Deep Dive – Mary Elizabeth Manning Brown (1878-1983) – Part 1

Brown-Mannin(g) Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.After lack of success in finding the mother of my great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown, I decided to do what I call a deep dive. “Grandma Brown” was born in Kentucky, probably in 1876 or 1878. Her father was John William Manning, who may have also called “Joe.” Her mother (name unclear) likely died before 1885. She and her sister Phoebe probably traveled to Minnesota in 1882 and was undoubtedly in Minnesota, living with her grandparents Enoch and Minerva Mannin by 1885. So the window that Grandma Brown was in Kentucky was short, 1876 to 1885 at most.

A quick look at my tree and I discovered I have 431 people in my family tree with events in Kentucky, so I decided to create a Kentucky Research Toolkit to help with my research of these many Kentucky ancestors.

Looking at the locations of particular interest based on the life events of Mary, her father, John William, and her grandfather, Enoch, I need to look at:

    • Kentucky from 1823 to 1888
    • Bath County 1823-1860
    • Bath County, Owingsville 1823-1860
    • Carter County, 1845 – 1888
    • Carter County, Grayson – 1843-1865
    • Rowan County c. 1880?
    • Rowan County, Pine Grove – c. 1880?

Next, I typically print a Family Group Sheet from my Family Tree Maker software to have “What I Think I Know” handy. It can help determine if a document concerns the “right family.”

Besides knowing the dates to research, I need to learn more about Kentucky and its counties.

    • Kentucky was the 15th state in the Union, admitted on 1 June 1792.
    • Bath County was formed in 1811 from Montgomery County; its capital is Owingsville.
    • Carter County was formed in 1838 from Greenup and Lawrence Counties; its capital is Grayson.
    • Rowan County was formed in 1856 from Fleming and Morgan Counties; its capital is Morehead.
    • All three counties are in the Eastern Coal Field region of Northeast Kentucky. Coal mining is the primary industry in the region.

Maps of Eastern Kentucky After County Creation.

Bath created 1811 Carter created 1838 Rowan created 1856

At this point, I think I know enough to begin my “Deep Dive” using my Kentucky Research Toolkit.

Next – Step 1 – Confirm the use of my initial sources.

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