My fartherest-back Brookins is Robert E. Brookins/Brookings/Brooken (he and his family used all these spellings) born about 1820 in GA. He shows up on 1860 and 1870 Jefferson Co FL censuses (he seems to be deceased by 1880), and a marriage record from 1850 Crawford Co, GA.
Family history has it that Robert's daughter, Rebecca, my great-grandmother, was at least part-Indian. Any other Brookins stories like this?
There doesn't seems to be very many Brookins (any spelling) in south GA-north FL before the Civil War. On the 1870 census, there seems to be at least as many Black and Mulatto Brookins as White ones, in both areas. I haven't found a Brookins with a lot of slaves (one has two), so I wonder where the Black & Mulatto Brookins came from. On that 1860 census, Robert E. is listed as an overseer. My thought is that maybe some of his charges liked him enough to take his name when freed.
Another explanation is that all the Brookins - Black, White and Mulatto were all tri-racially mixed people - Black, White and Red - and that some managed to "pass" and others didn't. This wasn't that uncommon a situation as high school history and Hollywood would have us believe.
Jackie Buzbee Davis
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