MFA Quarterly January 2008

Quarterly Newsletter

of the


Founded 2001


January/March 2008                                              Volume Seven, Number Two


Editor – Jarrelyn Lang             Assistant editor – Dianne Middlebrooks



What’s in This Issue . . . . . . . . . .

 3. President’s Corner, Leonard Middlebrooks

 4. MFA Annual Meeting-Reunion information

 5. Registration form for MFA meeting

 6. Texas, a Whole Other Country, Jarrelyn Lang

 7. MFA DNA, Bob Middlebrooks

 9. Information from the Association of Professional Genealogists,           Neal Middlebrook

12. Cattle Drive from Lavaca County, Texas, Dianne Middlebrooks and Sharron Middlebrook Currie

14. Access to Restored at a Few Family Centers, Neal           Middlebrook

15. “Waltzing Matilda” – No Dancing Shoes Needed, Jarrelyn Lang

17. This-and-That

18, 19. Obituaries

19. Deluxe Middlebrook Farm, Leonard Middlebrooks

20. Review of Middlebrooks of Orange and Caswell County, North,           Carolina, Records, Part II, Neal Middlebrook



Middlebrooks Family Association, Inc. was founded in 2001 for the purpose of assembling and preserving genealogical and historical material for future generations.


MFA Quarterly NEWSLETTER is published four times a year (December, March, June, and September) by the Middlebrooks Family Association, 5721 Fullerton Phillips Road, Monticello, GA 31604.


Subscription is free to paid members of MFA. Articles for inclusion in the Quarterly, or suggestions for topics, may be sent to All submissions are subject to editing.


President’s Corner

Leonard Middlebrooks­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

I look forward to seeing a great number of you at this year’s annual meeting, especially those who live in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Joyce and her helper group have selected our accommodations, scenic tours, and restaurants, and this should be a great get-together.    

The meeting announcement is being mailed to approximately 400 relatives within a two to three hour driving time of Hillsboro, and we anticipate seeing a number of new faces this year. Major emphasis for Friday will be on our Texas ancestors’ migration to Texas, how our Virginia Middlebrookses relate to the North Carolina and Connecticut relatives, and the ongoing efforts of our DNA project. Saturday will be more of an open house and an opportunity to share your family history. Provisions will be available to copy documents and old photos, so bring those scrapbooks and share.

Progress for the 2009 Register Update is progressing slowly but is expected to improve in the foreseeable future. June Miller has agreed to coordinate the Nancy Middlebrooks line of Thomas 1763. Sharon Bartlett, with the help of Mary Baker, has taken over the Micajah line, and Dave Clark has volunteered to head up the Joseph 1770/73 line. Thanks to each of you for participating.

Of the seven North Carolina brothers, only Isaac 1753 remains without a permanent team leader. Additional team leaders will also be needed as the Virginia line is expanded, and a team leader is still needed for the Joseph 1710 group. Robert Middlebrooks has also indicated that he needs help with the John 1755 line.  Remember that you do not have to be part of a particular line to help. Working with other parts of the family and sharing your genealogy skills is a great way to expand your family knowledge and to associate with new cousins.

Let me encourage each of you to make your Hillsboro, Texas, plans for this July and to mail in your registration forms early.  Also remember that we have little access to the female lines of our family, making it difficult to send invitations to the meeting, so please pass the announcement along to this part of our extended family.          


*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

The name Texas comes from a Hasinai Indian word meaning friends or allies.

6 flags have flown over Texas: Spain, France, United Mexican States, Confederate                  

     States of America, Republic of Texas, and United States of America.

8 professional sports teams call Texas home: Dallas Cowboys (NFL); Dallas Mavericks

     (NBA); Dallas Stars (NHL); Houston Astros (MLB); Houston Comets (WNBA);

     Houston Rockets (NBA); San Antonio Spurs (NBA); and Texas Rangers (MLB).




The Middlebrooks Family Association Inc.

Annual Meeting-Reunion

July 17-19, 2008, Hillsboro, Texas

Dear Middlebrook and Middlebrooks cousins,


Please join us for this year’s reunion in Hillsboro, Texas.  The events and activities will focus on exploring “Our Texas Roots.” Do you know where or when your ancestors first arrived in Texas?  Why did they move to Texas?   Meet your extended family, learn more about our ancestors, share family histories, stories and, of course, those old photographs and documents. 


Join us for any one day or all three days. Some of the meeting highlights to expect:


Thursday, July 17, day and evening:

¨      Tour or the 1881 MKT Depot, Hill County Cell Block Museum, and Hill County Courthouse

¨      Field trip to Texas Heritage Museum, Galleries & Collections, & Historical Research Center

¨      Group dinner at a local restaurant


Friday, July 18, day and evening:

¨      Field trip to the old Middlebrooks homestead and cemetery near Hillsboro / Whitney

¨      Presentations and discussions about our Texas ancestors

¨      Learning about our ancestors from Virginia and North Carolina

¨      Middlebrooks DNA Project progress report and future testing

¨      Updates on the Middlebrooks Family Register, Cemetery Project, & MFA website

¨      Group dinner with guest speaker (TBA)


Saturday, July 18, day and evening:

Open house to meet and greet other cousins.  This is the REUNION DAY; come and go as you wish. 

¨      An opportunity to share your own family history and stories

¨      Middlebrooks DNA Project and how to participate

¨      Time for discussing our family history and learning how to become involved in the Association

¨      Group dinner with guest speaker: “The Trials and Tribulations of our Early Texas Ancestors”


Our meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Express in Hillsboro.  On the next page you will find a registration form with hotel information.  If you have questions about the meeting, feel free to e-mail Joyce,, and please make your hotel reservations as early as possible. 


In 2001, the Middlebrooks Family Association (MFA) was established for the sole purpose of preserving our family heritage for future generations.  Whether you are an experienced family researcher, just beginning your family history, or just want to meet other cousins, we hope you will join us this July.


Leonard Middlebrooks, President

Neal Middlebrook, Vice President

Joyce Arnold, Secretary and Treasurer

Registration Form: To help with planning, please complete and mail the form to Joyce Arnold.


Middlebrooks Family Association, Inc.

2008 Meeting/Reunion Registration Form

Hillsboro, Texas July 17, 18, 19


Motel reservations at the Holiday Inn Express may be made by calling phone # 254-582-0220

and mentioning you will be with the Middlebrook/s Reunion, to get the reunion rate of $75.60 per night. 

This rate is only good through June 17, 2008.






Phone:                                                  E-mail:



 I will attend (circle days):          Thursday      Friday      Saturday


A buffet lunch of sandwiches, raw veggies, fruit, chips, drinks, etc will be available on Friday and Saturday. Cost will be $8 per person per day.


Registration fee is $10.00 for members. 

For non-members $10.00 to register or $20 to become an MFA member through Sept. 2009 (includes registration).


Please mail to: Middlebrooks Family Association Inc., C/O Joyce Arnold, 2904 Trinity Drive, Pearland, TX 77584, or scan and email to


MFA Membership Information:

The MFA’s annual meeting, quarterly newsletter, family register update, cemetery and DNA projects provide ample opportunities to become involved in the Association’s events and activities.  Visit our website for more detailed information on the Association’s goals, projects, mailing lists, and history. 


Please consider supporting the MFA by joining.  Our annual membership fee is $20.00 (October thru September).  Send your check to our association’s treasurer: Joyce Arnold, 2904 Trinity Dr., Pearland, TX 77584.



Hotel Location:

Hillsboro is on Interstate 35, halfway between the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Waco. Take Exit 368A east onto Highway 22 and go north on the service road to the Holiday Inn Express, 1505 Hillview Drive, Hillsboro, TX 76645 (254-582-0220).

 Texas, a Whole Other Country


By Jarrelyn Lang

The MFA meeting this year is in Texas, Hillsboro to be exact. Here’s a short timeline to help you know more about how our great state came to be. (sources: and

     Before 1500 – Several tribes of Indians occupied the region between the Rio Grande to the south and the Red River to the north.

     In mid-1519 – A Spanish adventurer, Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, sailing from a base in Jamaica, became the first known European to explore and map the Texas coastline.

     May 23, 1541 – Coronado gave thanks for having found friendly Indians in the Palo Duro Canyon of the Texas Panhandle; this observation of Thanksgiving was 79 years before the Pilgrims’ feast.

     1716-1789 – Throughout the 18th century, Spain established Catholic missions in Texas, and along with the missions, the towns of San Antonio, Goliad, and Nacogdoches. The Alamo (Mission San Antonio de Valero) was founded May 1, 1718.

     1716-1820 – Jean Laffite occupied Galveston Island, using it as a base for his smuggling and privateering operations.

     January 3, 1823 – Stephen F. Austin received a grant from the Mexican government to begin colonization in the region of the Brazos River.

     March 2, 1836 – The Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos by members of the Convention of 1836. An ad interim government was formed for the newly created Republic of Texas.

     March 6, 1836 – Texans under Col. William B. Travis were overwhelmed by the Mexican army, after a two-week siege, at the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio.

     April 2, 1836 – Texans under Sam Houston routed the Mexican forces of Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. Texans won their independence in one of the most decisive battles in history.

     November 1839 – The Texas Congress, modeled after the U.S. Congress, first met in Austin, the frontier site selected for the capital of the Republic.

     December 29, 1845 – U. S. President James Polk followed through on a campaign promise to annex Texas, signing legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States.

     February 19, 1846 – The Republic of Texas was officially declared at an end.

     April 29, 1846 – The Mexican-American War ignited over disputes as to Texas boundaries. The outcome of the war fixed Texas’s southern boundary at the Rio Grande.

     March 3, 1857 – Congress authorized the Butterfield Mail and Stage Line. After moving from Georgia to Texas, John Floyd Middlebrooks would become a driver for Butterfield.

     February 1, 1861 – Texas seceded from the Union following a 171 to 6 vote by the Secession Convention. Governor Sam Houston was one of a small minority opposed to secession.

     May 13, 1865 – The last land engagement of the Civil War was fought at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in far south Texas, more than a month after Lee’s surrender. The battle was won under the leadership of Confederate Major John “Rip” Ford.

     March 30, 1870 – The U.S. Congress re-admitted Texas into the Union.

     February 15, 1876 – The Texas Constitution was adopted.




Submitted by Bob Middlebrooks, MFA DNA Project Manager


Our MFA DNA project currently has ten Y-DNA tests that have been processed thus far. Two of the tests have only 12 markers of the ordered 25 markers available as of this writing, and another has a refinement to increase a 12-marker test to a Y-DNA37. You can find all ten results on the web site for FTDNA located at the URL:,

while the site with the most explanatory posting is the WorldFamiliesNetwork with the URL

     The WFN site had not posted results of the tenth test as of this writing but is expected to post it soon. Also note that by the first week of April the final 25-marker results for these last two tests should be available on both sites. We try not to draw too many conclusions on a partially reported test, so we await these full 25-marker results with great interest. Below is a printout of the WFN results found on their site.



     In our discussion of results, we will not identify individuals since our policy is to protect the privacy of those who participate in the project. We can see that five individuals have solid matches, with background links identified with the brothers Isaac, Thomas, and Sims. These are identified as M1, M3, M5, M6, and M7. It appears at this time that the results (to be posted as M11 apparently) of the tenth test will bring that total of matches to six.

     The test results of the others do not seem to match each other or the five (or six) associated with Isaac, Thomas, and Sims.  This points out the need for more Y-DNA tests of close male relatives to those testers. M9 is pending an upgrade to a Y-DNA37 from a Y-DNA12 test.

     Haplogroups for our testers are all noted as R1b1 except for one I1b. Although they supposedly characterize the early migrations of population groups, these references are so generalized that they are of little value to us at this point.

     You are invited to visit the FamilyTreeDNA main page and visit their library which can be found by clicking on “Scientific Papers,” or just go directly to that page with the URL:

A number of published articles are available on subjects of Y-DNA and mtDNA. Also several books are offered by clicking  “Books.”

     Our MFA DNA project can best be described as in Phase Two. We are past the start-up phase and have a basic set of test results to build on. We are reminded that DNA testing is not a magic bullet but rather is a tool to be used to assist in our genealogy efforts. We have several potential candidates for testing who are encouraged to join the project. For those of you who have male relatives that might help fill in the gaps with their test results, please encourage them to join in.

     Here is a quote from FamilyTreeDNA that serves as a refresher on the subject, to remind us of the value of DNA to us:


The term Genetic Genealogy refers to the application of science, through testing DNA, to uncover information about your ancestors. There are currently two types of tests available to the general public: the Y-DNA test and the mtDNA test. The Y-DNA test tells you about your male ancestors, and the mtDNA test tells you about your female ancestors.


The Y-DNA test is for males only, as it tests the Y chromosome, which is only found in males and is inherited from the father’s direct paternal line (grandfather to father to son). Scientists have determined that the Y chromosome is passed from father to son unchanged, except for random mutations that are estimated to take place only once per 500 generations per marker.


The direct line of descent for males is critical. Events such as adoption or an extramarital male birth would break this chain.


All males with a direct line of descent from your most distant known male ancestor should have the same Y chromosomal pattern, or genetic fingerprint, except for the random mutations. If you compare the genetic fingerprints of these male descendents today, they should match.


How can this help you in your research? Testing the Y chromosome can verify what is known. It can point you in a direction for further research, or prove or disprove a relationship or theory. Family Tree DNAs Y-DNA test can find others to whom you are related. It might point you to a specific geographic location for further research. The individual reasons for doing Y-DNA testing vary significantly, from curiosity to specific genealogical research goals to large surname projects.



     As a final note, we are pleased to announce that Dave Clark has agreed to become a co-administrator with me on the WFN site. He will take care of the Patriarch page while I continue to work with the DNA aspects. Dave is well qualified to take on this task and knows a lot more about genealogy than I do. We look forward to his assistance by enhancing our web-based information.





Information from the Association of Professional Genealogists


Contributed by Neal Middlebrook


National Burial Index for England and Wales Online  The National Burial Index (NBI) for England and Wales is an index to help family historians find burial records. It is an ongoing project devised and orchestrated by the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS). The burial records date back to 1538, the year that Henry VIII was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, up to 1837, the date when civil registration began.

     These records come from different types of sources:  parish registers, bishop’s transcripts (the copies of the original registers made each year for the bishop of the diocese in which they are situated), and earlier transcripts or printed registers. Please note that the NBI for England and Wales does not contain memorial and inscription records (MIs).

     Note that this is an index; the results you are presented with will not contain images at the present time.

     Records that have been transcribed to date are now available (for a fee) at at:


Old British Phone Books Now Online  British Telecom (BT) is putting its entire archive of old phone books online for genealogists, or anyone else, to browse. The phone books date back to 1880 and contain 280 million names. They can be used to track down relatives, but you can also use the service to find out if your house has ever had any famous, or infamous, residents.

     The first phone book contained 248 names but no numbers – callers were expected to call the operator to get connected.

     All books before BT’s privatization are public records. The service is available through


Nazi Archive Will Help Save Lost Names  When Bill Connelly heard that the heirs of a collector of Jewish memorial books were cleaning out his library, he rushed to New York and fished dozens of the Yiddish-language volumes out of a municipal trash bin.

     With their lists of residents from long-vanished European communities – sometimes recorded street by street – the books often are all that’s left of entire villages or neighborhoods consumed in the Nazi genocide of World War II.      

      To rescue a name is to rescue a life from oblivion, Holocaust survivors believe.

     The yizkor books, from the Hebrew word for “remember,” are now on the shelves, alongside hundreds of other volumes, at the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum where Connelly works.              

     Now, the museum is gaining access to millions more names, the largest registry of Holocaust victims existing anywhere.

     You can read more about this interesting story in an article written by Arthur Max and published in the Associated Press. It is available at


The Only Constant Is Change  I like change. Change is exhilarating and breaks the monotony of routine. Change that brings improvement is great. However, I have to admit that when change involves my software programs, my attitude is not always this positive. Perhaps it is similar to getting a new pair of shoes; I’m happy to have them, but breaking them in can be uncomfortable. New software means becoming accustomed to a new look and learning new techniques for accomplishing my work, and this can be uncomfortable, too.

     With the rollout of the new FamilySearch and the forthcoming release of FamilyInsight, we may feel as though we are swimming in a sea of change. The new FamilySearch may stretch and test some because the concept is different. Knowing the new FamilySearch will revolutionize the sharing and processing of our genealogical data, and in spite of whatever challenges I may experience, I look forward to using it.

     From our emails and phone calls, I know many of you are looking forward to the change. Some may anticipate it more eagerly than others. Some may be curious but have reservations about learning yet another new way of keeping your family history. The changes are coming. I think we should jump into the water and have a great time learning and helping one another! For the next few issues, I will do my part by writing about FamilyInsight. You can use these articles like floats, to help you keep your head above water until you learn to swim on your own.  –Cina Johnson


Insights into FamilyInsight:  New Capabilities and Features – part I

     The fun part of testing FamilyInsight has been the surprising changes. I approached the task as though I was on an Easter egg hunt. My job: find the changes the programmers made. On occasion, John offers clues, but for the most part, he sends the update and waits for a reaction.

     If you want the fun of discovery, do not read any further. If you want a preview of coming attractions, keep on reading.


Does FamilyInsight look different from PAF Insight?  The first thing I thought when I opened FamilyInsight was, “Good, it looks familiar!” The layout and icons match the current P Insight, with the addition of one new icon called “Guide Me.” When you click “Guide Me,” a popup appears with simple instructions on how to proceed.

     The “Details” window, where you compare information, has the most noteworthy change. Instead of showing the birth, christening, death, and burial boxes, whether there is information in them or not, you only see the ones that have data. If you have birth and death information, you see those fields but not the empty boxes for christening and burial.


What are the major changes to the program?  Aside from the new mode for working with the new FamilySearch, you can do everything in FamilyInsight that you do in PAF Insight, with three significant upgrades.

     1. You can manually enter new people (spouse, mother, father, or child), events (birth, christening, death, burial, and marriage), and source citations from within Family Insight. You can still add notes as before.

     2. If you have a GEDCOM file from another source, you no longer need to open it into a new file in PAF before using it in FamilyInsight. Simply open FamilyInsight and select the file by clicking the “Open” icon or “File Open.”

     FamilyInsight can read and write to GEDCOM (.ged) files directly. This is particularly helpful in the “Compare and Sync” mode or if the GEDCOM came from another genealogy program.

     3. When you open the “Edit Places” mode, it begins scanning your place names and marking the status with “Recognized” or “See Suggestions.” When you click a place marked with “See Suggestions,” the “Suggestions” window displays a list of possible matching places. Select the appropriate place for your records. If you have a valid place name and it is not on the suggestions list, click the “Mark as Valid” button.


Do you have any recommendations for starting to use FamilyInsight?  I strongly recommend using “Place Editor” before opening the “Sync” with new FamilySearch mode as it will save you a great deal of time.

     Let me give you some background so you understand why this is important. The new FamilySearch contains a database of places it uses when you enter names into the system. If you start typing “Denver,” it displays a list of possible places. You can select “Denver, Denver, Colorado, United States,” or “Denver, Norfolk, England” from a pick list instead of typing the name. If you ignore the list and enter “Denver, Denver, Colorado, USA,” it will offer “Denver, Denver, Colorado, United States” as the correct place because that is the standard used on this website.

     When you use the “Sync” with the new FamilySearch mode, the program expects your places to meet the new FamilySearch standards. I have some places entered more than 100 times in my file. By using the “Edit Places,” I can correct or validate that place once. If I ignore this step and immediately open “Synchronize with new FamilySearch,” every time this place appears on each individual’s details window, I have to validate it before the search starts. The “Edit Places” mode saves time.


Have you ever wondered why word-processing programs have “cut” and “paste” commands? They go back to the old days of page layout. Designers would cut out parts of pages and rearrange them. When things were complete, the parts would be glued down. Aren’t you glad you can use a computer program to do this?      -Neal Middlebrook



*****     *****     *****     *****


Ludicrous Laws in the UK, from the March 2008 British Heritage


     UKTV recently conducted a poll to determine which laws still on British statute books viewers deemed to be most ludicrous. The favorite was the law that makes it illegal for anyone to die in the Houses of Parliament.

     Coming in at second place was the statute making it an act of treason to use a postage stamp upside down. All postage stamps in the UK bear the Queen’s picture.

     A third choice was the ordinance banning the eating of mince pie on Christmas.




By Dianne Middlebrooks and Sharron Middlebrook Currie

(originally printed in the April 2003 MFA newsletter)

     After the War Between the States, times were hard in Texas, and people couldn’t make money by farming. However, in South Texas there was plenty of wild game and cattle; in fact, thousands of longhorn cattle, many of them unbranded, were running wild in the southern part of the state. Although there was no shortage of beef in Texas, the situation was different farther north and west. There was a big demand for beef in those areas, and men began gathering the longhorns to take to areas where the need existed. Since there were no railroads to move the cattle, the men came up with the idea of driving them overland.

     Jake Middlebrook was one of the men involved in these overland drives. He lived near a little town called Sweet Home in Lavaca County, Texas, so named because conditions there were “ideal for home life.” Lavaca County is located about halfway between the current cities of Houston and San Antonio, and the Lavaca post office was established in 1852. By 1860, Sweet Home had a store, hotel, and stables. Jake had wanderlust and was always looking for work away from home. A cattle drive was a good opportunity for him to earn money and indulge in his lust for travel. Jake was married and his wife, Ellen, stayed at the Texas home while he was working, wherever that might have been. Their first daughter, Quinnie Bell, was born in June 1873, and Jake was on his one – and only – cattle drive when his daughter celebrated her first birthday.

     Jake was hired as a cattle drover due to his probable acquaintance with George West, the owner of the town’s store, hotel, and stables. West was a partner in the firm of McCutcheon & West in Lavaca County, and the firm was preparing for a cattle drive to Ellsworth, Kansas, some 800 miles away. West’s younger brother, Sol, was selected as trail boss for the drive. George and Sol West were from a prominent Lavaca County family. Sol had begun his cattle driving career in 1872 and had already made three trips up the trail to Abilene, Dodge City, and Ellsworth, Kansas. A typical drive consisted of 8,000 to 10,000 head of cattle.

     Sol, along with Jake and the other men, left for Ellsworth, Kansas, on February 27, 1874. The next day they reached Gonzales Prairie, in Gonzales County, TX. On March 1, they crossed the Red River into Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). So far the weather was cooperating, with beautiful clean, clear blue skies.

     On April 6, 1874, the cattle drive reached Rush Creek in Indian Territory, an area southeast of current Oklahoma City. The weather changed, and the misty rain, light snow, and brisk wind from the north were about to change the cattle drovers’ lives. None of the drovers was over the age of 25; Jake was only 22.

     The crew stayed for two days in the area of Rush Creek. The next day they got an early start, hoping to get the herd to the next camp, at Hell Roaring Creek, by day’s end. The chuck wagon had already left, filled with food and the necessary utensils. Food in tin cans with tight-fitting lids were placed in secure spaces so the contents would not spill as the wagon drove over the uneven Oklahoma terrain.

     After a particularly bad day, the cattle and drovers were within sight of the camp on Hell Roaring Creek when a blizzard roared to life. The cattle turned their backsides to the wind and began drifting south with it. While the men were trying to hold the cattle back until dark, their horses froze to death beneath them, within five miles of the camp. After the weather cleared somewhat, the drovers searched for the herd and found them not far from camp. All the drovers made it back to camp except for Sol West, Charles Boyce, and Jake Middlebrook.

     Sol, Charles, and Jake saw a dim light in the nearby hills and started hiking through the snow toward the light. They found a dug-out house where two men lived. The men put them up for the night,

providing a warm bed and hot food, which were much needed after their one-hour trek through 18 inches of snow.

     A dug-out was a house built so that the back part was dug into the side of a hill. The front part of these dug-outs typically had adobe walls or mud bricks, which the settlers made from mud and straw. The door was either made of wood or animal hide. Many dug-outs had no windows. The roof was covered with small trees, if available, and the canvas from the covered wagon that brought them to their new home. Sod was put over the canvas, allowing grass to grow and become insulation against bad weather.

     As the weather cleared the following morning, the herd was driven back to Hell Roaring Creek Camp through ice and sleet and the 18 inches of snow. The hardy longhorn cattle had survived the freezing weather, but all 75 horses froze and died. The men had to walk, which suited Jake just fine. He didn’t like horses.

     Sol traded some cattle to the Indians in exchange for horses. He also bought three steers and one mule from the men who owned the dug-out. The crew then continued the drive, reaching Ellsworth on May 20, 1874.

     Ellsworth, Kansas, was organized in 1867, near Fort Ellsworth. The fort, named for builder Allen Ellsworth, was a frontier Army post originally founded in 1864 and renamed Fort Harker in 1866, a year before the founding of the trail’s end town of Ellsworth. The fort was abandoned in 1872. Ellsworth succeeded Abilene as the northern terminus of the Texas cattle trail and is still noted on the Kansas map.

     Arriving at trail’s end in the middle of the 1874 summer, the drovers were finally able to set the stage for the upcoming cattle sale and plan for the long trip home. The actual selling of the cattle was finalized on December 1, 1874, just two months shy of being on the trail for one year.

     During that summer, in June of 1874, Jake wrote to his wife from Ellsworth that he was “well and hard at work herding Beeves (beef cattle).” Jake realized he did not know how much he loved and missed Ellen until he had been away from home for almost a year.

     Jake and Ellen had five children, the first three of whom were born in Lavaca County, Texas – in 1873, 1876, and 1880. The fourth child was born in 1883, possibly in Wilbarger County, Texas. The fifth child was born in 1886 in Lampasas County, Texas.

     Before 1886, Jake and Ellen were living in Lavaca County, when Ellen’s parents, Samuel Jefferson and Pernecy Emilene Oliver McCord, migrated northward to Lampasas County, Texas. Jake’s family must have followed the McCords; their fifth child was born in Lampasas County. The McCords and the Middlebrooks continued moving northward. The Middlebrooks settled in Foard County, Texas, and the McCords traveled a little farther, over the state line into Oklahoma, but near the Foard County area.

     Jake’s wanderlust was tamed at last, and he settled down. He served as a Constable for 15 years in Margaret, Foard County, Texas. He also became a farmer and worked in the produce business, dying at the age of 84. Ellen outlived Jake by two years.


Hunter, J. Martin. The Trail Drivers of Texas. University of Texas, 1989 reprint.

Letter from Jake to Ellen Middlebrook, in possession of Sharron Middlebrook Currie

Personal records of Sharron Middlebrook Currie

Kansas City on-line library

Texas state map


(Note from Dianne: Jake Middlebrook, born October 3, 1851, died May 25, 1935, was the son of James Bird Middlebrook, who was Joseph Middlebrook’s son. Joseph was the youngest brother of Isaac, John, Micajah, Robert, Sims, and Thomas. Jake’s wife, Ellen, was born May 17, 1856, and died August 2, 1937.)


Access to Restored at a Few Family Centers

Contributed by Neal Middlebrook

FamilySearch and The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of, announced an agreement that provides free access of to patrons of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and the 13 largest regional family history centers.

     With this new agreement, full access will be provided to more than 24,000 databases and titles and 5 billion names in family history records. In addition to the Family History Library, the following 13 regional family history centers have been licensed to receive access to

  • Mesa, Arizona
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Oakland, California
  • Orange, California
  • Sacramento, California
  • San Diego, California
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Pocatello, Idaho
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Logan, Utah
  • Ogden, Utah
  • St. George, Utah
  • Hyde Park, London, England

     “We’re excited for our patrons to receive online access to an expanded collection of family history records on,” said Don Anderson, director of FamilySearch Support. “’s indexes and digital images of census, immigration, vital, military, and other records, combined with the excellent resources of FamilySearch, will increase the likelihood of success for patrons researching their family history.”

     The Generations Network and FamilySearch hope to expand access to other family history centers in the future.

     FamilySearch patrons at the designated facilities will have access to’s completely indexed U.S. Federal Census Collection, 1790-1930, and more than 100 million names in passenger lists from 1820-1960, among other U.S. and international record collections. Throughout the past year, has added indexes to Scotland censuses from 1841-1901, created the largest online collection of military and African-American records, and reached more than 4 million user-submitted family trees.

     Free access is also available at Brigham Young University’s Provo, Idaho, and Hawaii campuses, and to LDS Business College patrons through a separate agreement with Generations Network.

     “FamilySearch’s Family History Library in Salt Lake City is one of the most important physical centers for family history research in the world, and we are happy that patrons to the Library and these major regional centers will have access to,” said Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of “We’ve enjoyed a ten-year working relationship with FamilySearch, and we look forward to continued collaboration on a number of family history projects.”


“Waltzing Matilda” – No Dancing Shoes Needed

By Jarrelyn Lang

Recently, some friends and I attended a concert given by ten Australian tenors.  These highly talented gentlemen offered up opera, Elvis, the Bee Gees, and several Aussie folk songs, the most  familiar of which was “Waltzing Matilda.”

     I have heard this song many times and often wondered at its meaning, so I did some digging. Held by many Australians as their unofficial national anthem, “Waltzing Matilda” is also widely known here in the States. One version, from, goes as follows:

            Once a jolly *swagman camped by a Billabong

            Under the shade of a Coolabah tree,

            And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled,

            “Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?”


            Down come a jumbuck to drink at the water hole,

            Up jumped a swagman and grabbed him in glee,

            And he sang as he stowed him away in his tucker bag,

            “You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.”


            Up rode the Squatter a-riding his thoroughbred,

            Up rode the Trooper – one, two, three.

            “Where’s that jumbuck you’ve got in your tucker bag?

            You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.”


            But the swagman, he up and jumped into the water hole,

            Drowning himself by the Coolabah tree,

            And his ghost may be heard as it sings in the Billabong,

            “Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?”

     The words to this song were written in 1895 by A.B. (Andrew Barton, aka “Banjo”) Paterson, a famous Australian poet and journalist, while staying at a bush station in Queensland.  The music, composed by Christina Macpherson, was based on a Scottish song, “Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea,” which in turn is a re-rendition of a Celtic folk tune, “The Craigeelee.”

     The song tells the story of an itinerant worker who, while making tea at a bush camp, steals a sheep to eat. The sheep’s owner arrives with three policemen to arrest him, but he drowns himself in a small lake and stays on to haunt the site.

     According to undocumented information in Wikipedia, it is believed that “Waltzing Matilda” is based on the following story:

            “In Queensland in 1891, the Great Shearers’ Strike brought the colony close to civil war and was broken only after the Premier, Samuel Griffith, called in the military. In September 1894, on a station called Dagworth, north of Winton, some shearers were again on strike. It turned violent, with the strikers firing their rifles and pistols into the air and setting fire to the woolshed at the Dagworth Homestead, killing dozens of sheep. The owner of Dagworth Homestead and three policemen gave chase to a man named Samuel Hoffmeister, also called ‘French(y)’ Hoffmeister. Rather than be captured, Hoffmeister shot and killed himself at the Combo Waterhole.”

     The song was first performed April 6, 1895, at the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, Queensland.

     Banjo Paterson was born February 17, 1864, in New South Wales. Educated in Sydney, he became a clerk in a lawyer’s office there, and later a practicing lawyer himself. In 1885, the Sydney Bulletin began publishing Banjo’s poems. In 1895, the rest of Australia discovered his poetry when The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses was published. Paterson went on to write more poetry before serving in World War I, after which he became a newspaper editor and freelance journalist. In 1939 he was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) medal for his services to Australian literature. Paterson died in 1941, just shy of his 77th birthday.  

     Banjo Paterson had a lifelong love of horses, with a special interest in horse racing and polo. His poem “The Man from Snowy River” reflects his equine interest. It tells the story of a valuable horse that escapes from its owner. When a substantial reward is offered for the horse’s return, all the riders in the area gather to find the wild bush ponies with which they believe the owner’s horse has taken up. The objective is to cut that horse out and return it to its owner. The rugged terrain, however, proves to be the undoing of all but one, the “man from Snowy River [Shire],” whose skill and daring are legendary. The hero is not meant to refer to any one man but instead is a composite of a number of people Paterson met while traveling in the bush. The Snowy River has its source in the Snowy Mountains, located in the New South Wales area known as the Australian Alps, then runs down through the Snowy River Shire (area).

     The poem inspired three movies, a television series, and a traveling (in Australia) musical theater production. Best known here in the States is probably the 1982 movie, starring Kirk Douglas. Actor David Bradshaw played the role of Banjo Paterson in that movie.

*Explanation of Australian slang in “Waltzing Matilda”:

Billabong – A waterhole

Billy – A can or small kettle used to boil water for tea               

Coolabah tree – A type of eucalyptus tree native to Australia

Jumbuck – A free-range sheep           

Matilda – Romantic term for a swagman’s bundle, his “companion” as he journeyed

Squatter – At one time, squatters claimed (seized) land for themselves in addition to land that       had             been granted. Eventually, through continuous occupation of the land, their claims were             legitimized in the eyes of the law.

Swagman – Someone who lives on the open road, a hobo. The term came from the canvas           bag             that he would carry his bedroll and belongings in.

Trooper – In Australia’s early days, there was no police force. The colony was protected            by and              policed by soldiers. Even when a police force was eventually formed, they were still referred            to as “troopers.”

Tucker bag – A bag for storing and carrying food in the bush

Waltzing – To travel for a period of, usually, 3 years while working as a craftsman and    learning

            new techniques from other masters before returning home, a custom still in use     among             carpenters

Waltzing Matilda – To travel with all one’s belongings on one’s back, wrapped in a blanket or       cloth


Sources: “Who Was the Banjo?”; “The Man from Snowy River – Australia’s Culture Portal.”; “Waltzing Matilda.” Wikipedia; “Snowy River.” Wikipedia; “The Man From Snowy River.”; “Waltzing Matilda Lyrics.”;




(Editor’s note:  This section is a place for your input.  If you have a favorite genealogy-related website, book, location, insight, etc., send it to for inclusion in a future quarterly.)


Jean Shroyer

 is volunteering her services to do lookups. If you have a query about a Middlebrook/s that you’re researching and need help, you can send your query to Jean at Jean does lookups for the Austin Genealogy Society and for Travis and Williamson Counties, and she also helps patrons find sources or connections.



may also be sent to me for inclusion in a future quarterly, if you would prefer to canvass a larger geographical range.  Send queries to


Neat Search Engine from Jean Shroyer

Go to, type in the word “genealogy” and the surname you are researching, and an interesting array of links will come up.


Merger: from

GenCircles, a family tree submission site from Pearl Street Software, has merged with Both sites can now be accessed for free. (A thought to keep in mind when using a “free” site: these sites must be supported by advertising, affiliate links, grants, and/or private funding and are not actually run for free.)

now has a US Passport Application Collection for the years 1787-1925, also the 1890 Oklahoma Territorial census and the 1907 Oklahoma state census.


Berry Family Reunion – from Jean Shroyer

The John Guy Berry family of Jack Co., TX, is allied to descendants of John Floyd Middlebrooks through marriage. There will be a reunion of the descendants of John Guy Berry and their Middlebrooks cousins June 7, 2008, at the Berry Ranch in Jack Co.


1850 Harris County, GA, Census Online from Jean Shroyer

Isaac Middlebrooks Jr. and his son, Eli C. Middlebrooks, resided in Harris County. To access this census:


NARA Passenger Arrival Records Available Online from Jean Shroyer

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has made available for the first time online more than 5.2 million records of some passengers who arrived during the last half of the 19th century, at the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia, at


Military Site Searches Now Online from Jean Shroyer

To research the National Archives military site, go to





Tex Yuma Middlebrooks

     Isaac descendant Tex Yuma Middlebrooks, born February 17, 1926, in Yuma Arizona, passed away January 6, 2008, in Fredericksburg, Texas. Her parents were Stevan A. and Else L. Heinrich Middlebrooks. Stevan was an ex-Texas Ranger. In 1942 Tex married Juedon D. Middlebrooks, who made the Air Force a career, serving in the Pacific during World War II and retiring in 1961. Yuma was preceded in death by her husband, two sisters, and a brother. Survivors include her daughter, Jean Shroyer, two sisters, one brother two granddaughters, and two great grandchildren. Tex was buried beside her husband in the Sonora Cemetery in Fairlie, Texas.

     Middlebrooks Family Association extends deepest sympathies to Jean and her family.


Catherine Middlebrooks Grigsby

     Another Isaac descendant, Catherine Middlebrooks Grigsby, age 92, passed away January 7, 2008, in Charlotte, Alabama. Catherine was preceded in death by her parents, W.O. and Jessie Middlebrooks, her husband, Buford Grigsby, and two sisters. One daughter, Bette G. Cosper, survives, as well as a grandson, a great grandson, one brother, and two nephews.

     MFA sends deepest sympathies to Catherine’s family.


Jane Middlebrooks Fonvielle Strausser

     Jane Middlebrooks Fonvielle Strausser, of Wilmington, NC, left this world January 11, 2008. Born April 15, 1924, in Columbia, SC, Jane graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1945 and worked for the American Red Cross in New York at the end of World War II. She married Samuel Strausser in 1993.

     In addition to her work in television, Jane was an active member of St. James Episcopal Church. She moved to Washington, DC, in 1983, where she worked in the office of North Carolina Congressman Charlie Rose and with NATO until her retirement.

     Jane was preceded in death by her first husband, Chris Fonvielle. She is survived by her second husband, four children, seven grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

     Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jane’s family.


Mary Rish Peel

     Mary Rish Peel departed from her earthly home January 31, 2008. Mary was the mother-in-law of Thomas descendant Charles Middlebrooks (poloshop), and the mother of Charles’s wife Mary Ann. Mary was pre-deceased by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Rish, her husband, William Dempsey Peel, and one brother. She is survived by her daughter Mary Ann, one brother, one sister, several grandchildren, and one great granddaughter.

     Mary was a hard worker and instilled high work ethics in her children. She lived most of her life in Calhoun County, Georgia, particularly in Edison, where she served many years in Edison Baptist Church.

     MFA sends its deepest sympathies to Mary Ann and Charles and their family.



+++++     +++++     +++++


Deluxe Middlebrook Farm, £89





Submitted by Leonard Middlebrooks


Found online at, the set includes a Farm House with bedroom, dining table set, kitchen, 3 fences; Middlebrook Barn with stall, ladder, fence, gate wall, short wall, middle walls, long walls; Stable, Pig Sty, and Pond. This is a “Rimbalzo Recommends!” toy, sold by the Rimbalzo Toys and Nappies (diapers) Company. The set is also available at Rimbalzo’s newest store in Monmouth, South Wales. At the going rate of around $2 per £, US price would be somewhere in the vicinity of $178, plus shipping. Any takers? (The toy is not recommended for children under the age of 3.)


(Editor’s Note: No amount of research turned up even the slightest hint of why this farm toy carried the Middlebrook name – but it’s a fun find.  Thanks, Leonard, for calling it to our attention.-JL)



Review of Middlebrooks Orange and Caswell County,

North Carolina, Records


Part II of III:  Land Records of Orange County; Isaac & Elizabeth Middlebrooks; John & Mary Middlebrooks; Settlement of Robert Lyon Estate; Records from 1777 to 1790

Contributed by Neal Middlebrook


Land Records of Orange County, North Carolina

The land grant process was initiated when an entry was made in Lord Granville’s office by a formal written application describing the property. The grant applicant had to date and sign the application. The principal agent in charge of granting out the land then issued a warrant repeating the entry property description under the seal of the land office. The warrant was issued to the surveyor, who was directed to survey the land within six months and draw up three copies of the plat. When the agent received the plat of survey, he had six months to draw up three copies of the grant of deed. The deed was then set aside until all three copies could be signed and witnessed.[22]

     The processing of Granville District Grants could involve a wait of typically three to seven years, and sometimes even longer, between the initial entry and the final grant issuance to the landowner. It is likely that, once the initial entry was made, required fees paid, and no property description challenges, the prospective landowners settled on the property. Some may have actually homesteaded vacant land before deciding to initiate the land grant process. During the interim period, settlers may have had to pay quit rents or other fees to live on the land while the land grant was being processed.

      Of the surviving Granville District Land Grants, twenty-five were issued for Hogan’s Creek and fifteen for Moon’s Creek. As mentioned earlier, many of the Granville District land grant records have not survived. On Hogan’s Creek, the earliest date entered for a grant was by Joseph Gould on May 31, 1751, followed by a warrant being issued on March 20, 1753, and the grant issued to the landowner August 2, 1760. The earliest land grant issued on Moon’s Creek was to Nathaniel Runnels on May 13, 1757. Almost all the grants issued on Hogan’s and Moon’s Creeks were after 1759-60.[23]

     William Ware, a friend and neighbor of Isaac and Anne Middlebrooks on Hogan’s Creek, was issued patent to a Granville District land grant on January 9, 1761 (Patent Book 12, entry 2255, Pg. 54).[24] The grant was for 640 acres on both sides of Hogan’s Creek. It is also interesting to note that the land was surveyed on February 14, 1757. Isaac Middlebrooks (born 1753) is listed as a bondsman (witness) to the marriage of William Ware and Francis [sic] Perkins on October 2, 1781. [25]

     If Isaac and Anne Middlebrooks arrived in Orange County, North Carolina, within a span of ten years (1750-1760), where did they live? We know that settlers along the Dan River and Hogan’s Creek areas were starting the land entry process as early as 1751. We also know that Isaac and Anne Middlebrooks were documented as being in the Hogan’s Creek area as early as 1760, when they were baptized at a Hogan’s Creek Separate Baptist meeting house.

     Some researchers believe that Isaac and Anne may have started the land entry process ca. 1753-57, and the patent was not issued before the Granville District Office closed in 1763. As with many settlers, they would have been living on the land once the entry was made and the required fees paid. Two records support the notion that the Middlebrookses owned property in Orange County. The earliest record reveals that Anne Middlebrooks was assessed for £161 on the 1777 Caswell District tax list. The amount of taxable property included: lands, lots, houses, slaves, stock, etc. The state levy was ½ penny for each £ of taxable property, and the county levy was 1 schilling per £100.[26] The other record confirms that on March 17, 1788, Anne Middlebrooks sold 100 acres to Joel Cannon, “Adjacent to Dixon, being land Joel Cannon bought of Isaac Middlebrooks.”[27] For this later record, it appears Isaac sold the 100 acres before he died in 1771. This evidence supports the contention that Isaac was issued a Granville Grant of at least 100 acres, plus the number of acres assessed as part of taxes levied in 1777. The Granville District Office had been closed since 1763, thus the transaction between Isaac and Joel Cannon could not have been recorded until after Independence in 1778. It was not unusual for deeds to be recorded a number of years after the actual sale took place.

     The 1784 tax record does show that Anne Middlebrooks was not assessed for the 100 acres Isaac sold to Joel Cannon.[28] This fact also supports the belief that the sale had taken place before Isaac died in 1771. This record could not have been Isaac Middlebrooks born in 1753, because he is assessed in the 1784 tax list for 195 acres, the land given to Isaac by his mother on August 31, 1782, as described in the deed.[29]

     In summary: Isaac and Anne Middlebrooks arrived in Orange County ca. 1755; Isaac sold 100 acres before he died in 1771; Anne was assessed for an undisclosed number of acres (valued at £161) in 1777; and/or Isaac and family were living on the 100 acres sold to Joel Cannon or on another adjacent parcel that was part of a larger Granville Grant. A period of twenty-three years elapsed from 1755 to 1778, when it was recorded that Anne applied for a 640-acre state grant (see later section). Because many of the early Orange County records, including the Granville District land grants and also sale deeds, have not survived, we may never know the exact location of our ancestors’ lands before Independence.


Isaac Middlebrooks (born 1753) and Elizabeth Perkins

Anne’s oldest son, Isaac Middlebrooks (born 1753) married Elizabeth Perkins (born 1756) ca. 1780, presumably in Caswell County. No marriage record has been located. Elizabeth was the daughter of Abram Perkins (born 1720) and Cecily Turpine (Turpin) of Goochland County, Virginia.[30] According to deed records, Abram Perkins was in Caswell County by August 31, 1782, when he sold 250 acres on the south side of Moon’s Creek to Robert Lyon Sr.[31] Isaac Middlebrooks was listed as one of the witnesses to the deed. The Middlebrookses are now relatives and neighbors of the Perkinses.

     Abram Perkins died in Caswell County in October 1793. He named his daughter, Elizabeth Middlebrooks, in his will as one of his five children. The will was drafted June 14, 1793, and proved in October of 1793.[32] Isaac Middlebrooks was listed as one of the buyers in the estate sale of Abram Perkins on October 7, 1796.[33]

     The Estate Papers of Abram Perkins has the following entry: Recd. October 12th 1796 of Jessie Perkins Extr. of Abram Perkins Decd. Seventy five pounds and fourteen schillings in full of my part of the estate of the Sd. Decd. And I do hereby promise if any debts should come against the Said Estate to pay my proportion of them, (signed) Isaac Middlebrook, Teste C. Dixon.[34] William Ware and Mary Perkins, wife of Philemon Perkins, also received £75 each.

     Isaac then spent part of his inheritance when he bought one bay mare for £21 and a bed for £7, 5 schillings, and “to parcel of father £2 and 1 schilling” on October 7, 1795 (ref. 34). Jesse, Abraham, Henry, James, and John Perkins, William Burton, John Bullock, Robert and Wynn Dixon, and William Ware also bought personal property on October 7, 1795.

     The Settlement of the Estate of Abram Perkins concluded when cash (£75, 14 schillings) was paid to Isaac Middlebrooks in 1805.[35]

     By this time, Isaac and Elizabeth Middlebrooks were living in Clark (Clarke) County, Georgia, having moved from Jackson County, Georgia, ca. 1799-1804. Sometime between 1787/88, Isaac and Elizabeth Middlebrooks had left Caswell County, North Carolina, and moved to Abbeville, South Carolina.[36]


John Middlebrooks (born 1755) and Mary Lyon

On January 18, 1781, John Middlebrooks married Nancy Humphries in Caswell County. Richard Boggess and William Campbell were listed as bondsmen. Six months later, John Middlebrooks married Mary Lyon, the daughter of Robert and Rebecca Lyon.[37] It is believed that John’s first wife, Nancy, may have died in childbirth or from some illness. As mentioned above, Robert Lyon purchased 250 acres, on the south side of Moon’s Creek, from Abram Perkins on August 31, 1782. Robert was already living on the property at the time of purchase, according to deed records. The Middlebrookses and Lyons are now related and are neighbors.

     Robert Lyon died in 1804, leaving his estate to his wife, Rebecca, his six children, and two grandchildren. His will is dated October 23, 1804. The executors were James Burton and Henry Howard.[38]

     The two grandchildren, Zere (born 1782) and Anderson (born 1784), were sons of John and Mary Lyon Middlebrooks. As grandsons of Robert Lyon, they demanded their legacy from his estate.[39]> Apparently, Zere Middlebrooks was not able to collect his legacy from the estate until the death of his stepmother, Rebecca Lyon, on August 12, 1817.[40]

     Mary Lyon Middlebrooks is believed to have died ca. 1793 in Caswell County. John Middlebrooks married Millie Sutton ca. 1794 in either Caswell County, North Carolina, or Hancock County, Georgia.[41] By 1804, John and Millie Sutton Middlebrooks, Anderson, and Zere were living in Hancock County, Georgia.


Settlement of Robert Lyon’s Estate

The following Caswell County court records paved the path to the settlement of the estate:


            December 14, 1804. Zere Middlebrooks granted Power of Attorney from his father, John, and his        brother, Anderson, to collect legacy of his grandfather, Robert Lyon.[42]


            July 30, 1806. John Lyon, the son of Robert Lyon, deceased, also gave Power of Attorney to Zere, his             friend, to receive from the executors of his father’s estate, which was in the hands of his stepmother,       Rebecca Lyon.[43]


            December 2, 1816. Power of Attorney granted to Zere Middlebrooks of South Carolina, from Robert Lyon (Jr.) of Jasper County, Georgia, to collect from the estate of Robert Lyon of Caswell    County, North Carolina.[44]


            January 2, 1817. Power of Attorney conveyed to Zere Middlebrooks of Newberry District, South        Carolina, from his brother, Anderson Middlebrooks of Morgan County, Georgia, to collect legacy            left by Grandfather Robert Lyon of Caswell County, North Carolina.[45]


            February 2, 1817. Anderson Middlebrooks of Morgan County, Georgia, to brother Zere Middlebrooks of             Newberry District of South Carolina, to receive balance of legacy left by grandfather Robert Lyon,        Caswell County, North Carolina.[46]


            August 12, 1818. Receipt of Zeri (Zere) Middlebrooks for legacy left John Lyon, deceased       November 20, 1809; and after the death of Rebecca Lyon on August 12, 1817.[47]


The 1777, 1784, and 1803 Tax Lists and the 1787 and 1790 Caswell District and US Census

The 1777 Tax list records Anne Middlebrooks and her son, John, as taxpayers of Caswell County. Anne was assessed £161, 13 schillings, 8 pence, and John has no tax valuation listed.[48] Anne, Isaac, and John Middlebrooks were listed on the 1784 tax list for the Caswell District. Anne was assessed for 445 acres, Isaac for 195 acres, and John for 232 acres, all of which was located on [the waters of] Hogan’s Creek.[49]

     Ten years after the 1777 formation of Caswell County, the county had its first census. The total number of inhabitants enumerated for the county was 9,839, and in the Caswell County census district were listed Anne Middlebrooks and sons Isaac, John, and Thomas.[50] According to the census, it is likely that Anne is still a widow; she is listed as the “head of the household.” No white males 21-60 are recorded in the household; however, four white males under the age of 21-60 are enumerated. This could possibly be Anne’s sons Sims, Robert, Joseph, and Garland, or a possible boarder if not Garland. Two white females are also listed; one would be Anne and the other a visitor or boarder.

     Additional 1787 census information records Isaac Middlebrooks’s household with one white male between the ages of 21-60 (Isaac b. 1753);[51] one male under 21 & over 60 (Isaac’s son, Isaac b. 1785), and four white females (Elizabeth Perkins b. 1756; Virginia b. 1785; Lucy b. 1786/87; and Frances b. 1787/88).

     The same 1787 county census records John Middlebrooks’s household with the following: one white male between the ages of 21-60[52] (John); two white males under the age of 21 and over the age of 60 (Zere and Anderson); and one white female, possibly Mary Lyon. John was listed as living next door to his mother.

     Finally, the 1787 census lists the third brother, Thomas Middlebrooks. The census records show Thomas Middlebrooks’s household with one white male between the ages of 21-60.[53]

     The order in which the households were visited gives an indication of adjacent neighbors and property locations. Anne Middlebrooks and her son John are living next door to each other, south of Hogan’s Creek, and possibly near present-day Providence. Henry Dixon, Richard Boggess, and William Ware are friends and neighbors of the Middlebrookses, also living south of Hogan’s Creek. Other neighbors include John Perkins, Joel and William Cannon, and John Sommers.

     Isaac Middlebrooks is living on Moon’s Creek, next door to his father-in-law, Abram Perkins. Other friends and neighbors of the Middlebrookses on Moon’s Creek are Robert Lyon, Samuel Bullock, James Miller, James and Jesse Perkins. Thomas Middlebrooks is living a number of households removed from where his mother, Anne, is living. His neighbors include James Boggess, Thomas Ware, Wynne, Tilmon (Tillman), Charles Dixon, and James Burton.

     The 1803 list of taxables for Caswell County does not include any of our Middlebrook/s ancestors. Other familiar families include: Richard Boggers (Boggess?); James Burton; Henry and Charles Dixon; Robert, Alexander, and William Lyon; and Abraham, Richard, John, Henry, James, Jesse, and Martin Perkins.[54]

     John Middlebrooks is listed in the 1790 U.S. Census for the Hillsborough District, Caswell County, North Carolina. The census was re-constructed by using tax lists. No other information is available from this census.[55]


[22]Hofmann, The Granville District of North Carolina 1748-1763, Abstracts of Land Grants, Vols. 1-5, intro to series, I-IX.

[23] Hofmann, The Granville District of North Carolina 1748-1763, Abstracts of Land Grants, Vols. 2, 5; Vol. 2, Patent Book 12: 80, 81, 86, 90, 92, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101; Patent Book 14: 241, 242, 257, 258, 260, 265, 268, 269, 270, 273, 278, 279, 289, 291, 293; Vol. 5: 164, 174, 178, 207, 244.

[24] Hofmann, The Granville District of North Carolina 1748-1763, Abstracts of Land Grants, Vols. 2, 100.

[25] Katherine K. Kendall, North Carolina Marriage Bonds 1778-1888. Raleigh, NC: Privately Published 1981,162.

[26] Clarence E. Ratcliff, North Carolina Tax Payers 1701-1786. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1989, 183.

[27] Katherine K. Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817. Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, 1989, 103.

[28] Katherine K. Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814. Raleigh, NC: Privately Published 1979, 137.

[29] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817, 32.

[30] William K. Hall, Descendants of Nicholas Perkins of Virginia. Ann Arbor, MI: Edward Bros., 1957, 33, 34.

[31] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books 1777-1817, 32.

[32] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 43.

[33] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 52.

[34] Estate Records of Caswell County, North Carolina: CR 020.508 Box 69, NC State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

[35] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 96.

[36] Goodrum, The Middlebrooks Ancestry of William Sims Middlebrooks, 13,14

[37] Katherine K. Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina, Marriage Bonds 1778-1888. Raleigh, NC: Privately Published 1981, 99.

[38] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 95.

[39] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 96.

[40] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1814-1843, 30.

[41] Goodrum, The Middlebrooks Ancestry of William Sims Middlebrooks, 29,30.

[42] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 96.

[43] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 96.

[44] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 103.

[45] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1814-1843, 29.

[46] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1814-1843, 29.

[47] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1814-1843, 30.

[48] Katherine K. Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina  Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records. Raleigh, NC: Privately Published 1977, 31.

[49] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Will Books 1777-1814, 137.

[50] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records, 39.

[51] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina, Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records, 39.

[52] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina, Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records, 39.

[53] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina, Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records, 39.

[54] Kendall, Caswell County, North Carolina, Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records, 41, 42, 44, 45.

[55] John Middlebrooks household, 1790 U.S. Census, Caswell County,  NC. National Archives micro-publication, Roll M637, no pg.



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National Grammar Day

Yes, there really is such a thing! Under the sponsorship of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG), March 4, 2008, was proclaimed National Grammar Day. Founder of SPOGG, and MSN Encarta’s grammar expert, Martha Brockenbrough, says, “We’re doing this because grammar matters.” 70 percent of the 800 points on the SAT come from grammar-related questions. 89% of managers in England said that applicants’ grammar errors were their no. 1 pet peeve, and many people indicated they would not date someone whose personal ad contains errors.

     SPOGG conducted a poll to name the celebrity using the worst grammar during the past year. I voted for Courtney Love – her blog was all but indecipherable. However, the “winner” was none other than President George W. Bush himself (probably no surprises there). The city voted most guilty of grammar and language offenses in 2007 was Columbus, SC.

(For more information, go to -Jarrelyn Lang, card-carrying SPOGG member)