A case of Brick Wall Battering Rams at work.

A correspondent, Sonja Abate, sends word that she has been successful on locating one of her elusive female ancestors name, through perseverance and hard work. This is what it takes to root out those tough problems in Upstate New York Genealogy research. About a year and a half ago we had a series of correspondence regarding her early ancestor, Wright Brown of Stillwater, New York, who became quite a prolific newspaper publisher.

With Sonja’s permission we will post her recent series of messages.

Dick, it was quite by accident that I found the name of Wright Brown’s wife’s name. One day I put the name, “Wright Brown” into a Family History Library search online and it mentioned a book by the name of “Compendium of Early Mohawk Valley Families” by Marylyn B. Penrose. Finding where I could purchase the book, if it was even in print was another matter. I finally wrote an email to Genealogical Publishing company and they had it.

When it arrived, sure enough, there is was, “Brown, Wright and Hannah (Nollin) of Stillwater;
Isaac, bapt. 1/18/1784.” on page 81. Then it gave the source, (JDR:16)…What in the world did that mean????

I realized I had to buy the second volume in order to find out what it stood for….That is when
I discovered it was a written by Rev. James Dempster. I had never heard of this guy before…

Then the search for a copy of his diary went into full gear. About two years later, I saw
something on Ebay pertaining to a copy of this book…so I bid on it and got it.
I knew from early land records in Swanzey, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, that Wright’s wife’s name was Hannah but never knew her maiden name. When I saw the name, Nollin, I knew it had to be Newland, and especially since a Rial Newland of Stillwater had witnessed the signing of the document several different times in different years. Rial was a brother of hers.

The mystery still is when did she die and where is she buried? I have yet to find out. I also have never found where she was born, when or where they married and what other kids they had besides Isaac, Samuel Right/Wright and Arial Newland Brown.

I think Wright Brown’s middle name is Wright and his first name was Samuel… I found a will he was a witness to were he signed his name Wright S. Brown. His half brother was also Samuel Wright and their mother, also Hannah had a former father-in-law named Capt. Samuel Wright of Rutland, Worcester co. MA. For what ever reason, he always went by the first name of Wright anyway.

I recently discovered his second wife was named Bethiah Olney…probably married also in
Stillwater around 1789. There are several records on the Internet that say she was married to a Hugh Brown…so I don’t know if she was a widow of his and then married Wright Brown or if it was really Wright she was married to and not this Hugh…unfortunately, records in those early years in Stillwater are hard to find. All I know is according to the 1790 census records, in which he is mistakenly listed as Wright Bacon…or what appears as that, was living between Bethiah’s two brothers, Stephen and Enos Olney.

Wright would have remarried quickly, since a child, Arial Newland Brown was born about 1789, probably to Hannah and she may have died in childbirth….only guessing of course.

The Newlands were all Baptists and the Browns were Congregationalists…so I don’t know where they attended church.

So much for that…I would just give anything to find all the children born to both wives.. I
have two of the four from Wright’s second marriage to Bethiah (Bertha)…Wright, Jr. b. 1 June
1796 and Sarah Marie, b. 1799, all in Stillwater or Providence, Saratoga co.

If you ever run across any of these Browns, send up a white flag, will ya? They are driving me bonkers!!

Wright Brown is my only brick wall…from him back, I have him going back to the Mayflower and beyond. This is published in “Mayflower Families Through Five Generations,” Vol. 13 William White, pp. 77-78.

Thanks for your lovely websites…I really enjoy both of them…

Sonja Abate
————

So for those of you who get frustrated with early New York research, you might want to consider these famous words.

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.” (Winston Churchill)

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One Response to “A case of Brick Wall Battering Rams at work.”

  • Rebecca:

    The Saratoga Co. rootsweb site (US Genweb) has a LOT of information on the Newland family. It mentions that Rial was a son of David & Mary. He was born 7 Jan 1823, and was later the proprietor of Saratoga Hosiery Mills.
    David & Mary Newland were members of the 2nd Baptist Church in Stillwater, begun in 1836. There were MANY other Newland’s who were members, including an Almira Newland Bird wife of William J. She may be related to your Almira.
    There is mention of the farm of Rial and Henry – used as a redoubt during the Revolution. (This was a different Rial –There was a Royal Newland in 1790 census of Stillwater; Rial Newland died 7 July 1804 age age 51. Elias son of Rial & Dorcas died 5 Sep 1804 age 14 – both at Bemis Heights Cemetery) There are Newland’s in the Stillwater Union Cemetery…
    and also Riel Newland in the 1855 census of Stillwater, age 32 born Saratoga Co. with wife Ellen 23. Also in 1855 is David age 67 with wife Marilla P. 53 (2nd wife?), 3 children + his sister Harriet age 54….
    Rebecca Rector
    Troy, NY http://www.rbinforesearch.com

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