BROOKS, Michael, of Westchester, Ontario and Genesee Counties NY

Michael Brooks was born in Salem, Westchester County, New York, ca 1758, the son of Ebenezer3 and Elizabeth (Loder) Brooks.[1] He died after the 1835, when he was in Covington, Genesee Co NY.[2] His residence in 1830 is not clear; he was not a head of household.

He married at Salem, 2 Oct 1777 Elizabeth Boughton, or Bouton. Elizabeth was born in Westchester County, ca 1751, and christened there 19 Dec 1756, the daughter of Ezra and Mary (Boughton) Boughton.[3] Elizabeth and her husband Michael Brooks signed a deed among the heirs of Ezra Boughton in 1796.[4] She is not identified in any census after 1820.

Michael served in the Second Regiment of Westchester County during the Revolutionary War.[5] His and his brother John’s pension files indicate he was accidentally shot by his brother, John Brooks.

Michael Brooks was a tailor by trade. In 1799, the North Congregational Society, Bloomfield NY, gave him a $2.66 assessment, along with Zera Brooks and several Boughtons. He bought land in Ontario Co NY: 1808 Brooks, Michael from Howe, Joel. 13:184; 1816 Brooks, Michael from Embree, Effingam. 25: 252.

According to Town of Victor, Early Settlers of Ontario Co NY, excerpted from the History of Ontario County, compiled by Lewis Cass Aldrich, 1893: “The pioneers in District No. 1 and Victor village were few since they were extensive landowners. Among them are Peter Turner, Isaac Root, Israel Blood, Joel Hart, Samuel Burgman, Samuel Rawson, and Michael Brooks.”[6]

Asa Brooks, a probable son of Michael and Elizabeth, stated that he was the first white baby born in Buffalo, “the area outside Fort Niagara.”[7] Asa was born ca 1792, and Michael Brooks’s family is known to have been in western New York State at a very early date.

No record that gives the names of Michael’s children has been found, although he was the only Brooks in that location at that early date. Identifications given here are based on proximity and family characteristics, such as naming, economic standing and residence. In Bouton, Boughton and Farnam families, “History of Victor,” Willis A Boughton does not mention the Brooks family other than to state that Zera Brooks and Birdseye Brooks married Boughton women.[8]

In 1790, Michael had three sons and two daughters. By 1800, he had a numerous family or several hired laborers, as many as seven sons and two daughters.[9] Other Brooks families in Ontario in that year were in other townships and can be placed in other, known Brooks families; these were Ananiah, Austin, John and Joseph.

Again in 1810, we find in Ontario Co NY, p 124: Michael Brooks, 01121/00101. Thus, that year there were four sons and one daughter. Son Zera had his own household. Enoch, Ezra, Jared and Asa were likely living at home.[10] Also in the same township was a new settler from Connecticut, Micah Brooks, whose family is well documented.

In 1820, Michael had moved to Covington Township, Genesee Co NY, where he and his wife lived alone: 000001/00001. Enoch Brooks was still in Victor Township, Ontario Co NY: 30001/; Ezra Brooks is still in Victor, Ontario Co: 100110/00100. And daughter Pruella and her husband, John Lusk, were in Victor, Ontario Co NY: 41010/000010. Asa was in Chautauqua Co: 100010/11100.

After 1830, the parents do not head a household, and the children are spreading farther away from any centrally located “family home.”

  • Zera Brooks had died in 1818 or earlier in Ontario Co NY. A possible son or nephew Zera Brooks, born 1817, was residing in 1867 in Erie Co NY.
  • Hiram Brooks was in Covington Twp, Genesee Co NY in 1820; or was Michael’s possible son Hiram the man in Bloomfield, Ontario Co NY? (see below).
  • Enoch Brooks stayed in Victor through 1820 and 1830.
  • Asa Brooks stayed in Chautauqua County until after 1830.
  • Ezra Brooks stayed in Victor through 1820 and 1830. He was four houses away from his likely brother Enoch. He is probably buried in Village Cemetery, in Victor, Ontario County NY. ( Ezra Brooks, died 5 xxx 1835, ae 36 yrs.
  • Pruella (Brooks) Lusk died in 1823 in Victor Twp, Ontario Co NY. Her widower, John Lusk married second Dinah (Boughton) Brooks in Royalton OH.

Clues to our Brooks family descendants are found in residence in Bloomfield Township or Victor, NY, marriages to members of the Boughton/Bouton family, and names they gave their own children. At least one member of a different family named a son Asa Brooks Crane, after a different Asa, who resided in Batavia NY. These are probably the children of Michael and Elizabeth (Boughton) Brooks:

  1. Zera BROOKS was born before 1784. Zera died in Ontario Co NY, before 1818; before 1812, he married Dinah BOUGHTON, daughter of Eleazar BOUGHTON & Deborah BENEDICT. Born on 10 Oct 1790. Dinah married (2) John Lusk on 6 Jul 1823, and they moved to Michigan; where she died in Calhoun Co MI, on 21 May 1856. John Lusk’s first wife was Pruella Brooks, Dinah’s sister-in-law. Zera and Dinah had one child:
    1. Nancy Brooks (1812-)
  2. Hiram BROOKS, possibly. Assuming that no “non-paternal event” was involved, recent DNA results make it unlikely the man who later lived in Henderson Co IL was a son of Michael and Elizabeth.[11] There was a Hiram Brooks in Bloomfield, Ontario Co NY in 1820 and 1830, with a probable son Charles, who may have been a son of Michael.
  3. Enoch BROOKS was born after 1790. Enoch was living in 1830 in Ontario Co NY.
  4. Asa BROOKS was born in 1792 in area outside of Buffalo NY. Asa died in Fosterburg, Madison Co IL, on 6 Feb 1849; he was 57. Buried in Brooks Cemetery, Madison Co IL. Occupation: Carried the mail between Buffalo and Portland;. 1830 census: Chautauqua Co NY: Asa Brooks, 231001/101001. 1840 census: Madison Co IL, p 148: Asa Brooks, 1023001/211001; 1840 Veterans Census. In 1815/1818 when Asa was 23, he married Anna JOY, daughter of David JOY (a proven Mayflower descendant) and Mary DICKINSON, in NY. Born in 1795 in Putney, Windham Co VT. Anna died in Fosterberg, Madison Co IL, in 1845/1848. They reportedly had 18 children,[12] but censuses and Asa’s estate show the following children:
    1. Barton Brooks (1817-ca1848) Since Asa and his wife could not read or write, this is assumed to be an Illinois spelling or the New England pronunciation of the name, Boughton or Bouton.
    2. Mary Brooks (1819-)
    3. Charles Hiram Brooks (1821-1861) This man may indicate a connection to the Hiram and Charles Brooks of Ontario Co NY.
    4. David J[oy] Brooks (1823-1867)
    5. Joshua P Brooks (1824-)
    6. Harriett M Brooks (1825-<1867)
    7. Sylvanus Brooks (1827-)
    8. (son) (1828-<1849)
    9. Lucy Ann Brooks (1830-)
    10. (daughter) (1832-<1849)
    11. (daughter) (1834-<1849)
    12. Elias Fort Brooks (1835-1907)
    13. Frances Brooks (1837-1917)
    14. Hannah Foster Brooks (1839-)
    15. Permelia Brooks (1840-)
    16. Asa Brooks (1843-1880)
  5. Ezra BROOKS was born in 1790-1800. Ezra died in Victor, Ontario Co NY, 5 xxx 1835.
  6. Jared BROOKS was born in 1790-1800. His wife, Mary Ann, died in Victor, Ontario Co NY, 28 May 1841, ae 30 yrs.
  7. Pruella BROOKS was born ca 1790s. Pruella died in Victor, Ontario Co NY, on 13 Mar 1823; she was 33. On 10 Oct 1808, she married John LUSK. Born in say 1780s. John died in Marengo, Calhoun Co MI, on 10 Jan 1873. They had the following children:
    1. Augustus Lusk (1809-1892)
    2. Jason Lusk (1811-)
    3. Thomas Lusk (1814-)
    4. John Lusk (1817-)
    5. William Lusk (1819-)
    6. Jared Lusk (1821-)
    7. Ezra Lusk (1823-)

John Lusk also married #2 Dinah (Boughtonn) Brooks, widow of Zera Brooks, by whom he had six or more children, and #3 Caroline (Force) Lusk, the widow of his brother Ira.


Addendum: The following are not believed to be children of Michael and Elizabeth:

  • Birdsey BROOKS was born ca 1781 in CT. Birdsey died in Oakland Co MI, on 5 Dec 1851; he was 70. Buried in Mt Avon Cemetery. Occupation: 1814, Justice Of The Peace, Bloomfield, Ontario Co NY; 1817, Assistant Justice. Birdsey married Huldah BOUGHTON, daughter of Hezekiah BOUGHTON Jr & Huldah WILSON. She was born ca 1786 in West Stockbridge MA. They had the following children:
  1. Huldah Ann Brooks (1812-)
  2. Amanda Brooks (1810-)
  3. Birdsey Brooks Jr
  4. Portia Maria Brooks (1807-1850)
  5. Charlotte Brooks (ca 1816-)
  6. Eliza Brooks
  7. Henry Brooks
  8. Edward Brooks (ca 1826-)
  9. William Brooks (ca 1830-)
  • Hiram BROOKS was born on 13 Mar 1784. As indicated above, DNA testing of a son’s descendants has shown this man not to be connected to the Deerfield/Fairfield/Victor Brooks family. Hiram died in Henderson Co IL, on 1 Oct 1846; this is near his previously presumed brother, Asa Brooks, in Madison Co IL. 1830 Perry Twp, Genesee Co NY, p 260, Hiram Brooks: 2120001/010001.1840 Warren Co IL: 00301001/0101001, a few houses aways from John S Peasley. Buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, Henderson Co IL. Before 1818, he married Sarah PEASLEY. Born in 1794 in Weare NH. Sarah died in Kansas City MO, after 1860. They had the following children:
  1. Benjamin Franklin Brooks (1818-1862)
  2. Francis William Brooks (1820-1869)
  3. Laura Calpurnia Brooks (ca 1822-1875)
  4. James Carr Brooks (1824-1897)
  5. Edwin Hiram Brooks (1827-1901)
  6. Lafayette Brooks (1830-1899)
  7. Frances Brooks (ca 1834-)
  • Polly BROOKS, probably a daughter of Asa Brooks of Batavia NY, was born on 24 Dec 1789. Polly died on 19 Mar 1834. On 1 Jun 1810 when Polly was 20, she married Amherst CRANE. Born on 2 Jun 1787 in Simsbury, Hartford Co CT. Amherst died on 10 Jun 1861. Among their children was:
  1. Asa Brooks Crane (1830-1859)

© Kathy Alvis Patterson 2008

[1] Infants Baptized South Salem Church, Westchester Co NY, 1752 – 1823, p 35: Sep 17, 1758 Michael, John & Ebenezer, children of Ebenezer Brooks Jr. on his wife’s account.

[2] Revolutionary War pension application, Publication Number: M804. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. NARA M804. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. State: New York. Veteran Surname Starts With: B. Veteran Surname: Brooks. Veteran Given Name: Michael. Pensioner Surname: [BLANK] Pensioner Given Name: [BLANK] Service: New York. Pension Number: S. 28,341

[3] Baptized South Salem Church, Westchester Co NY, 1752 – 1823, 19 Dec 1756, Betty, daughter of Ezra Bouton.

[4] Bouton-Boughton family: descendants of John Bouton, a native of France, who embarked from Gravesend, Eng., and landed at Boston in December, 1635 and settled at Norwalk, Ct.. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1890, p 605: 1796. Mar 21. Jachin Bouton, Michael Brooks, Betty Brooks, Ezra Bouton and Enoch Bouton, quit claimed twelve acres of land in the parish of Canaan, in Norwalk, to Daniel Weed.

[5] Genealogical Records: New York, 1675-1920; Event: Lived in 1776; Westchester Co; Second Regiment; Source: New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, Vol. I – Extracts; J. B. Lyon Co., Albany, NY, 1904, p 207.


[7] Historical Sketches of the Town of Portland (NY), by H.C. Taylor, 1873, p. 337.

[8] Bouton, Boughton and Farnam families, Fort Lauderdale FL, 1949, 155ff. Birdseye was not a son of Michael.

[9] Ontario Co NY, Bloomfield Twp, p 403: Michael Brooks, 21311/20010

[10] Ontario Co NY, p 124: Michael Brooks, 01121/00101

[11] It seems unfair to cast aspersions here, but Hiram’s wife, née Sarah Peasley, reportedly “went with Mr. McFee to Kansas, and died there.” Hiram may not have been the biological father of the son or sons whose descendants’ DNA was analyzed.

[12] According to my great-aunt, Nellie Pearl (Alvis) (Becker) Penfield, 1887-1980, who knew her grandmother, Frances (Brooks) (Alvis) Harkey.

Published on August 7, 2008 at 8:29 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Hi,

    I am descendant of Eleazar and Ann Sperry, a formerly of Bloomfield, NY and Framington, Oakland Co., MI.
    Eleazar and Anna had:

    Catherine Brooks Sperry
    Born February 13, 1821 Bloomfield/Canandaigua, NY

    William Sperry
    Born March 28, 1823
    Bloomfield, NY

    Eleazar Sperry, Jr.
    Born February 1831
    Bloomfield, NY
    Died November 5,1846
    Buried at the Miller’s Corner Cemetery, West Bloomfield, NY.

    Eleazar’s wife Anna died young.. Don’t know if she was a Brooks. Their daughter Catherine’s middle name was Brooks. Wonder if Anna connected to Brooks and Boughton.
    There was several Boughton in Farmington, Oakland Co., MI where Sperry lived.
    Hope you will be able to help me to solve some mystery.

    Look forward to hear from you,

    Rex T. Rogers

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