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Discovering my NPE brick in 1765

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  • Discovering my NPE brick in 1765

    I started concentrating on genetic genealogy around ten years ago since I was just not making any progress on my brick walls. My oldest proven Brooks ancestor was Robert Brooks, b. ca 1730 via his son, Jordan Brooks, b. 1765. However, there was a major issue with two of Robert's sons being excluded from his extensive probate records. These two sons, Robert Rose Brooks and Jordan Brooks, were never mentioned in these probate records. But the marriage bond of Robert Rose Brooks was signed by Robert Brooks, Sr., and the two sons were found listed in personal property tax lists for poll tax for older males listed them. Jordan also signed a marriage bond for one daughter in the estate - plus numerous other genealogical connections of these two sons omitted from the will to the children mentioned in the will.

    There were family histories that indicated that Robert Brooks, Sr. married Brambly "Wade" - extensive deeds listed wife, Brambly - but no other firm connection to the Wades. They did name a son, Wade Brooks, as well and many Wade men lived within a mile or two of my Brooks line as well.

    Then came YDNA testing. All YSTR matches have been Wade surnames to date (some as high as 66 out 67 markers). With over 300 YSTR tests for Brooks men, none match my line to date - unless they were known descendants that had already been compiled. Unfortunately, we only know Brooks descendants from the two sons that were omitted from the probate records.

    Thanks to YDNA testing, we now believe that Brambly first married a Wade man who died young and then later remarried Robert Brooks, Sr. - the two young sons then had their surnames changed to Brooks but were omitted from their step father's will. These two men left home much earlier than the other children and may have received their share of the estate early or were not included in the will for leaving Virginia at an early age. Most of their step siblings later moved to same part of South Carolina after their father's death.

    We know believe that the adoption scenario is much higher probability than other reasons for omission from the will. So my name, Robert Brooks Casey, should actually be Robert Wade Casey. But after documenting around 8,500 Brooks cousins - I have a hard time telling all those cousins that we are probably Wades. But most better researchers find this information very interesting and we are now adding Wade research to our Brooks research.

  • #2
    Each generation makes a decision about what its surname should be. There have been periods in history when surnames were extremely flexible, to the extent that one of my Swiss ancestral "families" changed its prevailing surname several times in the space of a century, finally stabilizing toward the end of the 16th Century. So, for me, the surname "should be" whatever name the previous generation wanted to bestow upon the next. There need be nothing nefarious or deceptive about a surname that changes or doesn't follow the biological paternal line of descent.