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  • Genealogical Puzzle: Ancestry of John Brown Of Stamford (1761 – 1839)

    Louise H. McLean

    Published Date : June 1986
     Information on John Brown (1761-1839) of Stamford, Connecticut, may be found in Stamford’s Soldiers, a volume of short biographies of Revolutionary War veterans published by the Stamford Genealogical Society in 1976.  Data from pension applications was supplemented by information from local church and town records and other sources.

    For John Brown, pension number W17357, this book provides the following information: he was born in 1761 and married Rebecca Waterbury on 10 December 1791 in Darien, Connecticut.  Rebecca. born in September 1760, was a twin daughter of Capt. David and Jemima (June) (Lounsbury) Waterbury.  She died 20 October 1845; John died 27 March 1839.  Both are buried in the Noroton Cemetery in Darien.

    The names of John’s parents are not given.  However, the Darien Historical Society has on file a family record of some Brown ancestors of Henry Brown Morehouse, a lifelong resident of Darien who died some years ago.  He was descended from a David Brown who was twice married.  By his first wife, her name not mentioned, David had a son David who “lived in Schoharie, N.Y.”  By his second wife Rebecca. he had 13 children, one of whom was John who “married Rebecca Waterbury.”

    Although there are no dates whatever on the Morehouse notes, the Congregational Church records of Stamford list the marriage of a David Brown and Rebecca Slauson on 26 January 1757, and also the subsequent baptisms of several of their children: Francis and Rebecca (1758); Nathan (1760); John (1762); and Solomon (1763).  These names were also listed by Henry Morehouse among the 13 children of his ancestors David and Rebecca Brown.  Their son John “who married Rebecca Waterbury,” although baptized in 1762, must be the same John of the pension record who was born in 1761.

    As for David Brown’s antecedents, I think it quite possible that he may be the same David listed as a descendant of Francis Brown on page 56 of Connecticut Ancestry, December 1962 and January 1963.  He was born 22 August 1714 and married Sarah Weed 16 December 1736.  They had a son David before Sarah died in 1748/9.  There is no mention of David, Sr.’s death, and he might well be the man who already had a son David by a previous marriage when he married Rebecca Slauson in 1757.  This possibility is reinforced by the fact that David, Sarah Weed, and Rebecca Slauson all lived as children in the Noroton River area of Stamford and Darien.

    One of David’s sons by his second wife, according to Mr. Morehouse, was Noah Brown, who became a prominent and important shipbuilder in New York during the War of 1812.  His very interesting autobiography was published by the Darien Historical Society in its Annual for 1958.  Noah, born in 1770 by his own account, told how his “father with all his family moved to a place called New Stamford, about forty miles west of Soupin on the head of the Delaware River” in 1775.  Five years later in an Indian raid, David was captured and killed by the savages, and three sons were carried off to Canada. Stamford Probate Records corroborate his death by 1781.

    Note: This is written in answer to NEXUS Query #139 published in the April 1985 issue.

    By Louise H. McLean
    Darien, Connecticut
New England Historic Genealogical Society
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