Don’t avoid those Bright Shiny Objects.

Brown Research

Bright Shiny Objects - Photo by arbyreed - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Bright Shiney Objects

Photo by Arbyreed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

 

I’ll admit it; I get diverted from my goals by Bright Shiny Objects (BSOs).  I was working on a problem ancestor of mine, my third great-grandmother, Mary C. LNU (Last Name Unknown), about whom I know very little.

Bio – Mary C. (LNU) Brown (1823-?)

What I think I know:

  • She was born about 1824 in New York.[i]
  • She probably married Barney/Daney Brown about 1841.[ii]
  • In 1850, she was living with her apparent husband, Barney, and two children, William H and Myron O Brown in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan.[iii]
  • In 1860, she and her apparent husband, Daney, were living with four children, Henry W, Myron O, Alice C. and David V. Brown in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan.[iv]
  • In the 1870 census, it appears that she is living alone.[v] Her son, Henry, was married and making a life with his wife and two children nearby. Not sure where Myron, Alice, or David were. I can’t find them nor their father, Barney/Daney, in the 1870 census either. So, I figured he possibly died in the Civil War. Certainly, I have a lot more research to do to determine if one of the many Browns who fought for the Union was my Barney/Daney Brown.

Newspapers

After I had figured out that I had exhausted my many searching methods on Family Search, Ancestry, and Genealogy in Time (read Google) for Mary, Barney/Daney, and the children, I thought I’d see if there were any newspapers of the area. I like using The Ancestor Hunt to seek out newspapers. I research Michigan enough that I have a bookmark right to Kenneth Mark’s Michigan page in my browser. I click it, then do a {Control/f} to “find” type “Saline” and–Bang–there were three newspapers listed for Saline. One was 1958-2014, outside of my possible range. But two were in the 1800s, both at Central Michigan University. So, off I go (metaphorically speaking).

Digital Michigan Newspapers – It is a “Bright Shiny Object.”

I quickly figured out how to search only the Saline papers and found lots of articles about various Browns, but none that appeared to be about this family unit.  (It might be really helpful if I decide to do a locational surname study.)  But this is a nice site.  I’d just bet I can find some juicy bits of information there – It It looks like it is a BSO!

Newspaper Clipping - Obituary - Janette A. Arnold Wakefield Parsons
Obituary Janette A. Arnold Wakefield Parsons

I went back to my genealogy program (I use Heredis) and selected the people who had any event in Saline in my database – 45 people.  I’ll bet some of these people are in those papers. As I worked through the list, at first I didn’t find articles about lots of them, A tantalizing bit here and there, like Sarah Young had perfect attendance in school in 1881. Then, I hit some really important articles. My 4th great-grandfather, Chester Parsons’ personal property was auctioned off by the administrator of his estate. Awesome detail of what was going up for sale, “12 cows, 16 head young cattle, seven head horses, 52 acres wheat on the ground and a large quantity of farm implements. Eighty acres of timber land is also offered for sale at a bargain.”  Very interesting stuff. I even learned that someone named Daniel Reeves lived on Chester Parson’s farm for six years, including two years while Chester was still alive.[vi] Who was Daniel Reeves and why was he living on the Parson farm?  I also found the obituary for Chester Parson’s second wife, which provided the date he married her, her maiden and widowed names, and her daughter’s names.  Those names might be helpful when I find Chester Parsons’ probate records.

The bottom line is that in a couple hours of investigating this BSO, I learned a couple dozen facts, developed several new avenues of inquiry and had a lot of fun.  I know that I probably should have kept to my research goal: What was Mary C [Brown]’s maiden surname? I still don’t know the answer to that, but I do know lots of new things. So it is okay with me that I diverted to look at the BSOs. The information I found added texture to my understanding of the lives of several ancestors. So, I’m glad I didn’t toss aside that Bright Shiney Object once I knew it wouldn’t answer my research question. I hope you find BSOs you can have fun with also.

Future Actions:

  • Research Mary C. [Brown] and determine her maiden surname, place of birth, death, etc. (Again.)
  • Find the Probate Records for Chester Parsons (1799-1887) – Washtenaw County, Michigan.
  • Determine if Barney/Daney Brown served in the Civil War.
  • Determine if there is a relationship between Daniel Reeves and the Parsons family.
———-  DISCLAIMER  ———-
newspapers-com-234x60-2  newspapers-com-234x60-2

ENDNOTES

  • [i] The 1850, 1860, and 1870 census records for her are all consistent, 26, 36, and 46 years old respectively.
  • [ii] Their first child, William Henry Brown, was born about 1842 in Michigan.
  • [iii] United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MF8P-F8S : accessed 23 March 2016), Barney Brown, Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan, United States; citing family 185, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • [iv] “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MWDZ-DLM : accessed 23 March 2016), Daney Brown, 1860.
  • [v] Year: 1870; Census Place: Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: M593_708; Page: 315B; Image: 166772; Family History Library Film: 552207  Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
  • [vi] Saline Observer (Saline, MI) – 1891-12-10, Pg 5, Column 2 (last paragraph) – via Digital Michigan Newspapers; Central Michigan University
.

newspapers-com-234x60-2 newspapers-com-234x60-2

Buck – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Buck was a nickname used to describe someone resembling a he-goat (Old English Bucc(a)) or a male deer (Old English Bucc). Sometimes, it was a topographic name for someone living near a beech tree (Middle English boc).[i] There are also several different sources for Buck from German roots, but it appears that my Buck ancestors were probably English.

Geographical

The 1840 Census indicated there were 1158 Buck families in the United States. The majority of them lived in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and Illinois.[ii] (Note: This includes many of the German forms of Buck.)

My Earliest Ancestors

Family Tree DNA - Family Finder and Population FinderMy most recent known Buck ancestor is my 7th great grand-grandmother, Jerusha Buck. Jerusha Buck was born 25 August 1739 in New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her parents were Enoch Buck and Mary Beebe. She married Grover Buel on 15 February 1758. They had at least five children, including my ancestor Deborah Buel. my ancestor. She died in New Milford, Litchfield County, Connecticut, on 23 September 1778, and was buried about 25 miles away in the Old Amenia Burying Ground, in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York.[iii]

I have not had a chance to research Jerusha Buck, nor her father,Enoch, in depth yet, so my understand of their lives is quite limited still.

My Direct Buck Ancestors

  • #1662 – Enoch Buck (1683-1745) – Married Mary Beebe – 8th Great Grandparents
  • #831 – Jerusha Buck (1739-1778) – Married Grover Buel. – 7th Great Grandparents
  • Deborah Buel – Married Wicks Weeks Rowley – 6th Great Grandparents
  • Electa Rowley – Married Robert Maben – 5th Great Grandparents
  • Deborah Buel Maben – Married Chester Parsons – 4th Great Grandparents
  • Mary E. Parsons – Married William Sanford – 3rd Great Grandparents
  • Marion Sanford – Married William Henry Brown – 2nd Great Grandparents
  • Arthur Durwood Brown – Married Mary Elizabeth Manning – Great Grandparents
  • Richard Earl Brown – Grandparents (Biological father of child with Madonna Montran)
  • My mother – Generation 2
  • Me – Generation 1

My known relatives.

I only have six individuals with the surname Buck, in my records.  However, my records do have 292 direct-line descendants of Enoch and Mary (Beebe) Buck identified over fourteen generations, which is about 5% of my known Roberts/Brown Ancestors.


ENDNOTES


———-  DISCLAIMER  ———-

 

My Male Ancestors – Birth, Death, and Age at Death

Brown/Montran Research
Roberts/Barnes Research

One of the reasons that I enjoy Randy Seaver’s blog, Genea-Musings is that he regularly makes me realize the missing branches I have in my tree leaves have lots more to do on my tree.  His recent “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” asked folks to look at their tree and determine the age of death for their male ancestors. (He had done a similar thing for female ancestors the week before.)

Using Heredis, it is really simple to generate such a report. I clicked on myself, then clicked on Documents/Ancestor Report and the system generated the data. Then I went to Report Export, I selected Excel from several options.  After the information exported, the Excel spreadsheet opened automatically.

Because the ahnentafel numbers for the individuals are exported, it is easy to select just the male ancestors by deleting all of the odd numbers. I immediately saw that my 3rd great-grandfather, Enoch Mannin, lived the longest – 88 years. The ancestor who died the earliest was my great-grandfather Hugh Ellis Roberts, who died at an extremely young 24 years of age.

Next, I began seeing my gaps.  I have three people with a range of dates for their life.  For example, my great-grandfather John F. Montran was born sometime between 1860 and 1875 and died sometime before 1911. So, he could have died at 35 or died at 51 years or anywhere in between; I don’t know.

Then, I realized I have six ancestors for whom I have no death dates. More work.

Finally, I realized I have nine ancestors in the past five generations that I know nothing about.  No names, let alone birth or death dates. So, Randy’s challenge reminded me of how much more work I still have to do. But the good news is that I have 11 of my male ancestors identified as to their age at death. Even better, I have eight more this year than I would have had last year (all of my Roberts line.).  I even have one more than I would have had last week, So things are definitely looking up.

Chart of Male Ancestors, Dates of Birth and Death

Ahn. #
Surname
Birth Date
Death Date
Age at Death
Father
2
Hugh Eugene  Roberts
° 9/1926
† 27/3/1997
70
Grandfathers
4
Bert Allen  Roberts
° 7/9/1903
† 1/5/1949
45
6
Richard Earl  Brown
° 14/9/1903
† 19/1/1990
86
Great-Grandfathers
8
Hugh Ellis  Roberts
° 2/7/1884
† 30/8/1908
24
10
Joel Clinton Barnes
° 23/6/1857
† 30/6/1921
64
12
Arthur Durwood  Brown
° ~ 1864
† 27/8/1928
~ 64
14
John F  Montran
° <> 1860 & 1875
† < 1911
< 35
2nd Great-Grandfathers
16
Asa Ellis Roberts
° 28/2/1835
† 8/10/1887
52
18
Samuel Vaden Scott
° 1860
† 1931
71
20
Nelson Barnes
° 24/3/1816
† 21/2/1884
67
22
Nimrod Lister
° <> 1824 & 1827
† < 1909
< 82
24
William Henry Brown
° 1842
26
John William  Manning
° ~ 1845
† 25/4/1888
~ 43
28
Unknown (Montran)
30
Franklin E  Barber
° 10/1836
† 7/4/1917
80
Third Great-Grandfathers
32
John Calvin Roberts
° 3/3/1795
† 4/1873
78
34
Unknown Marshall
36
William H. Scott
38
Adrico J. Haley
40
Unknown (Barnes)
42
Unknown
44
Unknown (Lister)
46
Unknown
48
Barney Brown
° ~ 1814
† <> 1860 & 1870
<> 46 & 55
50
William M  Sanford
° ~ 1822
52
Enoch  Mannin
° 1819
† 7/4/1907
88
54
Unknown
56
Unknown (Montran)
58
Unknown
60
Unknown (Barber)
62
Stephen  Blackhurst
° ~ 1804
† 24/12/1869
~ 65
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Surname Saturday – Brown

 Meaning – Brown Name Meaning

English, Scottish, and Irish: Generally a nickname referring to the color of the hair or complexion, Middle English br(o)un, from Old English brun or Old French brun. As an American family name, it has absorbed numerous surnames from other languages with the same meaning.[i] The name is from an old adjective meaning ‘brown dark red,’ Old English and OHG. [ii] Read More About This Surname

Geographical

Although only ranked #202 in the world, the surname Brown is ranked #2 in Scotland and Canada, #3 in Australia, and #4 in England and the United States. In the United States, it is surpassed only by Smith, Johnson, and Williams in frequency.[iii]

In the 1840s, the Brown families in the United States were in every state but concentrated in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.[iv]

My Brown Ancestors

#96 – My earliest known Brown ancestor is my 4th great-grandfather, Odel Brown. I know virtually nothing about Odel other than he was probably born about 1773, he married a woman named Jane and had at least two children, David and my 3rd great-grandfather, Barney Brown.

#48 – Barney/Daney Brown was born in New Hampshire about 1814. He married a woman named Mary probably about 1840.[v] Barney and Mary had at least four children, William Henry, Myron O., Alice C., and David V. Brown. Barney/Daney Brown seems to have vanished from the records after 1860 and before 1870, so I believe he died before 1 June 1870.

#24 William Henry Brown (he apparently went by Henry) was born in 1842 in Michigan. I speculate that he married Marion Sanford in 1866.[vi] They had 11 children that I know of.

  1. Arthur Durwood Brown
  2. Nettie May Brown
  3. Charles Dean Brown
  4. Mary Brown
  5. Almond Brown
  6. Gerome Clifford Brown
  7. William Henry Brown
  8. Clyde Hewett Brown
  9. Frederick Brown
  10. Ada Brown
  11. Edward Warberton Brown

William Henry Brown appears to have died between 1885 and 1900.

Arthur Durwood Brown

#12 Arthur Durwood Brown was born about 1864 in Michigan. He married Mary Elizabeth Manning in 1891. Arthur and Mary had twelve children:

  1. Clarence Arthur Brown
  2. Clyde Leroy Brown
  3. Victoria Cecelia Brown
  4. Martin Brown
  5. Cora Elsie Brown
  6. Richard Earl Brown (Aka Clifford Durand Brown)
  7. Dorothy Brown
  8. Edward Lewis Brown
  9. Arthur Eugene Brown
  10. Charles William Brown
  11. Delores Sarah Brown
  12. Nettie Mae Viola Brown

Arthur Durwood Brown died on 27 Aug 1928 in Walker, Minnesota.

Richard Earl Brown

#06 Richard Earl Brown was born 14 September 1903 as Clifford Durwood Brown. He had a daughter, my mother, with Madonna (Donna) Montran. He always wanted to marry Donna, but she said, “No.”

He changed his name to Richard Earl Durand and married Dorothy Amanda Wilhelm. Dick, as he was known, and Dorothy had two children. Living Durand and Mary Lou Durand. He married Cecelia Ann Squires in 1975.

Richard Earl Brown died 19 January 1990.

My Direct Brown Ancestors

  • #96 – Odel Brown (c. 1796-?)
  • #48 – Barney/Daney Brown (c.1814-c.1860)
  • #24 – William Henry Brown (1842-c.1895)
  • #12 – Arthur Durwood Brown (1864-1928)
  • #6 – Richard Earl Brown (aka Clifford Durwood Brown, aka Richard Earl Durand) (1903-1990)
  • #3 – My mother – (Living)
  • #1 – Me – Generation

My known Brown relatives.

My records have 248 direct-line descendants of Barney/Daney Brown identified over nine generations, which is about 5% of my known Brown/Montran family tree. Looking at the Browns another way, I have 144 individuals with the surname of Brown in my Brown/Montran family tree, the most of any surname.

ENDNOTES

[i] Ancestry.com; Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press via http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Brown

[ii] Web: Forebears – http://forebears.io/surnames/brown

[iii] Web: Wikipedia – List of most common surnames in North America
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_common_surnames_in_North_America

[iv] Ancestry.com; From the 1840 US Federal Census Date – http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Brown

[v] William Henry Brown was born in 1842 and is believed to be the first child of Barney and Mary Brown. Assuming they did marry, that would estimate they married about 1840.

[vi]   Marian’s first child was born in 1867 when she was 20. I guesstimate she and Henry were married about a year earlier when she was 19.

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

Do you have a Brown ancestor?  Do you think that ancestor is one of mine?  If so, let’s prove it.  If you have tested with Ancestry, Family Tree, or 23 & Me, please contact me through the comments field below.  If you haven’t tested, I recommend you do so. Either FamilyTreeDNA or Ancestry.Com tests will easily show the genetic connection.

 

 

Blackhurst a rare name in my family tree.

Surname Saturday – Blackhurst

by Don Taylor

Name Origin

Blackhurst is a surname based upon habitation, that is to say it is based upon where a person lived or came from. In this case “Blackhurst” derived from Old English blæc meaning ‘black’ and hyrst meaning ‘wooded hill’.

Geographical

According to Forebears, there are only about 2,387 individuals with the Blackhurst surname in the world today, mostly in the United States and England.[i]

Back in 1840, there doesn’t appear to have been any families with the Blackhurst surname in the United States.[ii] By 1880 there were only 62 families in the United States and 11 of them were in New York. The 1920 Census reports only 74 Blackhurst families in the entire nation.

Our Blackhurst ancestors came from Yorkshire, England. Steven Blackhurst (1801-1869) in 1848 and settled in New York State. By 1880, there were still only 11 Blackhurst households in New York and only 62 Blackhurst households in the entire United States.[iii] However, there were still 599 Blackhurst families living in England and Wales according to the 1881 Census.[iv]

Forebears indicate that there are several similar surnames.[v]

Blackhirst – primarily in the United States.
Blokhorst – primarily in the Neatherlands.

My Direct Blackhurst Ancestors

#124 – Stephen Blackhurst 1775-1845 – 4th Great Grandfather.
#62 – Stephen Blackhurst (1801-1969) – 3rd Great Grandfather. Immigrant Ancestor.
#31 – Sarah H. Blackhurst (1847-1929) – 2nd Great Grandmother.
#15 – Ida Mae Barber (1875-1953) – Great Grandmother.
#7 – Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976) – Grandmother.
#3 – My mother (Living).
#1 – Me.

My known relatives.

My records show 52 known, direct, descendants of Stephen Blackhurst over ten generations. Of my 99 known ancestors, that I have identified, three have the Blackhurst surname.

Ancestry DNA  indicates that I have one person, with a DNA Match that has Blackhurst in their family tree. Unfortunately, it is only 7.2 centimorgans on one DNA Segment and is likely a 5th to 8th cousin. She does have ancestors from Lancashire, England, which is next to Yorkshire, England where my Blackhurst ancestors came from but a genealogical connection isn’t evident. If you have Blackhurst ancestry, why not check out Ancestry DNA and see if you are related to one or both of us?

———- DISCLAIMER ———-