The Strangers in the Family Plot

Who the hell are these people?

As noted in this narrative there are several people in the Brown family plot who I have not yet been able to definitively identify as family members. However, I am convinced they are “related” to the Brown-Frith family in some way.

1. Robert Smith, 32 years, interred 14 Jan 1849, grave 15. He was interred the same day as Sarah Brown Mason and her brothers John and George. While I have been unable to find any specific information on him, his burial information would indicate a date of birth about 1813-1817. While it is possible that he’s a nephew or cousin, the fact that the family moved him here at the same time they moved their own children indicates a very close relationship. With such a common name and no additional information, Robert’s full identity and relationship to the family may be lost to time.

2. Ellen Winn, 76 years, interred 15 Jul 1860, grave 14. Ellen b. 1784 and William Winn b. 1781 arrived from England with William and Frances (Brown) Frith on 14 Jul 1837. William Winn died between 1840-1850 but I have not yet located a death record or interment for him. Ellen appears on the 1850 Federal Census with Sarah and Richard Young (relationship unknown) in Williamsburgh, Brooklyn, Kings. However, after William Frith died in 1855, Ellen took in their three youngest children. Frances and William Frith had named their daughter Susan Winn Frith (1839) and another daughter Ellen (1844) and the Winn/Wynn name appeared in two more generations of Frith descendants. Ellen died on 13 Jul 1860 in Brooklyn.

Frances’s mother Elizabeth was still alive and living with Frances’s sister Mary Ann when both Frances and William passed, leaving several minor children. Why would the children live with Ellen instead of Frances’s mother and sister? My best guess is that Ellen Winn is a sister or sister-in-law to either William or Elizabeth (Heriott) Brown or to William Frith’s parents. I’ll attempt to locate a marriage record for William Winn and Ellen to get her maiden name, and I’ll also check the Frith, Brown, and Heriott records for an Ellen. My other hope is to locate guardianship records for the children as they may name a relationship to Ellen.

3. William Norwich, 61 years (b. abt 1805), interred 2 Mar 1860 – I have not been able to determine his relationship – if any to William and Elizabeth (Heriott) Brown or to William and Frances (Brown) Frith. I have managed to establish a timeline:

1805 – Born 16 Oct 1805 to Samuel & Elizabeth (Measures) Norwich in Leicester, Leicester, England. Baptism: 23 Oct 1805 at St Margaret, Leicester, Leicester, England.
1835 – 17 Mar – New York, Arrives alone aboard the Hannibal, age 26, occupation: machine maker.
1840 – He was not definitively found on the 1840 Federal Census, however there is a Henry Norwich in Ward 11 and two males one 30-39, one 40-49.
1850 – Brooklyn. Age 40 (b.1810), living next door to Mary Anne Brown Pringle.
1852 – Married Maria (Unknown) in New York
1853 – 20 Apr, Infant of Mr. Norwich, age 0y, 2m, 5d, buried in the Brown-Frith family plot
1855 – NY State Census stated age 44 (b.1811), a gas fitter, wife Maria, b.1810 NY. Also in the home is a niece Mary C. McCaner b.1847 NY and nephew Wm McCaner b.1852 NY. On the 1855 NY Census William states that he’s been a resident for 20 years (matching his arrival date of 1835) and that he’s a Naturalized Citizen.
1860 – New York Ward 21, stated age 51 b.1809 and Maria is 52. Also in the home is Wm Norwich, 32, b.1828 NY as is nephew Wm McCann b. 1852. No relationship is given, but Wm Norwich, 32, cannot be our William’s son since our William didn’t arrive until 1835. He’s most likely a nephew.
1865 – NY State Census – Not yet located.
1866 – From the New York Herald, Friday, 2 Mar 1866, “NORWICH – On Wednesday, February 28, William Norwich, a native of Leicestershire, England, aged 61 years. Friends and relatives are invited to attend the funeral from 794 Third avenue, this (Friday) afternoon, at one o’clock. English papers please copy.”

So… who are they and why are they in the family plot?

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