John Brown (~1595-1686): My Progenitor–And Everyone Else’s,Too, It Would Appear


Now, where was I with the story of my Brown ancestors? Ah, yes, coming back from a series of delightful digressions. (My mother would say I keep losing the plot.)

I began the story of the Browns with Jonathan Brown and his wife Sally Fitts because they are buried in Candia, New Hampshire, the next town over from where I live, and I feel the closest kinship with them. (Jonathan and Sally are my great-great-great grandparents.)

However, the story of the Browns in New Hampshire begins much, much earlier, with Jonathan’s great-great-great grandfather John Brown (~1595-1686), who was one of the early settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire.

I’d been aware that Brown is a very common surname in southern New Hampshire, but I didn’t realize just how many people I must be distantly related to until I started looking more closely at the Brown genealogy.

As you can see from the following family tree, my mother traced her patrilineal line from her father Ronald Dalrymple Brown (1899-1985) back to John’s son Benjamin Brown (1647-1736).  But if you continue to scroll down, you’ll see that John had a total of five sons, who in turn had seven sons. In fact, a quick Google search on the following keyword search string gave me 28,800 hits: “‘John Brown’ 1595 Hampton New Hampshire.”

It would appear I’m not that special in being a direct descendant of said John Brown.



4 thoughts on “John Brown (~1595-1686): My Progenitor–And Everyone Else’s,Too, It Would Appear

    • Hi Liz,
      “related to everyone” How true. I found that I am my own ninth cousin as my maternal grandfather’s grandmother was a Brown from Candia.

      But an enduring mystery is: who were John Brown’s parents? The only clue is that it was said he was the “son of a Scotchman”.

      You provided some of the background to Marguerite Willett Brown’s book, which goes on to link him to the Browns of Fordell.

      Curtis Maitland Brown explored that but found the link quite vague, as there was no clear indication that John’s father was “Angus”, or he may have been from “Angus”. That John was Scottish, there seems to be no doubt.

      Stoddart’s “Memorials” make no connection to John of Hampton. I note one other person has given “Angus” as John’s father, and says he was born at “Brown’s Castle”. I think that might be wishful thinking as there is no evidence that I know of.

      Curtis Brown visited the “castle” ruins, and I did also. The link follows:

      Which states “late 16th to early 17th century”, “former mansion of the Browns of Fordel” so I suppose it’s possible that our family came from there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the additional information about the Brown family. It sounds as though the mystery of John Brown’s parentage is like the legend of the unsolvable math problem. Who will be the genius genealogist to finally crack it?


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