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Alexander Brown

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Re: Alexander Brown

SAM REDDING (View posts)
Posted: 4 Jan 2010 6:37PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Brown, Smith, Gillihan, Routh
Sorting out the Browns is a challenge. Here is what I have, including Reuben Smith.
Gillihans, Rouths, Wrights, Blairs, and Browns moved from Tennessee about 1830, first to Illinois and then to Polk County, Missouri.

In Illinois

Greene County, Illinois, was established in 1823. Jersey County was established in 1839 from a portion of Greene County. Land books in Jersey County show former Greene County transactions. The transactions include:

January 25, 1830: Thomas Gillihan purchased 80 acres (E1/2 – NE1/4, Sect 30, TWNP 8N, Range 11 W)
January 24, 1830: Thomas Gillihan purchased 80 acres (E1/2 – NE1/4, Sect 36, TWNP 8N, Range 12 W)
April 11, 1831: Thomas Gillihan in English Township Land Patents in Jersey County (Section 36, TS8N, R12W)

[See Mary Smith, wife of John Ruth, in 1850 Polk County census. John is brother of Susan. Mary was born in 1830 in Illinois and is no doubt daughter of Reuben and his first wife, a Brown. Next to John and Mary in 1850 census is Lavina Smith (Vina Cammon, who Reuben married in Oct. 1830 in Illinois after Mary’s birth in July and probably her mother’s death) and children. Nehemiah Smith, born 1827 in TN and in Polk County in 1850, is probably son of Reuben and UNKNOWN Brown Smith. Nehemiah married Caroline; Children: Mary, Martha, ]

April 21, 1832: Thomas Gillihan and his wife Lucy Gillihan sold the two above 80 acre tracts of land to Richmond Henderson. The deed was recorded March 3, 1834. Witnesses were Samuel Brown and Alford Carpenter.


In the Polk County history, Betty Ammerman wrote an article about the Wright family which also tells how Thomas and Lucy Gillihan arrived in Missouri. In it she says:

“ The John Wright family was part of a group who were among the first settlers in an area that later became southwestern Polk County, Missouri. They came in 1832, three years before Polk County was organized.

“John and Jane Wright settled on the rich bottom ground of the Little Sac River area that became XXX Grove. Some of the others in the group were Thomas and Lucinda Gillihan, their daughter Frances and husband Isaac Routh, a M. E. minister, Reuben and Lavina Smith; and Jane Wright’s brother, Hezekiah Brown, who married xxxx Barnes in 1833.

“They left Jackson County, TN late 1829 and were on the Greene County, Illinois, census near several Brown families. The men are in the 1833 Greene County, MO, tax list. The families from Jackson County, TN joined up in the 1830s, including the families of Alexander and Rebecca (Brown) Blair, Blueford XXXX and wife, Gideon and Margaret Brown; and Matilda Anderson; Benjamin Hensley and wife, and probably others.

John Wright and Jane Brown were married in 1819, probably in Tennessee. John was born in the 1790s and died March 8, 1846. He is buried in Brown Cemetery, Union Township, near Stockton Lake. Jane was born about 1802 and lived nearly another 20 years after John died, dying April 15, 1865 and is buried in Brown Cemetery.

They belonged to the Methodist Church. Four sons and five sons-in-law served in the Union Army in the Civil War. They had 14 children; two died young, names unknown.
From: “Seeking Solutions: Land Records: Building Neighborhoods” by Marsha Hoffman Rising, CG, CGL, FASG Ozar’Kin Vol XVII, NO. 2, Summer 1995:

We will examine the Wright-Smith-Gillihan-Blair-Brown families of Polk County. Although researchers have studied these families for years, if records exist proving how these families are connected, they have not yet been located. The research began with a simple family tradition: John Wright and his four brothers-in-law came to Polk County and settled on the Little Sac River. One was Mr. Smith, father of John Smith the first white child born in Polk County.

From additional work, the male heads of household selected for concentrated study include John Wright (c1790-1848), Reuben Smith (1790-1850), Thomas Gillihan (1788-1840), Alexander Blair (1788-1874) and Hezekiah Brown (1804-1870). It is immediately apparent that four of the five appear to be of the same generation. We know from federal census records that, except for Alexander Blair, the families followed the same migration pattern—Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri. They appeared in Southwest Missouri at the same time with Wright, Smith, Gillihan and Brown next to one another on the 1834 Greene County, Missouri tax list. Those same men can be found on the 1830 census of Greene County, Illinois, p. 47, (except for Hezekiah whose residence there was proved by his military record). They can all be tracked back from there to Jackson County, Tennessee—a badly burned county. Although Alexander Blair was not on the tax lists of Greene County, Missouri, he did appear on the first tax list of Polk, taken about 1837 or 1838.

Current Theory: The families are related through their wives.
John Wright married Jane (Brown) b. ca 1802—their son was Josiah Wright
Lucinda (Brown) b. ca. 1794 m. Thomas Gillihan—sons-in-law were Isaac Routh, William Webb.
Rebecca (Brown) b. ca. 1796 m. Alexander Blair—son George W. Blair
Hezekiah Brown (b. ca 1804—known relation to Josiah Wright, possible brother to wives.
? Brown m. Reuben Smith; left 3 children. He married again on 20 Oct. 1830 in Greene Co. IL to Vina [Lavina] Cammon.

No direct evidence for relationships exists. Interestingly, when one rebuilds the neighborhoods in Jackson County, Tennessee all of these individuals are found in the state land entries on the Caney fork of Indian Creek. Recreating a neighborhood is just one way of building evidence to connect families.

Land records from Township 33, Range 24 in Polk County, MO show: (each date represents 40 acres)

In Section 30:
James B. Stockton (1858)
Josiah Brown (1849, 1852, 1854) [Son of Hiram Brown who was possibly Lucy Gillihan’s brother; married to Annie Wright]
Hezekiah Brown (1838, 1839) [Possibly a brother or nephew of Lucy Gillihan]
William Webb (1852, 1853) [Husband of J. Elizabeth Gillihan, daughter of Thomas and Lucy]
Alexander Blair (1838) [Husband of Lucy Gillihan’s sister, Rebecca]
William Griffin (1856)
John Wright (1838) [Father of Annie Wright, wife of Josiah Brown]

In Section 29:
Nehemiah Smith (1856)
Eyes Kessman (1838)
Wesley Davis (1856)
Thomas Gillihan (1838, 1838, 1838, 1838) [Note: Thomas died two years later.]
Reubin Smith (1858) [His first wife was a Brown, possibly Lucy Gillihan’s sister.]
Rev. Isaac Routh (1838) [Husband of Frances Gillihan, daughter of Thomas and Lucy]
Isaac Routh (1838)
William Webb (1854, 1856) [Husband of J. Elizabeth Gillihan, daughter of Thomas and Lucy]
James Davis (1851)
Lavinea Patterson (1854)
John Wright (1838, 1838) [Father of Annie Wright, wife of Josiah Brown]
In Section 28:
John Davis (1838, 1838, 1838)
Anderson Davis (1851, 1851, 1851, 1851, 1856, 1857, 1857)
James W. Routh (1857)
John B. Hensley (1853)
Jeremiah Davis (1850, 1850)
Wesley Davis (1857)
Section 20:
William Webb (1853, 1857) [Husband of J. Elizabeth Gillihan, daughter of Thomas and Lucy]
Nehemiah Smith (1856)
Rueben Smith (1838) [His first wife was a Brown, possibly Lucy Gillihan’s sister.]
Section 19:
David Roundtree (1856, 1856, 1856, 1858)
Josiah Wright (1854, 1854)
William Webb (1853) [Husband of J. Elizabeth Gillihan, daughter of Thomas and Lucy]
James M. Hensley (1848, 1853, 1853)
William Griffin (1856, 1857)
Section 18:
Gid Gillihan (1845) [Gideon B. Gillihan, son of Thomas and Lucy]


Another Brown Family Connected to the Gillihans

Alexander (Sawney) Brown’s daughter Violet married Levin Routh, son of Isaac C. and uncle of Susan Routh Gillihan (Thomas’s daughter-in-law). His daughter Mary Elizabeth married Hugh C. Routh, another son of Isaac C. and uncle of Susan Routh Gillihan.

Alexander Brown, Jr. was born about 1766 in Calhoun County, Georgia, married in Bedford County, Virginia, and moved to McMinn County, Tennessee and Monroe County, Tennessee, according to a grandson. He died on September 17, 1837 in Brighton, Polk Co., Missouri. He was also known as Sawnee and Sawney. [Data from Ellingsworth gives death as before October 12, 1837. Wooley lists source as Cuma Schofield's book "My Mother's Brown Family".]

From "My Mother's Brown Family" by Cuma Schofield:

Alexander Sawney Brown was a Chickamauga Cherokee Chief. He was buried on top of a small hill overlooking his land. The burial place is now known as Old Brock Cemetery and is located just past the snow mountain between Brighton and Bolivar, Missouri. Old family stories say he left Georgia voluntarily before he was forced on The Trail of Tears. Supposedly gold was found on his land in Georgia and he was told the government would give him a fair price if he would take his tribe and re-locate to Missouri. He did so and only after getting to Missouri was he told, "No Indian shall own land in the State of Missouri." Alexander lived as white and held secret tribal meetings. He purchased land along the Sac River in Polk County, Missouri. He is buried in Old Brock Cemetery overlooking the land he once owned and loved so well. In a book called "Those Who Cried," Alexander is listed showing the government paid him $500 for his land in Georgia. It also states "Alexander Brown, son of Naky." Naky would be Sarah Canoe's Cherokee name. Naky was the daughter of Cherokee Chief, Dragging Canoe.

Alexander Brown, Jr. (Sawney) was the son of Alexander Brown, Sr. and Naky Canoe. Alexander Brown, Jr. married Violet Barton on February 20, 1797, in Bedford County, Virginia. Their children were: Thomas Brown, Annie Brown, Mary Elizabeth Brown, Sarah Brown, Dicey Brown, Isham or Isom Alexander Brown, Zachariah Brown, John Burrell Brown, Violet Brown, Susan Brown, and a daughter whose name is not known. When grandson Michael A. Fender (listed as Pender) applied for Cherokee ancestry with Eastern Cherokee in US Court of Claims, he stated, “When Alexander Brown left Tennessee and came to Missouri, there were about 6 families that came together and all were related. We left Tennessee in the fall of 1833 and came to a place in Illinois, 15-18 miles from St. Louis & stopped there over the winter & in the spring coming on to what is now known as Brighton, Polk County, MO, arriving there May 10, 1836.” He died there the following year.

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
SAM REDDING 5 Jan 2010 1:37AM GMT 
cannonsmc59 5 Jan 2010 12:28PM GMT 
SAM REDDING 6 Jan 2010 3:36AM GMT 
cannonsmc59 6 Jan 2010 3:47AM GMT 
fmcclell 6 Jan 2010 7:18PM GMT 
cannonsmc59 7 Jan 2010 2:47PM GMT 
SAM REDDING 8 Jan 2010 12:39AM GMT 
Pamela Sherman 8 Aug 2010 12:51AM GMT 
SAM REDDING 13 Aug 2010 5:16AM GMT 
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