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WILLIAM and MARGRET BROWN
FAMILY HISTORY LIBRARY and CENTER

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1700sí Home in Rowan County, North Carolina

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     In the mid-1700s, William and Margret BROWN lived in Rowan County (created 1753), North Carolina, with some of their 9 children:  3 sons and 6 daughters.  Family records state that William BROWN (c.1717ĖFeb./Aug.1772) was of Scotch and Portuguese or "Portigee" descent, and that the ancestry of his wife, Margret (c.1722Ėaft.Nov.1772), was English. They owned property and lived in the Flat Swamp Creek and Lick Creek area of what is now the southeastern part of Davidson County (created from Rowan County in 1822), North Carolina, just east of the Yadkin River, near the present-day town of Denton.  William BROWN's February 1772 Will and other important documents are discussed below.  See also Photo Gallery and Maps showing where they lived.

     Our William and Margret BROWN family is not the Irish William Brown (1687-1757) and Margaret (Peggy Fleming) Brown (1701-1801) family that was living in Rowan/Guilford County, North Carolina during this time.  Also it is not part of the German Michael Braun (Brown) (1721-1807) and Margareta Braun (Brown) (1734-1771) family living on the west side of the Yadkin River in Rowan County, North Carolina during this time. 

     New DNA evidence explained below now shows that William BROWN's father, Mr. Brown (born about 1691),
whose first name may have been William, came from, or through, Edinburgh, Scotland, to an English colony along the New England coast in the early 1700's.  He then migrated to the Vermont area where he "first settled", and met and married Mrs. Brown (born about 1695), an Algonquian Abenaki Native American of Portuguese ancestry.  Their son William BROWN was likely born in the Vermont area, grew up and married there.  He and his wife Margret eventually migrated down through Pennsylvania, and into Rowan County, North Carolina.  See below.  Also see What's New.

     This William and Margret BROWN Library/Center is the result of years of gathering and analyzing records of the family and their collateral lines, leading to a 10-day genealogy research trip to 9 libraries in North Carolina, which Erold C. Wiscombe and I (O. James Brown Klein) made in May 2000.  The libraries were in Rowan, Davidson, Randolph, Guilford, and Johnston counties, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh.  Working 12 to 16 hour days, we gathered, copied, referenced, and analyzed any and all information referencing BROWN family members, bringing back boxes of materials.  Included were all Brown family pedigree and group sheets archived in the LDS Church Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and all identifiable Brown family source materials.  This Library presents much of the relevant information collected.  After careful analysis, and re-analysis, of materials gathered thus far, we now understand much better some of the important facts about our BROWN family members.  These facts, and our analysis, are presented here, with updates as we go along.  Please contribute what documents and information you may know.  Thank you.

     This growing Brown Family History Library and Center was created for two basic purposes:  1) to better identify and honor William and Margret BROWN, their numerous descendants, ancestors, siblings, and collateral relatives; and 2) to provide a focal point for the collection, preservation, and sharing of accurate family history information.  It is for all of our extended family, inclusive of every family member, to promote and facilitate these objectives. 

     This Library presents the filed documents, photographs and items relating to the genealogies and histories of the extended family.  The Center contains identified family groups and organizations, and the information they desire to present here that may be of interest to extended family members.  The Library/Center honors the privacy of personal information.  See Privacy Policy.

      Please use the Library/Center, enjoy it, be blessed by it, and contribute to its success!

William and Margaret BROWN
 

     Note: You may search this brownhistory.org website for any person or any subject by using Google.  In the Google search window, first type the name of this website (brownhistory.org) without quotes and second the name in quotes of the person or subject you want to search, for example:  brownhistory.org "orson pratt brown".  Then search.  

Their Lives
1772 Will of William BROWN
Their Children
Their Descendents
Their Parents and Ancestors
Their Siblings

Acknowledgement
Dedication


Their Lives

     We are unsure of the first names of the parents of our William BROWN (bc.1717, d.Feb./Aug.1772), but we do have important information about their origins.  Family records state that William Brown's father was a BROWN of Scotch descent, Mr. Brown (c.1691), whose first name may have been William, and that his mother, Mrs. Brown (c.1695), was "a woman of who was a native of Portugal".  William's wife, Margret (bc.1722, d.aft.Nov.1772), was of English descent.  See Margret Brown, her name as spelled in William's 1772 Will.

     "Tradition traces the genealogy of Captain James Brown [(1801-1863) who is a grandson of our William Brown (c.1717-1772) through his son, James Brown (1757-1823)] back to his great grandfather [Mr. Brown (c.1691)] who was a Scotchman by the name of Brown, and who was allied in marriage with a woman who was a native of Portugal [Mrs. Brown (c.1695)]; they being the grand-parents of James Brown [(1757-1823), son of our William Brown] who served in the [Revolutionary] war. . . ."   See History of Captain James Brown, by his grandson, Moroni F. Brown, page 88.   William and Margret Brown's son, "James Brown [1757-1823] was of Portigee and English Descent."  See James Stephens Brown - Parent's Genealogies, page 2.

     My recent autosomal DNA tests now evidence
that our Mrs. Brown who was a native of Portugal (c.1695) was actually an Algonquian Abenaki Native American with Portuguese ancestry.  These tests are explained and analyzed in reference to our Brown family history, and my physical characteristics, genealogy, and Algonquian Abenaki and Portuguese history.  She was likely living in the Vermont area when our Mr. Brown of Edinburgh, Scotland (c.1691) "first settled" there.  She married him in about 1716.  See Mrs. Brown (c.1695) was an Abenaki Native American with Portuguese Ancestry.  For other Brown DNA studies, including Brown Y-DNA (male), see Brown DNA Studies.

     Three important clues about our Brown origins are included in the autosomal DNA analysis, but they deserve mentioning here:
     1.  The better estimated Birth Order of William's and Margret's children seen below under Their Children.
     2.  William Brown's great grandson, Orson Pratt Brown's (1863-1946), statement:  "My [great and great-great?] grandfather, on my fatherís side was William Brown, come over from Edinburgh, Scotland.  . . . .  They first settled in the state of Vermont [area].  Later he went to North Carolina, near Raleigh, took up land and farmed.  Here my father [Captain James Brown (1801-1863), son of William Brown's son, James Brown (1757-1823)] was born, in the year of 1801, September 30, [in Rowan County, NC] and reared in a farming community."  It is possible that William may be the first name of our first
Mr. Brown of Edinburgh, Scotland (c.1691).  See the Autobiography of Orson Pratt Brown (1863-1946), pages 11-12)
     3.  William Brown's grandson's, Williams Brown (1796-1884), declaration in 1880 Federal Census that his father, James Brown (1757-1823), was born in Pennsylvania, and his mother, Mary or Polly Williams (1760-1827), was born in New Hampshire.  See the 1880 Federal Census, Boon Hill Township, Johnston County, North Carolina.

     In summary, our Mr. Brown (c.1691) came from, or through, Edinburgh, Scotland, to an English colony along the New England coast in the early 1700's.  He then migrated to the Vermont area where he "first settled", and met and married Mrs. Brown (c.1695), an Algonquian Abenaki Native American of Portuguese ancestry.  Their son William Brown and any siblings were likely born in the Vermont area.  William probably grew up and married there.  He and his wife Margret eventually migrated down through Pennsylvania where their son James Brown (1757-1823) was born,  and on to Rowan County, North Carolina where they finally settled.

    
Our family research may now focus on seeking additional information regarding these family members and their relations along these migration paths.  Anyone having any oral or written clues that verify or clarify any thing about  William and Margret BROWN, their children, parents and siblings, is requested to share such information immediately with us by email to librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com.  Thank you.

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1772 Will of William BROWN (bc. 1717, d. 1772)

     William BROWN signed his Will with "his mark", an "X", on 19 February 1772 in Rowan County, North Carolina, naming his wife, Margret BROWN as Executrix (her name as spelled in the Will), and his 9 children, and 1 granddaughter.  See the Annotated 1772 Rowan County, NC, Will of William BROWN.  The Will was filed for probate August 5, 1772, so William died between February 19, and August 5, 1772.  The probate finished November 3, 1772.  His wife, Margret as Executrix, died some time after that.  William names his 9 children and 1 granddaughter in his Will in the following order ("Will Order"):  Charity Robson; Hannah Elliott; William Brown; John Brown; James Brown; Constant Wynn; Susannah Brown with her child, Margret Brown; Elizabeth Brown; and Margret Brown.

    
In his Will, it appears that William names his first three children in their birth order (Charity Robson; Hannah Elliot; and William Brown); then he names his three sons as a group (William Brown; John Brown; and James Brown); and then he names his last four daughters as a group (Constant Wynn; Susannah Brown; Elizabeth Brown; and Margret Brown.  Additional documents and analysis, however, indicate that there was likely a different actual birth order ("Birth Order").  See William and Margret Brown, Their Children, and His Parents - Birth Order and Marriages.  This more probable Birth Order is:  Charity Robson; Hannah Elliott; William Brown; Constant Wynn; John Brown; Susannah Brown with her child, Margret Brown; James Brown; and Elizabeth Brown.

     See the detailed additional information about William's and Margret's children in the next section below, Their Children.

     Confirmation of the fact that these BROWNs are our BROWNs is found in the 1819 Randolph County, NC, Estate Papers of Thomas STILLWELL.  This case names all of them except John BROWN.  See the Abstract of 1819 Randolph County, NC, Estate Papers of Thomas STILLWELL.

     William BROWN first appears on the 1768 Rowan County, NC, Tax List of John Ford, which area is now in Davidson County, NC.  This List is important because it identifies our William BROWN living in the Flat Swamp Creek and Lick Creek area of southern present-day Davidson County, NC.  This is the same area referenced in the land deeds for his son James BROWN, and surrounding neighbors.  See Maps.  This List is also important because it contains a number of individuals whose surnames match those of men who either married 3 of William's daughters (ROBISON, ELLIOTT and HENDRICKS), or his son William BROWN (DAVIS), or who may be related to some of his descendents through his son, James BROWN (FELPS, HUGHES and WILLIAMS).  See the 1768 Rowan County, NC, Tax List of John Ford.

     It appears from analysis of information of his children and grandchildren that William BROWN had connections with the present-day area of Randolph County (created 1779), North Carolina, and may also have had connections with Johnston County (1746), North Carolina.  He may also have connections to the Vermont and Pennsylvania areas.  It is also important to note that our Scotch Brown families living on the east side of the Yadkin River (Lexington-Denton area) in old Rowan County (1753~1822+) are not to be confused with the German Michael Braun (Brown) families living on the west side of the Yadkin River (Salisbury area).

     Margret BROWN (bc.1722, d.aft.Nov.1772)
is her name as spelled in the 1772 Will:  Margret was of English descent according to the James Stephens Brown - Parent's Genealogies, page 2 We do not yet know her last name, nor where she was born.  She likely lived in the Vermont or Pennsylvania areas when she met and married William Brown, and where it appears that they had most of their children.  See DNA analysis Mrs. Brown (c.1695) was an Abenaki Native American with Portuguese Ancestry.  She died some time after November 3, 1772, in Rowan County, North Carolina, where the last public record we have mentions her as serving as the Executrix of his Will.  She may have died in the late 1770s when her daughter, Margaret BROWN STILLWELL, moved to Johnston County, North Carolina.  She is not the Margaret (Peggy Fleming) Brown (1701-1801)whose descendants are the subject of Helen H. Rugeley's 1983 Brown book.

     As of 1986, the most comprehensive treatment of the William and Margret BROWN family is found in Erold C. Wiscombe's 700 page book, The Brown Family, Descendants of Daniel Brown (1804-1875) and Elizabeth Stephens (1809-1890), Wiscombe, editor: First edition1986; Revised Second edition 2006.  The first 60 pages of Erold's 1986 edition, which treat the entire early BROWN and STEPHENS families, is filed in the Library under Wiscombe's Book.  Significant updated information is now presented in this Library for some early family members.  Each early BROWN relative should eventually have his/her own Ancestral Surname File in the Library, see Ancestral Surname Files.  Meanwhile, the links to the early BROWN relatives identified below take you to Wiscombe's fine treatment of each linked person in his Brown Book.

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Their Children

     So far, little is known about the children of William and Margret, except for their son James BROWN (1757-1823).  We want to learn as much as we can about each one of them, including any oral or written clues about them, their families and ancestors.  Here follows a summary of their children, which is presented in their Birth Order mentioned above.  See William and Margret Brown, Their Children, and His Parents - Birth Order and Marriages.

1. Charity BROWN ROBSON:  Born about 1743, makes her 29 in 1772.  She may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives her one shilling sterling.  She married a Mr. _______ ROBSON or ROBESON or ROBISON.  The standard female 21 year birth-to-marriage assumption puts her marriage year about 1764.  Neither Charity BROWN or a ROBSON or ROBESON or ROBISON appear in Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book.  There are, however, a number of known BROWN relatives who also do not appear in this record book.  We do not know any thing more about Charity or her husband at this time.

2.
Hannah BROWN ELLIOTT:  Born about 1745, makes her 27 in 1772.  She may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see  Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives her one shilling sterling.  She married Joseph ELLIOTT as indicated by their marriage bond dated 4 June 1767 in Rowan County, which is close to the standard female 21 year birth-to-marriage assumption of 1766/1767.  Both Hannah BROWN and Joseph ELLIOTT appear in Moroni Brown's 1891 Record BookJoseph ELLIOTT also appears as owning  land along Flat Swamp Creek, Rowan and now Davidson County, next to James BROWN and William BROWN, Hannah's brothers, with land entries showing up 1778-1779.  See Maps.  We do not know any thing more about Hannah and Joseph at this time.

3.
William BROWN:
  Born about 1747, makes him 25 in 1772.  He may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see  Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives him one cow.  He married Dianna DAVIS as indicated by their marriage bond dated 6 May 1772 in Rowan County (three months after the 1772 Will was signed, but before August 1772 when it is probated).  He may have married before his father died.  His 1772 marriage coincides with the standard male 25 year birth-to-marriage assumption of 1772.  William appears to own land in the Flat Swamp Creek area in the late 1700s and early 1800s, near his brother James BROWN.  See Maps.  William BROWN appears in Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book, but Dianna DAVIS does not.  We do not know any thing more about William and Dianna at this time. 

4.
Constant BROWN WYNN:
  Born about 1749, makes her 23 in 1772.  She may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see  Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives her one cow.  She married John WYNN or WINN.  The standard female 21 year birth-to-marriage assumption puts her marriage year about 1770.  Both Constant BROWN and John WINN appear in Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book.  Constant died before 1819 as indicated in the Abstract of 1819 Randolph County, NC, Estate Papers of Thomas STILLWELL.  We do not know any thing more about Constant and John at this time.

5.  John BROWN:  Born about 1751, makes him 21 in 1772.  He may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives him one sorrel horse.  We do not know if John Brown married.  John BROWN appears in Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book.  We do not know any thing more about him at this time.

6.  Susannah BROWN:  Born about 1753, makes her 19 in 1772.  She may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives her one cow.  Susannahís daughter, Margret Brown, is also named in Williamís Will, and he gives a heifer calf to this granddaughter.  Note that he does not name in his Will any of his other grand children, nor give them any gifts.  These facts may suggest that Susannah was younger than 21and may not have been married when she had her daughter Margret.  Neither Susannah BROWN or her daughter, Margret BROWN, appear in  Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book.  We do not know any thing more about them at this time.

7.  Margret or Peggy BROWN STILLWELL ROBERTS:  Born about 1755, makes her 17 in 1772.  Margret Brown is her name as spelled in the 1772 Will.  She may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives her one cow and one young lamb.  She is the only child to get two gifts.  The young lamb may be for her illegitimate child, Thomas Stillwell, since his estimated birth is about 1772/1773.  The father of Margretís son, Thomas Stillwell, is apparently the Thomas Stillwell (bc. 1755), who is the son of Thomas Stillwell (d.1773/1774) named in his 1773 Will, all living in this area of Rowan County during this time.  A careful analysis of the Abstract of 1819 Randolph County, NC, Estate Papers of Thomas STILLWELL, and of the Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book, show that this Margret or Peggy Brown is the mother of the Thomas Stillwell who is the subject of the disputed Estate.  Both Margret or Peggy BROWN and her son, Thomas Stillwell, appear in Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book.
     Margret and her son, Thomas, moved to Johnston County, North Carolina, ďduring the Revolutionary War, & several years before its terminationĒ when her son
Thomas was a ďsmall boy from between three and five years of age.Ē  The Revolutionary War was from April 1775 through November 1783, so the midpoint of the War was about 1778/1779, when this move may have occurred.  Assuming son Thomas was five or a little older when they moved, he would have been born about 1772/1773.
     In Johnston County, NC,
Margret later "married a man by the name of _______ ROBERTS".  Margret may also have used the nickname "Peggy".  We do not know any thing more about Margret or her son, Thomas, at this time.

8. James BROWN:  Born 1757 in Pennsylvania, (not in Rowan County, North Carolina) makes him 15 in 1772.  See James Brown and Mary Williams, Their Children - Birth Order, Marriages, Land.  Williamís 1772 Will gives him one horse colt.  He married his wife, Mary or Polly WILLIAMS EMMERSON, about 1787, before 1788 the birth year of their first child, Jane BROWN.  Mary or Polly WILLIAMS' parents were John Williams (bc.1724, d.17??) and Jane ____ Williams (bc.1728, d.17??).  They moved to Rowan County, North Carolina, from New Hampshire and/or Maryland.
     James and Mary or Polly Brown lived in the same Rowan County area as did both of their parents.  They joined the Jersey Baptist Church in 1797, and subsequently the Tom's Creek Baptist Church about 1807.  Mary was married and had two children prior to marrying James.  James died March 23, 1823 in Davidson County, NC.  James BROWN and Mary or Polly Williams both appear in the Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book.
  See Photo Gallery and Maps for pictures of where they lived and the estimated location of James' property. 
  See James Brown and Mary Williams, Their Children - Birth Order, Marriages, Land for important information on this family.
  See Williams Brown (1796-1884) 1849 Letter to His Brothers and Sisters which
shows the great spirit of love and religious tolerance of this Brown family.
 
     Jamesí and Maryís 9 children are:

      1.  Jane BROWN HUGHES, b. 1788, d. 1850/1858, married Michael HUGHES about 1816 in Rowan County, NC.

      2.  Mary or Polly BROWN, b. 1790, d. 1876, married James Stephens BROWN on August 31, 1855, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

      3.  Nancy BROWN, b. 1792, d. 1870, married 1)
James NEWBERRY on October 3,1843 in Nauvoo, Illinois; 2) William CRITCHLOW on November 6, 1852, in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

      4.  Susan BROWN JACKSON, b. 1793, d. bef. 1850, married Sion or Siren JACKSON about 1818 in Rowan County, NC.

      5.  Martha or Patsy BROWN BOSS, b. 1794, d. 1869, married David BOSS on November 25, 1821 in Rowan County, NC.

      6.  Williams BROWN, b. 1796, d. 1884, married Frances or Fanny WARREN on June 10, 1820 in Johnston County, NC.

      7.  Obedience BROWN BOSS, b. 1799, d. 1850, married Philip BOSS about 1818 in Rowan County, NC.

      8.  [Captain] James BROWN, b. 1801, d. 1863, married Martha STEPHENS on March 2, 1823 in Davidson County, NC.  

      9.  Daniel BROWN, b. 1804, d. 1875, married Elizabeth STEPHENS on October 8, 1823 in Davidson County, NC.

Mary's two prior children are Margaret EMMERSON, bc. 1782, and John COMSTOCK, bc. 1785.  Mary or Polly WILLIAMS was married before to John EMMERSON who was killed during the Revolutionary War, and they are the parents of Margaret EMMERSON, bc. 1782.  Mary or Polly WILLIAMS EMMERSON also had an illegitimate son, John COMSTOCK, bc. 1785, before marrying James BROWN in approximately 1786.  Mary or Polly WILLIAMS EMMERSON, John EMMERSON, their daughter, Margaret EMMERSON, and Mary's son, John COMSTOCK are all named in the Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book
  Mary's two children may have taken the BROWN surname for a a period of time after James BROWN married Mary or Polly WILLIAMS EMMERSON.  We do not know any thing more about them.

9.  Elizabeth or Betty BROWN HENDRIX:  Born about 1759, makes her 13 in 1772.  She may have been born in Pennsylvania or the Vermont area - see Their Lives above.  Williamís 1772 Will gives her one cow.  She marries a Mr. _______ Hendrix or Hendricks.  The standard female 21 year birth-to-marriage assumption puts her marriage year about 1780.  We learn about her husband, Mr.  _______ Hendrix or Hendricks, in the Abstract of 1819 Randolph County, NC, Estate Papers of Thomas STILLWELL.  Brown and Hendrix or Hendricks are English (Great Britain) surnames.  She spoke English and very likely married into the English (Great Britain) speaking Hendrix or Hendricks family in this area, and not the German speaking Hedricks family in this area.  Neither Elizabeth or Betty BROWN or a Mr. _______ Hendrix or Hendricks appear in Moroni Brown's 1891 Record Book.  We do not know any thing more about them at this time.

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Their Descendents

    Their descendents that we know of are the children of #8 James BROWN and his wife, Mary or Polly WILLIAMS EMMERSON.

    See Their Children

    See Prominent Descendents

Their Parents and Ancestors

    We do not yet know who the parents of William and Margret are.

Their Siblings

    We do not yet know who their siblings are.

Thank you for using our Brown Family History Library and Center!
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Acknowledgment:  Gratitude is expressed to the Lord who inspired this work, and to my dear wife, Karen, and to our eternal family for their wonderful support of it.  I love them all forever.

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Dedication:  This Web site is dedicated to God and to His holy purposes
and works in our individual lives and families, and in all the families of the earth.
We are all His children. 
Families are Forever.

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William and Margret Brown Family History Library and Center on the Internet
This Web site created and maintained by O. James Brown Klein:  librarian.brownhistory@gmail.com
Established:  May 17, 2000       Updated:  September 16, 2013

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