A member of the Porter family has in their possesion the family Bible. He has transcribed it and uploaded it to the internet. The following should help clear up some of the confusion..the Hugh and Violet info is a few paragraphs from the bottom.
William Brown (1)
William (1) Brown lived near enough to Londonderry, Ireland “to hear the
Church Bels atoling p, the Citty from there home.” He was born in 1687 and died
in North Carolina, December 28, 1757. He married Margaret Fleming daughter
of Joseph Fleming; she was born April 1, 1701, in Ireland, and died September
17, 1801, in Davidson County, Tennessee. She is buried in the Springhill
Cemetery, today 7 miles from Nashville business district, on the eastern edge of
the city on the Gallatin Turnpike.
She was the daughter of a rich landowner and William Brown was the custodian
of the estate. The young people fell in love with each other and were secretly
married; only her maid knew their secret. One day Margaret accidentally threw
some water out of her window on this maid, which made her furious and she
called to her, “You need not be so smart even if you are married!” Her mother
overheard the maid and asked Margaret if it was true and she replied that it was.
When her father heard of it he told her that she could go with William as there
was no place at home for her. The day William and Margaret sailed for America
(about 1740 to 1745) sent her a shot bag [handwritten between the words “bag”
and “by” are the words “of gold”] by her brother and said that was all of his
fortune that she would ever get. This story was handed down and told to Alice
(16) Brown, Mrs. Asbury C. Latimer, by her father. William Carroll (5) Brown
also by his brother, Judge James Rice Brown, and by their sister, Mary (Brown)
Watkins. (These references are to members of the family of Gov. Joseph E.
Brown). Miss Mary Myers (6) of Nashville, a descendent of Reece and Jane
(Brown) Porter was told the same story by her grandmother, except that she
was told that Margaret’s father sent her a bushel of silver coins.
The Browns (the account says they” –perhaps the Browns and Flemings)
were originally English or Scotch, but on account of being non-conformists fled
from persecution to Ireland and “lived near enough to Londonderry to hear the
bels atoling in the citty.” He was a man of influence and possessed property but
having a large family he resolved to come to America for the advancement of his
About 1745 they landed at Newcastle, New Jersey (on the bank of the river from
Philadelphia) with their six children; David, Fanny, Elizabeth, Joseph, James, and
William. Their youngest child Jane (an old Bible spells the name Jean) was born
in America. Joseph Brown (3) of Columbia, Tennessee wrote that he thought
the immigrant, William Brown, came of a large family: he did not know whether
any of his brothers or sisters came to America. From Philadelphia they went to
Harrisburg, Penn., where William and Joseph Fleming are said to have laid out
the town. The Browns soon removed to the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, on the
Shenandoah River. Later they removed to Guilford County, North Carolina
(County seat, Greensboro), where William (1) died December 28, 1757.
Margaret Brown, when 84 years old. Traveled over the mountains from North
Carolina to Davidson County, Tenn. in a wagon and on horseback with some of
her children. Here she died September 17, 1801. She is buried in the old
graveyard called “Springhill” on the Gallatin Pike, 7 miles east of downtown
Nashville, Tennessee. In the pioneer days it was known as “Craighead”, for it
was there the Rev. Thomas B. Craighead (buried near Margaret Brown)
(page 2, WILLIAM BROWN history)
the first Presbyterian minister who came to Middle Tennessee settled, and it was
not far from here the Porters and Browns also settled when they came from
North Carolina at a place called Haysboro. Afterwards they entered large landed
estates in Maury Co. and settled there and in Giles, Lincoln, and Bedford
Counties. Margaret Brown’s tombstone bears the inscription:
Here lies the body
She departed this
life Sep. 17th 1801.
Aged 100 years
5 months &
In the old Porter Bible, owned by Mrs. Louise Looney of Memphis, Tennessee,
is this record:
Margaret Brown died Sept. 17, 1801,
aged 100 years, five months
and seventeen days.
Nearby are the remains of her daughter and her grave is marked;
Here lies the body of
Jane Porter, she departed
this life August 30, 1806,
aged 61 years and 12 days
We know very little of William Browns (1) family. We are told he was one of a
large family of boys. Whether anymore of his family came to America we do not
William (1) and Margaret (1) Fleming Brown had 7 children (second
generation); David, Fanny, Elizabeth, Joseph, James, William, and Jane.
I. David (2) Brown born in Ireland about 1725 married Isabelle McClintock.
[handwritten in the right margin here, are the words, “our Ancestor Son of
William Brown The Immigrant”] They had nine children, 4 daughters, names
unknown, married Misters Thomas White, Reed, and Armstrong. Isabelle (3)
Brown, a daughter, married John Pressley. The two sons of this marriage
served in the Creek Wars. Two children died when young. The sons lived in
Lincoln County, Tenn. James Brown (3) one of the sons later removed to what
is now Marshall County, Tennessee. (Ref. Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee)
Joseph (3) moved to Illinois.
Isabelle (3) who married John Pressley had a son Richard (4) Pressley who
married a Barron. Their daughter Isabella (5) Pressley married Rev. R. F.
Taylor of Mecklenburg County, Charlotte, North Carolina. He had a large school
there and taught for many years. Their daughter, Mary (6) Taylor married John
Barry. She died in New Orleans in the fall of 1926 and her body was brought to
Atlanta and interred. They lived for years on Washington and Willow Streets in
Atlanta, her mother living with her in 1900 and died an old lady in her home.
They had 5 children, seventh generation, William, Eugene, John, Robert, and
Andres. Eugene married Conklin Carroll, of North Carolina; they were living in
New Orleans in 1926.
James (3) Brown, the youngest child of David and Isabelle McClintock Brown
married Mary Reed. [handwritten in the right margin here are the words, “Our
Ancestor James Son of David] They had 5 children; McClintock, Simson and
David, and William & Elizabeth. James (3) served in the Creek War.
McClintock (4) married Margaret King. He once lived in Maury County,
Tennessee but died in Marshall Co. McClintock Brown’s will made on July 20,
1874 was probated Sept. 7, 1874. Will Book F, page 485. He had 7 children,
Washington (5), married Priscilla Jones. Elizabeth (5) born 1818, died 1898.
Mary Frances (5) born Sept. 22, 1819, died Feb. 3, 1864, married Thomas
Ashton. Franklin (5) Brown married Harriet Vincent. McNeel (5) Brown
(page 3, WILLIAM BROWN history)
married Ella Vincent. “Neel” Brown was killed racing a horse on a track on his
fathers farm on the banks of Globe Creek in Marshall Co., now known as the Lee
McKibbon farm. Alvin (5) Brown married Rachel Gifford. Dr. George (5)
Brown married first Betty Orr, second, a sister of his first wife. They had one
child Ida, (6) who married Rev. Lusby. They had five children (7th generation)
Elizabeth, Brownie, Horace and Collins.
Mary Frances (5) married Thomas Ashton, a private in the Mississippi Infantry
during the War Between the States, was captured at Fort Donelson, Tennessee
in February 1862. Their son Andrew Ashton, (6) married Henrietta Gresham.
They had 10 children (7th generation); Dallas, Daniel Boone, McClintock, Joseph
Reed, Texana, Grover, Flournoy, John McClintock, Bessie May, and Everett.
Margaret (6) Ashton married Polk Crews. They had three children, (7th) Nannie,
married Dean Graves and moved to Hubbard, Texas, Judith, married a Mr.
Richardson and lived in Rutherford County, Oscar, married Margaret Wells.
They had one child, John Claude, who lives in Maury County. (One child Cary
died as a child.)
David (4) Brown, son of James (3) and Mary Reed Brown married Clarice
Anthony. They moved to West Tenn. and both died in Mississippi. They had 4
children: James, Dr. Homer Brown, and two daughters.
Simson (4) Brown, son of James (3) and Mary Reed Brown married Polly
Mangrum. [Handwritten in the right margin are the words, “Mary (Brown)
Beaty our great great Grandfather Simpson (sic) Brown (4)” – They seem to be
two separate notations but they are run together, one above the other.] They
had eight children. Monroe (5) married Melinda Ingram. They had 7 children;
John Thomas Brown (6) married Susan Ida Keltner. Mary Ann Brown (6)
married John M. Compton. Jonas M. Brown (6) married first Fannie Keltner,
second married Beulah Lee. Tennessee Pricilla Brown (6) married Thomas Allen
Cannon. William Franklin Brown (6) first married Nannie Cannon, second
married Elizabeth Cannon. Elizabeth Brown (6) married George Compton.
Jasper Monroe Brown (6) married Anna Alexander.
William Jefferson Brown (5) never married, moved to Texas and died there.
Nancy Brown (5) married David Smith. They had four children. James (6)
Smith married Molly Payne. McClintock Brown Smith (6) married in Texas,
name unknown. Lumsdon (6) Smith never married. George Brown Smith (6)
married Delia Richardson.
Elizabeth (5) Brown married William Brown Smith. They had six children (one
died in infancy). Irvin Thomas Smith (6) married Frances Drucilla Dial. Sarah
(6) married William Henry Hight. Pricilla (6) married John Russ Dial. Margaret
Sabra (6) married Horatio Osborne. William Jefferson Brown Smith (6) married
Ophelia Myrick Dial. James Bennett Smith (6) married Carrie Tombs.
[*] Mary Brown (5) married Jackson Beaty. [This appears to be the “Mary
(Brown) Beaty” referenced in the margin note mentioned above. Here in the
margin are the handwritten words, “our (the word Great is written and scratched
through) Grandmother”] They had two children. Thomas Beaty (6) never
married. John Lee Beaty (6) (called “Charlie”) married Emma Dee Collier.
[*] William Brown (4) son of James and Mary Reed Brown married Mary
Lucas. He died at Jasper County, Texas.
[*] Elizabeth (4) Brown, the youngest child of James (3) and Mary Reed Brown
married John Brown.
[*NOTE: These three paragraphs are enclosed in one large set of hand-drawn
II. Fanny Brown (2), born in Ireland, married George Hamilton. Some of their
descendents moved to Missouri, and all lived to raise respectable families. The
account that says George Hamilton and family moved to Illinois is probably
erroneous, since Fanny Brown was nearly 100 years old, if she lived that long,
when Illinois was settled. [Handwritten in the right margin here is the single
III. Elizabeth (2) Brown, born in Ireland, married John Duffy (name is given as
Duffle and Duffield). No children. Reuben Sledge who married Anna Lindsey
remembers that our great great aunt Elizabeth Duffy,
(page 4, WILLIAM BROWN history)
then at the age of 91, rode horseback 25 miles to pay a visit and return home a
few days later, also on horseback. She died within the year, “in the triumph of a
living faith”. Miss Mary (6) Humphreys Meyers of 1304 McGavock St., Nashville,
Tenn. Writes, “Aunt Elizabeth Brown Duffy, sister of Jane (Brown) Porter lived
in this county. [The quotation marks, just opened, do not close in the original
document leaving the reader to decide where the quote may end] In her
advanced years she went to make her home with my grandmother, Elizabeth
Brown (Porter) Caruthers. My mother and her other nieces always called her
Aunt Duffle. She was a great and good woman. She spent her last years with a
nephew, John Porter, in Giles Co. I presume that her mortal remains lie in the
old graveyard of Mt. Moriah Church, for she was a devout Cumberland
Presbyterian. In the Bible of Reece and Jane (2) Brown Porter, now owned by
Miss Josephine Kyle of Rogersville, Tennessee, we find these records;
“William Brown departed this life
December 28, and in the year of
our Lord God, 1757.”
“Margaret Brown deceased September
17th 1801, aged 100 years 5 months
and 17 days.”
“Elizabeth Duffel deceased Thursday,
the eighth of November, 1832 at
five o’clock p.m.”
IV. Joseph (2) Brown, son of William (1) and Margaret Fleming Brown, born in
Ireland, January 31, 1731, died near Belton South Carolina, October 15, 1815;
married August 3, 1756, to Mary Porter, born July 26, 1737, died in Pendleton,
South Carolina., February 12, 1824, daughter of Hugh and Violet (Mackey)
Porter. This Joseph Brown is the ancestor of Governor Joseph Brown of
Georgia. Mrs. Spalding has an account of this branch of the family. The Porter
this Joseph (2) married was related to the husband of Jane (2) Brown.
V. James (2) Brown, born in Ireland, 1733; killed by the Chickamauga branch of
the Cherokee Indians, May 9, 1788. He was married in Culpepper County,
Virginia, in 1761, to Jane Gillespie, born June 22, 1740, in Pennsylvania, died
June 4, 1831, in Maury County, Tennessee. She is buried in the old Presbyterian
Cemetery just off the Pulaski Pike, near the spot where the first religious services
and the first court was held in Maury County. On her tombstone is this
To the memory of the widow
Jane Brown, who departed this
life the 4th day of June, 1831, aged near
91 years old as she was born 22nd
June 1740. She was 71 years a mem-
ber of the Presbyterian Church
and died in triumph of a living
faith. Her husband, James Brown,
Esqr. Was murdered by the Chero-
kee Indians on the Tennessee riv-
er the 9th May 1788 with two of
his sons and 5 other young men
and his wife and five children
were taken prisoner. Some of
them got back to the white settle-
ment in one year, others longer,
and one was five years.
O Reader these people lost their
lives & liberty in obtaining this
good land that you enjoy.
O be readey to leave & go to
the good world.
James (2) Brown fired the first shot at the enemy at the Battle of Guilford Court
(page 5, WILLIAM BROWN history)
was commended for bravery.
IV. William (2) Brown, Jr., was born in Ireland in 1735 died in Livingston
County, Kentucky at 80 years of age, married Mary Dorchester. They had four
children: James (3) Brown died in youth. Joseph (3) Brown moved to Illinois
about 1820. Elizabeth (3) and David (3).
VII. Jane (Jean in an old Bible) (2) Brown, only child of William (1) and
Margaret Fleming Brown to be born in this country, born August 16, 1745: died
in Davidson County (Nashville) Tennessee, August 30, 1806. She was married in
the spring of 1768 at 22 years if these dates are correct, Reece Porter born
February 26, 1744, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, son of Hugh and Violet
(Mackey) Porter, died in Giles County, Tenn., February 15, 1821. He is buried at
Mt. Moriah Presbyterian Church on Weakley Creek, in Giles County, Tenn., with
stone marked with date of birth and of his death.
In the old Porter Bible, now owned by Miss Louise Preston Looney, of 1534
Peabody Avenue, Memphis, Tenn., is this record:
“Jane Porter died Saturday, August 30, 1806.”
(Jane (2) Brown Porter is buried by the side of her mother, Margaret Brown, in
the old Springhill Cemetery, on the Gallatin Turnpike about 7 miles east of
This foregoing document consists of five typewritten pages (11x14). I have made every effort to
preserve the spelling, punctuation, structure of the document as I received it. It appears to be a
typewritten copy of a much older document which was probably handwritten. I have no idea the
date of either the original or the typewritten copy. It was apparently written by a descendant of
the William Brown family and the hand-written notes in the margin of this copy detail the line of
descent of someone other than the author. I obtained the copy of this document about 1987
from a friend who knew I was researching my Porter line and thought this might be some of my
family. She obtained it from her elderly aunt, and the aunt didn’t know how old it was at the
time, except to say that it was quite old. Neither could she recall where she had gotten it but she
was herself a descendant of the Browns.
Donnie F. Porter
3002 Ledford Mill Rd
Wartrace, TN 37183