The members of the Brooke family arrived in colonial Maryland poised to assume prominent positions. In 1650, Robert Brooke (1602-1655), a former Anglican minister, emigrated from England to Charles County, Maryland, with his second wife, Mary, and ten children. The family had the means to travel aboard their own ship. Lord Baltimore granted Robert Brooke two thousand acres of land, known by contemporaries as "De La Brooke" or "Brooke Grove." In 1652, Robert served as the acting governor of Maryland and as the president of the Council in Maryland. His son, Roger Brooke (1637-1700), married twice and raised eight children at his estate in Calvert County, Maryland. His namesake, Roger Brooke (1673-1718), married Elizabeth Hutchins (ca. 1684-ca. 1727), and together they had ten children. The Lord Proprietor of Maryland awarded the eldest son, James Brooke (ca. 1705-1784), a resurvey of the Brooke land holdings.
The land was divided between James's sons. Roger Brooke IV (1734-1790) inherited "Brooke Grove." With his wife, Mary Mathews Brooke (1734-1808), Roger had four children, Roger V, Mary, Hannah, and Dorothy. In 1794, Hannah Brooke (1770-1851) married Isaac Briggs (1763-1825), and two years later, Dorothy Brooke (1776-1857) married Gerard Thomas Hopkins (1769-1834). Their brother, Roger Brooke V (1774-1860), inherited the family estate, where he and his wife, Mary Pleasants Brooke (ca. 1780-1837), raised their four children. Their daughter, Sarah Brooke (1805-1888), married the doctor Charles Farquhar (1800-1844).
Roger Brooke IV's brother, Basil Brooke (1738-1794), inherited part of the land. In 1764, Basil established a plantation that his descendents would later name "Falling Green." The Montgomery County plantation passed to Basil's second son, Gerard Brooke (1768-1821), who in turned willed it to his own son, Richard Brooke (1790-1862). Richard married his cousin Mary Brooke Briggs (1798-1875), daughter of Hannah Brooke Briggs and Isaac Briggs. Mary supposedly gave "Falling Green" its name. Mary and Richard raised five children together: Henry Briggs Brooke (1828-1852), Hannah Brooke (1829-1915), Charles H. Brooke (1831-1915), Eliza Brooke (1834-1919), and Margaret Brooke (1838-ca. 1912).
Dr. Charles H. Brooke inherited "Falling Green" upon his father's death in 1862, and three years later he married Anna Farquhar (1834-1917), daughter of Sarah Brooke Farquhar and Charles Farquhar. Upon Charles's marriage, his unmarried sister, Hannah, began residing with the family of the youngest sister, Margaret Brooke Magruder. The other unmarried sister, Eliza, shared a close friendship with Anna and remained at "Falling Green" after the marriage of Charles and Anna. Eliza was "Auntie Brooke" to Charles and Anna's children. Charles and Anna had two daughters, Edith F. Brooke (1869-ca. 1954) and Mary B. Brooke (1875-ca. 1960), who lived to adulthood. Their son, Henry Brooke (1866-1884), died at eighteen years of age; another son probably died as an infant. The Brooke family farmed their land and participated in the agricultural life of their community, attending fairs and lectures. They were active members of the Quaker community of Friends in Sandy Spring, Maryland. Visiting among extended family, friends, and neighbors was an important part of their social life. The Brookes also enjoyed traveling to Washington, D.C., New York City, Atlantic City, and the Chicago World's Fairs of 1893 and 1933.
Edith F. Brooke married Dr. William French Green in 1897 and moved to the nearby town of Brookeville. There they had two children, Meredith Green (1901-1910) and Mary F. Green (1903-ca. 1985). After the death of her husband in 1919, Edith spent some time living in Washington, D.C., with friends. Edith and her daughter, Mary, often visited "Falling Green," where Edith's sister, Mary B. Brooke, resided all her life. In 1949, the Brooke sisters sold "Falling Green" to Richard and La Verna (Miller) White. The sisters, however, retained the right to live there for the remainder of their lives.
Another branch of the Brooke-Farquhar family is represented in this collection. Roger Brooke Farquhar (1837-1929), son of Sarah Brooke Farquhar and Charles Farquhar, married Caroline Miller (1842-1904) in 1867. They raised seven children: Roger B., Jr.; Sarah B.; Anna M.; Alice V.; George B.; Malcolm; and Henry Farquhar. Anna was the first chair of the Women's Board of the Montgomery County Hospital and principal of the Sherwood School. Her brother, Roger Brooke Farquhar, Jr., married and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. After his first wife died in 1922, Roger brought his three children back to Sandy Spring, Maryland. He raised the eldest son Roger (1916- ), while his sister Alice raised Richard (1918- ) and Caroline (ca. 1920- ). Roger Brooke Farquhar, Jr., composed works of local history later in his life. Roger Brooke Farquhar III became a journalist; Richard was the postmaster of Ashton, Maryland; and Caroline had a career in the U.S. State Department.