Thomas R. Dudley of the Jerry Brooks branch

Dr. Gwneth Davis of  the Winnie Brooks branch

Dominique Bess of Jerry Brooks branch


  This website is dedicated to the memories of Sarah Brooks, c1787-c1840, and two of her great granddaughters, Lily May Brooks Whitworth of Crowder Mountain  and Sara Ann Brooks Davis of High Point. Sarah, abandoned at four years of age by her mother around 1791 in Baltimore, Maryland struggled to survive in the strange territory of Rutherford County, North Carolina as a bond-servant who was passed from one white family to the next for over seventeen years. Her servitude as a mulatto orphan to those families was such that she grew up believing she was a slave. In 1808, at twenty-one years of age, she  not only  learned that she was a “free person of color”,  but  she also learned of her Baltimore birth and subsequent abandonment. From there, she pursued a life of which we have very few details. We have, however, learned much about the lives of  her offspring, Jerry, Winnie,  John, Nathaniel and Daniel.  Those remarkable five children of Sarah and her, as yet, unknown slave partner, whose memory and spirit lingers on five generations later,  made an indelible mark on the culture and landscape of many counties in the Piedmont region of western North Carolina.

   Her  two great granddaughters, Lily and Sara ,  may not have known each other. However, it is certain that  Lily, my grandmother known far and wide as “Mama Lily”, knew of Sara’s father, Daniel Brooks, 1837 - 1933, a noted Methodist Episcopal minister and veteran of the Confederate army.   Only  because Lily and Sara, 2nd cousins descended  from the oldest of Sarah’s children, Jerry and Winnie,  worked with  diligence and discipline to document the folklore they heard, is this website possible.

Lily May Brooks Whitworth

 Jan 25, 1893 - Sep 15, 1986

Sara Ann Brooks Davis

 Sep 26, 1888 - May 1, 1974