Friday, March 30, 2007

Robert the Bruce

Last week I found myself in a most unusual situation. My grades were calculated and entered into the district system and my students were diligently (well, most of them anyway) working on the latest project and I had NOTHING TO DO! Yikes! After just one day of sitting and staring at them as they worked I realized that if I had to go through two more days of this boredom I would lose my mind. So, I went over to the abbreviated copy of my family history that is on the wall and picked out an unusual name to search on

"William Fleming BATES" looked like it would do the job.

Now, keep in mind that twenty-five years ago I set out to document my children's heritage back to the immigrant ancestor on every line. It's been quite an adventure as, it turns out, our ancestors were very early immigrants to America. In fact, we have early Cherokee ancestry which means VERY early immigrant ancestors. As I find immigrant ancestors, I stop working on that line and move to another. William Fleming BATES was born in 1802 in South Carolina, and it was his gggggreat-grandfather, John Isaac BATES, who immigrated to the colonies sometime before 1625. It was William Fleming BATES' ggreat-grandfather who married Susannah FLEMING and it his her line that connects to that of the Stewart kings of Scotland and through them to Robert the Bruce.

As always, it ain't real until it's documented, but how interesting this is! Apparently the Kings James were personable men who preferred the arts to the arts of war, which certainly can be said of my sons. What fascinates me the most, though, is that AGAIN my mother's and father's ancestry cross way back when. As I was reading and recording information about the Stewart line I started recognizing place names and, upon checking my records, found that my father's CARRUTHERS ancestors were in the same places at the same times as my mother's FLEMING ancestors. This isn't the first time this has happened; one of my father's ancestors was sister to one of my mother's in the 17th century.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Thomas Jefferson Brown

The first thing I did when I decided to pursue the hobby of genealogy was to take a class through the local Rec & Park District. "Start with what you know," was rule one, Teacher shared. "Collect what's already been done, then document, document, document." It's not real until you document. The more common the name, the more challenging the task.

One of the names I'm working with is Brown.

My documentation is fine through Charles Monroe Brown and I'm confident of the date of his father's death in 1923, Mt. Ida, Montgomery County, Arkansas. It's the rest of his father's information that I'm working on now.

Thomas Jefferson "Jeff" Brown was, according to a family member story published in the Montgomery County, Arkansas, history, born in 1838 in Shelly (Sevier) County, Tennessee. His father was also Thomas Jefferson Brown, his mother Mary Darcas and his sister Susan Darcas Brown. He is reported to have left Tennessee from Knoxville in 1854. A group of immigrants, including the Brown family, moved from Tennessee to Arkansas apparently pausing long enough for Jeff's father (also reportedly named Thomas Jefferson Brown) to die and be buried in the Mansfield, Arkansas cemetery.

Now, I haven't actually been to the cemetery in Mansfield, Arkansas. But someone who has posted their findings on one of the internet genealogy message boards. No Thomas Brown buried there in or around 1854. Hmmm...

I purchased one of the LDS CDs (a bargain) and found a pedigree that included my Browns and they were linked to the line of Henry Stevenson Brown, a Texas pioneer. Unfortunately, there were no documentary citations so the information can only be considered a clue to be researched. If the link proves out, however, there is a problem with the story that Thomas Jefferson Brown, Sr., died in Mansfield, AR, in 1854. According to a biography of Henry Stevenson Brown published in a 1925 magazine article, his son Thomas Jefferson Brown was presumed murdered in New Orleans in 1839.