Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ellen Malvina Brooks and George Jones Brooks - Post #1

The text of this manuscript was transcribed from a typescript document in my grandmother's genealogy binder on the Holbrook Family. Ellen M. Brooks was born about 1817 to William S. and Eleanor (Forman) Brooks. She died about 1884. George Jones Brooks was her brother and was born about 1818 and died about 1886. Ellen and George lived in Brattleboro, Vermont. There is no date or author provided with the article. Unfortunately, the end of the document appears to be missing, but I will share the portion that I have.


Eleanor Malvina Brooks
     The importance of "Aunt Malvina" and "Uncle George" to the lives of the children can hardly be over estimated. To those who have inherited the treasure of their love  and generosity, it seems a poor family that is without an unmarried aunt and uncle. But for them there would have been little family unity. They held the scattered branches together by their feeling for all.
     While William and Horace Brooks were living in New York, Frank Brooks and his family, practically unknown to us, were for many years in San Francisco at that time a month's journey away. The Cabots' interests were in the South the first years after their marriage, and the Goodhues were the only ones to remain steadily at home. Gradually, there was a more frequent return to Brattleboro, with its early associations, which would not have happened had Aunt Malvina made her home elsewhere.
     New relationships through marriage into other families, and the coming of children absorbed fathers and mothers in what was peculiarly their own, but when there were nieces and nephews in each household living near her, Aunt Malvina's interest in their welfare bound all more closely together. She nursed the sick with remarkable judgment, taking charge of households when mothers needed to go away, and visited her sisters every day with the deepest sympathy in everything that concerned their lives. When children's diseases prevailed, a shelter was found in Aunt Malvina's house for those who wished to avoid contagion. The Horace Brooks children were sent to her care when their parents travelled abroad, --they were in boarding school in Brattleboro, because she was near at hand.
     She shared our joys and burdens and sorrows, as the fairy godmother, and was generosity itself in gift-making. She made a custom of giving us birthday gifts of money in larger sums than our parents could afford, with the request that the amount was to be concealed, and we were to spend it according to our heart's desires. Our luxuries came from her. The eldest daughter in each family received a diamond ring from her at the age of eighteen. Trips were undertaken  at her expense, even as far as Europe, although her income never exceeded $3000. She often interceded with parents for larger liberty and opportunity for us, --and her beauty and distinction, her style in dress and living, added to her importance in our eyes.
To Be Continued...

© 2011, copyright William C. Haskell

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