Brooks Family History

1937 Ray and Margaret Brooks

Ray and Margaret Thompson Brooks, 1937

Shortly before my grandmother, Margaret Thompson Brooks, died in December of 2007, I began looking at my Thompson-Brooks family history. Granny had been very serious about genealogical research for a

number of years, and, without the benefit of internet resources, had managed to gather a great deal of information. Persistent letter writing and faithful reunion attendance proved invaluable. Her own lockbox memory and packrat tendencies resulted in a treasure trove of documents, photographs, and written recollections.

The Thompson-Brooks family that resulted in my generation of Brookses lived for several generations in Central and Southern West Virginia, with some branches residing in Southern Ohio. They were mostly farmers, soldiers, and coal miners, and their stories, like most American stories, brush against important but oft-forgotten events in American history.

Brooks Family Posts

  • From the Files: Perry Brooks and Family, 1920 Census
    At the time of the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Perry Brooks and Emma Angeline Copas Brooks are living with five of their children in Pomeroy, Ohio. Pomeroy had been booming in the late 19th century, attracting many salt and coal miners, but it entered into a steep and lasting decline by 1890. Still, Perry earned ...
  • Lieutenant Andrew Thompson
    Andrew Thompson is believed to have been born around 1750 in Ireland and immigrated to colonial America in his early 20’s. Shortly after his arrival, he joined a local militia in Washington County, Virginia, appearing as Ensign in Robert Doak’s Company of Militia in a list dated June 2nd, 1774. Later that same year, Doak’s ...
  • Thompson and Green Family Cemeteries
    On July 1st, my dad and I, armed with a GPS and one 14-year-old hand-drawn map, set out in search of two of our old family cemeteries. Getting to each of them required some near-off roading and a bit of hiking, but we did finally find them. Green Cemetery is located on Winifrede Mountain, just south ...
  • John Lucas, 91st Ohio Volunteers, Co. K
    John Lucas enlisted in Company K of the 91st Ohio Volunteers on August 12, 1862 in Jackson, Ohio. He was 31, and like most Civil War volunteers, he signed on to serve 3 years. At their home at Berlin Crossroads in Jackson County, John left behind his wife, Catharine Wolfe Lucas and four children, Mary, ...
  • The Battles of Blair Mountain
    As the story goes, my great grandfather William “Crack” Thompson and his brother Jess carried their Winchester rifles to Blair Mountain in the late summer of 1921. They were on their way to America’s largest armed uprising since the Civil War. Nearly 90 years later, Blair Mountain, in the heart of West Virginia’s Appalachians, is ...
  • Beginnings of Kanawha Valley Industry
    Long before West Virginia made its Civil War split from Virginia, the Kanawha Valley was known for its mineral wealth. Pioneers knew of the valley’s salt springs at least as early as the late 1750’s when Mary Draper Ingles, an escaped captive of Shawnee warriors, recounted having seen the natives distill salt. In 1774, Andrew ...
  • United Mine Workers of America Founded, 1/25/1890
    From’s “This Day in History”: January 25, 1890 On this day, a fleet of workers whose jobs were spread throughout the massive coal industry banded together to form the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). The UMWA rapidly became one of America’s most potent, and at times most troubled, labor organizations. In its earliest incarnation, the ...
  • In Memoriam
    Margaret Marshie Thompson Brooks Granny 1918-2007

One Response to Brooks Family History

  1. Patricia Brooks says:

    Hello I am looking for info on my grandfather Alvin Noble Brooks, he married Susan Ora Bickers was married before her but the first wife died in childbirth. I heard stories about this family owning large amounts of land in Charlottesville, I have a painting from the original Brooks home and would love to get some History. I know he had at least on sister Lola and I believe another named Mary but not sure. If you have any info on them I would love to hear it. Thanks so much.

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