John Brown (~1595-1686): A London Baker Sets Sail for New England with a Bunch of Other People

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I found Asa Brown’s account of John Brown (~1595-1686) and his immediate descendants among the papers of my grandfather, Ronald Dalrymple Brown (1899-1985). The version I have is typewritten on onion skin, and judging from the blurriness of the typeface it’s a carbon copy. My understanding is that Asa’s 21-page manuscript has been used extensively by subsequent researchers of John Brown’s descendants and the founding of Hampton, New Hampshire. For more information about the source, please click on Bibliography on the main navigation menu above.  Asa’s write-up of John Brown originally appeared in The Exeter News Letter, October 27, 1851:1

John Brown, the son of a Scotchman, was born in England, was a baker in London, (if we may judge from his age) for some years previous to his emigration to this country. In 1635, on the 17th of April, he embarked on the “Elizabeth” for New England, and landed at Boston on June following. Among his fellow passengers were, “James Walker, 15 years, and Sarra [sic] Walker, 17 years”. The former of whom had been employed by him in his bakery, and the latter afterwards became his wife, and was probably a sister of James. She had been in the employ of Wm. Brazey, linen draper in Cheapside, and it is an interesting fact, that Wm. Bracey of Scarborah and Saco was, years after, married in Hampton to one of the daughters of John Brown and Sarah Walker. The similarity of the name, and the circumstance itself would seem to intimate that Wm. Bracey of Saco was a grandson of Wm. Brazey of Cheapside

Another passenger was “Jo. Cluffe 22 years”, who settled in Salisbury, Mass., and was the ancestor of Clough, who intermarried with the Browns. We find, also, two more of the name of Walker, Rich’d 24 years, and Wm. 15 years. The former afterwards settled in Reading, Mass., and the latter perhaps in Portsmouth, N.H., for about sixty years after, in the settlement of the estate of Wm. Brookin of P., among the claimants were Jacob Brown of Hampton and Sarah, his wife, one of the daughters of said Brookin and Wm. Walker, and Mary, his wife, widow of the same.


1Asa Warren Brown, “From the Exeter News Letter, October 27, 1851: The Hampton Brown Family” (unpublished manuscript, Personal Papers of Ronald Dalrymple Brown, n.d.), 1-2.

Found Him! Asa Warren Brown (1827-1907)

I found the following obituary  for Asa Brown in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register.1

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According to his death certificate, the cause of death was senility  and inanition, bronchitis, and rheumatism as a contributory factor: 2

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Mosby’s Medical Dictionary defines “inanition” as follows:3

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Rest in peace, Cousin Asa!


1 William Richard Cutter, A.M., “Memoirs of the New England Historical and Genealogical Record,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register LXII (January 1, 1909): xlix-xlx.

2“Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DYC2-GD?cc=1463156&wc=MJCP-168%3A1043026501 : 20 May 2014), > image 2122 of 2139; State Archives, Boston.

3inanition. (n.d.) Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. (2009). Retrieved February 26 2017 from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/inanition

One Step Closer to Asa Warren Brown?

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Hiram Brown Letter, photograph, Heirlooms Reunited, August 3, 2012, accessed February 12, 2017, http://www.heirloomsreunited.com.

This week finds me still obsessed with finding Asa Warren Brown. If you’ll recall, he wrote History of the Hampton Browns tracing his lineage to John Brown (~1595-1686), who is my progenitor as well, although through a different son.

I thought I was one step closer to finding the man I now consider my snarking cousin several times removed when I found a letter to him from one Hiram Brown on Heirlooms Reunited, which has been transcribed by Pam Beveridge on Heirlooms Reunited:

http://www.heirloomsreunited.com/search?q=hiram+brown

Alas, there was no corresponding letter from Asa in response to Hiram’s inquiry.

Curses, Foiled Again!

Sibling Saturday – Unlock the Bathroom Door, George!

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One of my earliest memories is of the time my family lived in Coventry, Rhode Island. The day I’m remembering would have happened in 1958, about a year after this picture of my baby brother and me was taken.

Once George had grown out of infancy, he was a mischievous little fellow, and one day he somehow locked himself in the house’s one bathroom, which I discovered when I couldn’t get the door open.

I yelled for my mother because I had to go, and she stood outside the door and tried to explain to George how to turn the lever below the doorknob. She must have thought that since his stubby little fingers had managed to lock it, his stubby little fingers should be able to unlock it.

Nothing but a stream of giggles came from behind the locked door. At that point, I was shrieking because I HAD TO GO, and my mother went next door to get help in the form of a neighbor’s young son, who wriggled through the bathroom window and unlocked the door.

Liz & The Little Neighbor Boy Who Saved the Day

Oh, No–More Browns!

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One of the sources of information about my ancestors who were among the first settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire is a reference titled, The Hampton Browns by Asa Warren Brown. According to my mother’s documentation, he was a descendant of our progenitor, John Brown (~1595-1686). However, he is not on our family tree, which only includes our patrilinial line.

I became curious about who this Asa Brown was when I found among my grandfather’s papers a copy of an article he’d authored in the October 27, 1851 edition of the Exeter News Letter. In the last paragraph of the article, he passes judgment on a particular branch of the Brown family with a degree of snark I wouldn’t normally associate with a historian.  (I’ll share it with readers of this blog in due time.)

Being a long-time connoisseur of snark myself, I hit Google Books to find out more. The first search result came back with a chapter Asa had authored in The New England Historical and Genecalogical [Sic] Register, entitled “The Hampton Brown Family.” To my dismay, I found more early descendants of John Brown. And now that I’ve found them, I feel obligated to add them to our family tree. (Didn’t I say something previously about not caring about The Begats?)

After doing a little more digging to see if I could put my hands on a copy of The Hampton Browns, I learned that it’s manuscript, rather than a book. In any event, I’m still on the hunt for Asa.

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