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In my search for the connection of the Brownlee family to the Sampson family I have tripped over other distant connections. The Brownlees married into my Kilgore family making their children distant third cousins. As of yet I haven’t found the Sampson connection but have found many fascinating facts about this gang.

The Brownlees came from Torfoot, Scotland and up until 1831 owned a farm there. The farm is still standing, although the buildings are showing lots of wear over time. This particular group of Brownlees settled in Mahoning County, Ohio. I was fascinated by the photos of not just the original farm but of Archibald Brownlee and his wife Rebecca Gilchrist. Time has written her story all over the weather worn faces of these two people. A picture of their son Irven and his wife at their 50th wedding anniversary shows the difference in the way we now age, better protected from the elements, fed and clothed, Time is gentler with us than our ancestors.

Most of the Brownlees during the 1800’s seem to have been Presbyterian. Some of them were ministers. Not only did they settle in Ohio but they also moved into Pennsylvania and set roots down there. It is in Pennsylvania that I find them intertwined with the Kilgore side of the family.

Once you get started into genealogy you find that there was once a practice of marrying cousins, in many cases first cousins. I have found them scattered throughout my other lines. The Brownlees took marrying their cousins to heart. I am amazed by the number of them that did, my Family tree software can’t seem to get over it either and pops up the same surname error constantly.

I have found that because the last name of this family sounded like 2 words it can cause some search problems. One transcriber had written the name in the census as Brown Lee. When it was then entered into the ancestry database you had search on “Lee” to find them. One more for my bag of search entry tricks.

They have been a fascinating bunch to rummage around in.


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