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Samuel Brown b. 1725 vs. Samuel Brown b. 1740
Posted by: Gail Brown (ID *****6714) Date: March 15, 2006 at 14:15:33
  of 1025

Hello! I've been researching the Abraham Brown line for a few years now and have recently had a couple of other researchers contact me (or me them) who are, or believe to be, descended from the Samuel Brown branch - Samuel being b. 1725 and m. Ann Buffin. It is said by some researchers that this Samuel is the son of John and Catherine Brown, John being the son of Abraham and Leah (Clayton) Brown. Where did this info come from, and why are some people so "sure" about it? I mean, we have a belief that John and Catherine m. abt 1724, and Samuel was b. abt. 1725. Is that the only basis for why this particular Samuel is attached to John and Catherine?

And what about Patriot Samuel Brown b. 1740 m. Eleanor (Ellen) Cutler? It is said, he too is the son of John and Catherine. A theory I buy into more than the older Samuel, and here's why...

Take John's will dated Sept 1747. In it he names children, Clayton, Theodosia (Groves), John, Samuel, Sarah and Catherine. One of those previously mentioned Brown researchers shared some of this following info with me, which was put together by a relative of his many years ago, and he's unsure of what sources the relative used to gather this info:

John Brown, New Hanover, Burlington Co., NJ; d. 1748; m. Catherine
Theodocia b. ca. 1723
Clayton b. ca. 1725
John b. ca. 1727
Samuel b. 1729
Sarah b. ca. 1731
Catherine b. ca. 1733

If John and Catherine were m. abt 1724, seems unlikely Theodocia could have been b. ca 1723, or 1724... maybe 1725. But then, Clayton is shown as be b. ca 1725... which is when Samuel m. to Ann Buffin was said to be born. But in the above list, he's b. 1729 - and note that he, Sarah and Catherine are all younger than their brother John.

John's will reads that he leaves "John the plantation at age, paying legacies to Samuel, Sarah and Catherine, and making suitable provisions for his mother, Catherine."

That to me sounds as though John may have been the oldest boy still at home or still unmarried, since it was put upon him to provide for his mother and pay the legacies to the other younger siblings. It also suggests to me that John was a minor at the time of his father's will writing/death. Which means, if John was b. ca 1727, as the aforementioned list suggests, then in 1747/8, John would have been of age... however, if John was b. 1736, as I believe, then that would mean he was only 11/12 in 1747/8, and not yet "of age." If he wasn't of age, and we see that Samuel, Sarah and Catherine were younger than him, then they most certainly weren't of age either... putting Samuel to be b. abt 1740, and making sense that he be the Patriot Sam m. to Eleanor Cutler, and the son of John and Catherine.

Also, from I located an article that mentions:

"Living on what later became known as the "Wright Place" was Samuel Brown, who served gallantly in the Monmouth Militia... John Holmes the elder had a mill on the north branch of Forked River. John Holmes Jr married Catherine Brown, sister of Samuel Brown, who lived in what became the Wright Place... Abram Brown, Jr married Leah Clayton and had John who married Catherine Tilton in 1724. Their daughter, sister of Samuel Brown, was married to John Holmes in 1764."

That article was written many years ago. However, the information about Abram Brown Jr m. Leah Clayton and having a son John who m. Catherine in 1724 is fairly accurate. We know John and Catherine had a son Samuel and a daughter Catherine, so that's accurate. Seems to me the rest would be accurate too, about Patriot Sam being their son. For if we go by the earlier list, Catherine would have been b. ca 1733, making her 31 in 1764 - not an impossible age to be married at, but is kind of late for a first marriage at that time. If we set her birthdate closer to 1744/46 (based on John in 1736 and Patriot Sam in 1740), then she would have been m. between ages of 18-20, which is most likely, though either way could have happened.

In that aforementioned list, the children all seem to be about 2 years apart, which, if my theory is correct, would make their birthdates approx:

Theodosia b. abt. 1732
Clayton b. abt. 1734
John b. 1736
Samuel b. 1740
Sarah b. abt. 1742
Catherine b. abt. 1746

Now if John and Catherine were m. abt 1724, surely they had children previous to Theodosia in 1732 - they had 8 years to have children before her... and most likely did. But then who are they? Did they not survive to adulthood, or for one reason or another just not get mentioned in the will, or are those earlier birthdates the correct ones? But if so, then why wouldn't John have been of age in 1747? And what happened to Clayton? Theodosia was already married and wasn't left anything... is that what happened to Clayton, too? Was he already m. with his own family and so not mentioned further in the will and not expected to provide for his mother?

There were most definitely (2) Samuel Browns in this area of Burl Co. (probably more than 2), one b. abt. 1725, the other abt. 1740... but only one can be the son of John and Catherine (unless they named two sons Samuel??)... so which truly is, and why do you think so? What proof/evidence is there? What have I overlooked or gotten confused about? Or will we ever be able to figure it out beyond a reasonable doubt? Why are some researchers so certain that Samuel m. to Ann Buffin is the son of John and Catherine, when there seems to be more information suggesting he isn't?

Bear in mind, the answers to these questions, as far as I know, do not effect me directly, for I seem to be descended from Sam's brother, John Brown, something I'm still looking into. I've just become very curious about this "mystery" and some of the inconsistencies involved with the Samuels - especially when John's will seems (I stress "seems") to say it all. It just seems to me that somewhere along the line, someone saw John's marriage date of ca. 1724, saw John's mention of Samuel in his will, and then stumbled upon a Samuel Brown b. 1725 and just assumed he was the Samuel who John referred to without giving much consideration to the other possibilities. I just don't know... I'd be more inclined to believe Samuel 1725 was John's son, if John's will wasn't worded the way it is.

What does everyone else think?

Gail Brown

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