The Brown Family of Virginia that is Represented by DNA “Group 10” on the Brown Genealogy Society Website


24 Feb 2011




The referenced Brown family has been “traced back”….by at least the mid-1600s….to the area of Virginia that was once known as Old Rappahannock County (later Essex County, on the south side of the Rappahannock River).  The oldest known ancestor in this family was Francis Brown “I,” and he left his will in Essex Co., VA in 1691/1692.  There was an even earlier Francis Brown who died in Lancaster Co., VA in the 1650s, and it is certainly possible that he was the father of Francis Brown “I,” albeit no proof.  Francis Brown “I” was married to a woman who was named Elizabeth, and it appears from one record that she was probably Elizabeth Cole.  While there are SEVERAL male Brown DNA donors who strongly appear to “trace back” to Francis Brown “I,” we do not have a donor at this time who can positively trace his lineage all the way back to Francis Brown “I.”


Francis Brown “I” had four known daughters and two known sons: Sarah (married Thomas Munday), Elizabeth (married Robert Mills), Rebecca (married John Mills, Junior), Mary (her husband, if any, is not known), Francis “II” (married Elizabeth Allen) and Daniel “I” (married Jane Copeland).  Francis Brown “II” and Elizabeth Allen had sons of their own who were named Francis Brown “IV” (APPARENTLY never married or fathered any children) and Daniel Brown “II” (married Elizabeth Coleman).  Daniel Brown “II” and Elizabeth Coleman left Essex Co., VA and moved to Spotsylvania Co., VA around 1723.  That was the part of Spotsylvania that became Orange Co., VA in 1734….and then the area where they lived became part of Culpeper Co., VA in 1748/1749.  Daniel “II” and Elizabeth (Coleman) Brown reared a large family in the Culpeper Co., VA area.  Their male and female children and grandchildren married into various families in Virginia, and those surnames included Stubblefield, Covington, Neville, Nall/Nalle, Doggett, Powell, Vaughan, Dickerson, Davenport, Lewis and Farguson.


The above-mentioned brother of Francis Brown “II” named Daniel Brown “I” remained in Essex Co., VA, and he and his wife Jane Copeland had four known daughters and three known sons.  The three sons were: Abraham Brown (married Mary Tribble), Henry Brown “I” (married Keziah Jones) and Francis Brown “III” (married Katarin Unknown).  The male and female children and grandchildren of Daniel Brown “I” and Jane Copeland married into various families in Virginia, and those surnames included Rutherford, Boughan, Brooke, Bagwell, Edmondson, Croxton, Lewis and Caston.  Abraham Brown and Mary Tribble moved to the same area in Spotsylvania/Orange/Culpeper Co., VA in 1723 as did Abraham’s relative Daniel Brown “II,” but Abraham later moved again to Caroline Co., VA, where he died around 1735.  The “Abraham Brown branch” APPEARS to have been the only “branch” of this overall family that moved to Caroline Co., VA.  Abraham and Mary (Tribble) Brown had at least two sons (Daniel and John), and their son named John Brown married his cousin Elizabeth Brown of Orange/Culpeper Co., VA.  That Elizabeth Brown was a daughter of Daniel Brown “II” and Elizabeth Coleman.  There is at least one male Brown DNA donor in “Group 10” who almost certainly “traces back” to this John and Elizabeth (Brown) Brown.


As with most families in America in the 1600s and 1700s, members of this overall Brown family began to move to different areas….both within Virginia and to other states.  For example, Henry Brown “I” (left his will in Essex Co., VA in 1733/1734) and his wife Keziah Jones had a son who was named Henry Brown “II,” and Henry “II” left Essex Co., VA in the early-1760s and moved to the Lunenburg/Mecklenburg Co., VA area.  A son of Henry “II” named Henry Brown “III,” however, stayed behind in Essex Co., VA on the “family land,” until he moved to King and Queen Co., VA by the late-1760s.  Another son of Henry Brown “I” and Keziah Jones of Essex Co., VA named Mordecai Brown was in Culpeper Co., VA with some of his relatives for a while, but he appears to have also spent some time in North Carolina (he was possibly the Mordecai Brown who was in Bute Co., NC in 1768).  An apparent son of Henry “III” named Henry Brown “IV” (married Frances Gipson/Gibson) left Virginia and moved to the Mercer Co., KY area, as did his brother Charles Brown.  The most recent “DNA match” to “Group 10” has ancestors who were in Georgia by the late-1700s.  That “branch” of the overall family APPEARS to “trace back” to a William Brown who was in Wilkes Co., NC by the 1760s or so, and who was associated with some members of the Tribble family there.  Research continues on this, but that William Brown MAY have been another son of the above-referenced Abraham Brown in Caroline Co., VA (who had married Mary Tribble).  The referenced Browns in Georgia included Meredith G. Brown, Peter Brown, Fannin Brown and John George Washington Brown.  Some other members of this overall Brown family moved to TN and/or SC, including a couple of men with the unusual name of Aris Brown (both were descendants of Henry Brown “II”).


Since “Brown” is such a common surname, it should not be surprising that there were at least four UNRELATED Brown families in Culpeper Co., VA in the late-1700s.  These families included DNA “Group 10,” “Group 33,” “Group 47” and “Group 55.”  There was even a John Brown in “Group 47” who married a Phoebe Brown in “Group 10” (and there is a male Brown DNA donor in the Brown Genealogy Society DNA testing project who is a descendant of that “Group 47”/”Group 10” Brown couple).  Recently discovered information shows that an apparent member of “Group 33” married into what appears to be part of the same overall Coleman family as the Elizabeth Coleman who married Daniel Brown “II” of “Group 10.”  Each of these two unrelated Brown families had one or more men who were named Coleman Brown.  As such, one has to be very careful to keep these two families properly “defined and segregated” when attempting to determine the correct “family trees.”


In addition to the four known unrelated Brown families in Culpeper Co., VA mentioned above, there was a man in DNA “Group 69” who very well may have married into the Abraham and Mary (Tribble) Brown family of “Group 10.”  There was an unknown William Brown who was one of the men chosen to appraise the estate of the deceased Abraham Brown in 1735 in Caroline Co., VA, and some evidence now suggests that this William Brown MAY have been a son-in-law of Abraham Brown….and a possible member of DNA “Group 69” (though research continues on all of this).  There were several Brown men in the Amelia/Prince Edward Co., VA (PECo) area in the early-mid-1700s who appear to have been members of “Group 69”….yet they had obvious ”connections” to the family of Abraham Brown of Caroline Co., VA.  These men in Amelia/PECo included another/later Abraham Brown, another Daniel Brown, a George Brown (who fathered a son named Peter), a William Brown (who fathered a son named John) and a Shadrack Brown (and there was an older man who was named Shadrack Tribble in the Tribble family of Caroline Co., VA).


Some of the “DNA matches” in “Group 10” appear to “trace back” to yet another Francis Brown, who is not mentioned above.  This “mystery” Francis Brown was very likely a son of the “mystery” Thomas Brown who was the witness on the will of the above Francis Brown “II” in Essex Co., VA in 1708/1709….albeit no proof.  The parents of that “mystery” Thomas Brown are not known, but this family was obviously related to the family of Francis Brown “I” in some way.  The referenced “mystery” Francis Brown married a Christiana Unknown, and he left Essex Co., VA and moved to Chesterfield Co., VA, where “mystery” Francis Brown died in the 1750s.  The family of “mystery” Francis Brown had several “close connections” with some of the descendants of Francis Brown “I”….so it always appeared that these two families were probably related, even before any DNA results were available to confirm that “blood relationship.”  One of the sons of “mystery” Francis Brown, who was named Hezekiah Brown (married to a Sally Unknown), left Essex Co., VA and moved to Amelia Co., VA by the mid-1750s.  Some other sons and grandsons of “mystery” Francis Brown migrated to the Bedford Co., VA area.  There was a later/younger Thomas Brown in Lunenburg/Mecklenburg Co., VA, well before the previously mentioned Henry Brown “II” of “Group 10” left Essex Co., VA and moved to that area in the early-1760s.  Based on several clues (including a close association to the Coleman family), it would not be surprising if that later/younger Thomas Brown in Lunenburg/Mecklenburg Co., VA was a descendant of the “first”/”oldest” Thomas Brown back in Essex Co., VA, and hence, that later/younger Thomas Brown was PROBABLY another member of DNA “Group 10.”  Maybe a male Brown who is out of that later/younger Thomas Brown will join the DNA testing project someday.  One of the men in that family was named Pettus Brown (named for his mother, Mrs. Mary (Pettus) Brown).


The above overall Brown family eventually spread “far and wide,” and this overview will not attempt to address all of those family members.  It is hoped that additional Brown men in the family will come forward and take the DNA test.  That will probably be the only way that significant progress can continue to be made to better define the overall “family tree” for the DNA “Group 10” Brown family.



Bill Davidson




In a message dated 4/7/2013 10:35:40 A.M. Central Daylight Time, Bill Davidson ( writes:


For as long as I have been researching the DNA "Group 10" Browns, it was thought by various Brown researchers that the John Brown who married his cousin Elizabeth Brown (a daughter of Daniel Brown "II" of DNA "Group 10" and Elizabeth Coleman; they moved from Essex Co., VA to Spotsylvania/Orange/Culpeper Co., VA) was the son of Abraham Brown (also an obvious member of "Group 10") and Mary Tribble (they ended-up in Caroline Co., VA).  A person "snail-mailed" me some information on the Tribble family, and that documentation included a record where Mrs. Mary (Tribble) Brown petitioned the court in Caroline Co., VA (in 1735....which was right around the time that her husband Abraham Brown died) to allow her to "administer the estate" of her son John Brown.  Per another very competent researcher, the words "administer the estate" typically meant that the son was dead (otherwise, it would have stated something like, "allow me to be the guardian of the estate of my son John Brown").. . . 


Now....I have . . . also questioned if the John Brown who married his cousin Elizabeth Brown could actually have been the OTHER known John Brown in the family (who would have been in the same general age range) who was a son of Henry Brown "I" and Keziah Jones.  That other John Brown was found on at least one record where he was "styled" as "Captain" John Brown.  That Captain John Brown has proven to be very "elusive"....but I am now wondering if that is only because he was, in fact, the husband of the referenced Elizabeth Brown in Culpeper Co., VA....and hence, "right in front of our noses" all along!


Henry Brown "I" (son of Daniel Brown "I" and Jane Copeland, and grandson of Francis Brown "I" who died in Essex Co., VA in 1691/1692) and Keziah Jones were also the parents of the first-known Mordecai Brown in "Group 10," and it seems very likely that Carolyn's ancestor William Ambrose Brown was a son of that Mordecai Brown and his unknown wife (Keziah Jones had a brother who was named Ambrose Jones, and William Ambrose Brown, as well as his sister Phoebe Brown, each had sons who were named "Mordecai. . . .


Anyway, we may have stumbled onto a new theory as to the lineage of the various DNA donors in "Group 10" who show their ancestor as the John Brown who married his cousin Elizabeth Brown (and I believe that we have about three or four donors who show that as their lineage).  By the way, none of the other apparent sons of Abraham Brown and Mary Tribble went to Culpeper (they went in a very different direction), so that might further support the likelihood that the John Brown who married his cousin Elizabeth Brown....and who then lived in Culpeper Co., VA (as did Mordecai Brown for a while)....was NOT a son of Abraham Brown and Mary Tribble after all.  We will continue to investigate this, and we will eventually notify the various donors in "Group 10" as to our findings.