on the local passenger train.      

The Funeral

     The funeral was held at St. Paul Episcopal Church.  The large number attending [the funeral), the profusion of beautiful flowers, and the funeral party that accompanied the body to Magnolia Cemetery for burial, attested the popularity of Mr. Middlebrook.  The pallbearers numbered eighteen, eight regular pallbearers and ten honorary pallbearers.  Members of two Shrine Masonic bodies, the Knights of Pythias[15] and the “Donkeys,” were also present.  The Masonic Lodge #308 was in charge of the gravesite.


     Magnolia Cemetery, Meridian, Mississippi

The Boy’s Parents

     Charles Bellah Middlebrook, Sr. (1875-1936) and May Sophia Heldebrand (1876-1933).  The death of his parents came shortly after the death of Charles, Jr.


     Ten – Charles had six brothers and three sisters, all born in Meridian.


     Thaddeus Josephus Middlebrook (1845–1904) and Martha Ann Choice Bellah.  The birth and death dates of Martha are not known. Most likely this family moved to Alabama before 1875.  Meridian is the seat of Lauderdale County, founded in 1860 and located 15 miles from the state line of Mississippi.   


     Maternal – Azariah Middlebrook and Nancy B. Heath. 

     Paternal – Samuel S. Bellah and Elizabeth Middlebrook.


     Zere Middlebrooks and Sophia Weston Shell.[16]


Senior Class of 1929[17]

by Dianne Middlebrooks


A Commencement Program and a Comedy-Drama play of three acts were held on May 24th, 1929, at the school in Hillsboro, Georgia. “The Little Clodhopper” was the name of the play. Many individuals and businesses in and around Hillsboro and Monticello sponsored the event.

     Sponsors from Hillsboro were: Mr. & Mrs. Frank Brandon; Mrs. H. W. Burton, Satisfied Customers Satisfy Us; McElheny & Smith, Where Service Counts; and White Lumber Company, owned by J. L. White and J. P. White.

     Sponsors from Monticello were:  Cannon’s Drug Store, Drugs, Toilet Articles, School Supplies.  Your patronage appreciated.; J. H. Company,  The Placeto Trade, Telephone 14; Monticello Shoe Shop, Service and Quality Guaranteed. Your Patronage Appreciated; and Compliments of Mr. & Mrs. E. B. McCullough of Hillsboro. Mrs. McCullough was the former Ida Middlebrooks of Sims’ line.  They lived in Jasper County and are buried in the Baptist church’s cemetery in Hillsboro.




The word pedigree derives from the name of a symbol looking something like a fork or Greek letter turned upside-down, ψ, at least according to the accepted hypothesis for the origin of the word.  The Old French name for this symbol was pied de grue, meaning literally “foot of a crane,” because that is what it looked like to those responsible for the Old French word.  Anglo-Norman pe de grue is the immediate source of our pedigree.  The word for the symbol, which was used in genealogical charts to indicate succession, took on the broad meaning “a genealogical chart; genealogical relationship; genealogy.”


May Queen

On March 26, 1945—“Elizabeth Middlebrooks, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. C. L. Middlebrooks of Dalton, has been elected maid of honor to the May Queen at LaGrange, College.”

     Elizabeth’s father is Rev. Charles Levin Middlebrooks, Sr. (born December 3, 1888, Elamville, Alabama, died September 3, 1968, Atlanta, Georgia).  Her mother is Mary Elizabeth Randall (born September 27, 1900, Aragon, Georgia, died February 15, 1963, Camp Hill, Alabama, daughter of Oliver Homans Randall and Luella Sheffield).  Charles and Mary were married November 17, 1920, in Rockmart, Georgia.

Source:  The Wesleyan Christian Advocate, “50 Years Ago.”  Edited by Harold A. Lawrence.






The Advance  Monticellonian, a local newspaper of Monticello, Arkansas, recorded the death of one of our Middlebrook kin.


Alton “Buddy” Middlebrook, 83, of Monticello, died Friday, April 22, 2005, at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff.

     Born April 5, 1922, in Jefferson County, he was a son of the late James B. Middlebrook and Callie Cunningham Middlebrook.

     He was a retired security guard at SeaArk Boats and attended the Assembly of God Church.

     He was preceded in death by a sister, Sybil Holloway of Star City.

     Survivors include his wife, Wanda Roberts Middlebrook of Monticello; three daughters, Wanda vonSeeburg of Hopkinton, R. I., Carolyn Corcoran of Beaverton, Ore., and Janet Lynn of Portland, Ore.; a stepson, Wayvon Lawayne Burns of Monticello; a brother, J. B. Middlebrook of Pine Bluff; three sisters, Mildred Chastain, Lillie Mae Lawson and Margaret Pace, all of Monticello; grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

     Funeral services were held April 25 at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home with the Revs. Bobby Spencer and Devin Burns officiating.  Burial was at Oakland Cemetery.

     Pallbearers were Gary Coon, David Lawson, Andy Burns, Matthew Spores, Kim Coon, Tim Burns, and Tracy Burns.

     Honorary pallbearers were Ralph Chastain, Jim Lawson, and E. L. Adams.



December 2003    Volume 2   Number 12     



By Neal Middlebrook


      One apparent item that surfaced while reviewing the ‘Member Q&A’ sheets is that all of our members are not totally familiar with the Middlebrook Family Register.  The Register was published in 1909 by Louis Francis Middlebrook of Fairfield, Connecticut, and is a compilation of Middlebrook/s data and history from 1610 to the early 1900s. The publication is a total of 412 pages and begins with three pages of preface, three pages of arms description, and eight pages of early colonial family records.  After this are six pages of war records, with at least one Middlebrook/s in every conflict up to the time of publication.  The next 259 pages chronicle ten generations and the 830 members of the Middlebrook/s clan. This section of text is the one most often quoted. The remaining 124 pages are an appendix of wills and land records, and the index.

     It is not known how long it took Louis to compile this family genealogy or how he amassed the information.  It is reasonable to believe that he tracked down the living family members (much as we are attempting to do with the Update) and corresponded by mail to obtain the book’s

contents. The individual numbering system indicates that everyone was not located or did not respond to his inquiries (sounds familiar).  Where numbers are assigned, there is a continuation of that person’s line.  A dash or blank adjacent to the individual’s name indicates that no further information was provided beyond the current generation.

     Many believe that the Register contents are gospel, but, as can be seen on our website, there is more than one error or omission.   If we consider how the information was most probably obtained, it is easy to understand how these inaccuracies occurred.  Fortunately they appear minimal but do occur in each line.  Little has changed in nearly 100 years of gathering family information.  We ask, we receive, we catalogue, and there never seems to be enough time to verify each statement.  The general information is believed correct until proven otherwise; a straightforward example is found on page 161, where Louis was informed that Abigail Middlebrooks was married but died with no issue. Her third great grandchild can attest that this is incorrect and that Abigail and her husband had a total of 7 children (of which we have only this one line documented). 

     Do not misconstrue my comments.  The Registry is a wonderful starting place for researching one’s family history.  Many family researchers start with little more than their parents’ names, whereas most of us can easily trace our lineage, through the Register, to the early 1600s and 1700s.

     Visit the Register website, share your comments, and find where hardback, soft-back, and electronic versions of the Register may be obtained.


A man is what he thinks about all day.

Editor’s Page


An error is on page 12 in the first Quarterly.  Elizabeth Thompson should be Elizabeth Perkins.




Beginning this quarter, I am going to clean out my paper trails.  Over the years I have collected a lot of copies, and now is the time to let the Team Leaders have the info I have.  The data, picked randomly, might include several articles or just one.  The first one is from the book Georgia Confederate Soldier Obituaries from Henry, Newton, and Rockdale Counties, 1879-1943, written by Rhoda Bowen and Freda R. Turner in 1982, published by W H Wolfe Association in Roswell, Georgia.       Colonel Lucius Middlebrooks, mentioned below, is descended from John.


Conyers Times, Saturday, January 27, 1912:

“Colonel Middlebrooks Crosses Divide was well known Lawyer of Covington – had many friends here”


“Colonel Lucius L. Middlebrooks died at his home in Covington last Monday after an illness of a few days.  He is survived by a wife, three daughters, and two sons.  Colonel Middlebrooks entered the Confederate Army at 16 years of age and served 4 years.  He was a Brigadier General of the United Confederate Veterans, served as Colonel on the staffs of General Stephen D. Lee and C. A. Evans, and was prominent in every movement looking to the interest of the veterans.

     “He always took interest in politics and served 10 years in the lower house of the State Legislature, 4 years in the Senate, 1 year as Mayor of Covington, and 3 years in various other offices.  He announced for governor two years ago but retired from the race on account of his health.  He was a well-known attorney and had many friends in Rockdale County.  He was 64 years old at the time of his death.”

     In the same book is Rockdale County, GA, Confederate Pension Records:  “Middlebrooks, Z. P.  Co. E 42nd GA, died July 3, 1862 in Tennessee, wife listed as Mrs. P. J. Middlebrooks born June 6, 1841, marriage year is 1857.”  This man is Zere Pendergrass and his wife is Penelope Johnson. 

     If you wish to have additional info, please let me know; however, I might not answer as soon as I receive your e-mail.  First come, first served.  Just remember:  Once the article is published, it’s gone.


Some men go to church, sit in deep reflection though throughout the sermon and then go home with their work planned for the entire week ahead.   (Covington News, February  21st  1936)





 9 percent:  of families meet every five to ten years

15 percent: of families meet every ten years or more

28 percent: of families meet every few years

47 percent: of families meet once a year or more


  2 percent: of families go camping

  3 percent: of families go to the beach

  5 percent: of families stay at a resort

18 percent:           of family reunions are held at the home of a family member

20 percent: of families play at a park

23 percent: of families sleep in hotels

26 percent: of family reunions are held at other sites such as a church, cruise, or country club

32 percent: of families do very little planning for their reunions

34 percent: of families report a moderate to a great deal of planning

77 percent: number of reunions that include extended family

14 percent: number of reunions that have fewer than 30 people

21 percent: number of reunions that have more than 100 people

26 percent: number of reunions that have 31 to 50 people

40 percent: average attendance at a reunion


The Guinness Book of World Records recognized the Busse Family Reunion of Illinois as having the largest number of addresses on its mailing list ― 3,000.


Source:  Reunions Magazine, Vol. 16, No 2, October/November 2005, page 25, Milwaukee, WI




According to the Social Security Administration, the numbers of letters found in surnames follow this pattern:


25 surnames consisting of just is one letter

253 surnames consisting of just two letters

3,634 surnames consisting of three letters

31,255 surnames consisting of four letters

143,078 surnames consisting of five letters

Eighty-four per cent of all surnames in America have six or more letters.




TIMELINE for Joseph Middlebrooks


1770           Joseph born in North Carolina

1771           Isaac, father of Joseph, died

1773           Birth date engraved on Joseph’s marker

1793           Warren County created

1793           Hancock County created

1793           Joseph living in Hancock County

1794           Joseph listed on Tax Digest of Hancock County

1796           Louisville made capital of Georgia

1797           Joseph purchased 66 acres in Hancock County,

                   Georgia, using English money

1798                            Spanish War began

                   Joseph and his brother John purchased land from Dr.                             Kennedy

1801                            Joseph and his brother Robert buyers of an estate in

                   Hancock County

1801           Thomas Jefferson elected President

1802           Joseph a buyer of an estate in Hancock County

1803           Jones County, Georgia, created

1804           1st successful steam locomotive built

1805           Joseph moved to Greene County, Georgia

1805           Joseph’s first child, Ibzan, born

1805           Land Lottery of 1805 held

1811           Joseph purchased 101¼ acres of land in Jones County

1811           Joseph on Tax Digest of Jones County

1812           Joseph purchased 202½ acres of land in Jones County

1812           Creek War and War of 1812 began

1815           James Bird, son of Joseph, born

1817           Joseph purchased 100 acres of land in Jones County

1817           Joseph sold 100¾ acres of land in Jones County

1817-1819  Joseph moved to Greene County, Alabama

1819           Greene County, Alabama, created

1820           1st settlement established in Oktibbeha, Mississippi

1827           Three of Joseph’s children married in Greene County,          Alabama

1830           Rachel, wife of Joseph, died in Greene County, AL

1836           Joseph purchased two tracts of land in Mississippi

1836           Joseph living in Oktibbeha, Mississippi

1836           Chickasaw County, Mississippi, created

1840           Baxter Thomas received a land patent of 320.32 acres

1842           Joseph sold land to sons James B. and Seaborn

1842           James received a land patent of 321.14 acres of land

1844           Ibzan the first member of the family to migrate to Texas

1853           Joseph died in Buena Vista


Timeline for John and Lucy Middlebrooks


1785           John and Lucy Turner marry

1787           John listed on personal           property tax list

1792           Daughter Sally born

1810           John on Census of Caroline County, VA

1815           John dies

1838           Lucy receives pension at age 60

1855            Lucy receives Bounty Land Grant

1846           Lucy and children sell land, Lucy about 70 years old

1846           Daughter Sally not on list of children


1890           Son Thomas living in the house with Lucy



First deed:


  1. Deed dated March 24, 1890
  2. Frances Middlebrook was the grantee (buyer).
  3. Property in Caroline County, Virginia
  4. Land sold for $150 in cash
  5. Amelia Middlebrooks was the grantor (seller).
  6. Land situated in Upper part of county
  7. Land consisted of 12½ acres known as “Racil (Rachael) Middlebrook lot hundred”
  8. Deed recorded on April 14, 1890
  9. Property adjacent to the town of Chilesburg (Virginia)

   10.  Description of land given by surnames of adjoining neighbors


Second Deed:


  1. Deed dated May 4, 1846
  2. Lucy is the wife of John Middlebrook, deceased.
  3. Thomas, John, Matilda, and Jane Middlebrook are presumably Lucy’s children.
  4. Property located in Carolina County, Virginia
  5. William Gatewood was the buyer.
  6. The land cost $25.50.
  7. Amount of acreage was 12¾ acres.
  8. John Middlebrook died on his property.
  9. Thomas was living with Lucy.

10.  Matilda married Mr. Crawley/Crowley.

11.  None of the family could read or write.






St. Valentine’s Story


Let me introduce myself.  My name is Valentine.  I lived in Rome during the third century.  That was long, long ago!  At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius.  I didn’t like Emperor Claudius, I wasn’t the only one! A lot people shared my feelings.

     Claudius wanted to have a big army.  He expected men to volunteer to join.  Many men just did not want to fight in wars.  They did not want to leave their wives and families.  As you might have guessed, not many men signed up.  This made Claudius furious.  So what happened?  He had a crazy idea.  He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army.  So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages.  Young people thought his new law was cruel.  I thought it was preposterous!  I certainly wasn’t going to support that law!

     Did I mention that I was a priest?  One of my favorite activities was to marry couples.  Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies ― secretly, of course.  It was really quite exciting.  Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself.  We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

     One night, we heard footsteps.  It was scary! Thank God, the couple I was marrying escaped in time.  I was caught.  (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be.)  I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

     I tried to stay cheerful.  And do you know what? Wonderful things happened.  Many young people came to the jail to visit me.  They threw flowers and notes up to my windows.  They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.

     One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard.  Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell.  Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours.  She helped me to keep my spirits up.  She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages.  On the day I was to do die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty.  I signed it, “Love from your Valentine.”


I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine’s Day.  It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D.  Now, every year on this day, people remember.  But most importantly, they think about love and friendship.  And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh ― because they know that love can’t be beaten. (Copied from AMEN paper February)              


[1] Personal records of Neal Middlebrooks

[2] Tax Commission Office, Hancock County, Georgia


[4] Ocmulgee River – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[5] Internet

[6] Personal records of Geneva Garrett

[7] Geneva Garrett says: “… This is the only time I have ever found a middle name initial for Joseph…have checked this deed several times and there is a ‘W’ between Joseph and Middlebrook.”



[10]  Internet

[11] Personal records of Geneva Garrett

[12]  Internet

[13] Handbook of Texas Online. “Dripping Springs, TX”


[15] A secret fraternal order founded in Washington in 1864, in the interest of sociability and charity. 

Webster’s Unabridged Universal Dictionary of the English Language, 1937

[16] The Meridian Star Newspaper (Mississippi), Vol. 34, No. 140, Sunday, August 8, 1930

[17] Original pamphlet in possession of Dianne Middlebrooks

[18] Source:  Word Histories and Mysteries, “From Abracadabra to Zeus.” American Heritage Dictionary.  Houghton Mifflin Company. 2004