Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements

Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life

By: Ethelene Dyer Jones

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Brown Families Among Union County's First Settlers

Of the 147 heads of households recorded in Union County’s first census in 1834, two were Brown families, David Brown with three males and two females and Milton Brown with five males and six females. Of the 903 population recorded at that time, sixteen had the surname Brown.

Both David and Milton Brown continued to live in Union, for they were recorded in the 1840 census as well. Some of Milton’s children had already left home to go out on their own, for his household had only 3 males and two females in 1840. David Brown’s family, on the other hand, had increased, for registered in his household in 1840 were four males and four females. It was interesting to note that by 1840, the Brown households had increased from the two in 1834 to eleven, and total Brown population from sixteen to sixty-three. Besides David and Milton’s households, other heads-of-households in Union in 1840 were Harmon (5), Romulus A. (6), John (6), William A. (5), Macky (12), Joel R. (6), William C. (2), John (4), and William (4). According to the scattering of the census, these eleven Brown families were located in several districts of Union.

Then came a surprise. An examination of the 1850 census revealed that the Brown population had taken a decided growth spurt in the decade. The number of households with a Brown listed had increased to twenty-seven but only twenty-one of these were Brown households, for six of the Browns enumerated were living in the household of persons not bearing the Brown surname. These were Elliott Brown, age 23, in the home of Joseph (age 25, b. SC) and Martha Stephens (age 17, b. SC). Franklin Brown (age 23, b. NC) in the home of J. E. Purkins (age 38, b. NC) and Elizabeth Purkins (age 25, b. NC). Mr. Purkins owned 18 slaves. Caroline Brown (age 19, b. NC) lived in the home of Benjamin and Racy Ledford. Mary Brown (age 16, b. NC) lived in the home of Lewis and Sally Queen. She was helping Sally Queen take care of her six little children ranging from age twelve to six months. James Brown (age 19, born TN) was in the home of Hugh and Adaline Lee (ages 25 and 23, both born in NC). Terrell Brown (age 8, b. SC) was in the home of Mourning Brookshire (age 67, b. NC), with David Brookshire (16, SC) and Milly Brookshire (13, SC). Supposition is that Terrell, David and Milly may have been grandchildren of Mourning Brookshire.

Browns noted as heads of households in the 1850 census were Harmon Brown (35, b. SC), his wife, Sarah (later listed by her nickname Sally—age 31, NC) and six children, ages 10 to 9 months: John, Alfred, George, Elisha, Jackson and Smith Loransey.

Susan Brown (age 64, NC) was evidently a widow with two children still at home, John (age 21, b. KY) and Elizabeth (age 18, b. KY).

Jacob Brown (age 52, b. NC) headed a household with his wife Elizabeth (age 44, b. VA) and children Francis (age 25, b. NC), Jane (age 20), Thomas (age 13) and Lazarus (age 12)—with the last three children born in SC.

G. W. Brown (age 40, b. NC) had a wife named Nancy (age 36, b. TN) and eight children at home: Elizabeth (16, b. NC) Thomas (14, b. TN), the next four were born in NC: Patton (12), Peliner (10), Amanda (8), Frances (7); and the last two, Matilda (4) and Martha (3 months) had been born in Georgia.

Mary Brown (age 45, b. NC) headed a household with four children still at home, all born in NC: Smith (18), John (16), Josephus (12) and Sarah (10).

John Brown (68, b. NC) and his wife, Sally (60, b. NC) had in the house with them a person listed as Betsy Miller (22, b. NC).

James Brown (34, b. NC) and his wife Anner (35, b. NC) had four children who had been born in NC, namely Mary Ann (11), Henry (8), Martha (7), and Jesse (5); and little Sarah Jane (3) and John (1) had been born since they arrived in Georgia.

Continuing with listings of 1850 Brown households in Union we find John, Jr. (age 24, born in NC) with his wife Sary (age 27, b. NC) and two small children both born in Georgia: Susannah, 6 and Burton, 2).

Next door is John Brown, Sr. (53, b. NC), his wife, Tempey (57, b. NC) and children James (19, NC) and Margaret (17, NC).

Another household has John M. (40, NC) as its head, making this four in 1840 with John as the head of household. His wife was named Sarah (39, b. NC) and children James (17), William (16), Andrew (14), Willson (12) and Jane (9), all born in NC, and John (2) born since the family arrived in Georgia.

Nathaniel Brown headed a small household. He was 26, born in NC, with his wife, Mary Ann (18, b. NC) and their 11-month old child William. Living in their household was James Gallion (17, b. NC). Could he have been a brother to Mary Ann?

By 1850, Milton Brown was 54, we learn that he was born in NC, as was his wife, Kissiah, age 52, and their very large family of children numbering nine still at home were all listed as having been born in NC. However, this may be a mistake on the part of the census taker, for Milton Brown had been in Union both for the 1834 and the 1840 censuses. Their children listed were John (30), Mary (20), Sally (19), Enos (18), Betsey (14), Adington (13), William (11), Ephraim (8) and Martha (5).

The last of the Brown households noted in 1850 was headed by R. A. (Romulus A. of the 1840 census, age 37, b. SC) and his wife Elizabeth (38, b. NC) with the elder two of their children born in NC: Leander 17 and Catharine, 15. The other five children had been born since the family moved to Georgia: Caroline (12), Hazeltine (10), Lovina (8), Jane (5) and Avaline (3).

Readers who have Brown family ties may be able to link back to some of these early households of Union settlers. Next week we will look at some Brown marriages before 1850 and how the name Brown was linked through wedlock to other early settlers.

c 2009 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Oct. 29, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved

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