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My Brown Heritage

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Thanks to a Brown cousin, Lily Brown Taylor, I didn’t start from Zero when researching my Brown lineage.

Lily researched, compiled, and shared a great deal of Brown information with her family.  We (speaking of folks like me who are amateur researchers) owe a great deal to those who came before us and I am most grateful for the generosity of folks such as Lily (Brown research); Fran Laird (Williams research) and so many others.  Bless them!

Alex Haley said that “every time you see a little frog on top of a fence post, you know he had some help.”

This old photograph is of my great-grandparents: James Martin “Bud” Caldwell and Martha Letitia Brown Caldwell.  This is obviously a very early photograph of them; they are so young.

I’ve written in earlier posts about my Caldwell lineage.

I did not know my great-grandfather James Martin “Bud” Caldwell; he died before I was born (before my parents were even married).

However, I vaguely remember my great-grandmother, Martha Letitia Brown Caldwell.  In fact, after my birth, my parents and I lived in a small house behind her larger home on the Caldwell  property in Springer, New Mexico.

As a child, I remember visiting Martha Caldwell when we would come to Springer in the summers.  She always wore long dresses and generally had an apron covering her dress.  There were lovely items in her home (which were not to be touched by little fingers, of course).

She raised a family of three daughters (one daughter died as an infant) and six boys.  She had stamina (or grit), intelligence, a stern beauty, and endurance.  I wish I had known her better.  She died when I was thirteen years old and since we didn’t live near her, there were few visits.

Martha Letitia Brown Caldwell died in 1951 at age 91 and was still intellectually sharp and walking each day to retrieve her mail at the post office in Springer, New Mexico.

I came across a short article in the Colfax County Stockman, June 13, 1903 – Hall’s Peak Item – which indicates Martha was her Own Person.

Mrs. J. M. Caldwell and Miss Nichols, teacher at the Vanderitas school, were recently seen drinking in the beauties of Canada Bonita.  It is stated that to sustain them on their homeward journey they also partook of a draught of that ambrosia brewed by cook Woodruff at the mill camp.

Martha Brown Caldwell was the daughter of Alfred (or Alford as was sometimes written) Brown and Louisa Jane Centers.  Her father was born in 1826 in North Carolina and died in 1865 at the end of the Civil War.  He had returned home to see his wife and newborn son, Remington, when he was “waylaid by Union soldiers, fourteen of them, at a ford in a little creek.”  His family heard the fighting from their home.  Alfred never saw his son Remington.

Alfred/Alford Brown was the son of Alfred Brown, Sr. and Narcissus Belk and the grandson of Amos Brown and Elizabeth Brown (who was perhaps a cousin of Amos; I’ve not been able to trace her lineage).

Amos Brown served in the Revolutionary War:

Certificate No. 12625 in N.C. agency
Amos Brown, Macon County, N.C. agency
Private, Capt. Whitners County, Gen. Morgans Regt. in the Georgia Line for 7 1/2 months
paid at rate “25 per annum” to commence 4 March 1831
Certificate issued 15 May 18 (illegible) and sent to L. P. Casson, Pleasant Gardens, Georgia

In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future. ~ Alex Haley

About hopeseguin

Who am I? I'm still discovering just who I am, I suppose. A. Powell Davis writes that "Life is just a chance to grow a soul."

4 responses »

  1. Pingback: Darling Belk – my 4th great-grandfather « AimlessMusings2010

  2. Pingback: My Nixon Heritage « AimlessMusings2010

  3. Marolyn Caldwell

    Our Caldwells passed through Scotland on their way to Ireland. But they came originally from Toulon, France. They were Calvinist Protestants (French Huguenots), which made them vulnerable to religious persecution. They were also merchants, with ships, which was extremely lucky for them. When King Henry II of France issued the edict of Compiegne in 1557, outlawing all Protestants and imposing the death penalty for heresy, among other offences, the Caldwells left and moved to Scotland, where they probably had kin, being traders. They didn’t live there very long. William Caldwell, who was born in Scotland in 1577, died in Ireland in 1664. They were part of a group that rented (because they couldn’t purchase) a “plantation” in Northern Ireland, thereby becoming part of the “troubles” in that troubled country. The Scotch-Irish Caldwells came to this country in about four waves, always traveling in family groups. My own ancestor, William, came to Pennsylvania in the 1740s (after stopping in Wales to marry a cousin, Mary Colwell). In order to pay for their passage, they became indentured servants, and had to work several years to pay off the indenture. Their son, also William, fought in the Revolution in Pennsylvania. He is buried at Carlisle, Kentucky, and a monument has been placed at his grave site. It’s an interesting family. None of them seem to know how to live in one place very long. Several of my ancestors were married to third or fourth degree Caldwell cousins, so the family is STRONG on Caldwell traits! Your Caldwell ancestor sure has the Caldwell eyebrows!

    • My great-aunt Pearl always said that our Culwell/Caldwell family originally came from France – but my research hasn’t gotten past their presence in Virginia. One of my cousins said that HER great-aunt said that our earliest known ancestor Thomas Culwell spoke with such a thick Scottish brogue that sometimes his own children couldn’t understand him.

      Interesting information about your Caldwells, Marolyn.


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