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My Brock Ancestors - James R. Brock, John Henry Brock, and Eleanor Elizabeth Brock

My Great-Grandparents
James Newton Gailey - May 24, 1869 - April 30, 1930
and Eleanor Elizabeth Brock - July 25, 1871 - July 21, 1943

My grandfather was born into the Brock and Gailey families in the small north Texas community of Brock in Parker County. His father James Newton Gailey came to Texas with his brothers from his home in Hall County, Georgia. Some folks in the area simply called him “Jim”. Jim and Eleanor Elizabeth Brock met in Parker County and got married in Millsap by J.S. Huckabee in 1897, according to a Family Bible entry written in my grandfather’s handwriting.

Jim and Eleanor had three children, my grandfather, James Dolphus Gailey, born November 8, 1898, Grace Amanda Gailey, born March 1, 1900, and Nellie Mae Gailey, born December 5, 1903, all born in Parker County.

Captain James R. Brock

“Captain James R. Brock and his family were living in Rusk County near Henderson (Texas) in 1853, when they purchased 400 acres of land in Van Zandt County, Texas, near Canton. They had moved from Gordon County, Georgia, to Rusk County. He was a skilled carpenter, cabinetmaker and farmer. He was also captain of the Georgia Militia in Habersham and Gordon Counties for many years. One of these districts was known as Captain Brock’s District. He was born August 9, 1807 to Thomas and Jane Brock who settled in Georgia before 1820. James R. married Elizabeth Bryan, November 11, 1824, in Georgia. Both were born in North Carolina.”

My ancestor, John Henry Brock, was the youngest of three sons born to James R. and Elizabeth. Their other children were Thomas Jasper, Newton Vanburen and Margaret Jane. When Elizabeth died in late October of 1860 the family was devastated. Because he was so heartbroken James R. decided to volunteer with his sons as soon as the Civil War was declared in 1861. They were among the very first to enlist in the Confederate Army.

Even though James R. was fifty-four years old he joined with the rank of 1st Lieutenant, Company E, 6th Regiment, Texas Cavalry. Thomas Jasper was in Company I, 11th Regiment, Texas Infantry, Newton Vanburen was in Company E, 6th Texas Cavalry; and John Henry, who was still a student, joined Company E, 6th Regiment, Texas Cavalry. Margaret Jane, the youngest child at age twelve, was left behind to live with the J. G. W. Bivins family until her father and brothers came home from the war. Newton Vanburen, John Henry and their father, James R. all returned home to join Margaret after the war; however, Thomas Jasper was killed during his long journey home, traveling by foot.

John Henry was born in Red Bud, Gordon County, Georgia, on December 13, 1843. Before joining the Confederates he took advantage of a good education and was eighteen when he volunteered. He fought with Nathan B. Forrest in Tennessee and it was in Sping Hill that he was captured and taken to a prisoner of war camp in the north where he remained until the end of the war. He was captured “in clothing described as shoes so worn he was almost barefoot and clothing that was almost indecent.”

After the men returned they took Margaret and went back to Rusk County near Henderson. “It was here that John Henry Brock met and married Polly Sanders Elam on October 21, 1866. Polly was the daughter of Joel Elam and Sarah Eleanor Stamps, landowners adjoining the Sparkmans and Risingers and near the G. D. Buckners.” John Henry and Polly bought 160 acres of land adjoining her father’s property, where they lived “until around 1870 when they followed his father, brother, and sister to Parker County.” There was one son, Joel Walter Brock, born to them while in Rusk County, June 18, 1869.

Brannon Crossing on the Brazos River is the place John Henry and Polly settled in Parker County. He and his brother, N. V. (Newton Vanburen) bought 400 acres of land in the Hiner Community. N. V. later sold his share to his brother and moved to Ellis County.

John Henry later moved to Olive Branch and bought several lots. A skilled carpenter and cabinetmaker, he built most of the town. He built the first cotton-gin, two two-story mercantile stores, the Baptist Church, the school, and most of the houses. A post office was established in 1890, and the town’s name was then changed to Brock, in his honor. His wife, Polly, was postmaster from 1892 until two years before her death in 1924.

My Great-Great-Grandmother
Polly Sanders Elam Brock
December 25, 1843 - August 25, 1924
Postmaster Brock, Texas 1892 - 1922

Children born to Polly and John Henry were Joel Walter, who married Sally Barnett; Eleanor Elizabeth, who married Jim Gailey; Lucy, who died in her late teens; James Thomas, who married Emma (?); Margaret “Maggie Maude,” who never married; Alice, who married J. W. White; and Henry Newton, who married Ollie Bell Bish. They also reared three of the Gunn children – Dom, Ponnie, and May – children of Polly’s sister, Ann America and her husband, J. M. Gunn.

John Henry Brock died of a heart attack on September 18, 1911, and is buried in the Brock Cemetery, which he laid off at the request of Mr. Maddux. Polly died August 25, 1924, and is buried beside her husband.

Hall and Habersham Counties were adjacent to one another in this 1822 Georgia map. The two counties were formed in the year 1818. Both my Gailey and Brock ancestors lived in these counties before moving to Texas.

The Brocks moved to Rusk County near the state line of Texas and later to Van Zandt which is further west, and finally to Parker County, still farther west. The map to the right shows the counties formed in 1860.

  • Palo Pinto County History 1978 "A Word of Mouth History Book", Brock, Buckner, Elam Families by Juanita Brock McEntire
  • Family Bible belonging to James Dolphus Gailey and genealogy reports prepared by Raymond R. Stone, son-in-law, Mineral Wells, Palo Pinto County, Texas
  • Original photos in album belonging to Judith Richards Shubert.


What a great post, Judy! Pictures, maps, tons of information! I thoroughly enjoyed this, thank you!
Thank you, Cheryle, for all your encouragement!
Janice Tracy said…
Judy, I am amazed at the family information in that one post. I loved reading through it and enjoyed seeing the wonderful pictures.
Thanks, Janice! I enjoyed putting it together. I've been ignoring my Brock and Gailey line for quite some time and Cheryle encouraged me to pull it out of my filing cabinet and refresh my memory!

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