|Birth: ||Aug. 31, 1691|
Argyll and Bute, Scotland
|Death: ||May 8, 1750|
West Virginia, USA
Some genealogies say Thomas was born Aug 31, 1691, in Cambelton, Argyll, Scotland, to Robert Brown and Helen Alexander. Others say he was christened in Mansfield in 1689. So his date of birth is disputed. But the evidence is that he came to America as an indentured servant in 1706 at age 15, and his Y-DNA indicates common ancestry with the Browns of Scotland, so the first date and parentage seems most likely. In Scotland the name was pronounced like “Broon” and was spelled “Brown” or “Broun.” Some think it is derived from a Celtic word for “judge.”
The exact date of his death is uncertain. It would have been recorded in the minutes of the Hopewell Monthly Meeting of Friends, but the minutes were destroyed in a fire in 1759. What is clear is that his will was probated on May 8, 1750, so he died prior to that. There were no hospitals there at the time, so he almost certainly died at home, a few miles from the Quaker Meetinghouse and burial ground. (Note that a century later, when Virginia seceded from the Union, the western counties of Virginia remained with the Union and became the new state of West Virginia. Frederick County split as well, with the western part becoming Berkeley County. So the Brown house is now in Berkeley County, WV, while the Quaker Meetinghouse is in Frederick County, VA.)
Thomas Brown's biography, by Joan Case:
Thomas Brown, age 15, of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, England was indentured to Mr. Georg Battersly, 12 April 1706 for 7 years.
On the 6th of June 1723, Thomas attended the Buckingham Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers) requesting to join himself to that meeting. Then on the 3rd of July 1723, "Thomas Browns proposal of joyning [sic] himself to this Meeting having been taken into consideration & he haveing [sic]produced a recomendation in writing from under his master & mistress hands of his faithful servitude & frequenting friends Meeting whilst with them & also a paper of Recomendation from some persons belonging to Abington Meeting to the like purpose therefore this Meeting accepts as far as his life and conversation corresponds with the Truth he desires to join unto.."
On the 8th of August 1723. "At this Meeting Thomas Brown and Ruth Large declared their Intentions of marriage with each other it being the first time..." (a committee was appointed to make sure that neither one was involved with anyone else. This committee reported at the Monthly Meeting held ye 5th of ye 9th Mo 1723. On ye 3rd of ye 10th mo 1723 the committee appointed to attend the marriage reported that it had taken place, but the exact date was not mentioned.)
On 2 Jan 1741 Thomas Brown requested certificates for himself, wife and children, except his eldest daughter to go the monthly meeting at Hopewell in Orange Co., Virginia in order to remove there. On Feb 6th a favorable report was read and on March 4th a certificate was produced.
On 20 October 1742, Thomas had 802 acres on the west side of Sherando River. In 1743 600 acres that lay upon the "drains of Middle Creek, and in the possession of Thomas Brown was surveyed for George Hobson Jr.
On December 30, 1749 Thomas Brown wrote a will. His will was probated the 8th May 1750 in Frederick County, Virginia.
Thomas and Ruth had 9 children: Sarah, William, Thomas, Samuel, Deborah, Frances, Ruth, Elizabeth and Joseph.
In about 1753, Ruth and most of her children went to Guilford County, North Carolina. They are found in the Cane Creek and New Garden Monthly Meetings of the Quakers. Ruth died the 22 of May 1763 and is buried in the New Garden Graveyard in North Carolina.
Excerpt from Thomas Brown's biography, by Imo Brown:
Thomas Brown, the ancestor from whom the Brown family name is derived, first settled in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He is apparently the only member of his family who came to America, as no definite data about his parents and his early life in England or in America are known. John A. Brown, a descendant of Thomas Brown, states in his records that Thomas Brown's father was also named Thomas Brown, who remained in England.
Undoubtedly Thomas Brown came to America as an indentured servant, a person obligated for a period of years to another person who paid for his or her passageway to America.
After Thomas Brown and Ruth Large were married, they continued to live in Bucks County in the vicinity of the other Large families. Their first child, whom they named Thomas Brown, Jr, was born in 1728. Other children were Samuel, Joseph, Deborah, Frances, Ruth, Elizabeth and William. The family remained in Bucks County until cir. 1740, when they, along with other Quakers, migrated to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.
In 1741 Thomas Brown, Sr. his wife Ruth (Large) Brown and their family from Buckingham Monthly Meeting in Bucks county, Pennsylvania were accepted into the Hopewell Meeting.
Thomas Brown, Sr. died in Frederick County Virginia 8 May 1750. His will was signed with his initials on the "thirtieth day of December in the year of our Lord 1749.
Will of Thomas Brown Sr.
In the name of God Amen. I Thomas Brown Sen. of the County of Frederick and colony of Virginia, Yeoman, being at present though weak of body yet of perfect mind and memory, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following: that is to say first and principally I recommend my soul into the hands of almighty God who gave it hoping through the merits death and passion of Jesus Christ my Savior to obtain remission of all my sins and to inherit everlasting life and my body I do commit unto the earth to be decently buried at the desecration of my executors hereafter named, and as touching the disposition of all such personal estate as it hath pleased almighty God to bestow upon me in this world I leave and bequeath as follows.
First I will that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and discharged.
ITEM I give and bequeath unto my wife Ruth Brown sixty acres of present dwelling plantation or beginning at the Creek and from thence by a straight line including the dwelling house thence by the barn and taking in the field on the other side of the barn and part of the woodland ground on the south side of the said barn as also the use of part of the barn during the term of sixty years or during her natural life, lot which of the two be expired first.
ITEM I leave unto my said wife Ruth Brown the 3rd part of the orchard during the term aforesaid except in the Nursery shall be at the disposal of my said wife and sons Thomas, Samuel and Joseph for their own planting and the remainder to be disposed of by my executors of the benefit of maintenance of the widow and the rest of my children.
ITEM I leave and give and bequeath unto my said wife Ruth Brown a mare, Brt. and Saddle and two cows which she shall see cause to take, my best feather bed and furniture a large pot, 2 platters, 2 dishes, 1 new tankard, 2 porringers, 1 warming pan, 1 frying pan, a pair of hand irons, one broad iron, pot rack notched, 1 baking grid, and 6 ewes as shall make her choice all at her disposal forever.
ITEM I give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Brown 200 acres of my present plantation lying and adjoining upon Simon Moon’s survey and Thomas Thornburgh’s survey and twenty shillings currency to him his heirs and assigns forever.
ITEM I give and bequeath unto my two sons Samuel Brown and Joseph Brown the whole remaining part of my present plantation to be equally divided betwixt them and that Samuel have the whole of the improvements at present on the said 800 acres to them their heirs and assigns forever.
ITEM I leave unto my said son Samuel Brown a sorrel mare called Trim, 1 horse colt, 1 young cow 1 horse punch and plough irons and belonging to him his heirs and assigns forever.
ITEM It is my desire and will that my executors enter as soon as may be 200 acres and more if it can be had upon the place I bought and my son William did some time ago live for his proper use his heirs and assigns forever at the cost of my moveables estate and it is my will that my said son William shall have the said land, paying what cost my executors may be at in clearing the said land or otherwise that the same shall be sold for the benefit of my three sons Thomas, Samuel and Joseph.
ITEM I leave and bequeath unto my grandson Thomas McIntire a white mare Jewel his heirs and assigns forever.
ITEM I give and bequeath to my daughter Deborah a mare called Rose & that my daughter Frances have the colt the said mare is now with if it live; otherwise the first she bringeth that shall live to them their heirs and assigns forever.
ITEM I leave unto my daughter Ruth Brown a gray mare called Tibb and my will is that my daughter Eliza shall have the colt that the said mare is now with to them their heirs and assigns forever.
ITEM I leave unto my granddaughters Elizabeth and Sarah McIntire to each a heifer calf and increase forever.
ITEM It is my will that if Joseph my son should die before of age that my son William shall have 200 acres of the said demised division and that the remaining 200 acres be equally divided betwixt the widow and the rest of the children.
ITEM It is my will that the executors shall take care of the younger children while single.
ITEM It is my will and pleasure that my son Thomas’ division for his 200 acres shall begin at a white oak and the east of the creek thence running southwest by a straight line to one black hickory
adjoining the survey above mentioned.
ITEM It is my will that the division line betwixt my son Samuel’s part and Joseph’s shall run by a straight course cross the creek from East to West.
ITEM All the remainder of my estate both real and personal I desire to be sold and the money of the sale to be equally divided betwixt my four daughters Deborah, Frances, Ruth, and Elizabeth.
And lastly I do hereby constitute, ordain, and appoint my kind and loving wife Ruth Brown, Thomas Brown and Samuel Brown my sons, sole and joint executors of this my last will and testament—hereby revoking & making void all former wills, testaments, legacies or executors by one made given granted, appointed constitute or ordained, ratified, and conferring this only to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 30 day Dec. in the year of our Lord 1749.
Signed sealed and acknowledged published and declared by Thomas Brown Sen. to be his last will and testament in presence of us.
Geo. Hobson, William Smith,
At a court held for Frederick Co., on Tue. May 8, 1750.
This will of Thomas Brown Sen. dec'd. was proved in open court by the oaths of Geo. Hobson, Wm. Smith, and Hannah Hobson, the witness thereto and Ruth Brown, Thomas Brown and Samuel Brown the executors therein named having affirmed to the same according to Law it was admitted to record.
From "Thomas Brown House (Inwood, West Virginia)" in Wikipedia, accessed Nov 10, 2012
The Thomas Brown House in Inwood, West Virginia, was built about 1741 as a log cabin for Thomas Brown, a Quaker farmer. Brown was one of the first to grow fruit in an area where orchardry would become a major agricultural industry. The house is the oldest known dwelling in Berkeley County. Brown had assembled 1,200 acres (490 ha) in the area of Mill Creek, and left the log house and 60 acres (24 ha) to his wife Ruth on his death in 1750.
The house is built of large logs, 16 or 17 inches wide and hewn on two sides. The 1-1/2-story structure measures about 23 feet (7.0 m) by 29 feet (8.8 m) in the original block, a log west wing about 16 feet (4.9 m) by 21 feet (6.4 m), and a frame east wing about 16 feet (4.9 m) by 20 feet (6.1 m). The central block has two large stone chimneys. The logs are clad with weatherboards. The central block has two rooms downstairs. The wings are a single room downstairs and upstairs. The front and rear elevations feature gun ports cut into the logs, high in the walls.
Also on the property are a log meat house, a stone springhouse and a frame privy. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Coordinates: 39.39444N 78.04861W
Records show that Thomas Brown was granted 882 acres of land on October 20, 1742. Most likely he had already staked this land out and surveyed it to some extent.
Ruth Large Brown (1703 - 1763)
William Brown (1726 - 1800)*
Susannah Brown Moon (1727 - 1819)*
Thomas Brown (1728 - 1796)*
Note: There is no identifiable headstone. Quaker markers at this time were often just field stones with no inscription or just an initial.
Hopewell Friends Burial Ground
Created by: Darrell Brown
Record added: Nov 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100478564