Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - Asy BROWN

In memory of ASY BROWN
BORN 1833
DIED 1909
He died as he lived, trusting in God.

Although most of the attention in the genea-world to day is on what folks are finding in the 1940 Census, I'm reflecting on the excitement I felt just a couple of weeks ago when I discovered a picture of the headstone of my maternal great-great grandfather, Asy BROWN.  Asy (Asa/Acy, as I'd been spelling it), is just one of the many ancestors I've discovered on my research journey.  I'd never heard of him before, and neither had my mother, or either of her siblings until I found my way to him through extensive research a couple of years ago.

Most of Asy's life remains a mystery to me, but what I do know is this:

1870 - Asa is a 26 year-old, illiterate farm-hand living (alone) in Hamilton Township, in Martin County, NC.

Between 1870-1880 - Asa marries Luvenia Ross.

1880 - Acy, a farm laborer (servant), now lives in River Township, Warren County, NC, in the home of Charles and Creecy Squires. He is marked as both "single" and "widowed", but I believe both to be inaccurate. My research shows he and Louvenia to have married prior to this, but to be living (working) apart in 1880.  (I also have an indication that Louvenia may have been married before this, so maybe they were both widowed and then got married. This is an area for further research.)

At this same time, "Lou", as she seems to be called, is enumerated in Halifax Co. (Enfield Township), working as a farmhand and living in the home of Essex Whitaker.  At the time of the census, she has a 1-month old (unnamed) daughter.   Like Acy, she is noted to be single. 

1900 - Acy and Lou V (Louvenia) are living in Roanoke Township, Warren County, NC. They have been married for 28 years, according to this census, which would put the marriage around 1872. Louvenia has had 12 children, of which 9 are still living.  Seven of the children, ranging in age from 6 to 18, still live in the home.  (Those were Lottie, Weslie, Cora, Addie, Gus, Brutus, and Sadie.) He is a farmer - renting his home (sharecropper?).  Although the census date is June 22nd, Acy reports only being employed for four months that year.

1909 - Asy (according to his headstone) "died as he lived - trusting God".

*Although the date of birth on Asy's headstone give 1833 as the year, I am not changing it in my database, unless I find proof of that.  Everything else I have on him indicates his birth year to be 1843-44.  Since mistakes are often made by the living, I'm going to stick to what I had before finding this picture.

*Special thanks to Find-a-Grave volunteer, George Seitz, who took this picture of my ancestor's grave, and uploaded it to the site.  As a Find-a-Grave volunteer myself, I encourage everyone reading this to get involved in this effort.  Seeing this headstone for an ancestor who had before been only a name to me, made him very real.  I cried tears of joy when I just happened to discover this on a Google search last month.  Not only did seeing the headstone help to make my gg-grandfather's life seem more tangible, but reading the loving inscription gave me a peek into who he was.  It made me feel that he was respected and loved, but best of all, it gave me a warm feeling to know that, despite what appears to have (possibly) been a life of poverty and struggle, he was connected to, and trusted God.