Benjamin Brown of Townsend, MA

Ancestors and Descendants of Benjamin Brown of Townsend, MA

Above is a photo of Benjamin Brown's image on a daguerreotype. Daguerreotypes were used from the mid 1840's to the late 1850's. Benjamin must have been about 60 to 65 years old when this daguerreotype was made.

About Benjamin Brown

“The History of New Ipswich, NH” by Charles Chandler stated that Benjamin was born in Coventry, CT on Feb. 1, 1787 although no vital record of his birthplace has been found and other information suggests he may have been born in Massachusetts. Also stated was that his parents were Benjamin Brown and Jerusha Edwards (of Coventry, CT) and his grandparents were Joshua Brown and Prudence Welch. Benjamin married Azubah Searle of Townsend, MA on July 5, 1809. She was the daughter of Samuel Searle and Hannah Butterfield. Benjamin died September 23, 1857 in New Ipswich, NH where his son Benjamin lived. They had eight children all born in Townsend:
1. William born September 10, 1809, died June 6, 1879, married Rosina Walker
2. Azubah born July 13, 1811, died July 19, 1811
3. Benjamin born April 24, 1813, died March 9, 1899, married Elizabeth Searle
4. Samuel Searles born October 27, 1814, died September 7, 1876, married Angelia Bateman
5. Mary Searles born July 7, 1821, died October 31, 1913, married Moses Taylor
6. Amos Edwards born February 16, 1824, died November 16, 1875, married Salina Shepley
7. Walter born June 6, 1827, died February 13, 1909, married Sally Murray
8. Harriet Atwood born May 6, 1829, died May 2, 1897, married Samuel Sloan.
Note that Amos' middle name is Edwards with an “s” which was his mother's maiden name. This is thought to be circumstantial evidence supporting the statement by Chandler about Benjamin's parents. The “s” was dropped by the time he served in the Union army in the Civil War.

Male Descent Line to Author of This Document

Benjamin Brown born Feb 1, 1787 Coventry, CT married Azuba Searle July 5, 1809
Amos Edwards Brown born February 16, 1824, died November 16, 1875, married Salina Shepley January 11, 1859
Franklin Burton Brown born July 7, 1861, died March 9, 1939, married Mary Jane Stewart April 6, 1887
Amos Franklin Brown born March 6, 1889, died March 7, 1965, married Mary Cosker April 26, 1911
Frank Amos Brown born March 1, 1912, died November 2, 2007, married Gladys Anderson April 26, 1941
Robert Frank Brown

Benjamin Brown's Male Ancestral Line from Immigrant Richard Browne

Richard Browne died April 26, 1661, married Edith Holt then Elizabeth Badger February 16, 1648; came to Newbury, MA on ship Mary and John in spring of 1635
Joshua Browne born Apr 10, 1642 Newbury, MA; died Mar. 20 1729/30 Newbury, MA; married Sara Sawyer Jan 15, 1669
Tristram Brown born Dec 21, 1672 Newbury, MA; died Norwich, CT; married Mary Tilton
Joshua Brown born Mar 27, 1704 Newbury, MA; married Mary Bettys September 23, 1723 Woodstock, CT
Joshua Brown born Jul 21, 1724 Norwich, CT; married Prudence Welch May 20, 1768 Coventry, CT
Benjamin Brown born Nov 5, 1758 Coventry, CT; married Jerusha Edwards
Benjamin Brown born Feb 1, 1787 Coventry, CT; married Azuba Searle July 5, 1809

y-DNA Data Relating to Brown Line

Lack of vital records to support the statement about Benjamin's parentage in Chandler's book was disappointing. The assessment of y-DNA was resorted to. Initially no matches were found so a search for other descendants of Richard Browne was begun. Descendants of two other sons of Tristram were found and their y-DNA was assessed. The two descendants are Gene Brown and Alanson Brown. Gene is reported to be descended from Richard Brown born Oct. 22, 1720 at Norwich, CT. Alanson is reported to be descended from Tristram Brown born March 17, 1702 at Newbury, MA. The y-DNA results are listed under Group No. 71 at The y-DNA results are supportive of the correctness of Benjamin Brown's ancestral line.

Benjamin's Path from Coventry, CT to Townsend, MA

Although Charles Chandler's book states that Benjamin was born in Coventry, CT, that may not be correct. No birthplace was stated on his death certificate. His children mostly stated in the 1880, 1900, and 1910 censuses that he was born in Massachusetts and in the 1850 census he stated he was born in Massachusetts. His father Benjamin (Sr.) and grandfather Joshua are in the 1790 Lanesboro census. The last land record in Coventry, CT was a sale by Joshua on March 24, 1786. So the Browns may have been in Massachusetts when Benjamin was born.

Joshua and Benjamin (Sr.) are listed in the 1790 census in Lanesboro, MA. No other record has been found relating to Lanesboro. On May 10, 1792 Joshua bought land in Benson, VT witnessed by Benjamin Brown (Sr.).

Benjamin Brown (Sr.) bought land on January 21, 1795 in South Hero, VT and he is in the 1800 South Hero census. Benjamin (Sr.) sold his land in South Hero in 1801. No later record of him has been found. Benjamin's son Benjamin settled in Townsend, MA and married Azuba Searle in 1809.

Benjamin's Siblings

The 1800 South Hero, VT census shows two younger males, three younger females, and one female about the same age as Benjamin. No record of these likely siblings has been found.

Benjamin's Possible Uncles

Census data and land and town records for South Hero and Colchester, VT suggest that Joshua Brown likely had three sons besides Benjamin (Sr.). Examination of those records suggests their names were Simeon, Joshua Jr., and Caleb. A Jesse Brown appears in Benson, South Hero and Colchester, VT at the same times as Joshua and his sons. Jesse might be another son or have some Brown family connection.

Coventry, CT vital records state that Joshua and Prudence Brown had a son Simeon born in 1770. Simeon appears in the 1800 South Hero census and the 1820 Colchester, VT census and Colchester town records from 1807 to 1824. He married Lucina Peters daughter of Richard Peters brother of Ebenezer Peters. Ebenezer and son Ebenezer Jr. had numerous land dealings with the Browns in South Hero and Colchester. Simeon was in the 1830 and 1840 Chateaugay, NY censuses. Ebenezer Peters Jr. and wife Prudence lived in nearby Burke, NY. In 1850 Simeon and Lucina were in the Avon, MI census. Simeon was listed as age 74 and born in CT. That 1776 birth date is inconsistent with the Coventry record. Their sons Aaron, Luther and Enoch had settled in Michigan prior to 1850.

Joshua Jr. appears with Joshua in the South Hero, VT 1810 census and then in the 1820 and 1830 Colchester, VT censuses. His wife's name was Patty and names of two sons may have been John F. and William A. Brown based on Colchester land records. Joshua, presumably Jr., was mentioned in Colchester town records from 1821 to 1831. Patty was mentioned in 1832. No later record of them has been found.

Jesse was listed in the 1800 South Hero, VT and 1810 Colchester, VT censuses and mentioned in Colchester town records from 1807 to 1816. A Jesse Brown witnessed a deed in 1794 in Benson, VT. Jesse and a Hannah Brown witnessed a South Hero deed in 1805. Considerable circumstantial evidence suggests that this Jesse and wife Hannah Brown moved to Rockland, Crawford County, PA prior to 1820.

Caleb was mentioned in Colchester, VT town records from 1813 to 1816 along with Joshua, Simeon, Jesse and Joshua Jr. Caleb is a likely son of Joshua. A Caleb Brown who appears in the Parishville, NY censuses from 1820 to 1850 and married Lovisa or Louisa Bucknam or Buckman may be this Caleb but no proof has been found. Caleb had a son Joshua and likely a daughter Prudence whose names are consistent with Joshua and Prudence Brown being Caleb's parents. The 1830 Parishville census lists a male 80-90 and a female 70-80. Interestingly those ages could fit Joshua and Prudence and may explain where they went from South Hero.

Last Update



“The History of New Ipswich, NH” by Charles Chandler
“Benjamin Brown of Townsend, MA and Descendants” by Frank A. Brown
“The Genealogy and History of the Brown/Browne Family of Granville, NY and Granville, WI” by Cynthia Ingalls Brown
United States censuses
Land records of Coventry, CT, Benson, VT, South Hero, VT, Colchester, VT
Town records of Colchester, VT

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