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Ira Baker BROWN
Martha Abigail HOPKINS
Husband:  Ira Baker BROWN
Birth:  28 Jun 1829, Stockholm, St. Lawrence Co., NY
Death:  15 May 1899, Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO
Disposition:  buried Edgewood Cemetery (Sec. 8, Lot 199), Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO
Vital Statistics:  5' 9½" tall; brown hair; grey eyes
Occupations:  cooper, laborer, painter, photographer (owned a panorama camera), soda manufacturer
Military Service:  Mexican War:  Pvt., Co. H, 2nd Rgmt. New York Infantry 
Father:  Willard BROWN
Mother:  Mary E. "Polly" RASEY
Marriage:  9 Dec 1853, Detroit, Wayne Co., MI
Wife:  Martha Abigail HOPKINS
Birth:  27 Jul 1834, Somerset, Niagara Co., NY
Death:  12 Jan 1924, DeRidder, Beauregard Parish, LA 
Occupation:  homemaker
Father:  Samuel Lucas HOPKINS
Mother:  Philancia M. HOLT
  1.  Nellie BROWN, b. 17 Sep 1854, Detroit, Wayne Co., MI 
  2.  Ida BROWN, b. 30 Aug 1856, Hastings, Barry Co., MI 
  3.  Orlando BROWN, b. 5 Oct 1859, Hastings, Barry Co., MI; d. 15 Jul 1863, Helena, Phillips Co., AR 
  4.  Wallace Milton BROWN, b. 25 Dec 1864, Helena, Phillips Co., AR 
  5.  Charles Stewart BROWN, b. 18 Apr 1867, Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO
  6.  Samuel Holt BROWN, b. 11 Feb 1869, Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO 
  7.  Grace "Gracie" BROWN, b. 25 Dec 1872, Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO; d. 10 Apr 1895, Kansas City, Jackson Co., MO; bur. Edgewood Cem., Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO
  8.  (Son) BROWN, died young
  9.  (Son) BROWN, died young
10.  (Son) BROWN, died young

Orlando is said to have had a twin, Malvina, both of whom are said to have died when struck by lightning on 15 Jul 1863.  Problem is, there is no daughter, Malvina, in the 1860 census.  Is this enumerator error, or did a family legend get twisted in the telling?  Adding her to the list of children would give Martha 11 children, and the 1900 census says she had 10.

Keywords for search engines:  genealogy; USA, US, United States, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio

Family Timeline


1.  Some of this information was from oral family history and some from a written family history by Nellie Brown, typed up by her daughter, Ida Capitola (Kirk) Baird, plus a collection of family photos (son Charles was a professional photographer in Macedonia, Pottawattamie Co., IA) in the possession of Kathleen Hontz.  There is a collection of letters, principally between Martha and her daughters, Ida and Nellie, in the possession of Rhenda (Greene) Cedars and Donna Greene, who also kindly shared the contents of Ira's military pension folder, also a copy of their marriage certificate and Ira's death certificate.

2a.  Marriage Certificate.
This is to Certify
that Mr. Ira B. Brown of Birmingham in the State of Ohio and Miss M.A. Hopkins of Detroit in the State of Michigan were by me joined together in
on the Ninth day of December in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Three.
In Presence of 
Samuel L. Hopkins
Philancy Hopkins
M. Hickey
Minister of the Gospel

2b.  Marriage Certificate:
I Certify, That on the Ninth day of December A.D. 1853, at Detroit in the County aforesaid, I joined in MARRIAGE, Mr. Ira B. Brown of Birmingham in the State of Ohio aged 24 years, and Miss M.A. Hopkins of Detroit in the State of Michigan aged 19 years; that the said parties did then and there solemnly declare that they took each other as Husband and Wife, and that there were present as Witnesses, Samuel L. Hopkins of Detroit and Philancy Hopkins of Detroit.
Dated Dec. 9th A.D. 1853.
M. Hickey, Minister of the Gospel.

2c.  Timothy Hopkins.  1932.  John Hopkins of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1634, and Some of His Descendants. Stanford Univ. Press, Stanford, CA (facsimile reprint available from Higginson Books; online at GenealogyLibrary.com).  See full excerpt on Martha's parents' page, but with regard to Martha, it says she was married to Ira Brown at Stockbridge, MI, which is incorrect (see previous two sources). 

3a.  1850 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com):  I checked the following Ira BROWNs:  Pope, AR; Sangamon Co., IL; Pulaski, IN; Hillsdale, MI; Plymouth, Wayne, MI; Sumpter, Wayne, MI; Choctaw, MS; Cattaraugus, NY; St. Lawrance, NY, mis-linked, can't find; Ashtabula, OH; Cuyahoa, OH; Defiance, OH, image unavailable; Erie, OH; Lake, OH.  I think the one in Erie Co. may be our Ira (see next source).

3b.  1850 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com; Image #19-20 of 22):  Groton Twp., Erie Co., OH, pp. 380A-380B, 129/129, enumerated 29 Nov 1850, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1850 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
Daniel B Movey 27 M   Farmer 6000 Conn
Catherine  " 22 F       Ohio
[next page]
Robert S Movey  2 M       Ohio
Thomas E   "  1 M       "
Abigal Edwards 42 F       Conn
Alanson   " 16 M   Farmer   Ohio
Electa Briggs 15 F       New York
Jonathan Edwards  9 M       Ohio
Harvey      "  7 M       "
Leander     "  5 M       "
George Movey 22 M   Farmer   Conn
Sarah Call 16 F       Vermont
Ira Brown 21 M   Laborer   Ohio
David Clayton 27 M   "   New York
George Castell 18 M   "   Ohio
Bastin Coby 19 M       "
Douglass Ferguson 13 M       "
Jane Drewey 18 F       New York
This Ira is the right age and occupation to be our subject, but our subject was born in St. Lawrence Co., NY, not Ohio.  I would totally doubt this was our Ira, except for the fact that when Ira married in 1853, he said he was from "Birmingham, OH," and there is a Birmingham in Erie Co.  Also, in a large household such as this, mistakes in data with regard to the boarders are common, and it is a virtual certainty that Ira was not the informant on this record (and may have been a near stranger to the informant).  Granted, Birmingham (the town) is at the far side of the county from Groton Twp., still, as a single laborer, he was mobil and could have moved to Birmingham after the 1850 census and before he moved to Detroit.  I presume he moved to Detroit by 1853 because I don't see how else he could have met Martha.  Also, I have yet to find Ira anywhere else!  MOVEY is an extremely rare surname, yet there is a William MOVEY in the 1840 census of St. Lawrence Co., NY.  On the other hand, these MOVEYs came from CT, so it may be just a quirky coincidence.  Still, it's only a possiblity this is our subject.

4.  1860 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com; Image #10 of 36):  Hastings P.O., Hastings Village, [Hastings Twp.,] Barry Co., MI, Roll 536, p. 754, PN 131, 1042/969, enumerated 6 Jul 1860, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1860 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
Ira B Brown 31 M Painter 50 NY
Martha 27 F     "
Nellie  5 F     Mich
Ida  3 F     "
Orlando 9/12 M     "
Philancy Hopkins 48 F     NY
Sarah Hopkins 16 F     Mich
Philancy is Martha's widowed mother; Sarah is Martha's sister.  Listed five households from Lucy BROWN (æ 20, b. OH), who is living with the NEWTON family and who is almost certainly Ira's sister.  Ira's parents are in Hastings Township.

5.  1870 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Genealogy.com; Image #10 of 100):  Farmersville P.O., City of Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO, Roll M563_789, p. 496B, 35/35, enumerated 8 Jun 1870, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1870 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):¤
Brown Ira B 41 M W Soda Manufacture   500 NY
      Martha A 36 F W house keeper     NY
      Nellie 16 F W       Mich
      Ida 14 F W       Mich
      Wallace  6 M W       Ark
      Charles  4 M W       Mo
      Samuel  1 M W       Mo
James Delbert 16 M W       Mich

6.  1880 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com):  can't find.  According to family history, Ira and family should still be in Livingston Co., but it is said the Livingston Co. 1880 Census is too faded to read.  I paid for a Soundex search through GRA and got "no record."  Daughter, Nellie (BROWN) KIRK, is living in Colorado Springs, CO.  Son, Wallace, is living with his married sister, Ida (BROWN) WILLIS, in Chillicothe.

7.  1890 U.S. Census:  the 1890 census population schedules were destroyed.

8.  1900 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Microfilm (online at Genealogy.com; Image #44 of 239):  516 11th Street, Kansas City (8th Ward), Jackson Co., MO, p. 179A, SN 9, SD 5, ED 78, enumerated 7 Jun 1900, official enumeration date 1 Jun 1900 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
1900:  for an explanation of the column headings, please see
What the Numbers in the Federal Census Mean (missing columns contained no data).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 19 20 22 23 24 25 27
? 193 Brown Martha A Head W F Jul 1833 66 Wid 10 5 NY Can(Eng) NY     Y Y Y R H
    _____ Wallace M Son W M Dec 1864 35 D     AR NY NY Cook-Invalid 10 Y Y Y    
    _____ Samuel H Son W M Feb 1869 31 S     MO NY NY Cook 0 Y Y Y    
Martha's father was born in VT, not Canada.  Wallace is divorced?

9.  1910 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Genealogy.com; Image #12 of 14):  Center Twp., Carter Pct., Woodward Co., OK, p. 85B, SH 9B, SD 234, ED 280, enumerated 9+10 May 1910; official enumeration date 15 Apr 1910 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
1910:  for an explanation of the column headings, please see What the Numbers in the Federal Census Mean (missing columns contained no data).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 17 18 19 20 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
148 148 Brown Samule H Head M W 41 M1 8     MO NY NY Eng Merchant Country Store Emp Y Y   O M F 147
    _____ Minnie Wife F W 34 M1 8     OH OH OH Eng None     Y Y          
    _____ Martha A Mother F W 77 Wd   10 5 NY US VT Eng None     Y Y          
    Kirk Leland Nephew M W 15 S       MO MO MI Eng None     Y Y Y        

10.  1920 U.S. Census Every-Name-Index/Images (online at Ancestry.com; Image #1 of 8):  Carter Precinct, Carter Twp., Woodward Co., OK, p. 168A, SN 1A, SD 8, ED 231, enumerated 5/6/7 Jan 1920, official enumeration date 1 Jan 1920 (extracted by Diana Gale Matthiesen):
1920:  for an explanation of the column headings, please see
What the Numbers in the Federal Census Mean (missing columns contained no data).
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 16 17 18 19 21 23 25 26 27 28 29
Fm 3 3 Brown Samuel H Head O M M W 51 M   Y Y MO NY NY Y Farmer Gen farming Em 6
      [Samuel's wife and children]
      _____ Wallace M Brother     M W 55 S   Y Y AR NY NY Y farmer Gen farming OA  
      _____ Martha A Mother     F W 86 Wd   Y Y NY NY ME Y none      
      Smith Melvin L Nephew     M W 9 S Y     MO OH NE Y none      
Martha's mother was born in NY, not ME.

11.  Edgewood Cemetery [Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO] Index (online at the Livingston County MOGenWeb site; contributed by Robert Phillips):
Last Name First Name Birth Date Death Date Vet
BROWN IRA B.   05/15/1899 M
BROWN MISS (GRACE?)   04/10/1895  

12.  Mexican War Pension:  Declaration of Survivor for Pension.  30 Mar 1887. Ira B. Brown.  Enlisted 28 Jun 1847 [his 18th birthday], at Buffalo, NY, for the duration of the war. In which Ira states:
That since my discharge from said service I have resided as follows, to wit:  Birmingham, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; Hastings, Mich.; Poplar Bluff, Mo.; Ironton, Mo.; Helena, Ark.; Chillicothe, Mo.

13.  U.S. Geological Survey.  GNIS:  Geographic Names Information Service (online database).  There are Birminghams in four Ohio counties:  Erie, Lucas, Guernsey, and Coshocton, the later two are designated "historical."

14.  Honorable Discharge.  Transcription.
To all Whom it may Concern:
<graphic of eagle>
Know Ye, That Ira B. Brown a Private of Captain M.R. Patrick's Company H Second Regimant of Infantry who was enlisted on the Twenty Eight day of June one thousand eight hundred and forty seven to serve during the War is hereby Honorably discharged from the army of the United States, this Twenty Fourth day of July 1848, at Camp Jefferson Davis Miss by reason of Expiration of Service.  [No objection to his being re-enlisted is known to exist.]  Said Ira B. Brown was born in Stockholm in the State of New York is Twenty one years of age, five feet nine ½ inches high, dark complexion grey eyes, brown hair, and by occupation, when enlisted, a cooper.  Given at Camp Jefferson this Twenty Third day of July 1848.
<can't read signature>
Note that Ira enlisted on his 18th birthday.  He must have been deeply tanned at the time of his discharge because photos later in life show him with a pale complexion.

15.   Affidavit.  14 Apr 1898.  Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions, Washington, DC.  Requested to list children:
Ira B Brown,
1515 Locust St.,
Kansas City, Mo...

Mrs Nellie Kirk born Sep 17th 1854
Mrs Ida Willis born Aug 30th 1856
Wallace M Brown born Dec 25th 1864
Charles S Brown born Apr 18th 1867
Samuel H Brown born Feb 11th 1869

16.  In her application for a widow's pension, Martha A. (HOPKINS) BROWN gives her date and place of birth as 27 Jul 1834, Somerset, Niagara Co., NY.

17.  From the Chillicothe Constitution (Chillicothe, Livingston Co., MO), Thursday 18 May 1899:
Ira B. Brown, formerly sexton at the city cemetery, died at his home in Kansas City, Sunday afternoon, after a lingering illness, from old age and as complication of diseases.  Interment in Chillicothe Tuesday morning at 10 o'clock.  Funeral services from the home of Wm. Willis, corner Third and Walnut streets.

18.  Board of Health, Kansas City, MO.  Certificate of Death:  Ira B. Brown.  No. 1212, Filed 15 May 1899; Certified 3 Oct 1899.

19.  Louisiana State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. Certificate of Death:  Martha Abigail Brown.  Filed 1 Apr 1924.  Registration Dist. No. 6-2038; File No. 141; Registered No. 2682. 

20.  Letter dated 25 Jul 1880 (Sunday) from Martha Abigail (HOPKINS) BROWN to her daughter, Nellie (BROWN) KIRK, in Colorado Springs, CO (transcribed by and in the possession of Rhenda Green Cedars of Natchitoches, LA).  I've excerpted the parts naming people. 
...Will was braking a span of mules... I was so glad you sent Cy and the baby picture... Ida will never go to town to have her children pictuers taken...  Will Sinnard is ded. He died in Kansas City. Dan Creamer (?) wife is dead. Gracie has ben sick. Is better now... I have heard from Sam. The cyclone missed him. Killed some of his neighbors... Emma was very sick with the flux. The rest was well. He has ben to Ill[inois] on a visit to Mothers folks. cousin hen Holt come and made Sam a visit. Did not come hear. I would not know him. Not seen him sense I was 16 years old. Uncal Lute Galucia (?) is coming this fall... I hear that Willie Newcomb is dead. He was married last winter. The day he marred he and his wife fell in the water and Willie was sick. Never got out of bed again.

Mae, Jennings in in jail on charge of murder... I must stop. I cant see my eyes is failing me very fast...

"Cast of Characters":
  • Will William Murphy WILLIS, husband of Martha's daughter, Ida
  • Cy Cyrus Wells KIRK, husband of Martha's daughter, Nellie
  • Ida Ida (BROWN) WILLIS, Martha's daughter
  • Will SINNARD ?
  • Dan CREAMER Daniel Abraham CREAMER, whose wife, Kate Starr (McDOWELL) CREAMER, died 21 Jul 1880 in Chillicothe
  • Gracie Martha's daughter
  • Sam Samuel Holt HOPKINS, Martha's brother, living at the time in Pottawattamie Co., IA (also residence of her son, Charles)
  • Emma Martha's sister-in-law, Emma (FAY) HOPKINS, wife of Samuel Holt HOPKINS
  • Mother's folks this mention is a little confusing as it initially seems to refer to Martha's mother's parents (her grandparents), but not only are Martha's grandparents dead by 1880, her own parents are dead; all I can figure is that she means the other kin (descendants) of her grandparents, possibly the GALUSHAs, living in Du Page Co., IL, or... does she mean the BROWNs?  We know from the back of a photo that an "Aunt Lucy BROWN" was living in Sterling, IL, in 1865, and she was probably Ira Baker BROWN's sister (i.e., Nellie's "aunt," hence the label, because Nellie's descendants possess the photo).
  • cousin Hen Holt must mean Henry HOLT; Martha had two first cousins named Henry HOLT, one the son of Daniel Putnam HOLT, the other the son of Elijah Hale HOLT; there is significance to her remark that she hasn't seen Henry since she was 16 (i.e., 1850) because it suggests the family moved in 1850
  • Uncal Lute Galucia Luke GALUSHA, half-brother of Martha's mother, Philancia (HOLT) HOPKINS
  • Willie NEWCOMB ?
  • Mae JENNINGS ?
If you can solve the riddle of any of the other characters, please clue us in.

21.  Armorial Ancestors of Martha Abigail HOPKINS

22.  Emails from Kathleen Hontz, Rhenda (Greene) Cedars, Donna Greene.

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