Posted By:Kate Stromsted
Subject:Re: Origins of Nathaniel Browning
Post Date:August 24, 2011 at 17:59:17
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Forum:Browning Family Genealogy Forum
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Follow-up to my own post. Finally got a look at the Browning book on microfiche. No sources are listed, unfortunately. I also got copies of several key wills revolving around this particular cluster of Browning families. From the wills and baptism registers, the following can be noted:

Daniel Browning, a clothworker of London, married Elizabeth Furness on February 9, 1612 at St. Andrew, Norwich. Daniel's will names his wife's parents as Ralph and Rebecca. This would be Ralph Furness and his wife, Rebecca Blennerhassett. Ralph's will, made about 1639, names Samuel and Nathaniel Browning, his daughter Elizabeth's sons, as well as John Palmer, their half-brother. Where all the bits and pieces seem to be tangling up involve the fact that there were two Nathaniel Brownings in one family; Daniel's will names sons Daniel and Samuel and alludes to Elizabeth's unborn child. Daniel and Elizabeth were parents of a Nathaniel Browning baptized July 10, 1618 at Saint Andrew, Norwich; Samuel was baptized June 20, 1622. However, this Nathaniel would have been deceased as of his father's 1625 will. The second Nathaniel enters the picture soon after, being baptized January 20, 1626 at St. Lawrence Jewry, in London. This is the unborn child referred to in Daniel's will as well as the Nathaniel in those of John Palmer and Ralph Furness. If this is the correct family for the Nathaniel Browning of Rhode Island, he would have been born about eight years after the date ascribed to him. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to find anything definitive to link him to this family other than circumstantial evidence and the unsourced statement of Edward Franklin Browning. If anyone has seen any source for this lineage I'd very much appreciate a nudge in the right direction.

The second possible parentage I've seen for Nathaniel is that in Burke's, making him the son of John Browning and Christian Webb. This seems incredibly unlikely. Many pedigrees made it into earlier editions of "Burke's Landed Gentry" and John Browning and Christian have three children assigned them in the Visitations back in England: Mary, wife of John Smith (genealogist/historian of the Berkeley family), John, husband of Joan Tovey, and Ursula, wife of Stephen Fowler. Visitation pedigrees by no means always included all children; however, the names of this family don't mesh with the descendants of Nathaniel Browning. Ursula, for example, was a popular name in John and Christian (Webb) Browning's descendants. This family's ancestry can be seen here:

Like the Browning book, the pedigree in Burke's is just as unsourced.

Were Nathaniel Browning of Rhode Island the son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Furness) Browning, he would have the following pedigree:

1. Nathaniel Browning
2. Daniel Browning
3. Elizabeth Furness
4. William Browning
5. Dorothy Vernon
6. Ralph Furness
7. Rebecca Blennerhassett
14. William Blennerhassett
15. Alice Sybsay
28. Robert Blennerhassett
29. Margaret Kemp
30. George Sybsaye
31. Amy Gurney
62. William Gurney
63. Anne Heydon

and documented well back beyond these.

Of further note, if this is the right family, it would link Nathaniel of Rhode Island to another Browning, this one of Massachusetts: Malachi Browning. Daniel names him as one of his brothers in his will; if the family is correct, Nathaniel Browning of Rhode Island would be his nephew. If anyone has any ideas or information I'd love to correspond. Thanks!