Biography of Thomas & Salley Morris Brown
Descendants of Leonard & Sarah Kimbrough Brown

Their Children:
Biography of Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown was the only child of Leonard and Sarah Kimbrough Brown who did not migrate from Caswell County, NC. He was born around 1775, as indicated by the 1850 Caswell County, NC census, where he claimed to be 75 years of age. He may have actually been born closer to 1769/70, if Leonard Brown's children are listed in birth order in Leonard's will. This notion is further supported by the fact that the 1800 census shows Thomas born 1755 and 1774.
Thomas married Salley Morris on 15-Dec-1795 in Orange County, NC, with Wm. Davis and M. Hart serving as bondsmen. Salley may have been the daughter of Joseph Morris, listed on page 93 of the 1790 Orange County, NC census. Their relationship as father and daughter has not been proven.
Thomas obtained his first 127 acres of land in Caswell County from his father Leonard and his brother Solomon. In Caswell County Deed Book H, pages 134-145, it shows that Solomon Brown and Leonard Brown of Caswell County sold to Thomas Brown of Caswell County, for 5 lbs. Virginia money, 10 acres, the tract where Solomon now lives, and Leonard Brown for love and affection to his son Thomas Brown, ? acres adjacent the aforesaid, all estimated at 127 acres. This was a part of the survey where Leonard lived adjacent to John Rice and William Brown. It was signed 14 Dec 1792. The witnesses were Jethro Brown and William Brown. (Source: Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books, 1777-1817, abstracts by Katharine Kerr Kendall, 1989, p. 141.)
On 13 Nov 1812, Thomas bought an additional 17 acres of land from Anderson Birk of Caswell County, for $29.75, on the south fork of Country Line Creek adjacent his own land. This sale was witnessed by Edmund Hearndon and R. Jones. (Source: Deed Book Q, pages 564-565, Caswell County, North Carolina Deed Books, 1777-1817, abstracts by Katharine Kerr Kendall, 1989, p. 327.)
Thomas was listed in the 1800 Caswell County census with one male (26-45, b. 1755-1774), one female (16-26, b. 1774-1784), and one female (< 10, b. 1790-1800). He is again found in the 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses as follows:

1820 Census, Caswell County, p. 50:
1 male (45 and over, b. bef. 1775) - probably Thomas, b. ca 1770/1775
1 female (16-26, b. 1794-1804) - ?? - may be Salley with wrong age listed.
1 male (10-16, b. 1804-1810) - probably Nathan b. 1809
1 female (10-16, b. 1804-1810) - probably Mary b. 1807
1 male (< 10, b. 1810-1820) - probably James b. 1812
1 female (<10, b. 1810-1820) - probably Sarah b. 1815/16

1830 Census, Caswell County, p. 290:
1 male (50-60, b. 1770-1780) - probably Thomas, b. ca 1770/1775
1 female (50-60, b. 1770-1780) - probably Salley b. 1776
1 male (20-30, b. 1800-1810) - probably Nathan b. 1809; he didn't marry until 1842
1 male (15-20, b. 1810-1815) - probably James, b. 1812
1 male (15-20, b. 1810-1815) - probably Sarah, b. 1815/16

1840 Census, Caswell County, p. 112
Data not yet obtained.

1850 Census, Caswell County, p. 128

The Thomas Brown family attended the Bush Arbor Primitive Baptist Church, where many other friends and relatives also went to worship the Lord. This small Baptist church, located in the southern part of Caswell County, was begun in the early 1800s (before 1806). Mrs. Louise T. Overton, an active Caswell County, NC researcher, has placed a helpful description of Bush Arbor Primitive Baptist Church on the USGenWeb (Caswell County) Archives. She states that there is a large cemetery still being used today with the oldest readable grave marker dated 1807. Many graves have only field rocks to mark them. Meetings at the church are held each second Saturday and Sunday, also each fourth Sunday night. She also provides the former Pastors/Elders at Bush Arbor Church:
Salley Morris Brown died on 7-Aug-1845 in Caswell County and was buried in the Bush Arbor Cemetery in Caswell County, NC.
Thomas Brown died 01-Aug-1855 in Caswell County, NC and was buried in Bush Arbor Cemetery in Caswell County, NC. Thomas left a will date 24-Jul-1855 that was proven in open court by the subscribing witnesses, Howell Barwell and W. H. Stainback. (See a transcription of the Thomas Brown will.)
Thomas and Salley Morris Brown had five known children who lived to adulthood. There was eleven years between the first and second child, leaving one to question if other children were born who did not survive.
Three of their five children (Martha, Mary, and James) migrated to Carroll County, TN. Sarah continued to live in the Caswell/Rockingham County, NC area. Nathan Brown remained in Caswell County, NC, where he died in 1888. The children are as follows:
  1. Martha "Mattie" Brown b. ca 1796, Caswell County, NC, d. bef 1855, m. 30-NOV-1814, in Caswell County, NC, to Edmund Butler Rice, b. 1794, (son of Nathaniel Rice and Susannah).

    Note about Edmund: The Caswell County NC Minutes by K. K. Kerr, p. 24, 37, and 39 suggests that Edmund Butler Rice was Edward, son of Nathaniel Rice and Susannah.

  2. Mary Brown b. 21-JAN-1807, Caswell County, NC, d. 26-FEB-1868, buried: Massey Cemetery, Carroll County, TN, m. 10-SEP-1828, in Caswell County, NC, Nathan Massey, b. 26-___-1806, prob. Caswell County, NC, d. 20-SEP-1873, buried: Massey Cemetery, Carroll County, TN.

    Notes about Mary: By the 1860 census Mary is living in Carroll County, TN with the orphans of her brother James. In 1870, Mary does not appear in the census with her husband.

    Note about Nathan Massey: A John Massee, age 74, lived at household 1993, near Nathan Massey at household 1976. Could he be Nathan's father? John's wife is Nancy, age 65. Also, a John Massey, age 53, is living with Nathan and Mary in the 1850 census. Information from the Massey GenForum indicates that Nathan was the son of John Massey.

  3. Nathan Brown b. 22-FEB-1809, Caswell County, NC, d. 19-AUG-1888, Yanceyville, Caswell, NC, buried: Bush Arbor, Yanceyville, Caswell, NC, m. 30-NOV-1842, in Caswell County, NC, Mary Walker, b. 1817, (daughter of Hugh Walker and Frances) d. 22-SEP-1847, Caswell County, NC, buried: Brush Arbor Cemetery, Caswell County, NC.

    Notes about Nathan: Nathan's marriage bondsman was William Herndon and the witness was Jno. K. Graves. He was buried in the same cemetery as his father and mother.

    As shown in Thomas' will, Nathan inherited all of his father's land.

    Nathan died intestate in 1888 and left no wife or children to inherit his possessions. A lengthy administration of his estate ensued. For information on Nathan Brown's estate, which gives a lengthy listing of Thomas and Salley Morris Brown descendants, see the following files:

  4. James Brown b. 1812, d. OCT-1849, Carroll County, TN, m. 17-FEB-1831, in Caswell County, NC, Bedda Massey, b. 1814, NC, d. aft 1870, Carroll County, TN.

    Notes about James: His sister Mary had James' children in her household in the 1860 census of Carroll County, TN.

    Notes about Bedda: In the 1850 Carroll County, TN census, Bedda and her children lived next door to Nathan Massey and his wife Mary Brown Massey.

  5. Sarah Brown b. 1816, Caswell County, NC, d. before 1889, m. 06-SEP-1833, in Caswell County, NC, Alfred M. Whitsett, b. ca 1806, NC.

    Notes about Sarah: By the 1850 census, they are in Rockingham County, NC and Sarah is age 34.

    Notes about Alfred: His name is seen as Whiteside, Whitsett, or Whitsell. He was in Rockingham County, NC in the 1850 census. Alfred served as an executor for the will of his father-in-law, Thomas Brown.

Go to Genealogy Report for Thomas & Salley Morris Brown

Return to Leonard Brown Family Main Page

  © 1999 by Danene Brown Vincent.  [email protected] All rights reserved.