The Early Brown Family of Wells

Donated by Barb Ekiss.

Isaac and Joshua Brown came with Joshua Wells to survey the wilderness that would become the community of Wells NY.  Little has been written about any of these three men.  The only records seem to be their names found in early deeds and a few times in the town records (Aber & King, History of Hamilton Co. NY).

Precisely written are these deeds.  As Isaac reached his last years, he surveyed his farm once again and then he deeded the farm to his son, Lyman and 1/3 of the cellar he deeded to his daughter, Polly Bass.  Isaac retained 1/3 of the cellar for his own use.  Seemingly inch by inch the metes and bounds were measured from the gate by the path, to the barn, past the well and on to the front door.  Isaac left no will, all he had owned was this farm where he lived out his final years.  Isaac is living with his son in 1855 and in 1860 he is not in the census.  That same year, Polly Bass sold her 1/3 of the cellar to Lyman. These deeds are the only documents found to connect Polly as a child of Isaac. Hamilton Co. deed book 3 pg 372

Isaac is my direct line but in trying to sort out his children from the other Brown men of Wells, I needed to find the children of his brother Joshua. I found that all people of that name up to the 1860 census descend from these two brothers.  In 1820 Isaac had 3 sons and 2 daughters; Joshua had 4 sons and 3 daughters.

Thus began a search that finally led me to Brookhaven Suffolk Co. on Long Island and to the parents and ancestors of the Brown families of Wells.  With great anticipation, I submitted an application to have DAR recognize Joseph Brown, the father of Isaac and Joshua, as a newly recognized patriot of the American Revolution.  He has been accepted, so anyone who can document lineage to one of these two men, Isaac or Joshua, is eligible for membership in DAR or SAR.

Isaac and Joshua Brown were the ninth and thirteen born of the eighteen (18) children of Joseph and Mehitable Vail Brown of Brookhaven, Suffolk Co. NY.

Joseph Brown was in the 2nd Co. of Militia from Brookhaven NY where he voted on 17 May 1775 to send a representative to the Provincial Convention.  There are no military records showing that Joseph served in any other capacity than this public pledge of support.  He was much to busy trying to provide for his  fourteen children that had been born before that date and to father four more children during the war years.

Joseph 8 Oct. 1733-Nov. 1783 and Mehitable Vail 30 May 1735-Nov. 1816 are buried in the Congregational Churchyard at Mt. Sinai NY.

Joseph was only 50 when he died leaving his wife the cares and worry of still young children as well as her feeling of need to guide those children who were reaching maturity.   Records show that she apprenticed a son, Youngs born in 1774, to a tailor in NYC.  It is my belief that she might have suggested to her sons, Isaac and Joshua that they approach Joshua Wells about going with him to survey the new settlement.  Wells lived nearby and was probably her distant relative.

Isaac 9 Mar 1766-died before 1860 and his wife who is unknown had

1.  Charry 1805-May 1883 who married Michael Overacker, had no children but  they raised Catherine Vanderhoof
2.  Heman 1806-1881 mar. Asenath
3.  Lyman  27 Aug 1808-12 April 1896 married Jerusha Vanderhoof 17 Dec. 1830
4.  Polly b. 1811 married Nathaniel Bass of Hope
5.  Truman 1812-1858 married Harriet Whitman in 1833.  Descendants of Truman and Harriet have another Rev. War Patriot, Harriet’s Grandfather, Isaiah Whitman.

Not even the given name of Isaac’s wife has been found.  During her marriage, Isaac made no land transactions so her name is not mentioned in a dower release.

Joshua  b. 2 Nov. 1772-1860/61 mar. 1st Elizabeth 1778-1840 (small cemetery at Wells on this website) and 2nd Sarah Ann.  The maiden names of both women not found.

1.  Clarrisa 1804-1865 who mar. Isaiah Morrison
2.  Endearing J, 1811-Sept 1874
3.  Daniel
4.  Joshua Jr.
5.  David
6.  two other daughters

Proof of these family connections were found by researching many deeds, wills, the Wells Methodist Cemetery on a personal visit, all census 1810-1880, one surviving Bible, this website and I read Aber & King many years ago.  This book may have additional information that I did not note at the time.  I obtained this book through interlibrary loan from Utica College.

Sources on Long Island include: Genealogy of Some of the Vail Family by Henry H. Vail 1902 for the Brown Family Bible; Griffins Journal by Augustus Griffin 1857 (which has the same list of children but slightly different dates, but was published when some of the children were still living); Suffolk Co. Long Island Cemeteries, Daniel Eardeley 1924 pg 55; Abstracts of Wills NYC Vol. 14 pg 345-346; Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to CT, Mather; Inhabitants of NY 1774-1776, Thomas B. Wilson.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:19:25 PDT
Copyright © 2001:  Barb Ekiss