Name: Mary Elizabeth BROOKS
Birth: ABT 1791 in South Carolina
Death: AFT 1860
Family Data From Robert Tipton Nave
1860 Census Saline County Missouri; Page 482, Family 843
In the 1850 census, there is an Elizabeth Squires, age 56? (difficult to read), born SC living with Henry W. Neff. In the 1860 census, she is still living in Henry's household; however, she is listed as Elizabeth Neff, age 69, born SC. In the 1870 census, she is listed in John W. Neff's household as Betty Squires, age 79, born SC. In his research, Arain Collins shows the first wife of Henry B. Nave (and mother of Henry W. and John W. Neff) as Mary Elizabeth Brooks, born 1891 in SC. Henry Nave married Amanda Church in 1846. Although it was thought that Mary Brooks died before that time, it appears that the Elizabeth (Betty) Squires above may be the same person as Mary Elizabeth Brooks.
In the 1830 census, she was probably the female 30-40 in Henry B. Nave's household. However, by 1840, Henry has only one male 20-30 (probably Abram) and one female 50-60 (probably Mary Catherine Nave, Henry's stepmother who died in 1842 and is buried in the Neff Family Cemetery). The rest of Henry's family was found in the household of his son, John W. Nave (Neff) in Saline County. In that household there is listed 1 male 20-30 (Henry W.), one male 30-40 (John W.), 1 female < 5 (Katherine, daughter of John W.), 1 female 20-30 (Mary, wife of John W.), and 1 female 40-50 (Mary Elizabeth).
It would appear that Henry and Mary Elizabeth were at least separated before 1840 and would have been divorced prior to Henry's marriage to Amanda Church in 1846. However, no divorce record could be found in the court house files in Saline County. On possible explanation is that at some point Henry and Mary returned to Cocke County, TN and were divorced there. Presumably Mary Elizabeth remarried a Squires who must have been deceased by 1840. However, an online search of Missouri and Saline County marriages did not locate any such marriage. The 1830 shows no Squires in Missouri while there were three in Tennessee and thirteen in North Carolina, but none in Cocke or a bordering county.
By 1840, both Henry and Mary had returned to Saline County, Mary with her son John William. Henry's brother, Isaac returned to Cocke in 1823 and then moved back to Saline County in 1836, presumably after the death of his father John. Interestingly, Henry and Mary's son, John William Neff, was married in 1836, but no record of his marriage can be found in Saline County or otherwise. However, it is commonly thought that he was married in Tennessee. His obituary indicates that John William came to Saline County when he was 28 years, which would have been about 1837. The discrepancy of Henry Nave coming to Saline County in 1816 and John William in 1837 has not otherwise been explained except for possible error in the obituary.
This, of course is all theory and speculation. The records of Cocke County were destroyed in a courthouse fire in 1876, so it may never be known for sure.
Henry B. NAVE b: 7 DEC 1787 in Greene Co., Tennessee
in Cocke Co., Tennessee
- John NAVE (NEFF) b: ABT 1810 in Tennessee
- Henry W. NAVE (NEFF) b: ABT 1814 in Tennessee
- Abraham NAVE b: 15 JUN 1815 in Cocke Co., Tennessee
- Catherine NAVE b: ABT 1816 in Saline Co., Missouri