Isaac Jones homestead (1837-1851) Calloway County, KY

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Brown (Braun) Family Of Rowan & Surry County, NC...Part 4



Surry County Court Minutes ~ November 12, 1811



Being a large landowner in the county at the time, it's only natural that John Brown can be found with high frequency in the county court records. On two separate occasions he can be found suing a man named James Fitzgerald; first on February 10, 1807 and then again on November 12, 1811. Considering James Fitzgerald was at one time the sheriff of Surry County and is found being sued repeatedly by different individuals, I would assume that these two lawsuits most likely involved an issue with taxes. In 1810 John Brown is selected to act as a juror during the November court session, eventually serving on two cases dated November 16, 1810 involving a lawsuit between Nathan Chaffin and Nicholas Horn and a lawsuit between The State and one of his neighbors named Stephen Woode (Wood). As with most of the people closely associated with John Brown in Surry County, Stephen Wood was also originally from Montgomery County, MD and had married the sister-in-law of John Brown's neighbor Isaac Windsor. It may be that there is a deeper connection between the Brown family and the Wood family because this surname also appears on deeds from Washington County, TN involving John's father Jacob.

John Brown makes his return to the Surry County land records as a primary participant on October 28, 1816 when he sells the 100 acres he had purchased from Noel Wadel back in 1800 to his son Daniel. Two months later, and interestingly enough on Christmas day, John Brown writes out another deed transferring 100 acres to Jesse Peeter for the amount of "fifteen pounds current money." I find this deed particularly interesting due to the fact that John's granddaughter Jeannette Caroline Jones, eventually married a man named John Wesley Peter in 1836, although I've never made an attempt to connect the two men. 

Just a month later on January 24, 1817, John Brown parts with another 100 acres of his land on Hunting Creek. The tract lay adjacent to the land he had just sold to his son Daniel, and in this instance was being purchased by his son Isaac. As I mentioned in my last post, it is also in 1817 that John Brown fulfills his obligation as the administrator of the estate of John Roark and on his behalf sells 50 acres of land on the Long Branch to William Tulbert. The Long Branch lies just to the south of North Hunting Creek and eventually feeds into it just downstream of John Brown's property which gives you a good idea of the close proximity of the two men.

On February 21, 1818, John's son John Jr. takes a turn at purchasing some land from his father and buys 100 acres adjacent his brother Isaac. Based on the property's description, it was most likely part of John Brown's 179 acre purchase from Josiah Roughton in 1799. What is most important about this deed is the fact that it is witnessed by his son-in-law Thomas Jones. With the name discrepancy caused by John Brown referring to his daughter as "Polly Jones" in the writing of his 1830 will and the existing marriage record that he acted as bondsman for naming her Nancy, I believe this deed to be further evidence of Nancy and Polly being one and the same person.

Five years would pass before John Brown makes his final land transaction in Surry County, selling 146 acres to his son Thomas A. Brown on September 18, 1823. The land is described as being adjacent John Brown, Tolbert, Henry Brown, and Isaac Brown and the deed was witnessed by A. Johnson, Aniais Roton, and John Brown Jr. The first thing that is interesting about this deed is that for the first time involving land transactions with his sons, no money is supposedly exchanged, and the land is granted "for and in consideration of the natural love and affection that a parent hath towards a child and for the better support and mantainance (sic)." Even more interesting is that for the first time on any document, John Brown doesn't sign his name and instead signs with "his mark". This is seen again when he writes his last will and testament on September 22, 1830 which would indicate to me that he had possibly suffered an illness or accident some seven years prior to dying, that rendered him unable to fully use his normal writing hand.


Last Will & Testament of John Brown.
Sept. 22, 1830 ~ Surry County, NC


"In the name of God amen. I John Brown of the county of Surry and state of North Carolina being of sound mind and disposing memory blessed be God, do this twenty second day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty make and publish this my last will and testament revoking all others in manner following to wit: First, I will that all my just debts be paid. Second, I will and bequeath unto my wife Molley Brown all my land and stock of every kind, house hold and kitchen furniture during her natural life or widder hood. Third, I will and bequeath unto my son Henry Brown one dollar over and above what he has all ready had. (Fourth) I will and bequeath unto my son John Brown twenty five dollars to be paid out of the property at my death over and above what he all ready had. (Fifth) I will and bequeath unto my son Daniel Brown twenty five cents over and above what he all ready had. (Sixth) will unto my son Isaac Brown twenty cents over and above what he all ready had. (Seventh) I will unto my daughter Polly Jones formerly Polly Brown fifty cents over and above what she has all ready had. (Eighth) I will unto my daughter Susanah Felts formerly Susanah Brown twenty five cents over and above what she has all ready had. (Ninth) I will unto my daughter Elizabeth Jones formerly Elizabeth Brown fifty cents over and above what she has all ready had. (Tenth) I will and bequeath unto my son James Brown all my lands and tennements stock of every kind and all my farming tools of every kind at the death or marrage of my wife and at my death I will unto my said son James Brown my one waggon and harness one still and the debts that is due to me and also at the death or marriage of my wife I will unto my said son James Brown all my house hold and kitchen furniture. (Eleventh) I will unto my son Thomas A. Brown twenty five cents over and above what he has all ready had. I hearby make and ordain my beloved sons John Brown and James Brown of the county and state aforsaid  executor of this my last will and testament in witness where of I the said John Brown of the county and state afore said do here unto set my hand and affix my seal the day and date above written sind sealed in presence of A. Johnson Dr., George Messick, Wiley Messick."   (original spelling left intact)



Surry County Court Minutes ~ November 8, 1830


John Brown's last will and testament was eventually proved in the Surry County court by the oath of Wiley Messick on November 8, 1830 thus placing John Brown's death between September 22 and November 8 of that year. His wife Mary (Molly) never remarried and continued to live on his main property up until her death sometime after 1850, with the land then being passed on to their son James as stipulated by the will. Their son James and his descendants would continue to occupy the property through the years, with there still being Browns living in the area to this day.

As far as a final resting place for John Brown and his wife, that still remains a mystery. The two most likely locations would be either the George Messick Cemetery or somewhere on his own land. Having been to the George Messick Cemetery, I would say there is a pretty good possibility he could be buried there. There are a number of unmarked graves and graves with stones that have been rendered illegible over time, leaving this possibility wide open. In fact, I tend to wonder if the cemetery wasn't actually misnamed. To the best of my knowledge, the cemetery's name originates with the writing and publishing of the book Cemeteries of Yadkin County, North Carolina compiled by Carl C. Hoots. The author cites his information on the Messick cemeteries as "through courtesy of Kathryn Ring." With all due respect to the author and Mrs. Ring, a few of the graves were definitely transcribed incorrectly. Most important to my point is the grave of George T. Messick for whom the cemetery is named. I tend to believe it's possible that the cemetery was only named after him because they thought his grave was the oldest and belonging to an obvious patriarch. With the date having been trancribed as "3- -1816" that would certainly be a correct assumption, but instead the stone actually reads 3- -1846. Another stone, supposedly even older belonging to Abigail Messick, is listed as having a death date of "5-27-1808". This has to be an error because Abigail Messick was the granddaughter of George T. Messick through his son John Nelson Messick and wouldn't have even been born in 1808, let alone dead in 1808 at age 39 as the book reads. With that being said, the oldest readable stone in the cemetery actually belongs to John Brown Jr. who died on February 12, 1834. The next oldest legible stone belongs to John Brown Jr.'s son George who died as an adult on May 1, 1839. Could it be that the cemetery actually started out as a Brown Family cemetery and saw shared usage with the Messicks due to John Brown Jr. having married into the family? It is in very close proximity to land known to be owned by John Brown Sr. and quite possibly lays on the parcel of land he sold to his son John Jr.

As I mentioned earlier, the other possibility is that John Brown is buried somewhere on his former property. I decided to put this theory to the test a few weeks ago and went down to have a look around and talk to some of the current landowners. After knocking on a few doors, I was directed to the sole remaining Brown still living in the vicinity of the property who happens to be an elderly woman once married to a descendant of John's son James. She had recollection of a small cemetery out in the middle of a cow pasture along the road that takes you back into John Brown's original 1786 land purchase. With the land having been parceled-out over the years and now under various people's ownership, I had the chance to talk to numerous people now living on the property. On two separate occasions I was told by different people about a gentleman who had built a home in recent years on the land in question and during the construction process he had uncovered what he thought was an Indian burial ground. I never got a chance to speak with the actual homeowner, so I'm not certain about how he determined it to be an Indian burial ground and not a 182 year old family cemetery. Being that I only live about 30 minutes from there, I do plan to make a return trip to dig into this matter a little further.....no pun intended. Stay tuned.

















Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Brown (Braun) Family Of Rowan & Surry County, NC...Part 3




Brown Road in Yadkin County, NC
(vicinity of John Brown homestead)



Of the eleven children of Jacob "The Wagonmaker" Brown, it was his son John who decided to pass on the family migration to Tennessee and remain behind in North Carolina. As I mentioned in an earlier post, John Brown had been born in Rowan County, NC around the year 1762 and quite possibly left for Surry County, NC in 1780. I say "quite possibly" because it is on April 3 of this year that a land grant of 100 acres in Surry County is issued to a John Brown by the governor at the time, Richard Caswell. Unfortunately, the grant makes no mention of any indentifying waterways or names of bordering landowners to definitively say it was this John Brown; although, the 1786 county tax list for Captain Sanders' District would indicate the possibility because John Brown is shown owning 300 acres by that point in time. Of these 300 acres, apart from this possible land grant, only 100 acres can be accounted for definitively through deed by the year 1786. This transaction occurred on December 8, 1786 when John Brown purchased 100 acres on the actual bank of North Little Hunting Creek from Philip Britain and his wife Mary for the amount of 60 pounds. The deed describes the land as running "down the meander" of the creek, which is still visible to this day, and places this land at the end of modern-day Cliff Road off of Brown Road in the North Buck Shoals area of Yadkin County. There is a vacant land entry on record that was made by William Elsberry on June 14, 1787 involving 100 acres on Hunting Creek. The land is described as being "between Christian Brown, land Thomas Kell sold to Rotan, and a branch of Hunting Creek." The land entry also mentions that it was transferred to John Brown.

The way the vacant land entry system operated in the state of North Carolina at the time was that first an individual would find an unoccupied piece of land, pay a small fee, and then file a land entry, or vacant land entry, at the county land office. A waiting period would then follow to allow any individuals who may already own all or part of the land to come forward and dispute the individuals entry. If there were no issues at this point, a land warrant was issued and sent to the county surveyor to have the land surveyed. Once the land was surveyed and all fees were paid, which included the cost of 10 pounds per 100 acres at this period of time, a grant was issued from the governor. From this point forward, the land usually changed hands through deeds on the county level. No corresponding deed seems to exist for this transfer between William Elsberry and John Brown and I'm not really sure how it could have been transferred prior to the actual land entry, but the transaction is later backed up by a land entry made by John Brown on October 12, 1794 when he files for 50 acres on the waters of North Hunting Creek that border "Christian Brown, his former entry  No. 251, and Joshua Tolbert." It is mentioned once again almost eight years later in 1802 when John Brown enters a 150 acre land entry which includes "the plantation he purchased of William Elsberry."


Part of John Brown's 100 acre 1786 land purchase
from Philip Britain.
(North Hunting Creek is just beyond the trees.)


Despite being shown owning 300 acres on the 1786 tax list, by 1790 John Brown is only being shown taxed for 100 acres in what is now known as Captain Hudspeth's District despite him actually owning at least 200. With the constant discrepancies involving these tax lists, it may very well be that he was issued the 1780 grant. Another important fact to mention concerning the 1790 tax list is that it marks the first appearance of John Roark in Surry County. As I discussed in my post about Burrel Jones, the John Brown being discussed here did not marry Molly McCulloch in Rowan County as has long been believed, and it is this John Roark who has been put forth as a likely father-in-law. There are actually quite a few factors that could possibly validate this claim. First would be the fact that John's older brother David married John Roark's daughter Sarah in Rowan County. Despite the lack of a marriage record, the union is documented in a Washington County, TN deed dated December 1, 1796 between John Roark and his "loving son in law David Brown." The second piece of evidence pointing to this possibility is the fact that the Surry County court granted the administration of John Roark's estate to John Brown on November 14, 1804. Odd considering  there is no further mention of John Roark in Surry County after 1793, apart from this court minutes entry, and John Brown's eventual sale as estate administrator of 50 acres of land belonging to John Roark on the Long Branch to William Tulbert on November 8, 1817. Tax records from 1790-1793 show John Roark owning a varying amount of 240-340 acres without any existing deeds to cross-reference. It may be that John Brown was merely a co-administrator of the estate and chosen solely based on his proximity to the land still owned by John Roark in Surry County after he left for TN. Unfortunately, I've never been able to locate any other deeds or estate related documents involving John Roark in Washington County, TN either, apart from the single deed from 1796 involving David Brown. With all that being said, one must still ask the question why John Roark chose to relocate from Rowan to Surry County in such close proximity to John Brown in the first place. About all that is known about John Brown's wife with any certainty, is that her name was Mary, or sometimes Molly, and that she was born in Pennsylvania around 1764 as per the 1850 Census for Surry County, NC.       


Administration of the Estate of John Rowark to John Brown.
November 14, 1804 ~ Surry County, NC


On August 16, 1796 John Brown makes a second 100 acre purchase from Philip Britain who had since relocated to Burke County, NC. The land was most likely adjacent the 1786 purchase and is described as being "on the north bank of the North Fork of Hunting Creek" and starting on "Rotten's ford on said creek." The deed was witnessed by a George Brown and John Pettyjohn. Roughly six months later John Brown acquires an additional 46 acres on Hunting Creek from his neighbor Christian Brown on February 4, 1797. Once again the deed is witnessed by a George Brown, who I expect was most likely a son of Christian Brown based on their age difference and the sheer number of deeds involving the two men together. Unfortunately, Christian Brown's connection to John Brown remains illusive; although, I expect there is some sort of family connection between the two men considering John's grandfather was named Stephen Christian Braun and the the two men arrived in the same area of Surry County around the same time. If there is a family connection, I would guess that Christian was most likely a cousin to John Brown.

For the next three years John Brown would continue to purchase more land along North Little Hunting Creek, starting with 179 acres he bought from Jacob Roughton on August 28, 1799 for the relatively cheap amount of 40 pounds. The land is described as being adjacent land already owned by John Brown and once again mentions "the meander" on the creek. The deed was witnessed by Josiah Roughton and Windle Cook. It is generally believed that Jacob and Josiah Roughton were brothers and the sons of the David Rhoton that witnessed John Brown's 1786 land purchase from Philip Britain. The Roughtons were one of several tightly interwoven families who had come to the area from Sussex County, Delaware. Jacob and Josiah's sister Eunice Roughton had married George Messick who was also originally from Sussex County, and their sister Pollyanna Roughton had married a man named Joseph Roark Salmons also from Sussex County. Isaac Jones' son Thomas owned land adjacent Joseph Salmons in 1818, and it was Josiah's son James Roughton who later purchased land owned by Isaac's son Wiley in Warren County, TN in the 1820's. This same James Roughton had married Nellie Messick who was the daughter of George Messick's brother Richard.


May 15, 1799 Surry County, NC Court order 
to lay off a road in the vicinity of Hunting Creek.


John Brown certainly had a very close tie with the family of George Messick, considering his oldest son Henry married George Messick's daughter Lucia (Luah) on October 7, 1808 in Surry County. With no existing county marriage bond, it's very fortunate that the event was seen as an affair worthy of having announced in the October 20, 1808 edition of the Raleigh Register newspaper. Twelve years later on July 14, 1820, John's son John Jr. married one of George Messick's other daughters named Lovey Messick. Lucia and Lovey's brother Leonard Messick went on to marry a woman named Elizabeth Verlinda Windsor, who also shared the same surname as their father George's mother Rebecca Windsor. Elizabeth's father Isaac Windsor lived adjacent to a man named Iley Denny who has a somewhat bizarre connection to Isaac Jones. Iley, also known as Azariah, had a sister named Elizabeth who married a man named Priddy Meeks. Priddy and Elizabeth's granddaughter Keziah Meeks Carter married Isaac Jones' grandson John Logan Jones some 40 years later in Arkansas. Not only this, but Keziah's son James Carter was the second husband of Isaac Jones' great-granddaughter Lucy Jones Gist, which also happened some 50 years after Isaac and his family had left Surry County.





Both George Messick and Josiah Roughton would act as witnesses for John Brown's next purchase of 50 acres of land from Jacob Roughton on October 23, 1800. Once again the land was located on the north side of Hunting Creek and listed adjacent John Brown's prior purchase from Jacob Roughton and the property of a man named William Wooldridge. Three days prior to this transaction on October 3, John Brown had purchased 100 acres for 60 pounds from Noel Wadel (Waddel) which lay adjacent to the 50 acres he would soon buy from Jacob Roughton. This deed was also witnessed by George Messick and Josiah Roughton and this purchase is most likely what led to John Brown acting as a witness for Noel Waddel's sale of land to Isaac Jones in 1801. John would eventually sell this 100 acre parcel to his son Daniel on October 28, 1816 and Isaac Jones would eventually sell his second 1814 purchase from Noel Waddle to Daniel Brown in 1823. John Brown's last known land purchase in Surry County would be a state land grant for 50 acres issued on December 9, 1802. The grant was derived from the 150 acre land entry I mentioned earlier dated February 10, 1802 and described as "joining his own land, Christian Brown's and others, including the plantation he purchased of William Elsberry." Due to the inclusion of the 100 acre William Elsberry plantation he already owned, the end amount granted was only 50 acres. What is interesting about this particular 50 acres is that it is the exact same 50 acres he filed a land entry for in 1794 which can be seen in the corresponding original entry date of October 12, 1794 on the grant. Based on known land purchases only, by 1802 John Brown owned at least 725 acres along North Hunting Creek in Surry County. There is mention in the Surry County Court Minutes of a "bill of sale" from James Frazier to John Brown being "proved by the oath of Thomas Wright", but there is nothing more to indicate that it involved the purchase of any land and could have been for just about anything.


1815 Surry County, NC Tax List
Capt. Jones District
(John Brown Sr. ~ bottom left)


One document of particular interest from 1800 involving John Brown is the federal census for that year. What makes this census stand apart from any of the others he is listed on, is the fact that he is shown with one free person of color and two slaves in the household. At no point prior to or after 1800 is there any mention found of John Brown purchasing, inheriting, or owning slaves. A Brown family researcher named Cindy Schroeder had pointed out to me that the 1815 county tax list shows a Mary Brown listed above John Brown Sr. and being taxed for one black poll, opening the possibility that John's wife Mary was the actual owner of the slave/slaves. While I suppose possible, it would certainly mark a rare occurrence of a married woman being taxed on individual property considering that in most cases that would only occur if the woman were an unmarried adult or widow. The 1800 census listing in question is most certainly the correct John Brown based on other individuals listed in the district, as well as, the number and ages of the family members is dead on in accounting for the eight children they had at the time: Henry (ca 1784), John Jr. (ca 1786), Daniel (ca 1787), Susannah (ca 1792), Isaac (ca 1794), Nancy/Polly (ca 1795), Elizabeth (1799), and James (1800). John and Molly would have their last child Thomas A. in 1803. I have John Jr. listed as being older than Daniel primarily based on how they are named in their father's will, although, if the information is accurate, the 1820 Census would seem to indicate that Daniel was actually the older of the two.

To be continued...........      


1780 NC Land Grant to John Brown in Surry County (page 1)

1780 NC Land Grant to John Brown in Surry County (page 2)

1786 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Philip Britain & wife Mary to John Brown

1796 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Philip Britain to John Brown (page 1)

1796 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Philip Britain to John Brown (page 2)

1797 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Christian Brown to John Brown (page 1)

1797 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Christian Brown to John Brown (page 2)

1799 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Jacob Roughton to John Brown

1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Jacob Roughton to John Brown & 1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Noel Wadel to John Brown (page 1)

1800 Surry County, NC Deed ~ Noel Wadel to John Brown (page 2)

1802 NC Land Grant to John Brown (page 1)

1802 NC Land Grant to John Brown (page 2) 

          

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Brown (Braun) Family of Rowan & Surry County, NC...Part 2



Jacob "The Wagonmaker" Brown's farm in
Washington County, TN as viewed from the
location of the family cemetery.


As I mentioned at the end of my last post, Jacob Brown spent the later half of the 1790's selling off his numerous land holdings in Rowan County in preparation for his eventual relocation to Washington County, TN. The first of these transactions occurred on December 8, 1795, when Jacob sold 282 acres of his land along the Middle Fork of Crane Creek to a man named Michael Kline for the amount of 285 pounds. Six months later on June 24, 1796, Jacob Brown sells his remaining 110 acres of land along Crane Creek. This transaction included his actual residence and was purchased by a young lawyer named Montfort Stokes who had been serving as a clerk with the North Carolina General Assembly. Eventually he would go on to become a U.S. Senator representing the state of North Carolina from 1816-1823. During his time serving in the U.S. Senate, he would eventually relocate to Wilkes County, NC where he would be elected as a representative to the North Carolina General Assembly from 1826-1827 and then to the North Carolina House of Commons from 1829-1830. Following this, Montfort Stokes would become the 25th Governor of North Carolina, serving from 1830-1832 before resigning to become the head of President Andrew Jackson's Federal Indian Commission. One final note on Montfort Stokes is that he is one of the Freemasons listed as a member of the Old Cone Lodge in Salisbury as early as 1793, the same lodge as I believe Isaac Jones was a member of  four years later.

So now with only still owning his lot in Salisbury and the 20 acres adjacent to the area, Jacob Brown decides to pack up and relocate to northeastern Tennessee. An interesting side note to this is the fact that Tennessee had just become a state 3 weeks prior to Jacob selling his farm in Rowan County to Montfort Stokes. Despite this, Jacob's destination of Washington County had a long history of settlement, having been founded in 1777 and originally a county in the state of North Carolina. In fact Jonesborough, the Washington County seat, is considered today as being the oldest town in the state of Tennessee. During the 1780's, Washington County had also been part of the failed attempt at becoming the fourteenth state of the United States known as the state of Franklin, named after Benjamin Franklin. Upon his arrival in the summer of 1796, Jacob Brown would choose to settle along a branch of the Little Limestone Creek, just a mile or two east of the modern-day community of Telford which at the time was known as Millwood.


Brown Branch of the Little Limestone
which runs along the property of Jacob Brown.


Jacob Brown made his first land purchase in Washington County on July 19, 1796, purchasing two separate pieces of land totaling 235 acres from John Rimeal (Rymel). By December 24 of that same year, Jacob began parceling his land out to some of his children, selling 80 acres to his son David and 24 1/4 acres to his oldest son Jacob. It's generally believed that Jacob Brown Sr.'s three oldest sons: Jacob Jr., George, and Abraham; had preceded their father in relocating to Washington County, TN by as much as six years. Almost a year after relocating to Washington County, Jacob finds a buyer for his town lot and adjoining land back in Salisbury, NC; selling them both to Lewis Beard for a total of "25 pounds current money" on July 12, 1797.


View looking east over the lower portion of Jacob
Brown's farm in Washington County, TN.
(McCarty Branch in the middle of picture)


On November 4, 1799, Jacob sells 12 acres of his farm to a man named Aaron Coppick for the sum of $40.  A year later on November 21, 1800, Jacob parts with another 50 acres of his farm which he sells to a man named John Murr (Muir) for the amount of $250. What is interesting about this second deed is that it is witnessed by Jacob's son John Brown, who having chose to remain behind in North Carolina, must have been in the area at the time on a visit. There is one final deed dated August 20, 1806 showing a Jacob Brown "waggonmaker" selling 2 1/2 acres of land to a woman named Barbary (Barbara) Overholster (Overholt) for the amount of $50. Despite showing "waggonmaker", I believe that this Jacob Brown was actually the son because he signs with his mark on the deed which isn't consistent with the elder Jacob always signing with a signature. Revolutionary War pension documents for Jacob Brown Jr. indicate that he also practiced the trade of wagon making, making it even more likely that the deed mentioned involved Jacob Jr. and not his father.


 Lower portion of Jacob Brown's farm looking east.
(McCarty Branch in the middle of picture)

Looking northeast over Jacob Brown's farm.
(the family cemetery is at the top of the hill to the left)


The 1800 sale of land to Aaron Coppick would mark the final appearance of Jacob "The Wagonmaker" Brown as a direct participant in any other deeds in the county. His next mention in a deed would come after his death sometime prior to September 24, 1808, when on this day his son-in-law Adam Sliger who had married Jacob's daughter Catherine, his son Abraham Brown, and his daughter Margaret (Brown) Starns sell their interest in Jacob's estate to their brother David. Roughly eight months later on May 9, 1808, Jacob's children Jacob Jr. and Phillip along with a man named William Bayles who was "acting as an agent" for Jacob's son Solomon and his daughter Mary's husband Henry Salts, when they too sell their interest in their father's estate to their brother David. The fact that William Bayles is "acting as an agent" would imply that Solomon Brown and Henry Salts had already sold their interest in the estate to him. Two years later on December 20, 1811, Jacob's son John sells his interest in his father's estate to Henry Salts who in turn sells it to David Brown the following month on January 10, 1812. The final mention of Jacob Brown's estate is found in a deed dated December 9, 1819 written to show the passing of interest held in his estate by his daughter Mary (Polly) Salts and her husband Henry to her brother David. Despite the deed being written up between these two parties, the deed goes on to state that the couple had already sold their interest to William Bayles which was also referenced in the earlier 1808 deed. Of his eleven children, the only two of which no mention concerning his estate is made are his sons George and Conrad. While not mentioned as a direct participant, George Brown does act as a witness for the 1808 and 1809 deeds concerning Jacob's estate. The only mention connecting Conrad to Jacob Brown is his acting as a witness on the 1799 sale of land by Jacob Brown to Aaron Coppick, and as a witness on a 1796 Washington County deed between John Roark and Jacob's son David Brown. Even more interesting is the lack of mention of Jacob's wife Elizabeth in any documents concerning his estate. When one looks at the fact that on every deed prior to 1789 in which Jacob is selling land she is found as a cosigner and never again following that, I would wonder if she had actually died prior to 1789 and never made the trip to Tennessee.

With that being said, based on deeds and marriage records the children of Jacob "The Wagonmaker" Brown and Elizabeth Goettgen are: Jacob (1752-NC), George (1755-NC), Abraham (1756-NC), Margaret (1758-NC), David (1759-NC), Phillip (1760-NC), John (1762-NC), Conrad (1768-NC), Mary "Polly" (1774-NC), Catherine (1775-NC), and Solomon (1779-NC).


Location of the Jacob "The Wagonmaker" Brown
family cemetery.


Upon Jacob's death, he was laid to rest in the family cemetery on top of a hill overlooking his property. Today there are no visible signs of the cemetery whatsoever. Back in 1986, a Washington County man named James Thomas Dykes had found Jacob's tombstone among the scattered markers in the cemetery and removed it for safekeeping. The marker is inscribed only with "Jacob Brown died 1807" and a picture of it can be viewed in the book "The Ancestors and Descendants of Abraham (Braun) Brown, the miller; The Ancestors and Descendants of Jacob (Braun) Brown, the wagonmaker" compiled and edited by John Burgess Fisher, Dorothy Brown Koller, and Margaret Brown Anderson. The section of the book pertaining to Jacob Brown, as well as the photo of Jacob's grave, are credited to Leo J. Brown, M.D. I was able to locate the cemetery based on another photo taken from it's location by Leo J. Brown back in 1986 and the help of the current owner who happens to be a Brown. The sole remnants of the cemetery are two granite marker bases and one unmarked piece of a marker, which have been moved to the side of the barn in the picture for safekeeping by the current property owner. He had recalled there being a few others at the base of the tree but I saw no signs of them. It may be that they are now buried under the knee-high grass topped with a nice layer of poison ivy that surrounds the base of the tree.

Special thanks goes out to Billy Harris who put me in touch with the current landowner, and to the current landowner Hooter Brown and his son Mike for being so friendly and granting me access to the property!

And an extra special thanks goes out to Ginger Jilton the Washington County Register of Deeds for being so kind as to allow me the special privilege of photographing the original deed books which are no longer accessible to the general public due to excessive damage and wear. Mrs. Jilton and her staff have instead gone to great effort and taken on the task of indexing and professionally scanning all the deeds from 1783-1924, which can be accessed via computer at the courthouse and also via the internet.