Brownings of Culpepper VA and Greene GA
copyright © Susan Taylor Aldridge
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Obituary of John Browning from The Arkansas Gazette, 19 June, 1844, p.
3, col. 1, found at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives,
Washington, Arkansas; copied by hand, as there was no printer.
Died at his residence, Walnut Grove, Clark County, Arkansas, John
Browning in his 77th year. He was born in Caswell County, North
Carolina, on the 17th day of May, A. D. 1767; married at the age of 25 years; joined the Baptist Church at the age of 35, at Shiloh,Greene County, Georgia; three months afterward was ordained deacon of the church, the duties of which office he faithfully discharged during the remainder of his pilgrimage on earth. At the age of 46, he entered the army of General Floyd in the Creek Indian War as Captain of a volunteer company. He performed an active part in the battles of Autasee and Colebee. In the latter he had the honor of bleeding for his country. In 1814, he was a member of the legislature of Georgia. In 1819, he removed to Alabama; in 1822, was a member of the legislature of that state. He has been a member of 34 associations and more than once moderator. In 1840, he emigrated to Arkansas, where he died 3 May 1844--a member of the Baptist Church at Mt. Bethel. The subject of this notice was brought up in the distressing times of the American Revolution. Consequently, he had not the advantages of a liberal education; yet, his superiority of mind enabled him to discharge high and important offices, in both church and state. He was of a lively and cheerful disposition; always seemed desirous of making those happy about him; plain in his manner; as a citizen, patriotic; as a neighbor, obliging; as a parent, kind and indulgent; and as a companion, very affectionate. He has left a companion, several children, and numerous relations and friends to mourn the loss of so good a man. But one great consolation they have, he died as he lived, in peace with mankind and with his Maker. He has fulfilled the great end of his being and gone hence to adorn the shiny courts of heaven.
"Softly his fainting head he lay
Upon his Saviour's breast;
His Maker soothed his soul away,
And laid his flesh to rest."
The recorded death date July 1855 in the Bible death record of Francis Browning born Nov 1754 matches the Bible record of John Browning born May 1767
Cindy Stamps sent me these sheets from the US and that is her notation on
the Bible Title sheet. Nancy Peebles Browning´s birth is recorded
in the 1803 Philadelphia bible belonging to her parents, as well as is her
death and Robert´s death. There is another Bible which was owned by
The Boazman family. It was published in 1847 and they copied material
from the 1803 Bible, but changed the date of Nancy Peebles´s marriage,
making it 2 years earlier. Seems they did this to legitimize the birth of Daniel
who married Nancy Sorrell. But Daniel was not Nancy´s child, so this fudging
was not necessary. Daniel is not mentioned in the estate papers of John who
died in 1844 nor Nancy Browning,nor is he mentioned in the will of William
who died in Alabama. I speculate he is William´s child by a first marriage
and that William may have already provided for him and thus he is not
mentioned in his will in 1832 AL.
The first 3 lines of the transcription left cannot really be an honest "transcription" because the Bible was not even published till 1803 and probably did not make its way to GA till 1804. By that time John and Elizabeth Demarest were dead so it could not have been their family Bible. Later in a later Bible belonging to the Boazmans, I find a date which has been changed to have Nancy's marriage as a year earlier in order (most likely) to make Nancy seem like an "honest" woman- they must have thought that Daniel Browning was her own child instead of a nephew so they made her a marriage date which would make Daniel "legitimate."
Because of these inaccurate and edited transcriptions, one cannot be sure how much of the transcription is accurate. I was able to scrub the later Bible dates of birth which had been manufactured after the John Browning Book came out. Luckuly there were the earlier dated transcripts for births.
It is possible that "Radford" was not even written there and was also inserted by Mrs. Ferig at Arkadelphia Library in 1954 when the "transcription" was made for a DAR application. or that it actually said Reddson and Mrs feurig with the ET Browning book at hand, simply changed Reddson to Radford. What a shame.
Corky Swanson is probably the only living person in America who can recall seeing an original Browning family Bible with John´s name in it.Here is what she has to say:
24. Januar 2007, 05:27:45 Uhr
> Re: AW: John Browning Bible 1847 Bible transriptions and other data
>In my earlier message, I stated that "The bible was published in 1830 and
>belonged to Frances John Browning and his wife Sarah Veazey. The entries
>are probably made by Sarah since her death is recorded in a different>handwriting than the earlier entries. When I said an insert I should have
>said a section in the Bible. It was part of the original the bible when it
>was printed. It was in the middle of the bible instead of in the
>front. Most of the front of the bible was missing and there were some
>loose pages, but the section that recorded marriages, deaths, births, etc.
>was not loose. I looked back at my notes. The Bible was old and
>yellowed and many of the pages were quite brittle. The entries were not
>clear. I actually transcribed the entry original as John Redsson
> Browning, May 3, 1844. My Grandmother later told me that in old
>records the ss was probably an f. [The opposite is true an sf is an ss.]
>When I continued to see the name John Radford Browning,
> I decided that I had made a transcription error. The Bible
>passed to their daughter Nancy Peebles Browning, to her son Miles Lou
>Daniel. I do not know what happened to any of "Uncle Loyds'" family. Or
>to the Bible. Oh how I wish I had had a zerox machine back then. The
>second entry on the death page was Nathan Peebles Browning December 04,
>1845. and the third was Phoebe Boring July 30, 1857. The last two entries
>were Nancy Browning, July 03, 1868. and Sara Veazey February 01,
>1871. There were other entries but were too yellowed and faded to
>read. On the Marriages page and the Births pages, only bits and pieces of
>names were legible. I did not mean to imply that I was trying to prove
>John's middle name--just an explanation of how I came about using it in my
>records. I have removed the Radford and the changes should show up
>eventually on Rootsweb. My name is Corky and I am female and 64 years old.
Redsson may mean Radison or might be a mispelling of what is usually Ritson/Writson in the Browning family of Virgina or Maryland. There was allot of commerce between Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia, so the 1803 Bible might have been brought in Maryland as a present for John Brownings. Nancy Peebles Browning was the daughter of John Browning and wife Nancy Peebles, daughter of Nathan Peebles. Nancy and John may also have been married in Caswell NC.
I have only loaded the pages which concern Nancy Peebles Browning and her children--but not the page which was written by Mrs. Ferig which inserts children not belonging to Nancy and changed birth dates in order to squeeze other children in. A pure fraud, for what ever reasons. nancy would have been shocked to have learned she was being blamed for the birth of 16 children- bringing the children born to the southern GA Brownings into her lap. Summing up then, of the pages I have pictured here, only the first four lines on the first page of the 1803 Bible are in question.
Here is Carol Golowka´s email: Golowka to Stacey Burns. :
"ALL evidence shows that John did NOT have the name Radford. This comes from a book that is chocked full of errors called "Genealogy of the Brownings in America from 1621 to 1908," by Edwin Franklin Browning, A.M. It has the wrong children for John and Nancy Browning. New evidence shows that John and Nancy were most likely married in Caswell Co., NC. John's father, John, went to Greene Co., GA with his second wife, Susannah (not John, Jr.'s mother) and his children followed."
This family record is from an old Bible lacking binding or title page and publication data. It is in the possession of Grace Reynolds Gilmer Lynch of Lebanon, Virginia and has been contributed by Mrs. Mary Jane Knisely of Orlando, Florida who advises that this Browning family lived in Russell County, Virginia.
Mrs. Rebecca (Browning) Dickenson, age 92, grand-daughter of Francis Browning states that his son Jesse married Nancy Vermillion and died at about age 20-21, leaving one son James Scott Browning born ca. 1801 and reared by his grandfather Francis Browning. James S. married Sally Price. Nancy (Vermillion) Browning married twice more and had several children by her third husband Taylor.
Russell County, Virginia, Will Books provide the following supplementary information. Will of James s. Browning, 14 Jan 1866, Jesse Browning, Exec (8:31) Appraisal of estate of Jessee Browning, 23 Apr. 1806; adm. Francis Browning's application to make a dam and grist mill, 25 Feb 1809. (2:178) Francis Browning appointed constable 5 May 1818, (2:258) Wilson Browning appointed Commissioner of Upper District 3 Sept. 1816. (2:196)
Francis Browning, Sr., d. 18 July 1855, aged 101 yrs. 7 mos. 24 days. Wife Elizabeth d. 27 Aug. 1838, in 80th yr. Children: Jesse, b. 23 Oct, 1775; James, b. 14 Mar. 1778; Harvey, b. 27 Mch. 1781; Nancy, b. 1 Oct. 1784; William, b. 29 Mch. 1787; Francis, b. 19 Aug. 1791; Wilson b. 8 Nov. 1795; John, b. 1796
Grandchildren; James S. Browning, b. 3 Aug. 1801; William Browning b. 12 Mch 1803, Jesse Browning, b. Mch. 1805
Loose note in the Bible: "V" Browning Constable from July 1852 to 1856 July. John Browning one of his securities. Cummings Gilmer was his security from July 1856 to July 1858.
Also in the Bible was a letter dated March the 25th '85, Princeton Mercer Co. [New Jersey], addressed to "Dear Sister," and signed Henry Hendricks.
Francis Browning and family removed to Virginia and settled in the section known as Elk Garden, Russell Co. They are buried in a family plot near their home.
William Browning (1770-1832)
born son of John Browning and Elizabeth Demarest
March 15, 1770
died Jan. 25, 1832
"There seems to be a problem with the lists of John Brownings children. It seems to have started out with the book by Edward F. Browning. But the Will of John lists his 9 children, I think all of them, including Phebe and Milicent. Other Browning researches I have found on the Internet think this also. Then there are others who want to keep all the children running the count to 15 children. But I am going with only those listed in his Will."
Greene Co., Ga Wills Book D pg342-3
Dated: 7 Oct. 1803
Recorded: 29 Jan. 1804
Greene Co., Georgia
In the name of God Amen - I John Browning of the county of Greene & state of Georgia -
Being sick and weak in body but of sound and perfect memory & calling to mind the transtory things of this life do make, constitute, and ordain this to be my last will and testament, revoking all other wills heretofore made by me -First - I give and bequeath (after paying all my just debts) unto my beloved wife Susannah Browning both real and personal during the life of her widowhood and after her decease or marriage it is my will that the plantation whereon I now live containing one hundred & Eighty seven and a half acres with all its improvements shall belong to my son William Browning - it is also my will that all the balance of my property including all my negroes, horses, cattle, hogs and stock of ever kinds, also money, _____, notes or debts with all my household furniture, working tools, with all & everthing that may belong to me at my decease should be equally divided between my children as hereafter named, to wit, Francis Browning,
John Browning, William Browning, Anna Bird, Phebe Boring, Sincy Fuller, Clara Harrelson & Milicent Wright, except a negro man named Jack and a bay mare called bony and one feather Bed & furniture which I give unto beloved wife Susannah Browning to keep during her life & to be at her disposal at her death - I also give unto my son Joshua Browning one Dollar and desire my Executors to pay him that sum &c - witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 7th day of Octr 1803.
/s/ John Browning (seal)
Test: Davis Gresham
Greene Court of Ordinary Jany. Term 1804
The within Will & testament of John Browning decd. Proven in open Court, by the oaths of Phillip Clements & Saml. Baldwin who was subscribing witness's to the same.
Recorded the 29 Jany. 1804.
/s/ Tho. Carleton C.C.V.
You can no longer find this will on the Greene Co., Georgia site at
All of the Children were with Elizabeth Demarest his FRIST wife- if indeed that was the name of his first wife. They married in 1744 in Virginia. She was born Abt 1728 in Delaware and died Abt 1776-77 in North Carolina. John married SECOND to Susannah Teague (1729-1812) the widow of Joseph Boring(1730-1775). But all of the birth dates of his children from the Will are from before 1776. John and Susannah did not have any children together.
John (1728-1803) and Elizabeth's (1728-1776) children, according to his will, deeds, etc. are as follows:
1. Francis (1752-1855) m. 1775, Elizabeth Vermillion (1758-1838)
2. Joshua (1758-1807) m. 1775, Margaret Rankin (1754-1850)
3. Anna (1760-1824) m. 1784, Thomas Bird
4. Phoebe (1762-1857) m. 1780, Isaac Boring (1762-1831) ((Son of Susannah Teague Boring Browning))
5. Clara (1765-1841) m. 1782, 1)David Culberson (1762-1796), 1798, 2) Jonathan Haralson (1759-1833)
6. Asenith (Sincy) (1766-1811) m. 1782, Elijah Fuller (1756-1823)
7. John Browning Jr. (1767-1844) m. 1780, 1)Elizabeth Culberson (1760-1780), 1790 2) Nancy Peeples (1777-1850)
8. William (1768-1832) m. 1805, Elizabeth Atkinson (1770-?)
9. Millicent (1775-1840) m. 1790, Basil Wright
1761 WILL: Culpeper County, Virginia, WB A-242, 4 December 1760. John and his brother Nicholas, adn Thomas Bywaters were witnesses to the Culpeper will of Francis Browning III, recorded 19 February 1761.
1787 WILL: Caswell County, North Carolina, RB B-166.
Recorded in Book B folio 166 Caswell County N. C.
I. Nicholas Browning of the state of North Carolina and county of Caswell being weak in body but of sound mind, memory and understanding do this twenty third of October in the year of our lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty six make and publish this my last Will and Testament and none other. First I recommend my soul to god and my body to be buried in a Christian manner at the desecration of my executor as I shall nominate and appoint and as to the worldly estate where with it hath pleased god to bestow me, I do dispose of the same in manner and form following. --Viz-- Item First I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Sarah, the third part of all my estate real and personal as not to disturb Joseph Jones where he now lives; Secondly, at her death for all the land to be sold to the highest bidder and equally divided between my two daughters, Sarah and Jean to them and their heir and assigns for ever. Item: I give and bequeath to my son Enos Browning, one feather bed and furniture to him, his heirs and assigns for ever. Item, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Jean, one feather bed and furniture and forty shillings in money more than those above mentioned; Thirdly; after these legacies are taken out of my estate, Enos and daughter Jean; the remainder that is left to be equally divided between my two daughters above mentioned to be sold and equally divided; Fourthly; my son Francis, John, Charles and my daughters Mary and Elizabeth I cut off from having any part or right or title to any of my estate where with I am now posses with only one shilling sterling to each of them at my decease. Fifthly; I nominate and appoint Edmond Browning my beloved Brother and Joshua Browning my hole and sole executors of this my Last Will and Testament, revoking all other wills or wills, and this only to be my Last Will and Testament and none other in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day an date before written.
Signed Sealed and Delivered, in presence of Isaac Corin and James Hopper
- Where they think it started for Francis Browning o...
- John Browning born 1767 in Caswell NC who fought i...
- The recorded death date July 1855 in the Bible dea...
- The brothers and sisters who did or didnt come to ...
- 1803 Will and other records of John Browning Sr of...
- 1787 Will of Nicholas Browning of Culpepper VA
- John W. Browning in AL
- ▼ December (7)