Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new letter transcribed - More Treasures and More Questions

I just finished transcribing  a letter from the Brown Family Reunion papers that has me excited at all the new finds, new avenues of research, and validations of existing information as well as frustrated and confused by information that does not fit into the family information as I know it.

Treasures I found:
  1. A reference to a book written by the Edward, author of the letter, about the early years in Wadsworth, Ohio.This book is full of large amounts of information about Edward's father and family life as well as information on the adult life of Owen's adopted son, Levi Blakeslee.
  2. Names of family members that I have not had access to before.
  3. Occupations of many of John Brown's siblings.

Questions I have to answer:
  1. I have found some new names that I need to do more research on.
  2. The letter makes references to a number of John Browns from, as far as I can tell, various lines of related families. I need to see if I can unravel the numerous connections.
  3. Edward mentions great grandfather Phineas Brown, but all records I can find so far show his grandfather was another John Brown>
  4. Who is Laura, the recipient of the letter? I have many Laura's in my database, but not one with a child named Edward, or of the right age.
Looks like I am going to be busy



1903 A
Brown Family Reunion
Hudson Historical Society and Library
 
Copy of letter found among paper of Jennie Brown Carpenter [B1878]
 Mt. Brown, DeLand, Oak.
April 26, 1888

Dear Laura,
             I was of course greatly interested in what you wrote of that Miss Mann's acquaintance with Martha (Brown) Davis {B18XVI}, she was the youngest of Uncle Owen Brown's 15 children. John {B184} was the third, only 3 remain, Mrs. Marian Hand {B189}, of Wellington O., three years older than I, Edward {B18XIII}of Akron, O, ten yrs. Younger than I, + Martha {B18XVI} now about 55 yrs. Old. She was a little girl of 8 when I left Ohio. Eight of John's 20 children, (seven of the first wife + 13 of the second) are still living, four of each, John {B1841} + Owen {B1843} on Put-in-Bay Island, Ohio. Jason  {B1842} + Salmon {B184X}, Martha  {he means Annie B184XV} + 2 other girls, whose names I forget in Cal. {Sarah B184XVII and Ellen B184Xx}, Ruth Thompson {B1845} in Necedah, Wis. John, Jason, Owen + Ruth are of the first sort, + the oldest, + Frederick {B1846} , named from my father, was killed in Kan.
             I was panning by consultation with Jason {B1842}, then living in Akron O. Edward + Marian to visit in Put-in-Bay Is. + get the documents for a memoir of John. But the sudden closing up of my business + marriage back westward prevented + I have never been able to afford a journey since. I will try to get a small blank book + write in it what I have gathered during the last 25 yrs. Of Peter Brown who came in the Mayflower, + send it to you to keep for Edward.
             He is descendant by 2 lines for Mark's grandmother Johnson was a Sarah Brown of Landisfield, Mass., next to Colebrook Conn (my native town) daughter of Phineas Brown, who was known to my father as one of the same line of Browns, about 3 generations off.
             Peter Brown had a brother John Brown who came over 15 years after and settled in Duxberry, a descendant of whom an other John Brown, was the first killed at Concord, by order of Maj. Pitcairn + another a Capt. John Brown of Providence took the first British ship in a navel battle. He was afterward owner of the great John Brown tract of land in the Adirondacks. His brother Nicolas Brown, founded Brown University. Those with my grandfather Capt. John Brown {B1}, a noted singer of ballads + patriotic songs, who trained a company, who all went into the service with him + were stationed in The Highlands, now Central Park, N.Y. where he died of camp distemper in Sept, 1776, making an illustrious line of warlike John Browns.
             Phineas Brown, great grandfather, was in the revolution, taken by the Indians, tied to the stake + the fire lighted, but released by order of the chief, + afterward escaped.
             Grandfather's brother, Ezra Brown + his son Ezra Brown, Jr., were also in the Revolution, + their uncle Daniel Brown + 2 of his cousins, Jonathan + Ebenezer in the French War. So there were quite a number of fighting Browns.
             Also, quite a list of clergymen of John Brown's descendants, (he of Duxberry) Rev. Chad Brown, companion + successor of Rodger Williams, + Rev. Nathan Brown D.D the venerable Bap missionary in Burmah.
             Those of Peter Brown, Rev Aaron Brown of E. Killingby Conn.
             In Revolutionary days Rev. Ebenezer Brown of Pen Yan N.Y. of that neighborhood, early in this century. Perley Brown (Bap) of Oswego N.Y. about the same date, Edward Brown, Charles O. Brown of Dubugne + J. Newton Brown of Owatonwa Minn., of descendants of other names, Rev. Herman Humphrey DD {B111} Pres. Of Amherst Coll., Mass., + his brother Luther Humphrey {B113} of Ohio., (my cousins) Herman Humphrey's sons, Edward P. Humphrey D.D.{need to research} of Louisville Ky., John P. {need to research} of Brighampton N.Y. + Zephaniah M. Humphreys D.D {need to research}  of Chicago, none of these Humphreys now living. Rev. Luther Humphrey Barber {Need to research} of Conn., + Rev. Chas. F. Hudson {need to research}, my nephew.
             My ancestry as far as I can trace were all Puritans of Conn., + Mass., of English descent, except Owens + Fields, Welsh, + Pettibones Hugnot French. All of well-known Conn. + Mass. names, Brown, Bidewell, Bliss, Chapin, Drake, Eggleston, Eno, Field, Gillett, Grant, Higley, Holcomb, Hoskins, Humphrey, Loomis, Moore, Owen, Scott, Rockwell, Wade, of distant relations, descendants of some of these were the 2 governors Woolcott and 3 governors Trumbull of Conn., descendants of John Higley, 5, 6, + 7 generations back. Governors Ellsworth + Bissell 6 generations. Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth + U. S. Senator John M. Niles, 7 generations descendants of Samuel Chapin, + U.S. Grant of Mathew Grant 7 generations. Against these offset the last Peter Brown who died in state's prison about 1807, the 6th + last Peter in direct line, when the name "petered out," and one Dudley Miller of the Gov Higley line was hung for forgery + several other scamps who deserved the fate of the first named.
             Such are the curiosities that always meet one searching out genealogies + taking down all our pride with reflections we are all poor critters.
             Of John's brothers, the oldest died in infancy {2 children died in childhood Salmon B181 and un-named B182}, Salmon { B185} next younger who died in New Orleans 1833. Frederick {B187} who died in Reedsburg Wis., 1876, were lawyers. Oliver { B186} second younger like John, a farmer, cattle grower, speculator died about 1858. Watson { B18X} one year older than I, a student of Western Reserve Col., died in 1832. Jeremiah {B18XII} , of Hudson O., a commercial agent + prominent worker in the Christian Commission, died in Santa Barbara Cal., of consumption 1864. Edward {B18XIII} on early Cal., adventurer, public contractor + speculator, some times rich, sometimes poor, last survivor, a widower with one son { Lucien H Brown B18XIII1} + daughter {Florilla Eva Brown B18XIII2} , headquarters at Akron, O. Lucien {B18XV} the youngest brother who for a time took my place with my father {Frederick Brown B17} + mother {Chloe S Pettibone}, also a student of much promise, died  of consumption at 20 years. Of his sisters Ruth Anna King { B183}born 1798, a very excellent woman two years older died in 1838. She had occasional flights of mental derangement. Marian Hand {B189}, a widow lives with a daughter at Wellington, O., a good women. Florella {B18XI} a year younger than I married an old college friend of min, Rev. Sam'l Adair + died very young + Mrs. Davis {B18XVI} of whom I know scarcely anything was the youngest.
             I have published a brief sketch of my father's family in history of Wadsworth O., to which I refer you. My father {Frederick Brown B17 Owen's elder brother} was an uncommonly strong + robust man until crippled by a wound in his knee at 56 yrs., a great reader, of very extensive information  + retentive memory. He once told me he never read but 3 works of fiction, "Arabian Night," "Don Quixote," + "Tristan Sandy." Hume, Smallelts England, Josephers + Rollin's Histories, Shakespeare + other old English poets, Locke on the Undertaking Edwards on the Will, Bunyan's works, and Blackstone's Commentaries on Eng. Law. Scotts on the Bible were all familiar with him. He was a man of great humor and terse original sayings. Uncle Owen {B18}was a stammering wit Father was an earnest christen worker, a fine singer + choir leader till 70 yrs., of age. He liked the old chorals, disliked tho he had to use Tuques + despised the flash self-repeating jingles of which we had a flood as in modern days. More than 50 yrs ago his youngest brother Abiel {B1XI} was a noted teacher of singing and trainer of bands. Thomas Hastings, the great musical composer was his pupil.
             Father's older brother Deacon John Brown {B16} of New Hartford, Conn., was a great scholar of his day, self-educator, a noted Bible-class teacher + theologian + and would have been put into the ministry had he not like Uncle Owen been a stammerer.
             I have written these sketches to give something while I am sure to be able + have my mind upon it, but will try to get prepared what I have promised.
             Yours with much love + a kiss for Edward in return for his.
                                                             Edward Brown {Rev Edward Brown B176}
 
Copied for Mrs. Jennie Brown Carpenter Wright by Laura D. Brown Nov 16, 1903
West Salem Wis.

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