Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ruth Mills Brown - Oldest Grave in my database

The oldest gravestone I have in my collection is that of Owen Brown's{B18} first wife, Ruth Mills Brown. 
Photo credit Alice Keesey Mecoy 2010

The inscription reads:
Sacred to the 
Memory of 
Ruth, Wife of
Owen Brown
who died Dec. 13, 1808
in the 37year of 
her age.

She was a dutiful child,
a Sprightly youth, a loving wife,
a Tender parent, a kind neighrbor,
and and Exemplary christian.
Sweet is the memory of the Just.

Ruth Mills was born  26 Jan 1772 in West Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. The eldest child of Gideon Mills and Ruth Humphrey Mills. She married my 4xgreat grandfather, Owen Brown, on 11 Feb 1793 in West Simsbury, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Owen and Ruth had a total of 8 children.
  1. Salmon Brown {B181} (1794-1796)
  2. Un-named Infant {B182} (1796-1796)
  3. Anna Ruth Brown {B183} (1798-1838)
  4. John Brown {B184} (1800-1859) of Harper's Ferry Fame
  5. Salmon Brown  {B185} (1802-1833)
  6. Oliver Owen Brown {B186} (1804-1858)
  7. Frederick Brown {B187} (1807-1877)
  8. Sally Brown {B188} (1808-1808)
They also adopted and raised as their own a neighbors child, Levi Blakeslee. 

In 1805 Owen and his wife and four children moved from Connecticut to Hudson, Ohio, where the family remained for many years. Owen and Ruth were both active in abolitionist activities as well as equality for women. Owen was one of the early board members of Oberlin College, one of the first colleges to allow women and blacks to get a higher education.

Owen was very much in love with Ruth and did not take her death well. But with 6 children to care for, Owen remarried less than a year later. John, Owen's son, took the death of his mother very hard, and did not warm up to his step-mother. He pined for his mother for many years. We have no pictures of Ruth, we only have one of Owen. But it is obvious that she was loved, and missed by her family based on the inscription on her headstone.

Ruth is buried in the Old Hudson Township Burying Ground in Hudson, Summit, Ohio, USA next to her husband Owen.

Owen and Ruth's grave site. Owen's stone has fallen over and the caretaker of the graveyard has placed it face up near the original site. Plans to repair are being reviewed.

This post was written for the January 2011 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is: How long have they been there?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Amazing site with family letters!!!

My dear friend, and John Brown Scholar, Louis DeCaro, Jr., alerted me to a posting on a Blog that includes letters received by Annie Brown Adams in the 1890s. Many are from African Americans sending her small amounts of money after reading about her house burning down. The letters are full of praise, and honor for her and her father.

The letters are amazing, and even more amazing to me since so much of her papers and things burned in the fire and were destroyed by her children after her death. I hope to find out who they belong to and connect with this cousin.

This Blog


John Brown Letters

These letters were passed down through the family, they concern the late radical (and infamous) abolitionist John Brown. Personally I believe in strictly non-violent means of effecting societal change, although we live in an imperfect world and sometimes imperfect solutions become necessary in order to prevent the "greater evil". Certainly America has been no stranger in regards to sacrificing lives to this end.

If not for John Brown it's quite plausible that the Civil Rights movement might have been set back by fifty years or more. Was the movement's acceleration worth the lives that were taken? Herein lies the controversy. Incidentally I think it's worth pointing out that there is more slavery in the world today than at any time in recorded history. If John Brown were alive today, I wonder what he'd have to say about that?

Tombstone Tuesday - Bertha Adams and Geroge Cook

My sister very kindly spent time searching through the cemeteries in Humboldt County, California, looking for our great grandparent's grave sites. Thanks Big Sis!!

Bertha Alice Adams Cook
Born 12 MAY 1872 in Rhonerville, Humboldt, California
Died 17 DEC 1957 in Shively, Humboldt, California

Bertha was the second child of Annie Brown Adams and Samuel S Adams.

George Madison Cook
Born 9 DEC 1875 in Redwood Valley, Mendocino, California
Died 2 FEB 1935  , Humboldt, California

George was the seventh child of Mariza Musica Miller Cook and James Clifton Cook

Thursday, January 6, 2011

(UN) Thankful Thursday - Am I the only one?

Am I the only one that has so much trouble with bad information on line? Being related to a famous ancestor causes me so much frustration! Does anyone else have this problem????

Do a search of public trees for "John Brown 1800-1859" on Ancestry.com and you will get 546,177 results. FIVE HUNDRED FORTY SIX THOUSAND!!!!!!  The amount of information present is overwhelming to say the least.

It would not be so bad if all of the information agreed...but it is a great big mixture of correct and incorrect information. I am getting really good at telling where the tree owners cherry picked the information from. Don't get me wrong, many of the trees are correct, but there are others that are wrong, and I mean really wrong! There are mistakes in the basic information about John Brown, his wives, his children and on and on. Dates are wrong, locations are wrong, who married who is wrong. It is enough to make me pull my hair out!

I have given up asking tree owners if they would possibly make changes to their information, so that others will not copy incorrect information and spread the lies even further across the Internet. Of those I have asked, nicely mind you, with the information that I am a direct descendant working on a complete genealogy of JB and would they please make the following corrections to their information I get one of three responses
  1. Of course, I will change the information. Thank you for letting me know that data I copied from x-place is wrong. I want my tree to be accurate, and I really appreciate you letting me know. (25%)
  2. No response at all (25%)
  3. What do you mean my data is wrong?? Who are you to tell me that? I found the information online so it must be correct. Hell no I am not changing it. (50%)
While the historian in me is obsessed with the historical accuracy of the information floating around on the Internet, the genealogist in me is also concerned with the accuracy of the data for future generations.

I spent months trying to track down a connection to a family because I found a clue in a tree. I could never make it work, but the tree owner was adamant that the information was accurate. I finally in desperation asked for the backup, i.e. sources, only to be told, "Sources? What do you mean by sources? I just copied the information from such and such tree."

Sigh. I filed the information in my Not Related To JB file and moved on, frustrated by the lost time, but more worldly in my knowledge that the Internet is full, and I do mean FULL of incorrect information.

Does this happen to others? How do you handle the frustration and misinformation?

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.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Carnival of Genealogy - Goals for 2011

Jasia at Creative Gene Blog has issued a challenge to the Genealogy Blogging Community to publicly announce our goals for 2011.

  1. Complete the transcription of the Brown Family Reunion letters, notes, and minutes. As more genealogy information is unearthed, update the Brown Family Genealogy Database (after researching and verifying, of course). Looking into the possibility of publication.
  2. Finalize the Annie Brown Adams book of letters. I have completed the transcription, need to add citations to each letter and complete the essays that tie it all together
  3. Continue adding to and updating the Brown Family Genealogy Database. Need to continue to scan in photos and verifying documents as well as locate more of this generation of the family.
  4. Take a writing class to improve my non-fiction writing skills. I have started to research on-line and local classes available.
  5. Attend at least 3 genealogy seminars this year to improve my skills.
There you have it. My Genealogy Goals for 2011.

Wishing one and all a Very Happy New Year.  May all your goals and wishes come true in 2011!