Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Some Marriages in Early Brown Families in Union County
(part 2 in series)
families in early Union
grew from two in 1834 to eleven in 1840 to twenty-one in 1850. The population within these Brown households
numbered sixteen in 1834, sixty-three in 1840 and eighty-five in 1850. See last week’s column to learn the names of
these heads of households and, in 1850, the names of their children
Brown as a surname is descriptive,
denoting color—either of skin, hair, garments or place of residence. It derives from the Middle English, broun, the Old English and Old French, brun,
and the old Gaelic word donn meaning brown. Today, Brown as a surname is the fifth most
popular in the United
with the first being Smith, the second Johnson, the third Williams, and
Brown is the fifth most
popular surname, but the spelling there and in Ireland
well is apt to be Browne.
Brown is the second most popular surname among African-Americans
in the United States
today. This stems from many freed slaves
adopting Brown as their surname following the Civil War, rather than
the surname of their former masters.
Many also adopted the name Brown to honor the famed abolitionist
Last week’s column promised a look in
this article at Brown marriages in Union County
by 1850. The Browns who grew from two
1834 to eleven in 1840 to twenty-one in 1850 had a number of children
married citizens of the county, thereby connecting Browns to other
settlers. Maybe readers can find within
this listing a relative of theirs joined in holy matrimony when the
The first Brown marriage recorded in Union County
occurred on August
performed by Thomas Cearley, Justice of the Peace.
It joined William Brown to Elizabeth Ensley.
Next came another William Brown who
married Elizabeth Penson on August 6, 1837, with William Jones, Justice of
the Peace, officiating.
Three couples went to the altar in
1839. These were Mariah Jane Brown who
married H. Burch on March
12, 1839, with R. Byers, Justice of the Peace performing
ceremony. Next came Margaret Brown who
married John Webster on May 10, 1839, joined by Justice of the Peace A.
Chastain. On July 18, 1839, Milton Brown
married Mary Conner with Robert
Byers, Justice of the Peace, joining them.
Minervy Brown married Noah Raper on January 24, 1840, with
David Thompson, Justice of the Peace, joining the couple.
Charles Brown married Ann Twiggs on April 24, 1842.
John Martin, Minister of the Gospel,
performed the ceremony.
Three couples were wed in 1843. Clarinda
Brown married Alfred Shook on April 8, 1843, with Rev.
Abner Chastain as officiant. John
Solomon Brown married Sary (Sarah) Twiggs on September 3, 1843, with Lindsey
performing the ceremony. Elizabeth Brown
married B. D. Beaver on October 5, 1843, with William Poteat, JP, the
James Brown and Lisa Roper chose May 19, 1844 as their
wedding day, with David Thompson, JP, performing their ceremony.
Malinda Brown married John C. Patton
on January 4, 1845. The Rev. D. D. Roach performed their
Two Brown marriages occurred in
1846. Martha Brown and Joseph Stevens
chose Valentine’s Day, February 14 as their wedding day, with the Rev.
Corn officiating. Emily Brown and James
Cathey were married May 25 with the Rev. John Corn also marrying this
Peggie Brown married Henry A. Lyons on
September 17, 1847
with the Rev. John Corn as officiant.
April 2, 1848
was the date chosen by Rebecca Jane Brown
and John Daniel for their wedding day.
They secured Charles Crumley, Justice of the Peace, for their
Three Brown marriages were recorded in
1849. On January 13 Mary A. Brown
married John Thomas with H. J. Sparks, JP, officiating.
On April 4, Sabry Adaline Brown married Hugh
Seay with the Rev. Elisha Hunt officiating.
On July 22, Robert Brown and Elizabeth Ann Carter were married
Rev. Elisha Hunt.
Before 1850, nineteen young Browns
were joined in holy matrimony in Union County. Space precludes my listing the 40 other Brown
marriages that occurred between 1850 and 1897.
My resource for this information came from the book, Union County Marriage Records, 1833-1897
(c1992) compiled and published by Viola H. Jones, extracted from Union County
marriage records at the Georgia State Archives.
Look forward next week to accounts of
some individual Brown families and their contributions to Union County’s
growth and development.
Jones; published Nov. 5, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail email@example.com;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708
Updated November 16,
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