Wednesday, January 11, 2017

John and Peter

1872 Birds-eye view Columbus, Ohio (click to enlarge)
As we saw in the last post, John Brown and Ellen Burns were married at St. Patrick’s church in Columbus, Ohio on August 28, 1856.  John and his growing family are shown in the 1860 US
1860 US Census
(click to enlarge)
Census living in Perry Township, in Franklin County, Ohio.1  (See 1860 Census left.)  By this time, John and Ellen have three children, John E., Mary Ann, and Martha, all of whom were baptized at St. Patrick’s in Columbus.  (See copy of David Brown Letter below right.2)  Ellen’s mother, Julia Burns, was also living with them.  Perry
Section of David Brown Letter
(click to enlarge)
Township is located northwest of downtown Columbus, between the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers, and extends north to the Franklin – Delaware County line.  (See map of townships in Franklin County below.3)  In 1860, it was outside of the
Townships of Franklin Co.
(click to enlarge)
city limits so records of residents would not have been included in the Columbus City Directory.  There is a listing for a “John Brown” residing on Cleveland Ave between North Public Lane (Naughten Street) and Spring Street in the 1858-59 city directory.  This would have been just a couple of blocks from St. Patrick’s in the Irish section of town.  However, it is far from certain that this is the same family since Peter Burns is not listed separately in the directory, and these two families always lived in very close proximity. Could it be that Peter and John were living in the same household and only one name was recorded?

The 1860 US Census also shows Peter Burns and his family (his wife, Martha, sister of Ellen Brown, and two children, Julia, age 9, and Willie, age 7), living in a separate residence virtually next door
Southwest portion of Perry Twp.
(click to enlarge)
to John Brown.  Both men are identified as laborers.  Because neither of them owned land, it is difficult to exactly pinpoint them on a map.  However, other individuals enumerated within a couple of pages of them in the census do own land and can be identified on an 1872 map of Perry Township.4  (See Perry Township map left)  From this information we can identify an area in the southern most portion of Perry Township, bordering Franklin Township, where both John Brown and Peter Burns were living in 1860.   

The 1870 US Census finds both John Brown and Peter Burns living in Franklin Township, Franklin County, Ohio - a different location from the 1860 census.  (See 1870 Census below right.5)   The family must have been doing better financially since, at this time, both men are property owners.  Note that John and Ellen now have eight
1870 US Census
(click to enlarge)
children.  John Gray is a border.  Julia, the mother of Ellen and Martha, is living with Peter and Martha.  (The census suggests Julia’s last name is “Tracy” when the name is actually Julia Burns.  This can be verified later in the 1880 census.)  No children are listed with Peter and Martha.  Their oldest child, Julia, shown in the 1860 census, married John Murnane on October 1, 1869.  (Remember this surname.  We will see it again later.)  Julia died just four months later on February 26, 1870 of “intermitting fever” and is buried in Mr. Calvary Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.  Nothing more is known of their other child, Willie. 

The property for Peter Burns was relatively easy to find.  Family lore has always identified these two men, Peter and John, with the stone quarries on the near northwest side of Columbus, and is verified by the occupation column of the 1870 census.   Peter
Northeast section of Franklin Twp.
(click to enlarge)
Burns purchased approximately five acres along the Scioto River from Garrett Miller on July 8, 1869.7  The property, located on Dublin Road (following the Scioto River and on some old maps identified as “Stone Quarry Pike”) was the site of a former paper mill erected about 1839.8  It was used by Peter, and presumably John Brown, as a quarry and remained in the family until 1960. Statistics of the quarry industry created as documentation for the 1880 US Census, lists the property as an active quarry.9  An 1872 map of Franklin Township shows the location of the property. (See Franklin Township map above left) (See section of Table IV below.)   
Section of Table IV - 1880 US Census - Report on the Building Stones of the United  States  (click to enlarge)

The property for John Brown was more difficult to locate and, when found, led to further information about these families.  Because of the common name (John Brown), and because I was looking for property in Franklin Township near that of Peter Burns, I did not find the property until I had access to the estate file of John Brown from 187810 where the sale of real estate was ordered
1872 Map of Columbus showing location of
John Brown's city lots  (click to enlarge)
to settle debts of the estate
11.   The property is described as “lots seven and eight in original lot fifty-nine in William Phelan’s Mount Pleasant Addition in the city of Columbus, E. Sorins subdivision.”  A map of the area, (see left), shows the location.  The vacant lots were purchased for $160 by John Brown from Edward Sorin on August 8, 1864 and are located in Montgomery Township at the corner of Third Avenue and Sixth Street. 

On August 26, 1865, Peter Burns also purchased property from Edward Sorin.  He purchased lots eight, nine, ten and eleven in original lots twenty-eight, twenty-nine, and thirty also in William Phelan’s Mount Pleasant Addition for $400.12  These properties would have been in very close proximity to the lots purchased by John Brown just a year earlier.  I do not know whether the lots were purchased with the intent to build their homes there, or, whether they were intended as a business venture; perhaps both since each man purchased multiple lots.  Whatever the reason, Peter sold his city lots to Catharine Ryan on August 30, 1871 for a nice profit, receiving $1,400 for the property.13  By this time, Peter had purchased the quarry property (1869) and, according to the 1870 census (see above) was living at the quarry, probably with John Brown and his family.

On February 23, 1872, John and Ellen Burns took out a mortgage
1872 Mortgage - page 1
(click to enlarge)
on their city lots.14  They received $235 from Thomas Bergin due in one year from the date of the mortgage. (See Mortgage Deed left and right.)   We will probably never know why the loan was taken out.  It could have been for use in the quarry business, for general household expenses, or something
1872 Mortgage - page 2
(click to enlarge)
else.  We do know the mortgage was not paid, likely because of other events.  On January 22, 1873, just shortly before the mortgage was due, John and Ellen lost their youngest daughter, Julia, to “inflamation.”  Julia was just fourteen months old at the time of her death.15  John Brown purchased twelve graves in Mr. Calvary Cemetery on January 22, 1873 at a cost of $35.00.  Julia is buried in grave #1.  No stone marks her grave.16  

Trains provided an important function in the late 1800s and were the main source of transportation at the time even for short distances.  The Redfield & Logan’s Columbus & Indianapolis Central Railway Business Guide17 gives information for a train line (the Columbus Chicago and Indiana Central division of the Pan-Handle Railroad) running from the station on North High Street at Naughten Street going north and west to a flag station at “Scioto” four miles from the city near where the Brown and Burns families were living.  The track runs east of Dublin Road and crosses the Scioto River just north of Fifth Avenue and, actually could have been used in the quarry business.  The tracks still exist today.  (Refer to the earlier images of Franklin and Perry Townships for location of the tracks.)  Ease of transportation is probably the reason all of the children were baptized at St. Patrick’s.  It would have been a ten minute ride to downtown Columbus.   Remember St. Patrick’s is located just a few blocks east of the site of the train station on Naughten Street.

For whatever reason, perhaps it was to address the overdue
News article-Daily Dispatch
June 4, 1873
(click to enlarge)
mortgage, John Brown was in Columbus on June 3, 1873.  Often, locals were given a complimentary ride on the locomotive by the engineer.  This day, being denied a ride, John hopped the 6:18 train leaving Columbus bound for Piqua, Ohio riding on the bumper of a

freight car.  Because the family lived so close to the track, they must have heard the train
News article-Ohio State Journal
June 5, 1873
(click to enlarge)
coming and expected John home soon.  When the train slowed to cross the bridge over the Scioto River, John jumped from the train.  His foot slipped and he was thrown under the wheels of the train killing him instantly.18  Both the Daily Dispatch and the Ohio State Journal carried news of the gruesome accident.19  (See both articles along
with a current map of the area marking where the accident happened.)  A report of the accident was included in the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads, and stated that, “June 3, 1873.  John Brown, Scioto; killed; stealing a ride, fell under train.  P.Egan, Coroner.”20   
Current map of the area from Google Earth.  Railway identified by red line.  Property of Peter Burns and where John Brown
was likely living is approximately the red roofed building below the "Dublin Rd" label.  Note the proximity of the property
to the accident site.  (Click to enlarge) 

In the next post, we will look at the aftermath of the accident and what happened to Ellen and the children.

This post was written with the able assistance of Marion.

1872 Birds-eye View of Columbus, Ohio.  Map used with permission of the The Columbus Metropolitan Library Image Collections.  Detailed map in high resolution allows view of specific Columbus locations in 1872.  The blue circle shows the train station.  The purple circle shows St. Patrick’s Church.  The red circle shows the city lots purchased by John Brown in 1864.  Zoom in to see details.  Street names have changed since the map was created.  They are listed in the 1874 edition of the Columbus City Directory.  Clinton is now Fourth St.; East is now Sixth St.; Eastern is now Fifth St.; Phelan is now Fourth St.    

1.       1860 U.S. Census, Perry Township, Franklin County, Ohio; Roll M653_962; Page 161; Image 327.  Available online at Family Search:

2.       Brown, David, Kewanee, IL 11 May 1943, Letter to Esther _________, Columbus, OH.  Verification of the baptisms at St. Patrick’s church, Columbus, Ohio, were obtained for all of the children through the Catholic Record Society, Diocese of Columbus, Columbus, OH - Mary Ann baptized 7 Nov 1858; Martha baptized 10 Mar 1860; James baptized 12 Mar 1862; Thomas baptized 7 May 1864; David baptized 10 Jan 1866; Ellen baptized 16 Oct 1869; Julia baptized 31 Nov 1871; Peter baptized 6 Dec 1873.  Note that records do not exist anywhere in the Columbus Diocese for John E, the oldest son, and William Henry, the seventh child.  Since this family made a special trip to St. Patrick’s for the other baptisms, like David Brown, I assume John and William were also baptized at St. Patrick’s and the event was just not recorded.

3.       Caldwell, J.A., 1872 Caldwell’s Atlas of Franklin Co. and the City of Columbus : from actual surveys, J.A. Caldwell & H.T. Gould, Columbus, Ohio, 1872.  All map images in this section are reproduced with permission from “The Columbus Metropolitan Library Image Collections” and are available online at:

4.       Ibid.

5.       1870 U.S. Census, Franklin Township, Franklin County, Ohio; Roll: B593_1200; Page 486B; Image 401757.  Available online at Family Search:

6.       "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2014), John Murnane and Julia A.C. Burns, 01 Oct 1869; citing Franklin, Ohio, United States, reference p66; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,146.  Available online at:

"Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2014), Julia Mumine, 27 Feb 1870; citing Death, Franklin Township, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID v 1 p 36, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,206.  Available online at:

Letter to the author from Catholic Cemeteries, Columbus, Ohio dated July 21, 2004. “John Murnane purchased 6 grave spaces in B, Cathedral Section, Lot 21.  These spaces were purchased February 27, 1870 at a cost of $17.50.  The grave spaces were transferred to Peter Burns (Peter Burns Stone Quarry) on February 20, 1892. . .  do show burials in all 6 grave spaces but no names are listed.”    (Image of Julia’s tombstone below.)
Tombstone of Julia Burns Murnane - Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio

7.       Franklin Co., OH, Deed Book, Volume 98, page 635.  Garrett and Catharine Miller to Peter Burns for $3,000 dated 8 Jul 1869.  The property consisted of two parcels.  The “paper mill” parcel was deeded to Garrett Miller by John Dorsey, et al on 25 Nov 1865 (1 acre 164 poles) (Deed Book Volume 85, page 542).  The larger parcel (3 27/100 acres) was deeded to Garrett Miller by Archibald Woods on 5 Jan 1864. (Deed Book Volume 78 page 354)  These are available online at:   

8.       Taylor, William Alexander, Centennial History of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, Volume 1, page 54.  Available online at: 

9.       Report on The Building Stones of the United States, and Statistics of the Quarry Industry for 1880, Table IV–Tables Indicating the Amount and Kinds of Rock Quarries in the Different States , page 82.  The report was created by the Department of the Interior as part of the documentation for the Tenth Census of the United States.   Available online at:  

10.   Franklin County, Ohio, probate case files, estate no. 010060, John Brown (1878), Notice of Sale, 2 Oct 1879, Probate Court, Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio.

11.   Franklin County, OH, Deed Book 140, Page 491.  Sale of real estate from the estate of John Brown to Thomas Bergin, 3 Oct 1879.  William Phelan was a large land owner in Franklin County including the Mount Pleasant Addition in the north side of Columbus.  The property was divided into large lots and sold to individuals who further subdivided them into city lots.  Edward Sorin purchased many lots from Phelan.  A map is available online at the Columbus Metropolitan Library (1899 Baists Property Atlans of the City of Columbus -  [section 14]) that shows the lots purchased by “E. Sorin” which were further subdivided.  To identify the exact location of the city lots owned by John Brown, I followed sales of the property until it could be identified on a current tax map. In Columbus, numbered avenues run east and west; numbered streets run north and south.

12.   Franklin County, OH, Deed Book 85, Page 212.  Sale of real estate from Edward Sorin to Peter Burns for $400.00

13.   Franklin County, Ohio, Deed Book 106, page 107.  Sale of lots 8, 9, 10, and 11 in original lots twenty-eight, twenty-nine, and thirty from Peter Burns to Catharine Ryan for $1,400.

14.   Franklin County, Ohio, probate case files, op.cit.  Mortgage Deed dated 23 Feb 1872.

15.   "Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2014), Jule Brown, 24 Jan 1873; citing Death, Franklin Township, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID v 1 p 63, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,206.

16.   Information from Catholic Cemeteries, Columbus, Ohio.  Few early records for the cemetery were kept.  Information is from a ledger available at the office of St. Joseph Cemetery, Lockbourne, Ohio.

18.   "Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 December 2014), John Brown, 03 Jan 1873; citing Death, Franklin Township, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID v 1 p 71, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,206.  Death Register shows death as January 3, 1873.  The date, from news clippings, is actually June 3, 1873.

19.   “KILLED BY THE CARS,” The Daily Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio, June 4, 1873, page 1

“Terrible Accident,” Daily Ohio State Journal, Columbus, Ohio, June 5, 1873, last page

 Seventh Annual Report of the Commissioner of Railroads and Telegraphs of Ohio for the year ending June 30th, Accidents to Persons in Ohio, page 436, Nevins & Myers, State Printers, Columbus, Ohio, 1874  Available online through Google books at:,+1873.+John+Brown,+Scioto:+killed;+stealing+a+ride,+fell+under+train&source=bl&ots=5ONQX-oqZ0&sig=E1nadEncgKaq1I8EbslTFZ6OWV4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjDtfKm9LDRAhWIi1QKHYlyAjwQ6AEIGjAA#v=onepage&q=June%203%2C%201873.%20John%20Brown%2C%20Scioto%3A%20killed%3B%20stealing%20a%20ride%2C%20fell%20under%20train&f=false

Friday, December 16, 2016

Brown - Burns Connections

John Brown, the third son of Timothy/Thady Brown and Honora/Hannah Kelly, was baptized January 1, 1835 at Patrickswell Catholic Church in County Limerick, Ireland.  Remember from an earlier post (Instant gratification!) that the second child of Timothy and Hannah, David, baptized January 11, 1832, has not been accounted for in America, and, it is presumed that he died before the family arrived in Boston in January 1849.  (Arriving in America)  John is enumerated in the 1850 US census in Brandon, Rutland County, Vermont with the rest of his family.   He is shown as single and was a laborer at age sixteen.  Like his older brother Patrick, John moved to central Ohio in the 1850s; unlike his brother, he did not leave the Columbus area.

John married Ellen Burns August 28, 1856 at St Patrick’s Catholic
Marriage Register from St. Patrick's, Columbus, OH
(click to enlarge)
Church in Columbus, Ohio.1    Ellen is a sister of Ann, the wife of Patrick.  Another sister, Martha Burns, also lived in Columbus.  Martha’s family and John and Ellen Brown lived and worked in close proximity; so close, that it is impossible to tell John’s story without also telling the story of Martha Burns and her husband, Peter. 

Did these families know each other from an earlier time?  The parents of Anne, Ellen, and Martha are Michael and Julia Burns.  Charts in the David Brown letter indicate that Julia’s maiden name
Portion of family tree from David Brown letter
was Thompson.2  The 1908 death certificate for Martha, the last survivor of the three sisters, shows the father’s name as Michael Burnes and the mother’s name as, “Julia,” with no surname given.3   One son of John and Ellen, James, shows a surname of “Thompson” for his mother’s maiden name on his death certificate.  The surname is “Burns,” but, it could be a clue to the identity of this family since there does not seem to be a surname referenced in other records. 

Julia died in 1887.  Her tombstone, see photo at left, indicates that she was a “native of Queens Co. Ireland” which is an earlier name
Tombstone, Mt. Calvary Cemetery
Columbus, Ohio
(click to enlarge)
for County Laois.4  Death certificates for most of the children of Anne and Ellen show their mother’s place of birth as “Ireland,” as do so many records for Irish families.   One daughter of Anne, Mary Ann, shows the birthplace of her mother, Anne Burns Brown, as “Queenstown.”5  Queenstown is now known as the city of Cobh in County Cork where many immigrants left for the Americas; but, the city had recently been in the news because of the Irish Civil War (1922 to 1924).  Perhaps the family of Mary Ann knew the location was “Queens-something” and picked up on the familiar name in the news.   A daughter of Ellen, another Mary Ann, shows the birthplace of her mother, Ellen Burns Brown, as “County Limerick.”6  We do know that Limerick is the origin of the Brown family, but was the Burns family also from Limerick?

Julia’s age is also in question.  Census records (1860 to 1880) give
1887 Death Register for Julia Burns
(click to enlarge)
her birth year as 1813, 1810, and 1800.  The tombstone shows 1790 as the birth year; the death register, (see copy of register right),7 shows 1792; and, an article in the Daily Ohio State Journal, (see notice below),
Notice of Julia's Death, Columbus, Ohio
8 states that she was born sometime between 1780 and 1790. A review of the birth year of the three daughters (from census records), Anne (1830 to 1835), Martha (1829 to 1834), and Ellen (1842) indicate that Julia could have been born as early as 1790, but probably not before.

Armed with this information, I attempted to find church records in Ireland using many surname variations of Burns/Byrnes and Thompson/Thomson.  I also checked alternate first names and nicknames for the three girls, Anne, Martha, and Ellen.9  I did not find baptism records, nor did I find a marriage record for Michael and Julia.  While I did not locate records, I believe Laois or one of the surrounding counties is the probable origin for the Burns family.  Information on the tombstone is the earliest information available and likely came from Martha, Julia’s daughter who was also born in Ireland, presumably in close vicinity of her mother’s birthplace.  Remember, that while some church records in Ireland began early, before 1800, other parishes did not begin until 1850 or even later. 

Because of the distance, it is unlikely that the Brown family and the family of Michael and Julia Burns knew one another in Ireland; but, what about Peter Burns, the husband of Martha Burns?  Peter was baptized May 17, 1832 at Carbury Catholic Church and lived in Cloonkeen,  Carbury, Kildare.10  Again, this is a long distance from Limerick and the Brown family.  However, Peter had three brothers, Patrick, John and Edward who were living in Montreal Canada by 1843.  All of the brothers married in Montreal.11  Patrick and John moved to Vermont by 1851.  John lived in Brandon, Rutland, Vermont, the same location the Browns were living in the 1850 US census.   The youngest son of John and Margaret Kilmartin Burns was baptized March 18, 1860 at St. Monica in Forestdale.12  Recall from the map in the Vermont post (Vermont) that Forestdale was one possible location for the Brown family (Hannah/Annora and her six children) in the 1850 census.  While the Brown family was in Ohio by 1860, earlier births are identified in the same area in the Civil War widow’s pension application for Margaret Kilmartin Burns.13   Could this be the connection to the Brown family?  (Remember this family.  They will have a part in the Brown story in a future generation.)

Martha Burns, daughter of Michael and Julia Burns, married Peter Burns, son of John and Esther Cary Burns,14 sometime before June 1851 when their oldest child, Julia, was born.  Both of their children, Julia and a younger brother, Willie (about 1853) were born in Ohio as shown in the 1860 U.S. Census.15   There does not appear to be a record of their marriage in Ohio despite a possible listing for Martha’s family in the 1850 U.S. Census in Columbiana County in central eastern, Ohio.  (See a previous discussion in It looked like home! The Vermont church records do not begin early enough, but could Martha and Peter have met and been married in Vermont? 

Additional information for Martha, which may give further insight, is contained in the 1900 U.S. Census, and a news clipping
Death notice for Martha Burns
(click to enlarge)
published at her death in 1909.16 The news clipping (see right) states that she, “. . . came to America  with her parents while still a girl.”  From this, we know that the family of Michael and Julia Burns probably traveled together.   Although all other records state that Martha was born in Ireland, the 1900 Census record states that she was born in Canada and came to the US in 1848.17 (see copy below) Could Martha and her family have emigrated first to Canada before coming to America?  I have not found any evidence, and, this may be too much of a coincidence, but, could there be a Canadian tie in addition to a Vermont tie?  Questions and yet more questions!
1900 U.S. Census (click to enlarge)

The next post will give further information about John, third son of Timothy and Hannah Brown, in Franklin County, Ohio – and yes, probably more questions.    

1.      Catholic Record Society, Marriage Register, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Columbus, Ohio.  Cropped to show only the entry for John and Ellen.  Additional marriage records are available online from Family Search.   Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013, database, and 

2.      Brown, David, Kewanee, IL, 11 May 1949, Letter to Esther _________, Columbus, OH, Chart 2 and Chart 3.

3.      Certificate of Death #56218, Registered No. 2597, 1909, Martha Hogan, State of Ohio, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Franklin Township, Columbus, Ohio.  Available online at: 

4.      Catholic Cemeteries, Julia Burns, 1887, grave 3, lot 85, Cathedral, section B, Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio.  There is no record for Michael Burns, husband of Julia.  Note that the tombstone shows the year of death as 1886.  The death register and the news article are from 1887.

5.      “Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947,” database, Family search ( : 27 December 2014), Mary Cox, 22 Mar 1930; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,643,655.

6.      Certificate of Death #8915, Registration District #392, 1930, Mary Ann Murnane, State of Ohio, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio.  Available online at:

7.      “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, Family Search ( : 9 October 2014), Julia Burns, 10 Jul 1887; citing Death, Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID Cn61, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 2,026,908

8.      Daily Ohio State Journal, Death of a Centennarian, Columbus, Ohio, July 12, 1887, page 2

9.      I checked indexes at Find My Past (, Irish Family History Foundation (, and both with and without surnames and variations for all of Ireland paying particular attention to the counties of Limerick, Laois, and the counties surrounding Laois.  I did locate one record showing the father as Michael Byrne and the mother as Judy Thompson, (Judith is an alternate name for Julia), in the parish of Killaveney in County Wicklow, but, I don't the other entries for the parish are the same couple.  (See below)  I also reviewed the microfilm for this parish available online through the National Library of Ireland ( with no further results.

10.  National Library Ireland, Carbury and Dunforth Catholic Church, Carbury, County Kildare, Ireland, microfilm 04203/10, Dublin, Ireland.  Peter was baptized May 17, 1832; Edward was baptized March 16, 1827; John was baptized February 23, 1825.  There is no baptismal record for Patrick born March 1821; however, baptismal records for this parish do not begin until October 1821.  Patrick was likely born and baptized in the same location as his brothers.

11. Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968.  Available online at   Patrick married Rose Coffey February 8, 1843.  John married Margaret Kilmartin/Martin February 12, 1846. Edward married Mary Woods January 24, 1848.

12.  The Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society, Baptism Repertoire St Mary “Our Lady of Good Help” Brandon, Vermont  inluding the Old St. Monica, Forestdale, Vermont Mission, Vermont Catholic Diocese, 2014, Burlington, Vermont.  Baptisms for St. Monica include the years 1856 to 1868.  Baptisms for St. Mary include the years 1869 to 1948.

13.  John Burns (Pvt, Co. B, 7th Regiment, Vermont Infantry, Civil War, pension application no. 105,140, certificate no. 82,573, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications . . ., 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.   Papers include a signed affidavit from Dr. Charles Backus, who lived in the area of Forestdale, that he attended Margaret Kilmartin Burns at births in 1851 and 1853,

14.  Information from Great Aunt Maggie, (Margaret Brown Shrum), and her sisters, fervently avowed there was no blood relation between Martha Burns and Peter Burns.  I guess we should have asked more questions!

15.  1860 U.S. Federal Census, Perry, Franklin, Ohio, Roll: M653_962; Page 161; Image: 327

16.  Columbus Citizen, Wealthy Pioneer Woman is Dead, November 29, 1909, page 11, Columbus, Ohio

17.  1900 U.S. Federal Census, Franklin, Franklin, Ohio, Roll: 126; Page 7A; Enumeration District: 0030.  James, listed as a son, is actually the son of Martha's second husband, Michael Hogan and his first wife.

Friday, November 18, 2016

". . . and he leaves a large family to mourn his death"

After Patrick’s death, his remains were taken to Bloomington,
Bloomington, IL news clipping
(click to enlarge)
Illinois for burial accompanied by his son, D. O. Brown.1  (
See news clipping at left and previous clipping from the last post.)  Although there are no records, and no inscription is on the stone, he is likely
St. Mary's Cemetery
Bloomington, IL
buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in the same plot as that of his wife, Ann Burns Brown.  Patrick and Ann raised nine children, each of whom married and had families of their own.

It has always been my intention to tell the story of each of the immigrants who arrived in Boston from Ireland in January 1849.  Patrick is not my direct ancestor.  Out of respect for his descendants, and because I feel additional information is their story to tell, I will end Patrick’s story with a brief account of each of his children.  However, since this is a blog about the family, if any of Patrick’s descendants have information or a story they would like to share, I welcome their thoughts and memories and invite them to post the narrative here.

The next blog post will begin the story of John Brown, third child of Timothy and Hannah Brown.

The oldest child of Patrick Brown and Anne Burns was Patrick Brown.  He was baptized at St. Patrick’s in Columbus, Ohio on March 17, 1854.  By 1865, the family was living in Belleflower Township, McLean County, Illinois having lived in Delaware County, Ohio for a few years before then.   On January 8, 1880, he married2   Anna Radigan in DeWitt County, Illinois, and is shown as a farmer with his wife in the 1880 US Census for McLean County, Illinois.  Subsequent to this, he lived in Bloomington until his death in 1935.  The Blooming City Directory for the 1880s identifies him as a miner.  He later worked for the railroad as a brakeman and machinist.  Patrick was living with his youngest son, Jerome, when he died of heart disease on February 28, 1935.3  His wife, Anna, died June 23, 1953.4  Both are buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bloomington, Illinois.  Patrick and Ann had five children: Frank, John P.,  Jettie (Mrs. William B. Young), Thomas, and Jerome.    

The twins, John B. and Mary Ann were baptized April 3, 1856 at St. Patrick’s in Columbus, Ohio.  Mary Ann lived in the family home in Belleflower, Illinois, keeping house after the death of her mother in 1878.  She married James F Cox of Gibson City, Ford County, Illinois on January 13, 1881 when she was 25.5   On February 10, 1882, she and James purchased property from her father, Patrick – the same home where she and James were married.  They resided there until the farm was sold in January 18886 when they moved to Nobles County, Minnesota where James was involved in farming and real estate.  They returned briefly to Bloomington between 1910 and 19207, only to move back to Minnesota where James died December 21, 1925 in Kandiyohi County8.    Mary Ann returned to Bloomington after the death of James, where she died on March 22, 19309.  Both are buried in Willmar, Kandiyohi County, Minnesota.  Mary Ann and James did not have children.

 While Patrick was the first of the children to marry, John B. was one of the first of the children to move away from Illinois.  John homesteaded in Nebraska by November 1883.10   He secured a homestead of 160 acres near Berwyn in Custer County, Nebraska (section 3, township 16N, and range 19W).  The patent was finalized November 1, 1890.  John married Nancy Violet Burdick on September 9, 1889.11  John continued farming the homestead until 1909 when he moved to the city of Broken Bow where he sold insurance for the Union Fire Insurance Company.  He continued in this occupation until he died of heart disease on May 15, 1926 at Clarkson Hospital in Omaha12.  Violet and John B. had four children: Cecil Vern, James Carlton, Cyril B., and Mary Violet (Mrs. Charles L. Heaps).  Both John and Violet are buried in the Ansley Cemetery, Ansley, NE.

David O. (known as D.O.), was baptized January 2, 1859 at St. Mary’s in Delaware, Ohio and moved to Illinois with the family about 1865.  D.O. also homesteaded in Nebraska in the early 1880s as did his wife, Agnes Price, and some of her family.13 (See discussion in previous post.)   This extended family eventually controlled large tracts of land in sections 29, 30, 31 and 32 in township 17N, range 21W of Custer County14  with David Jr. (Otis), son of D. O., controlling 420 acres in 1919 after D.O.’s death.15  D. O. and Agnes had four children.  Three girls, June Agnes (Mrs. Edward Friedman), Mary Ada/May (Mrs. Lawrence Booth), and Fern M. (Mrs. Roy Aldridge) were born in Nebraska.  A son, David O. Jr., was born in Carroll County, Ohio in November 1893 just after D. O. finalized a Timber Culture claim in Nebraska.  Agnes and the girls remained in Ohio.  D. O. was enumerated in Carroll County, Ohio in 1910, but was living in Lincoln, Nebraska at the time of his death, November 16, 1916.16  His son, David Jr., lived in Nebraska for some time, but had returned to Ohio by 1920.17 Agnes lived in Ohio until her death on June 11, 1934.18  Both D. O. and Agnes are buried in the New Harrisburg Cemetery in Carroll County, Ohio. 

Sarah Jane Brown19 was baptized May 21, 1962 at St Patrick’s, Delaware, Ohio.  On February 24, 1884, at Gibson City, Ford, Illinois, Sarah married William E. Taylor.20  Sarah and William lived in McLean County, Illinois until early 1893 when they moved to Nobles County, Minnesota.  Three children were born in Illinois – Mary Ann/Mamie (Mrs. Alphonse Meyman),  Emily Agnes (Mrs. Frank Schutte), and Phillip W.  Four additional children were born in Minnesota – Bryan Charles, Sarah (Mrs. William H. Kleve),  Leo, and Isabella who was born in 1895 and died in 1898.21  William was a farmer until his death between 1920 and 1930.  Sarah was alive in 1943 when David Brown wrote his letter.  There are cemetery records from Saint Adrian Cemetery in Adrian, Nobles, Minnesota, where Sarah and William were living, at Find-A-Grave that may be for William (date of death is April 2, 1935) and Sarah (date of death is August 11, 1953).22    

James E. Brown was born in Delaware, Ohio, probably, May, 1863.  Although there may be some evidence that James went to Nebraska with his father and brothers, (see discussion in previous post), James was living in Adrian, Minnesota at the time of his father’s death in 1891.   (Two of his siblings, Mary Ann Cox, and Hannah Brown were also living in Adrian at that time.)  Obituaries of other siblings, (John B. in 1926 and Mary Ann Cox in 1930) identify James in Norfolk, Nebraska.23  The 1930 US Census for Norfolk City does show James Brown, age 63, born in Ohio with parents of Irish nativity.  James was married to Jennie Barney and was employed in the insurance industry.  Using that information to trace back through earlier census records, we find that James was living in Ponca City, Nebraska in 1900, Logan County, Oklahoma in 1910, and Norfolk City, Nebraska in 1920 and 1930.  The 1940 census24 shows Jennie, a widow, living with her daughter in Norfolk City, Nebraska.  That indicates that James died sometime between 1930 and 1940 probably in Madison County, Nebraska.  James and Jennie were married about 1894 and had four children, Leo, Carroll/Louis, Lloyd, and Dorothy (Mrs. Byron Ballantyne.)

Elizabeth Agnes Brown was born in Saybrook, Illinois July 23, 1865.  Elizabeth (Lizzie) married John McDonald September 28, 1884, at Merna, Illinois.25  John was born in Ireland about 1843 and emigrated to this country at an early age settling in McLean County, Illinois where he purchased 160 acres in Towanda Township in January 1869.26  He farmed the property until he died of the “grip” on January 26, 1901.27  In 1910, Elizabeth and six children were living in Monument Township, Logan, Kansas with Lawrence McDonald, John’s brother.28  By 1920, Elizabeth had returned to Illinois and lived in the city of Bloomington until her death on August 8, 1939.29  John and Elizabeth had eight children, Anna Ellen/Nellie (Mrs. Daniel G. Carmody), Sarah Mae (Mrs. Frank D. Hackett, Anna Isabella/Hannah, John E. (Jack), Lawrence, Eugene, and Mary (Mrs. William E. Hogan) who was born after the death of her father.  There was also an unidentified child born and died before 1900.  Both John and Elizabeth McDonald are buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Merna, McLean, Illinois.

Emily Julia Brown, who later went by the name Julia Emily, was born October 1, 1868 in McLean County, Illinois.30  In 1891, at the time of her father’s death, Emily Julia Betebenner was living in Alliance, Box Butte, Nebraska.  The 1900 US Census for Alliance, Nebraska states that she and her husband, George Betebenner, had been married nine years, making her marriage date shortly before Patrick’s death.  Emily Julia and George resided in a number of places including Alliance, Nebraska, Hot Springs, South Dakota, and Ravenna, Nebraska.  George was a veteran conductor on the Burlington railway, (Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad) and died in 1918 as a result of an accident.31   He is buried in Grand Island Cemetery, Grand Island, Nebraska.32  By 1920, Julia was living in Boise, Idaho; by 1930 she was living in the Los Angeles area where she remained until her death on February 3, 1959.  Julia is buried in Glen Haven Memorial Park, Sylmar, Los Angeles, California.33  Julia and George had four children, Harry E., James Lyle, Florence Fay (Mrs. Harold Rose), and Mary Bernice (Mrs. George Robert Martin).

Hannah/Johanna Brown was the youngest child of Patrick and Ann Burns Brown.  She was born in McLean County, Illinois in 1871 and was just seven when her mother died in December, 1878.  Hannah was living in Adrian, Minnesota in 1891 at the time of Patrick’s death, but she had moved to Nebraska by January 1898 when she married Joseph Lynch in Alliance.  While in Alliance, Joseph drove a passenger train between Alliance and Denver, Colorado.  Following that, Joseph farmed in Minnesota before moving to Mason City, Iowa where he worked for the city schools.  Joseph died in Mason City on April 4, 1937 following a long illness.34   Hannah continued living in Mason City until her death in April 1970.  Joseph and Hannah had five children; Josephine (Mrs. Henry Determan), Evangeline (Mrs. Thomas Brophy), Eunice (Mrs. Raymond Halstead), Margaret Beatrice, and Emmett.  Joseph and Hannah are buried in Elmwood Cenetery in Mason City, Iowa.35

1.       The Pantagraph, Death of Mr. Patrick Brown, Bloomington, IL, September 12, 1981, page 7 

Custer County Republican, A Tragic Death, Broken Bow, NE, September 10, 1891.  See copy of that article in a previous post.

2.       Family, Illinois Marriages, 1815-1935, De Witt, Illinois, FHL microfilm 1,312,956. Available online at:

3.       Certificate of Death #95, Registration Dist., No. 696, 1935, McLean County Vital Records Office, Bloomington, IL.

4.       Find A Grave, database and images ( accessed 15 Nov 2016), memorial page for Anna Radigan Brown (1861-1953), Find A Grave Memorial no. 14081010, Saint Marys Cemetery, Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois.

5.       The Pantagraph,  “Mr. James Cox, of Gibson City, and Miss Mary E. Brown, of Belleflower, were married January 13th, at the residence of the bride’s father, Mr. Patrick Brown, by Rev Father Kelly, of Loda, Ill.  Eighty invited friends were present.  A fine supper was served, and many substantial presents were made.  They have the best wishes of a host of friends.”, Bloomington, IL, January 20, 1881, page 3.

6.       McLean Co., IL, Deed Book, Book 151, page 260.  James Cox to John W. Lucas, dated 31 January, 1888.
7.       1895 Minnesota State Census; 1900, 1910, 1920 U.S. Census records

8.       The Pantagraph, James F. Cox Died in Willmer, Minn., Bloomington, IL, December 23, 1925, page 6.

9.       The Pantagraph, Mrs. Mary Cox Dies; Widow Succumbs – Had Been Patient in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bloomington, IL, March 23, 1930, page 3.

10.   Fold3, Homestead application file John Brown for section 3, township 16N, range 19W, available online at:

11.   Information from “Brown” family file at the Custer County Historical Society, Broken Bow, NE.  Accessed, September 2011.

12.   Certificate of Death #4880, 1926, Nebraska Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Health – Division of Vital Statistics, Lincoln, NE

13.   There is a delightful narrative by Mary Price Jeffords, Agnes’ sister, about their pioneering experience in Nebraska, originally published as “The Price Girls Go Pioneering” in the Pioneer Stories of Custer County Nebraska, E. R. Purcell, Publisher, Broken Bow, Nebraska, 1936, and is reproduced online at:    

14.   Further “homesteading” records are available at The General Land Office Records of the Bureau of Land Management at:

Extended family consisted of Mary Elizabeth Jeffords, wife of Charles Jeffords, John Reed Price and John R. Price, father and brother of Mary E and Agnes. 

15.   Gaston, W. L. and A. R. Humphrey, History of Custer County Nebraska: A Narrative of the Past, with Special Emphasis upon the Pioneer Period of the County’s History, Its Social, Commercial, Educational, Religious, and Civic Development from the Early Days to the Present Time, Western Publishing and Engraving Company, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1919, p. 1056

16.   Certificate of Death #10775, 1916, Nebraska Department of Public Welfare, Bureau of Health – Division of Vital Statistics, Lincoln, NE.

The Lincoln Star, Deaths, Lincoln, NE, November 16, 1916, page 2. “David O. Brown, a traveling salesman, living at 210 South Eleventh street, died at 11 a.m., Thursday at a local hospital, where he was taken Wednesday.  Mr. Brown was a representative of the George S. Cran Atlas company of Chicago.  Funeral arrangements have not been made.

17.   Op. cit., Gaston,

18.   The Free Press Standard, Mrs. Agnes A Brown, Carrollton, OH, June 14, 1934, page 4

19.   I feel a special affinity for Sarah since David Brown, the letter writer, referred to her frequently in his letter and she was likely a source for much of the information that we have today. 

20.   Ford County Illinois Marriage Register, Sarah Jane Brown to William E. Taylor, Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Normal, IL.  Accessed, September 2006.  Record shows that William, age 27 lived at Merna, McLean, Illinois.  His parents were William Taylor and Bridget Donahue.  Sarah, age 21, whose parents were listed as Patrick Brown and Ann Burns, lived in Saybrook, Illinois.  Witnesses to the marriage were Jas Donohoe and Lizzie Brown. 

21.   1910 US Census record, Westside Township, Nobles, Minnesota.  There was probably another child that did not survive born between 1884 and 1887, the dates of their marriage and the birth of Mary Ann.  The 1910 US Census shows eight children born to the couple with six living.  Seven children can be accounted for.

22.   Find-A-Grave, database and images ( accessed 15 Nov 2016), memorial pages for William E. Taylor (1895-1935) and Sarah Jane Taylor (1853-1953)  Find A Grave Memorial nos. 28353549 and 28353550, Saint Adrian Cemetery, Adrian, Nobles County, Minnesota.  These are probably the correct graves; however, information for William, shows his date of birth as June 2, 1895 – the same date as his daughter Isabella who is also buried in the same cemetery.  Sarah’s date of birth is given as November 27, 1853.  We know Sarah was baptized in May, 1861.  These are probably transcription errors which could be verified through death records and newspaper obituaries.

23.   Custer County Historical Society, file for John B. Brown, Broken Bow, Custer, Nebraska.  “On April 29th [1926], he [John B. Brown] was taken to the Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, . . . and was met there by his brother, James E. Brown of Norfolk, Neb. . . .”

The Pantagraph, Mrs. Mary Cox Dies, Bloomington, IL, March 23, 1930, page 3.  “Mrs. Cox leaves the following brothers and sisters: . . . James Brown, Norfolk, Neb.”

24.   US. Census records for 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 available online at or

25.   McLean County Illinois Marriage Register, Elizabeth  Brown to John McDonald, Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Normal, IL.  Accessed, September 2006.  Record shows that John, age 35 lived at Merna, McLean, Illinois.  His parents were Edward and Bridget McDonald.  Elizabeth, age 19, whose parents were listed as Patrick Brown and Ann Burns, lived in Saybrook, Illinois.  Witnesses to the marriage were David Brown and Emma Brown. 

26.   McLean Co., Ill, Deed Book, Book 67, page 588.  J.B. Stevenson et. Al. to J.D. McDonald

27.   The Pantagraph, Obituary for John McDonald,  Bloomington, IL, January 28, 1901, p. 7.  Available online at  “. . . died at an early hour Saturday morning after an illness of three weeks with grip.”

28.   1910 US Census, Monument, Logan, Kansas, Roll: T624_445, Page 4B, Enumeration District 0086.

29.   The Pantagraph, Mrs. Elizabeth McDonald Died Suddenly at Home, Bloomington, IL, August 9, 1939, p.3

Certificate of Death: Elizabeth Agnes McDonald. Filed 10 Aug 1939. State of Illinois, Dept of Public Health-Div of Vital Statistics, Reg. Dist. No. 696, File No. 32771, Registered No. 328.

30., California Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line].  Original data: State of California, California Deaath Index, 1940-1997.  Sacramento, CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics. Julia Emily Betebenner, born 1 Oct 1868 in Illinois; died 3 Feb 1959 in Los Angeles, CA.

31.   The Alliance Herald, available at, carried several news articles about the Betebenner family from 1904 to 1918 including an account of the accident that caused the death of George Betebenner.   February 21, 1918, p.1 . . . “Conductor G.W. Betebenner was thrown from train No. 40 today near Mason City [NE], and very seriously injured, his right are [arm], nose and jaw being broken.  Mr. Betebenner was taken to the Hospitay [hospital] at Grand Island where he is reported to be in critical condition.  Mr. Betebenner was standing on the rear platform, when in some way the rear trucks left the track, the violent jerk throwing him off.  The train was going about 25 miles per hour at the time.  Mr. Betebenner is an old conductor on the road, his run being 39-40, between Ravenna [NE] and Seneca [NE].  Many Alliance people know Mr. Betebenner as he formerly lively [lived] at Alliance.

32.   Find A Grave database and images ( accessed 15 Nov 2016), memorial page for  George William Betebenner (1867-1918), Find A Grave Memorial no 106317936, Grand Island Cemetery, Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska. 

33.   Find A Grave database and images (; accessed 15 Nov 2016), memorial page for Julia E. Betebenner (1868-1959), Find A Grave Memorial no 142991050, Glen Haven Memorial Park, Sylmar, Los Angeles County, California. 

34.   The Mason City Globe-Gazette, J. P. Lynch, 72, Dies Following Illness in Home, Mason City, IA, April 5, 1937.

35.   Find A Grave database and images (; accessed 15 Nov 2016), memorial pages for Joseph P. (1865-1937)and Hannah K. Lynch (1872-1970), Find A Grave Memorial nos. 6526342 and 6526343, Elmwood Saint Joseph Cemetery, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa.