Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Samuel was the son of John Hoy and Julia Ann Browning. He was born on 7 July 1848 in Harrison County, Ohio and died on 4 April 1931 in Flat Rock in Montgomery Township in Crawford County, Illinois.
Emily was the daughter of Samuel G. McCarter and Polly Ann Cannon. She was born on 5 July 1851 in Crawford County, Illinois and died on 2 Feb 1920 in Flat Rock. She and her husband are buried in the Robinson New Cemetery in Robinson, Crawford County, Illinois.
Samuel and Emily married in Crawford County on 11 Sept 1875.
More to come on Samuel -- he was an interesting man. In the meantime, his mother's case continues below......
In studying the documentation I've procured for the case, I've discovered more than one charge was levied by the Brownings against the defendant, James Beck. The first was Julia Ann Browning vs. James Beck; the second, Samuel Browning vs. James Beck. The two cases were conducted simultaneously. I'll be approaching the case in as much chronological order as I'm able to pull from the case files. But first things first. We can't have any case at all without the mitigating circumstances!
Julia Ann Browning, the eldest daughter of Samuel Browning and Margaret Markee, gave birth to a son she named Washington -- very likely in her home, and possibly in the very bed she slept in -- in Moorefield Township in Harrison County, Ohio, on 24 March 1837. She was a 16-yr old teenager at the time of Washington's birth. At around the same time, Julia's mother Margaret, aged 36, was likely either pregnant with her eleventh child, John Wesley Francis Browning, or had just given birth to him.
Using what scanty evidence I've been able to pull from the entirety of the case, Julia suffered from morning sickness during her pregnancy and might have been bed sick after the birth. Her father's testimony also seems to support this. Four days after the birth Julia was interviewed -- apparently in her bed in her home -- by a justice and, oddly, by James Beck himself! This sort of thing isn't a common practice today and occurs only in the rare cases that a defendant represents himself in court, but apparently having the defendant question the accuser was a legitimate and acceptable practice in 1837. But more about that in due time.
Three days after Washington's birth Samuel and Julia Ann went to see Samuel Skinner, a Justice of the Peace in Harrison County. Julia began the case by filing an affidavit with the Court of Common Pleas claiming a charge of Bastardy against James Beck. I don't suspect they saw any reason to file the case before Washington's birth because there was always the possibility of a stillbirth or the death of Julia herself. The affidavit is as follows:
THE STATE OF OHIO HARRISON COUNTY
Personally came before me Samuel Skinner one of the Justices of the peace in and for said county Julia Ann --- Browning an unmarried woman of Moorefield Township in said county and made solemn oath that on the 24th day of March AD 1837 she was delivered of a bastard child and that James Beck is the father of said child.
Julia Ann (Her mark) Browning
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 27th day of March AD 1837
Justice of the Peace
Later that day (27 March) Justice of the Peace Skinner issued a warrant for James Beck to Jno. (John or Jonathan) H. Beatty, the constable of Harrison County. I don't have a copy of the actual warrant that James was issued but the following mentions the issuance of one. This document was signed on 7 June but was obviously referring to the day in March when the warrant had been issued. According to Justice Skinner's oath, the constable served the warrant at a cost of 20 cents and 60 cents for mileage. Oh, I found that detail very amusing -- they charged mileage! I didn't realize horses had an odometer!
THE STATE OF OHIO vs. JAMES BECK
1837. March 27th on the affidavit of Julia Ann Browning an unmarried woman resident in the County of Harrison setting forth that she has been delivered of a bastard child and that James Beck is the father of said child. Same day warrant issued to Jno H. Beatty constable, warrant returned endorsed March 27th 1837 served by taking the defendant forthwith before Justice mileage 60 cents service 20 cents. Jno H. Beatty Const.
Whereupon on the 28th day of March AD 1837 the said Julia Ann Browning being duly sworn I proceeded to examine her, touching the cause of her complaint in the presence of said James Beck, and the said James Beck refusing to pay the said Julia Ann Browning to her satisfaction, it is ordered and adjudged that the said James Beck enter into recognizance with sufficient security in the sum of three hundred dollars for his appearance on the first day of the next term of the court of common pleas for said county to answer said complaint and be further dealt with according to law, and the said James Beck with Joseph Townsend as his security entered into such recognizance according to order.
The State of Ohio Harrison County
I do certify the above to be a true copy of the proceedings had in the above cause before me Given under my hand and seal this 7th day of June AD 1837
Samuel Skinner (Seal)
James refused to pay whatever monies Julia had requested of him and, although it does not specifically state, obviously declared himself not guilty of the charges against him. The case was therefore designated for trial on the first day of the next term of court, which was the October 1837 term.
The next day (28 March) was a flurry of activity. A recording of the proceedings was duly entered into the Common Pleas Journal D. At this point James had chosen Edward Clifford as his surety. Edward surrendered him to the court and a man named Joseph Townsend took over, entering with James into an agreement of recognizance with the court. This consisted of two documents; the order for recognizance (attached to the warrant, see above) and the conditions of the recognizance (found below). I also found some confusion with the exact sum of the recognizance. The recording in the Common Pleas Journal states $200, but all other documents -- including the actual order of recognizance itself -- clearly state $300. I suspect that this was an error in transcription on the clerk's part during the Journal recording. The first document was what was entered in the Common Pleas Journal:
Bastardy. This day came the parties by their attorneys and on motion to the court by the complainants counsel, it is ordered that this cause stand continued to the next Term of this Court. And thereupon Edward Clifford the surety of the said James Beck surrendered the said James Beck in open court. And on motion to court it is ordered that the said James Beck enter into recognizance with Joseph Townsend as security approved by the court in the sum of Two hundred dollars. Conditioned for the appearance of the said James Beck at the next term of this court on the first day of the Term to answer unto said complaint. and thereupon the said James Beck & Joseph Townsend personally appeared in open court and acknowledged themselves indebted to the State of Ohio in the sum of two hundred dollars to be levied of their goods, chattels, lands and tenements if default be made in the following condition to wit, the condition of this recognizance is such that if the aforebound James Beck shall personally appear at the next term of this court on the first day of the term and answer unto said complaint for Bastardy, abide the order and judgement of the court thereon and not depart without the leave of the court then this recognizance to be void and of none effect, otherwise to remain in full force & virtue.
And this was the actual order of recognizance:
The State of Ohio Harrison County
Be it remembered that on the 28th day of March AD 1837 James Beck & Joseph Townsend personally appeared before me Samuel Skinner on of the Justices of the peace in and for the county aforesaid and jointly and severally acknowledged to owe the state of Ohio for the use and benefit of the Township of Moorefield in said County of Harrison the sum of three hundred dollars to be levied of their goods and chattles lands and tenements for the use and benefit aforesaid if default be made in the condition following to wit, the condition of this recognizance is such that if the above bound James Beck shall personally be and appears before the court of common pleas next to be holden within and for said County of Harrison on the first day of the term, then and there to answer unto a complaint of Bastardy made by Julia Ann Browning against him, and abide the order of said court thereon, then this recognizance shall be void: otherwise to be in full force and virtue.
Taken and acknowledged before me the the 28th day of March AD 1837
Julia Ann (well, Samuel, but I assume as his daughter she would be represented by the same) had taken Dewey & Stanton as her counsel; James chose Jno. M. Goodinow.
The last item of business on 28 March was by far of the most interest to me. This was an interview conducted with Julia Ann and it took Justice Samuel Skinner and James Beck over to visit at Julia Ann's house. The transcription of the interview is as follows:
STATE OF OHIO VS JAMES BECK
ques by Justice is James Beck the father of your child
Ans. yes sir
ques by Deft. what time was the child begotten
Ans. I cannot tell the day of the month but it was in July at the time father was gone to Wheeling
Ques. was your mother at home and was there much fire in the house
Ans. my mother was at home and not much fire in the house
Ques. by Deft. where was the child begotten
Ans where I now lay on this bed
Ques who was in the bed at the time
Ans. my sister Rachel who was between 11 & 12 years old
Ques by deft was I ever on this bed with you but once
Ques did I when I came to your bed get in the bed and have to do with you
Answer You did
Ques was that the first time I came to see you
Ans no it was not
Given under my hand and seal this 28th day of March AD 1837
Samuel Skinner (seal)
Justice of the Peace
In more ways than one I found this an absolutely fascinating read. It's the only document in the entire file that shows anything of the personality of this young girl at the center of the case. As I read it I wondered at how honest she was being. I wondered at the chutzpah of this girl, that she would invite a young man into her bed with her mother at home and her much younger sister laying beside her as the two were intimate. At first glance it's a real shocker, isn't it? This seems to fly in the face of our modern interpretation of the moral rigidity of times past, doesn't it? Something like this, though, vividly demonstrates that the uptight ideas of sexuality that we think our forebears had originated more from the experience of the Victorian Age than times previous to it. If twelve people lived in a two room house, the idea that sex could be practiced in privacy simply doesn't seem realistic.
There were so many other questions going through my head as I read. Did Rachel tattle? Did Julia threaten her if she told? When did Julia come forth with the truth? Was Julia punished? What was Margaret doing that kept her away from the house long enough for Julia to sneak James in? And lastly, did they ever interview little Rachel as a corroborating witness? They should have! If they did, the document is unfortunately lost.
As to the "not much fire in the house" comment that Julia made, I have a theory though I'd be open to anyone else's comments and thoughts. It seems to me that since it was July, a fire would not be needed in the house for warmth. I suspect that James was trying to establish a time of day for this event. No fire equals daytime, to me. But hey, I could be wrong. I'd welcome input.
I noticed that Julia states that the act occurred in the bed where she laid during the interview. That little detail tells me that Julia was still in bed even four days after giving birth. Perhaps her delivery was a rough one and she wasn't feeling well.
And lastly and most interesting…..Samuel was "gone to Wheeling!" Wheeling is about 50 miles one way from Harrison County, give or take. I'd estimate that meant that Samuel was easily gone an entire week and maybe more. He could have traded in Cadiz or even at Steubenville; both cities were good sized at the time and much more accessible. Wheeling is in Ohio County, which neighbors Brooke County. Brooke was taken from Ohio in 1796. I wonder if Samuel had more reason to go all the way to Wheeling than just stocking up on goods? Perhaps he was visiting kin? That idea excites me, especially considering the deeds featuring Lewis and Lemuel Browning of Brooke County, WV.
This concludes the action on the case until the June Term. Next time we'll be in June!
Sunday, April 26, 2009
(In case you're not aware, The Browning Series is the story of the thirteen children Samuel and Margaret Browning had between them and after Margaret's death, the two Samuel had with his second wife, a widow named Sarah Ann (Bell) Gaddis. I plan to feature each one of the fifteen children in a separate post and finally tie the family together with a discussion of their parents.)
Julia Ann Browning was born on 21 January 1820 in Cadiz Township in Harrison County, Ohio. By the time she was ten her family had moved to Moorefield Township, which is where they stayed until at least 1840 and where they were living at the time of her case against James Beck, the father of her illegitimate son, Washington. I won't go into any more details of this case right now, but will instead skip to the year 1843, when she marries for the first time.
Her choice for a husband was a man named John Hoy. I pause here for a moment to share a bit of what I know on the Hoy family. The Hoys became rather an important fixture in the lives of Samuel and Margaret. Two of their daughters -- Julia and Margaret -- married into the Hoy family. John's parents, Edward Hoy and his wife Elizabeth and their family (sons William, John, James, Thomas, Solomon, Joel, Joseph and Benjamin) immigrated to the United States from Elm, Cambridgeshire, England. On 17 August 1837 the Hoys landed in the New York harbor after setting sail on the Ship Superior from Liverpool.
John and Julia married on 21 May 1843 in Harrison County, Ohio. It took me a while to locate their marriage license because there was a mistake in the recording of it on the books. The Justice that married them -- John M. Brown -- made the error himself as he recorded it. He was so used to writing his own name that when he went to write their names he stopped halfway through Julia's, recording it as "Julia Ann Brown" instead of Browning. Only the body of the license shows that she was actually a Browning.
The couple lived in Harrison County for a few years but moved to Mill Township in Tuscarawas County by 1850, where they were living with Julia's younger sister Margaret, who'd recently married John's younger brother James. By that time they had three children -- William, Samuel and Josephine. I find it interesting that her son Washington is not living with her but is instead living with his grandparents. This seems to have been the case throughout his life. Actually, it seems to have been something Julia did a lot of.
I say this because sometime between 1851 and 1860 John and Julia moved to Crawford County, Illinois with the rest of the Brownings. It appears by all evidence that John Hoy had died by 1855, though, because he isn't found in the October 1855 Illinois state census and it appears Julia may have been one of the females aged aged 30 to 40 in Samuel Browning’s household in the state census that year. I've concluded from the rather scanty evidence that John Hoy had probably died by 1855. I haven't ever been able to locate his grave.
By 1860, Julia's married again -- she married James E. ‘Melton’ Legg, the son of Edward Legg and Anna White, in Crawford County on 7 June 1860. Though Julia and James Melton are enumerated with his five children from his previous marriage to Sarah Mills and with Julia’s nephew Elias Browning, her own surviving children from her marriage to John Hoy aren't with her! Instead, her two sons William and Samuel Hoy (her daughter Josephine had died) were shown in the household of her father and mother, Samuel and Margaret.
I can't help but wonder if she just chose a string of men who didn't want her brats in their houses, or if she made the choice to leave her children with her parents. Perhaps her parents thought she was flighty and irresponsible. Perhaps she was headstrong and stubborn and it was just easier for her to let them raise themselves. Or perhaps none of this is true and the censuses just caught them all during days where her kids were simply visiting. I don't know. I do know that Washington's tombstone doesn't say "Son of." It says, "Grandson of." That sounds to me like Samuel and Margaret did most of his raising.
Julia died in Crawford County on 28 October 1869. She's buried near the Browning family plot in the Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Montgomery Township in Crawford County, Illinois.
Coming up next, the case that probably shaped Julia's life more than she liked.....
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
If you'll recall, I've mentioned the Browning vs. Beck case once before (and if you don't recall, click on the case name and go read the post!) Quickly summarized, it was the case that helped me determine who Washington Browning (see left) was and where he fit into Samuel and Margaret's Browning family. Washington was their grandson, the illegitimate son of their eldest daughter Julia Ann. Julia was sixteen when she gave birth. The man she accused of being Washington's father was a next-door neighbor named James Beck.
The case ended with a guilty verdict rendered upon James, and he was required to pay child support for a term of five years. I ended my first post by wondering whether or not James followed through on his stated intention to take the case up on appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. During my research this last week I thoroughly perused the surviving Supreme Court records of the time for Harrison County (I looked from 1834-1854) and I think I can safely say that he didn't appear to have done so. I'm satisfied. My years-long wondering can be placed aside permanently.
What interests me now is not that, but the rest of the case. You see, I spent most of Friday in the courthouse in Cadiz, the county seat of Harrison County. I found a few interesting tidbits but nothing that really jumped out and shouted at me. By 4 pm it had been a long day and I was contemplating going out to visit the cemetery where Washington's aunt was buried, but thought to grab a bite to eat at a tiny cafe near the square before doing so. While eating, I happened to overhear some older ladies chatting and asked one of them how to pronounce the name of the town....was it Cah-deez, or Caddis? I discovered it was Caddis. One of the ladies asked me where I was from, since my accent was obviously Texan. I mentioned I was there to do some genealogical research and another of the ladies swiveled in her seat and pointed across the cafe to the only other people there. She said, "Then you'll want to see her. She's the president of the Harrison County Genealogical Society!"
Long story short, Sue (the president) told me she'd meet me at the Society building and let me in. She ended up staying there for 4 hours, going down to the basement to pull the old records and making copies and doing research right alongside me. Both of us got goosebumps when we found some names that made me do my Happy Dance. As we worked she told me stories of how some old records were lost. The courthouse dumped many of them in a dumpster because of space constraints and the Society rescued what they could. She also told me that in the 80's some old marriage permission slips had been photocopied (one of those being the license of Samuel and Margaret, thank goodness!) but the originals went missing soon thereafter. One of those photocopied and now missing ones is so faint as to be illegible, though the name John Browning can be seen!!!!!
Anyway, I joined the Society that night and I can only hope that if and when I can help someone else out, I'll be able to pay it forward like Sue did for me. She was a true gem.
When she brought the files on the Browning vs. Beck case up from the Society basement for me, I got so excited. I ended up copying the entire file though it cost me a small fortune! These are the papers I intend to analyze in the coming week (or so.) Talk about fascinating......
'Til next time, then!
I've found many an interesting discovery and I can't wait to have the time to sit and transcribe my findings. Unfortunately I have tedious drudgery like working to put food on my table. How dare that get in the way of my genealogy!
Seriously, updates will come as soon as I can put fingers to keyboard. I look forward to exploring my findings here on this blog.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I came across this stone in the Western Heights Cemetery in Dallas County, Texas. A co-worker of mine told me about the cemetery and piqued my interest when he said that Clyde Barrow, of the famous Bonnie and Clyde, was buried there. It was only about fifteen minutes away from the house so I figured, why not?
The cemetery is smack dab in an older area of town, traffic going by at a million miles an hour, and it seemed strange to walk the cemetery because of that. I'm used to going to small cemeteries out in the middle of nowhere, where the only thing you hear is the chirping of birds or maybe the occasional car. It was still a peaceful place but it was punctuated with the sounds of society.
I spotted Clyde and his brother Buck right off. I didn't want to leave that early, though, so I wandered a bit. The stone whose picture is above is the one that struck me the most. The inscription says (as best as I could make out) :
In memory of David T. Ogle
Born in Sanwan County California January 22, 1859 died Aug 28th 1861 aged 2 years, 8 mos and __ days
Also E. D. Ogle born Jan 17th 1861
died November 26th 1863 aged 2 years 9 mos & 25 days
Brothers, most likely, and hand carved. It stuck out like a sore thumb because it didn't look like any of the rest -- it poignantly reminded me of the stones one sees in the old burial grounds in New England and not in some north central Texas city. Doesn't it to you? I saw it and thought that it looked like it just didn't belong there.
The stone's details are fascinating, if a bit misleading. Sanwan County? I looked it up and there doesn't appear to be one, now or in the past. Some Californians could tell me if that's accurate, I'm sure. Perhaps the carver just meant San Juan. If so, did they mean San Juan Capistrano? San Juan Bautista? North San Juan?
We might never know which they meant. It looks like the Ogle family was in California in 1859 but by 1861-1863, when little David and little E.D. died, they were living near this Dallas cemetery. Who knows where they went after that.
I just really liked the stone.
And on another completely unrelated topic....something that's making me angry! I used to background color my post titles by placing a div tag in the title. It's been working for the last couple months. Suddenly, the last two posts, it won't let me do that any longer? Grrrrrr. I just want to know why before I throw myself down in a prepubescent tantrum.
So, it's off to Ohio! See all of you on the flip side!
Monday, April 13, 2009
I thought I had this surname figured out when I found the marriage indexed in the Tuscarawas County, Ohio marriage records. There it was, clear as day:
Browning, Samuel - Sarah Ann DICKERSON 4 Oct 1849
For a year or so I took that at face value. That was before I got around to ordering the marriage itself from the courthouse; I was finally concentrating on researching Samuel and Sarah's descendants. When I got the license, it looked like this:
Yeah. Horrid. Absolutely horrid. So I wrote it down as a "need to get a new copy" on my to-do list. The last time I was in Ohio, in August, I went to the courthouse and pulled up the record on the microfilm reader. Voila, it was in the same shape! The ladies there informed me that the original records -- being old and delicate -- had been microfilmed and then sent off to the Tuscarawas Genealogical Society for safekeeping. I was told it was in Dennison and that there were odd hours. The hours that it was open didn't correspond to my remaining time in Ohio and as a result, I left without getting a copy.
It's obvious that I really need to see that marriage license. It's important because our Samuel here (Sam Jr., who is Samuel and Margaret's son) married Sarah Ann and they had three children together (Effie Emmaline, George, and Samuel) before she died, between 1858-1860. Samuel then remarried a woman named Julia Ann Dickinson in November of 1860.
After Samuel's death in 1862 his children with Sarah became the wards of George W. Dickinson. By all accounts this George W. was either Julia Ann's brother or cousin. Now George's mother's name was Effie Emmaline. Hm, the same as Samuel and Sarah's daughter -- coincidence? Also, George's father was also named George Dickinson Is it another coincidence that Samuel and Sarah's son's name was George Browning? I wondered about the names and wondered why Samuel's children would become wards of the unrelated second wife's Dickinsons and not the Brownings....unless they were also related to his first wife Sarah? So, maybe Sarah's name isn't Dickerson after all?
Or....wait. Yes, perhaps it was Dickerson. See, Samuel and Sarah raised a boy named John Christy (b. c1843) in their household from about 1850 until Samuel's death. This little boy might've been the orphaned son of a couple who were married in Tuscarawas County in 1842 -- John Christy and Julia Dickerson. Gahhhhhh! But wait, this typed marriage was also as badly microfilmed as Samuel and Sarah's was, and it might read Dickinson too? Yeah, I'll be checking that one too if I possibly can.
It should be easy to rule out one surname but to complicate matters, there were Dickinson and Dickerson families in Harrison County, Ohio at the same time. It could be either. All I do know is that it was the Dickinsons that were taking care of the Browning kids after their parents' deaths.
Hopefully I'll learn more in a few days. I've made it a point to schedule time for a visit at the Society, with cousins that I have never met yet! We're making it a first meet/breakfast/go see records session that I'm looking forward to.
I hope the Society will allow me to view the original marriage record and at least snap a photo of it. So please everyone, pray with me that the genealogical gods look upon me favorably and I get the chance to do that. If not, perhaps the ladies there will view it for me and at least tell me if it's DickINson or DickERson!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
So, tonight I switch families for a bit. My mother's roots are in Germany. Her grandparents both "came over on the boat" in the late 1880's/early 1890's. Her family settled in Will County, Illinois, a very German-populated area. I've featured her father and her uncle (my grandfather Frank and his brother Freddie) on this blog before but I haven't done much research on their ancestry. To begin with, the family was fractured and it's been hard to gather information from all the various fractures. Then there's the fact that they're Germans, a recalcitrant bunch, and very unwilling to sit down and talk about family. I still mourn the fact that at my great-grandmother's death in 1985, her children were willing to sell many (if not most) of her treasures. I was only a teenager then and didn't realize what was going on or that it would someday give me such grief that it had happened like that.
The family bible her parents had brought over from Germany might very well have been one of those things -- it seems to have disappeared. I don't know if it's still in the family but all the avenues I've explored have come up empty. As a child I remember looking through it -- it was big, and in German, and it held a picture of my g-g-grandfather August Karl Papstein standing proudly amongst the Lippanzer stallions he trained for Kaiser Wilhelm.
Tonight I concentrate on the descendants of my g-g-grandmother's sister, Minna. Up until tonight I didn't even know her full name! My g-g-grandmother, Anna Marie Louise Koehn, was the daughter of Johann Koehn and Johanna Vierkow (Virikow?) Anna was born in 1868 and her younger sister Minna in 1875. All I knew about Minna prior to tonight was what had been printed in Anna Marie Louise's obituary (to the right) -- that Minna had married a man named Albert Salzwedel and moved to Minnesota.
I came across Minna's name again yesterday and thought to myself that I should look her family up on Ancestry. How hard could it be to find the Salzwedels? Sure enough, it only took about twenty minutes for me to find them in the 1900-1930 censuses as well as the Minnesota Birth and Death listings and locate their children, grandchildren and g-grandchildren.
Minnie's full name was Minna Mathilda Louise Koehn. She married Albert Salzwedel around 1892 and the couple settled in White Heron Township in Jackson County, Minnesota. They had at least four children: Albert Frederick Karl (b. Dec 1893), William Albert August (b. Nov 1895), Minnie (b. Nov 1897), and Walter (b. c1908). I also managed to trace a few more generations of Albert Frederick's family and William Albert's.
Minnie Mathilda died in June of 1971 in Jackson County. Her husband Albert had died there in October of 1946.
I think it would be interesting for me to do some cold calling to some of the Salzwedels that are descended from Minnie. I'd love to know what -- if anything -- they know about their German ancestry. I'd also hope to find out that they're a warmer bunch than that side of my immediate family!
I think I'll probably do that after I return from Ohio.
Friday, April 10, 2009
I noticed I said that Lemuel Browning had lived in Brooke County, WV, and had married a woman named Caroline Beck.
Could it be? Could this Caroline from Brooke County have ANY connection whatsoever to the James Beck I posted about a week or so ago? The James Beck who was asserted to be the father of Washington, whose mother was Samuel's daughter Julia? The James Beck who Samuel took to court to sue for child support? And if so, doesn't this place one more point of circumstantial evidence linking my Browning family to the members of the Browning family I mentioned in my previous post here, whose roots were lodged in Brooke County WV and before that, Frederick County, Maryland?
There is much Browning research in W. M. Hurley's 1998 book, Browning Families (Primarily Of Montgomery County, Maryland.) In it, Hurley places Jeremiah Browning (b. c1744, son of Edward Jr) and his wife Cassandra as the parents of six children: 1) Jeremiah Jr (who married Catherine Mansfield), 2) Lewis b. c1766 (married Margaret Phillips), 3) Joseph, 4) Elizabeth, 5) Cassandra (m. Seth Clarke) and 6) Rachel (m. Richard Foster.)
The Lewis mentioned above had three children: 1) John Fletcher Browning (b.1799), 2) Lemuel Browning (b. 1801, m. Caroline Beck) and 3) Lewis Jr (b. c1807, m. Margaret.)
The deeds I have in Harrison County definitely refer to Lemuel, but Lewis is still a bit of a mystery. It seems there were three Lewis Brownings, all alive at the time, and ALL married women named Margaret!
Two of the Lewis Brownings are the ones mentioned above. The last is connected to another Browning family in Hurley's book that intrigues me: the family of Meshach Browning. Meshach says that his grandfather William (b 1710) lived with his son, John, one of Meshach's uncles. Meshach's parents were Joshua Browning and Nancy Farmer. The book says that the couple had children (Meshach being one of them) but only four are mentioned, with birthdates c1769 (Dorcas), c1773 (Joshua Jr) , c1775 (Jeremiah) and 1781 (Meshach).
This family is interesting because Joshua Jr. married Cassandra Farmer and moved to Licking County, Ohio. He had children, one of whom (Jeremiah) was the father of Van Browning, the man who moved to Crawford County, Illinois! And one of Van's brothers was Lewis Browning, who married Margaret Heff.
I wonder sometimes if Joshua and Nancy had another son.....John. If they did, that John (b. c.1771?) would be the right age to be my Samuel's father. AND it would cement the Licking County connection.
Ever wish you could play Calvin and Hobbes and use the Time Machine that Calvin built out of a cardboard box to go back in time? I know where I'd go.....
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
F.O. married Mary Medora Browning, the daughter of Samuel Browning and Sarah Ann (Bell) Gaddis, on 17 Sep 1895 in Putnam County, Missouri. After their marriage they settled in Jackson Township in Putnam County and had one known living child, a daughter named Sarah Crystal, before F.O. died on 19 July 1903.
He is buried at the Dickson Cemetery in Jackson Township in Putnam County, Missouri.
The stone is simple; its lines are square and elegant. I think I'd like a stone like that for myself. There is foilage engraved along the sides of the stone that has worn over time, but what I find most compelling is the word engraved on the stone in the top left corner -- "Papa."
Sarah Crystal was only six and a half when her daddy died. In my mind I can hear her child's voice in bell tones, calling her father by that simple term of endearment.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Circumstantial evidence suggests that Samuel (b. c1796 MD) may possibly be the son of John Browning, who is found in the 1820 and 1830 censuses of Harrison County. In the 1820 census John, who is listed as living in Cadiz Township and as aged 45 and over, is living with a female (probably his wife) who is also 45 and over. They are living within a six household radius of Samuel and his wife Margaret. This John is shown with three males -- one under the age of 10, one aged 16 to 18, and one aged 16 to 25; and six females – two under the age of 10, three aged 10 to 15, and one aged 16 to 25.
In 1830 John Browning is shown living in Freeport Township aged 50 to 59, with a wife also aged 50 to 59. They are shown with three children: a boy aged 15 to 19 and two girls, one aged 10 to 14 and the other aged 15 to 20.
Taken as a whole, these two censuses show that both John and his unnamed wife were born between the years 1771-1775. As Samuel was born around the year 1796, the possibility exists that he is their son.
A search for possible siblings of Samuel's unearthed a number of prospects. Early Harrison County marriage records provide evidence of the marriages of at least five Browning women. A Polly Browning married James Graham and Margaret Browning married Richard Medley, both in 1826. A Wilsey Browning intended to marry John Thomas in 1830 but although a license was issued, no marriage took place. A Hannah Browning married Thomas Drake in 1837. Lastly, a Cassa Browning married Alfred Calvert in 1841. It is uncertain, however, whether any of these women were siblings or other relatives of Samuel's.
In the 1820 census, another Browning is also within the same six household radius and on the same page as Samuel and John in Cadiz Township; William, aged 16 to 26. William is shown with another male aged 16 to 26 and a female, most probably his wife, aged 26 to 45. Harrison County marriage records contain the entry of a marriage of a William Browning to a Hannah Barr on 1 December 1818, and it is possible that this William may be a brother to Samuel and another younger son of John.
By 1840, neither John nor his wife are found on the census records of Harrison County nor have they been located in any neighboring counties. It could be assumed that both died between the years 1830-1840, but this assumption has never been proven. Efforts to further locate John Browning have so far proved fruitless.
There is also slight evidence to suggest that Samuel may have had relatives in Licking County, Ohio. Two of Samuel's sons, Asbury Taylor and John Wesley Francis, married Corderman women in Crawford County. The David Corderman family had come from Pennsylvania and had settled in Jacksontown Township in Licking County in the late 1830's. They had then moved on to Crawford County, where two of David's daughters, Matilda and Minerva, married into the Browning family. Minerva Corderman Browning, Asbury's widow, stated in her Civil War soldier's widow's pension application that she had known Asbury from an early age. She stated that she had "always knew him since he was a small boy."
If her statement is accepted as true and Asbury and Minerva had known each other as children, then Samuel Browning and his family may have made trips to Licking County to visit relatives. The Browning families in and around Licking County in the early 1840's – specifically those of Asa and Jeremiah Browning of Union Township -- may have been relatives of Samuel's. Samuel's supposed father, John Browning, might have been a brother or cousin to one of these men. While this is unproven, the presence of Van Browning in Crawford County (a known son of Jeremiah of Licking County) during the same time period as Samuel also lends some support to the connection between the Brownings of Licking County and the family of Samuel Browning.
Pat and I searched for years. I wish I could figure out what it was.
I've looked in early Harrison County records….I've had a researcher I hired do it and I did it myself back in August. No John. No will for any John Browning exists in Harrison County or Tuscarawas County for the right time period. There IS a John Browning in Tuscarawas in 1899 but I have a copy of that will and that is another family entirely. I have looked at Carol Bell's "Wills To 1850" and there is no John recorded there either. I found a Jeremiah Browning in Jefferson County and I ordered and received his estate papers. What there is does not plainly refer to any names that would connect with mine, though I keep it filed away because of the Jeremiah in Licking County that I mentioned earlier. I plan to travel to Jefferson County myself in a few weeks and do another round of research. I prefer to see these sorts of things with my own eyes, if you know what I mean?
One more thing. Early Harrison County deed records show at least three other Browning men that, as far as I can now determine, do not connect with me. (That's not to say they don't….I just haven't proven anything yet!)
25 Dec 1817: Joseph FRY to Lewis Browning -- This deed was between Joseph Fry and Amelia (Permilia) his wife of Harrison County on the one part, and Lewis Browning of Brooke Co., VA (now WV)on the other.
31 Mar 1834: William TINGLEY to Lewis Browning -- bill in chancery court against Frederick SALMON, for the right to sell his lands to pay Browning back for debts owed now that Salmon is considered a lunatic.
13 May 1835: Lewis BROWNING to Isaac Weldon, Sr. -- This deed was between Lewis Browning of Brooke County, VA (now WV) on the one part, and Isaac Weldon Sr. of Harrison County on the other. Witness: Joseph FRY, Justice of the Peace.
4 Jan 1836: Rees JONES, Daniel SPRINGER and others to Lewis Browning for the use of Emelia Salmon -- This deed was between Rees Jones and Jane his wife, Daniel Springer and Jane his wife of Harrison County on the one part, and Lemuel Browning of Lewis Browning of Brooke Co VA (now WV) on the other, for the use of Emelia Salmon of Harrison County.
25 Oct 1836: Isaac WELDON to Lemuel Browning -- This deed was between Isaac Weldon and Elizabeth his wife of Harrison County on the one part, and Lemuel Browning of Harrison County on the other. Joseph FRY was Justice of the Peace.
20 Jun 1837: William BUKEY to Ellis & Jones -- This deed was between William Bukey and Susannah his wife of Ohio County, VA on the one part, and Ellis D. Jones and Lemuel Browning of Harrison County on the other.
19 Aug 1837: Jonathan PEOPLES to Jones & Browning -- This deed was between Jonathan Peoples and Mahala his wife of Harrison County on the one part, and Ellis D. Jones and Lemuel Browning of Harrison County on the other.
1 Sep 1837: John STRADLING to Jeremiah Browning -- This deed was between John Stradling and Sarah his wife of Short Creek, Harrison County OH on the one part, and Jeremiah Browning of Jefferson County OH on the other.
21 Mar 1838: Lewis BROWNING to Amelia Salmon: This deed was between Lewis Browning of Brooke Co, VA (now WV) on the one part, and Amelia Salmon of Harrison County on the other.
2 Apr 1838: Jeremiah BROWNING to James Roberts -- This deed was between Jeremiah Browning and Catherine his wife of Steubenville, Jefferson County, OH on the one part, and James Roberts of Harrison County on the other.
18 Aug 1838: Lemuel BROWNING, et al. to John NEBLICK -- This deed was between Ellis D. Jones and Mary his wife and Lemuel Browning and Caroline his wife of Harrison County, OH on the one part, and John Neblick of Harrison County on the other.
15 Oct 1838: Lemuel BROWNING to Lewis Browning -- This deed was between Lemuel Browning of Harrison County on the one part and Lewis Browning of Brooke Co, VA (now WV) on the other part.
15 Aug 1840: Lewis BROWNING to Samuel Wilson: This deed was between Lewis Browning and Margaret his wife of Brooke County, VA (now WV) on the one part, and Samuel Wilson of Freeport, Harrison County on the other.
These deed records show that throughout the period of 1818-1838, a few Browning men were buying and selling land in Harrison County. Lewis was living in WV, and the Jeremiah I mentioned earlier in Jefferson County. He was there as early as 1815 and died around 1843 -- his wife's name was Catherine Mansfield. Lemuel Browning was the son of Lewis and Margaret (Phillips) Browning (the other buyer of land) of Frederick Co., MD/Brooke Co WV. He was born about 1805 in Frederick Co., MD and married Caroline Beck on 15 Feb 1825 in Brooke Co., WV. Caroline was born about 1815. They lived in Harrison Co. OH c1837, but moved to Warren Twn., Jefferson Co., OH by 1850.
My Samuel was born in Maryland. I just HAVE to fit in here somewhere; that's my 'gut' instinct talking of course. I still haven't figured it out after all these years.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
My cave is to the left -- you'll have to click on it to make it a bit bigger.
You can see the big oval picture of Delinda Jane (Plymell) Nichols suspended over my workspace. The smaller version, as well as a post I wrote about her, is here. There are a few random tombstone snapshots under my printer, Pat's memorial card that I have to scan (sitting on top of more old letters and pictures next up on the agenda) and the resource books that I turn to the most on my shelf. I'm a pretty organized soul, really.
And as for the things you cannot see.......well, there is the old 50's Coca-Cola ice cooler that houses my collection of old photographs. I've been slowly scanning them all in but at least I've managed to make labels and groupings! It feels like such a monumental task when I look at it all as a whole. I try to think of it in small increments......
(And yes, the blanket you see to the left in the photo IS all those colors. Just thank your lucky stars you don't see my room. You'd think I stepped right out of the psychedelic 60's!)
Then there is my eyesore of a purple Browning file. It lives under my desk. It houses a LOT of files. It's over to the left.
My atlases of Ohio and Illinois are tucked under there too but you can't see them either
Anyway, that's my stuff. Thanks for the fun, Randy!
Saturday, April 4, 2009
As a result, Thomas never had much schooling. He must've started working as soon as he could lift a hand to help his older brothers Elias and Joseph. No doubt this helped turn him into the man he became. By all accounts Thomas was never the sort to settle for any one thing over any length of time. Throughout his life he was a jack of all trades and seemed to have many irons in the fire. I wonder sometimes if the experiences he had growing up was one of the two major experiences in his life -- his Civil War service being the other -- that taught him not to place all his eggs in one basket, so to speak.
In 1860 he was working as a farm hand. In December of 1861, at the age of 17, Thomas enlisted in the Union Army. According to one account (W. H. Perrin's History Of Crawford and Clark Counties, IL, 1883, pg. 228) he was too young to enlist as a common soldier so he signed up as a drummer boy in Company F of the 62nd IL and was placed on the staff of musicians until the official band was organized. He mustered in on April 1862 in Jonesboro, Illinois. I don't have his entire service file (as of yet -- another to-do for me!) but all the other sources I have only list him as a private with no mention of any musical service. A picture of him taken during the war is to the right.
On 19 December 1862 Thomas was was one of a detachment of soldiers from the 62nd camped in the garrison at Holly Springs, Mississippi. He'd been there since the first week of December; his regiment had been attached to the 1st Brigade of the district of Jackson, Tennessee's 16th Army Corps. Holly Springs was a cushy post back then -- it housed Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant and her son and was one of the Union's major route of munitions and supplies for their armies. That bitterly cold night the residents of the town threw a huge Christmas Ball and invited the soldiers. Thomas had just turned 18 and was away from home and the whiskey was flowing -- did he get himself drunk like so many other soldiers did? Maybe he did. Maybe they stayed up late drinking and dancing and went to bed secure in the knowledge that they could sleep late the next morning. He was probably doing just that when a band of Confederates commanded by Major General Earl 'Buck' Van Dorn moved in and captured the town.
I can imagine the fright of being knocked awake by the sound of gunfire. Swords clattering, yelling, and screaming horses and men. Struggling to pull on your boots and find your weapons in a place where you assumed you'd be safe. Maybe half bleary with the drink that hadn't worn off from the night before. The capture of the soldiers at Holly Springs went almost without a fight, it's said, and it's also said that over 1500 Union men signed paroles that day. Thomas was one of them. (To be paroled meant a prisoner of war promised to refrain from trying to escape or to take up arms against his captors.) I imagine he was frightened of what might happen to him if he didn't. Thomas was sent back to Benton Barracks in Missouri and arrived there on 10 January 1863, where he was exchanged. He continued to serve, re-enlisting as a veteran on 28 December 1863. On 30 Mar 1864 he was transferred to the new Consolidated 62nd and was finally mustered out for good at Little Rock on 6 March 1866.
After the war he returned to Crawford County and married Sarah Ann Huls on 26 Sep 1866. Sarah was the daughter of Joseph Hansen Huls and Amanda Martha O'Kennedy. Thomas was the first of the children of James Browning and Jane Nevitt to marry into the family of Joseph and Amanda Huls -- Thomas's sisters Mary Jane (who married Amos K. Huls a few months later) and Margaret Ann (who married Charles Francis Huls in 1869) would soon follow suit.
Thomas and Sarah (seen below about 1870 or so?) settled five miles northwest of Robinson and thus began his interesting life as a jack of all trades. Thomas tried his hand at farming but the life didn't suit him so in March of 1868 Sarah's older brother Andrew Huls took Thomas on as a co-proprietor of his clothing, boot and shoe business. Perhaps he did so because Sarah was pregnant with the couple's first child, Effy May. Thomas and Andrew called the venture Huls & Browning's Clothing, Boots and Shoes. The venture began drying up soon; perhaps one of the causes was that Thomas found his heart went out of the effort when Effy died at 12 days old in May. By August the partners were attempting to sell their remaining stock. Their partnership lasted until October, when Thomas offered his peddling wagon up for sale. Thomas and Sarah went off to Terre Haute in Vigo County, Indiana, and lived there for four years while he worked at the Terre Haute Iron And Nail Works. Their son Clifford was probably born there in 1871.
By 1874 the family was back in Crawford County, where Thomas was moving up in the world -- he was elected a Justice of the Peace that year. By 1883 he'd begun to sell insurance, representing Home, Phoenix, German-American of New York, Royal, and German of Freeport and Peoria. By 1888 he was an attorney and he and Sarah had four more children, Leola, Iona, Ralph and Alta Mearl. By 1889 he'd added hotelier to his repertoire by purchasing the stock of a local hotel called the Cottage Hotel and taking charge of it.
By 1897 Thomas and Sarah and the children were back in Indiana, settling in Indianapolis. Perhaps they left Crawford County after the sad occasion of their daughter Iona's passing from pulmonary disease in 1896. He was a real estate agent at that time. Another daughter, Leola, died in 1900. Ten years later, in 1910, Thomas was in his 60's and nearing retirement. He had chosen to work as a railroad conductor.
One would think at this stage of the game Thomas and Sarah would have settled into a stationary life. Not so. Sometime between 1910-1912 Thomas and Sarah decided to move to San Diego, California. Their son Ralph was already there by 1910 so I suppose they went to join him. Their daughter Alta Mearl went along. Sarah died in 1912 and Alta Mearl lived with her father until his death in January of 1917.
Sarah and Thomas are buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego, as is their daughter Alta Mearl (who married Hugh Richard Kelzer and died in 1962.) I've been told they don't have stones but plaques. I sure would like to get a photo of all of them, if there are some to take.
Thomas Newton's life must have been full to the brim with new experiences. Living through the war, being a prisoner, and then coming back to make much of himself even though he'd had a rough beginning. One little fact about his life makes me curious, though; in 1868 he joined the Sons of Temperance. Perhaps he swore off the life of liquor because of what happened at Holly Springs? I like to think he did.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Wow! My first "real" Wordless Wednesday post........and a new blog header to boot!
EAGLETON, Margaret Jane CONRAD (1834-1878), Tintype. Photographed c. 1870 by unknown photographer, unknown place, probably Crawford County, Illinois. Privately held by Patricia Browning, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Arlington, Texas. 2009.