Wednesday, January 24, 2007

John Hardee and Sibithia Brooks

This is an outline of the lives of John Hardee and Sibithia Brooks. Sibithia's daddy's will is in the post concerning William Brooks and Sarah. Evidently, John was living in the same county with Joel all along. I don't know why Daddy didn't find him. He was certainly visible, since he also was a Justice of the Peace. This timeline also includes marriages performed by both Joel and John, as well as by other family members.


We do not know John Ziba Hardee’s correct year of birth. He changed it often. We also may not have the correct spelling of Ziba, since that was also spelled differently on every census and on almost every legal document. In addition, we do not know who the parents of John Ziba Hardee were. We are fairly certain that he was born in Pitt County, North Carolina, and the search for his origins is ongoing.

Between 1782 and 1813

We do not know any of the details of John Ziba Hardee’s life between 1782 and 1813. We do know, however, that several Pitt County, NC, young men, Brooks included, left for the Georgia Land Lottery in 1807. I think it is safe to say that John Ziba Hardee was with them. However, I can find no mention of his having been granted land in Georgia in that time period. That does not mean it didn’t happen. It just means that I haven’t found it yet.


John Ziba Hardee married Peggy Mitchell on Feb. 4, 1813, in Baldwin County, Georgia. Some report this date as late as Feb. 7. As I understand it, the courthouse, in which this record was found, burned and this marriage was found on a piece of paper that survived because it had fallen between the stacks. I suspect the reported date of this marriage depends, in large part, on who is transcribing the entry.


Joel Hardee, son of John Ziba Hardee and Peggy Mitchell, was born on June 8, 1814, in Baldwin County, Georgia.


John Hardee, son of John Ziba Hardee and Peggy Mitchell, was born in 1816, in Baldwin County, Georgia.


In 1817, John Ziba Hardee moved his family to Monroe County, Alabama. They were moving along with Peggy’s family. When this move took place, Joel was three and John was one. So, they were just toddlers when they moved to Alabama and really would have had no memory of living in Georgia at all. It is believed that John Ziba settled the family in the northeastern part of Monroe County in the vicinity of Activity, Alabama, which was near the present Old Texas-Midway area.

Between 1817 and 1825

Sometime between 1817 and 1825, Peggy Mitchell passed away, leaving Joel and John motherless before the ages of 11 and 9.


John Ziba Hardee married fifteen year old Tabitha Brooks, in Monroe County, Alabama, about 1825. They became the parents of ten children: Sarah Jane, James Thomas, Ellender, William Thomas, Samuel B., Bryant Stidwell, Thomas, Subbitha Caroline, Julia Ann, and Pinkney Taylor.


John Hardee married Sibithia Brooks, daughter of William Brooks and Sarah, in Monroe County, Alabama, on Feb. 15, 1834. Surety was provided by brother Joel Hardee.


On June 18, 1835, Joel Hardee married Isabella Coker, daughter of Nathan Coker and Susanna Watson. She was “the girl next door,” and aren’t we lucky?


About 1837, John Ziba Hardee and Tabitha Brooks moved from Monroe County to Coosa County, Alabama. Sons John and Joel moved with them, but both boys brought their families back to Monroe County, Alabama, approximately 10 years later.


According to the census, in 1850, John Hardee and Sibithia Brooks were both 34 years of age and living in Monroe County, Alabama. They had no children living with them. The census taker spelled Hardee with only one “e.”

If I remember correctly, her daddy died in 1856? His will is in an earlier post.


According to the census, in 1880, John Hardee and Sibithia Brooks, both age 54, lived in Beat 12, Monroe County, Alabama. Their post office address was at Dennards Bluff.

John’s half-brother, Bryant Stidwell Hardee, is living next door with his wife and her daughter, Mary (age 5). Bryant Stidwell and Jane’s ages are incorrect and so are his initials. They have him as B.F. Hardee, instead of B.S., but the S. is difficult to read unless you know what you are looking at. Oh Good Lord – they’ve got Sibithia’s name as Cilia. It’s a wonder we are able to find any of them at all!!!


According to the census, in 1880, John Hardee and “Libba” Brooks were both 64 years old and living in Monroe County, Alabama. Both listed their place of birth as Georgia.

Half-brother, Bryant Stidwell Hardee (age 40), was living 3 houses down (with a Kemper in between them, by the way). Living with Bryant Stidwell were his wife, Jane (age 45) and two daughters: Mary P (age 15) and Elmira (age 9). I am assuming Mary P. was Jane’s daughter by a first marriage, since we know Elmira to be Bryant Stidwell’s oldest child and that he had no daughter named Mary.

Between 1899 and 1908

To tell you the truth, I don’t know when either John or Sibithia died. The last record of her is in 1880 and I found a John Hardee marrying a Martha Williamson in Monroe County, Sept. 1, 1895. I seem to remember that our Joel died Dec. 22, 1897. Brothr John died between 1899 and 1908. The last wedding he performed, that I have a record of, was Feb. 9, 1899, when he married Whitman Cotton and Sarah Brooks. I believe both John and Sibithia died in Monroe County, Alabama, and I suspect that John died in 1900. Both John and Sibithia were dead by the time of the 1908 to 1959 Alabama Death Index.


Bryant Stidwell Hardee lived on until Oct. 1, 1922. He died in Monroe County, Alabama. His death is recorded there in Volume: 37 Roll: 2 Page #: 18265

It is hard to get a handle on this group because Sibithia’s brother-in-law, that Litz fella, was a Mormon and baptized most of her family into the Mormon Church. I don’t know that John changed from Methodist to Mormon. I can find no record of it – and somehow doubt such would occur. However, Bryant Stidwell Hardee was buried in the Mormon Cemetery, so it is anybody’s guess.

Monroe & Connecuh County Marriage Records for Brooks: 1833 – 1880
Marriage Books in Monroe County Probate Office and Driver Family Bible
By: Lucy Wiggins Colson and Robert Ellis Colson
Abstracted by: Linda Lambert 9/10/2005

Feb. 15, 1834 John Hardee married Sibithi Brooks
Wedding Performed by: ???
Surety: Joel Hardee

April 15, 1834 Daniel McKinzie married Sarah Brooks
Wedding Performed by Daniel P. Wright, JP
Surety: Rolling Griffin

March 27, 1838 Allen Brooks married Melinda Mims
Wedding Performed by: H.E. Courtney
Surety: L. Sawyer

Sept. 1, 1843 Green Roberts married Mary Brooks
Wedding Performed by: ???
Surety: Warren Allen
This is Sibithia’s sister

July 30, 1848 Charles Brooks married Margaret Mims
Wedding Performed by: John Fore, JP
Surety: James O’Neil

March 2, 1851 Samuel Brooks married Eliza McClammy
Wedding Performed by: W.M. Longmire, JP
W.H. Loveless written in Comment Column

July 5, 1852 Stephen Frederick married Mrs. Elizabeth Brooks
Wedding Performed by: Hugh Rankin, JP
Surety: B.C. Cotton

July 18, 1855 Enoch Hicks married Frances Brooks
Wedding Performed by: William Longmire, JP
Surety: Charles Brooks

Oct. 15, 1855 John Brooks married Elizabeth Grimes
Wedding Performed by: S.A. Farmer, MG
Surety: John DeLoach

Nov. 2, 1860 George W. Brooks married Martha Harris
Wedding Performed by: J.R. Watson, JP
Surety: Evant Brooks
Wedding took place in the home of J.R. Watson, JP
This JP is some of Isabella's folks.

Feb. 11, 1865 John N. Hawkins married Mary Rebecca Brooks
Wedding Performed by: Nathan Coker, JP
Surety: Robert Pugh

August 19, 1869 James Sawyer Brooks married Mary Jane Driver
Wedding Performed by Joel Hardee
Surety: W.H. Patrick

August 10, 1873 Edward F. Brooks married M.M. Gunn
Wedding Performed by John Hardee, JP
Surety: Allen M. Gunn, father of the bride.
Wedding took place in the home of the bride’s father.

August 24, 1873 George W. Brooks married Hulda A. Gunn
Wedding Performed by John Hardee, JP
Surety: John Hardee
Wedding took place in the home of the bride’s father,
Allen M. Gunn.

Nov. 14, 1875 Gaston G. Booker married Parmelia Brooks
Wedding Performed by: William J. Booker
Wedding took place in the home of the bride’s father.

Sept. 12, 1876 John S. Brooks married Narcis A. Skinner
Wedding Performed by John Hardee, JP
Wedding took place in the home of the bride’s mother.

Dec. 13, 1877 Thomas Driver married Nancy Jane Brooks
Wedding Performed by: Joel Hardee, JP
Surety: J.S. Brooks (brother? Or father?)
Wedding took place in the home of James Brooks

Dec. 14, 1879 Dave R. Griffin married Margaret Brooks
Wedding Performed by: John Parrett, JP
Surety: John Hardee
Wedding took place in the home of John Hardee

Dec. 12, 1880 George W. Stuckey married Mattie Brooks
Wedding Performed by: William Booker, MG
Wedding took place in the home of Samuel Brooks

1882 Robert Henry Brooks married Betty Ann Mathews

Feb. 9, 1899 Whitman Cotton married Sarah Brooks
Wedding Performed by: John Hardee, JP

Tabitha Brooks was Joel’s step-mother
Joel is marrying the Brooks who are in Tabitha’s family

August 19, 1869 James Sawyer Brooks married Mary Jane Driver
Dec. 13, 1877 Thomas Driver married Nancy Jane Brooks

Feb. 15, 1834 John Hardee married Sibithi Brooks
John is marrying the Brooks who are in Sibithia’s family.

August 10, 1873 Edward F. Brooks married M.M. Gunn
August 24, 1873 George W. Brooks married Hulda A. Gunn
Sept. 12, 1876 John S. Brooks married Narcis A. Skinner
Dec. 14, 1879 Dave R. Griffin married Margaret Brooks @ John’s home
Feb. 9, 1899 Whitman Cotton married Sarah Brooks

More marriages performed by Joel and John – or related in some way.

Some Monroe County Marriage Records, 1894 - 1896, Monroe, Alabama
Contributed by: Kay Cobb

PAGE 460

PAGE 471

PAGE 489

PAGE 494

PAGE 508

PAGE 509

PAGE 512
JOHN HARDEE TO MARTHA WILLIAMSON SEPTEMBER 1,1895 J.H.KEARLEY J.P. Was this our John? or a younger John?
PAGE 530

The Pitt Association Pledge of Allegiance

WE the free holders and inhabitants of the county of Pitt and town of Martinborough being deeply affected with the present alarming state of the province and all America do resolve that we will pay all due allegiance to his Majesty King George the Third and endeavor to continue the succession of his Crown in the illustrious House of Hanover as by law established against the present or any future wicked ministry or arbitrary set of men whatsoever at the same time we are determined to assert our rights as men and sensible that by the later acts of Parliament the most valuable liberties and priveleges of America are invaded and endeavor to be violated and destroyed and that under God the preservation of them depends on a firm union of the inhabitants and a sturdy spirited observation of the resolutions of the general Congress being shocked at the cruel scenes now acting in the Massachusetts Bay and determined never to become slaves to any power upon earth we do hereby agree and associate under all types of religion, honour, and regard for posterity that we will adopt and endeavor to execute the measure which the general Congress now sitting at Philadelphia conclude on for preserving our Constitution and opposing the execution of the several arbitrary illegal acts of the British Parliament and that we will readily observe the directions of our general committee for the purpose aforesaid the preservation of peace and good order and security of individuals and private property.

Martinborough 1st July 1775

John SIMPSON, Chairman Amos ATKINSON, Benjamin MAY, Edmund WILLIAMS, John FLEMING, Robert GRIMMER, William ROBSON, Allen SUGG, Samuel BARROW, William TRAVIS, Arthur FORBES, James GORHAM, Richard GRICE, Richard REVES, John ROBSON, Joel SUGG, Richard MOTE, Dennis CANNON, James LANIER, David PERKINS, Nathaniel GODLEY, Simon POPE, Jesse JOLLY, George EVANS, Lazarus PEARCE, Archibald ADAMS, James LOCKHART, John FRY, Edward SALTER, John EVANS, Godfree*********, William GRAVES, Thomas HARDEE, Benjamin BROWN, Thomas GOFF, Mathias MOORE, James ARMSTRONG, Thomas WOLFENDEN, Robert SALTER, ***** MOORE, Henry JONES, James MAY Jr, Patrick LACEY, William OSBURN, John HARDEE Jr, George MOYE, Mathias STURDIVANT, John ENLOE, Robert DIXON, WILLIAM BRYAN, John WILLIAMS, Marcus STOKES, Frederick GIBBIE, William JONES, Joseph GAINER, Absolom RODGER, Thomas ALBRITTON, John MOYE, ROBERT HODGES, John HARDEE, Solomon SHEPHERD, Benjamin BLOUNT, William WHITFIELD, James HANCOCK, George MOYE Jr, Walter DIXON, John CASON, John MOYE Jr, Lemuel CHERRY, John MOORING, John BARBER, Henry WILLIAMSON, Samuel, WARREN, Henry ELLIS, Dempsie GRIMES, William GRANBRAY, John BOWERS, Thomas GWATNEY, Peter RIVES, George F******, John LESLIE, Howell HODGES, John SMITH, James BROOKS, Richard WILLIAMS, William SURNEY, Abraham ADAMS, John TILGHMAN

One year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia these brave patriots assembled in Pitt County Courthouse and in peril of their lives pledged allegiance to the Pitt Association in protest against British tyranny. Their early resolute action place Pitt County in the forefront of the colonial movements for freedom which led North Carolina to become the first colony to vote explicit sanction to American independence. This plaque is hanging in the Pitt County Courthouse.

William and Sarah Brooks, John & Sibithia

Latest "best guess"... and this is not set in stone... BUT - I think Tabitha's mother was a half-sister to Peggy Mitchell. Peggy Mitchell was Tabitha Brooks' aunt. So - Tabitha was a Brooks/Mitchell... making both sets of John Ziba's children "kin" on their Drury Mitchell side, as well as on their John Ziba Hardee side. Now just how "cool" is THAT!?

Last night, I have no clue where my mind was. Tonight (a) I know who Peggy Mitchell was... daughter of Drury B. Mitchell and Sarah Patsy Taylor! Can't prove a word of it... but that's who she was...

AND - I know who the 4th Brooks brother was! He was the father-in-law of our own (missing brother) John Hardee!

Brooks Brother #1: Benjamin Franklin Brooks, b. 1789-ish, married Priscilla Sawyer in - guess where? - Baldwin County, Georgia!

Brother #2: John Sawyer Brooks, b. 1796, married (hold onto your hat) Rebecca Mitchell - daughter of Drury Mitchell and his second wife.

Brother #3: Samuel Brooks married - guess who? - Lucy Amanda Mitchell - also daughter of Drury Mitchell and his second wife.

Brother #4: William Brooks married Sarah, but, last night - I didn't think I knew anything about them. That isn't true! I've known about them for WEEKS! These are Sibithia's parents! Inlaws to our previously "missing" John Hardee, son of John Ziba and brother of Joel!

Source: Deed Book A Page 154
Written: January 11, 1856
Court of Probate
Estate of Wm. Brooks,deceased

This day came Henry Brooks,adm. for the Estate of Wm. Brooks,dec'd. Green Roberts is hereby appointed adm. for the minor heirs of said estate,County Court of Grimes Co. Texas as guardian for Henry,James,Thomas & Elbert Roberts,minor children of Mary Roberts,dec'd.
$3616.30 to Sarah Brooks,widow
544.35 to Permelia Patrick
438.85 to James Brooks
438.85 to John Hardee & wife Sibithia
438.85 to Green Roberts,grd.of Henry,Samuel,Thomas & Elbert Roberts,minors.
To Henry Brooks 438.85
William A. Litz & wife Rebecca 438.85
Samuel Brooks 438.85 Court adjourns[?] C.H. Foster,Judge

Now - I'll tell you all about that Litz fella when I write the story of John Hardee and Sibithia's life... but for now - we're looking for Tabitha.

There were 4 Brooks brothers... Tabitha didn't belong to Benjamin Franklin... and didn't belong to William... so that leaves John Sawyer Brooks and Samuel Brooks as possible fathers for Tabitha Brooks... and isn't it interesting that both are married to half-sisters of our own Peggy Mitchell???

I also found a fella by the name of William Crawford Brooks, b. 1813, married Mary Timmons. He was born in the wrong place, but the list of his children sounds an awful lot like Tabitha's... so I'm going to take a hard look at him too ... as a possible brother??? At this point, I'm grabbing the shirt collar of every Brooks I can find.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Search for Peggy and Tabitha

If you want to see why most genealogists are (a) nuts and (b) addicted to this stuff, take a look at this.

There was a fella named John Ziba Hardee, supposedly born about 1782, probably in Pitt County, NC. John Ziba's oldest boy was Joel, born in 1814, in (I guess) Baldwin County, GA. Joel's baby boy was John Hamp, born in 1846. John Hamp named his first two children Robert and James. John Ziba also named a son Bryant.

Ok - now watch this... There was a fella named James Brooks, born in 1783. James, as well as his offspring, had a tendency to give "J-names" to his sons. He had a son, Joel, born in 1803 - and Joel Brooks' oldest child was John H. James Brooks also had a son named James, born in 1818 - who had sons named Bryant, b. 1843, and Robert, b. 1845.

...and these people are ALL - by this time, living in and around Baldwin County, Georgia and moving over to Monroe County, Alabama... yep... its gonna get sticky...

You're not crazy yet? Ok - no problem... here's another "dose"... take a look at THIS!!!

We have 4 Brooks Brothers to look at... Benjamin Franklin Brooks, b. 1789-ish, married Priscilla Sawyer in - guess where? - Baldwin County, Georgia! Brother 2: John Sawyer Brooks, b. 1796, married (hold onto your hat) Rebecca Mitchell. Brother 3: Samuel Brooks married - guess who? - Lucy Amanda Mitchell. Brother 4: William married Sarah, but I don't know anything about them.

...and along comes John Ziba Hardee and marries both Peggy Mitchell in Baldwin County, Georgia, in 1813, and Tabitha Brooks, in Monroe County, Alabama in 1825. ...and look in Joel Hardee's children and grandchildren. Is that an Amanda and a Lucy I see? I know Peggy Mitchell and Tabitha Brooks are kin... just as sure as I'm sitting in this chair!

Now - this is what I need... I need somebody with the last name of Mitchell... born in the 1780s - probably... with daughters named Rebecca, Lucy Amanda, and Margaret/Martha/Peggy... they need to live in - or near - Baldwin County, in the early 1800s... and it wouldn't hurt if they were from Chatham County, NC, and/or Edgefield County, SC.

...and I'll tell you something else... that James Sawyer Brooks who married Ann Knight and his son, who married Mary Ann Driver... they're mixed up in this some kind of way too... They lived in Midway and if Tabitha's line didn't keep using the name Sawyer, I'll eat my hat!

Somebody else needs to try looking at all of this with fresh eyes. I'm probably looking right at the solution but, because I've been "on the hunt" for so many years, I can't see what's right in front of me.

Monday, January 22, 2007

John Ziba Hardee Family

I am often amazed at the way the descendants of John Ziba Hardee seem to find each other and find a way to stay connected. If we count the newest generation, this is now eight generations of this man's descendants that are still coming together for reunions. How many other families do you know of who can say that?

I am starting this blog so that we will have a means of posting messages to the entire family. I have to take the website's guest book down because so many people are posting those awful drug ads in every guest book on the web. I'll save the real messages and repost them here.

I am also starting this blog so that I can ask for help in finding the parents of Peggy Mitchell and Tabitha Brooks. I have recently learned some surprising information that should lead us to their origins. I will write another entry just about that and hope that the rest of the family searchers will help me look for them.

This is your blog as much as it is mine, so leave a message and keep in touch. With luck, we'll find Peggy and Tabitha before the reunion in June.