Brock Family

8 Apr 2012

The large family of Brocks in Harlan, Clay, Leslie, and Perry Cos. in S.E. Kentucky descend from Jesse Brock b. 1751, a Revolutionary soldier. Jesse is said in oral tradition to have been the son of Aaron Brock, aka Chief Red Bird. Rumored on early Internet sources to be Aaron's father was a Reuben Brock, a British soldier b. 1680, for whom no evidence can be found of his existence -- he was not mentioned in the few family histories from various branches of descendants; he left no record, received no Patent, and is on no extant militia list, though militia duty was required of all able-bodied males. Neither is any record found of an Aaron Brock in that time period. Only two family histories briefly mention an Aaron Brock in the right time frame, but not as Chief Red Bird. However, there are numerous descendants of Jesse Brock named Aaron, and numerous mentions of Chief Red Bird.

Brock descendants who have been tested using the DNA Print (autosomal) type tests show a percentage of Native American DNA, but proven descendants of sons of Jesse Brock b. 1751, have an exact 67/67 Y-chromosome DNA match to patrilineal descendants of Elder George Brock (b. 1809 Claiborne Co., TN, d. 1879 Laurel Co., KY) -- not previously known to be kinfolk. Results also closely match those of Capt. John Brock b. 1728, James Brock b. 1759, Jeremiah Brock b. 1765, Jehu Brock b. 1787 -- all descendants of George Brock, Sr., who was in New Kent Co., VA (near Jamestown) in 1701. Y-chromosome, patrilineal, is from son to father to father to father, ad infinitum.

To quote familytreedna.com, "A perfect match at sixty-seven markers indicates a common ancestor in very recent times." They are haplogroup J1 (European-Mediterranean ancestry). This indicates their patrilineal ancestor(s) were European Mediterranian. One or more ancestors likely married Native American women.

Brock DNA Project Y-chrome colorized matches chart

Because Native Americans left few written records, didn't use the English calendar or keep track of dates as white people do, it is difficult to prove, but 200+ years of oral tradition that Jesse's father was Chief Red Bird is powerful evidence.

There were two Red Birds, father and son. The one murdered in 1811 was probably the son of the Chief Red Bird murdered in 1796 (proven by letters from TN governor, John Sevier). Both were treaty signers.

Jesse's son Amon Brock married his first cousin, Mary "Molly" or "Polly" Osborn. Her mother Mary "Molly" Bock was Jesse's sister and the daughter of Aaron Brock (Chief Red Bird), so their descendants are double-cousins. Mary Osborn's father Ephraim Brock Jr. served in the Revolution.

Early settlers sometimes went to live with Natives because they loved an Indian maiden, or traded with them, and liked the life. When adopted into the tribe, they had all the rights of any tribal member, including being a chief, and so did their children. I'm convinced Aaron's father and grandfather were George Brock, Jr., and Sr., who was b. abt 1680 and lived in New Kent Co., VA (near Jamestown) until he moved to Albemarle Co., VA, out of which Cumberland Co. was taken. They were the only Brocks in Cumberland Co. when Jesse was born there 1751, and Jesse was said to be "about ¾" Indian.

Some believe that Chief Red Bird was the son of the great Cherokee Chief Willenewa (Great Eagle), and brother of Chief Doublehead, but if so, he was probably adopted. Each tribe of Indians had different customs, but the Cherokee were a matrilineal society, so when a man married, he went to live with his wife's people. Within the Cherokee there were five clans, and Red Bird was Bird Clan.

The Brock DNA Project on familytreedna.com confirmed our belief that not all Brock families from Virginia were related (SEE Earliest Brocks in Virginia pages). Many families whose Y-chromosome DNA is tested have dozens, or hundreds, of matches on the first 12 markers, including other surnames, but patrilineal descendants of Jesse Brock have few -- their only matches on 12 to 67 markers are Brocks, including descendants of George Brock, Sr. (b. ca 1680 of New Kent Co., VA), and Mr. Eusebio Marchosky, whose great-grandfather was a Jewish Rabbi from Poland.

Bennett Greenspan, of familytreedna.com, wrote to Jerry Taylor (administrator of the Brock DNA Project) abt three years ago, "I have looked into a Jewish database that we have and this line IS found as a 12/12 match with 10 people in the database of Jews…One from Turkey (likely Spanish origins) one from Iran, and many from the Island of Majorca from a group of people who where forced to convert to Christianity called the Cheutas. I do not believe that these Brocks are descended from a NA male, rather from a Jewish colonizer of Spanish descent."

I've kept an eye open for any mention of Majorca in my Melungeon readings; haven't found one yet but did find reference to Minorca (another Balearic Island of Spain) in the book by Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, MELUNGEONS: THE LAST LOST TRIBE IN AMERICA.

This is Wikipedia's description of Majorca, and notice it includes Minorca:

Majorca (Spanish and Catalan: Mallorca) is the largest island of Spain. It is located in the Mediterranean Sea and part of the Balearic Islands archipelago (Catalan: Illes Balears, Spanish: Islas Baleares). Like the other Balearic Islands, Ibiza (Catalan: Eivissa), Formentera, and Minorca (Catalan/Spanish: Menorca), the island is a popular tourist destination. In Germany and the United Kingdom, where package tourism to the island started in May 1952, Majorca has remained a popular destination. Since the 1960s, it has also become a synonym for mass tourism. The name derives from Latin insula maior, "larger island"; later Maiorica.

There were Minorcans at Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, Florida.

Jesse Brock (b. 1751 Cumberland Co., VA, d. 1843 Harlan Co., KY) was said by his grandson Elijah Brock about a hundred years ago to be "about 3/4 Indian," so one of Jesse's parents was the child or grand- or great-grandchild of a European immigrant. Elijah did not name Jesse Brock's parents, so perhaps he did not know.

Strong oral tradition in the Brock family is that Aaron Brock was the treaty-signer Chief Red Bird, Tsalagi' Ugvwiyuhi Totsu'hwa, who was murdered in 1797. It is well documented that Chief Red Bird existed, but no historical record has been found of his Aaron Brock name. He apparently had a son Aaron (aka Chief Red Bird) who was murdered in 1811 in KY. His family has for 200 years cared for his burial place as a sacred responsibility. Because the U.S. government took care to obtain the most influential Cherokee to sign treaties, he may have been the unknown-name son of the great Chief Willenewah (Great Eagle) and Woman Ani-Wadi. One son of Willenewah was Chief Doublehead, whose 1st wife was Crete Priber.

Crete Priber's father was Christian Gottlieb Priber who immigrated abt 1735 from Zittau, Germany, and went quickly to live with the Cherokee, which he saw as an idyllic lifestyle. Leaving a wife and children in Germany who he meant to send for, he instead married a daughter of the great Cherokee Chief Moytoy. Her name is unknown, but one of their four daughters married the Chickamaugan Cherokee, Chief Doublehead, who lived in the same area in Kentucky and elsewhere that Aaron Brock lived.

Y-chromosome DNA studies of people believing themselves to be full Native American show a surprising majority of haplotypes common in Europe rather than the expected Native haplotype Q (the most common NA). SEE An excellent article published Nov 2009 by Roberta Estes is, "Where Have all the Indians Gone? Native American Dispersal, Genealogy and DNA in Relation to Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony of Roanoke," in the Journal of Genealogical DNA and related files.

It appears that some man of George Brock Sr's family fathered a child by and probably married a Native woman. That is clear, if Jesse Brock's father was Aaron Brock "Chief Red Bird," for Jesse's descendants (three sons) have Y-chromosome test results matching those of Elder George Brock's descendants (George Sr's great-grandson). They are haplotype J1 rather than Q (the most common NA), while Brock descendants having DNA Print tests do show a percentage of Native American.

The best clue we have to the patrilineage of Jesse Brock is his sworn statement that he was born in Cumberland Co., VA, 8 Dec 1751 -- so his parents or at least his mother had to be there at the time, and used the English calendar. Native Americans did not use the European calendar to keep track of birthdates. The only Brock in Cumberland Co. records at the time was George Brock, the son and/or grandson of George Brock, Sr., from New Kent Co., VA.

Also said to have been born in Cumberland Co. was Mahala Susanna Brock, b. 1749, believed to be sister of Jesse Brock. She married Edward "Ned" Callahan and was called Susan in a descendant's application for Cherokee enrollment, Mahala in the Strong history family history (also nicknamed Sukey). She and Ned Callahan had a child born 1768 in Washington Co., VA; one 1770 in Scott Co., VA; married 1773 in Montgomery Co., VA -- they were brought into court charged with having bastard children and were forced to marry on the spot. Their next three children were born in VA 1776, 1778, 1783; and the next in 1784 was born in NC. Abt 1801 they moved from Russell Co., VA, to Knox Co., KY (now Perry Co.) settling on Grapevine Creek on the N. fork of the Kentucky River. Three of their children had married; they were joined by the Davidson, Strong, and Cornett families.

In 1785, Jesse Brock and Darby Callahan (Ned's father) lived in Guilford Co., NC, and belonged to Matrimony Creek Baptist Church (Jesse was excommunicated in Feb 1785 for swearing profusely). In 1798, Jesse, George, and James Brock were on tax lists of Russell Co., VA. This would be Jesse and his oldest son James (b. 1772-77), and the George Brock whose descendants believe him to be Jesse's son, although he was not named as Jesse's heir in estate records, nor does his descendants' Y-chromosome DNA match descendants of Jesse's three sons' named as his heirs.

Five descendants of (Mahala) Susanna Brock Callahan completed membership applications in the Daughters of the American Revolution saying Susanna's parents were HENRY BROCK and wife Christene _____, the first on 30 Jun 1925 and the most recent on 21 May 1982.

The first was a Supplemental application in 1925 by Miss Laura Cornett Brice, of Marshall, MO, on descent from HENRY BROCK, ASSIGNEE OF GEORGE BROCK of Washington Co., VA, Virginia Line in the Revolutionary War, born ca 1730 in Eastern Virginia, who died after he and wife Christine sold his land in Washington Co. on 28 1801.

Henry's wife's maiden name was Christene (Christianna) Funkhauser, born in Germany, married in 1752, according to a descendant's rootsweb data, or 1782 according toothers. Applicants state that Henry and Christene died aft 28 Feb 1801 in Washington Co., VA, as he was mentioned in his father's will that date; but in fact, they moved to Fayette Co., KY.

Their marriage is listed in U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, published 2004 by Generations Network, Provo, UT [database on-line on ancestry.com], and probably based on these applications.

I have copies of three of the five DAR applications on Henry through Susanna and Ned Callahan's daughter Charlotte, who married Robert Cornett and died in KY. In the section headed "Children of Revolutionary Ancestor," none list any other child of Henry but Susanna Brock who md. Edward Callahan.

The first white settlers arrived in what is present-day Washington Co., VA, in the 1760's. Abingdon, VA, its seat, was known as Wolf Hills before "Abingdon" was selected as the name of the county seat. Washington Co. was formed from Fincastle Co. in 1777, and Abingdon was formed 1778. The original Washington Co. contained some of present-day surrounding counties and what is now Sullivan Co., TN.

There were Funkhousers in Washington Co., VA, by 1772. Early Settlers of Washington Co, VA, before 1772 included William Davidson, William Blanton, two Wilsons, Benjamin Logan who settled Lincoln Co., KY, and three Funkhousers among a large German contingency.

In 1786 the northwestern part of Washington Co. became Russell Co., and JESSE and GEORGE BROCK were on Russell's 1798 taxlist.

1. Miss Laura Cornett Brice's handwritten, notarized, 1925 DAR supplemental application 131491 on the Patriot Henry Brock, Assignee of George Brock, states on p. 3 under Ancester Services that Henry "served in the capacity of soldier of the Virginia Line on Continental Establishment, and received a certificate of 'full pay, Agreeable to an act of Assembly passed at the Virginia session 1781. Nov 26, 1777, he as Assignee of George Brock had land surveyed (by virtue of the Land Office Preemption Warrant No. 2385 - Feb 1783 - in Washington Co., VA, and in 1801 he and Christine his wife sold land in Deed Book 2, p. 404.'

"His daughter Susanna Callahan has an interesting description in the history of Washington Co., VA, by Hon. Lewis Preston Summers, Page 629 --- how she, a shrewd business woman, came into town every Court day to the town of Abingdon --- being perfectly capable of running her own affairs --- her husband Edward Callahan, with his well-taught dog at his heels, would wander off to transact his own business.

"On one occasion, John Campbell, Clerk, rendered her a favor --- fifteen years afterword, John Campbell's son David (Governor Campbell) was riding in that part of the country and was benighted at Susanna (Brock) Callahan's house and she treated him with a kindness and hospitality which, he said, 'I shall never forget and in a manner too which showed she knew how to act her part.'

"In 1825 Elizabeth Callahan married Michael Widener, 'the biggest man physically in Washington Co.,' who was Washington's interpreter, to whom he gave the name 'Mikey.'

"Joel Callahan as Lieutenant at King's Mountain and many Callahans as well as Brocks served in the Revolution."

On p. 4 of the application, she lists the following references:

  • Summers History of Southwest Virginia, p. 629.
  • 8th Annual Report, Virginia State Library, p. 64
  • B. W. [Bounty Warrant] Mar 4, 107.
  • Records of Washington County, Virginia.

Chalkley Records, Vol. 3, pp. 93, 386 (309) and Vol. 2 p. 509. *

Laura Cornett Brice, the first applicant under patriot Henry Brock, was b. abt 1868, as she was 12 years old in her family's census enumeration 9 Jun 1880 in Salt Springs Pct., Saline Co., KS, in hh 49-53 as John J. Brice head 49 farmer MO-KY-KY, Charlotta wife 45 keeping house MO-KY-PA. Jennie daughter 23 school teacher MO-MO-MO, Seldon son 22 farmer, Ralph son at home 18, Annie daughter 15 at home, Laura daughter 12, Elizabeth daughter 9 all children MO-MO-MO; p. 390.

* [NOTE, however, that the Henry Brock in Lyman Chalkley's Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia: Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, 1745-1800, Vol. II (Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1912) was not in southeastern Virginia, but a different family, in the militia company in Augusta Co., VA, with other grandsons of Rudolfo Brack/Brock, the Swiss immigrant reported on my Earliest Brocks in Virginia page.]

2. DAR application No. 650224 dated 1980 descends through Charlotte Callahan's daughter Mary "Polly" Cornett, and cites previous DAR applications, as well as, When They Hanged the Fiddler by Jess D. Wilson, pp. 139-141. She gave Henry Brock's wife as Christine Funkhauser, but the DAR registrar struck the surname as unproven.

3. The DAR supplemental application to No. 660999, dated 1982, cites previous applications for proof of service, as well as Pioneer Families of Clay Co., KY, by Morgan and Morgan, 1970, p. 104.

The Preemption Bounty Warrant cited on the above application is proven by this entry in The Washington Co. Surveyors Record 1781-1797 on New River Notes website: Historical and Genealogical Resources for the Upper New River of North Carolina and Virginia, by Rhonda Robertson, 1998):

"Page 413 - Henry Brock, assignee of George Brock - 50 ac - Preemption Warrant #2385 dated February 11, 1783 - on the top of Walkers Mountain & waters by the waters of Beaver Creek, a north branch of Holstein River - on the top of the mountain - on the north of Walkers Mountain - on the summit of Walkers Mountain - November 26, 1794."

Henry Brock still owned this land in 1795: "Page 467 - John Preston, Sr. - 5000 ac - exclude Jacob Shutters 150 ac, Robert Walker 110 ac, HENRY BROCK, 50 ac, Elijah Gillenwaters 100 ac, John Thomas 150 ac, John Fleenor 100 ac, William McMillion, 60 ac = treasury warrant #1296 dated May 28, 1795 - on Walkers Mountain and the south branches of the north forks of Holstein River also the waters of Beaver Creek, a north branch of Holstein River - near the head of Richard Moor's Mill dam - crossing Mill Creek corner to James Fulkersons land - in a valley - near the foot of Walkers Mountain - leaving Fulkersons line - lines of Nicholas Fleenor - corner to John Fleenor's land - corner to Henry Grimes - corner to Jacob Taylor's land - corner of Godlove Havemarter - by the head of a spring where Hovewaster now lives and a corner of John Davis' land - corner to Massey Ervins survey on the north side of Walkers Mountain in the Rich Valley - corner to Robert Smith - corner to Nathan Smith's survey - corner to Robert Henderson - corner to Gasper Fleenor's survey - corner to John Young - in a gap of Walkers Mountain - October 2, 1795."

If Susanna and Jesse Brock (b. 1751) were indeed sister and brother, Henry Brock was either not her father, or he was Jesse's father too.

These DAR applications claiming Susanna Brock Callahan was daughter of Henry Brock, are probably erroneous.

First, the Henry Brock who served in the Virginia line was Henry, Jr., b. 1746 in Augusta Co., VA, son of Heinrich Brack/Brock whose father was Hans Michel Brock, born 8 Apr 1687 in the village of Odenbach near Meisenheim, Germany. Hans Michel's father moved to Germany from Oden, Canton Argau, Switzerland. Hans Michel Brack and his 1st cousin Rudolph Brack/Brock immigrated in America in 1733, first to Lancaster Co., PA, then to Orange Co., VA, the portion which became Augusta Co. This family is the subject of two books, Robert L. Brock's book, A Brock Family History: Swiss Brack-American Brock, published 1992 in Baltimore, MD, by Gateway Press; and Clarence C. Brock Jr's book, Frederick Brock 1719-1807: His American Family, published 1997 by the author in Alexandria, VA. These are the J2 haplogroup Brocks tested in the Brock DNA Project.

The George Brock who assigned his land survey to Henry Brock was almost surely his brother. When Henry moved to near Louisville, Fayette Co., KY, in 1801, he made a scouting expedition across the Ohio River to Washington Co., IN, where his brothers George and Michael lived.

Henry did have a sister Susanna, but she married John Ottinger. Henry had many siblings, for his father Heinrich was married three times and produced 16 children. The will of Henry (Sr.) was in Shenandoah Co., VA.

Theirs is a distinctly separate Brock family (J2b) from the J1 haplogroup descending from Jesse Brock of Harlan Co., KY (born 1751 Cumberland Co., VA) and George Brock, Sr., (born ca 1680) of New Kent and Albemarle Cos., VA. Susannah Brock, Henry Brock, and his wife Christiana Funkhouser were of a similar age; Henry could not have been her father. Henry and his wife Christiana married in 1782. Henry Brock applied for a pension based on his Revolutionary War service while living outside of Louisville, KY, in Jefferson Co. The application date was 10 Nov 1821 and the pension was granted on 30 Jan 1822.

Incidentally, Christiana or Christene Funkhouser and her husband Henry Brock were cousins. Her mother was Christiana Brock, the daughter of Rudolph (from Switzerland).

We don't yet know where George Brock, Jr. (b. ca 1700, his wife Jane ____), his son George III, nor George Jr.'s brother Joshua died. Probably George Jr. was father of Aaron Brock, aka Chief Red Bird, Tsalagi' Ugvwiyuhi Totsu'hwa, born abt 1726, whose mother and wife were Cherokee, names unknown. George Brock Jr's other children's ages overlapped with Aaron.


George Brock, Sr. b. 1680