Monday, January 7, 2019

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: FIRST Birthday of the Century

Amy Johnson Crow challenges us to remember our ancestors and their families through this task: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.  I completed '52 Ancestors' in 2014 & here I go again. This post is in response to that challenge. The topic for the first week is ‘FIRST’.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: First Birthday of the Century

Mary Polly Spurlock Brown

My 3rdGreat Grandmother
1 January 1800 GA – 12 January 1888 MS

Mary is appropriate to be FIRST in this challenge because she was born on the FIRST day of 1800; the FIRST day of the new year and the FIRST day of a new century. She is the FIRST name on the Family Calendar that I make each year. 

I know very little about her. I have never been able to uncover the names of her parents or siblings. I only know her in relation to her husband, Edward Stewart Brown and their five children. Here is their story.




Edward Stewart Brown was born 26 July 1806 in Liberty County, Georgia. He was the son of Moses Brown and Sarah (Robertson) Brown and the grandson of Edward and Jemimiah Brown. By the time he was six years old his father had moved the family from Georgia, through the Creek Nation’s Territory to Marion County, Mississippi.
            When he was a boy he inherited a portion of his maternal grandmother’s estate. Then he inherited a portion of his maternal uncle’s estate. Unfortunately there are not details of the contents of those estates. 
            About 1835 Edward married Mary Polly Spurlock who was born 1 January 1800 in Oglethorpe, Georgia. Together they lived in Amite County, Mississippi where, in 1836, Mary gave birth to three children. On 26 January 1836 she gave birth to her first child, Allen Moses Brown. On 15 December 1836 she gave birth to twin girls, Martha M. Brown and Mary Magdelene Brown. They would later have two more children.
            Edward purchased 153.39 acres of land along Robinson Creek on 10 November 1840.[i]He was able to purchase the land because of the Cash Entry Act of 24 April 1820.[ii]

The Cash Entry Act of April 24,1820 (3 stat. 566) allowed the outright purchase of federal land. It also reduced the minimum size of the tract from 160 to 80 acres (647,000 to 324,000 m²). Additionally, the act required a down payment of $100 and reduced the price from $1.65 to $1.25 per acre.[iii]

The certificate for the land patent was signed by President Martin Van Buren.[iv]The certificate describes the location of the land.

For the East – half of the North East quarter and the West half of the South East quarter of Section seventeen in Township three of Range five East, in the District of Lands subject to sale at Washington, Mississippi, containing one hundred and fifty three acres and thirty nine hundredths of an acre according to the official plat of the survey of the said Lands, returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General which said tract has been purchased by Edward Stewart Brown.[v]

At the same time Edward purchased 118.33 acres, located in section nine of Washington, Amite, Mississippi.[vi]Looking at a map shows Edward’s plots of land are near each other. Drawing a diagonal line from southwest to northeast would connect the four plots. Today State Highway 569 comes close to those properties. [vii]
In 1845 and 1853 Edward S. Brown was in the Mississippi Census. In 1845 there were seven males and four females in the family and in 1853 there were three males and four females in the family.[viii]The 1850 U. S. Census details the members of this family in Amite County. Edward was a 46-year-old farmer whose real estate was valued at $720. Mary was 47 years old. By that time Edward and Mary had five children who were all living at home: Allen Moses Brown, Mary Magdelene Brown, Martha M. Brown, Adeline Julia (Brown) Westmoreland and James Pascal Brown.[ix]
            Edward S. Brown died 7 May 1856 in Mississippi. In 1860 his widow, Mary was still in Amite County. Both her sons were with her. Allen Moses Brown and his wife, Emmaline, were both living there. Mary was shown as the head of the household with the real estate valued at $2,000 and her personal estate was valued at $9,000. Allen was a planter whose personal estate was valued at $600.[x]
Tragically, Mary outlived her children. In 1862 James was killed in the Civil War.[xi]Adeline Julia (Brown) Westmoreland died 8 August 1864. Allen Moses Brown died between 1870 and 1880. [It is unknown when twins, Mary and Martha, died.] Where Mary lived after 1860 is unknown. Mary died 12 January 1888 in Osyka, Pike, Mississippi.[xii]







[i]Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Amite County, Mississippi. Deluxe. Norman, Oklahoma: Arphax Publishing Co., 2006.
[ii]US Dep. Of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate #4522, Accession MS0440.055, 10 November 1840; glorecords,blm.gov; Edward S. Brown in Amite Co., MS.
[iii]US Dep. Of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate #4522, Accession MS0440.055, 10 November 1840; glorecords,blm.gov; Edward S. Brown in Amite Co., MS.
[iv]US Dep. Of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate #4522, Accession MS0440.055, 10 November 1840; glorecords,blm.gov; Edward S. Brown in Amite Co., MS.
[v]US Dep. Of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate #4522, Accession MS0440.055, 10 November 1840; glorecords,blm.gov; Edward S. Brown in Amite Co., MS.
[vi]US Dep. Of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate #4523, Accession MS0440.056, 10 November 1840; glorecords,blm.gov; Edward S. Brown in Amite Co., MS.
[vii]Boyd, Gregory A. Family Maps of Amite County, Mississippi. Deluxe. Norman, Oklahoma: Arphax Publishing Co., 2006.
[viii]MS State and Territorial Census Collection, 1792 - 1866, microfilm V229.1; ancestry.com; Edward S Brown in Amite Co 1845 & 1853.
[ix]1850 US Census, MS, Amite Co; Roll M432-368.  Line 30. E S Brown family.
[x]1860 US Census, MS, Amite, Liberty; M653-577, National Archives. Mary Brown and children. 
[xi]Bradshaw, Jim. ‘Battle of Baton Rouge’, KnowLA, Encyclopedia of Louisiana; knowla.org.
[xii]Criminger, Adrianne Fortenberry, The Fortenberry Families of Southern Mississippi(Easley, SC: Southern Historical Press, Inc., 1984).

5 comments:

  1. Good choice! I used to follow a genealogy blogger Denise Spurlock, but she died several years ago. Life in the Past Lane is still online - wonder if there is a connection to your Mary.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by & for that suggestion.

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  2. Quite fitting interpretation of "first" and so sorry that Mary outlived her children!

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  3. My son is a New Year's baby, but not first of a century. That would be a fun title to own.

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