The Pension File: Meet Nelson Brown

We haven’t talked about Nelson Brown, have we?

We HAVE talked about Nelson’s wife, Bella Brown, whom is believed to have given birth to Winnie Joe Brown by a white man, precisely unknown. In 1880, Bella Brown was enumerated on the census next to a Lawton family. There’s no man in Bella’s house, but there are several children, one being named Joseph.

I came across a record index for pensions. There’s Bella Brown, and she’s listed with Nelson Brown. This was my first true link that Bella’s husband was named Nelson. There is no census for 1890, and I can’t find him on the 1870 or the 1900 census. The only census-type record I can find for Nelson Brown is the 1890 Veteran’s Schedule, and he is recorded as having served in the 128th Regiment of the USCT.

I haven’t ordered a census file in perhaps 18 years. Ouch, the price has gone up. But I couldn’t stand it. I needed to know more about Nelson Brown. I chose to have the file delivered electronically, because I don’t want more paper. Plus I’d scan the paper and then load it to the blog, which is a few steps too many for me.

My grandmother received a monthly pension, which makes me think that I should look for a pension file for my grandfather. But first: Nelson Brown.

This file was chock-full of surprises and details. During slavery times, Nelson Brown was owned by Joseph Maner Lawton, which is not the same one that I mentioned in a recent post, but rather an ancestor. Bella Brown was owned by William McBride. Her maiden name was Duncan, and Nelson Brown also went by Nelson Lawton. If you are a black person looking to break through the 1870 brick wall, a pension file might just be your way to go.

There are over 100 images in this file. I’d say I got my money’s worth.

F41-271178592E

 

 

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4 Responses to “The Pension File: Meet Nelson Brown”

  1. Libby Hromika Says:

    This is so fascinating, Ruth!! You do amazing work!!

    Like

  2. Judith Richards Shubert Says:

    Yes, I’d say you got your money’s worth. What an amazing set of documents! The ones from the people who knew him were filled with information! Great find!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      I am so glad for your comment! This tells me that the link works. I’ve never used a pdf upload to the blog.
      I can’t stop reading it.
      I went to a family wedding over the weekend, and everyone was talking about nuptials, and all I wanted to talk about was Nelson Brown. 😀

      Like

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