finding your roots

My Great Grandfather- The Medical Doctor: Triumph and Controversy

Samariya Smith May 3, 2012

My great grandfather, Dr. Martin Green Brookins was an ear, nose, throat specialist in Kansas City MO for 40 years. The stories that i remember hearing were quite interesting. My great grandfather married my grandmother (Della Drake) on May 21, 1901. He was 54 (I believe) and she was in her teens. Even though my grandfather was an established ENT, at one time he was banned from practicing medicine because he was performing illegal abortions. There are so may other stories about my great grandfather. He had a wooden leg, and would stash money in his leg. He traveled the country with colleagues, and was well recognized during his time. I wish I knew more about where he came from. Who his parents were. I DO know he went to Meharry Medical College and made some great contributions in medicine. My grandfather, Martin Green Brookins II, was the ONLY child (that we know of), born to my great grandfather and great grandmother. There is so much more to know, I just don’t know where or how to look. In watching your show, “Finding Your Roots,” I am fascinated with the history that is unearthed as a result of your efforts. I want to know who I am, as it relates to my family lineage. Because the Brookins surname is not very COMMON, it heightens my curiosity to find out more about my roots. I hope and pray that this snapshot of who I am enthralls you to help me delve deeper into my roots. Below is what I have found online, so far. My mother has found more, but I KNOW there is a way to dig DEEPER.

Dr. Martin Brookins
Abstract File containing a photo and obituary for Dr. Martin Brookins, an African American eye, ear, nose, and throat physician in Kansas City for 40 years, dying in 1949. He was a native of Macon, Missouri with residence at 2128 East 24th Street.
Location Ramos Vertical File: Biography A-E
Local Subject Physicians
Brookins, Martin G.
African Americans
Item Type Vertical File
Access This Item The contents of the file are not available online. You may come to the Missouri Valley Room to view them or request photocopies from the Library’s Document Delivery service.
CONTENTdm number 32272

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  • Susan

    May 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    You may contact me at the email address listed. I have a bit more information on this family that might be of interest to you if you do not already have it.


  • Ann Christman

    May 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    The 1880 census for Hudson, Macon, Missouri lists Martin, age 11, living with his parents, Clark and Manda Brookins. The 1870 census for Macon, Macon, Missouri, shows Martin (miswritten Marlin) as age 2 and living with “C” and “Amanda” Brookins and several other children. In 1880 Clark is listed as having been born in Missouri; Manda in Virginia.

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About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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