Location: Petersburg, Virginia, United States
Surnames/tags: Brown, Burns, Crutchfield, Walden, Lashley, Sugg, Nicholson Raleigh, Wake, North Carolina
This is a transcript of the contents of a Brown family Bible. The Bible was purchased in 1799 by Joel Brown of Petersburg, Virginia, and passed down to his youngest son, Robert Monroe Brown, who then passed it on to his youngest son, Lodwick Brown. Lodwick died before his father did, and the path the Bible took from that point on is not known with certainty. It appears to have been then given to Eugenia Elmira Brown, who then passed it down to her daughter, Ava Lura Nicholson. Ava then passed it on to her daughter, Virginia Watson, who then passed it down to her son. It is now in the possession of the son in North Carolina, a direct descendant of Joel Brown.
What follows is a verbatim transcript of the Bible along with a description of its appearance and condition. All handwritten entries are enclosed in quotes. The “ƒ” symbol that appears occasionally is used to replicate the old English rendering of an “s”.
The Bible is bound in leather. On the inside of the cover is the following:
“Give Robert M Brown this book on the 14 October 1839 to keep in remembrance [three words crossed out] of his father Joel Brown who wishes him to read it.”
“Today June 7 1880 my youngest child L. T. Brown is 21 years of age. R M Brown”.
Above the words “child L. T. Brown”: “Ruth”
Beneath that are two newspaper articles pasted into the Bible. What follows is a transcription of those articles.
Article 1: “Died. In Sanford on Saturday last September 3d Mrs. Mary D. Bland, wife of H. A. Bland, age 46 years, 4 months, 14 days, of typhoid fever. A good woman has passed away.”
I have been unable to determine what paper the article came from. 1881 is handwritten at the top of the article. A similar report was found in the Chatham Record, Pittsboro, North Carolina, 08 Sep 1881, Thu, Page 3 - https://www.newspapers.com/clip/77311938/obit-of-mary-d-bland-found-in-brown/
H. A. Bland is Henry Alexander Bland (b. 1834, d. 1908) and Mary D. Bland is Mary D. McIntosh (b. 1834, d. 1881). They married in 1856 in Moore County, North Carolina, and had two daughters, Annie and Claudia. I have not found any ties between the Blands and the Browns, and I have no idea why R. M. Brown put this article in his Bible. They obviously must have had some connection.
Article 2: “A Happy Family – On Monday, June the 7th, Robert M. Brown, Esq., of Sanford, N.C. celebrated the 21st birthday of his youngest child. We have no doubt it was a beautiful sight to see his twelve children seated around the table, with himself and wife, to give praises to the “Giver of all good gifts,” for his guiding care over the family for the past forty or fifty years. In that time he has never had a single death to occur in his family from any cause. Mr. Brown is in his 67th year and his wife in her 66th year. May they all be spared to see many such occasions as the one just passed.”
Article 2 appeared on page 1 of the Evening Visitor, Raleigh, NC, June 22, 1880 issue. A clipping may be seen here: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/69209967/lodwick-browns-21st-birthday-party/
To the left of the articles is written the following:
“R. M. Brown & Family Febr 21st 1873, moved to Sanford, N.C. Novr 11th 1880, R. M. Brown & Family moved from Sanford to Haywood, N.C., and joined the church at Gum Spring Chatham County, N.C. April the 9th 1881,”
The page to the right is blank, crinkled, and stained on both sides. The following page: “Joel Brown [illegible] November 5th 1799”
Beneath that are written names and dates with dashes to the right of the first and third name leading to an opening bracket followed by some more text, and then some additional text underneath. I have not yet been able to identify who these people are.
To the left of the bracket are the following lines; “Sally (or Lally) Was Borne March 1th 1796 - - - - Vollen Was Borne June 15th 1799 Oyston Was Born May 3th 1800 - - - -”
To the right of the bracket is the following text: “& Daughter Sons of Abraham & [barely legible, appears to be] Sarah”
Beneath that is the following:
“Hanah s Child [double quote]Liza born July 24th [double quote] [illegible – possibly a year but impossible to read]”
The following (left) page is the Frontispiece with ornate artwork. The right page is the title page. It reads as follows: The Holy Bible, Containing The Old And New Testaments: With Arguments Prefixed To The Different Books And Moral And Theological Observations Illustrating Each Chapter Composed By The Reverand Mr. Ostervald, Profeƒor of Divinity, and One of the Miniƒters of the Church at Neuƒchatel, Swiƒƒerland, Translated At The Desire Of And Recommended By The Society For Propagating Christian Knowledge, Edinburgh: Printed by Mark And Charles Kerr, His Majesty’s Printers; And ƒold by James Gilles, Bookƒeller, Glasgow. MDCCXCVII (1797)
The next page of interest is the last page of the Apocrypha where a news article is pasted in the Bible. The article may be read here: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/76267653/pasted-on-the-apocrypha-page-fo-the-brow/ It eulogizes the death of Silas J. Holleman, who died on the 14th of April, 1862, a casualty of the Civil War. The poem was written by Robert Monroe Brown. Written vertically on the right margin of the article are the words “Son of Edwin Holleman”.
The next page of interest has four newspaper clippings pasted in it and the following text above the articles:
“Clarky Brown wife of Lodwick Brown departed this life on 24th of March 1819”
The following text appears below the articles:
“Married on the 26th of December 1816 in the City of Raleigh Napier Wilson son of John and Helen Wilson to Miƒs Eliza Gill Brown daughter of Joel and Retter Brown of Chesterfield Virginia”
The first article is a eulogy of Angelica Sugg, daughter of Russell Merritt Sugg and Levenia Ann Brown (daughter of Robert Monroe Brown) who died at the age of 2 years, 4 months, and 25 days on the 7th of June 1862 that appeared in the Semi-Weekly Standard, Raleigh, NC on 18 June 1862. It may be read here: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/76268982/angelica-sugg-eulogy/
The second article is a eulogy of Ann Lydier Sugg, daughter of Russell Merritt Sugg and Levenia Ann Brown who died at the age of three years and four days on 21st of July 1865. The provenance is unknown, but it’s likely from the Semi-Weekly Standard.
The third article is the announcement of the death of Samuel Brown (Robert Monroe Brown’s grandfather) on Saturday the 22nd of October 1808, likely clipped from a Virginia newspaper.
The fourth article is the announcement of the death of Elizabeth Brown (Robert Monroe Brown’s grandmother) on the 4th of November, 1825, likely also clipped from a Virginia newspaper.
The next page is titled “Marriages And Births”:
“Robert Monroe Brown son of Joel and Retter Brown was Born March the 7 on Monday 1814. Averilah Virginia Holleman daughter of Davis and Ann Holleman was born December the 26 on Monday 1814 and was married November the 6th on Wensday night 1833 Our first Born Child Levenia Ann Brown was Born on Sunday night the 2 day of November 1834 Seckond Child Samanthia Adoline Retter Brown was Born on monday moning about 2 O Clock July the 25 1836 third child Joel Monroe Brown was Born on Sunday moning between Day Break and Sun Rise on October the 7 1838 Fourth Child Eugenia Elmirer Brown was Born on Sunday Morning at 2 O Clock August the 16 1840 (Note: Although Eugenia’s middle name is given as Elmirer in the Bible, she was known all her life as Eugenia Elmira.) Fifth Child Elzeanne Effier Brown was Born on Friday Morning at 3 O Clock November the 4th 1842 Sixth Child Narsenia Addalaid Brown was Born on wensday Evening half after 5 O Clock May 7th 1845”
“7th Child Joel Monroe Brown Was born on Saturday the 8th Day of May 1847 between 8 & 9 O Clock in the moning 8th Child, Robert Johnson Brown Was born July 11th 1849 on Wensday half after 4 O Clock in the evening 9th Child Averillar Francis Brown Was born September the 19th 1851, Friday evening about 2 O Clock 10th Child, Love Haseltine Brown Was born October the 11th 1853 half after 4 O Clock on Tuesday moning 11th Child, Napier Wilson Brown, Was born March the 12th at 11 O Clock on Wednesday morning in the year of our Lord 1856 (Note: Although Napier was his given name as recorded in the Bible, he was known his entire life as Naphew or "Nap".) 12th Child Lodwick Tucker Brown Was born June the 7th 1859, at the hour of midnight, 12 O Clock”
The next page is titled Deaths.
“Departed this life Elizar Gill Wilson wife of Napier Wilson and daughter of Joel and Retter Brown September the 7 1834”
Beneath that is a newspaper clipping from the Weekly Raleigh Register, 11 May 1839, Sat, Page 3 announcing the death of Retter Brown. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/76286041/death-notice-for-retter-brown-weekly-ra/
Then more text follows:
“Departed this life Retter Brown wife of Joel Brown and mother of Henry J and Robert M Brown on Sunday the 21st of April 1839 – lived to the advanced age of 66 years 6 months and 12 days She lived a married life 44 years 6 months and 26 days - - Her funeral Searment was Preached by the Rev. Thomas J. Lemay Methodist minister frome psalms the 23 chapter and 4 verse Departed this life Joel Brown, husband of Retter Brown, and Father of Henry J Brown and Robert M. Brown on the 27th of January 1848, lived to the advanced age of 76 years, one month, & 21 days, he was formerly a Citizen of Petersburg, Va moved to Raleigh, N.C. on the 16th of June 1816 – he was afflicted with Palsy for 7 years, he died with a Confident expectation of his Reward in heaven.”
“Levenia Ann Brown Eldest daughter of Averiler, and R.M. Brown Was Married To Ruƒsell M. Sugg, on the evening of the 5th day of March 1857, and their first child Henreetter, Sugg, was born August 31st 1858, at 10 O Clock at Night”
Then lower on the page:
“Samanthia A. R. Brown Second daughter of Averiler, R.M. Brown Was Married To Wesley J. Lashley on the Evening of the 24th day of August 1859”
There is one line below that that is crossed out. It appears to read “[unreadable] City of Raleigh N.C. on the 27th of January 1848 Joel Brown
“Joel. M. Brown Eldest son of Averiler, and R.M. Brown was married to Lucy Jane Womble on the morning of the 14th day of December 1845,
Jerome D Brown, second oldest son, of Averiler & R.M. Brown was married to Sarah Elizabeth Bridges on the morning of the 13th day of January 1870,
Eugenia Elmira Brown, 4th child, of Averiler & R.M. Brown, was married To Malcom Nicholson on The Evening of The 25th of Febr 1875
Robert J Brown Third oldest Son of Averiler & R.M. Brown, was married to Emily Lasiter on the evening of the 4th of Oct 1876,”
“Love H. Brown youngest daughter of Averiler and R.M. Brown was married to Joseph M. Burns, on the evening of the 30th of Sept 1880,
Elzeann E. Brown fifth child of R.M. Brown and Averiler V. Brown was married to John W. Crutchfield on Wednesday the 14th of Dec 1881,
Narsenia A. Brown, Sixth child of Averiler & R.M. Brown, was married to John L. Walden on the night of the 15th of Oct 1884,
My dear wife, Averiler V. Brown Died, on Saturday 5th day of December 1885 at 2 OClock P.M. and was buried at Gum Spring Church on Monday the 7th day of said month, at 2 OClock, if she had of lived until the 26th day of this month Dec 1885, she would of been 71 years old, her Funeral was preached in Gum Spring Church, R.M. Brown”
Below this there is an article pasted horizontally that appears to be a typical article from the time, likely from a Raleigh newspaper that is an obituary for Averilah. It’s provenance is unknown at this time.
“Henry Jerome Brown, only Brother of Robert Monroe Brown, was born in Petersburg, Va on Wednesday Evening at sunset July 24th 1811, and moved to Raleigh N.C. with his Father Joel Brown June the 16th 1816, and Died in the City of Raleigh N.C. on Monday night the 12th day of May 1879, at ¼ past Eleven OClock, I got to see my Dear Brother just one hour and a quarter before he Died, and he knew me, and about his last words to me, was this, Robert I never Expected to see you any more in this world, I am glad to see you pretty soon after Speaking those words to me he fell aƒsleep in the arms of his Jesus, without any Strugel – I hope to meet my Dear Brother again where parting will be no more forever, R.M. Brown”
In the lower right hand corner of the page is pasted an obituary for Averillah Brown with a handwritten date of December 1885. The provenance is unknown, but it’s likely a Raleigh newspaper.
To the left of that is the following text:
“Lodwick T. Brown The Youngest Child of R.M. Brown & Averiler V. Brown, was married to Miƒs E. Allie Johnson in Baltimore, M.D. on Wednesday afternoon at 4 OClock, Sept 15th 1886, Robert M. Brown, died the March 1tt 1902, only like 6 days being 88 years old Son of Joel and Retter Brown, thiere younges child”
“To day June the 7th 1850, my youngest child, of 12 in all is 21 years of age. To wit, Lodwick Tucker Brown, and in Celebrating the Birth day, of our youngest Child. To day the whole family of Children, 12 in all, together with the Father & Mother are all together on this eventful occasion, and up to this day, Thank God, we Can Say, that we have never had a Death in our Family. And as our youngest child Lodwick Tucker Brown is this day 21 years of age, I present to him this Holy Bible, and old Rellick of The Brown Family, as a Birth days present from his Father, which Holy Book, I wish him to Value more than gold, or Silver, and never allow it to leave the Brown Family, and to read it, and profit their by, Lodey, Read This Book Carefully From - Your Father = RMBrown This, June 7th 1880,”
“Died Lodwick Tucker Brown youngest child of RMBrown & Averiler V. Brown, at Sanford moore County N.C. on Tuesday Evening May the 3rd 1892 at 4 OClock, he was 33 years old likeing one month and 4 days, when he died. Funeral Services Conducted by Rev. D. N. McLauchlin, from the 90th Psalm & 12th Verse,”
Then below that and to the right, the word Died underlined above a newspaper clipping from the Evening Visitor, Raleigh, NC, 11 May 1892, Wed, Page 1 https://www.newspapers.com/clip/69190966/lodwick-brown-death-announcement/
“Died, in Chatham County N.C. On July the 20th 1896, Elzeann E. Crutchfield wife of Mr. John W. Crutchfiled, in her 54th year She was the beloved Daughter of RMBrown & Averiler V.Brown, She died without and enemy, if She had and Enemy it was without a cause, for them that knew her best loved her best. A good Woman is gone & no doubt has gone to rest with many of her near & dear relatives that has gone before her. Let us all Strive to meet with her in Heaven, where parten will be no more forever, by RMBrown her Father,”
Then, written in a different hand:
“Samantha A. R. Lashley - died Feb 3tt 190r died at Sanford NC Joel. M. Brown - the oldest son of R. M. Brown he was 69 years old died Jan 31tt 1907, 25 to 9 o,clock PM- Died at Southern Pines NC Levenia Ann. Sugg. died Dec. 5tt 1910 the oldest daughter & the oldest child of R M Brown. She was 76 years & one month & 3 days old”
At the top a news article announcing the wedding of R. M. Brown to Lucy Green published in the News and Observer, Raleigh, NC, 19 Oct 1893, Thu, Page 4 https://www.newspapers.com/clip/69207844/r-m-browns-marriage-to-lucy-green/
Then the following text:
“married in the city of Raleigh, N.C. on the evening of the 18th day of October 1893, at 3 oClock, Robert M. Brown of Haywood Chatham County N.C. To Miƒs Lucy F. Green of the city of Raleigh,”
The page is the title page of the New Testament, but it’s almost completely covered up with loose papers.
There are two news clippings that are mostly covered by a sheet of paper with text on it. The ink is faded, and the bottom third of the paper is heavily stained. The sheet has a handwritten poem eulogizing Ann Lydier Sugg. The poem is written by Robert Monroe Brown.
One clipping is the announcement of the death of W. M. Brown, the oldest newspaper man in Raleigh, published in The Morning Post, Raleigh, NC, 11 Feb 1905, Sat, Page 2 https://www.newspapers.com/clip/72596791/w-m-brown-death-announcement-the/
William Marion Brown married Frances Elmira Brown, the oldest daughter of Henry Jerome Brown, Robert Monroe Brown’s brother.
The second clipping is an announcement of the death of Hetty C. Holleman, daughter of Rev. J. M. Holleman. The article is partially covered up, and its provenance is unknown at this time.
The text on the paper reads:
“Died in Chatham Count, N.C. on the morning of the 21st of July 1865. Ann Lydier, infant daughter of R. M. and Levenia Ann Sugg, aged three years and 4 days [an illegible line] Thou wert beautiful on earth little Ann, But now we know thy face, Is like a brilliant diamond Bedecked with heavenly grace, Then Parents weap not for little Ann, The Cares of life with her are done, Pray give her up, and meekly pray, to meet her in eternal day, R. M. B,”
There are some loose newspaper clippings found in the pages of the Bible.
The first clipping is entitled WoollCott-Thiem. It was published in The Evening Visitor, Raleigh, NC, 28 Oct 1891, Wed, Page 1 https://www.newspapers.com/clip/324579/woollcott-thiem-marriage/
The second clipping is the previously mentioned obituary for Hetty C. Holleman, provenance unknown.
The third clipping is an article from the Raleigh News and Observer about the death of Willie Brown when he was crushed by a train car. This is a similar article of the same incident. Willie Everett Brown was the grandson of Robert Monroe Brown. He was killed in a train accident in 1905. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/76390561/w-e-browns-train-accident/
The fourth clipping is an obituary for J. W. Bowling who was born October 25, 1832 and died January 22, 1905. His connection to the Brown family is unknown at this time. He is mentioned in Warren Sugg’s will as having property adjoining his. Warren Sugg was the father of Merritt Sugg who married Robert Brown’s daughter, Levenia Ann.
The fifth clipping is the copy of the obituary of W. M. Brown previously mentioned.
On presumably the back side of the New Testament title page and to the left of the beginning page of the Gospel According to Saint Matthew is another blank page filled with text as follows:
“Joel Brown the Son of Samuel & Elizabeth Brown - - Was Born December Six day 1771 - - - - - Retter Gill the Daughter of Joesph & Phebe Gill - Was Born October 9th 1772 - - — — — — — And Was Married September 25th 1794 - — — Our first Born Child was Born November 14th 1795 — - and Died on 20th of the Said Month - - Betsy Gill Brown was Born on Wednesday evening October 12th 1795 Joseph & Benjaman Brown Sons of Joel & Retter Brown Was Bron on Wednesday Morning August 14th 1799 Benjaman diedno Satday 31th of the Said Month Joseph died on Satday Morning the 24 of May 1800 July 15th 1803 was born dead a boy chile Boyce Monroe Brown was Born on Tuesday morning March 3th 1807 ——- and Died on Wenday after noon ———————— March 15th 1809 ———————- Jerome Brown was born on Friday 2 o Clock March 31th 1809 and on Wenday Evening October 19th 1914 depart this life Henry Jerome Brown was Bron Wenday Evenny at Sunset on the 24th of July 1811 ——— Robert Monroe Brown was Born on Monday Evening at 8 o Clock March 7th 1814”
The next page is a blank page at the end of the Psalms. It has an article pasted on it entitled Burnt To Death - an article describing the death of Mr. Jonathan Holleman, near New Hill, Wake count in a fire that consumed his home. He was 70 years old. The article came from the Raleigh Age and was reproduced in The Western Democrat, Charlotte, NC, March 20, 1860 and may be viewed here: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020712/1860-03-20/ed-1/seq-1/ (The article is in the center column.)
The Holleman’s are connected to the Brown’s through Robert Monroe Brown’s wife, who was the daughter of Davis Holleman. It is unknown who this Jonathan Holleman is. Davis’ father, John Holleman, Sr. died in 1850. His son, Jr., died in Arkansas in 1839.
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