Abia Brown

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Abia Brown (1743 – 1785) served as a Deputy to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey[1] in 1775 (at Trenton)[2] and 1776 (at New Brunswick).[2] As Deputy to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey, Abia Brown represented Sussex County, New Jersey along with Casper Shafer.[3] This position of "Deputy" was then a geographic representative position, and not to be confused with a modern-day bailiff or a law enforcement agent present mainly to keep order.

Abia also served as a Justice of the Peace for Sussex County in 1772[2] which at the time was a position of greater stature than present day judicial positions by the same name.[2][4] Abia was appointed Justice of the Peace by the Governor of New Jersey province.[5] Abia also served on the Counsel of Safety during the Revolutionary War.[1][4]

Family and religion

Abia was father to Mary Brown Austin,[1] father-in-law to Moses Austin, and maternal grandfather to both Stephen F. Austin and Emily Margaret Brown Austin. On March 12, 1765, Abia married Margaret Sharp (born in Piles Grove, Salem County, in pre-revolution New Jersey).[6] Abia was born in the Township of Notingham in the County of Burlington,[6] in pre-revolutionary New Jersey, and died in New Jersey.

Abia's father was Preserve Brown, Jr., (whose father was Preserve Brown) and his grandmother was Mary French, daughter of Richard French or Mary Sykes.[7][8] Abia's parents and grandparents were Members of the Society of Friends and attended Quaker meetings at the Meeting House in Chesterfield.[9] Abia's father-in-law was Joseph Sharp, also Quaker, leading to a conclusion that Abia's wife Margaret was also Quaker. These facts lead to an intriguing question about the lapse of direct formal Quaker practice in favor of Episcopal, Anglican, or non-denominational practice among immediate descendants of Maria Brown Austin. One explanation is the influence of Moses Austin, who was not Quaker, and another is the physical remoteness from the Quaker structure and population in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Other name

Some sources refer to "Abia Brown" as "Abiah Brown," with an "h" at the end of the first name.[10][11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "| Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". Tshaonline.org. 1919-09-14. Retrieved 2013-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "TSHA Press | Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)". Tshaonline.org. Retrieved 2013-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Provinvial Congress of New Jersey". Lincoln.lib.niu.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 Southwestern historical quarterly, Volume 7 By Eugene Campbell Barker, Herbert Eugene Bolton, Texas State Historical Association, University of Texas at Austin. Center for Studies in Texas History.
  5. "Abiah Brown-Margaret Sharp, Marriage, Family, Genealogy, 12 March 1765, New Jersey". Personal.umich.edu. 2013-08-30. Retrieved 2013-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 [1][dead link]
  7. Descendants of Thomas French, p. 219 and 213, Marriage Certificate (of Preserve Brown and Mary French and Marriage certificate of Preserve Brown and Mary Sykes)
  8. "Preserve Brown, [About 1699 - (13 June 1759-2 June 1760)], Born: Chesterfield Burlington County, New Jersey, Died: Nottingham Burlington County, New Jersey, Father: Preserve Brown, Mother: ?; Spouses: Mary French, Mary Sykes, Family, Genealogy". Personal.umich.edu. 2013-06-16. Retrieved 2013-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Descendants of Thomas French, pp. 206-207
  10. "Brown". Cowaro.com. Retrieved 2013-09-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey: Calendar of New Jersey Wills Volume VI 1781-1785, p. 61.