Where my Ancestors were 100 years ago.

Mappy Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Randy Seaver in his blog, Genea-Musings suggested that we look at where our ancestors were 100 years ago. I thought I’d take a stab at it more from a location perspective. In October 1917, my ancestors were in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota. Just “I” and “M” states. My paternal side are the “I” states; the Roberts were in Illinois and the Scotts were in Indiana. My maternal side are the “M” states; the Browns were in Minnesota and the Montrans (Barbers) were in Michigan, except for my grandmother, Madonna (Donna) who lived in Massachusetts for a short time.

Map of my Ancestor locations in 1917.
My Ancestor Locations in 1917.

Paternal Side:

My paternal grandfather, Bert Allen Roberts, was 14 years old. His father had died in 1908 and he was living with his mother, step-father, brother and two sisters. It isn’t clear if they were living in Turman, Sullivan County, Indiana (1910) or in Hutsonville, Crawford County, Illinois (1920), but I think they were still in Indiana.

Bert’s 71-year-old grandmother, Patience Ann (Marshall) (Dean) Roberts was living in Sesser, Barren Township, Franklin County, Illinois.

Bert’s 34-year-old mother, Clora Dell (Scott) (Roberts) Adams was married to Hosea Adams. It is unclear if they were still in Turman, Sullivan, Indiana, or if they had relocated to Hutsonville, Crawford County, Illinois in 1917.

Clora’s father, Samuel Vaden Scott, had remarried Lavina Allmend after the death of Amanda Jane Haley. The 57-year old was living in Goode Township, Franklin County, Illinois.

My paternal grandmother, Essie Pansy Barnes, was 14 years old. She was living on the farm near Turman, Sullivan County, Indiana.

Essie’s father, Joel Clinton Barnes, was 60 years old and living on a farm near Graysville, Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.

Essie’s mother, Marada A. (Lister) Barnes, was 50 years old and living with Joen on the farm near Graysville, Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.

 

Maternal side

My maternal grandfather, Clifford D Brown, later known as Richard Earl Durand and even later as Richard Earl Brown, (Grandpa Dick) was also 14 years-old. He lived with his family in Backus, Cass County, Minnesota.

Clifford/Richard’s father, Arthur Durwood Brown, was 48-years-old and living in Backus, Cass County, Minnesota.

Clifford/Richard’s mother, Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown, was 39-years-old and living with her husband, Arthur, in Backus.

My maternal grandmother, Madonna Mae Montran, (later known as Donna) was married to Thomas Valentine Rooney (her second marriage). (It does not appear that she ever took his surname.) They were probably living in Wrentham, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, although they may have located to New York City about that time.  Madonna’s father died before 1900 and I have been unsuccessful in determining his parents.

Madonna’s (Donna’s) mother, Ida Mae (Barber) (Montran) (Fisher) (Holdsworth) Knight was living with her 4th husband, Harvey Knight in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.

Ida’s mother, Sarah H (Blackhurst) Barber was also living in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan. Her husband, Frank Barber, died earlier in 1917.

Thoughts

Thirteen of my direct ancestors were alive in September 1917. That is all four of my grandparents, six of my great-grandparents, and three of my 14 known great-great-grandparents.

Based upon their locations in 1917, I can say my father’s line came from Illinois and Indiana and my mother’s line came from Michigan and Minnesota.  I have a birthplace chart that shows where my ancestors were born that tells a somewhat different story. Grandpa Dick was born in North Dakota but was in Minnesota in 1917. Similarly, my great-grandmother, Mary (Manning) Brown, was born in Kentucky but was in Minnesota in 1917.

My life locations provide some of greatest location distances of anyone I know. I was born in Portland, Oregon; I hail from Minnesota, having lived there during most of my youth and over 35 years total. Over the years, I have lived in Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Colorado, Montana, California, Virginia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Georgia, and Maine. Now, I live about 3,200 miles away from my birth location of Portland, Oregon, in Portland, Maine.


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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.

 

 

Letter of Delores Sarah Brown Pribbenow dated Letter – 4 April 2005.

Amanuensis Monday 

Transcript of Letter from Delores Brown Pribbenow

I find Facebook to be one of the absolute best resources I’ve ever used for research. A few months ago I was able to “friend” a first cousin once removed. “BLZ’s” mother, Delores, and my grandfather were siblings. As such, she is a contemporary with my mother. She also lived near my grandfather and great grandmother for many years and had her own stories. She also has some of the old records and writings of her mother, Delores, and her grandmother (my great-grandmother) Mary Brown. I wrote Delores in 2001 and received a wonderful letter that I’ve incorporated into my research long ago. I found out from BLZ that her mother wrote another letter, this time for her children, in 2005; of which, my cousin scanned and sent me a copy. This 2005 letter included many new (to me) tidbits of information regarding family. I admit I have a difficult time using old handwritten documents so I transcribed it for my use.

There are many new tidbits of information.  One of the best was my grandfather’s middle name.  He changed his name from Clifford D. Brown to Richard Earl Durand to Richard Earl Brown.  I have never found a document which included his “D.” middle name.  Delores’ letter is the first place I’ve ever seen a middle name for him — Durwood.  Durwood fits as it was his father’s middle name. There is also mention of a great grand uncle, Robert Manning, that I had never heard of before.  I knew that a Robert J Manning lived with Enoch, Minerva, Mary, and Phoebe as shown in th 1885 Minnesota Census but I never knew the relationship. So, it appears that all three children were living with their grandparents in 1885.  I learned the occupations of several great uncles and the surname of the man Adia/Ada married. All-in-all a very helpful letter.

If you are able to connect with a cousin, start with sharing photos or stories, eventually, you may find the cousin has fresh documents you haven’t seen before. Cousins can be great resource to enhance your understand and knowledge of your family.

Below is a copy of the letter and my transcript. There are a couple of words I can’t quite make out, so, anyone who wants to help please feel free to comment. I have also highlighted new tidbits of information.

— — — — — — (Page 1) — — — — — — 

April 4th, 2005
Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 1 Dated April 4, 2005
Source: BLZ

I, Delores Sarah Pribbenow, being of sound mind do write this truth for my children to refer to:

I was born the 11/7/1917 to Arthur Durwood Brown and Mary Elizabeth Manning. Mary was born 1876 April 17, lived to be 107. She died on mothers Day. Born 1876 in Kernsville, Kentucky, maiden name Manning. Art was born in Lansing Michigan, they had twelve children raised 10 to adulthood. Two died as infants (Dorothy & Martin) of measles. Children are as follows: Clyde Leroy B. Clarence Andrew B, Victoria Cocialia, Cora Elsie, Clifford (Dick) Durwood, Edward, Louis B., Arthur Eugene B. Charles W B. Delores Sarah, Nettie Mae Viola, the youngest. My mom passed away in Bethany Home in Brainerd. My father passed away in Walker Minn. in hospital, I remember it well. My momn& I camped on the campgrounds at Leach Lake to be near him at his last moment. He died in the night time during a terrific storm. Power was all out. So we didn’t hear until morning when we went to see him, we transported his body by train to Sylvan depot and he was buried in Sylvan or Gull River Cemetery. My Dad, Arthur had surgery in Brainerd for Gall Stones and appendicitis, never recovered his health. Doctored in Rochester, Mayo Clinic, and other doctors ended up in Walker. No help. I’m sure it was cancer he had yellow jaundice and lot of pain with chills, he kept is appendix and gall

[———– Next sheet (Page 2) ————-]

Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 2 – Source: BLZ

bladder & stones in a glass jar until his death. My memories of him are seeing him sitting in a chair braced up against a tree with a straw hat on and smoking a corn cob pipe. Also walking with hands clasp behind his back – while viewing his crops in the field. We raised cucumbers for the Heinz pickle company acres and acres of them. Back breaking job to get them ready to sell. We lived many miles from towns had to transport by team & wagon at least twenty miles one way. My mother had one sister Phoebie and a half brother Robert Manning.

My dad had many Sisters and Brothers, ???? I remember them

Uncle William 
   “  Clyde
   “  Clifford – Wife Lou Lou 
   “  Edward – farmer wife Dora 
   “  Fred was a barber – wife Anna 
   “  Charlie – A cook – Minnie his wife 
Aunt – Ada – husband Ben Mayers – a lawyer owned an island in Gull Lake also a gold mine
   “  Bertha
   “  Minnie 

In the old days they had a child every 9 months it seemed up to a dozen and they continued to rename the child after the aunts and uncles – making it very confusing. I had many uncles and cousins I never ever met.

[———– Next sheet (Page 3) ————-]

Delores Pribbenow Letter
Page 2 – Source: BLZ

My Mothers Sister Phoebe Brown, Richmond. Sisters married Brothers, my uncle Clyde Brown, my dads brother married my mothers sister Phoebe. They had two children, Stella Brown Barnet, Henry Brown – They were my double cousins. Then Uncle Clyde was crushed between to box cars on the M N I rail road he was a brake men, Phoebe later remarried to William Richmond they had Billie, Mahala, Norman, George Herbert Jim Gilbert uncle Will R. died and Phoebe remarried to Milo Upton.

Uncle Bob Mannings wife was Martha – She died in the State of Washington they had sons named Grant & Herbert, that I new

Uncle Ed Brown died of cancer – had button put in this throat talked there that also my Brother Ed had the same thing many years later – Cancer has taken all of my family – I am the only one left.

100 Years ago – Clifford D. Brown (AKA Richard Earl Brown) (AKA Richard Earl Durand)

Arthur Durwood Brown Family abt 1912
Clifford (Dick) is 3rd from left in suspenders.
Source: Personal Photo Collection

In 1914, 11-year-old Clifford was living with his parents, Arthur Durwood and Mary Elizabeth Manning Brown in Merkel Township, Kidder County, North Dakota. It was a large family of 10 children (at that time). (An 11th child, whose name and sex we do not know, had been born and died before 1900.) His father worked as a laborer on a farm and the family rented their home. His youngest brother, Charles William Brown was born the previous July.

Neighbors to the Browns included a Russian family headed by John Merkel. Living with John was his wife and six kids plus Edd and Dertha Merkel Brown. Dertha was John Merkel’s daughter and Edd was Arthur Durwood Brown’s youngest brother. Near them was another John Merkel, presumably a son of John. The 1910 Census indicated 111 families in the township, many more than exist today. The 2010 Census indicated only 21 housing units in the township and a steady decline in population over the previous several censuses. It is clear though that the Brown family lived in a tight community of family.

Photo by by JBTHEMILKER
Source: Panoramio | Google Maps

The 1910 Census also indicates that Clifford was attending school. It is unclear where the three Brown children, Victoria, Cora, & Clifford, went to school. It was more than 30 miles to Fessenden or to Steele so the children must have gone somewhere closer. The published by Geo. A. Ogle and Co. in 1912 shows that there was “School Land” about three miles south of the land the Browns were working. I’ve looked for evidence that a school was ever built there and I have been unable to find any. I think it likely that the children attended the school in Robinson about 8 miles away. The public school building from 1916 is still standing and it is likely that the tree attended that school.

  
Historically, October, 1914, was a very important time.  Although the Brown family was isolated in the
North Dakota plains, they most assuredly knew the great war was beginning. Archduke
Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28th. Those
two shots sent the world into the chaos known as The Great War (World War I).  In July, Austria-Hungary declared war on
Serbia. In October of 1914 the perpetrators of the attempted bombing
assassination and the successful shooting assassination of the Archduke were sentenced. 

Clifford Brown (aka Richard Earl Durand, aka Richard Earl Brown) (1903-1990)

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 38
Clifford Brown (1903-1990)
(aka Richard Earl Durand)
(aka Richard Earl Brown)

By – Don Taylor

No Story Too Small

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)”