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Obediah (Dyer) Brown


Family Quest Genealogy


Obediah (Dyer) Brown, 1804-1889, Canada>Ohio>Illinois>California

Our ancestor Obediah (Dyer) Brown was born 7 November 1804 in Canada, perhaps Toronto, York County, Ontario.  His father was William or Jonathon Brown and his mother was Elizabeth Brooker or Brougher or Cronk or Kronk.

After the death of Dyer’s father about 1812, Dyer's mother Elizabeth moved with most of her children to an area 2 1/2 miles southwest of Mechanicsburg, Champaign County, Ohio.  In 1820 she and four sons were listed in the 1820 Federal Census in Deer Creek Township, Madison County, Ohio. 

The first known written mention of Dyer Brown is from the Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division a certificate to copy of record:  "1641 Dyer Brown To Jane McMillin Febry. 7th 1828/  The State of Ohio Champaign County SL.  I hereby certify that on the 7th day of Febry I joined together in the holy state of matrimony Dyer Brown and Jane McMillin of lawful age Given under my hand and seal this 7th day of Febry AD. 1828."

Jane was born in 1810 in Monroe Township, Madison County, Ohio.  There is some evidence that her family may have come from Pennsylvania.  Jane’s last name has been written many ways including McMullin.

In 1830, Dyer Brown was counted on the Federal Census for Monroe Township, Madison County, Ohio with his wife and daughter.

About 1835, Dyer and his family moved to Pike County, Illinois. His mother Elizabeth and several of her other children and their families moved to Illinois about the same time.

On 28 October 1840, Dyer Brown appeared on the Pike County, Illinois Federal Census with his wife, two sons, and three daughters.

On 3 Nov 1840, Dyer purchased two Land Patents in Pike County Illinois of 40 acres each from the Quincy Land Office.  One tract was described in Document Nr.: 10169, Accession/Serial Nr.: IL4050__.111, BLM Serial Nr.: IL NO S/N, Description:  SESW  14/  4-S  6-W  No  4th PM - 1815 Illinois  IL  Pike.  The other tract was in Document Nr.: 6229, Accession/Serial Nr.: IL3980__.098, BLM Serial Nr.: IL NO S/N, Description:   SWSW  1/  5-S  6-W  No  4th PM - 1815 Illinois  IL  Pike.

On 14 Sep 1850, he was still living in Pike County, Illinois and on the Census in the West Division, Township Four S Five W.  He was listed as Dire Brown, 44 years old, married, a farmer, and  born in Canada.  His wife Jane was listed as 40 years of  age and born in Ohio.  Eight of their nine children were listed with them.

Between 1852 and 1853, Dyer Brown and his family moved with others in a wagon train from Pike County, Illinois to Drytown, Amador County, California.  Along the way, a smallpox epidemic took the life of his wife Jane and scarred their baby Mary.

In the 21 Sep1860 Census of Tuolomne County, California, Dyer was living with his daughter Hannah Frances Crosby and her husband in Township #6, Green Springs Post Office.  Dyer Brown was listed at 60 years of age, born in CE, with $420 in personal property.

By the 1870 Federal Census on 22 July, Dyer was living in Washington Township, Langworth Post Office in  Stanislaus County, California.  In this census, Dyer was the head of the household, 66, a farmer, $4000 in real estate, $5000 in personal property, a male citizen of the United States born in Canada, with parents of foreign birth.  His daughter Hannah and her family were living with him.

On 25 July 1873, Dyer purchased another Land Patent of 160 acres described in Document Nr.: 1543, Accession/Serial Nr.: CACAAA 106473, BLM Serial Nr.: CACAAA 106473, Description:  E½NE  31/  1-S  13-E  No  Mount Diablo  CA  Tuolumne,  W½NW  32/  1-S  13-E  No  Mount Diablo  CA  Tuolumne

In his last Federal Census on 9 June 1880 in Camp Washington, Stanislaus County, California, Dyer was still living with his daughter Hannah and her husband.  He was listed as a 76 year old widower, blind, and born in Canada of parents born in Canada. 
In 1882, The History of Madison County, Ohio, by W. H. Beers & Co. of Chicago wrote that James and Dwyer (Dyer) Brown, two brothers, were natives of New York, but became residents of Somerford Township about 1818-20...Dwyer (Dyer) Brown married a Miss McMullen, and subsequently moved West."

Dyer Brown wrote a will on 10 July 1886 in San Joaquin County, California.  He died 13 May 1889 at the home of his daughter Matilda Huntley in Burneyville, San Joaquin County, California and was buried in the Burwood Cemetery, Riverbank, San Joaquin County, California.  His grave there has not been found. 

On 28 May 1889, the following document was presented:  "#1683  In the Probate Court of the County of San Joaquin State of California.  In the matter of the Estate of Dyer Brown Deceased.  Petition for Probate of Will.  To the Hon. Joseph H. Budd Judge of the Probate Court of the County of San Joaquin State of California.  The petition of Lyman L Huntley of the said county State of California, respectfully shows:  That Dyer Brown died on or about the __ day of April 1889 ... in San Joaquin County in this state.  That said deceased at the time of his death was a resident of the County of San Joaquin in said State and left estate therein consisting of personal property:  That the probable value and character of the said property are as follows, to wit: a note and mortgage for the sum $225.00 and a trunk and wearing apparel, in all of the value including said note, of about $235.00.  That the estate and effects, for or in respect of which the probate of the will hereinafter mentioned is hereinafter applied for, does not exceed the sum of two hundred and thirty-five dollars;  That said deceased left a will bearing the date the 10nth day of July AD 1886 in the possession of your petitioner which your petitioner believes and therefore allege to be the last will and testament of said deceased, and which is herewith presented in said Probate Court:  That your petitioner and one Matilda Huntley are named in said will as executor and executrix thereof: and Aury Brown aged about forty-eight years, residing at Stockton in this county of San Joaquin is named therein as legatee:  That the subscribing witnesses to said will are W. J. Scott residing in the county of San Joaquin and James M. McCarty residing in the County of San Joaquin.  That the next of kin of said testator whom your petitioner is advised and believes and therefore alleges to be the heirs at law of said testator: and the names ages and residences of said heirs are Aury Brown aged about forty-eight years, residing at Stockton in San Joaquin County California; Louisa Hartley aged about 45 years, residing at Modesto in Stanislaus County in this state; Mary Hocker, residing in Calaveras County; Matilda Huntley of Stockton in this county; Nancy Biter of Drytown in Amador County; Drucilla Gillam residing near Redwood City in this state; Martha Jones of the territory (or state) of Washington; the children of James Brown, whose names and residences are unknown to petitioner; Hannah Crosby of Taylor County in the state of Texas.  That at the time said will was executed, to wit:  on the said 10th day of July 1886 the said testator was over the age of eighteen years, to wit:  of the age of about seventy-three years or thereabouts, and was of sound and disposing mind, and not acting under duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence, and was in every respect competent, by last will, to dispose of all his estate;  That said will is in writing signed by the said testator and attested by said subscribing witnesses, at the request of said testator subscribing their names to the said will in the presence of the said testator and in the presence of each other; and that as your petitioner is advised, and therefore allege said witnesses, at the time of attesting the execution of said will, were, and are now competent;  That said Matilda Huntley is your petitioner's wife.  Wherefore, your petitioner prays that the said will may be admitted to Probate and that Letters of administration be issued to your petitioner, and that for that purpose Your Honor appoint a time for proving said will, and that all persons inter.........and directed to appear at the time appointed for proving the same; and subpoenas be directed to be issued to the said subscribing witnesses to the said will, residing in the said San Joaquin County; and that all other necessary and proper orders may be made in the premises.  And your petitioner will ever pray, etc.  Dated May 28th 1887  L. L. Huntley ... ..."

 Dyer and Jane McMullan Brown had nine known children.  They were:

 Matilda Brown was born 7 February 1828 in Monroe, Madison County, Ohio.  She married Lyman Lysander Huntley 18 September 1847 in Pike County, Illinois.

 James M Brown was born about 1831 in Muskingum River, Madison County, Ohio.  He married Mary Ann Willis 22 May 1851 in Pike County, Illinois.

 Nancy Lucinda Brown was born about 1833 in Madison County, Ohio.  She married a Mr. Biter.

 Aury Brown was born in 1835 after the family moved to Pike County, Illinois.  He never married. 

Drucilla Brown was born about 1838 in Illinois.  She married a Mr. Gillam.

Hannah Frances Brown was born in 1842 in Pike County, Illinois.  She married James Harvey Crosby about 1858 in California.

Louisa Jane Brown was born 8 September 1846 in Pike County, Illinois.  She married a Mr. Hartley.

Martha Brown was born in May 1847 in Pike County, Illinois.  She married John B Jones in 1863.

Mary Brown was born in 1850 in Pike County, Illinois.  She married a Mr. Hocker.

by Honey Lanham Dodge


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This page was last updated on 06/05/08.