The Browne Family in Broome County, New York

In a previous blog post, I talked about using Google Earth to help map your family's history and focused on my family ancestry from Binghamton, NY. I want to revisit my Great Grandfather x3, Patrick Evans Browne, a farmer from Ireland who received some land in Port Crane, Broome County, New York, around 1860. His real estate was estimated at $2500. Before settling here, Patrick was called away in 1862 to serve in the Civil War at 37. He was later discharged on Jun 17, 1865, after being wounded at the Battle of Coxes Plantation.

Patrick was naturalized in 1848 in Broome County. According to this document he had been in the United States in New York for 3 years prior and was a native of Limerick Ireland.

As mentioned in my previous post, Patrick and Nancy Mariah's children were:

  1. Mary (b. 1850 - )

  2. Washington (b. 1853 - )

  3. Julia A (b. 1855 - )

  4. Edmund (b. 1856 - d. 1921)

  5. William (b.1858 - )

  6. Lucy (b. 1859 - )

  7. John (b. 1862 - )

  8. Robert Emmett (b. June 1870 in Port Crane, NY d. 17 May 1924 Binghamton, NY)

The Brown Family in Fenton Broome, New York on 1870 census (shows Robert age 1). Retrieved from: Year: 1870; Census Place: Fenton, Broome, New York; Roll: M593_907; Page: 300B; Family History Library Film: 552406

On the 1866 Map of Fenton Township by J.C. McDowell, I located "P. E. Brown"'s plot of land and now have information regarding which schools his children may have attended thanks to Barbara Guernsey, Town of Fenton Historian. They likely attended School District #6 or Morse School #3.

Port Crane was first settled in 1788, a small town northeast of Binghamton, NY. In 1867 the name was changed to Fenton after Governor Reuben Fenton. On the west side of the town lie the Chenango River and provided much prosperity to the area from 1834-1876 when it functioned as a canal. In the 1800's Fenton had 8 schools in operation.

"These were the days of the one room schoolhouse complete with woodshed and outhouse. One teacher was responsible to teach several grades. A hand pump supplied drinking water for the children and the cup or ladle was passed from one to another for drinking. If water was left in the bottom of the cup, it was poured back into the basin." Barbara Guernsey, Town of Fenton Historian

Interestingly, I also found P. Brown's estate on the U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918 New York Broome, 1876 on the East Extension of Binghamton.

The General Index to Decendent Estates at the Surrogate's Office in Broome County, NY dated 5 Jan 1899, indicates that Patrick's letters of administration can be found in be found in Book 5 on page 191.

New York Probate Records, 1629-1971 Broome Estate index (Decedents) 1806-1919 for Patrick Brown

At this point in my research for Patrick Evans Browne, I have ordered a copy of his death certificate to prove that his parents were, in fact, Edmond Browne and Mary from Ireland. I cannot presume that his parents ever immigrated to the United States, and the important piece here is narrowing down Patrick's place of birth in Ireland. I also ordered a copy for his wife Nancy Mariah so that I may hopefully confirm her maiden name. I have yet to locate a copy of their marriage records, which I assume would have occured sometime between 1848 and 1850.

Next, I will start researching Limerick, Ireland for any indication of Patrick's birth and evidence of his parents.

As one can imagine researching the "Browne" family is just as difficult as researching the "Smiths." If anyone has any connection to this family, please reach out to me via email at

Stay tuned for further blog posts on the Browne family once I have more evidence.

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