William Brown was born 13 March 1772 in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland to James Brown (1718-1788) and Margaret McKitrich (1720-1766) and died 8 January 1820 in Dryden, Tompkins County, New York of unspecified causes. He married Hannah Sweet (1774-1839) circa 1792 .


From “Ebenezer Brown and Descendants” by Jennie Brown Hollist and Imogene Brown, and Ebenezer Brown Family Organization

WILLIAM BROWN, our immigrant ancestor, has been the object of diligent search by many of Ebenezer Brown's descendants, who have devoted years and spent large sums of money for travel and professional researchers. Since forty-eight "William Browns" are in the New York U.S. Census for 1790, it has been a very frustrating search. With the collecting of the material for this project, there has come to light in bits and pieces the information and insight that we have needed to unfold the story of this man of mystery and adventure.

71st Highland Foot Regiment

William Brown, born 1766, was of Scottish descent. He came to the American Colonies with the British Forces during the WAR OF REBELLION, the AMERICAN REVOLUTION, having joined the Scottish forces as a drummer boy at twelve years of age, along with one or more of his brothers, David, Samuel, or Joseph. Having been born in 1766, it would have been 1778 when William enlisted. The Scottish regiment of that year was the 71st Regiment of Highland Foot, also known as Fraser's Highlanders. (Source: Francis Leeson, Director of Research F.S.G. England). He must have given his age as fifteen to meet the required enlistment age. Our grandfather, Ebenezer, identified his three uncles and father on 2 April 1873 when he did baptisms for the dead in the Old Endowment House in Salt Lake City. Also recorded in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints records was the date of William's birth, 1766. Ebenezer also identified his mother's father, Jesse SWEET, and his uncles, Wanton and Harman SWEET.

It is characteristic of the Brown Family to be excellent jumpers and fast runners who take pride in their feats of strength and skill, so we can easily envision that by 1780 William could be a scout for Patrick Ferguson, the famous sharp shooting Colonel of the English Army. FERGUSON was a Scot, also, and had begun his career as a twelve year old drummer boy, an officer of great leadership ability. In the fall of 1780 he was advancing through South Carolina with a hundred of his regular King's Loyal Men and a large troop of Tories. A call came from America's Col. Cleveland to rendezvous at the court house in Wilkes County. The frontiersmen also were on the alert as Ferguson stationed himself on a flat summit of a ridge and sent word that unless the Americans came and joined him and the King he would come over the mountain and hang every one of them. The Americans called for the rendezvous of their troops, but before many could come together a voluntary army of almost a thousand frontiersmen came together into a force, and with their own sure footed horses, joined the American Troops and surrounded the British in a battle that lasted only an hour. The British commander was killed as were many of his troops, and the remaining soldiers were taken as prisoners.

Marriage & Family

We are left with no hint of William's next twelve years, but on October the 1st, 1792, William Brown was married to Hannah Sweet by Elder Clark Rogers, a minister from Rhode Island, in Hancock (then Jerico), Berkshire County, Massachusetts a newspaper report (Film # 234,569, L.D.S. Genealogical Library, Salt Lake City, Utah) Hannah Sweet, a daughter of Jesse Sweet and Hulda Whitford was born the 13th of October, 1774 in East Greenwich, Kent, Rhode Island, a descendant of John Sweet of England. (Extensive genealogical records can be had by contacting the Ebenezer Brown Family Organization.)

The Sweet family seemed to be exploring new country to settle and stayed in Berkshire County for only a year or two. Hannah's sister Priscilla also married in Hancock, and then she, too, along with Hannah went with their father, Jesse Sweet, into what is now Herkimer County, New York, where Jesse bought a hundred acre tract of land. (Montgomery County deeds). Our Ebenezer and his sisters gave Salisbury County as their place of birth, but no deeds of land are found recorded there, nor is he identified in the U.S. Census of 1800 for that county

We have found records of nine children born to William Brown and Hannah Sweet. 1. Betsey Brown born 1 December 1792, married 25 November 1815 in Dryden, Tompkins, New York, John Patten, also of Dryden. They went to Greenwood, Steuben Co., New York, along with her sister, Cornelia, where they joined the Mormons and were next found in Illinois. Betsey died 1842 in Illinois. Some of her family came to Utah with the Mormon migration. (Betsey and John Patten signed her father's deed to lot # 37 in 1823 in Dryden).

2. William Brown, Jr. born about 1795, probably also in Salisbury, Herkimer Co., New York, was made administrator of the estate of William Brown, lately died intestate, of the town of Dryden, Tompkins Co. of New York, dated 8 January 1820.

The land owned by William Brown which was divided among his heirs was- Lot #37 Dryden, the southeast corner of the State's hundred acres. Their corner contained about eighty acres. William Brown, Jr. was the first signature on the deed sold in 1823, as heir of William Brown.

William Brown owned fifty acres of land in Conneaut Township, Crawford Co., Pennsylvania along with other members of the Brown family His wife's name has not been established, but a Marrilla signed with a William Brown in 1836 in the sale of land. William is said to have come west with Ebenezer, but had died before coming to Utah.

3.Hannah Brown born 27 May 1797 Salisbury, Herkimer County,
New York married Zimri Lewis born 9 September 1795 near Troy, Albany
Co., New York; he died 17 January 1866 in Ottawa, La Salle Co., Illinois. Hannah had three children, probably all born in Dryden. Zimri Lewis, Jr born 1816 or 1817, Floretta (or Florella), born 1823, and William, who died of cholera 1848 in Illinois. (See the county history of La Salle County, Ilinois). Hannah and Zimra had land transactions with Ebenezer while they lived in Pennsylvania. She died 13 June 1889 in Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.

4. Polly Brown born 1799 in Salisbury, New York married Thomas Dart. The only record of Polly is the fact that she and Thomas signed the deed in 1823 in Dryden as an heir of William Brown, deceased.

5. Ebenezer Brown (1802-1878) born 6 December 1801 in Salisbury, Herkimer Co., New York. He joined the LDS Church with his family and served in the Mormon Battalion.

6. Cornelia Brown born 22 October 1803 in Salisbury, Herkimer, New York married Moses Clawson of Dryden. They had twelve children, the eldest born in Dryden, after which they moved to Steuben County, New York where the next six children were born. They became members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in March 1835, and Moses became an active missionary. They moved to Ohio, then to Caldwell County, Missouri, then to Hancock, Illinois. They were part of the western movement of the "Mormon Church" to Salt Lake Valley, Utah. Cornelia's sons were said to have come across from Iowa to Utah with their cousins, Norman Brown and Joseph Gurnsey Brown, in 1849, bringing a herd of cattle with the emigrants.

Cornelia died 21 October 1853 in Salt Lake City, Utah, a devoted follower of her religious faith.

In Tompkins County, New York on January 21, 1825, Cornelia and Moses Clawson of the town of Greenwood, Steuben County, New York received $40.00 for one tenth part of lot #37 being all of their rights of land which William Brown, late of Dryden, owned in his lifetime.

7. Artemicia Brown born about 1805, probably in Salisbury, Herkimer, New York is said to have married Marett Taylor but no record has been found to prove or disprove this tradition. She did not appear on the deed in 1823 with William Jr., Polly, Betsey, and Ebenezer, nor on the deed with Cornelia or with Elisha and Priscilla. More research should probably find her in Crawford County under perhaps a slightly different name.

8. Elisha Brown was probably born in Dryden, New York, about 1809. On a deed dated December 29,1823 are Zimri Lewis and Hannah (Brown), his wife of Dryden — reserving undivided two shares; also Elisha Brown and Priscilla Brown of lot #37 Dryden for $525.00. This deed establishes him as Ebenezer's brother.

In the 1830 Census of Crawford County, Pennsylvania, Elisha Brown is shown as being between twenty to thirty years of age; a female between the age of fifteen and twenty, which could be his wife or his sister Priscilla, and a female between the age of fifty and sixty which could be his mother, Hannah Brown, are also shown.

June 6, 1833 Elisha sold land in Summerhill Township which was bounded by Ebenezer Brown.

On 2 August 1837 a deed in Dryden, New York, showed that Elisha had sold his share of his father's estate and was now in Avon, Lorraine Co., Ohio. Elisha's aunt, Priscilla Sweet Cahoon, was an original settler of Avon, Ohio in 1814. Elisha's uncle, Waterman Sweet, and his grandparents, Jesse and Hulda Sweet were also in Avon, Ohio in 1817.

Elisha is said to have been in California in 1846, as recorded in JohnWeaver Brown’s journal. Searchers have found no further records of him or his family, if any.

9. Priscilla Brown was born about 1815, probably in Dryden, Tompkins, New York. She was heir to land in Dryden along with her brother Elisha in 1823, as she was a child when her father died in 1819. She could have been with her mother in Crawford County in 1830 along with Elisha, her brother, but it could have been Elisha's wife who was counted in the census record. No tradition about her has been given us to aid in finding her records. We have not found where her part of Lot #37 was sold.

Mother Hannah Sweet Brown - We are at a loss to know of her last years, as no record or tradition has been found.


Offspring of William Brown and Hannah Sweet (1774-1839)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Elizabeth Brown (1792-1842)
William Brown (1795-1839)
Hannah Brown (1797-1889)
Polly Brown (1799-1847)
Ebenezer Brown (1802-1878) 6 December 1802 Salisbury, Herkimer County, New York 26 January 1878 Draper, Salt Lake County, Utah Ann Weaver (1806-1842)
Phoebe Draper (1797-1879)
Elsie Samantha Pulsipher (1837-1877)
Mary Elizabeth Wright (1837-1870)

Cornelia Brown (1803-1853)
Artemicia Brown (1805-1875)
Elisha Brown (1809-1877)
Priscilla Brown (1815-)



Footnotes (including sources)