Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jesse Brown - Still a Mystery!

Every summer my friend and I like to take our annual drive down south to our neighboring Jackson County. They are reputed to grow the best melons in the state. Their soil is very fertile and sandy being mostly bottom land where White River runs through it. There are a few hills in the north and west side of the county though. Every time we drive southerly through this area I think of my third great grand parents, Jesse and Polly (Porter) Brown. This area from my best guess is where they first settled when they came to Indiana from Floyd County, Kentucky. They eventually ended up in northern Brown County in the hilly country - like their home state. Why did they move again? They came from the hills of Kentucky. Maybe they didn’t like the marshy bottom land of Jackson County for a home.

Jesse Brown’s origins, born 1805, are still a mystery to me. Of course, the Brown surname is one of the more difficult names to research. There were so many Browns living in Floyd County at that time. As you come back to Indiana to do research for the Browns in Jackson County the numbers decrease quite a bit. That still doesn’t make it much easier, but at least you narrow down the families you need to research.

There were two other Brown families living here at the time though. A Thomas Brown family living in the same area apparently has been well researched and most don’t think my Jesse is any relation to them. There was a John Brown family in the area for a shorter amount of time that seems promising. This John Brown left a few documents during his time here, but still no connection to my Jesse Brown has yet to be proven. If Jesse Brown owned land in Jackson County that would’ve helped, but he didn’t. There are a few small details that could go toward being small scraps of evidence to connect them.

John Griner & Lucy Brown Griner (Jesse Brown's Grand Daughter)

After John Brown died in 1837 a woman named Lucy shows up in the 1840 census living alone in the same location. Probably it was his wife, but also she could have come here mid census with an entirely different family. Jesse Brown’s oldest son, named his daughter, Lucy. John Brown died with his land going to Probate Court, but the only other persons named in it were his heirs, no names, and a son named John A. Brown Jr. He apparently had more children because they show up in the 1830 census. There are several females with the Brown surname married in Jackson County that had no ties to the Thomas Brown family. There are so many little pieces of information that have been collected that it’s unsure if they even tie in. Sometimes it gets more confusing when you try to use other’s research. You have to actually prove their research before you can even try to find a tie to your family.

It seems there has to be more documentation out there somewhere to be found. I haven’t researched this family in a few years. Maybe more records have become available. You also never know that maybe a few years ago, I might have missed something important being inexperienced. Also, since a few more years have passed I’ve learned a lot more about where to find the records. It’s about time to refresh myself on this case and pay another trip to Jackson County. I’ll have to stop by the local vegetable market and get another one of those good melons!

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