BROWN Family in Berks County Pennsylvania
It seems the BROWN families of Berks and some surrounding counties in Pa. have been marrying each other for many years.
I have been researching my grandmother's family for several years and I was completly stuck for some time.I am still having some problems but I have made great progress.
The old trunk in my grandmother’s basement in Dayton,Ohio was the beginning of my interest in the lives of my ancestors.I was just a girl of about eight years when she opened it to me the first time.My life changed that day over fifty years ago and I will be forever grateful to her for that!The many trinkets,clothes,high button shoes,pictures and so much more were the beginning of my thirst for things and people of long ago.
Her name was Clara Priscilla BROWN before she married Howard Thomas BRYANT in 1910.She always called herself “Pennsylvania Dutch” and told me her roots were in Berks County although she was born in Dayton.
I had no idea how many years,records,searches and dead ends I would stumble through to prove her stories were connected to Berks County.I have prevailed and now have proof that she did indeed have roots in Berks County through her mother’s family who had been farmers,horse dealers and cattle merchants from the late 1700’s. Mostly in Tulpehocken and Bethel Townships.Her gg grandfather Philip BRAUN was born in Tulpehocken Twp. around 1730 which is the earliest connection I have found to date.
My real problem which took me several months to solve, was the fact that her mother,Priscilla BROWN,married David Paul BROWN who was born in Rohrerstown,Lancaster County.I learned soon enough that Browns married Browns, Bashores married Bashores and Browns and Bashores married each other every day in early Pennsylvania!I discovered that my great grandmother Priscilla had a brother named Adam Keeney BROWN who married twice.Both times his bride was named Leah BASHORE born of different parents.What a tangled web of names,dates and marriages are a part of Pennsylvania genealogy!
Through countless hours of reading census after census,comparing one to another and sometimes sheer luck it is possible to make the correct connections.I have found that one should never depend on the realability of another persons work.Always double check and draw your own conclusions.Many times a tiny bit of information is all that I needed to find the correct family.Several times it came down to recognizing family names passed down through the generations or a story heard long ago that fit.
The journey that started with an old trunk has brought me to a place where I know who I am and where I come from.The satisfaction of that knowledge only makes me hunger for more.
For anyone who is seriously looking for their ancestors the key is persistance!
I am still having a bit of trouble chasing down some of the very earliest BROWN family .If anyone has connections with my family I would really appreciate knowing if you are farther along than I am.