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Tag Archives: Martha Letitia Brown

My Nixon Heritage

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Historical Marker at Squaw Creek Cemetery, Doss, Texas

Francis Marion “Frank” Nixon was born approximately 1769 in North Carolina and died 1864 in Franklin County, Arkansas.  He married Catherine Elliott February 24, 1798 in Madison County, Kentucky.

Frank chose a novel way of decorating his primitive cabin on Swan Creek, south of the present Athens in Limestone County Alabama.  He stuffed the entrails of a bear he had killed and draped these adornments in “graceful festoons around the inner walls of his house.  To relieve the monotony of these ornaments he interspersed them with nice pods of red pepper,” stated R. A. McClellan.

Frank Nixon was my Fourth Great-Grandfather.  I *think* that Frank Nixon’s parents were born in Ireland and he had a brother named Adam; however, I have no definite proof of that.

Catherine Elliott’s father was Samuel Elliott.

From the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions: “4:301 — Catherine Elliot Orphan of Samuel Elliot decd, 2, bound to Joshua Pain until she is 18, sd Master to comply with the Law in that Case.”

Almedia Nixon (daughter of Francis Marion Nixon and Catherine Elliott) married James B. Caldwell August 29, 1825 in Shelby County, Alabama.

Their son, Joshua Caldwell, was my great-great grandfather and he and Sarah Alexander’s son James Martin “Bud” Caldwell settled in New Mexico with his wife Martha Letitia Brown Caldwell.

And here I am – in Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas – with family scattered hither and yon!

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