©2001, 2002, 2003 Nicole Carr
Descendants of John Brown and Jane Smiley
Related surnames (Either directly or indirectly):
Beers, Bliven, Brayton, Dimit, Lockwood, Loffer, Gilliland, Godfrey, Grafius, Hedges, Houtz, Lewis, Mahurin, Miller, Montgomery, Morse, Reed, Reeder, Smiley, Smith, Spire, Stearley, Van Vleet, Yates, and more.
Brown is one of the most common surnames in the English-speaking world. Among the light-skinned Anglicans, anyone with darker skin, hair or eyes or even a tendency toward brown clothing, were described that way, and consequently caught on as a surname.
The first, or oldest Brown in my tree is John, born about 1822 in Hamilton Township, Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada. He married Jane Smiley around 1845 in Hamilton Township. She was born between 1820 and 1825 in Ireland. John and Jane had 7 children:
Sometime between 1851 and 1854, the Brown family moved from Ontario to Clinton County, Iowa. In the Canadian Census in 1851, they still lived in Hamilton Township. William John's death certificate states that he was born in Iowa in 1855, and even if that is incorrect, the family appears in the 1856 Iowa State Census in the Elk River Township of Clinton County.
John and Jane were living in separate houses by the 1880 census, both listed as divorced. John was living as a boarder in the Mack household, and Jane was living with William, Christina, and Ellen 2 houses away. Although they weren't living together when they died, they are buried together in Haven Cemetery, Tama County, Iowa. Jane died February 3, 1881, and John died July 19, 1888.
John and Lillie (Spire) Brown
Picture courtesy Rob Bennett.
John and Lillian were married October 31, 1882 in Tama County. They had 7 children:
Fred and is an enigma wrapped in a mystery. All I know of him is that he existed. He is mentioned in his mother’s and brother Martin’s obituaries. I don't know if he married, had children, or where he died. I have heard he lived in both Shelton and Kearney, Nebraska. In Martin’s obituary, he lived in Kimball. He may be buried in one of those cemeteries. William John and Mariah Lillian farmed for a time in the Shelton area of Buffalo County, probably until their children were grown, then moved north to Faulk County, South Dakota. That is where John passed away of pneumonia in 1911. Lillie moved back to Nebraska, living in Shelton, until a fall broke her hip in September of 1947. She died in October, at her daughter Wilda's home near Denman, Nebraska. They are both buried in Riverside Cemetery in Gibbon, Nebraska.
Martin married Mary Ellen Lockwood in 1905 and had 10 children.
Those children are:
Martin farmed around the Gibbon, Nebraska area for about 40 years, until Mary Ellen was diagnosed with cancer and died April 19, 1942. Sometime later, he moved out to Oregon where 3 of his sons, Everett, Jack, and Dale, and his daughter, Doris, were and a short while later Clifford joined them. Martin died in 1957 in Oregon. According to his daughter-in-law, Everett's wife, Rachel, Martin, Everett, Rachel, and their kids had just finished supper, and Martin sat down in the recliner in the living room, where he had a heart attack.
The Brown sisters, taken the day of their mother's funeral. L to R:
Doris VanVleet, Stella Smith, Gladys Loffer, Ethel Miller, and Phyllis Stearley.
Howard and Wilda Reeder owned and operated the grain elevator in Denman, Nebraska for many years, and then turned it over to their son, Eldon. They had another son, Leonard, who was killed in Europe in World War II. I believe they also had 2 daughters, Corinne, who married an Ed Mahurin, and Beulah, who married Arnold Brayton. Howard, Wilda, and Eldon are buried in the Shelton Cemetery.
Walter and Dora lived in Gibbon all of their lives. They never had children.
Christina and George Beers spent most of their married lives in the Denver area. They had 11 children, and were both buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheatridge, Colorado.
George never married.
Loretta married Joseph Reed in Wood River, Nebraska, and their first 3 children were born there. In early 1922 they moved out to the Greeley, Colorado area, where they spent the rest of their lives. They are buried in Linn Grove Cemetery in Greeley along with their oldest son, Marion.
Many more photos, courtesy of Loretta and Joseph’s daughter-in-law, Audrey, can be found in the photo album section.
For more on the Browns, visit my Family Tree Database, or email me directly.