Mary Sleght Brown is a recent discovery and an excellent reminder to return to people every few years for whom you have had no success. For some time I knew that Abraham V.W. Tompkins had married a Caroline Brown, but I could find no firm information about where she came from. Then one day I returned to Abraham, thinking surely by now, someone has put up some record on this family. I searched Ancestry.com and beautiful digital images of the Brown family bible and the John Sleght family record appeared. There were also two primers, one of which contained a lock of Mary’s hair. What a legacy! And there was Caroline, daughter of John Dusenbury (1788-1875) and Mary Sleght (1785-1856) Brown.
According to the bible, Mary Sleght was born on 4 June 1785 and married John D. Brown in 1812. Oddly, the bible gives detailed dates for all but this event. The couple then had six children: John S. (1813-1893), Caroline (1818-1878), Martha Jane (1819-1911), Eliza (1821-1875), and a set of twins Ann and Rachel born in 1825.
This information gave me enough ammunition, so to speak, to go looking for church and burial records. I found death and burial information in the church records of the Pleasant Valley Freedom Plains Presbyterian Church. Unfortunately the church records do not start until 1827, so still no marriage date. The bible record and the church record agreed on the date for Mary’s death on 19 September 1856. And I was then able to find an image of the grave marker.
These two family bible records have probably been out there for some time but I did not have the clues necessary to connect all the dots. It really pays to loop back to ancestors that are not completely fleshed out. New information and digital documents are being added to archives daily. This #52Ancestors challenge has been really helpful in reminding me of this!