We know that often as a person ages their birth date changes. Women often get younger during their adult years and then get older in their later years. Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown was just such a woman. Various records indicate that Mary was born everywhere from 1876 to 1880, but I’ve settled on 1878 as the correct year of her birth.
Social Security Death Index
of Mary’s daughter, Victoria Quelland
from Mary’s minister, Les Crider
from Mary’s daughter, Delores Pribbenow
The 1880 Census is probably the most accurate; it is the only document I have found where the data was provided by someone who was at her birth (presumably one of her parents). Her Social Security application corroborates this date. None of the records before 1966 indicate her birth year as 1876, the year in which she celebrated her 90th birthday.
Going through all of the birthdates for an individual is essential. When there is a discrepancy in dates, it is important to analyze all of the dates and determine which is likely the most accurate.
Ancestor Sketch – Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown (1878-1983)
Mary Elizabeth Manning was born on April 17, 1878, the
oldest child of John William and Elisa Jane (Fannin) Manning in rural Kentucky. One source indicates she was born in Kernsville, Carter County, however, I haven’t been able to find a Kernsville in Kentucky.
The 1880 Census shows Mary living with her parents near Pine Grove, Rowan County, Kentucky. Her sister, Phoebe, was born in January 1881.
Again, I’m not certain where, but probably either Carter County or Rowan County. Mary’s father, John, did have another child, Robert Manning, with another (name unknown) woman. Robert was 9 years older than Mary was.
I need to do much more research in this area. In December 1882, Mary’s mother, Eliza, died. Oral history indicates that she died in childbirth.
There is a lot of confusion about what happened to Robert, Mary, and Phoebe after their mother died. One storyline is that Mary & Phoebe lived with their aunt & uncle, Thomas & Mary Jones. Another storyline is that they lived for a time with their aunt & uncle, Joe & Sarah Bryant. I know for sure that they also lived with their grandparents, Enoch and Minerva Manning in Holding, Stearns County, Minnesota in 1885. We know that the three children’s father also died when they were young. Family history says he was poisoned so someone could steal money from him. One researcher indicated that John William died in 1888. If he died so much later, then it wouldn’t make as much sense as to why the three children were living with their grandparents in June 1885.
In 1888, Enoch moved to Cass County, Minnesota. It is unclear if that is when the children went to live with the Joneses, the Bryants or stayed with Enoch.
The Child Bearing Years
Family oral history says that Enoch was a harsh man, so it is easy to understand why young Mary wanted to get away from him. According to Les Crider’s records, Mary married Arthur Durwood Brown on 19 October 1892, when she was but 14 years old. Both the 1900 and 1910 Censuses confirm this marriage year. Most of the next thirty years of her life she spent pregnant or nursing.
First was Clyde Leroy who was born 1894 in Sylvan Township, Cass County, Minnesota.
Then the young couple moved to North Dakota. I recall Mary
telling me that they traveled to North Dakota by oxen and wagon. I don’t know if it was this time or one of the other times they moved as they switched between North Dakota and Minnesota several times.
Victoria Cecelia was their first child born in North Dakota;
she was born in 1896.
They moved back to Minnesota where Clarence Arthur was born
The 1900 Census indicates that Mary had had four children,
three of whom were living. That child was named Martin and was probably born in 1899 and died before 1 June 1900. Other records indicate he died of measles.
Cora Elsie was born in Pequot Lakes, Crow Wing, Minnesota,
My grandfather, Clifford Durwood Brown, was born in Robinson,
Kidder County, ND, in 1903, three days before the famous flight of the Wright Brothers.
Dorothy was born between 1905 and 1907. She also died of measles, apparently before 1910.
Edward Lewis was born in North Dakota in July 1908.
Arthur Eugene was born in North Dakota in 1909.
Charles William was the last of the children born in North
Dakota in 1914.
The family moved back to Minnesota where Delores Sarah was
born in Sylvan Township in 1917 and Nettie Mae Viola born in Pillager in 1921.
The Middle Years
In 1928, Mary’s husband of 36 years died. Mary was 50 years
old when Arthur died. Who would have guessed that Mary hadn’t lived half of her life at that point?
The 1930 Census shows Mary living with her three youngest
children in Fairview, Cass County, Minnesota. Nearby is her son Edward with his new wife Mary.
Cora, Nettie, Delores, Arthur, and Clarence were all married
in the ensuing ten years and began having many children, Grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were being born frequently. Her son, Clifford had a child out of wedlock. He illegally took custody of the child and brought her to Minnesota to be raised by his mother and himself. He was arrested and went to prison in Illinois for child-napping. When he got out of prison, he changed his name to Richard Earl Durand. Some years later Richard would return to Minnesota and change his name once again, this time to Richard (Dick) Earl Brown.
The 1940 Census shows Mary living as hired help in May
Township with Isaac Reynolds. Isaac was the local postmaster.
The Motley Years
Shortly afterward (before 1943), Mary moved to Motley and
lived a very quiet life. Apparently, also in the 1940s her son Dick came to live in the same house. In September 1961, she became a great-great-grandmother with the birth of Yvonne Marie [living].
I remember visiting Grandpa Dick and “Ma Brown” many times in the late 1950s and 1960s. On one occasion, Grandpa Dick had just bought a new $50 clunker automobile. Mary was upset with him spending money on the car and admonished the universe with a quote I will forever remember. “Those crazy kids and their motor cars – cars, cars, cars, that all they think about.” She was calling my grandfather a “crazy kid.” He was about 58 at the time and still a kid. It is all about perspective. He may have been in his late 50s but she was in her mid-80s at the time, and from her perspective, he was a kid.
Ma Brown was a fantastic cook. She had separate cast iron pans for fowl, beef, and venison. She made an amazing rhubarb sauce. We just called it “sauce” and everyone knew which sauce we meant. I always think of her when I see strawberry rhubarb pie because none I’ve ever eaten since compare to her pies. I have a pencil sharpener on my desk that looks like a hand water pump. It reminds me every day about Ma Brown and her life in Motley. In her kitchen was a hand pump, their only source of water until into the mid-1960s. They had an outhouse that was a cool visit in November and December. We never visited in January, so I can only imagine – an outhouse – January – Minnesota – Burrrr. Alongside the Motley house Mary kept a huge garden – probably most of a house lot in size. She maintained it well into her late 80s, perhaps into her 90s.
Mary’s later years
Sadly, I think the last time I saw Mary was in 1965 or so. As a teenager, I didn’t have the inclination to visit “up north.” I went into the service in 1969 and didn’t see Mary at all during the ensuing years, although I did visit Grandpa Dick a few times in the 1970s, but he was in Motley and Mary was at the Bethany Good Samaritan Center in Brainerd. Not visiting her in Brainerd is something I regret not having done.
In 1976, Mary Elizabeth Brown celebrated her 100th birthday. I believe it was a couple of years premature, but that is okay. Her celebrations continued for another seven years. She died on 8 May 1983 at the
age of 105 at the Bethany Home in Brainerd, Minnesota.
She is buried at Gull River Cemetery, Pillager, Minnesota,
near her husband Arthur who died fifty-five years earlier.
Mary had an amazing life. She was orphaned young; she was married young. She had 13 children and raised 10 of them to adulthood. She lived a life without conveniences, not getting indoor plumbing until the 1960s.
She was very active in her church. In her Motley years, she cooked and canned from her garden and prepared the game her son brought home.
There are many of Mary’s grandchildren still alive. I would love it if they, their children, or anyone with first-hand memories of Mary, would use the comments below to add to the stories of their experiences with Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown.
List of Greats
1. Mary Elizabeth Manning [Brown] (1878-1983)
2. John William Manning (1846-c.1888)
3. Enoch Mannin (1823-1907)
4. Meridith Mannin (1802-1885)
5. John Bosel Mannin Sr. (b. 1776 in Virginia)
6. Samuel Mannin (b. abt 1756)
7. Meredith Mannin (b. Abt. 1720)
ENDNOTES  1885 Minnesota, Territorial, and State Census, Ancestry.com, 1885 – Holding, Stearns County, Minn – Page 3 (Post Office: Saint Anna).
 The United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626,), Year: 1930; Census Place: Fairview, Cass, Minnesota.
 1940 Census, Ancestry.com, Year: 1940; Census Place: May, Cass, Minnesota; Roll: T627_1912; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 11-33.
Sometimes you have an ancestor for whom you know there are a lot more stories about them. Arthur Durwood Brown was such a man. There are several of Arthur’s grandchildren still alive. I hope that some of them contact me with additional stories and information about Arthur and his life. He was a remarkable man, a pioneer who settled in some of the most isolated places in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Ancestor Sketch – Arthur Durwood Brown (1869-1928)
Arthur Durwood Brown was born on 5 December 1869 in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. He was the second child of eleven children born to Henry and Marion Sanford Brown. There are many conflicting records regarding Arthur’s birth year. The 1920 Census indicates he was 56 years old and thus born in 1863. On the other end of the spectrum, the 1900 Census says he was born in December of 1870. His death certificate and his grave marker both indicate he was born in 1868. I am quite certain that he was born in December of 1869 because of the 1870 Census that clearly indicates that he was seven months old when the census was taken on 2 August of 1870.
He grew up in Saline, which is a small community about ten miles south of Ann Arbor. It was on the Detroit, Hillsdale, & Indiana Railroad line that came to Saline in 1970. About 1883, when Arthur was 14 years old, the entire family migrated west to Jamestown, North Dakota. Arthur’s youngest brother, Edward, was born in North Dakota in January 1884.
Jamestown was an up and coming new town. It was founded in 1872 and incorporated as a city in 1883. It is not clear to me how or where he and Mary Elizabeth Manning met nor where they were married, but all records indicate they married on 19 Oct 1892. Arthur would have been 22 years old and Mary just 16.
Either before he moved to Minnesota or shortly after the marriage they moved to Minnesota. In either event, they established residence in Sylvan Township, Cass County, Minnesota and had their first child, Clyde Leroy, in February 1884. By June 1896, they had moved back to North Dakota where Victoria was born. Moreover, by 1897, when Clarence was born, they returned to Minnesota. The 1900 Census reports that the young couple lost a child. Based upon the four-year gap in children, the child probably was born and died between 1899 and 1900 in Minnesota. We do not know the child’s name or sex.
Based upon the birthplaces of the children, the family seemed to move back and forth between North Dakota and Minnesota many times.
Children whose birthplace was unknown were omitted.
Clifford, my grandfather, was born in 1903 in Kidder County, North Dakota. Martin was born sometime between 1904 and 1906 and Dorothy was born between 1905 and 1907. Sadly, Arthur’s two youngest children at that time, Martin and Dorothy, died from measles sometime before 1910.
In 1909, Arthur received a Land Patent for 120 acres in Merkel, Kidder County, North Dakota. It was for the N1/2-NW1/4 and the SW1/4-NW1/4 – Section 34, Township 144 North Range 72. It is interesting to note that Arthur’s brother Edward married Dertha Merkel. Today, Merkel township has a population of 39 people scattered over nearly 60 square miles of land.
In 1917, he returned to Minnesota where Arthur received a land patent for 160 acres in Township 138 N, Range 029W, Section 7, NE1/4-Nw1/4, N1/2-NE1/4, SE1/4-NE1/4. (Modern GPS 46.7911918, -94.4073918 is NW Corner of L shaped property.) Today this is a very rural area of Backus in Cass County.
Arthur’s two oldest boys served in World War 1. Clyde went into the Army, went to France, where he met his wife Yvonne and returned from the Great War with his new bride. Clarence went into the Navy and served aboard the USS Shawmut, a mine layer that operated in the North Sea during much of World War I. The 47-year-old Arthur didn’t serve in The Great War staying in Minnesota; his daughter, Delores was born in 1917. His last child, Nettie, was born in 1921 a year after his first grandchild, Marie (Clyde’s daughter), was born.
Arthur died on 27 August 1928, at the Walker Hospital, Walker, Cass Co., Minnesota of carcinoma of the liver. He was 58 years old. He was buried at Gull River Cemetery, in Pillager, Cass County, Minnesota.
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 38
Clifford Brown (1903-1990)
(aka Richard Earl Durand)
(aka Richard Earl Brown)
By – Don Taylor
We all have someone in our tree that is confusing. It is that person that the more you learn about them; the more you know you do not know. My grandfather was such a person. It wasn’t until I began doing genealogy that I learned his birth name. I also knew he went by another name but didn’t have a clue why. Back in the late 1990s, I asked his sister, Delores, about the name changes and again I asked her about it in the 2000s, and she avoided answering. She said she didn’t want to speak ill of the dead and that “Dick” was her “favorite brother.” I so wish I hadn’t let her take that stand. In the following years, thanks to Genealogy Bank, I learned much about my grandpa Dick, things that I would have never imagined. Through that research, I think I know why the changes in
name. Continue reading “Clifford Brown (aka Richard Earl Durand, aka Richard Earl Brown) (1903-1990)”
52 Ancestors #4 – Minerva Ann Tolliver Mannin (1821-1902)
Minerva Ann Tolliver was born in Kentucky on 5 Feb 1821. Various records during her life record her name in many different ways, Minerva, Manerva, Minora, and Minna. She was probably born in Bath County, near Greenup County, in the portion of Bath that became Morgan County in 1822 and Rowan County in 1856. I also suspect near what was to become Carter County in 1838. It is also likely that the county changes account for many of the different county designations of where she lived over the years.
There is a wonderful interactive map at Kentucky Historical Counties which allows you to select a date and see what counties existed then. If can then easily see the changes in the Bath/Morgan/Rowan counties over time.
There is considerable speculation regarding her early life. One thread indicates that Minerva was Native American (Cherokee). I don’t believe this to be the case. First, in none of the Census reports was Minerva ever reported as being anything but white. Second, as my 3rd great-grandmother, I would expect to have about 3% of her genome. Although I do have 2% unknown or trace, there is no evidence that I have any Native American in my ancestry. Likewise, my mother, who should have approximately 6% of Minerva’s genome shows no proportion of Native American. 23 & Me indicates she has 99.4% European ancestry as do I. Because of the “stickiness” of DNA, although unlikely, it is still possible for Minerva to be Native American. I would be very interested in the mtDNA results of any direct female descendants of Minerva – that should answer the question definitively.
Another theory is that Minerva was raised by Elijah Toliver and used his last name although she was born with the surname Mannin. This theory suggests that her father died when she was very young and her mother remarried. Her mother, Martha Patsy (Mannin), married Elijah Tolliver in 1825. Minerva was 3 years old then, so she probably wasn’t a child of Elijah. This thought is supported by Phoebe Mannin, Minerva’s granddaughter, who listed Minerva’s last name as “Mannin” when she created a family tree in 1973.
A third theory exists that Martha Patsy Mannin had Minerva out of wedlock. Thus, Minerva had the surname Mannin until Martha married. This scenario makes the most sense to me and explains many of the conflicting facts. (I think this is a case where Occam’s Razor applies and this is the simplest answer.)
The records are unclear where her parents were born. Some say Kentucky, some say Virginia. Kentucky became a state in 1792 so it is possible that her parents were born in what was Virginia but is now Kentucky. It is also possible that Elijah was used on some occasions as her father and the unknown Mannin used at other times.
She and Enoch were married on 15 Oct 1843, in Grayson, Morgan County, Kentucky, when she was 22 years old. She had nine children, five girls and four boys. Four of her children preceded her in death.
John William Mannin (1846-1888)
Isaac Wilson Mannin (1848-1931)
Nancy Ann Mannin Barnett (1849-1913)
Meredith Mannin (1851-
Sarah Jane Mannin Bryant (1855-1942)
Mary Ermaline Mannin Jones Gates (1856-1899)
Gresella Mannin (1857-1897)
Prudence Mannin Bare McDonald (1860-1898)
Robert J Mannin (1869-Following her and Enoch while they were in Kentucky is very confusing. They appear to have moved between Bath, Carter, and Morgan counties between 1843 and 1883. (All are in northeast Kentucky.) However, as mentioned before they are all within a short distance from each other depending upon the year being considered. This could be an excellent area for further research and study.
Her husband, Enoch, served the North during the Civil War (War of Rebellion or War of Northern Aggression depending upon your point of view)
In 1880, she and Enoch were still in Carter County, Kentucky.
She and Enoch moved to Minnesota in April 1883 to Holding township in Stearns County; their post office was Saint Anna.
Their eldest son, John William Manning, had two daughters, Mary & Phebe. John’s wife died in 1882 and the girls were living with their grandparents, Enoch and Minerva, in 1885. We aren’t sure how long they stayed with them.
Enoch moved the family to Cass County in April, 1888. They settled on 160 acres in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota; Enoch received a homestead patent in 1894 for the land. Minerva’s life was that of a farmer’s wife; she kept house on the land that her husband owned and raised 9 children.
A Google map view of the property (Northeast quarter of section 22, township 134 (May Township), Range 31, today indicates a swampy bit of land along a creek without any evidence of current farming or of the original homestead. She continued to live on the farm in May township until her death in 1902.
Minerva’s marker and death certificate are inconsistent. One says she died on October 24th the other October 25. One says died at 81 years, 8 mos, 20 days (making her birth Feb 5, 1821) the other says she died at 82 years, 8 mos, 21 days (making her birth Feb 3, 1920). The 1821 date is probably correct as she was x9 years old during most of the earlier census reports. She is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery in Cass County.
I remember Minerva and celebrate her life today, the 193rd anniversary of her birth.
Tombstone/Marker Minerva A, Bridgeman Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota (Personal visit)
1850 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1860 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1880 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1885 Minnesota, Territorial and State Census – Via Ancestry.com
1895 Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses – Via Ancestry.com
1900 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
Department of the Interior – Bureau of Pensions – Questionnaire, Enoch Mannin – 20 Nov 1897.
Today I am reminded about the importance of doing it right the first time.
When I first seriously began doing genealogy I was so excited by what I was finding I didn’t document things very well. I imported GED files from others without concern. I seldom connected the sources I did have with the data entered in my software in a meaningful way.
When folks are starting out there is often a key, pivotal, person in your ancestry that provides the foundation for many other searches. For me it was Enoch Mannin, my 3rd great-grandfather. Many other people were doing research on his line and they were willing to share GED files. Also, he was readily findable in the censuses and many other places so he was a great person to research, find information, and put it in my tree without properly documenting it. Well, that laxness finally caught up to me and I’ve spent the last several days cleaning up the sources and the links to facts for Enoch. Not a small task. I have 26 sources of information for Enoch and many different kinds of info. Census records, Civil War records, Pension Application Records, Land Patents, Death Registration, even the image of his entry into the family bible regarding his birth. It was a lot of effort to sort out everything, remove relationships between source and data that don’t exist and create new data elements that do fit the source information. As an example, most census records only provide a birth year estimate, plus & minus a year. Also the census records only provide the birth state, so associating the county and specific date information is inappropriate. Consequently, I created a lot of different alternate information entries.
His records are cleaned up and I promise to never take shortcuts in documentation again.
Biography – Enoch Mannin
Enoch Mannin/Manning was probably born 3 January 1823 in Owingsville, Bath County, Kentucky. I say probably because his enlistment papers indicate that he was 44 years old when he enlisted in 1863 which would make his birth year 1819. In various documents his birth year ranges from 1819 to 1824 but the bible record indicates 1823.
It appears that his father and mother, Meredith and Rachel Fugate Mannin were married about two years after his birth. Enoch was the oldest of twelve children and grew up in Bath County, Kentucky. In 1843 he married Minerva Ann Tolliver and remained married to her for nearly 60 years, until her death in 1902. They had nine children, four of which died before 1900.
During the Civil War he volunteered for a year with Company E, 40th Kentucky Mounted Infantry Volunteers (Union) and served from September 1863 until December 1864. He lived in Carter County Kentucky when he enlisted. On the day he volunteered, 29 Aug 1863, he also gave permission for his son, John W. Manning, my 2nd great grandfather, to volunteer, when John W was only 17. Also enlisting on the same day was John N. Mannin, the son of his brother Tarleton Mannin.
He served primarily in Eastern Kentucky. He was captured by Morgan in May or June of 1864. His regiment, of over 1000, lost about 1% to wounds and another 9% to disease for 102 total deaths. Much of his time was spent in scout duty. Later he would cite actions in December 1863 as the start of hearing loss and dizziness. His regiment had action on December 2nd and 3rd which were the probable cause of his medical issues later in life. In May and June of 1864, he was involved in action against Morgan and apparently captured by Morgan during those actions.
In 1883 or 1884, Enoch moved to Holding, Stearns County, Minnesota. In the spring of 1888, Enoch and Minerva moved to Cass County, Minnesota. In 1890, Enoch applied for an Invalid pension and a disability pension and in 1894, Enoch received a land grant for 160 acres in northern Minnesota. Today, the land does not have a home on it and looks like it is mostly swamp with some woods and a little grassland. It is the Northeast quarter of the section shown in http://goo.gl/maps/zkjT7. I am sure life was tough north of Motley, Minnesota.
Minerva died in 1902 and Enoch passed five year later, on 7 Apr 1907. He is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery, about 2 miles south of his Minnesota homestead.