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  • Extracts from the Report To the Brown Association 1867

    Capt. Keith F. Brown

    Published Date : February 1985
    (From Report to the Brown Association, U.S.A., made by Columbus Smith, A.D. 1868. Burlington, Vt.: Free Pres, 1868. NEHGS library G/BRO 5643).

    …I have been expecting daily to have some further report from Mr. Fisher, which I could lay before the Association; but so far having been disappointed in this, I concluded to give the Association what information we have been able to collect in America, relative to unclaimed Brown property in England, and the pedigree of the different branches of the family in America, hoping before long to be able to give the Association a report of the progress of investigations in England.

    …this case independent of the dignity attached to it, is a case of great magnitude, being not less than 250,000 or 300,000 pounds.  The parties entitled to this large property are the heirs of Sir Anthony Browne, Knight Standard Bearer of England.…it is highly probable that the brothers William and George did go to America, and that their heirs are the ones entitled to this large property…But what particular will is necessary to be seen is quite impossible to say, so it is requisite to see all in the name of Browne from 1550 to 1770, or for two hundred years. This is considerable work indeed…

    …Since the Brown Association was formed I have heard of another very large Brown estate in England said to be unclaimed and supposed to belong to the Browns in America, and I have been informed that a branch of the Brown family in the New England States and Nova Scotia have investigated this case and were not able to trace their pedigree so as to show themselves entitled.

    ...Alfred Brown, of St. Sacrement Street, Montreal, wrote there was a property in Cheodle in Staffordshire, and another near Wells in Somersetshire, and he often heard a grand Aunt of his say if he had his own he would be worth thousands.  That there are three coal pits on the Cheodle estate that let to a Birmingham company for 17,000 per annum. and the farms in Somerset are worth nearly as much more.

    …To commence with the subject as I have learned, Thomas Brown died in the year 1704, leaving property to the amount of 1¼ million pounds being equal to 7½ millions dollars; the sole and only heir was a brother, Richard Brown, that left England in 1683, and came to Nova Scotia….Some of the descendants it is supposed, came from Nova Scotia to Massachusetts in 1763.

    …I intend to have the case thoroughly investigated in England so far as we have the means furnished to do it with, and I have no doubt but in due time all the money required will be raised.  I have heard Mr. Fisher soon intends to return to America.  If he does before finishing the investigation, another competent man will go to England this Winter or in the Spring and attend to the business he may leave unfinished.

    Submitted by Capt. Keith F. Brown San Diego, Calif.

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