The Browns of Bedford County, Virginia, 1748-1840: A Collection of Brown Surname Records Extracted from Primary and Secondary Sources


Who was John Brown? Who were the ancestors of John Brown? Every Brown researcher can empathize with the dilemmas inherent in tracing that name. It would seem that most villages in early Virginia had a John Brown in every generation. The author's John Brown was said by family tradition to have "come from" Bedford County. Was that true? Bedford County in Virginia was on the path of the great Wagon Road which led from Philadelphia to Harper's Ferry to Tennessee. Uncounted scores of immigrants moved westward along that road, settling in a county for a few years before moving farther west. Bedford County records reflect that pattern of settling and moving, settling and moving. Many Brown families passed through Bedford County on their way west and left recorded evidence of having been there. Many of their family members, slaves, neighbors and business associates were named with them. Some 606 other surnames are associated with Brown in those records. The author studied all available records, and was able to rule out that the ancestors of her John Brown were from Bedford County. He was the descendant of several generations of pioneer settlers in Montgomery County, Virginia, but had married into a family which had moved there from Bedford County. Every genealogist knows that to rule out is to get closer to the truth. This collection of abstracted records is intended as a finding tool for researchers. The abstracts are written in modern English, and place names have been standardized.

Barbara Brown Eakley

(1998), 2008, 5½x8½, paper, index, 192 pp.

ISBN: 9780788409226