Sunday, August 17, 2014

Part II - A Family Connection: Are Judy & Maria sisters?

 In Part I, I mentioned that there was a strong possibility my ancestor Maria Buie and Judy Brown were siblings. On August 10, 2014, I received the 259 page Civil War Pension File of Anderson Brown and his minor children. The Civil War Pension confirmed my suspicions that Edith Lane was indeed the mother of Judy Brown, making her the sister of Maria Buie. The Pension file listed several depositions from various friends, family, and neighbors who knew both Anderson & Judy Brown before and after the Civil War. Anderson mentioned that his beloved wife Judy died on April 16, 1898 in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana and a year later he married Ms. Fannie Williams. Anderson and Fannie separated 6 months into the marriage and he passed away sometime later on May 19, 1900. Anderson had suffered with heart trouble for several years.

  • Julius was the 1st born child to the union of Anderson & Judy Brown and Judy's 2nd child.
A passage from the deposition of Julius Brown, in the case of Edie & Clara the minor children of Anderson Brown, deceased: "Anderson was first married to my mother Judy Elfrey and she died about 12 years ago, and Judy herself had not been previously married. They were married sometime in 1866 by a white preacher named White (dead) they claimed. I don't know whether they had a license. Anderson and Judy Brown lived together until her death and were never divorced and she had ten children by him and two of them Clarey and Edie were under sixteen years of age at father's death..also when I applied for this pension. I have no family record of their date of birth and public records of that kind are not kept in Louisiana and no doctor was present at their birth. Eliza Hall and my grandmother Edie Lane (dead) were the midwives at the birth of Clarey and Edie." --August 23, 1910

Passage from Julius Brown's Deposition

  • Zebulon "Zeb" York, is the son of Sylvester York and Sophia Peniston and grandson of Dr. Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Peniston the former slave owner of my ancestors.

A passage from the deposition of Zeb York, in the case of Edie & Clara the minor children of Anderson Brown, deceased: "I am 47 years old, Occupation: farmer, Post Office: Peck, LA. I have known Anderson and Judy Brown all my life and they belonged to our family in slavery and lived on our place after the war until the death of Judy. The children Clarey and Edie were born on my place and in the negro quarters close to our family residence and I consider Clarey as eighteen years old at present but am unable to give the day and month she was born. My son Zeb York Jr and daughter Julia York are seventeen and nineteen years old, respectively and Clarey I know was born between them. She was born in 1892 probably. I don't know whether in the month of January. Edie is three or four years older than Clarey but I do not know the year of her birth. She has always been called Edie and was named after her grandmother on her mothers side of the house." -- August 23, 1910

The Special Examiner, W.H. Stovall was concerned about the various birth dates given for Edie and Clara, especially Edie who was mentioned to have been born in 1884, 1886, and 1888 by friends and family. He wanted to know what were their correct names as Edie had been called [Edith, Eadith, Eadey] and Clara had been called [Clarey]. Clara was stated to have suffered from a fever in childhood that left her nearly blind and partially paralyzed on one side unable to do much work. 

Many of the neighbors, friends, and family listed Judy under various maiden names in their depositions. Some mentioned they were married on December 25, 1866 others stated in 1867. Marriage records indicate they were married January 3, 1867 at the residence of Benjamin P. Cuny by Minister T.B. White.

  • Anderson Brown - states that his wife's maiden name was Judy Fortune. On August 4, 1898 he mentioned he had 4 children ages sixteen and under: Zeb Brown (16), Eadith Brown (14), Nellie Brown (10), and Clara Brown (8).
  • Allen Davis - knew both Anderson Brown and Judy Elphert before they were married. In another deposition he mentioned Judy as Judy Cuny.
  • John Gibson - was present at the wedding of Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny. In another deposition he mentioned Judy as Judy Ealphrey.
  • Rev. Monroe Richardson - knew Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny.
  • Anaca Alensworth - was present at the wedding of Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny.
  • Filis (Phyllis) Thomason - was married on the same night as Anderson Brown and Judy Cuny at the same place by the same Minister. It was a double wedding [marriage records confirm this]. Phyllis Burks Davis Thomason was the 1st wife of Allen Davis. [I wonder if she is a relative of Anderson or Judy].
  • Julius Brown - Mentions his mother's maiden name was Judy Elfrey.
Judy Brown's various maiden names likely indicate the surname of her Father, previous owner and the maiden name of her mother Edith.

Evidence from a Court Petition shows that Edith "Edie" Lane was previously enslaved by Benjamin P. Cuny and wife Jane C. Lovelace Cuny. It would appear that she later ended up in the possession of Dr. T.J. Peniston where she remained until emancipation and afterwards. Benjamin P. Cuny and his wife were first cousins and his wife's sister, Sophia Dorcas Ann Lovelace was the wife of Dr. T.J. Peniston. (More research is being done on Edie and I will post my findings in a future blog post)

Children of William Lane (b.1828 - d. After 1880) & Edith Cuny (b. 1825 - d. After 1892)
1.      Judy Fortune (Father: Unknown) (Spouse: Anderson Brown)
2.      Alice Lane (Spouse: Paradise Taylor) - They had no children
3.      Maria Lane (Spouse: Jesse Buie)

Children of Anderson Brown (b.1847 - d. May 19, 1900) & Judy Fortune (b. 1848 - d. April 16, 1898)
1.      Henry Fortune (Father: Unknown)
2.      Julius Brown (Spouse: Mariah)
3.      Joshua "Josh" Brown (Spouse: Fannie Henry)
4.      Alice Brown (Spouse: Mack Douglass)
5.      Ollie Brown (Spouse: Willie Remus)
6.      Zebulon "Zeb" Brown
7.      Edith "Edie" Brown (Spouse: Louis Taylor)
8.      Nellie Brown
9.      Clara Brown
10.    Rena Brown (The 1900 Census shows Rena Brown as a sister, but she was not mentioned in Civil War Pension file). 
Anderson also had a child born outside of the marriage named Ellen Brown Harris, daughter of Patsy Jenkins Middleton and granddaughter of Eliza Bowie Hall (the midwife at the birth of Edie & Clara Brown).

Children of Jesse Buie (b.1855 - d. Nov. 9, 1923) & Maria Lane (b. 1857 - d. After 1890)
1.      Annie Buie (Spouses: Benjamin Franklin & Nelson Lincoln)
2.      Clara Buie
3.      General/Gentle Buie (Spouse: Emma Neal)
4.      Minerva Buie (Spouse: Samuel Banks)
5.      William Buie (Spouse: Grace)
6.      Edie "Ida" Buie (Non-Marital Liaison: Isaiah Taylor) -- My ancestors

Terrence A. Garnett
[August 17, 2014]

 Source Citations
  1. Anderson Brown, Declaration for Invalid pension, 24 Oct 1890, application no. 942490, certificate number 791506, (Pvt., Co. G, 6th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives Record Group 15; National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.
  2. Willie Remus, guardian, Declaration for Minors pension, 5 Aug 1902, application no. 747940, certificate number 715084, service of Anderson Brown (Pvt., Co. G, 6th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery, Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Archives Record Group 15; National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! Anderson and Judy are the 3x great grandparents. Their daughter Alice is my paternal grandmother's grandmother. She died when my great grandmother was a small child. We have always wondered about her and her family. My grandmother still lives in the area(Sicily Island, LA aka Peck) that you mentioned. She would love to meet you so if you are ever in the area please stop in.

    By the way Peggy Norris' daughter married Alice ' s husband and finished raising her kids, grandchildren and great grands.

    1. Your welcome cousin Shana! I'm glad we were able to connect through Ancestry. I definitely need to plan a trip to the area.