Parents of James Lawrence Brown (1836-1921) d. KY b. NC

+3 votes
I'm looking for the parents of James Lawrence Brown.  He was born 14 Jun 1836 in North Carolina and died 19 Jan 1921 in Kentucky (probably Casey County, as the family lived there and he is buried there).  I would think there would be a death certificate, since he died in 1921, but I have been unable to find it.

Someone on Familysearch had his parents as John Brown b. between 1803-1807 and Mary Ann Whitaker b. 1810 d. 1849, however I believe these are incorrect because there were two sons named James Brown listed, with different middle initials, born two years apart and dying decades apart (but both reaching adulthood), and this family was in Wisconsin, whereas the one I'm looking for would be in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, or possibly surrounding areas.

I would really like to be able to get back one more generation, because we are having a Brown family reunion Sept 1 and I would really like to not leave so many generations blank on the Brown side, since I am bringing a family tree.

James married Susannah Minerva Vanhoy or Minerva Susannah Vanhoy in the year prior to the 1860 census.  On that census, they are living in Cumberland County with his in-laws, David and Rutha Vanhoy, and their children.  They may have been married in North Carolina or Rhea County, or most likely, in Cumberland County. (Cumberland County had a courthouse fire; part of it was formed from Rhea County in 1855, so it's possible the Vanhoy family lived in the same place in 1850 and 1860, in which case most records may have survived; if they married in Rhea County, the record may still exist, but if it does, I haven't found it online and haven't been there in person to search.)  I think the idea that they married in NC is probably false, inferred from birthplace rather than census data.

I do think it's likely that his father's name was John Brown, but only because I've seen it (with no sources cited) in multiple places, though they could all be originating from one bad source.

I would appreciate any help in tracking down any information about one or both of James' parents.  I'm making a big family tree poster and I'm stalling as long as I can before finishing it, so I can hopefully fill in a few more blanks.  There are just so many Browns!

Thanks so much for any help!
WikiTree profile: James Brown
in Genealogy Help by Susannah Rolfes G2G4 (4.8k points)

Year: 1850; Census Place: Buncombe, North Carolina; Roll: M432_622; Page: 232A; Image: 91

Name: James L Brown
Age: 9
Birth Year: abt 1841
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1850: Buncombe, North Carolina, USA
Gender: Male
Family Number: 499
Household Members:
Name Age
John Brown 40
Ruth V Brown 37
Sarah A Brown 15
Albert F Brown 13
Wm M Brown 11
James L Brown 9
Jos J Brown 7
America M Brown 6
Elizabeth P Brown 5
Sophina C Brown 4
Margaret M Brown 3
Mary P Brown 1
Martha L Brown 1

U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885

Name: John Brown
Gender: Male
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1808
Birth Place: North Carolina, USA
Age: 72
Death Date: May 1880
Cause of Death: Dropsy
Census Year: 1880
Census Place: Edneyville, Henderson, North Carolina, USA
Enumeration District: 95
LINE: 21

I can't find a specific good source but John Brown wife's maiden name may have been Lusk. I couldn't find more information that would give me more clues it is possible that isn't the correct name
He was born in 1836...and I know ages are often wrong on a census, but a 14-year-old listed as a 9-year-old?  I have to really consider whether this is the wrong family, though it certainly could be right.  Thanks!  It's a lead to chase, if nothing else!
I have been digging deeper into these sources and found that the John Brown who died of dropsy in 1800 was Rev. John Stepp Brown, not the same John Brown, who appeared on the census you shared here, but I also found a probate record for another John Brown who died in June, 1880, which might be him.  He did appear on the 1880 census, as a widower living with his two youngest sons and their wives and his grandson.  I'm trying to figure out whether or not the John Brown in the probate documents is the same one as the John Brown on the census, but I think it's unlikely, because that would mean he appeared on the census, remarried, and died, in a matter of a couple weeks!  But it could be, so I'm still digging.

I found the 1870 census for the one whose probate I found, but have not found the right information for the John Brown who is on the other censuses I found.  So many men named John Brown!  I at least have been able to untangle three different John Browns in NC.

I still can't be sure that the James L. who is listed as a 9-year-old is my James Lawrence Brown, who should have been about 14, but I can't find him anywhere else, so it probably is.  Thanks to everyone for your help!  I am at least in the right direction now.  All the helpful sources from Wikitree users just reminds me of how much I still have to learn about researching genealogy, and I appreciate you taking the time to help me out!

1 Answer

+2 votes

Well, I didn't find anything on his parents - but I did find a second wife and three kids he had with her. 

Anyways, a James L. Brown married a Mollie Meece about a year after Minerva died, in Tates, Casey, Kentucky - which is where he lived with Susan/Minerva on the 1900 Census. On the 1910 Census they live in that same area; they were then married 0 years - and his age was 69 and hers was 23.

I attached the sources I found at FamilySearch.

James Lawrence Brown

Feel free to remove any you think might be incorrect - then move the good stuff over to WikiTree!

by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 4 (42.2k points)
Thanks!  I'll check it out and make sure it's the same James Brown.  It would not surprise me a bit if he had remarried, and I didn't know!

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