Saturday, January 22, 2011

Surname Saturday - BROWN (18th Century Colonial Massachusetts) Help!

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 159, who is Hannah BROWN (ca 1725-before 1774), one of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back through one generation of BROWN families is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

18.  Edward Hildreth (1831-1899)
19.  Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

38.  Thomas J. Newton (ca 1795 - after 1834)
39.  Sophia Buck (1797-1882)

78.  Isaac Buck (1757-1846)
79.  Martha Phillips (1757-after 1820)

158.  John Phillips, born 11 Sep 1722 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA. He was the son of 316. Ebenezer Phillips and 317. Mary Smith. He married 03 May 1749 in Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
159. Hannah Brown, born about 1725 in Massachusetts, USA; died before 1774 in probably Shrewsbury, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

Children of John Phillips and Hannah Brown are:

i. Sarah Phillips, born 01 May 1750 in Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
ii. Jonathan Phillips, born 22 Feb 1752 in Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
iii. Joanna Phillips, born 24 Aug 1755 in Shrewsbury, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
iv. Martha Phillips, born 20 Aug 1757 in Shrewsbury, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
v. Elizabeth Phillips, born 15 Jun 1764 in Shrewsbury, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

That's it.  Hannah Brown is a complete mystery - only a name and a marriage date and place, and five 
children. I wrote about this elusive female ancestor in The Elusive Hannah Brown (ca 1725 - before 1774, wife of John Phillips).

As mentioned in the blog post, there are no vital records for the birth of a Hannah Brown that “fit” - that might lead me to a set of parents that could be investigated. I have searched for Brown probate records in Worcester and Middlesex Counties and found none that mentioned Hannah Phillips; this was easier to do in Middlesex County, since the probate packets are on microfilm, while in Worcester County, the probate records on microfilm are the clerk's copies filed by Volume and Page Number. I have not searched for land records for John Phillips yet – there may be clues there. I also have not searched the Southborough town records (also on microfilm) for tax and other information for the Phillips and Brown families.

There were numerous Brown families in and around Southborough in the 1740's when Hannah married John Phillips. I have only searched in Brown surname books and manuscripts for Hannah, I haven't done an exhaustive search for the different Brown families in the Southborough area. It is possible that Hannah Brown came from around Stoneham in Middlesex County, since John Phillips resided there as a young man.

Perhaps the most intriguing, and so far unresearched, idea is that Hannah was a widow that needed a husband when she married John Phillips. He was age 27, and a hypothesis that Hannah was a young widow with one or more small children is a reasonable one.

Any research suggestions are most welcome!

Does any other researcher know anything about the family of John Phillips and Hannah Brown? If so, please contact me!

UPDATED 8 a.m.:  Fixed the obvious editing problem...was I confused early in the morning?

1 comment:

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

If you look inside the National Geographic magazine (the February issue)you will see how popular the name BROWN is on a map of the United States. And quite near Massachusetts there appear to be lots of BROWNs. Unfortunately!