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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Treasures from Probate Records

I spent some time today browsing through Probate Minutes Book G&H, Lauderdale County, Mississippi. Almost from the start, I began to see various references to the family of John H. Brown and his wife Sarah Rivers whom I have researched for many years.

John H. Brown died on September 4, 1855 in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. I have a copy of his estate file that I ordered from Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History.

I have a handwritten book from 1926 that states that Martha Brown daughter of John H. Brown married a Mr. Culbreth.

<45> Martha Brown(1Wm, 4Fredk, 8Sarah) ; b. _______;d._______;m. Mr. Culbreth, a highly educated man who died leaving her with several small children.

It wasn’t until I received John H,. Brown Estate folder from the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History that I was to find a source document with the Culbreth surname. I have now determine that Martha Brown married John Culbreth. Naming a son, Epps sealed the mystery of who Martha married.
Heirs of John H. Brown

And now in the minutes of the April term 1856 of the Lauderdale Court records I find daughter Martha referred to as Martha MATTHEWS.

In 1850, Martha and her husband John Culberth are living in Southern District, Lauderdale, Mississippi with their two sons Epps N. and Joseph M. Culberth.  In 1860, Martha is living with James H. Matthews and two sons named John H. Culbreth and James Matthews, age 2. They are living in Smith County, Mississippi.By 1870, Martha had returned to the surname CULBRETH and both the Culbreth and the Matthews son is using the Culbreth surname.

1870 Census: Township 6, Lauderdale, Mississippi; Martha Culbreth, age 52; John Culbreth, age 18 and James Culbreth, age 12.

From Minute Books
51, page 118/119 Sale of the Lands belonging to the estate of John H. Brown, deceased.
It was ordered by the court that citation issued to Smith County, Martha Matthews notifying her to appear at the May term next of this Court an contest the application of Henry Brown administrator of the estate of John H. Brown deceased for an order to sale the lands belonging to said estate, if she thinks proper (viz: the NW ¼ OF NW ¼ & SW 1/4 S18 T4 R10)
And it was also ordered that citation issued to Stephen Brown of Jasper County notifying him to appear at the May term next of this court, and if he think proper contest the petition of Stephen Brown administrator <sic> [should read Henry Brown administrator] of the estate of John H. Brown dec’d for an order to sell the following lands belonging to said estate (Viz: the NW ¼ OF NW ¼ & SW 1/4 S18 T4 R10)


BOOK G&H, page 118-119

There were other gems within this volume; references to the death of William Brown.

To Stephen Brown administrator of Sarah Griffith. Stephen Brown married Susan Griffith; is Sarah Griffith her Mother. Clear up one mystery and another takes it place.

Then in the February term 1856 a real mystery yet to be unravel.

It was ordered by the Court that a citation be issued and served upon John Brown guardian of William L. Brown a minor heir of William Brown deceased notifying him to appear & file an annual account of said guardianship at the March term next of this court.

William Brown, the son of John H. Brown died August 19, 1853 approximately two years before the passing of his father, John H. Brown.

That's in the first 66 of 410 pages. There more treasures to be uncovered tomorrow.

[1] Lauderdale Probate Minutes, Book G&H, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, <>
[2] 1850, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, population schedule, Southern District, Lauderdale, Mississippi, Page: 341A(stamped); Line 23, Dwelling 224, Family 232, Household of John CULBERTH; digital images, ( : viewed 22 July 2013); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication Roll M432_375.
[3] 1860 U. S. Census, Smith County, Mississippi, population schedule, Smith, Mississippi, Page: 288; Line 3, Dwelling 348, Family 348, Household of James M. MATTHEWS; digital images, ( : viewed 22 July 2013); citing NARA publication Roll: M653_591.
[4] 1870 U S Census, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, population schedule, Township 6, Lauderdale, Mississippi, Page: 60A(stamped); Line 8, Dwelling 622, Family 622, Household of Martha CULBRETH; digital images, ( : viewed 22 July 2013); citing National Archives Microfilm M593_735.

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