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  • How Now, John Brown, Who Was Your Father?

    Thelma L. Kilmer

    Published Date : December 1987
     The 1860 Federal Census for Greenwich Township, Fairfield County, Connecticut, shows Amos Weed at age 40, Mary E. Weed, age 35, and Agnes L. Weed, my grandmother, age 3. From the census we can deduce Amos’s birth date to be ca. 1820.

    From Stamford’s Soldiers by Edith M. Wickes and Virginia H. Olson (1976), p. 311, we learn that Amos and Mary (Clason) Weed had a son Amos, born in 1753, who married Abigail ___.  Amos and Abigail had four children, one of whom was Amos Weed, born ca. 1790, baptized in the North Stamford Congregational Church, who later married Deborah Brown.

    Among the writer’s family papers is a photograph of Amos Weed, father of Agnes, and in the margin is written “died 17 April 1896.”  The next step was to locate his parents.  I wrote to the Stamford Town Clerk, then went to Stamford in person, seeking Amos Weed’s death certificate.  It was there, stating that Amos “died 1896 April 17, age 77 years.  Father Amos Weed, Mother Deborah Brown.”  I knew Deborah Brown was the daughter of John and Rebecca Brown.

    An article in The American Genealogist 27 (195l):253 gives John Brown as married 10 December 1791 to Rebecca Waterbury, daughter of David and Jemima Waterbury.  The marriage also appears in Bailey’s Connecticut Marriages Before 1800 (1904), vol. 6, page 65, and Stamford’s Soldiers, page 29 (where the date is mistakenly given as 19 December), and in Rebecca Brown’s pension application, now in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

    According to Stamford’s Soldiers, John Brown was born at Somers, Connecticut, in 1761.  Yet Somers Town Records show a “John Brown, son of Alexander and Grace” born 16 May 1746. Perhaps I was mistaken after all.

    Then I reread John Brown’s service record and pension application.  According to the latter, dated 23 August 1832, he was a “resident of Somers, aged 86 years.”  “He says he was born in Somers, Connecticut, May 16, 1746” and has “no record of his age except in the Town Book.  The Somers vital records also show (volume 1, page 14) that Alexander Brown & Grace Kibbe were married April 18, 1745.”

    Rebecca Brown applied for a widow’s pension June 25, 1839.  She was “77 years last September” and “married to John Brown by the Rev. Moses Mather in the month of December 1791.”  Her maiden name was Rebecca Waterbury, and her husband “John Brown died the 24th day of March 1839.”

    Alexander Brown’s will is on microfilm at the Connecticut State Library.  He died 15 December 1760, according to district probate records of Stamford dated May 18, 1761.  Named children are John, Jacob, Abner, and Grace Brown.

    Thus I conclude that John Brown was born at Somers, Connecticut, 16 May 1746, the son of Alexander & Grace (Kibbe) Brown. Now the question is, who were Alexander Brown’s parents?

    This article answers the basic question posed by the writer in NEXUS 2(April 1985):45, Query Number 139, for which an alternative answer was suggested in NEXUS:3(June 1986):l32 in an article by fellow member Louise McLean.

    The author is a great-granddaughter of Amos Weed, & Mary Elizabeth Sherwood and welcomes correspondence on these Browns, especially concerning the origin of Alexander.  Her address is Middle Grove, NY 12850.

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