This is not intended to be the definitive Browne family genealogy; its purpose is only to explore as fully as possible the individuals from whom our particular family line descends. These are the ancestors of Elinor Browne, who married Richard Warfield, and died in 1713.
If any reader has corrections or additions to this particular segment of the Browne/Brown line, I would appreciate hearing from you. Please e mail to .
Sources can be found by clicking on the bracketted numbers; or see all the Citations at the bottom of this page. Only the first mention of each source will give its entire citation.
While I have not yet seen documentary proof, it seems likely that a good starting place for this line is with Thomas Browne in London, presumably born sometime around 1600. He had at least two sons, Thomas Jr. and Capt. John Browne.
Captain John Brown of London, merchant, bursts into view because on 9 January 1700/1 he appointed Captain WILLIAM, mariner of the ship Happy Union, to be his lawful attorney for all goods, etc. of his son John Browne, late of London, mariner, deceased. What can we infer from this brief legal act? Greg Todd offers the following hypothesis:Captain John Browne was running the business from London and his son, "John Browne, late of London, mariner," was a participant in this enterprise. Interestingly, Newman refers to Captain John Browne as a "merchant" rather than as a "mariner." Why would a London merchant be called "Captain" if he had not once been a mariner himself?
If this interpretation of the Newman reference is correct, then Captain John Browne of London had a son named John who was involved in the merchant shipping business and predeceased his father. It would be expected that Captain John Browne would eventually prove too elderly to make the frequent voyages between England and America, and would at some point remain in London to oversee the family business. Captain John Browne's son was likely to have been involved as a "mariner" in this venture until his death in 1700/01.
This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that no records indicate where Captain John Browne died (London or Maryland are equally possible), nor do we know that he had ever actually had a permanent residence in Maryland. The properties he purchased in 1673 in Anne Arundel Co., MD may very well have been a wedding gift to his daughter Elinor Browne, as the date of the purchase (1673) coincides with the likely marriage date of Elinor to Captain Richard WARFIELD. The names of these properties, "Hope" and "Increase," are also suggestive of marital themes. Captain John Browne may have continued to reside in London without ever having a permanent residence of his own in America.
Children of Capt. John Browne (probably incomplete, order uncertain):
i. John Browne1
ii. Peregrine Browne, of London, Eng.; shipmaster, merchant involved with trade with Maryland. He may have married a sister of Sarah who m(1) ___ Read; m(2) ca. 1675 James FRISBY (ca. 1651-1704). James was born in England, the son of James Frisby, and emigrated first as a child to Virginia, then in 1665 with his parents from Virginia to Baltimore Co., Maryland. Peregrine Browne was mentioned as a brother-in-law of James Frisby, but Peregrine's brother John Browne was not mentioned as Frisby's brother-in-law.
iii. Elinor Browne, m. ca. 1673 Richard WARFIELD.
John Browne1 was probably born in London in the mid seventeenth century. He died sometime after 1692, most likely in 1700, perhaps in Maryland.
John Browne and his brother Capt. Peregrine Browne "ran two of the best equiped merchant transports between London and Annapolis." John seems to have made the trip frequently. While in Maryland he apparently stayed at the residence of Richard WARFIELD. John was called as a witness, along with Warfield in the chancery suit of Dorsey v. Bland. In 1673 John bought tracts of land named “Hope” and “Increase” near Round Bay. It is possible he purchased them on behalf of his father as dower for John's sister Elinor who married Richard Warfield about that time.
As usual, we can find some financial connections with neighbors. This was the natural consequence of having no banks or institutions that paid interest on deposits, or advanced credit. When Benjamin SOLLEY died in the spring of 1676 his estate owed money to John Browne. Robert CAGE, whose estate was settled in August 1677, also owned Browne money.
Elinor Browne2, the daughter of Captain John, London mariner, at some point emigrated to Maryland. It seems likely that her brother John, who seems to have been in the habit of staying with the Warfield family when he was in Maryland between voyages, introduced Elinor to Richard. She married Richard WARFIELD sometime between 1670 and 1675, most likely ca. 1673. Richard had emigrated to Maryland about 1662.
The tracts purchased by Elinor’s brother or father, “Hope” and “Increase”, ended up in Richard Warfield’s possession. Because of the legal constraints against married females owning real estate in their own names, it seems reasonable to conclude that the land was part of the marriage arrangements for Elinor. The couple probably resided at “Wayfield”, nine miles west of Annapolis, purchased by Richard from Nicholas WYATT.
Richard died in 1703/4. Elinor died in 1713.
Children of Richard and Elinor (Browne) Warfield:
i. John Warfield2, b. 1675; d. 1718; m. 16 Feb. 1696 Ruth GAITHER, eldest daughter of John Gaither. They had 9 children: Richard, John, Benjamin, Alexander, Edward, Philip, Ruth, Mary, and Elinor. Resided on "Warfield’s Plains", which John had inherited.
ii. Richard Warfield, b. ca. 1677; d. 1755; m. Ruth CRUTCHLEY (ca. 1683-1713), daughter of Thomas and Margaret (BALDWIN) Crutchley. Margaret was the daughter of John Baldwin (d. 1684), a Quaker; Richard's children included Ruth who m. Joseph HALL, and Lydia who m (1) Dr. Samuel STRINGER (d. 1747) and m (2) Charles RIDGLEY, whose first wife was Rachel HOWARD. Richard was elected to the Lower House. Richard was named in his brother-in-law's will to take care of his orphaned son Benjamin Howard. Richard and his brother Alexander inventoried the estate of John MARRIOTT of Anne Arundel County 11 May 1719, and reappraised the estate of Henry SEWALL on 26 Oct. 1730. Richard inherited his father's home plantation.
iii. Alexander Warfield, b. 1678; d. 1740; m. Sarah PIERPONT, daughter of Henry Pierpont, a Quaker; Alexander was Anglican, on the Vestry of St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel Co. He was a planter, justice, elected to the Lower House. At his death his estate was valued at £605.3.10 and included 6 slaves and probably 1,769 acres in Anne Arundel Co. Alexander was named in his brother-in-law's will to care for his orphaned son, Absolute HOWARD.
iv. Benjamin Warfield, b. 1680; d. 1717/8; m. 1703 Elizabeth DUVALL, daughter of a French Huguenot.
vi. Rachel Warfield, b. 1681; d. 1709; m. George YATES, Jr. (ca. 1674-1717).
vii. Elinor Warfield, b. 10 July 1683; d. 1752; m. 1704 Caleb DORSEY (ca. 1684-1742), son of John Dorsey. She was named in her brother-in-law's will to take care of his orphaned daughter Rachel HOWARD, if Elinor "be kind to her".
The Brownes and their colonial Maryland relatives are described in The Southern Connection: Ancestors of Eleanor Addison Smith Holliday Price. It delves into the social system, economics, religion, and politics that developed in colonial Maryland. The white elite considered themselves the pinnacle of civilization, while their wealth and power were dependent upon a horrifically brutal racist enslavement system. This hardback print-on-demand book provides the context for the Brownes' colonial Maryland situation. Although I explore their roots in London, I only follow two generations of the Browne family in Maryland, so they do not figure prominently in the book. However, if you are interested in learning about the larger picture, this might interest you. The book is available at lulu.com. Click on the title, then on "preview" to see the table of contents and a few sample pages. The price is the cost of printing and binding, plus shipping. I make nothing on it.
If you have additions or corrections, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please e mail to .
See some other colonial Maryland families that link one way or another with these Brownes: Addison, Bale, Brooke, Dent, Dorsey, Ely, Hall, Hatton, Holliday, Howard, Isaac, Molton, Norwood, Owings, Randall, Ridgely, Sim, Smith, Stone, Tasker, Warfield, and Wilkinson. They are all included in The Southern Connection.
This page was first posted on 3/4/2003, and most recently updated on 8m/23/2014.
Citations and Notes
1. Harry Wright Newman, To Maryland From Overseas: A Complete Digest of Jacobite Loyalists Sold into White Slavery in Maryland, and the British and Continental Background of Approximately 1400 Maryland Settlers from 1634 to the Early Federal Period with Source Documentation (Balt.: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1985), 33.
1a. Samuel Lee, A Collection of the Names of the Merchants Living in and about the City of London (1677),
2. Newman, To Maryland From Overseas, 33.
3. I am indebted to Greg Todd, emails February 2008, for helping me sort out the generations of John Brownes, and the reference to Thomas, found in J.D. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties.
4. Edward C. Papenfuse, Alan F. Day, David W. Jordan, and Gregory A. Stiverson, A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789, 2 vols.(Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979), 1:331.
5. Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis., 1:331-32, 2:942 identifies "Sarah Read" as the wife of James Frisby and sister of "Peregrine Browne, of London". It does not mention if she was the widow of __Read, or a sister-in-law of Peregrine. Nor does it mention that Peregrine was the brother of John Browne. So there remains a wisp of uncertainty.
7. Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis., 1:331.
7a. Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis., 1:332-3.
7b. Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis., 1:331-2.
20. Warfield, The Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, 84; Holland, Old Homes and Families of Howard County, 241. His birth date is given as 1674 in McIntire, Annapolis Maryland Families, 737, who also supplies Richard's and Eleanor's birth dates. John Gaither might be the son of Nicholas Guither (ca. 1626-ca. 1665/6) who emigrated as an indentured servant to St. Inigoe’s Hundred, supported Lord Baltimore against the Puritan take-over in 1655, and served in the Assembly in 1663. His estate totalled 31,888 lbs. of tobacco and included one slave and two indentured servants. Biog. Dic. of Md. Legis., 2:379.
26. Doliante, Maryland and Virginia Colonials, 361.
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