George W Brooks was born 21 May 1808 in Richmond, Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States to Zachariah Brooks (1782-) and Sarah McGill (1786-) and died 1 February 1887 Harwood, Gonzales County, Texas, United States of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Ann Nancy Clayton (1815-1861) 19 April 1831 in Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi. He married Rachel Ann Jane Rhodes (1841-1914) 10 August 1864 in Clinton, DeWitt County, Texas.
George Washington Brooks was born May 21, 1808 in Virginia, the sixth of seven children born to Zachariah Brooks and Sarah McGill. Although born in Virginia, Backman and Cook refer to him as a native of Jefferson County, Mississippi, so it is likely that he spent some of his youth in that southern state.
The 1830's saw a great Protestant religious revival sweep across the United States that was called the "Second Great Awakening" and was characterized by much emotional preaching, spiritual and social reform movements and a surge in membership growth for a great many Christian denominations.
This period also saw the rise of a new Church of Christ that was organized in early 1830 by its young prophet-leader, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), and after 1838 was formally named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This church group was frequently called the "Mormon Church" or "Latter-day Saints" (LDS) for its belief in a new set of holy scriptures called "The Book of Mormon". For better or worse, this new religion generated a lot of attention in this region.
Missionaries of this church taught that it was not a reform movement or protest movement but a "restoration" of the original church with completeness of the full of doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ including the ministering of angels, the restored priesthood, lost scripture, revelations, prophecy, living apostles, the gifts of the spirit and much more. This message had profound impact on many who subsequently left all to follow the Prophet and the Church. In many cases their faith was so strong as to push these early converts to endure many difficult hardships and sacrifices and to eventually journey over a thousand miles westward to settle in the Great Salt Lake Valley. (See also New Religion (LDS 1830).)
George joined the Church as a young man, for he participated in Zions Camp in 1834 at the age of twenty-six. He must have participated with valor and honor for he was ordained an Elder the next year in 1835.
One of the most interesting episodes in the early history of LDS Church was the march of Zion's Camp (1834). The members of the Church in Missouri were being persecuted, and the Prophet Joseph made it a matter of prayer and received a revelation on February 24, 1834. The Lord instructed the Prophet to assemble at least one hundred young and middle-aged men and to go to the land of Zion, or Missouri. (See D&C 130:19–34.)
Zion’s Camp, a group of approximately one hundred and fifty men, gathered at Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1834 and marched to Jackson County, Missouri. By the time they reached Missouri, the camp had increased to approximately two hundred men.
LDS Quorum of Seventy
Created by the Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith (1805-1844) in early 1835, the Quorum of Seventy was to act as traveling and presiding ministers for the newly created The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many of these men performed notable works for the early church, living near then church headquarters in Kirtland, Ohio. The Quorum of Seventy itself did not meet as a governing body of the church and was not renewed until reorganized by the church in 1976.
Later that same year George was ordained a Seventy and called to the First Quorum of the Seventy thus earning a position in the ranks of the General Authorities. He received a licence to preach at Kirtland 31 Mar 1836.
As Kirtland slipped into the grasp of the Great Apostasy of 1837 and 1838, George remained faithful to the Gospel and the Prophet and was thus obliged to flee the persecutions of the apostates then reigning in Kirtland. He signed the Kirtland Camp Constitution in and migrated to Missouri, arriving in 1838. With the saints he suffered the extreme persecutions of Missouri culminating in Goveror Hale Boggs infamous "Extermination Order."
Move to Texas
The Daughter of Texas has commemorated George for his participation in the battle for Texas Independence (1845). There is no evidence that he ever went to Utah. Instead, family records indicate that all children were born in Texas.
Elder Brooks died in Harwood, Gonzales Co, Texas on February 1,1887. Since his second marriage took place in Texas and most of his family died in Texas, we may assume that the family had moved there on a permanent basis.
Marriage and Family
George married Eliza Ann Clayton on April 19, 1831 in Rodney, Jefferson County Mississippi. The Ancestral File lists thirteen children of this union.
After Eliza's death in 1861 near Clinton, Texas, George married Rachel Ann Jane Rhode or Roach on August 10, 1864.
|Offspring of George W Brooks and Elizabeth Ann Nancy Clayton (1815-1861)|
|Mary Catherine Brooks (1832-1904)|
|Francis Ann Brooks (1836-1875)|
|Eliza Brooks (1838-)|
|Beverly Baker Brooks (1839-1893)|
|Andrew Jackson Brooks (1841-1846)|
|James Madison Brooks (1843-1914)|
|Sarah E Brooks (1843-)|
|George Washington Brooks (1844-1892)|
|Josephus Brooks (1845-1914)|
|L Anthara Brooks (1847-1940)|
|Alpha Omega Brooks (1850-1880)|
|Old Texas Brooks (1852-1926)|
|Charlotte H Brooks (1857-1901)|
|Offspring of George W Brooks and Rachel Ann Jane Rhodes (1841-1914)|
|A Sarah Roach (1861-)|
|John Pinckney Brooks (1865-1955)|
|Charles David Brooks (1867-1937)|
|Coletta Minerva Brooks (1871-)|
- Location: Harwood Cemetery at Harwood, Texas