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.