George Thomas Brown was born in 1823 in Birtley, Durham, England to parents Henry Brown (1792-1855) and Jane Wind (1796-1854). Jane was the daughter of William Wind (1762-1817) and Jane Clarke. Jane’s father William was a coalminer pitman in Durham.
George was baptised on 15 September 1824 in St Andrews, Lamesley. George’s father Henry Brown was a coal miner pitman. George was one of nine children born to the couple.
The family lived in Birtley at the time of George’s birth, and moved around the coalfields to various places such as Aton Banks, Porto Bello, Chester le Street and Crook.
In the 1841 census George and his family were living in Shiney Row, Houghton le Spring. George, aged 18 was living with his parents and siblings Henry, Thomas, Stephenson, Mary, Elizabeth and Robert. All four older boys (even 8 year old Stephenson) were working in the coalmines with their father Henry.
In 1845 on September 13 George married Mary Ann Cutherbertson (sometimes called Ann) at St Johns, Winlaton.
The marriage entry states that George, a pitman, of Thornley, was the son of Henry Brown, a pitman, and that he married Ann Cuthbertson also of Thornley, daughter of Robert Cuthbertson, pitman.
The marriage witness was Peter Cuthbertson.
Mary Ann Cuthbertson was born in 1828 in Newbottle, Philadelphia, Durham to parents Robert Cuthbertson (1784-1840) and Mary Blakelock (1788-1861). She was baptised on 24 September 1831 in Houghton le Spring. Mary Ann was one of five children.
George and Mary Ann Brown had ten children –
- 1847 Robert b Newbottle d 1915 Shildon married Margaret Wake
- 1848 Jane Ann b Shiney Row d 1882 West Herrington marr Henry Gray
- 1851 Henry b Ponsker d 1902 Easington married Sarah Todd
- 1854 John b Marley Hill d 1881 Newbottle married Margaret Carmichael
- 1856 William b Newbottle d 1931 Easington married Margaret Richardson
- 1858 Joseph b Usworth d after 1911
- 1860 Elizabeth b Seaham Harbour d aft 1871
- 1860 Mary Ann b Newbottle d 1861 Philadelphia
- 1866 Stephen b Carville d Durham marr Hannah Hamilton & Frances Talbot
- 1871 Mary Ann b New Herrinton d 1928 Houghton married Robert Cummings
In 1851 the family are living in Shiney Row, Painshaw, Durham.
George, 27 a coalminer, and Ann (Mary Ann) 23 are listed in the census along with their children Robert 4 , Jane 2, Henry 4 months, and Mary’s mother Mary Ann Cuthbertson, aged 62, is living with them too.
In 1852 George’s parents Henry and Jane Brown immigrated to New Diggings, Layfayette,
Wisconsin, USA with most of their nine children. George and wife Mary Ann, decided to stay in England.
Unfortunately Henry Brown was murdered on his way home from New Diggings to his home in Benton Township near Strawbridge.
The local newspaper reports that he had struck a good area of the diggings and was apparently murdered for his money as none was found on him. Murderer(s) not found.
Back in England in 1861, Henry’s son George and his family have moved to Raglan Row, Philadelphia, Newbottle and now consist of George and Ann, and their children Robert, Jane, Henry, John, William, Mary Ann and mother in law Mary Cuthbertson, widow.
By 1871 the family have moved again this time to New Herrington, Durham. George and Mary Ann now have Henry, John, William, Joseph, Elizabeth, Stephen and Mary Ann. George has had a change of occupation from a coal miner to a pedlar. Mary Ann’s mother Mary had died back in 1861.
In 1881 the family can be found in Garden Street, Newbottle. George is still a pedlar, and with wife Mary also only three children with them now John, Stephen and Mary Ann.
George Brown died on 12 June 1884 in Newbottle, Durham aged 61. He is buried at St Matthews, Newbottle, Durham.
George’s wife Mary Ann continued to live in Garden Street, Newbottle and in 1891 she is living with daughter Mary Ann Cummings and her husband Robert and 2 year old child Mary Ann. Son Stephen has moved to a nearby street.
In the 1901 census Mary Ann’s widowed son Stephen and his children Isabella, George and John have moved back into Garden Street with her, and her daughter Mary Ann and Robert and family have moved out. Little George aged 13 is already out working in a brickyard.
77 year old Mary Ann is still at 19 Garden Street, Newbottle in 1911 and living with her is her granddaughter Isabella and her grandsons George and John, (son Stephen’s children).
Mary Ann Brown died on 10th January 1912 in Newbottle. Her death notice in the Sunderland Daily Echo on 16 January, mentions she is the widow of the late George Thomas Brown of Newbottle and that she was buried in Newbottle on 17th January.