The William “Billy” Brown Family

of Brown’s Cove, Virginia who settled in South Carolina at Brier’s Creek, opposite Burton’s Ferry on the Savannah River, 1769

by Eleanor Williams Bradley


Five Brown South Carolina Patriots are on this marker found in Brown’s Cove, VA.:  William “Billy”, Bartlett, Sr., Bartlett, Jr., Bartlett, son of William, and Tarleton, son of William. Benjamin, William, John (sons of Bartlett, Sr.) are not mentioned on the marker. They all received compensation for serving with different SC Militia. And then there were William’s son’s in law, Henry Best, killed alongside William "Billy" Brown, and John Joice who served with Tarleton Brown under Francis Marion and William Harden.           I suspect every family member, who lived on the Savannah River, fought in the Revolution.




Brown Family Bible, Hanover and Albemarle Counties, Virginia,
Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 13, 1969
, pp 77-78.

Contributed by Mrs. Bessie Z Pettibon,
Austin, Texas
Entries were made by Reuben Dabney Brown, son of Bernard and Elizabeth Dabney Brown, grandson of Benjamin and Sarah Thomson (Thompson) Brown, Sr.

“My great grandfather, John Brown, came from England and settled in Hanover County, VA; exact time is not known to me.  Benjamin Brown, my grandfather, came from England with his father as above stated and settled and married in Hanover County, Virginia.  I think his first wife’s maiden name was Wilson, and he had five children by her: Benjamin, Billy, Bartlett, Lucinda (Elizabeth) and Agnes. He lost his wife and (then) married Sarah Thompson, had two children, Lucretia and Barzalia, and in 1747 he moved to Walnut Level, where they had Benajah in 1748, Bernard, my father, was born 28 Jan 1750 and died Feb 1800, Bernis, born 1752, Bezaleel, born 29 July 1754 and died 9 Jan 1829, Brightberry, died Feb 18??, …. Bernard married Elizabeth, daughter of John and Anna Harris Dabney. …” (end Bible source)

From The Memoirs of Tarleton Brown republished by the Barnwell County Museum and Historical Board, 1999: p.1

"My father, William Brown, was a planter in Albemarle County, Virginia, where I was born on the 5th day of April, 1757. Flattering inducements being held forth to settlers in the rich region of South Carolina contiguous to the Savannah River; and my uncle, Bartlett Brown, having already moved, and settled himself two miles above Matthew’s Bluff, on the Savannah River; my father bought some negroes, and left them with his brother to make a crop; and in 1769, a year afterwards, my father and family, consisting of eleven persons, emigrated to this country and settled on Brier’s Creek, opposite to Burton’s Ferry."

The Genealogy Beginning With William “Billy” Brown’s Grandfather, John Brown:

a. John Brown, b. ca 1655, near Mt. Snowden, Wales (some say England) - d. 10 Feb 1709, Hanover Co. VA. He married Elizabeth ? (Some claim she was a Hescott, but there is no proof.) In 1689, John Sr. lived near Old Church, St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County, which later became Hanover County, VA, next to George Polgreen.

  John and Elizabeth Brown had three known children.

a-1: John Brown, Jr. b. 10 June 168?, settled near Pole Green and Old Church, Hanover County, VA.  (John Jr. had a son named Benjamin. See: p. 225, Some Ancient Landowners in Saint Martin’s Parish, Hanover County, VA)
a-2: Elizabeth Brown b. 168?,
a-3: Benjamin Brown b. ca 1690,
New Kent County, Virginia

(The Parish Register of Saint Peter’s, New Kent County, Virginia, 1680-1787 records the baptism of John Brown, Jr. and Elizabeth Brown, and the death date of John Brown, Sr. He is also found in “The Vestry Book of Saint Peter’s, New Kent County, Va. from 1682-1758.”)  

b. (a-3 above) Generation 2

Benjamin Brown, Sr. (b. ca 1690 in New Kent County, VA (later became Hanover County) – d. before 8 Nov 1762 in Albemarle County, VA) He fathered 12 children in two marriages.

1st marriage: Benjamin Brown, Sr. married 1st a Wilson. (That she was a Dabney or a Jennings have proven to be incorrect. That she was a Hescott is still being debated.) They lived near Beaver Dam in western Hanover Co. They had five children, all born in Hanover.

2nd marriage:

Benjamin Brown, Sr. married 2nd, ca 1743, Sarah Thompson (Thomson) (b. 17/1/1724 in Hanover/Louisa County, VA – d. Nov 1815, in Albemarle, Co., will proved: 4 Dec 1815) She was the daughter of Robert and Jane Hescott Thompson (Thomson). See: Brown, John R. The Brown of Albemarle, p. 47. They had seven children.

In 1745, at age 52, Benjamin Brown, Sr. began his move to what is now known as Brown's Cove in Albemarle County, VA. This is show by the following gifts to male children of his first marriage, Benjamin, Jr., William and Bartlett, 28 May 1745: Louisa County Virginia Deeds.  P. 178 – 181. (This land now lies in Albemarle County.)

 “…for good will of a fatherly love to (son) Bartlett Brown land of quantity unknown in the fork of the Moorman’s River.”

“…(same) to son William Brown land on both sides of the North Fork of Moorman’s River.” 

“…to son, Benjamin Brown.; land in Louisa co. on both sides of the North Fork of Moorman’s River on the Louisa Co. line. This later was incorporated into Albemarle County.

His move was completed in 1750. At the time of his death the family holdings in the Cove was over 11,000 acres. His last five children were born in Brown's Cove, Albemarle County, VA, the others in Hanover/Louisa, VA.


Benjamin Brown, Sr. written: 15 April, 1762: proved: 11 Nov 1762: Will Book 2, Page 130, Circuit Court of Albemarle County, VA.
Sarah Thomson Brown, written:
7 Oct 1803, proved: 4 Dec 1815, Will Book 6, p.130, Circuit Court of Albemarle County VA.

Benjamin Brown, Sr.’s Children

The 5 children of Benjamin and _ Wilson Brown were all born in Hanover County, VA:

b-1: Benjamin Brown, Jr. ( 1717/18 in New Kent County (Hanover), VA - d. April 1781 in Hanover County, VA - m. Susanna Jarman, who died after the 1785 Virginia Census, Hanover County, 5th Precinct). Susanna and 8 children are mentioned in his will. In 1781, we see him a wealthy planter owning thousands of Virginia acres in Hanover, Louisa, Albemarle, and 2400 banked acres in Kentucky, owning many slaves. Rev: 4th Virginia Regiment. (Will: Vol. 10, Virginia Genealogist, pp 22-25)

b-2: William (Billy) Brown (ca 1720 Hanover County, VA-May 1780 killed by Tories, near Burton’s Ferry, SC). He settled on the Savannah River at Brier’s Creek, opposite to Burton’s Ferry, Granville County, SC, 1769. See his family below, pp.6 ff.

b-3: Bartilott (Bartlett) Brown, (b. ca 1722, Hanover County, VA – before 1 Oct 1785, killed on the SC frontier). See his family below, pp.9

b-4: Elizabeth ( 1730 Hanover County, VA – d. before 10 June 1752, Albemarle County, VA) married John Price, who lived in Louisa County, holding land on the west side of the South Anna River.) We learn from deeds of Benjamin Brown, Sr. that his daughter Elizabeth, wife of John Price, died before 10 June 1762. On 10 June 1762 Brown, Sr. deeded to his granddaughter Lucinda Price and to his son-in-law John Price (to longest liver) 280 acres of land at foot of Great Mt. However, Elizabeth may have died earlier, for on a gift of slave (Jack), dated 24 Feb 1759, to granddaughters Lucinda and Elizabeth Brown Price, and son-in-law, John Price, Elizabeth is not listed.

b-5: Agnes (ca 1733, Hanover County, VA - before 1803 in Albemarle County, VA) m. ? Mullins. Not much is know about Agnes except that she inherited 1000 acres on the Rugged Mountains in 1762. Those 1000 acres were deeded to a John Mullins, 4 July, 1796. See Benjamin Brown, Sr. will synopsis: Vol. 10, Virginia Genealogist, pp 24-25

The seven children of Benjamin and Sarah Thomson Brown:

b-6: Lucretia (b. c.1744 in Hanover/Louisa – d. before 10 July 1806, Surry Co, NC) married: 1762 Robert Harris, Jr. (8 March, 1741-after 10 July 1806, Surry Co. NC) 9 children.  Robert was the son of Major Robert and Mourning Glenn Harris. Major Robert Harris served in the House of Burgesses from Hanover Co., was the first surveyor of Louisa County and was appointed Sheriff of Louisa, 23 July 1751. His wife, Mourning Glenn, is said to have been a remarkable woman.  Major Harris moved to Browns Cove in 1750 and patented 2,400 acres there. See: Culpepper: My Heritage, p. 366 and various Louisa County deeds and road orders on their web.

b-7: Barzalia  (b. 1745 in Hanover/Louisa, VA – d. 4 Jan 1829 in KY) married: Frances Kapart. He was living in Brown’s Cove as shown on the 1785 Virginia census, and in 1791 as a road surveyor. He moved to Shelby County, KY in 1809 with his wife and a large family, but was on KY tax records as early as 1801. Did he land bank in KY, as did his brother Benjamin?  Rev Service: It is said that he defended the Cove when Banastre Tarleton came through Charlottesville in 1781 looking for Jefferson.

b-8: Benajah (b. 1748 Brown's Cove, VA - d. 6 July 1814 Buckingham Co. VA) married: Mary Jarman (b. Hanover County, VA.- d. 1825, Buckingham Co. VA.) Their home was Walnut Level in Brown’s Cove, which he sold to his brother, Bernard, in 1795 in preparation for his move to Buckingham County, VA. Mary Jarman was the daughter of Thomas Jarman, who, in 1762, received a large land grant on Moorman’s River, and named his plantation in Brown’s Cove “Mt. View”. See: My Heritage, 341-42

b-9: Bernard (b. 28 Jan 1750 Brown's Cove, VA- d. 26 Feb 1800 Brown's Cove, VA) married: 22 June 1773 Elizabeth Jennings Dabney (b.18 June 1751- d 21 July 1826) She was the daughter of  John and Anna Harris Dabney. Anna Harris Dabney was sister of Robert Harris, Jr. husband of Lucretia Brown, above. They had 7 children. See: My Heritage, 343-45 for extensive write up. He served as a Dispatch Rider for General Washington, riding from Charleston, SC to New York. See: p. 7 “Six Sons and Three Grandsons Took Part in the Revolution”, Brown’s of Albemarle, p.7.

b-10: Rev. Bernis, (b. 15 August 1752, Brown's Cove, VA- d. 30 Oct 1814, Brown's Cove) married: 17 Nov 1779, Henrietta Rodes (b. 26 May 1761 - d. 1 June 1846, Albemarle Co. VA) Henrietta was d/o John and Sarah Harris Rodes. (She of the Major Robert Harris family mentioned above). Their 10 children are shown in a photocopied register by John R. Brown in The Browns of Albemarle, VA, p.26. Bernis was ordained to the Methodist ministry.  In Rev: Guard of Prisoners of War, as shown in the papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. II, pp.32-33. He signed the April 21, 1779 Oath of Allegiance to VA.

b-11: Bezaleel (b. 29 July 1754 Brown's Cove, VA- d.9 Jan 1829, Brown's Cove, VA) married: Mary "Polly Thompson, (18 Feb 1755 – 1847), daughter of William and Elizabeth Davis Thompson, granddaughter of Nathaniel and Anna Dabney Thompson. Bezaleel is often seen in Albemarle County Road orders 1791 to 1802.  In Rev: He was a Captain in the Virginia State Militia and was at Yorktown at the time of Cornwallis surrender.

b-12: Brightberry (b. 13 Feb 1762 Brown's Cove, VA – d. 26 Jan 1846 Brown's Cove, VA) married: 10 Jan 1788 Susan "Suca" Thompson (b. 21 Jan 1766 – d. 1825) daughter of William and Elizabeth Thompson, granddaughter of Nathaniel and Anna Dabney Thompson. 8 children. Brightberry built toll roads, ran a saw mill, was a cabinetmaker and inventor. In Rev: Sergeant Virginia Volunteer Calvary.  See: The Browns of Albemarle”, p.12: Furniture making in Albemarle County, Virginia, 1750-1850” Magazine AntiquesMay, 1998   by Janet Strain McDonald

Two Brothers moved to South Carolina

b-2-c. William “Billy” Brown: Generation Three

William (Billy) Brown (b. ca 1720, Hanover County, VA - d. May 1780 killed by Tories)

William married 1st: ca 1740 to unknown (see DAR application 43754 where a Harriet Jennings is listed as his 1st wife, keeping in mind that the DAR often has errors in proof.)

In Virginia, he held large properties in Hanover/Louisa/ Albemarle Counties, VA, including the gift of deed mentioned above on both sides of the North Fork or Moorman’s River, Louisa/Albemarle.

William “Billy” Brown married 2nd: ca 1751 Sarah Duke? in Virginia. She died in 1784 in SC. See: DAR Patriot List, Centennial Edition, 1, 1994, which gives her name as Duke. The source is suspect. Since so many Brown and Bradley children had the middle name Duke, and the Duke families were neighbors in Virginia, perhaps Sarah was a Duke. But we cannot prove this or any family name.

William’s first SC grants were located on Kings Creek and Brier Creek, near Burton’s Ferry, SC, beginning 11 Jan 1767. (SC Archives: Vol. 9-p.87) He had Savannah River frontage. His brother Bartlett was already settled at Matthew’s Bluff a few miles east. William and 11 of his 2nd family, including married children and their spouses, moved to SC in 1769 to settle on 1400+ acres. Location brought him prosperity. Location brought him death. In 1780, he was killed by Tories while defending his home. His wife and adult children fled into the woods. See: Tarleton Brown’s Memoirs on Allendale Genweb.          See Grants: South Carolina Archives on Line:

Sarah Brown (b. ca 1725 in Virginia - d. 1784 in Barnwell, County, SC) We don’t know her maiden name. But this we do know, she was a true pioneer. She left a comfortable home in Virginia, cut a home place out of the forest, raised and educated her children. In 1778 she witnessed the murder of youngest son, Mandan. And in 1780, under attack, she watched as her husband and son’s in law were murdered and her home burned. The war broke her spirit.  “…My mother lived but a short time after the close of the war, and the estate she left each child was thirty-nine pounds, ten shillings, sterling.”  Tarleton Brown Memoirs, p. 26


Child of William “Billy” Brown and his first wife:

c-1: Elizabeth Brown, 1742- d. after 1820 in VA, married: 1st Symson .(see deed notation.) 2nd Isaac Hardin.(b.1736 - d. October, 1820)  Elizabeth and Isaac settled on a large plantation, named Greenwood, near Beaverton, Virginia about 1785. His will was probated 6 Nov 1820. Children: Berry Moore, Ben, Nelson, Isaac B., John, Lucinda, Polly, Betsy, Sally. (See Woods: History of Albemarle p.217)  William Hardin, who lived in South Carolina, was given Isaac and Elizabeth Brown’s Power of Attorney, 12 July 1789, Louisa County, VA. 9-334, to collect from William Brown’s executors her portion of her father’s estate in South Carolina. The estate was finally closed in South Carolina, 14 July 1810.  In SC documents, Isaac Hardin’s name is spelled Harden. It is the same with the spelling of William Hardin/Harden.

Children of Sarah and William “Billy” Brown

The following 9 children and Elizabeth above, shared in William “Billy” Brown’s final estate settlement, Barnwell, SC District Court, Deed Book H, pp 221-22, July 14, 1810. Settlement, begun in 1789, was admistered by his son, Bartlett Brown.

C-2: John Brown, (b. ca 1752 in Albemarle Co, VA. - d. in Albemarle Co. VA). He was about 15 when the family moved to SC, but did not stay in SC. He returned to Virginia and is shown in the 1779 rent roll. Then he melds into all the other John Brown’s found in Albemarle/Louisa Virginia from this line.

c-3: Sarah (b ca 1753 in Albemarle Co, VA- d 1831 Barnwell County, SC, m. 1768 in Virginia, John Cave b ca 1745, Orange or Albemarle County, VA – d. 1812, Barnwell District, SC) 12 children: William, David, John, Jr., Benjamin, Berry Moore, Sarah (Parker), Tarlton, Nathan, Rebecca (Guess), Elizabeth, Zilphia (Nix), Henry   Note: Albemarle County Deed Book 3, p 392 shows John Cave as witness to a deed, 27 June 1763. John Cave was progenitor of a large influential Barnwell County family.  He and Sarah moved to SC with William Brown.

C-5: Bartlett: (b. ca 1755 in Albemarle Co, VA, and d. after 1823, Barnwell County, SC) never married? Archive records show Bartlett living on Brier Creek and jointly owning property on Three Runs Creek with his brother, Tarleton, in 1787. Bartlett escaped death in the Revolution, as shown in Tarlton Brown’s Memoirs (“…some escaped… including by brother, Bartlett”.) He served for 300 days with Francis Marion in 1780 as shown in his Pension Indent, May 30, 1785: Salley: Stub Entries to Indents #355 Bk R. He signed on 14 July 1810, the Settlement of the Estate of William Brown, begun in 1789. There is such confusion as to which Bartlett is which.

C-4: Mary (b. ca 1756 Albemarle Co, VA. d. after July 14, 1810 in Barnwell County, SC) m. in SC, ca 1773, Henry Best, (b. ca. 1756, murdered by Tories at the home of William Brown in May, 1780) Absalom Best, possibly related, shared Brier Creek property lines with William Brown. Children: Henry Best, Benajah Brown Best, John Brown Best, William Brown Best, 2 daughters. 1790 census show her living between brother in law, John Joice and her son, Henry Best. She received a Revolutionary Widow’s pension.   

C-6: Tarlton Brown (b. April 5 1757 in Albemarle Co, VA. -  d. 14 Sept 1845 in Barnwell County, SC) Married 1st ,1788: Almedia Matthews (b. ca 1770-d. before 1804). Their 3 children: Almedia (Preston Harley), William Duke, Lewis Matthews. Married 2nd ,16 May 1804: Judith O’Bannon Cook (b. 1770-d. 4 Jan 1837). Their 4 children: Austin Barnett, James Kennedy, Frances Caroline (William Peyton), Sarah Wilson (Dopson). Tarleton was very tall in statue. He owned land on Three Runs Creek at the Savannah in 1787 before moving to Cedar Branch, Upper Three Runs, Boiling Springs area.  See SC Archives for his holdings and achievements.  He fought in the Revolution from its beginning, forming his own company and then serving with Francis Marion. He was a true patriot. His exploits are well documented in The Memoirs of Tarleton Brown on Allendale GenWeb.

c-7: daughter (b. ca. 1759 in Albemarle Co, VA - d. after 1800 in Barnwell District, SC) m. John Joice (b. Hanover? County, VA - d. after 1800 Barnwell District, SC) John’s father, James Joice, received a grant for land on Kings Creek at Brier Creek. One of his property lines joined a William Brown line. Both William Brown and James Joice had grants dated the same year, 1769. John and his wife, were living on the Joice Branch, Persimmon Fork of Lower Three Runs Creek, a few miles west of Burtons Ferry in 1784. John Joice filed a pension claim (#4081) for Revolutionary service in the militia from 4 May 1781 to 25 Feb 1782, serving alongside Tarleton Brown with Francis Marion and William Harden.

C-8: Emelia (b. ca.1764 - d. after 1803) m. 1st Bartless King. I could find no record of him.  There was a Pearce King sharing a property line with Robert Bradley on Three Runs Creek, maybe Bartless was his relative.

She married 2nd , ca 1782, Robert Bradley (b. ca 1760 - d. before 1 Feb 1817 when his will was filed.) In 1793 they lived on 3900+ acres located on Tinker Creek, Upper Three Runs, Orangeburg/Barnwell District, SC.  His will mentions five children:  William B, Emelia, Sarah D, Mary, Robert D.

c-9: Olinda (b. ca 1767 - d. after 1820) m. Robert Bradley, above, after her sister, Emelia, died. Robert’s 1816 will mentions, my beloved wife.  Olinda is shown in the 1820 census, living next to step-son, William B. Bradley, on Upper Three Runs, Barnwell County. No children.

c-10: Alpha (1 Jan 1778, died 1843) m. 1st Alexander Kennedy, (b. ca 1772 in Ireland and died after 1790) She m. 2nd  Burrell Parker after 1800.  Alexander Kennedy leased 75 acres on the north side of The Old Three Runs water of the Savannah River from John Cave on April 24, 1787. The 1790 census shows Alexander Canady living next door to his brother-in-law, Robert Bradley. He and Alpha had 6 children. William, (m. Elizabeth Clayton); Robert  (m. Sarah Bickham); John Jones (m. Sarah Clayton); Elizabeth (m Matthew Beck); Lucy (m. Benjamin Owens); Sarah “Sally” (m. Isaac Enicks who after “Sally” died m. 2nd Jemima Calhoun).

Died young:

c-11: Manden H. (Little Brother), (b. ca 1775 - d. 1778?) shot through a crack in his log house home by Tories.  See Tarlton Brown's Memoirs, p.79, published by the Barnwell County Museum and Historical Board, 1999.



B-3-d: Bartilott (Bartlett) Brown, Generation 3

Bartilott (Bartlett) Brown (b. ca 1722, New Kent County, VA -d. after 4 Aug 1785/ before 1 Oct 1785 See: SC Rev pay stub #1004, Book Y to Est. Bartlett Brown, pd to son, John Brown.) He married, in 1754, the widow Catherine _?_ Holcombe. By her first marriage, she had three known children, Ann Nancy, Mary and Sarah. Bartilott and Catherine had children, Bartlett, Jr., Benjamin, William, John, and James. Who was Catherine? Record of her birth, marriages and death could not be found. Penmanship caused confusion of his name: written, Mr. looks like Wm in official court documents.

Bartlett owned a plantation on Mooremans River in Louisa/Albemarle County, VA. in 1746, having moved there from Louisa/Hanover Co. VA.  In 1754 he moved to South Carolina to become an Indian Trader and cattle pen operator. His wife, Catherine Brown, owned the pens located at Steel Creek on the Savannah, getting her first grant 5/3/1757 and increasing the pens to 400 acres by 1761. Bartlett Brown began acquiring land in 1764 on the Savannah at Matthew’s Bluff, below the present town of Allendale, SC, where he and his children established the family plantation. In Rev: They were constantly under attack by the British and the Tories. He served with the SC local militia and supplied beef and other materials to the army as seen in many indents and pay slips. Albemarle, VA Chapter DAR records that he was killed on the SC frontier in 1789. (See: Cowpens below)

Children of Bartlett and Catherine _?_  Holcombe Brown

d-1 Bartlett, Jr.(b. 15 Jan 1855 - d. 6 Dec 1822, Will recorded 25 Dec 1822) Bartlett made Revolutionary pension application for 17 days in 1782 under Lt. Buxton with the Beaufort Artillery Volunteers. His record is not to be confused with his 1st cousin, Bartlett Brown, son of William. He is shown as Bartlett, Jr. on the 1778 SC early census, and in a 1784 plat on property next to James Joice. He dropped Jr. by 1785.

He married Patience Overstreet, daughter of James and Sarah Overstreet.  Their children: Michael Brown (1785-1840) m Rebecca Mary Carr (1804-1844); Barnett H. Brown m 1st  Eliza C. Duncan, 2nd  Clementine Lefebre; Benjamin B. Brown m Experience Mixon; Jabez G. Brown (1795-1852) m Ann Trotter (1806-1848); Cynthia Watson Brown (1799-1863) m 1st  James Young, 2nd  James A. Noble ( In a court document of Specific Performance and Accounting of the Estate of Bartlett Brown, Dec 27, 1852, Cynthia was then listed as Cynthia Calhoun.)

(James and Sarah Overstreet owned property between William Brown and Bartlett Brown, Sr. on Brier Creek.  James Overstreet and his father-in law, John Booth, were killed by Tories in the Battle of Hudson’s Ferry, 16 Jan 1782. Sarah managed the plantation until her death in 1819.) 

d-2 Benjamin,(27 January 1756 in SC – died after 28 August 1789) He was baptized by Rev. John Geissendanner, Orangeburg District, 1758. (Salley: History of Orangeburg County, p. 182) He made Revolutionary pension application for service under Lt. Jacob Buxton in 1782. On 7/25/1785 he was living on Stony Hill Branch, Brier Creek. He moved to Burk County, GA where on “12 Dec 1786, Benjamin Brown of Burk County, Georgia, sold to Bartlett & James Brown, brothers to said Benjamin Brown, for L 100… 540 acres in Winton County, near Matthews Bluff…, inherited as the oldest son of Bartlett Brown, who died intestate”. Benjamin married Cynthia Overstreet, who after he died married James Nobles. Two sons: Charles, Josiah

d-3 William ( 8 October 1757 SC, baptized by John Geissendanner, 1758  See: Salley: History of Orangeburg County, p. 182)) He made Revolutionary Pension application for 109 days under Lt. Jacob  Buxton in 1782. In 1799 he was living on the original family plantation located on the Savannah River at Matthews Bluff. His lines adjoined his brother, Bartlett, Jr., who also lived at Matthews Bluff. William was administrator of John Brown’s estate 1789. (Winton County Will Book 1, 53-54)

d-4 John ( 1760 – d. before 17 March 1789. His Inventory of Goods and Chattels was complete 28 August 1789). No wife or children are listed. John’s pension indent shows he was a member of the Orangeburg District Independent Calvary under Capt. Jack Rumph. John is shown in 1784 as owning over 2000 acres on Steel Creek where his Mother’s cattle pens had been located in 1757.

d-5 James (23 Sept 1767 SC, after 1790) James was only a boy, when the following land transaction near Matthews Bluff was made: “11 Jan 1775…Bartlett Brown Junr & James Brown, his brother, sons of Bartlett Brown, for L 1000…200 acres, … originally surveyed for Christian Bear, 18 Jan 1765 at the mouth of Fishing Creek.” South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research Pp. 246-251. James received one saddle from his brother’s (John) estate in 1789. 

Children of Catherine _?_ Holcomb by her 1st husband Holcomb:

Mary m Richard Snowden Kirkland
Sarah m
Wilson                                                                                                           Ann Nancy m. Bowen, their daughter, Eliza Holcomb Bowen m. James Overstreet, Jr.


Of This Line

Edmond Brown (b. 1769 Hanover County, VA – d. before 4 May 1819, Barnwell District, SC) m. Mary Burnley (b. 1 Feb 1776, Hanover Co. VA – after 1835 Barnwell County, SC) Edmond was the son of Susanna Jarman and Benjamin Brown, Jr. Edmond moved to South Carolina in 1802 and settled on Upper Three Runs and Tinkers Creek, Barnwell District, SC near William “Billy” Brown’s children; Tarleton Brown, Alpha Brown Parker, Emelia Brown Bradley, Olinda Brown and others. Children of Edmond and Mary Brown: Elizabeth Lee (m. Dr. Wilson Brown, her first cousin), Gideon, Theresa, Theodore, Edwin.

Dr. Wilson Brown (1787 Brown’s Cove, VA – d. 1829, Barnwell, SC) m. Elizabeth Lee Brown (b.12 Sept 1796, Hanover County, VA – d. 18 April 1850, Barnwell, SC) Wilson Brown came to South Carolina about 1810 where he married his first cousin, Elizabeth Brown. He practiced medicine in the town of Barnwell. They had the following children: Benjamin Franklin, Maria, America, Hardinia, Caroline, Rivanna, Wilson.  Wilson and Elizabeth Brown are buried in the Old Baptist Cemetery, Barnwell, SC.

Wilson and Elizabeth were both descended from Benjamin, Sr. and wife Wilson Brown Wilson Brown was the son of John and Mary Brown. John's parents were Benjamin Jr. and Susanna Jarman Brown.  Elizabeth Brown was the daughter of Edmond and Mary Burnley Brown. Edmond's parents were Benjamin Jr. and Susanna Jarman Brown. See: Johnson, Ernest Barnwell, Jr.: Account of the Ancestors of  Benjamin Franklin Brown (1614-1844) and Catherine Ann Hallonquist (1830-1894) of Barnwell, SC. published in Shepherdstown, WVA, 1998.

Benjamin Brown, Sr.:

Ruth Rhodes Culpepper, My Heritage, Waynesboro, VA, 1982, chapter “Brown's Cove, Eden of Albemarle”, p.339    “Benjamin Brown, Sr. …married secondly, Sarah Thompson.  Woods is in error in giving the second wife as Sarah Dabney.” For his 1st wife she suggests Hescott.  John R. Brown, GG grandson of Benjamin Brown, Sr. wrote in “The Browns of Albemarle”, p.2, self published about 1960.   “The names of the children of Benjamin Brown (Sr.) and (his 2nd wife) Sarah Thompson Brown are known (to me)…”

If there was another Benjamin in line of descent from John Brown as the Manning’s and Kennedy suggests, I never came close to finding him. There were, however, many named Benjamin, John, William in different Brown families in Hanover/Louisa/Albemarle counties. Some, I believe, are related, but with no source proof, such claims are useless.  We have spent years researching and documenting and yet it is incomplete.

William “Billy” Brown:

Don’t confuse Albemarle Parish, Surry County, VA, 100+ miles East of Hanover with Fredricksville Parish, Louisa/Albemarle County where William “Billy” Brown and family lived.

Three Bartlett Brown’s:

William’s brother, Bartlett (Bartilott), William’s son, Bartlett, and Bartlett’s son, Bartlett, Jr.  were all living within 20 miles of each other between Matthews Bluff and Burtons Ferry. Sorting them is a big dilemma. Confusion over Bartlett Brown, Sr.’s name was caused by poor penmanship: written, the Mr. seems to be Wm in official archive documents.

Not of this Line

Lazarus Brown (ca. 1732-1772) found on Three Runs Creek, Granville County, SC, 1758, is not directly related to William “Billy” Brown. Anyone doing even rudimentary research would have seen that by looking at his birth place and birth date. Interesting to note, Lazarus was a cattleman, plantation owner and stood seven feet tall. He was murdered by one of his slaves in 1772.  His plantation, near Boiling Springs, was called “The Big House”.  Charles Jones Brown next owned “The Big House” plantation, which he named Green Oak Forest. Charles Jones Brown was owner of the “Big House’ where Sarah Brown and the remnants of her family fled after Tories murdered William Brown and son-in law, Henry Best and their home destroyed by fire. (See; Tarlton Brown’s Memoirs) We cannot determine an early kinship connection between the two families. Charles Jones Brown’s daughter, Susan Cynthia Brown married Frederick J Hay, of the famous Hay family. They lived at Green Oak Forest Plantation, which Tarleton Brown later purchased for a school. See: Colcock, Charles Jones: A History of the Progenitors and Some South Carolina Descendants of Colonel Ann Hawkes Hay, with Collateral Genealogies, AD 500-1908 (1908])  

Cow Pens

"...There were other inhabitants of the middle (SC) country, but these too, whether white or Indian, were chiefly on its borders. Generally adjoining the tidewater, but at times    on the frontier, were the cowpens, as the larger cattle-raising establishments were called. The cattle ranged for miles and were brought to the enclosures at regular intervals for branding. The cowpens were of course owned by men of considerable capital,..."  Robert Lee Merriweather, Thesis: Columbia University, "The Expansion of South Carolina, 1729-1754", Kingsport, Tenn., Southern Publishing, 1940

According to the Albemarle County, VA DAR, Bartlett Brown was killed “on the frontier”.



Thanks to especially Patricia Bradley Toney Scheff, of Shady Springs, West Virginia for sharing her careful, detailed research done at a time when “going and searching out” was the only way. Family research has been her life work and passionate love.

And to Keith Brown, Austin Texas, and Ernest Barnwell Johnston, Jr., computer “Cousins”, who shared their research and provided invaluable detail and sources for this posting and future book. 

And to early researchers,  Elizabeth Bradley Griffin, Southern Pines, NC; LaVern Cave Davis, California, and others for sharing their research which was used in getting the family of William “Billy’ Brown ready for the Allendale and Barnwell GenWeb.

And to Joyce S. O’Bannon who put to pen Barnwell’s Tarleton Brown a companion included in the published Memoirs of Tarleton Brown by the Barnwell County Museum and Historical Board, 1999. Both sections offer gems of discovery for a researcher. All Brown descendants should have a copy of this book. 

The stories of the Brown, Bradley, Cave, Johns families are being written in a book, soon to be completed.  Eleanor Williams Bradley 

Copyright ©2009, Eleanor Williams Bradley, all rights reserved  . These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.

Please send comments and corrections to ye webmeister.

Earlier Brown family genealogy by Judy Canant

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SCGenWeb - Allendale County Surnames

SCGenWeb - Allendale County, South Carolina