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Northfield, New Hampshire

Mary Butler (1760-1846) and Abraham Brown (1753-1824)

Generation Five Family 548

MARY BUTLER (Dorcas Abbott Butler4, Henry3, George2, George1), b. at Nottingham, 30 Mar 1760 daughter of Benjamin and Dorcas (Abbott) Butler; d. at Northfield, 1846; m. 1776, ABRAHAM BROWN, b. at Epping, 8 May 1753 son of Abraham and Hannah (Osgood) Brown; Abraham d. at Northfield 8 Mar 1824.

Mary and Abraham Brown settled in Northfield, New Hampshire. Abraham served in the Revolutionary War as a drummer in the army for three years and as a military adjutant for four years. (1)

Northfield was newly incorporated at the time Mary and Abraham were starting their family. Northfield began as the “north fields” of Canterbury where a garrison had been formed. The settlers in this area petitioned for separated incorporation which occurred in 1780. Mary Butler Brown was one of those known in town for the “gift of healing by the laying on of the hands.” (2)

Abraham Brown wrote his will 3 March 1824. Beloved wife Polly Brown receives the income from one-sixth part of the farm, two rooms on the north side of the house with privileges to the chamber above and the cellar, one cow, four sheep, and the use of the barn. Son Abraham is to provide his mother with the use of a horse and saddle and to provide firewood as long as she remains a widow. Daughter Hannah Brown receives forty dollars to be paid to her at age twenty-one. Daughter Sally Carr receives five dollars and daughters Phebe Brown and Clarissa Brown forty dollars each. The three unmarried daughters have the privilege to stay in the family home as long as they are unmarried. Son Benjamin Brown receives one hundred dollars to be paid with two years after he reaches age twenty-one. Daughter Polly Hills receives one dollar and son Henry Brown one hundred dollars when he reaches age twenty-one. Also, when he reaches age twenty-one, Henry is free to learn whichever mechanical art he chooses. Sons Henry and Benjamin each receive six sheep and a cow. Daughter Dorcas Osgood receives one dollar. Son Abraham Brown and Josiah Ambrose are named executors. (3)

Mary and Abraham Brown had nine children whose births are recorded in various towns in Merrimack County, New Hampshire.

1. POLLY BROWN, b. 13 Mar 1777; d. at Merrimack County, NH, Aug 1849; (4) m. 13 Jan 1804, JOHN HILLS, b. at Haverhill, 15 Jun 1770 son of Daniel and Hannah (Emery) Hills; John d. 20 Jan 1852. John Hills was a cooper and a farmer in Northfield.

2. SALLY BROWN, b. at Epping, 17 Feb 1779; d. at Loudon, NH, 9 Dec 1849; m. at Loudon, 12 Feb 1800, JOHN CARR, b. at Salisbury, MA, 11 Mar 1778 son of Elliot and Joanna (Dow) Carr; John d. 14 Aug 1844.

3. DORCAS BROWN, b. at Northfield, 5 Apr 1785; d. at East Andover, NH, 9 Nov 1861; m. 1807, ENOCH OSGOOD, b. at Salisbury, MA, 23 Feb 1773 son of Benjamin and Hannah (Rowell) Osgood; (5) Enock d. at Salisbury, NH, 1832.

4. ABRAHAM BROWN, b. at Northfield, 1 Sep 1787; d. 8 Jun 1861; m. 31 Dec 1808, BETSEY FORREST, b. at Canterbury, 9 Apr 1783 daughter of William and Dorothy (Worthen) Forrest; Betsy d. at Northfield, 27 Dec 1860.

5. HANNAH BROWN, b. at Northfield, 9 Dec 1791; d. at Cottage Hill, IL (where she had gone to stay with her children), 15 Mar 1859; m. 29 Sep 1817, JEREMIAH FORREST, b. at Canterbury, 25 Jun 1787 son of William and Dorothy (Worthen) Forrest; Jeremiah d. 9 Aug 1845.

6. PHEBE BROWN, b. at Pittsfield (place of record), 7 Jun 1794; d. at East Andover, NH, 28 Jan 1852. Phebe did not marry. At the 1850 U.S. census, Phebe was living with her sister Dorcas Osgood in Andover, NH. (6)

7. BENJAMIN BUTLER BROWN, b. at Northfield, 19 Apr 1800; d. at East Andover, NH, 4 Feb 1867; m. 30 Dec 1824, PHEBE GALE, b. at Sanbornton, 24 Jan 1802 daughter of Stephen and Molly (Jewett) Gale; Phebe d. Feb 1845. After Phebe’s death, Benjamin married MARY SANBORN on 4 Feb 1855.

8. HENRY BUTLER BROWN, b. at Northfield, 4 Jul 1802; d. at Big Rapids, MI, 13 Dec 1872; m. at Plainfield, NH, 24 Jan 1829, LAURA TICKNOR, b. at Lebanon, NH, 11 Jun 1804 daughter of John and Mabel (Green) Ticknor; (7, 8) Laura d. at Rockford, IL, 20 Dec 1867. Henry Brown was a physician. The family lived in Vermont until about 1850, then relocated to Illinois. After his wife’s death, Henry remarried to Sarah Hosmer, 28 Sep 1871 in Big Rapids, MI.

9. CLARISSA BROWN, b. 30 Mar 1804; d. at Meredith, NH, 1 Jun 1825; m. 24 Jan 1824, EDWARD CHASE perhaps the son of Thomas Chase. After Clarissa’s death, Edward married Hannah Blake.


1) Cross, History of Northfield, New Hampshire, Part I, p 72

2) Cross, History of Northfield, Part I, p 149

3) New Hampshire Wills and Probate Records 1643-1982, Will of Abraham Brown, Merrimack, 3 Mar 1824.

4) U.S., Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index, 1850-1880

5) Eastman, History of the Town of Andover, New Hampshire, p 262

6) Year: 1850; Census Place: Andover, Merrimack, New Hampshire; Roll: M432_436; Page: 186B; Image: 380

7) Laura Ticknor’s parents are confirmed by the 1836 New Hampshire will of John Ticknor which includes a bequest to daughter Laura wife of Henry B. Butler.

8) Hunnewell, The Ticknor Family, p 19

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