Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Great Grandfather Brown

My grandfather LeRoy Martin Brown was three years old when his father died. No information is known about any of it but I have relatives who are looking for his father's grave in Illinois.

The photo has the identification written on the back, done in fountain pen, Grandfather Brown. He is Charles W. Brown born in early 1860's. He would be my mom's grandfather and she wrote the name on the back. That means he would be my great grandfather Brown. As I am writing this, I have just picked up an obituary of his wife, my great grandmother and I have found out more details about the family.

Charles W. Brown married Carrie Rosella Maxson from Fulton county, Illinois, in 1983. They had two sons, LeRoy, my grandfather, and Ira Brown. In March 8, 1888 five years after they were married, he died. My grandfather LeRoy was three years old. Again the past two generations say he is buried there but it is not known where.

I know nothing more about him other that what I just stated. Because of his early death, my great grandmother remarried and gave me many half relatives to keep track of in my family tree journey. I will have to blog about her another time as Carrie remarried a guy name Thomas Jefferson Driver. I have quilts that she has made and I have a lot of material about her five other children.

As a final comment, I wanted to note the background of this photo. It probably was taken in the state of Illinois and the mural is a hand painted effort. On the back is written in cursive the word Woods. I will probably never know what that means but I will always keep in buried in my little grey cells.

Check out all the others who are participating in Sepia Saturday this week, by clicking here.


Nana Jo said...

He was a very striking looking gentleman. The hand-painted tree mural makes the photograph even more interesting. I have never seen one quite like it before.

Gabriele Agustini said...

That's a fabulous photograph!
I always enjoy visiting here!!

Marilyn said...

Such a wonderful photo to have and I wish you well in finding out more about him. The photo looks as though it was taken in a studio with a painted background; he certainly was a good looking man.

Tattered and Lost said...

Wonderful photo with one of those interesting chairs. A friend told me she believed the chairs were made specifically for woman wearing bustles.

Jim Linderman of the blog Dull Tool, Dim Bulb wrote a book about the handpainted backdrops in many of the old portraits. He sells it on Blurb:

Joan said...

That is an interesting background and he is a handsome man. i hope you find out more.

Meri said...

Okay Larry - Charles Brown married Rosa Maxon on October 11, 1884 in Fulton County, Illinois according to the county's marriage records in the state marriage record database. Mrs. Rosa Brown remarried Thomas J. Drive on September 8, 1889 in Fulton County. I didn't find a death certificate for him, but apparently the pre-1916 death records from many countries are not included in the state's online records. There was a Charles W. Brown, b. about 1860, in the home of George and Martha Loveland in the 1880 Census in Fulton County. He was listed as George's brother in law.

I'm pretty sure this is him, as in the 1870 Census, there is a Charles Brown head of household, born about 1821 in Kentucky - widowed, with children including Martha (18 - b. Kentucky), Mary (13 - b. Illinois, which will give you clues about when the family moved) and Charles (10) plus some others including Amanda, age 4 --- so if Charles and Amanda had the same mother, she must have died late 1865 - July 1870.

I found a Charles and Mary Brown in the 1860 Census in Bushnell, McDonough County, Illinois. Charles was b. about 1821 in Kentucky; Mary was born about 1826 in Kentucky. They had children: James (b. about 1847 Ky); Martha (b. about 1852 in Ky); Benjamin (b. about 1856 in Illinois - further narrowing move from Ky to Ill);and Mary (b. about 1858 in Illinois). I'm pretty sure this is the same family.

So, given Mary's approximate birth date of 1826 and James' birthdate in Kentucky around 1846 -7,
I'd look for a Kentucky marriage certificate from about 1844 - 1847 if you don't already have that info (and Mary's maiden name).

Cheers and happy hunting.

L. D. Burgus said...

Wow, thanks so much. I now know that when my time becomes more free that I have to get You are right Charles W. Brown is him. The middle initial was used in the Rosa Maxson Driver's obituary. I know where she is buried with her husband Thomas Jefferson Driver here in Iowa. She died in 1942. She outlived him and my grandfather. Thanks so much as you have all my wheels turning. I didn't have a clue that they came from Kentucky.

Nancy said...

Meri beat me to it! (And did more that I was going to do, too. Thanks, Meri.) Larry, you can find many census years online for free IF you have a library card and your local library subscribes to Heritage Quest. Type Heritage Quest and your library's name in the google search box. You can also find some census years plus lots of other records for free at That's a great place to search for records because their indexes are so good and often include other family members' names.

It's a great photograph of your g-great-grandfather. He looks like a calm, kind, gentle-hearted man. The hand-painted background adds a special feel to the photograph.

Far Side of Fifty said...

What a wonderful photo..and it was probably me who said that those photographers chairs were for ladies with Bustles..!
You got some great Kentucky huh? Cool.
I went to the Library and joined up and have access to Hertitage Quest Online here at home with the appropriate code is a cool search database. I can also go to the Library and get on there..but I never have.
You have some great pieces of your puzzle coming together! :)

Valerie said...

I really love this blog and all the old pictures!

Tommy Chen said...

I really like the background.