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Descendants of John E. Brown


An extensive treatment of the genealogy of this family can be found at the Brown Family History site of Carol Brown Parker.


Generation No. 1

1. John E. Brown  was born November 1822 in New York, and died May 13, 1902 in Meridian, Ingham Co., MI. He was the son of John and Lydia Brown. He married (1) Abigail _____ ca. 1845. She was born 1827. He married (2) Anna Mariah Andrews August 15, 1852 in Jackson, MI1, daughter of Sarah _____. She was born August 1833 in New York, and died December 1, 1901 in Onondaga, Ingham Co., MI.

John's middle initial has been rendered as C. in some records, but convincing evidence provided by Carol Brown Parker, and the bulk of the available record indicate the middle initial "E". His parents, John and Lydia Brown were born in Vermont, but apparently migrated to New York state before John's birth. They may have been born to English parentage. John E. Brown's father apparently died relatively young, and Lydia remarried to a man with the surname Longbottom.

Sometime around 1845, John married a woman named Abigail. Her maiden name has not been established, and it is not clear whether they were married in New York, Ohio, or somewhere in between. What is clear is that they migrated to Toledo, Ohio (they were there by 1847) and lived there for a few years before moving to Michigan in about 1851.

In 1850, John and Abigail were living in Richfield Twp., Lucas Co., just outside Toledo. The young boys Aaron and Cyrus were living with them and John was working as a laborer. Shortly thereafter, Abigail presumably died. It is possible that the two got divorced, but both Aaron and Cyrus were living with John from then on, and it would be fairly unusual for the children to remain with the father after a divorce in the 19th century. Sometime in the next year or so, John and the two boys relocated to Jackson Co., MI, where he began working as a stone mason.

In 1852, John remarried to Anna Andrews (pictured below at LEFT), who was also New York-born and from parents who were born in New York or Vermont. The wedding took place in Sandstone, Jackson Co., MI.

In 1860, the growing Brown family was living in Henrietta, Jackson Co., MI. Along with John and Anna are Aaron, age 12, Cyrus 10, Horace 6, Anson 4, and the infant Sarah at 10 months age. Oddly, Lafayette is missing from the record--presumably a clerical error.

In 1870, they lived in the town of Tompkins in Jackson County, MI. John was working as a stone mason, and his son Aaron was learning the trade as an apprentice mason. Sons Cyrus and Lafayette were working on a farm at this time, and Lafayette, Sarah, Mary and Adna were attending school. Also living in the Brown household that year were John's mother, Lydia Longbottom, age 68, and born in Vermont, and Anna's mother, Sarah Andrew, age 70, who was born in New York. In addition, a 34-year old Ruth Serles, born in New York, is also living there and listed as a domestic servant, but the 1880 census reveals that she is actually a sister-in-law--the widowed sister of Anna. John's total personal estate was a modest $700.

In 1880, the Brown family lived in the town of Onondaga in Ingham County, about 20 miles due south of Lansing. In that year, Sarah was the oldest child living at home, with Adna, B.J., Andrew, and young Hattie. The other children, most now in their twenties or thirties, had already moved away (or possibly died). Mary would have been 18 in that year, certainly old enough to have been married. Sarah, B.J. and Andrew were attending school that year. Ruth E. Serles is still living with them at the age of 43, and here is designated as a "sister-in-law" that is widowed and was born in New York of parents from Vermont.

Given the common surname of Brown, without the children in the household, and the absence of the 1890 census, the Brown's whereabouts for the next two decades are uncertain. One might guess that the Brown family moved back to Jackson or at least near the city sometime prior to 1890 since both Adna and Hattie show up in Jackson during the late 1880's and early 1890's. However, it is evident that John and Anna Brown were living in Onondaga in 1900, and Anna died there, at the age of 68, in December 1901. After Anna's death, John relocated twenty miles north to Meridian, MI, which is now part of Lansing. Within seven months of Anna's death, John too would expire, at the age of 79. John and Anna were buried in Lesley Cemetery in Onondaga, MI.

Anna Mariah Andrews was probably born in Huckamuck, Herkimer Co., NY. Her brother, John, was born there on March 7, 1822. According to a November 17,1902 obituary for John Andrew in the Roseburg, OR Plaindealer, the Andrew family of New York, Michigan, and (in his case) Oregon, was of Scotch ancestry and that the first Andrew came from Scotch highlands to the American colonies in the mid-18th century.

A letter from Anna's sister, Ruth E. Searls to their brother John Andrews dated November 10, 1872 provides a glimpse into life in the Brown household. She writes that Anna was very sick and that Ruth was staying with the Browns to help with the children and household, despite a foot injury stemming from a buggy accident. Ruth stayed with the Browns for three weeks. Ruth and Anna's mother, Sarah, was also staying with the Browns and doing knitting and light work, but lacked the strength to do much more since her illness the previous winter. Ruth goes on to express her regret at the great burden on Anna and wishes for a more peaceful home for their mother in her old age.

Anna died of heart disease. She was buried at Leslie Cemetery.


Children of John Brown and Abigail _____ are:

  • Aaron Charles Brown, born January 4, 1848 in Toledo, Ohio; died March 25, 1917 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
  • Cyrus B. Brown, born ca. 1849 in Ohio. Cyrus was born in either Toledo or Richfield Twp., OH. He was a brick mason.
  • Children of John Brown and Anna Andrews are:

  • Lafayette Brown, born 1853 in Jackson Co., MI. Lafayette reportedly ran away from home.
  • Horace Brown, born 1854.
  • Anson Brown, born 1856.
  • Sarah E. Brown, born ca. 1858 in Michigan.
  • Mary E. Brown, born ca. 1861 in Michigan. Mary may be the Ellen M. Finch of Onondaga, MI, referred to in her mother's obituary.
  • Adna L. Brown, born ca. 1863 in Jackson Co., MI.
  • Bautten J. Brown, born ca. 1866 in Michigan. Bautten went by "B.J." for much of childhood and perhaps into adulthood. His name was spelled "Boughton" in his mother's obituary. He settled in Ingham Co., MI.
  • Andrew K. Brown, born December 1869 in Michigan. Andrew settled in Ingham Co., MI.
  • Hattie Abigail Brown, born September 1872 in Tompkins, Jackson Co., MI; died May 11, 1929 in Jackson, MI. Hattie married Albert Henry Woodhurst, making her the grandmother of Wightman's.

    Generation No. 2

    2. Aaron Charles Brown was born January 4, 1848 in Toledo, Ohio, and died March 25, 1917 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. He married (1) Clara Whitaker October 9, 1872 in Michigan. He married (2) Sarah Louise Kitchen February 18, 1890 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

    Aaron and Clara apparently never divorced, even though he "remarried" to Sarah Louisa Kitchen.

    Child of Aaron Brown and Clara Whitaker is:

  • Charles Herbert Brown.

    9. Adna L. Brown was born ca. 1863 in Jackson Co., MI. He married Bessie Elizabeth Townsend ca. 18922. She was born ca. 1870 in England2.

    Adna was the foreman at John Root's farm outside Jackson, MI where Albert Woodhurst came to work in 1894. He settled in Ingham Co., MI for a time, but then returned to Jackson Co. with his family. In 1910, the Adna Brown family lived in Blackmun Township in Jackson Co. In 1920, they lived in Summit Township in Jackson Co. Adna worked as a house carpenter.

    Children of Adna Brown and Bessie Townsend are:

  • Roy Z. Brown, born ca. 1893.
  • Fledda R. Brown, born ca. 18962.
  • Llyod L. Brown, born ca. 18982. In 1920, Lloyd was apprenticed in a chair factory.
  • Anna May Brown, born ca. 19012. In 1920, Anna was working an office stenographer.
  • June J. Brown, born ca. 19042.
  • Elsie G. Brown, born ca. 19062.
  • Emma P. Brown, born ca. December 1909 in Blackmun Twp., Jackson Co., MI2; died Bef. 1920.


    Generation No. 3

    13. Charles Herbert Brown was the son of Aaron Brown and Clara Whittaker.

    Child of Charles Herbert Brown is:

  • Robert Aaron Charles Brown.

    14. Roy Z. Brown was born ca. 18932. He was the son of Adna Brown and Bessie Townsend. He married Adella F. _____3. She was born ca. 1892 in Michigan.

    In 1920, Roy was working as a millwright.

    Child of Roy Brown and Adella _____ is:

  • Ruth Maria Brown, born ca. 19163.


    1. Dodd, Jordan, Michigan Marriages, 1851-75, (Liahona Research, 2000).

    2. 1910 US Census.

    3. 1920 US Census.

    Photographs and considerable information presented here was courtesy of Carol Brown Parker.



    I welcome inquiries, corrections, and additions. Please contact me by email.

    2006, Bruce Wightman, all rights reserved.