William Riley Brown

June 22, 1808October 8, 1903


Which Will is which??  Both pictures are said to be William Riley Brown.

I vote for the one on the right.


William Riley Brown is our oldest Brown ancestor.  All the information I have on him is a compilation of the genealogical work of the late Professor June Welch, Mr. V. A. Brown of Rowlett Texas, and Ms. Helen Brown of Kerrville Texas. 


Family legend has it that William’s father emigrated from England to North Carolina.  He married his wife there.  We believe that she was an American Indian but there is no proof of this.  In 1860, she was living with William, and is recorded as “L. Brown.”  We do not know exactly how many children they had, but one brother, Joseph Brown, was born in South Carolina in 1800.  William was born in Abbeville District South Carolina in 1808.  When William was very young, the family moved to Hall and Gwinnett County Georgia.  He served in the local Georgia Guard unit there.  He moved to Alabama in 1835 and settled on Muscadine Creek where he spent the rest of his life.  There, he married Elizabeth Hooper and they had ten children together (the youngest was James Edward).


His eldest son, Private Henry J. Brown, served in the Civil War in the 48th Alabama Infantry, company I of the Confederate Army.  Six months after joining the unit, he contracted Typhoid Fever.  He was transferred to Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond Virginia where he died on October 13, 1863.  He is buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Confederate Cemetery.


His wife Elizabeth died and he married Mary McGee on December 25, 1865.  They had one son, Virgil.


During his life, William was a devoted Methodist church leader.  He served as Justice of the Peace and I saw his name as officiating a few Brown weddings (but I could never prove they were relatives).

He died at the home of his son John William in Muscadine at the age of 95.



Elizabeth Hooper

1808 – April 18, 1863

Elizabeth was always the same age as William on the census records so we believe she was born in 1808.  However, her tombstone says she was born in 1816.  She died on April 18 1863.  There is much documented on this Hooper line in the DAR.  Flora Hooper Collier wrote a book about the Southern Branch of the Hooper family that is of interest to us.









Elizabeth Hooper










































Richard Hooper, John Cleveland, and Thomas Gilbert are listed with the DAR as Revolutionary War patriots.