In my recent search of newspapers regarding the Brooks family of Cherry Valley, I found an article about David’s son Andrew*, (the only son to follow in his father’s tinsmithing footsteps). He had apparently won a patent on a new kind of fastener for milk can tops.
Otsego Farmer, June 10, 1910, page 1.
It took a while but I finally found the patent using the Google Patent search engine. Trying to search the patent office for records before 1975 is very difficult if you don’t know exact dates, patent numbers, etc. The Google Patent search worked great.
So below is the sketch of what the device looked like, along with detailed instructions on how it was suppose to work.
It is very likely that Andrew’s tin-smithing skills, and his experience working at the local dairy influenced this innovative design. There is no information on how successful this fastener was, so I don’t know if he got rich off of it.
This is the second relative of mine to have a patent. Dillon Hatch (husband of Almyra Brooks), together with two other men, applied for, and received, a patent on a door design in 1891 (which I wrote about in an earlier post).
Andrew and his wife Elizabeth had one child, a daughter Mary L. Brooks, who appears to have died in her early 20s, leaving no heirs. Which means there were no descendants around to brag about Andrew’s clever invention. Maybe this post will make up for that loss.
*Andrew is my mother’s 1st cousin 3 times removed.
Earlier this year I wrote about David Brooks of Cherry Valley, New York regarding the fire that destroyed the family’s home and belongings in July of 1866. I ended with the hope that this was the extent of the family’s trials. Unfortunately that hope was squashed when I found this newspaper article:
David Brooks, aged 70, a tinner of Cherry Valley, committed suicide a while ago by hanging himself to his bedpost during a temporary fit of insanity.1
I tried to find more about this sad event, and a couple more articles showed up, each with a slightly different account in them 2, 3:
David Brooks was John Brooks’ brother. I do not know if they kept in touch when they both left Albany, with John moving to Vermont, and David heading to Cherry Valley, NY. There was no family history passed down in our family regarding either of the brothers.
David was survived by his wife Margaret, who died about 1891 and five children Sarah, Jennie, Andrew, Benjamin, and Charles.
Source: 1. 1882-10-1 Utica Weekly Herald, Utica, New York, page 5, column 2 [http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html].
2. 1882-10-12 The Radii, Canajoharie, New York, page unknown [http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html].
3. 1882-10-10 The Canajoarie Courier, Tuesday, page unknown [http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html].
Fire in some way or another has made its appearance often in my ancestor’s lives. The most devastating one being the Peshtigo Fire of 1871, a much nastier event than that little dust up they had in Chicago the same day. Most of the other fires seem to have been house or chimney fires of which I can count at least 6 having occurred to various ancestral families, so far. For the David Brooks family we have the following account.
David Brooks was John Brooks’ elder brother. He was born about 1812 in Albany, Albany County, New York. Both John and David lived with their mother until sometime after 1841 when we can find John at his own address in the city, as well as David.
David most likely trained or apprenticed as a tin smith in his early years, an occupation he continued throughout his life.
Sometime between 1855 and 1860 David and his wife Margaret packed up the tin smith business and the family jewels and headed to Otsego County, New York. Cherry Valley to be exact.
The family wasn’t in the area long before we find this newspaper article in their county paper:
It doesn’t appear that any lives were lost in the fire, but the family most likely did lose a goodly amount of their possessions and possibly even their tin business for a short time.
David and Margaret continued to stay and raise their family in Cherry Valley. Together they had at least 5 children. Their son Andrew is the only one to take on the tin smith trade.
I can find information on only three of their children. Andrew who married and had one daughter who died without any heirs. Sarah who married and had 9 children, all Woodwards. Benjamin married and had one daughter and has descendants from her. There appears to be no sons that carried on the Brooks surname in his line.
David died in 1882 at the age of about 70. Hopefully this was the only nasty event to occur to the family.