Letter from Julia Stevens Brown to Elizabeth A. Brown Murphy (1912)

[Jerry Specht Notes:

Julia was the half sister of Elizabeth's mother, Amelia Stevens. Also, Julia was married to Charles Brown, the brother of William Brown, Elizabeth's father.

This is from a copy made by my father, T.R. Specht. I have since verified it against the original, which is in the possession of Dr. Walter A. Specht, Jr.

All bracketed info below is my addition.]

[Postmarked March 6, 1912]

Dear Lizzie,

You asked me to tell you what I knew of our ancestors. If you had asked your grandmother while alive, she could tell you more perhaps than I can, for she remembered our Grandfather and Grandmother Stevens. I don't think I ever saw either of them but will tell what I have heard of them.

Grandfather Stevens [Isaac Stevens] came from England to New York & Phylinda says was in the Revolutionary War. I don't know who his first wife was or where he married her, but she died leaving him two sons, John & Abram. Then he married Sarah Ballou. She had five children, my father [William] being the youngest. All the others died in their infancy. When father was about ten years old, they moved to Pennsylvania, I think Mercer Co., where the boys grew to manhood. When the War of 1812 broke out, Uncle John he was ______ _____ _____ enlisted and went. Was taken prisoner. Kept at Quebeck, Canada, a year before he & my father came to Terre Haute. (It was Fort Harrison then.) Took up land on the Wabash. Father taught school for awhile, he was 20 years old when he came there.

There lived near their land a blacksmith named Benjamine who had three sons and two daughters. At least that is all I ever heard of. The sons were Jefferson, Ezekiel, & Richard. The girls were Abigal & Cintha. John married Abigal and father married Cintha. To them was born 4 children, your mother the oldest, Isaac next, Ann, then William. She, your mother's mother died at his birth.

On of my mother's sisters, Aunt Luinda had married Jefferson Benjamine & as he was Father's brother in law he moved in a kept house & Aunt Lind took care of the children. My mother [Elizabeth Ann Booth], a girl of 16, came to visit them and Father married her. He was twice her age, he being 32. Lived with his first wife 8 years.

To them was born 7 children, 2 older than Phylinda & three younger than me. Grandfather & Mother lived with father. Died there. Was buried on our farm where father ____ a graveyard. All our family that died there was buried there.

My mother's father was of French descent. Came from Virginia. I do not know where grandmother's folks came from.

When Uncle John & Pa left Pennsylvania, Uncle Abram went to Ohio and married there. Had six sons and two daughters. Their names were John, William, Oliver, Finley, Isaac, & James. I never seen Uncle Abram but once. He visited us after my mother died. Isaac come once & John visited us in Wisconsin once.

Grandfather Stevens was over 80 years when he died. Was paralized. Had several strokes before the last. Uncle John's first wife died about the time your mothers' mother died. Left him with three children. Then he married Ann Rickmans Mother she had two children.

I don't know the nationality of the Benjamines. Your mother's great-grandfather was killed by Indians. They came into his house and cut his throat with your grandfather then a baby in his arms. Her grandfather, as I have said, was a blacksmith. She worked in his shop. One foreman, came in and worked & sat down to dinner, leaned back in his chair. They spoke to him. He did not answer. Went to him & he was dead.

There is a Doctor Stevens here in Caney that claims relation to us. Says they have traced their ancestors back to Scotland. Says three brothers names Steven, came to England from Scotland, separated going to different states. Thinks his great-grandfather and my grandfather were two of these brothers. If so, we have some Scotch blood in us.

Father-in-law Brown's father's name was Moses. His people came from Wales. I don't know whether he was born there or not. The settled in Pennsylvania. Then five children were born. That is all I heard of: 2 boys, 3 girls. They moved I think to Ohio before the War of 1812. Father Brown was then 18 years old. His brother James was older. They both enlisted. James went all through the war, but Father got sick & came home before the war was over. At 25 he married Margarite Ghermley. To them were borne __ children: James Michael, who died at 18 months old, William, Mary, & Jane. Then they moved to Indiana where Elizabeth was born & died at 16 or 18 months old. Then Joseph _____, Charles & Henry. Grandmother's parents were of Irish descent. Her father had quite an Irish brogue. She was born in Pennsylvania on the Juaniatta River. Now I think I have told you all only what you know of all the relations. If I have left out anything you would like to know will tell you if you ____ ask me.

This is the 4th of March. A cloudy day, ground covered with snow. Something I never saw before. Has been a cold stormy winter.

We are in usual health only I have been so dizzy so much of the time & have often ____ now & then a sharp pain under left breast. Can't tell whether it is in the heart or below it. It is a succession of quick sharp pains. Then maybe I won't feel it again for several days. Otherwise as well as usual. The rest are well. Were here for dinner yesterday. Mother Brown had an uncle Joseph Ghormley in the revolutionary war. He died at her Father's at the age of 80 when Charles was about 10 years old. Says he can remember of seeing him many times. Father Brown never heard from his folks only a few times after he left Ohio. They did not write to each other as people do now a days.

So you have quite a war record. Your Father & two of his brothers in the Rebellion, a grandfather & great uncle on both sides in the war of 1812. A great grandfather in the Revolution. Also a great-great uncle.

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