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Still looking - Martha FORTSON, b. 1801, m. Brookin
Posted by: Richard lake (ID *****8414) Date: November 13, 2005 at 10:10:06
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See my message post #70. I am still seeking any clues which might shed light on the ancestry of my 3rd gr-grandmother, Martha Fortson Brookin. According to family history and her tombstone, Martha Fortson was born 10 August 1801. Based upon census records and family lore, Martha was born in Virginia and probably married Samuel Brookin in Virginia ca. 1817-1820. The couple left Virginia sometime in the 1820s, possibly spending some time in Alabama and then settling in Nashville, TN by 1830. They are enumerated in the 1830 census for Robertson County, TN. Around 1833 they further migrated to Little Rock, AR. Martha's husband died of cholera the day they arrived by flatboat. She never remarried. Martha died 31 May 1873. Her obit, typical for the time, offers little info.

The only real clue I have comes from a letter written by my grandmother's cousin back in the early 1960s. She writes that "soon after they moved to town Grandma Brookin's brother Stephen from Virginia going to Texas on some sort of business trip with two or three other men came to see her, and brought her some money, her share of the family estate when their parents died. He spent a few hours with her and promised to stop for a longer visit on the return trip, but he was never heard from again, and it was thought they were probably all killed by Indians. They were making the trip by horseback." I don't know exactly when this visit took place and can only guesstimate sometime between 1835 and perhaps late 1840s or early 1850s. Pure conjecture.

Thus, according to this story, Martha had a brother named Stephen. In checking census records for Virginia I have found a Stephen Fortson enumerated in 1820, Louisa County, VA. This Stephen's age range is "of 26 and under 45" so its conceivable that he might by the brother mentioned. In the same census, Louisa County, is enumerated a William Fortson age range "of 45 and upwards" so the natural question is how or if these guys are connected. Is William the father of Stephen? Or an uncle? Has anyone out there done any research on these fellows?

I haven't done much work on this line but perhaps some little clue might give me some incentive to pursue Martha Fortson's family. Any help or suggestions appreciated.


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