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Browning Family Research

My own research:


Browning Family in Virginia

 (outside the Essex County area settled by the Poe family - see those Poe records for any information found about the Browning family)


Henrico County formed in 1634 (Henrico County was one of the eight original counties set up in 1634. From it were derived Goochland (1728) and Chesterfield (1749). Goochland was the parent county of Albemarle (1744) and Cumberland (1749). From Albemarle came Amherst (1761) and from Amherst in 1808 came Nelson. Buckingham came from Albemarle in 1761, and from this came Appomattox in 1845. Fluvanna came from Albemarle in 1777, and Powhattan from Cumberland the same year. From Weisiger III 1985.)


Colonial Wills of Henrico County, Virginia. Abstracted and Compiled by Benjamin B. Weisiger III. 1976

George Browning

Margaret Browning, wife


p. 116

23 Dec 1679

Will of George Browninge

All of my estate to kind and loving wife and she to be executor. Mr. Thomas Grendon and Mr. Abell Gower to be overseers of this will.

Wit: Edward Stratton*, Edw. Stanly

Recorded 23 Dec. 1679

2 Feb. 1679


p. 118

Margaret Browning, widow of George Browning granted probate of his estate.

Recorded 2 Feb. 1679


* Same book, p. 136 Inventory of Edward Stratton. Value pounds 452/17/3 by Fran. Epes, Richard Ligon, Ed. Haskins, and presented in court by Martha Stratton, Executrix. Recorded 1 Feb. 1698

----- This record interestingly connects the Browning family with the Ligon family, which also connect with the Sutton family, possibly through a Quaker connection. Ligon and Ward are connected and Ward connects to Poe in Prince Edward County. Admittedly, this is so many degrees of separation, but we are dealing with a relatively small population in Virginia during this era. See Ward/Ligon Family


Henrico County, Virginia Deed: 1677-1705. Compiled by Benjamin B. Weisiger III. Richmond, VA 1986

George Browning

20 August 1678

 aged 64


George Browning (deceased)

(see Poe/Ward/Ligon)

1 June 1685

p. 318 Agreement between Abell Gower of Henrico Co. and Edward Stratton, Sr. of same: George Browning, late of this county, dec'd, died seized of 480 acres and left no heir. The land escheated to His Majesty, and the escheat grant being given to said Gower and Stratton equally. They agree that Stratton is to enjoy the land is to be divied between his heirs and Gower, or his heirs. 20 Dec. 1684

Wit: Wm. Randolph, Pet. Field, George Worsham

Signed: Abell Gower, Edward Stratton

Recorded 1 June 1685


Cumberland County

Abstracts of the Cumberland County, Virginia, Court Order Books from June 1749 to May 1756. Shela S. Fretwell. Copyright 1987


William Browning

27 August 1755

p. 321

Gideon Marr, Plaintiff against William Browning, Defendant. In Tresspass, Assault & Battery. Dismis’d.



Browning Family in Maryland



History of Cecil County, Maryland and the early settlements around the head of Chesapeake Bay and on the Delaware River with sketches of some of the old families of Cecil County / by George Johnston


Johnston, George


Baltimore : Geneal. Publishing, 1989.


xi, 576 p. : folded map ; 22 cm.


(this record for Joseph Chew is included because the only other place the name has been seen so far is in Essex County, VA and later counties in association with the Browning and Poe families)


Joseph Chew


p. 100

On the second day of November, 1680, he (Augustine Hermen) presented a petition to the governor and council of the province, in which he recites that one "George Holland, with other envious persons, had coveted, and were gone about privately to take away part of his children's land in Bohemia upon false allegations and untrue bounds." These false allegations appear to have been, that the metes and bounds of Bohemia Manor and Bohemia Middle Neck enclosed a great many more acres of land than the patents called for. The petition recites that he had obtained a warrant for a re-survey, and that the deputy-surveyor, one Joseph Chew, after he had surveyed the land and made a plot of it, for which (Augustine) Hermen paid him nineteen pounds of tobacco, had run away; that he had kept a plot himself, which he had returned to the office of Mr. Painter, who, it would seem, was at that time in charge of the surveyor-general's office, and who had promised to send him a new patent in consideration of six hundred acres of land which he had relinquished to him for it.  etc.,  etc. etc.


John Browning


p. 101

"Rt. Hon'ble - My Lord: -- My weakness and hindrance in my domestic affairs, having no overseer, makes me defer my coming down to your Lordship's until some time in September next. Meanwhile, John Browning and George Holland, having surveyed privately fourteen hundred acres of land out of my Middle Neck, which I have appointed a portion for my son Casparus Hermen, I have sent an exact journal to Mr. Lewellin, in your Lordship's land office, of my first foundation and seating of Bohemia Manor, to maintain my right and claim against those deluding allegations which false intruders may fill your Lordship's ears withal. If your Lordship would  be pleased to peruse, at some leisure time, it will perhaps put your Lordship in mind of things your Lordship now not things on.  I have also entered a caveat against John Browning and George Holland, desiring Mr. Lewellin to pass nothing in my predjudice. I humbly pray your Lordship be pelased to second it by your Lordship's commands. I have not, at present, troubled your Lordship with any other of my grievances, having given your Lordship too great a trouble with the above, which I hope your Lordship will excuse.

            "Rt. Hon'ble, your Lordship's most

                                    faithful and obedient servant,

                                                            "Augeustine Hermen.

"June, ye 13th, 1681."



John Browning



(Browning's neglect? 1685)



Inhabitants of Cecil County, Maryland, 1649-1774 / Henry C. Peden


Peden, Henry C.


Westmister, MD : Family Line, 1993.


vii, 250 p. ; 21 cm.


Land Patents and Certificates


John Browning and Henry Denton - 1688 - "Askmore" - 550 acres


p. 4

John Browning - 1685 - "Brownley" -- 100 acres


Samuel Wheeler - 1685 - "Browning's Neglect" - 482 acres.



Thomas Browning

1702 (two years before Samuel Poe's appearance in the Quite Rent Roll of VA in 1704 for Essex County)




Abstracts of Cecil County, Maryland land records / June D. Brown


Brown, June D.


Westminster, MD : Willow Bend Books, 1999.


v. ; 21 cm.


1673-1751 ; 1734-1753


p. 22 (of book)

p. 2190 Deed. Mathew Smith of New Castle Co. and Mary his wife, for 6,000 lbs of tobacco to Thomas Browning of Cecil Co., MD, 250 acres of land in Cecil Co. Said land is part of a tract of 841 acres of land called Cedar Branch Neck. Mathew and Mary Smith appoint Richard Mackary to be their attorney to acknowledge the deed. Made 17 Aug 1702. Wit: Jno. Parries, Jno. Smith. [ At the end of this deed, Mathew Smith is called Mathias Smith.]  Ackn: 8 Sep 1702 by Richard Mackary, attorney for Mathew Smith and Mary his wife. Rec: 30 Sep 1702. John Dowdall, Clerk.


George Browning



p.31 of book

p. 301 Deed. George Browning of Cecil Co., planter, and Mary his wife, for 12,000 lbs of tobacco, to Philip Kenard of said county, planter, 152 acres of land near the head of Colletts Cove at Charne Creek. The said George Browning has possession of the land in right of the dower of Mary, now wife of George. Said land is part of a tract formerly purchaed by Richard Pullen from Robert Williams. Made 11 Aug 17002. Wit: M. Earle, D. Pearce. Ackn. same day before John Wellinger. Val Browne received from Philip Kenard alienation for the land on 6 Aug 1703 for the use of Mr. Richard Bennett and James Heath. Rec: 6 Aug 1703. John Dowdall, Clerk.


. 41 of book

p. 378 Deed.Richard Campbell of Cecil Co., planer, for 6,000 lbs. of tobacco, by Michaell Bellikin of Cecil Co., planter, 50 acres of land, part of a tract of land called Campbell's Farme bounded by a tract of land called Faire Promise belonging to George Warner. Made 14 Mar 1704. Wit: Geor. Browning, Francis Barney, John March, Ackn: same day. Rec: 18 Mar 1703. John Dowdall, Clerk



The following is research by others that has not been independently verified. There are apparent contractions that the reader should note along the way.


From Joel Hager's Southern West Virginia Research (this link seems to have gone away)

copied February 16, 2003

·  ID: I127868

·  Name: Francis Browning , Sr.

·  Sex: M

·  Birth: ABT. 1667 in Cecil County, Maryland

·  Death: ABT. 1723 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia

·  Note:

Lived in Bristol, England with grandmother, Hester Browning, following death of his parents.

1698: Francis Browning, son of John and Elizabeth Browning, appears in a Cecil County, Maryland court record. The court records for this period are unindexed. It is probable that Francis and Elizabeth Browning came to Maryland from Gloucestershire, England at the same time. Their parents, John and Elizabeth Browning, were both deceased by 1690, therefore, these young Brownings were in their late teens or early twenties. Francis married about 1698/99. First: Rachel Merritt, and Second: Mary Unknown. The children were Ann, b 1699; Francis, b 1700; John, b 1702; Edmund/Edward, b 1704; James, b 1706; Thomas, b 1708; William. b 1710; and Nicholas, b 1712. Families of 10-15 children were not unusual at this time in history, so it would be expected that other daughters were mixed in among the seven boys. Names of the daughters, except for Ann are unknown. The dates of birth are totally circumstantial, but are consistent with other records of Brownings of this family. Research confirms that the sons identified by E F Browning, Genealogy of the Brownings in America, 1908, can by verified, except for the use of the name Edward instead of Edmund. His descent from John of Jamestown is now considered incorrect.

1710: Francis Browning purchases 200 acres on the southside of Portobago Creek in Essex County, Virginia. This land is about 12 miles from the earlier location of Thomas and Ester Browning. Francis Browning's Portobago land was adjacent to a tract owned by the Merritt family. There seems to also be a relationship between the Maryland Brownings and a Merritt family. It is possible that Rachel Browning was a Merritt. The name, Rachel, was also used by the Maryland family. As a matter of interest, the name Merritt, was in pre-1700 records in both Maryland and Virginia spelled "Merriott" or "Marriott," suggestive of a French origin. This is consistent with the marriages between later Brownings and members of the Huguenot community.

1711: Francis Browning sells 100 acres of his Portobago land to Joseph Calloway. Rachel consented.

1715: Francis Browning deeds the remaining 100 acres of his Portobago land to his daughter, Ann with the codicil that it not convey to her until after his death. Ann could have been Francis and Rachel Browning's eldest child, and still under age at the time this deed was executed.

About 1721: Land purchases by Francis Browning from Larking Chew on the River Po, a branch of the Mattapony River in King and Queen County in the early 1700's. Date of purchase has not been confirmed and was probably burned with other King and Queen County records. This land was engrossed into Spotsylvania County when it was established in 1721.

1724: Francis Browning, identified as of St Ann's Parish, Essex County, Virginia, sells his Spotsylvania land to Edward Rovvzee for 40 pounds sterling. Land purchased by Francis Browning in 1724 on Peumensend's River (Creek). This was not far from the Portobago land. This tract of land, purchased when it was in Essex County, became part of Caroline County in 1728. It is not likely that Francis Browning ever lived on the land he purchased in Spotsylvania County for he did not build a record in that county. He probably remained on his Portobago land in Essex County until his purchase in 1724 of land on Peumensend's Creek which was engrossed into Caroline County in 1728. The deeds and wills of Caroline County are gone, but the Court Order Books were preserved.

1725-1727: Francis appeared in the court records of Essex County, Virginia. He signed the inventory of Samuel Poe on 21 September 1725, page 28. His bond as Poe's administrator was on 15 March 1725/26, page 31. A second Poe inventory was signed on 7 April 1726, page 28. Security for Sarah Ellitt as executor of John Ellitt was signed on 18 July 1727, page 57. The pages are from John Fredrick Dorman's Essex County. Virginia, Wills, Bond, inventories, etc, from AGLL V163-111.

1730: Francis Browning, with the consent of his wife, Mary, sold the Pneumensend's Creek land. This date coincides fairly closely with death or his move to Culpeper County, Virginia. It may be that his son, Francis, moved to Culpeper and he remained in Caroline County; however, no reference to the death of him is found in Caroline County's records.

Father: John Browning b: ABT. 1640 in England
Mother: Elizabeth b: ABT. 1649 in England

Marriage 1 Mary

Marriage 2 Rachel Merritt b: ABT. 1673 in Cecil County, Maryland

  • Married: ABT. 1698 in Cecil County, Maryland


  1. Has No ChildrenAnne Browning b: ABT. 1698 in Cecil County, Maryland
  2. Has ChildrenFrancis Browning , Jr. b: ABT. 1700 in St Anne's Parish, Essex County, Virginia
  3. Has ChildrenJohn Browning b: ABT. 1702 in Essex (Caroline) County, Virginia
  4. Has ChildrenEdward Browning b: ABT. 1704 in Essex (Carolina) County, Virginia
  5. Has ChildrenJames Browning b: ABT. 1706 in Essex (Caroline) County, Virginia
  6. Has ChildrenThomas Browning b: ABT. 1708 in Essex County, Virginia
  7. Has No ChildrenNicholas Browning b: ABT. 1712 in Culpeper County, Virginia
  8. Has ChildrenWilliam Browning b: ABT. 1710 in Essex (Caroline) County, Virginia




From now defunct site:

copied from it on November 26, 2002


Francis BROWNING died in 1775 in Culpepper County, Va. He was born in St Anne's Parish, Caroline County, Virginia.

It was recorded in Spotsylvania County, Virginia that he deeded 250 acres in 1724.

On June 19, 1735, a patent for forty acres of land in St. Mark's Parish, Orange County, Virginia, was granted by George II of Great Britain,

France and Ireland in consideration of 40 shillings to Francis Browning and John Ashley. He deeded land, in 1740, to his son Francis and in 1741 to his brother John.

In 1748 more land was deeded to his sons, Francis and Nicholas, and his daughters, Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Duncan. Francis Browning married first Rachel and second Elizabeth Carter Lloyd* the daughter of Sampson Lloyd and Elizabeth Good, in 1713 in Culpepper County, Virginia Parents: John BROWNING Jr.

Children were: Jacob BROWNING,  Edmund BROWNING, Ruth BROWNING, Mary BROWNING, Caleb BROWNING*, Frances BROWNING, John BROWNING, Francis BROWNING Jr., Nicholas BROWNING Sr.

 *correction to this person’s data provided by  Karen King Scales on November 27, 2005 via email. She notes:

Caleb was a grandson (son of Edmund Browning s/o Francis.

He was married to Rachel in VA.

*Other research indicates that the senior Francis Browning (1672-1723) married Rachel (Merritt or Marriot) in Cecil Co, Maryland. The two Francis Brownings seem to have confused researchers. Also, Francis Browning (c1696-1775) had a son named Francis)


Collected by Clint Joyce - Edited by Clint Joyce & Cecil Houk

copied on November 27, 2002


As to the American origin of the family there are two traditions. One was that they descended from John Browning an emigrant from England to Virginia coming in the ship "Abigail" in 1621. The other was that the father of Francis Browning came from Suffolk England, and settled in Maryland. It is certain that Francis Browning Sr. received a grant of land in Caroline Co. in June 1735. He was born about 1690. It was thought that Francis Browning Sr. married Elizabeth Lloyd, but records of Essex Co. shows his wife's name was Rachel. He may have been twice married.

A) Francis Browning Sr. was born ABT 1700 Caroline Co., VA and died abt 1775 Culpepper, VA. He married Elizabeth Lloyd (b 8 Jan 1687 Maryland) in 1723 Culpepper, VA

Their children were:

1. John b 1721 m Elizabeth Demarest

2. Francis Jr. b 1724 m Frances Norman

3. Nicholas b ABT 1726 m Sarah Washburn

4. Jacob b ABT 1730 m Elizabeth Waters

5. Edmund b ABT 1732 m Mary

6. Caleb b ABT 1734 m Alice Grigsby

7. Ruth b ABT 1736 m James Duncan

8. Mary b ABT 1738 m Courtney Norman

9. Daughter ABT 1740


From now defunct site of: Larry B. Harrison
The site owner's note said: All notes were given to me by Robert C. DANIEL

Copied on November 27, 2002


Browning, Frances (b. ABT. 1696, d. BET. 1761 - 1775)

Note: Spotsylvania Co., was formed in 1621 from portions of King and Queen, King William, and Essex counties. Orange Co. was formed from part of Spotsylvania Co. in 1734. Culpeper Co. formed from part of Orange Co. in 1748. Rappahannock Co. formed from part of Culpeper Co. in 1733.


Deed dtd 5/4/1724, Francis of St. Ann's Parish, Essex Co., sold to Edward ROWZEE for 40 pounds sterling, 250 acres on north side of River Po of Mattapony in Spotsylvania Co. "Mary" is named in the records as relinquishing her dower (Mary Elizabeth?). (Essex Co. Deed Book 18, p. 8; Spotsylvania Co. Records 1721-1800, p. 92)


10/20/1724 Francis purchased 50 acres of land in Essex Co. from William and Mary DAVIDSON for 4500 pounds of sweet-scented tobacco. Locat


ed on east side of the Peumansend Swamp at the mouth of a branch called Francis Browning's Branch at the main side of the south fork. (Essex Co. Deed Book 17, p. 424-425)


10/20/1724 Francis purchased from William BRYANT of King and Queen Co. 50 acres. (Essex Co Deed Book 17, p. 428-429) (Land became part of Caroline Co., VA in 1728 and was sold by Francis in 1730 with consent of wife, Mary*.


* actually this record states that Mary is the wife of William Bryant, not Francis.


1725, Francis was administrator of the estate of Simon Poe (sic) in Essex Co. (should be Samuel Poe)


About 1735, Francis living at Gaines X Roads, Orange Co. (now Rappahannock Co.).


6/19/1735 Francis and John ASHLEY granted a patent for 40 acres in Orange Co. by King Charles II of Great Britain. (Virginia Land Patents)


He owned 530 acres of land in St. mark's Parish, Orange Co., VA (later called Browning District) according to Patent Book 15, p. 528.


9/16/1735 served as member of grand jury in Orange Co. (Orange Co. Order Book 1, p. 29)


11/18/1735 appointed to serve as a member of the first grand jury of Orange Co. (Orange Co. Order Book 1, p. 43)


7/27/1738 sold land to Henry WILLIS, Esq. (Orange Co. Deed Book 2, p. 447)


8/20/1740 Francis appointed overseer of the road from Mitchell's Ford of the Gourdivne as far as the path between Samuel and Arthur SCOTT. (Orange Co. Order Book 1, p. 43)


9/25/1740 Francis gave a gift of 100 acres of land to his son Francis, Jr. (Orange Co., Deed Book 4, p. 244)


2/4/1747 Grant from the fairfax Proprietary to Francis for 480 acres. (Deed Book B, p. 31; Northern Neck Grants 1690-1788)


4/26/1748 Francis deeded to his son Francis, Jr. the remainder of 200 acres patented in 1735. (Culpeper Co. Deeb Book 11, p. 81)


7/28/1748 Francis sold 250 acres of land to Thomas WASHBURN. (Francis's son Nicholas is mentioned in the document.) (Deed Book 11, p. 71)


Note: Mary, the wife, is never mentioned in the deed documents as required by law after the May 24, 1724 document. She must have died prior to 1740.


1/27/1753 Francis bought 100 acres from John FARMER. (Culpeper Co. Deed Book A, p. 484)


8/5/1758 Francis gave to his son, Francis, Jr., 100 acres of land. (Culpeper Co. Deed Book C, p. 157)


3/7/1760 Francis sold 50 acres of land to William ROBERTS and William JOHNSTON. (Culpeper Co. Deed Book C, p. 286-288)


3/7/1760 Francis "the elder" of Brumfield Parish, Culpeper Co., deeded to his son 80 acres of land. (Culpeper Co. Deed Book C, p. 288-290)


There was no will. Reason: No property. His lands were either sold or given away to his children.


(My notes: All notes were given to me by Robert C. DANIEL)


Death: BET. 1761 - 1775 Culpeper Co., VA



Members of the Lloyd Family - Francis Browning, Jr. may have married Elizabeth Lloyd - appear to have moved to Giles Co. TN


on November 27, 2002


See Chancery Court Case File Box L-4, item 2

about children of Stephen G. Lloyd, deceased

filed by guardian William G. Lloyd.

Stephen G. Lloyd died in Giles Co TN 1834 testate, wife Elizabeth received all property, she death Oct 1840, and she gave her children the property by deed. Land was on Indian Creek, Meshack BOYCE was executor of Will. Stephen G. Lloyd had 10 children


1. Elizabeth Lloyd, minor heirs

2. Catherine Lloyd, "

3. Stephen M. Lloyd, "

4. Alexander C. Lloyd, '

5. Susan M. Lloyd

6. James C. Lloyd, deceased, his dtr Isobella Lloyd, a minor

7. Susan M. Lloyd

8. Martha Lloyd, wife of Nicholas Grubbs,

9. Sally Eliza Lloyd, wife of John WATSON.

10. John H. Lloyd, all of Giles Co TN




Same box as above:

Sarah R. Lloyd vs. Wm L. Lloyd, Petition for Divorce.

They were married in Giles Co August 1827. She charged desertion, non-support. Had one son Thomas L. Lloyd, about 7 years old.





Files Box L-8, Case 1660, 1859:

Wm Loyd vs. Wm Webb & Others,

Wm Loyd said he loaned money to Wm Webb by Note. In Jun 1857, Wm Webb conveyed his land by deed to his sons Thomas J. and Lewis S. Webb, 230 acres, plus extras. The land adjoined land of Wm S. Harwell, Nicholas GRUBBS, and Charles Leatherman and others in Giles Co. Wm Loyd filed an injunction and attachment bill attaching all property of Wm Webb. In another similar case, which is missing, Nicholas Grubbs vs. Wm Webb, same thing happened. Nicholas Grubbs attached property of Wm Webb for debts owed by Note. Land was finally advertised through Chancery Court for sale by A. Cox, Clerk & Master. Some Creditors were John C. BROWN, J. MAYS, Wm G. Loyd, L.M. Harwell, John Ralston, Ezel Brothers, L.B. Marks B.W. Mason. Wm Webb had two Drs by first marriage and nine or ten by second marriage. The land of Wm Webb lay in the 20th District on waters of Bradshaw Creek.



Our Maryland heritage : Browning families primarily of Montgomery & Frederick Counties, Maryland ... / [William Neal Hurley]


Hurley, William Neal


Bowie, MD : Heritage, c1998


xvi, 571 p. : geneal. table ; 21 cm.


Index ; statement of responsibility from cover


Browning family




Chapter 4: Francis Browning 1672-1723. The son of John Browning (1640) and his wife Elizabeth was born c.1672, perhaps in Cecil County, Maryland, and died c.1723 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia (formed in 1720 from parts of Essex, King and Queen and King William Counties). Married in Cecil County, c.1693 to Rachel Merritt or Marriott. The family apparently lived in Essex County; at least the children were reportedly born there; and later moved to Culpeper County, Virginia. Some of the grandchildren of this couple later were found in Caswell County, North Carolina, and in Montgomery County, Maryland...



Francis Browning, Jr. 1696-1775. This son of Francis Browning (1672) was born c1696 and died January 21, 1775 in Culpeper County. Francis was married c.1716 to Elizabeth Lloyd, born 1698 in Maryland, and died before 1740 in Culpeper County, Virginia; said to be a daughter of William Lloyd (1680) and Mary Ann Crowley (1682), and a granddaughter of Colonel Edward Lloyd and Alice Couch.

p.25 (summarizing)

Francis and Elizabeth had a number of children, born in old Spottsylvania County, later Culpeper County, Virginia. Note that Orange County was first formed in 1734 from part of Spotsylvania, followed by the formation of Culpeper from Orange in 1748. Children were:

1. Nicholas Browning, born c1718, died 1786 in Caswell County, North Carolina. Married Sarah Washburn. Nicholas' will in Caswell County, NC, proven January, 1787 (Will Book B, page 166)

2. Mary Browning (c1720 - c 1770) married in Orange County to Courtney C. Norman.

3. Francis Browning, III, (c1722- February 10, 1761 Culpeper County) Married c1743 to Frances Norman. The lands which they owned were primarily on the Little Fork of the Rappahannock River, and on the head of Battle Run, near Flint Hill. The will of Francis was dated December 30, 1760 in Culpeper County, and recorded in Will Book A, page 242. The will of his widow, Frances Norman, was dated November 16, 1791 and probated September 17, 1792 in Will Book D, page 60.

4. Amanda Browning, born c1724. Married Turner c 1743.

5. Jacob Browning, born c1726 died c 1785 in Caswell County, NC. Married c1753 in Culpeper County to Elizabeth Bywaters.