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Brown Surname

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

1st Generation:

Frederick Brown was on October 29, 1753, probably in Virginia or Maryland. He died on January 19, 1829 in Madison Twp., Clark Co., Ohio. He is buried in the Greenlawn Cemetery, South Charleston, Clark Co., Ohio.

Frederick's origins are unknown. He was probably born in Virginia, yet some clues suggest he or his family might have originally been from Maryland. Frederick was probably related to other Browns that lived in Garrard County, Kentucky (including Joseph Brown, Abosolem Brown, Arabia Brown, Bazaleel Brown, Benjamin Brown, etc.) but we have so far been unable to connect any of these families.

Frederick probably married in Virginia in the 1770s, yet the name of his wife is unknown. Frederick is also said to have served in the American Revolution, yet no record has so far been located to corroborate his war service. Sometime before 1787, Frederick moved out west to Kentucky. He settled in a part of Madison County, Kentucky that became Garrard County in 1797. There he lived on a 127-acre farm on Gilberts Creek (rural area south of Lancaster). At some point he also owned land in nearby Montgomery County, Kentucky.

Frederick was probably a blacksmith. In 1827, Frederick mortgaged his property and moved to Clark County, Ohio to live with his son Roland. Frederick wrote his will on January 13, 1829, in which he named his children as: Martha Gibbs, Charles Brown decd., Polly Brown, Susan Martin, Roland Brown, Nancy Martin and Burrell Brown.

Frederick married name unknown probably in the late 1770s in Virginia. She was born at an unknown date and died before 1829, probably in Garrard Co., Kentucky.

They had the following children:
1 Martha Brown was born circa 1778 in Virginia. She died at an unknown date.
She married Ezekiel Gibbs on or after October 1, 1792 in Lincoln (now Garrard) Co., Kentucky. He was born circa 1764 in South Carolina and died in about 1818 in Garrard Co., Kentucky.
They had one known child:
Thomas P. Gibbs (1804-1867)
md. 1st Margaret Tresner
md. 2nd Sarah Ruth Garvin

Martha's birth year is unknown. Her father provided his consent to her marriage in 1792, which suggests that she was born after 1772 (and probably before 1780). She was named first in her father's will, which suggests she was the oldest child. Since she was not described as deceased in her father's 1829 will, she was probably still alive.

2 Charles Brown was born circa 1782 in Virginia. He died before February 1818 in Garrard Co., Kentucky.
He married unknown.
He had one known child:
Arathusa Brown (???-???)

Charles died before February 1818, when his father Frederick was appointed guardian of his orphaned child (the name of the child was very hard to read, looked like "Arathusa V. Arlippus" Brown).

3 Polly Brown was born circa 1784 in Virginia. She died after 1831, probably in Garrard Co., Kentucky.

Polly never married. Family history is that she remained behind in Kentucky after her father and all of her siblings moved away. She was most likely the "Polly Brown" enumerated in Garrard County in the 1830 census. Her name appeared in an 1831 record concerning her father's estate. Some family history claim that she confessed on her death bed to murdering her sister Fanny in 1820.

4 Susannah Brown
5 Roland Brown was born on or about May 3, 1791 3 in Madison (now Garrard) Co., 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 several of his siblings 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.

6 Nancy Brown was born circa 1793 in Madison (now Garrard) Co., Kentucky. She died sometime between 1837 and 1840, probably in 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. In November 1837, they moved to nearby Platte County, Missouri, where Nancy died soon after.

One source provides her birthdate as May 1781 and her marriage in 1800. Since the marriage year was 10 years off, perhaps the birth year was as well and perhaps she was the twin of Roland Brown.

7 Burwell L. Brown was born circa 1797 in Garrard Co., Kentucky. He died after 1831.
He married Mary Holcombe on July 24, 1824 in Garrard Co., Kentucky.
It is not known if they had any children.

Burwell was a blacksmith. In January 1822 while living in Garrard County, he mortgaged some of his personal property, including his blacksmith tools, to his father. In October 1828, he enlisted in the military at Newport (Virginia?). In October 1829, he was discharged at "Cant Leavenworth". This suggests that he might have moved out west with his sisters Susannah and Nancy, who were both in northwest Missouri near Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Burwell was alive in 1831 when he was named in a record about his father's estate, although it did not indicate where he was living.

8 Frances Clara Brown was born circa 1802 in Garrard Co., Kentucky. She died circa 1820 in Garrard Co., Kentucky.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding her, but most sources agree that she was murdered (beheaded) on her father's property in late 1820. Some stories claim that she was 18 and unmarried, while others suggest that she was much older and was married to James Clark. Several slaves were tried and executed for her murder, but the inference is that the real perpetrator of the crime was never found. There are legends that she was murdered by her sister Polly Brown, who apparently confessed to the crime on her deathbed.

2nd Generation:

Susannah Brown was born in the 1780s in Virginia. She died after 1862.

Father: Frederick Brown
Mother: Unknown

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. However because sources are consistent that she was born in Virginia, she must have been born before 1787, when her father was already living in Kentucky.

Susannah was born in Virginia, at an unknown location. She was probably a young child when she moved with her family to Kentucky. They settled near Lancaster in what is now Garrard County. 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 at least two years older, probably more. 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 1816, 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. Then in April 1862 she was alive and described as "old and forgetful" in a record about her son Franklin's estate. 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 (both of whom were 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.