Friday, June 27, 2014

NGS Exhibit Hall Purchase: Marion County, Mississippi, Miscellaneous Records

The Exhibit Hall was filled with genealogy research tools, tips and aids. I wish I had had
more time to explore there. The three days I was there was not enough to hear all the sessions and still explore the Exhibit Hall. When I found this book at Southern Historical Press and saw the author I picked it up quickly. If E. Russ Williams has written a book that includes an area where your family lived you will want to read it.



Williams, E. R. (2002). Marion County, Mississippi, Miscellaneous Records. Greenville, S.C.: Southern Historical Press. (Original work published 1986).

Containing Orphans Court Records; 
Wills and Estates, 1812 – 1859; 
Deeds, 1812 – 1840;
Territorial and Federal census Records and Mortality Schedules; 
Old Road Books;
1813 Lawrence County Tax Lists


This book has many references to my Brown family. Moses Brown, 1777 – 1838, was my 4th great grandfather in my father’s direct line. He married Sarah Robertson, daughter of Christian Robertson.[1] They lived in Georgia but after her death in 1810 he moved his children and his mother in law to Mississippi.[2] We find him there as early as the 1813 MS Census for Marion County. Some of the collected data in this book is a repetition of data I already had and some of it is new. I can’t say I understand all the implications. It looks like Christian Robertson, who I originally thought was a man, was Moses’ mother in law and she had mental health issues. In 1819 Moses was, understandably, appointed her guardian. In 1820 he made an inventory of her estate [which I would love to track down]. 

The next year Moses was appointed guardian of Edward S, James G & Sarah Brown, his own children. [Oldest daughter, Christina was married.] Isn’t a father automatically the guardian of his own children? Is it because they inherited from the estate of Christian Robertson? Each year he reported to the courts on the account of that estate. Somewhere between 1819 & 1823 she died and Moses gave a final accounting, showing that he owed the estate $109. 

Then, in 1824, William Fortenberry, son in law of Moses, became the guardian of Edward S Brown. Why was Moses no longer the guardian of his own son?

These are the entries from the Marion County Book that relate to the Browns:

1819. The sheriff of Marion County is ordered to summon 12 men to examine the intellectual ability and mental capacity of Christian Robertson. Witness by Honorable Benjamin Lee, county judge of the Orphan Court, April, 1819. The men appointed for above: John Warren Senior, John Warren Junior, John Smart, Solomon Warren, Daniel Buckhalter, Fleming Tynes, Thomas Smith, Thomas Futch, Samuel Prekins, William Warren, Philomon Terrell, Robert Stacy. Recorded May 14, 1819. Orphan Court Record Book A, page 88.

Bond: Moses Brown, James Stewart, and Pilomon Terrell are bound unto Benjamin Lee, county judge of the Orphan Court, in the sum of $10,000. Dated June 28, 1819. Brown was appointed guardian to Christian Robertson, non compitus mentus. Recorded July 3, 1819 by James Phillips, recorder of Orphan Court.Orphan Court Record Book A, page 89.

Ruling by the twelve select men that Christian Robertson was a lunatic. Moses Brown was appointed guardian. Dated June 28, 1819. Recorded June 28, 1819. Orphan Court Record Book A, page 90.


1820. Inventory of the estate of Christian Robertson, a person of non compus mentus (including slave and other property). Taken by Moses Brown, guardian. He swears it is truthful on the 28th day of August, 1820. Recorded June 14, 1821. Orphan Court Record Book A, page 110.

1821. Edward S Brown, James T Brown and Sarah Brown are declared minors. Guardianship granted to Moses Brown and he is to make issue of their estates. Dated September 24, 1821, recorded September 24. Orphan Court Record Book A, page 136.

Bond: Moses Brown, John Warren, Junior and William Fortenberry are bound to Ransom M Collins, county judge of the Orphan Court, for the sum of $5000. Dated September 24, 1821. Moses Brown is to be the guardian to Edmond S Brown, James G Brown, Sarah Brown. Recorded September 24, 1821. Orphan Court Record Book A, page 136 & 7.

1822. Account of the estate of Christian Robertson by Moses Brown, guardian. Dated September 28, 1822; recorded October 29, 1822. Orphan Court Book A, page 212 – 213.

1824. Account of the estate of Edward S Brown, James Brown, Sarah Brown, minors, with Moses Brown, guardian, for year 1822. Recorded January 28, 1824. Orphan Court Record Book A, page 266 – 267.

Ordered that the Inventory of the estate of Christian Robertson as rendered in by Moses Brown her guardian be received and that the same be committed to record. [between 1819 – 1823]

c1824. Inventory of estate of Edward S Brown, James G Brown, and Sarah Brown, minors, children of Moses Brown, by William Fortenberry, guardian. Orphan Court Record Book A, page 310 – 311. [c 1825]

Noble W Harris presented a will importing to be the last will and testament of Christian Robertson deceased and Moses Brown one of the subscribing witnesses thereto came into court and being examined on oath said that he fully believed and was confident that the said Christian Robertson at the time of making said will was not of sound mind and memory and incapacitated to transfer property by will: on which testimony the Court rejected said will. [between 1819 – 1823]

The final account current on the Estate of Christian Robertson, late a lunatic, of this county with Moses Brown, her guardian - - Having been examined audited and reported for allowance at this term and due proof of notice being given by the guardian as required by law - - and no exception being made thereto - - It is therefore Decreed by the court that the said current account be finally allowed, and that this Decree together with said account current be made a part of the Record of Guardianship - - and that said Guardian stand chargeable to said Estate in the sum of one hundred and nine dollars Seventy one, or shown by striking balance on said account. [between 1819 – 1823]

1824. Bond: William Fortenberry, John Smart, Isaac Fortinberry, and Ansel Powell are bound to James Phillips for 41333.33. Dated September 27, 1824. Wm. Fortenberry is guardian to Edward Brown. Recorded December 24, 1824. Orphan Court Book A, page 298.



This volume of miscellaneous records includes other Brown family information like tax lists and records of cattle marks and brands.

It also includes information on my Brumfield & Fortenberry families. Your family might be in these records also. Pick up a copy and check the index.


[1] Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry. The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi. South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.


[2] Potter, Dorothy Williams. Passports of Southeastern Pioneers 1770 - 1823. Reprint. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 1990.

3 comments:

  1. I swear Colleen -- you're killing me!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I see you found a "real treasure" also.

    ReplyDelete