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Brown Surname

This Brown family has an unknown origin. The earliest members of the family were living in Virginia and Kentucky in the late 1700s. More research is needed.

1st Generation:

Frederick Brown was probably born in Virginia. He died after 1810, probably in Kentucky.

Frederick Brown may have been the father of the below children. When Nancy Brown married in 1810 in Garrard County, Kentucky, a Frederick Brown gave his permission for the marriage. It is only based on circumstantial evidence that Nancy is listed as the sister of Roland Brown and Susannah Brown, and that Frederick is listed as the father of all three. More research is needed.

A Frederick Brown was described as the father of a Martha Brown who married Ezekiel Gibbs in 1792 in what is now Garrard County, Kentucky. When Margaret Brown married William Powe in 1817 in Garrard County, a Frederick Brown signed that marriage bond. If the same Frederick Brown was related to both Martha Brown Gibbs and Margaret Brown Powe, then he is probably also related to other Browns related to them, including: Benjamin Davidson Brown who married Mary Powe, Harriet Brown who married Rice Powe, Jerusha Brown who married John Powe, Bazaleel Brown who married Susannah Gibbs, and Barbara Brown who married Jeremiah Gibbs.

Frederick Brown was probably from Virginia. He probably settled with his family in Kentucky in the late 1780s or early 1790s. The family likely settled in the part of Lincoln County, Kentucky that became Garrard County in 1796.

Frederick married name unknown.

He had at least 3 possible children:
1 Susannah Brown
2 Roland Brown was born circa May 3, 1791 3 in Kentucky. He died on November 12, 1850 3 in Platte Co., Missouri. He is buried in the Noland Cemetery, Weatherby Lake, Platte Co., Missouri.
He married Phebe V. Grisson on June 13, 1810 in Garrard Co., Kentucky. She was born circa 1785 in Virginia and died sometime between 1860 and 1870 in Platte Co., Missouri.
They had the following known children:
Anchises G. Brown (c. 1811-1869)
md. Ruth Ann Simpkins
William Harrison Brown (c. 1813-1849)
md. Sarah Plaist
Milton Brown (1815-1904)
md. Christina Ferres
Frances Brown (1819-1891)
md. Robert Robinson
America Brown (c. 1825-1846)
md. Elsberry Martin
Emily Brown (c. 1828-aft. 1860)
md. James Hartley
Roland Brown (c. 1831-aft 1850)

His name was usually spelled Roland or Rowland in contemporary records. After his marriage, he lived with his family in Knox County, Kentucky. While there, he served in the War of 1812. He was issued a license in 1814 in Barbourville, Kentucky. In 1818, he was a security for the Sheriff of Knox County. Sometime during the 1820s, he moved with his family to Clark County, Ohio, where they lived for about 15 years. There, they lived near South Charleston in Madison Township. Eventually, Roland decided to move out west to Missouri where Susannah Martin and Nancy Martin (probably his sisters), were already living.

Sometime during the early 1840s, he moved with his family to Platte County, Missouri, where they settled in Pettis Township. Roland is referred to in records as a lawyer, a judge and a captain; although it is acknowledged that he had "little education" 1. When his son-in-law Elsberry Martin died in 1847 and his son William Harrison Brown died in 1849, he served as administrator of both estates. He had not closed both estates by the time he died in 1850. His son Anchises Brown then served as administrator of all three.

3 Nancy Brown was born circa 1793 in Kentucky. She died sometime between 1830 and 1840 in Clay or Platte Co., Missouri.
She married Joseph Martin on September 8, 1810 in Garrard Co., Kentucky. He was born circa 1787 in North Carolina and died before August 9, 1852 in Platte Co., Missouri.
They had the following children:
Brightberry Martin (1811-1890)
md. Elizabeth Willis
Greenberry T. Martin (1813-1858)
md. Elizabeth Bones
Sarah Martin (c. 1816-1884)
md. 1st Jonas Sutton
md. 2nd Thomas Harrington
Elsberry Martin (1820-1847)
md. America Brown
Franklin Martin (1824-1882)
md. Anna May Burnett
Malinda Martin (c. 1824-1850s)
md. Robert C. C. Gray
Rhoda Green Martin (1827-1861)
md. Franklin Young Flannery
Elizabeth Ann Martin (1829-1887)
md. Alvin A. Ross
Isaac Martin (c. 1833-aft. 1880)
md. Jane Bell
Amanda Martin (c. 1835-aft. 1850)
Stephen Martin (c. 1840-aft. 1860)

After their marriage, Joseph and Nancy lived in Knox County, Kentucky. They moved out west to Missouri in the 1810s with Joseph's brothers Isaac and Zadock. They settled in what is now Clay County, Missouri. Sometime during the 1830s, they moved to Platte County, Missouri, where they remained.

2nd Generation:

Susannah Brown was born in the 1780s in Virginia. She died after 1859.

Possible Father: Frederick Brown
Mother: Unknown

Susannah's parentage is unknown. The only source which makes any reference to her origins is the 1897 Annals of Platte County, which indicates her brother was Roland Brown of Platte County, Missouri 1. Although that volume contains other errors, there is no reason to believe that Roland was not her brother. They were of a similar age, and followed similar migration patterns. Aside from a brother named Roland, there is no direct proof of any other family members. In 1810, Susannah's brother-in-law Joseph Martin married a woman named Nancy Brown. It has long been the assumption that Nancy Brown was the sister of Susannah and Rowland Brown, and that the sisters married brothers: Joseph Martin and Zadock Martin. That said, there is no proof of the connection. Brown is a very common name and it is entirely possible that the two brothers happened to marry Brown women who were not related to each other.

However, if Susannah was the sister of Nancy Brown, then we have more clues to her parentage. When Nancy married in 1810, a Frederick Brown gave his permission for the marriage. Thus Susannah may have been the daughter, or close relative, of Frederick Brown of Garrard County, Kentucky. Additionally, the same Roland Brown signed Nancy's marriage bond in 1810, making it more likely that Susannah was the sister of both Nancy and Roland; and thus the daughter of Frederick.

The 1850 census provides Susannah's age as 68, which would indicate she was born in 1781 or 1782 (assuming the census record was accurate). It is more likely though that Susannah was born towards the end of the 1780s. The 1810 census records her age as between 16 and 26, suggesting she was born between 1784 and 1794; while the 1840 census records her age as between 50 and 60, suggesting she was born between 1780 and 1790. Finally, her husband was born in 1789. Although is entirely possible that she was at least 8 years older than her husband, it is more likely that she was closer to his age.

Susannah was born in Virginia, at an unknown location. If she was really the sister of Roland and Nancy Brown, then she moved with her family to Kentucky at a young age - in the late 1780s or early 1790s. The Brown family probably lived in Garrard County, Kentucky. Susannah was married to Zadock Martin on August 13, 1807 in Knox County, Kentucky. At the time of the marriage, Zadock was 18 years old. Susannah was probably about the same age, or as old as 26. After the marriage, Zadock and Susannah lived together in Knox County, Kentucky; where they began to raise a family. Susannah had 9 children: Green, Hardin, Franklin, Gill, William, Millicent, James, Josephine and Elizabeth.

In about 1815, Susannah moved with her family out west to what is now Clay County, Missouri. They remained there for several years until about 1828, when they moved to what is now Platte County, Missouri. There, her husband operated ferries over nearby rivers. The family also farmed and operated mills, and a tavern and a hotel out of their home. In 1846, the family moved out west once again and traversed the Oregon Trail. The family settled in rural Yamhill County, Oregon. Susannah was living there when Zadock died suddenly in 1849. Afterwards, Susannah lived with her son Hardin and his wife in Yamhill County. In 1856, Hardin and his wife sold their land and moved to California. Susannah probably remained behind at that time, and probably lived with her son Franklin, also in Yamhill County.

In October 1858, she was listed as a resident of Yamhill County, Oregon, when she was named as the legal heir of her deceased grandson William Martin who died in Douglas County, Oregon. Susannah was also listed on tax lists for Yamhill County in 1857 and 1859, and afterwards disappears from any known records. If she was still alive, she was probably living with her son Franklin when he died in July 1860. This might explain why neither she or her son's widow Lucretia Martin (who was definitely still alive) have been located in the 1860 census enumeration a few months later. Susannah was not found buried in her family's burial plot in McMinville, Oregon; which would have been likely if she died in that area. My guess is that after her son Franklin died in 1860, she moved away to live with one of her other children. At that time, her daughter Elizabeth was closest in St. Helens, Oregon; her son William was in Roseburg, Oregon; her sons Hardin and Green were in California and her daughter Milly was in Missouri. It might be wise to check newspapers and cemeteries in those areas to see if there is evidence of Susannah moving to or dying in one of those locations. She had most likely died prior to 1870.

Susannah married Zadock Martin on August 13, 1807 in Knox Co., Kentucky.
For information on their children, see his page.

1. Paxton, W. M. Annals of Platte County, Missouri. Hudson Kimberly Publishing Co., 1897.
2. History of Clay and Platte Counties, Missouri. National Historical Co., St. Louis, MO, 1885.
3. Tombstone inscriptions, Noland Cemetery, Platte Co., Missouri.