Surname Saturday – Oh, There Are Browns A-Plenty!


But which Browns are our Browns? I expect that when I venture outside of the confirmed genealogical research my family has already done, I could very easily be led astray looking for such a common surname. One thing I do know for certain about the line of Browns from whom I am descended is that the line ended with my grandfather, Ronald Dalrymple Brown. He had two daughters, his uncles Frank and Williard each had a daughter, and his uncle Fred was childless.

Finding Jonathan Brown

The Lexington Connection

My maternal grandfather’s family, the Browns, were from Lexington, Massachusetts, where they did quite well for themselves in a prosperous Victorian kind of way.


The New Hampshire Connection

Growing up, I was vaguely aware of a New Hampshire connection, but I didn’t know what it was until my husband and I moved back to New England in 2001 and bought a house in Nottingham, New Hampshire.

Turns out, the prosperous Victorian generation of Browns had grown up on their father Jonathan’s farm in Candia before leaving to make their fortune in Massachusetts. And where is Candia? Right next to Nottingham. Connection!

The Cemetery Connection

In 2004, one of Candia’s cemeteries was hit by vandals:1


When I saw the dates of the headstones that had been vandalized, I wondered if Jonathan might be buried in that cemetery. My husband and I jumped in the car and headed over to Route 27, where we found the cemetery next to the Congregational Church. We walked most of it before finding Jonathan’s grave where we least expected it, right up front by the road.


I remember scrubbing off the lichen with my fingers to reveal the inscription more clearly and feeling comforted by the fact that Jonathan’s gravestone was too substantial to have been damaged by the vandals. So it now seems fitting that I begin the story of my family’s genealogy with Jonathan.


Full Disclosure

When I did my due diligence to fact-check this post, I discovered that Jonathan was not buried in the cemetery that had been vandalized. He’s buried in Holbrook Cemetery–but the first version makes for a better story, don’t you think?

1Yes, I’m too cheap to spring for the $2.50 to acquire the entire article. You’ll just have to take my word for the fact that I read it in 2004.

OK, Time to Get Serious


Brown and Moore Genealogy

Both sides of my mother’s family, the Browns and the Moores, did extensive genealogical research on their respective lineages over the years; however, no one on either side was able to take the next step to organize and compile the information in a way that would make sense to future generations of the family. (Never mind making sense to future generations, much of it wouldn’t even be legible to them!)

In 2012, my mother, Katharine Gauffreau [Brown] decided to finish the task her family had started by organizing the information they had taken so much time and care to research into a book for the current members of our family, as well as future generations. Her additional contribution to the family history was to do the research necessary to place each generation into its historical context.

The Progenitors

The progenitor of the line of Browns from whom I am descended was John Brown. This particular John Brown was born around 1595 in London, England. He emigrated to New England in 1635. He and his wife Sarah Brown [Walker] (1618-1672) moved to Hampton, New Hampshire in 1639, where he died on February 27, 1686.

The progenitor of the line of Moores from whom I am descended was William James Moore, who was born in 1741 in Colraine, Ireland.  He emigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1769 and subsequently bought a farm in Economy, where he died on June 14, 1820. He married Rebecca Nicholson (1753-1829) in 1772.

Sources for Brown and Moore Genealogy

My mother meticulously documented all of the sources she consulted when she wrote the history of her ancestors. When I began planning this blog, she asked me if I wanted her source documentation. Of course I said yes, merrily disregarding the fact that The Family Archives themselves were already taking up most of my small study.



I was surprised to discover just how extensive the documentation was, and I have begun to compile a bibliography. Each source will have its own post with Comments turned on so that others researching the Browns and the Moores will be able to comment on the usefulness of the source for their own research.

Great Expectations1

You can expect to see a new post every week with genealogy, family stories, or whatever ephemera from The Family Archives happens to strike my fancy.

As the materials in The Family Archives aren’t lending themselves easily to being organized in a logical chronological and relational way, I am categorizing each post I write. That way, if I find additional information on a person I’ve written about previously, I can add another post, and the category will allow for all of the posts about that person to be grouped together.

1On my part, that is.

Mystery Monday – How Did These People Get in Here?

scarygirlI found this photograph in an envelope marked, Get Rid of? No notation on the back to identify who this family was or what they were to us. I see no family resemblance, and the hulking girl in the back looks like a bully, if you ask me. If anyone wishes to claim this family, I’d be happy to mail them to you. (And if the bully grew up to be your sainted grandmother, please accept my apologies for poking fun at her expense!)