The Disappearing Brown

Edward Brown (1819-1906)

My second Brown sibling who drove me to distraction was Edward. He was born 6 Oct 1819 in Suffolk, England, and arrived in 1835 with his family. His birth date came from his obituary;1 I have not yet located a birth or christening record for him. He married Ann Burnett (1819-2 Jun 1897) on 1 Jun 1839 (date and maiden name from his obit). Several trees state that Ann’s parents were William and Rachel (Durrant) Burnett, but I’ve found no real evidence of that. There are numerous Ann Burnetts born 1819-1820 in England. I’ll check the image of her death record when in Salt Lake City to see if it provides any other information, but until someone comes up with a definitive record from New York, I’ll leave that block empty.

The Edward Brown family pulled a great disappearing act. I could not locate Edward between the 1835 passenger list and the 1900 Census.2 I could not locate his son Edward A. after 1868 when he signed his grandmother’s death certificate. There were death dates for Edward and Ann on several online trees and, as usual, not a single damn source for the information. Using the dates online, I went in search of death records and obituaries. I first found Ann’s death record and a death notice, but it provides no help with her parents.3Edw Ann 3 Jun 1897 Thu BDE p7 c2Ann (Burnett) Brown was interred on 5 Jun 1897 in Cypress Hills Cemetery in Sec 4, Lot 605, grave 4. The plot was owned by John Mason, father-in-law of Ann’s daughter Elizabeth (Brown) Mason.

In the end it really only took two records to open up the Edward Brown family for me.

First: Edward’s 1906 obituary. At the time of his death, Edward was living with his daughter Elizabeth Mason (born in Canada)- she was the only child that I knew at the time.Edw 12 Apr 1906 Thur BDE p3c1 The obituary provided the name of two sons: Edward (the doctor previously mentioned) and Dr. Charles B. Brown of Sycamre, Ill. Charles is well documented in Illinois records, including a death record which named his birth location of Drummondville, Ontario, Canada.4 This was the first time I had a province to work with.

Second: In the will of Edward’s sister, Mary Anne Walder Brown Pringle, she named niece Hattie L. Knox.5

Fourth, I give to my niece Hattie Knox in trust for her father (my brother) Edwin[sic] Brown one half of all my Real Estate and at his death the same shall go to my niece Hattie Knox.”

Finally with another lead to chase, I worked on Hattie (Harriet) and found she was born in Canada in 1860. With several dozen Edward Browns in Canada in 1861, it was much easier to search for a one-year-old child named Harriet Brown. Thanks to these records, I was able to name the previously unnamed daughters from the obituary and discovered two more children who were already deceased at the time of Edward’s death.

Edward’s first three children were born in New York. In 1846, he moved to Canada where he was found on the 1861 Census of Canada in Stanford, Welland, Canada West [Ontario] with his family.6 His profession was as a baker, which was unique enough to help when tracking him. He and Ann are on the 1871 Census of Canada in Woodhouse, Norfolk South, Ontario, along with four of their children: Charles, Annie, Emma, and Hattie. They state their religion as Presbyterian.7 Edward and Ann returned to the US and lived for a time in Rhode Island before returning Brooklyn.8 He lived with daughter Elizabeth (Brown) Mason in Brooklyn after his wife Ann’s death. He died 6 Oct 1906 in Brooklyn9 and was buried in Cypress Hills Cemetery in the Brown-Frith family plot in grave 17 with his younger brother Marshall.10

His 8 children as I currently know them:
1. Dr. Edward A. Brown, MD was born in 1840 in New York. He was mentioned in his father’s obit as being an early graduate of Long Island College Hospital. I found him listed as alumni in a history of the college. He signed Elizabeth Heriott Brown’s death certificate in 1868 and appears in the 1868 and 1869 Brooklyn City Directory as a physician with an address on Skillman. He died in January 1871 at the age of 30 in Woodhouse, Norfolk South, Ontario, Canada, from consumption.11 His profession is listed as surgeon.

2. Robert S. Brown was born Jun 1843 in New York. He appears on the 1861 Canadian Census in Stanford, Welland, Canada West with his parents and siblings. In the same location as his parents in 1871, there is a Robert S. Brown with wife Eliza and son Charles.12 I believe this is our Robert based on his U.S. birth and his occupation as baker, but I found no marriage record and both Eliza and Charles seem to disappear after this record. I don’t know if they divorced or if his wife and child died. Robert next appears on the 1880 Federal Census in Canadaigua, Ontario, New York with wife Jane (Cross) Limmer Brown (1846-1928) and her two children from a previous marriage.13 Based on later records, it appears that he and Jane married in about 1876, but I have not found a marriage record for them in Canada or New York. Both of her children from her previous marriage were born in Canada, and she later states an immigration date to the U.S. of 1876, so it is probable that she and Robert met and married in Canada before he returned to the U.S.14 The family removed to Kansas in the early 1880s and he was next found in Leavenworth in 1885 with Jane and her sons. He was found again in 1895 with wife Jane and their child Lloyd Ellsworth Mitchell Brown (1891-1964).15,16 Robert died 8 Nov 1901 and was buried in Mount Muncie Cemetery, Lansing, Leavenworth, Kansas.17 Jane died 29 Apr 1928 in Peoria, Illinois, and was buried 2 May 1928 in Mount Muncie with Robert.18

3. Josephine W. Brown was born in 1845 in New York. An unsourced file in FamilySearch states her date of birth as 16 June 1845. She was found on the 1861 Canadian Census in Stanford, Welland, Canada West with her family. She married George N. Smith on 23 Jun 1868 in Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.19 George was born in 1844 in Wales, the son of David and Mary (Williams) Smith. They moved first to Wisconsin before settling in Utica, Oneida, New York, where they remained until their deaths. George died in 1883 and Josephine in 1896.20,21 They had 4 known children: Harriet B. b. 1868, Alice C. b 1870, Arthur b.1874, and Josephine b.1877.

4. Dr. Charles Benjamin Brown was born 25 Dec 1847 in Drummondville, Ontario, Canada and died 9 Nov 1928 in Sycamore, DeKalb, Illinois. He was found on the 1861 Canadian Census with his family. He states his immigration year as 1864, but he was on the 1871 Census of Canada with his family, and his stated occupation at that time was dentist. The Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929, states he attended the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine: University of Buffalo School of Medicine, 1876.22 He married Annette Bacon (1850-1915) in about 1877 and relocated to Sycamore, DeKalb, Illinois in 1878 where he remained. According to the article in the paper, they had five children together – I know of four: Stella Brown 1879-1879, Edward B. Brown 1882-1884, Marguerite Brown 1884-1974, and Helen Gertrude Brown 1888-1954.Charles p17 c4

5. Elizabeth Brown was born in Jan 1850 in Ontario, Canada and died 7 May 1908 in Brooklyn.23 She was found on the 1861 Canadian Census in Stanford, Welland, Canada West with her family. She married William Mason (1834-1903) on 18 Jan 1870 in New York.24 The newspaper excerpt stated “Elizabeth, daughter of Edward Brown of Port Dover, Canada.” William Mason (1834-1903) was the son of John Mason and Harriet Ann Bull and was also the nephew of William Mason (1805-1873) who had been married to Edward’s sister Sarah. She stated 1870 as her immigration date on the 1900 census. Elizabeth died 7 May 1908 and was buried in the Mason family plot in Cypress Hills Cemetery. Elizabeth and William had seven known children: Harriet Ann L. 1871-1953, Anna M. 1873-1908, Frederick W. 1875-1900, Edward 1877-1877, Dora G. 1877-?, Nellie Daisy 1879-?, and John D. 1882-1913..

6. Annie S. Brown was born about 1852 in Ontario, Canada. She was found on the 1861 Canadian Census in Stanford, Welland, Canada West with her family. She is on the 1871 Census of Canada (age 19) with her family. I was not able to locate a marriage or death record for Annie. Based on her father’s obituary (4 surviving daughters) I know she is still alive in 1906, but do not know who she married..

7. Emma F. Brown was born about 1856 in Ontario, Canada. She was found on the 1861 Canadian Census in Stanford, Welland, Canada West with her family. She is on the 1871 Census of Canada (age 15) with her family. Once again, I found no marriage or death record for Emma. Based on her father’s obituary (4 surviving daughters) I know she is still alive in 1906, but do not know who she married.

8. Harriet “Hattie” L. Brown was born Apr 1860 in Ontario, Canada, and died 12 May 1956 in Madison, New Haven, Connecticut.25 She was found on the 1861 Canadian Census in Stanford, Welland, Canada West with her family. She is on the 1871 Census of Canada (age 11) with her family. She immigrated to the US in 1880, settling in Brooklyn. On 6 Jan 1884 she married George W. Knox (1854-1935) in Brooklyn26 and they remained there through 1915. By 1920, she and George had relocated to Connecticut along with her son. She was interred in West Cemetery with her husband George.27 She had two known children: Chester A. Knox, 1885-1966, and Emma J. Knox, 1887-?.

Annoyingly, I still don’t know who Annie and Emma married so the most I can say is that they died after 1906.



1. “Edward Brown,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 12 Apr 1906, p. 3, col. 1; digital images(accessed 10 Nov 2015).
2. 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Brooklyn Ward 23, Kings, New York, enumeration district (ED) 386, p. 2A, dwelling 17, family 32, Edward Brown, Oct 1819, 80, England, with daughter Elizabeth Mason; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 17 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 1060.
3. “BROWN-On Wednesday, June 2, ANN BURNETT, wife of Edward Brown.,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 3 Jun 1897, Thursday, p. 7, col. 2; digital images(accessed 17 Nov 2015).
4. “Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947,” database, Ancestry.com (accessed 17 Nov 2015), Chas Benjamin Brown, birth 25 Dec 1847, Drummondville, Ontario, Can, death 9 Nov 1928 Sycamore, DeKalb, Illinois, Physician, Edward Brown, Ann Burnette, Sussex England, spouse Annette Bacon.
5. Mary Ann Walder Brown, Will dated 3 Dec 1901, Probate 16 Nov 1904 New York Wills and Probate Records, Ancestry.com; digital images(accessed 17 Nov 2015).
6.1861 census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Stamford, Welland, Canada West, Canada, district 5, Township of Stamford, p. 57, Brown: Edward 42, Ann 48, Edward A. 21, Robert S. 17, Josephine 16, Charles B. 14, Elizabeth 12, Annie E. 9, Emma F. 5, Harriet I. 1; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com (accessed 10 Nov 2015).
7 1871 census of Canada, district 11, sub-district d, Woodhouse, Norfolk South, Ontario, p. 53, dwelling 205, family 207, Edward 51 England Baker, Anne 51 England, Charles 23 O Dentist, Annie 19 O, Emma 15 O, Hattie 11 O; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com (accessed 17 Nov 2015).
8. 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, enumeration district (ED) 38, p. 93C, dwelling 145, family 240, Brown, Edward 60 England Carerer, Ann 60 England, Hattie 20 Canada; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 17 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 1212.
9. “New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848,” database, New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1848 (accessed 12 May 2014), Edward Brown, age 86, died 10 Apr 1906, Kings, Cert #7367. Cit. Date: 12 May 2014.
10. Cypress Hills Cemetery (Brooklyn, Queens, New York), Plot Records, Edward Brown, interred 12 Apr 1906, grave 17, Sec 2, Lot 161, Brown-Frith family plot.
11. 1871 census of Canada, district 11 Div 01, sub-district D, Woodhouse, Norfolk South, Ontario, Canada, p. 1 Death Returns, Line 20, Brown, Dr. E.A., 30, Presb, born United States, Occupation Surgeon, Unmarried, died January 1871, Consumption; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com (accessed 10 Nov 2015).
12. 1871 census of Canada, district 19 division 02, sub-district J, Stamford, Welland, Ontario, p. 88, dwelling 337, family 353, Brown, Robert 27, US Presby, Baker; Eliza 28 Ont Presby; Charles 5 Ont Presby; RG 31; digital images, Ancestry.com (accessed 12 Nov 2015).
13. 1880 U.S. census, population schedule, Canandaigua, Ontario, New York, enumeration district (ED) 118, p. 93B, dwelling 425, family 468, Brown, Robert S 37 Baker NY, Jane C 37 England, William and George L Limmer; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T9, roll 908
14. 1900 U.S. census, population schedule, Kansas City Ward 8, Jackson, Missouri, enumeration district (ED) 80, p. 7B, dwelling 86, family 169, Brown, Robert S. Jun 1843 56 m24 NY Baker, Jane Oct 1847 52 m24, 3/2 children England, imm 1876, Lloyd E.M. Jun 1889 10 Kansas; digital images, Ancestry (accessed 12 Nov 2015); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623, roll 863.
15. Kansas, population schedule, Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kansas, p. 1, KS 1885 72, dwelling 8, family 10, line 16, Brown, Robert S 40 Baker, J.C. 37, Limmer W.L 19, Limmer Geo L 17; digital images, Ancestry(accessed 12 Nov 2015).
16. Kansas, population schedule, Leavenworth, Leavenworth, Kansas, p. 4 Roll v115 76, dwelling 573, family 585, line 3, Brown, R.S. 52, Lloyd 6, J.C.54; digital images, Ancestry.com (accessed 12 Nov 2015).
17. “Leavenworth County Cemetery/Burial Database,” database, Leavenworth County.org ( accessed 12 Nov 2015), Brown, Robert S. 1844-8 Nov 1901, Mount Muncie Cemetery.
18. “Death Index,” database, Ancestry (accessed 10 Nov 2015), Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947, Jane Cross Brown, 10 Dec 1848,, 29 Apr 1927, Peoria, Illinois, Burial 2 may 1928, Leavenworth, Kansas, FHL Film 1614420
19. “Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1801-1928,” database, Ancestry.com (accessed 10 Nov 2015), 23 Jun 1868, Josephine N. Brown, 23 US, George N. Smith 24 Wales.
20. Find A Grave, digital images (findagrave.com: accessed 12 Nov 2015), Memorial #112030890, George W. Smith, b. 1843 d. 1883, Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, Oneida, New York.
21. Find A Grave, digital images (findagrave.com: accessed 12 Nov 2015), Memorial #112030775, Josephine W. Brown Smith b. 1845, d. 1896, Forest Hill Cemetery, Utica, Oneida, New York.
22. Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929; Charles B. Brown; JAMA Citation 91:1911
23. “New York Death Records,” database (accessed 17 Nov 2015), Cert #9329, Elizabeth Mason b. 1850, died 7 May 1908 Brooklyn, 58, Widowed, buried 10 May 1908 Cypress Hills, Edward Brown, Ann Burnett.
24. New York Marriage Newspaper Extracts, 1801-1880, (Barber Collection), “Rev Hiram Hutchings: William Mason of City to Elizabeth Brown dau Edward of Port Dover Canada,” Tuesday, 18 Jan 1870; digital images(accessed 17 Nov 2015).
25. “Connecticut Death Index, 1949-2012,” database, Ancestry.com (accessed 19 Nov 2015), Harri L. Knox, death 12 May 1956, age 96, spouse Geor, State File #08188.
26. “New York, New York, marriage Indexes 1866-1937,” database(accessed 19 Nov 2015), Certificate #53, 6 Jan 1884 Hattie Brown and George W. Knox.
27. Find A Grave, digital images (findagrave.com : accessed 19 Nov 2015), Memorial #130490469, Harriet L. Knox, Apr 1860 Ontario Canada, 12 May 1956, Madison, New Haven, Connecticut, West Cemetery.

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