Jotham Brown

 

THE FAMILY OF JOTHAM AND PHEBY BROWN

OF GREENE COUNTY TENNESSEE

SUBMITTED BY: Stevie Hughes, stevie1302@aol.com                       update 01-2006

Old Jotham Brown (born c. 1740) never came to Greene County, Tennessee.  It is possible, his wife, Pheby (possibly, nee Johnston), did migrate with her children between 1803-1805, although there is no evidence one way or another.  Most of their sons and daughters, however, did settle in northern Greene County in the Cross Anchor area.  Many of their descendants still live in Greeneville today.

The pre-1780 “history” of this family is uncertain.  We do know Jotham and Pheby Brown were in Frederick County VA in 1782 when Jotham and his probable father-in-law, Zopher Johnston “The Elder”, are found in a tax list.  It is possible Jotham and Pheby were in Virginia by 1768, when their oldest daughter, Jane, was born.  Jane Brown Cooper gave Virginia as her place of birth in the 1850 Greene County Census.

On August 20, 1783, Jotham and Pheby purchased 233 acres of land in Botetourt County VA on Brush Creek, branch of Little River.   There, they resided near the Christopher Cooper Senior (1754 – 1830) Family who removed to Greene County about 1803.  The Families of Jotham Brown, Christopher Cooper and Zopher Johnston were closely intermarried back in Virginia, and in Tennessee, and later in Missouri where many of the families would migrate in the 1840-50’s.

Jotham and Pheby (Johnston) Brown were most probably of Scottish heritage.  The families with whom their children married, were Scottish Presbyterians, and it would be likely, so too, were Jotham and Pheby.  Two of their sons-in-law, Christopher Cooper and William Stapleton, signed a religious petition in 1785 to establish a Reformed Church of Scotland in Botetourt County, Virginia. 

In 1797, Jotham and Pheby Brown began to sell-of their land on Brush Creek.  By this date, Botetourt County had been divided to form Montgomery County where the deeds of sale were recorded.  They were possibly planning to migrate to Tennessee at this time; however, Jotham died sometime between March of 1797 and May 1800.  On May 16, 1800, his widow, Pheby, and Jotham’s heirs sold 104 acres on Terry’s Creek, branch of Little River.  This 1800 transaction in Deed Book C, page 326, provides us a roster of their eleven children.  Most of these children migrated to Greene County, Tennessee.

It is not known when Pheby (Johnston) Brown died.  The last record we have of her occurred on 4-14-1802 in Montgomery County, Virginia, when Pheby witnessed the sale of Christopher and Jane Brown Cooper’s land.  Christopher and Jane Brown Cooper removed to Greene County, Tennessee where they purchased their land in December 1803.  It is possible, Jane’s mother, Pheby (Johnston) Brown, migrated with them.  Jane was the oldest daughter, and probably the oldest child; hence, it would be traditional that Pheby Brown had resided with them after the death of her husband.   If indeed Pheby did migrate with her daughter’s family, she is no doubt buried in the Old Cooper Burial Ground on the Cooper farm, presently located on Spider Stine Road near the Cross Anchor area.  Pheby Johnston Brown was possibly the first person buried in this family cemetery. 

The children of Jotham and Pheby Brown are listed by their estimated years of birth.  In some cases, we have exact years; in most cases, estimates are used based on when the sons first appear in a tax list or when the daughters were married.

1.   Jane, born 1768 VA.Jane’s year of birth is established in her pension application filed in Greene County. Jane married Christopher Cooper (Senior), a Revolutionary War Soldier, on 10-20-1786 in Montgomery County VA.  Jane Brown and her husband, Christopher Cooper, arrived in Greene County about 1803 when they purchased their land.  Christopher and Jane had seven children:  (1) Catherine;     (2) Phebe; (3) Elizabeth; (4) Christopher Junior; (5) Sarah; (6) Lydia; and  (7) Jane.  Christopher died in 1830.  Jane Brown Cooper died between 1856 and 1859.   They are believed to be buried in a family cemetery on their land.   For further information on this family, please refer to the Christopher (Senior) and Jane Brown Cooper Family of Greene County TN.

2.   Sylvanus, born c. 1771.  Sylvanus first appeared in the Montgomery County VA tax list in 1792; thereby establishing his estimated year of birth in 1771.  Sylvanus married Ruth Johnston on 9-9-1794 in Montgomery County VA.  Ruth, was the daughter of Moses Johnston, a son of Zopher Johnston “the Elder”.  They arrived in Greene County TN about 1805, living on Smith’s Fork and Tillman’s Fork.  No Will has been found for Sylvanus Brown; however, their children are believed to be:  (1) Moses, who married Sarah Crumley on 7-2-1818; (2) John W., who married Catherine Crumley on 10-12-1826;         (3) Jotham S., who married Eliza Bryant on 10-10-1827, then later married Hannah Garner on 6-15-1858; (4) Zopher, who married Betsy McCurry on 8-9-1832;   (5) Harvey, who married Eleanor Malone on 7-24-1834; (6) Alfred, who married Polly Ann Eakins on 3-26-1844; probably (7) William, who married Eliza Kidwell on 9-4-1837; (8) Lydia, who married Aaron Crumley on 8-23-1814; (9) Rachael, who married Isaac Crumley on 9-25-1816; (10) Mary Ann “Polly”, who married Harvey Weston on 9-4-1824; and (11) Margaret, who married Samuel Lane on 12-26-1839.  Sylvanus Brown died after 1845 and before 1850.   For further information on this family, please refer to the individual articles for Sylvanus Brown and each of his eleven children.

3.   David, born c. 1773.  David first appeared in the Montgomery County VA tax list in 1794.  David married Ann Craig on 8-6-1795 in Montgomery County.  David came to Greene County about 1804/05 where he served in the War of 1812 in the Captain Joseph Hale Company.  David Brown married twice and possibly three times.  His surviving widow is believed to be Milly Perry Brown, whom he married in Greene County on 2-20-1823.   David Brown named ten children in his 1843 Will:  (1) William; (2) John; (3) Jotham; (4) David Junior; (5) Joseph; (6) Sylvanus; (7) Polly (Thompson); (8) Phebe (Tucker);   (9) Nancy (Holder); and (10) Marthy.  David Brown died between January and July 1843.  He is possibly buried at historic Kidwell Cemetery on Baileyton Road.  For further information on this family, please refer to the David Brown Family of Greene County TN.

4.  John, born 7-9-1774.  John first appeared in the Montgomery County VA tax list in 1796.  The final year he was in Virginia was in 1800.  John married Elizabeth Wilson.  They migrated to Lincoln County, Kentucky, and were never in Greene County, Tennessee.  In May 1802, John witnessed the marriage of his sister, Elizabeth Brown, in Lincoln County, KY.  John and Elizabeth Wilson Brown had 11 children:       (1) Stephen; (2) John “Jack”; (3) Jotham; (4) Wilson; (5) Jonas; (6) James; (7) William J.; and daughters,  (8) Mary “Polly”; (9) Nancy; (10) Elizabeth; and (11) an unidentified daughter.   Several generations of Jothams perpetuated the name of their forefather in the Kentucky branch up to the 1900’s.

5.  Esther, born c. 1775.  Esther married John Willis on 1-1-1793 in Montgomery County VA.  John Willis died in Virginia in 1818.  Esther Brown Willis, and her son, Sylvanus Willis, were the administrator’s of John’s Estate.  Esther and her family were enumerated in the 1820 Montgomery County census.  By 1830, it is believed Esther Brown Willis, and several of her children migrated to Greene County, Tennessee.  A female, age 60-70, believed to be Esther Brown Willis, is found in the 1830 household of John Willis, age 20-30.  Based on Greene County census records and marriages, the children of Esther Brown Willis who migrated to Tennessee included:  (1) John, who married Anny Allison in 1827, bond by James Morrow;  (2) James B., who married Frances Nixon in 1828; (3) Sylvanus, who married Polly Wyrick in 1831;      (4) Jotham, who married Nancy Wilson in 1830.  Jotham B. Willis died before 1834 in Greene County when his Estate in the town of Greeneville appears in the 1834 Tax List.  (5) Sally, who married Robert Foster Junior in 1830; and (6) Esther, who married James Morrow in 1831.  James, John and Jotham Willis are enumerated in the 1830 Greene County census.   James, John and Sylvanus Willis are in the 1836 Civil Districts Listing in Districts 12 and 13.  Only James and John Willis are found in the 1840 Greene County census.

6.  Elizabeth, born c. 1780Elizabeth married Joshua Wilson in Lincoln County, KY in 1802.  They did not come to Greene County.   The following children are known:  (1) Marcy (“Mercy”??); (2) Catharine; (3) Sally;   (4) Nancy; and  (5) possibly Elizabeth.

7.  Mary, born c. 1780.  Mary married William Stapleton on 12-8-1803 in Montgomery County VA, bond by Sylvanus Brown.   William Stapleton first appears in a Greene County tax list in the year 1812, Captain Thomas Smith’s District.  In that same year, William Stapleton’s 200 acre farm at Churn Camp Creek was sold by Sheriff’s Deed.  Christopher Cooper, William’s brother-in-law, was his Surety.  It appears that after the judgment and sheriff’s sale of William Stapleton’s land, he and his wife removed to nearby Hawkins County where William applied for a Revolutionary War pension.  The family later migrated to Lee County, Virginia, where William and Mary Brown Stapleton died.  They are buried in a family cemetery.  Their children included:  (1) George; (2) Lewis; (3) Jonathan (possibly Jotham??); (4) Sylvanus; (5) William Jr.; (6) Martha/Massey; (7) Cynthia Jane “Gincy”; (8) Lydia; (9) Elizabeth H; and (10) Sarah.

8.  Jotham Junior, born 10-2-1783.  Jotham Junior first appeared in the Montgomery County VA tax list in 1804.  In 1805, Jotham Junior migrated with his brothers to Greene County TN.  On 10-8-1807, Jotham Junior married Margaret “Peggy” Maloney.  Jotham Junior and his family lived on a 100-acre farm on Dunam’s Fork, and later on a 67-acre farm on the Waters of Lick Creek.   Jotham Junior served in the War of 1812 in the Captain Robert Maloney Company.   Jotham Junior and Peggy’s children are believed to be:  (1) Robert; (2) Hugh; (3) John; (4) James; (5) Alexander; (6) Martha; and (7) possibly Esther.  Peggy Maloney Brown died on 12-2-1858.  Jotham Junior died on 7-21-1859.  They are buried at the Cross Anchor Cemetery, as are many of their children and grandchildren.  For further information on this family, please refer to the Jotham and Margaret Maloney Brown Family of Greene County TN.

9.  William, born c. 1789.  William was the youngest son.  He first appeared on the Greene County TN tax list in 1810.  On 8-27-1811, William married Martha Blair.  He is in the 1812 tax list owning a 150 acre farm on the Waters of Lick Creek.  It is believed that William and his wife, Martha, met untimely deaths.  Only one son has been identified, and he is (1) William M. Brown (“Junior”), born 5-5-1821, who was raised from about the age of ten, by his Uncle Sylvanus Brown.   William Junior married Nancy Jane Ireland on 9-5-1843, bond by John M. Gass.  William Junior and Nancy Jane migrated to Gentry County MO about 1849.  By 1880, the family resided in Harrison County MO.  William M. Brown died on 6-20-1888.  In 1900, William’s widow, Nancy Jane Ireland Brown, was residing in Buffalo County NE with her son, Samuel.  Nancy Jane Brown stated she had ten children, of whom only six were living.  Eight of their children can be identified based on various census records: (i)  Samuel H.; (ii) Mary; (iii) Martha;       (iv) Alfred; (v) William Sylvanus; (vi) Sarah E.; (vii) Thomas S.; and (viii) Charles E.    Nancy Jane Ireland Brown died on 6-11-1916 in Nebraska.

10. Mercy, born c. 1784.  “Massa” Brown married William Babb on 11-5-1807, bond by Sylvanus Brown.  This daughter’s name was transcribed in the 1800 land deed in VA as “Mirey”.  Her birth name is Mercy as stated by her son, Valentine S. Babb, in an 1887 Pioneer’s History of Greene County, Iowa.   Mercy and William Babb lived in nearby Hawkins County TN where William was a cabinet maker and a Justice of the Peace.  They had eight children:   (1) Elizabeth, born 9-1-1810, who married James Weston.  In the Spring of 1851, James and Elizabeth Babb Weston led a wagon train to southern Missouri settling in Barry County.   (2) Phillip, born c. 1812, who resided in Lee County, Virginia;  (3) Easter, born c. 1814, who married Issac Weston.  This family was in Hancock County, TN in 1860.  Easter appears to have died before 1870.  (4) Phoebe, born 11-6-1817, who married James Wallace; (5) Valentine Servier, born        7-9-1820, who married Lydia Crumley, a granddaughter of Sylvanus Brown, brother to Mercy.  This family settled in Greene County, Iowa.  (6) Abner, born c. 1823, who married Elizabeth Roller.  They were in Barry County MO by 1860.  (7) William Kelly, born c. 1826, who married Hannah Crumley, a grand-daughter of Sylvanus Brown, brother to Mercy.  This family settled in Greene County, Iowa.  (8)  Samuel, born 4-10-1829, who married Elizabeth Roberts.  They were in Hancock County TN by 1870, and Samuel’s mother, age 86, resided in their household.  By 1880, Samuel and his family lived in Barry County MO.

11.   Lydia, born c. 1790.   Lydia married William Crumley on 10-1-1807, bond by William Crumley Jr., James Gibson, David Brown and Jotham Brown.   Lydia may have died before 1817, when Betsey Johnston, Lydia’s cousin, married William Crumley Senior on 10-20-1817, bond by William Crumley Senior and Jotham Brown Senior.  William Crumley is not found in the 1830 Greene County census.  It is believed they removed to Lee County, Virginia.

THIS FAMILY HISTORY HAS BEEN COMPILED FROM PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTS IN VA, KY, TN, MO, IA AND NE; GREENE COUNTY MARRIAGES 1783-1868 BY GOLDENE FILLERS BURGNER; THE PIONEER, MAY 1990, VOL. 6 NO. 2,  PUBLISHED BY THE GREENE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY; THE 1887 HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY, IOWA, PUBLISHED BY THE IOWA HISTORICAL SOCIETY; THE BOOK, BABBS OF AMERICA, BY JEAN SARGENT; AND FAMILY INFORMATION FROM THE DESCENDANTS OF SYLVANUS BROWN; DAVID BROWN; JOHN BROWN; JOTHAM BROWN JUNIOR; WILLIAM BROWN; JANE BROWN COOPER; ESTHER BROWN WILLIS; MERCY BROWN BABB; AND MARY BROWN STAPLETON.  THE TENNESSEE BRANCH IS MUCH INDEBTED TO MS RITA SAMPSON OF THE KENTUCKY BRANCH FOR HER INDEPTH RESEARCH OF THE VIRGINIA RECORDS OF THE JOTHAM BROWN FAMILY.

 

 

 

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