Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Surname Saturday~William L. Brown and Sinai Brown, Are They Siblings?

In the mid-1800’s (1830-1880) there were two distinct “BROWN” families living in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. One was the family of JOHN H. BROWN and his wife, SARAH RIVERS BROWN (my ancestors).  The other family were descendants of a  early settler named George Brown.

In my research I have found that siblings in these two families are often mixed up when in fact these families are two distinct families and are unrelated.

Take for instance this paragraph from “The First Hundred Years of the Pine Springs Community of Lauderdale County, Mississippi”, page 22.

John & Sarah

John and Sarah had more children born in Alabama before they moved to Jasper County, Mississippi and then, later on, to Lauderdale County. Not all of the names of their large family are known. They had a daughter Sinai who married Thomas J. Hamrick in 1834 in Alabama. It is thought that Henry, born 1821, and Stephen P., born 1823, were their sons, but this has not been proven. 1

The most obvious error I have found is that William L. Brown and Sinai Brown are siblings. I have found NO EVIDENCE that they ARE SIBLINGS and are only related through their marriage into the Hamrick Family.

William Lafayette Brown married Martha Hamrick, on 25 Dec 1828 and Sinai Brown married Thomas Jefferson Hamrick, 18 Nov 1834. Martha Hamrick and Thomas Jefferson Hamrick are siblings and children of Capt. John C. Hamrick and Katherine Myers.

Sinai Brown was born abt 1817 in Alabama. She married Thomas Jefferson on 18 November 1834 in Monroe County Alabama, Marriage Book “A”, page 12. Her parents are unknown. 2

William Lafayette  Brown was born about 1807 in Georgia to John H. Brown and Sarah Rivers Brown.  He was their second born son.

John H. Brown died 4 September 1855 in Lauderdale County, Mississippi and his estate was probated there. John and Sarah had the following known children: 3
  • Frederick Epps Brown, b. abt 1802
  • William Lafayette Brown, b. abt 1807
  • Epps Rivers Brown , b. abt 1810
  • John R. Brown, b. Oct 1813
  • Martha Brown, b. abt 1818
  • Henry Epps Brown, b. 22 May 1820
  • Stephen Brown, b. abt 1823
  • Nancy Brown, abt 1831
  • James L.  “Jim” Brown, b. abt 1838
When John H. Brown passed away in 1855 his estate named the following survivors/heirs:4

John H. Brown Heirs
  • Frederick Brown
  • William Brown
  • E. R. Brown
  • Heirs of John R. Brown – Martha, Nancy, Catherine, Thomas, Timothy
       [Note: John R. Brown and his wife Elizabeth Pigford both died unexpectedly in the   early 1850’s and left their 5 minor children orphans. Their oldest daughter was already married.]
  • Martha Matthews
  • Stephen Brown
  • J. L. Brown
  • Martha L. Smith
  • Henry Brown
Note: Clearly one of the Martha’s listed above is an error and should have read Nancy. 

The heirs/distributee list for John H. Brown Estate matches the known children of John H. Brown. Sinai Brown Hamrick died about 1846 leaving her husband and 6 children. If she was the daughter of John and Sarah there would have been a line in the heirs/distributee list that read – “Heirs of Sinai Brown Hamrick”;  the absence of this line clearly indicates there was no relationship between the John H. Brown family and Sinai Brown.

It is the opinion of this researcher that there is no sibling link between William Lafayette Brown and Sinai Brown. Sinai Brown’s parents are currently unknown. John Wesley Brown, Jr. and his wife Eliza Davison had a daughter named Sinai born 18 Mar 1841. Is Sinia Brown born 1817 a sister to John Wesley Brown, Jr. and the Aunt of Sinai Brown born in 1841? 

If you have any information on the parents of Sinai Brown, born about 1817 in Alabama, please contact me. 

[1] Mary Ellen New White, The First Hundred Years of the Pine Springs Community: of Lauderdale County, Mississippi (Meridian, Mississippi: LCDA&H, Inc., 1992), page 22.
[2] "Alabama Marriages, 1809-1920," database, Ancestry ( : viewed 21 March 2014), Miss Cinai Brown & Thomas Hambrick, married 18 Nov 1834; Dodd, Jordan R., comp; Monroe County, Alabama, Marriage Book “A”, page 12.
[3] Lauderdale County, Mississippi, Probate Court Estates, Filebox 31: No 253, John H. Brown; Died 4 Sept 1855.
[4] Ibid.

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