Penelope Browne was born about 1717 in Isle of Wight, Virginia and died around the age of 23. For reasons unknown, her young life was cut short, but without her, I wouldn’t be here. She is my seventh great-grandmother. This post is in memory of her.

Penelope was the daughter of Samuel Browne (of Isle of Wight) and his second wife, Mary Jones. She married William Lawrence in 1739 (Marriages of Isle of Wight Court, Va, 1628-1800, compiled by Blanch Adams Chapman). They had one daughter, also named Penelope, in 1739.

Penelope is mentioned in her father’s will which was written in October 17, 1739 and probated June 23, 1740. Samuel gives his children and grandchildren various things (and sadly, slaves), but doesn’t leave anything to Penelope directly, which probably means she was already dead at this time.

Judging from records alone, it seems like she was married in early 1739, immediately got pregnant, then died shortly after her daughter’s birth – dying before Samuel’s will was written on October 17, 1739.

Her widower, William Lawrence, remarried to Sarah Applewhaite seven years later in 1746 (Marriages of Isle of Wight Court, Va, 1628-1800, compiled by Blanch Adams Chapman).

Her daughter, Penelope, married James Hilliard.

Penelope Browne Lawrence’s grave location is unknown.

If you have any information about Penelope or her family that you would like to share, please email downhomegenealogy@gmail.com.

———

Complete will of her father, Samuel Browne is below. Thanks to Sally’s Family Place.

Dr. Samuel Browne, Isle of Wight Co, VA
17 Oct 1739
pro. 23 June 1740

In the name of God amen – the 17th day of October 1739 I Samuel Browne in the County of Isle of Wight being at present in Bodyley Health and perfect mind and memory thanks be to God I do make and Ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following:

first – I give my soul to Almighty God that gave it to me and my body I commend to the Earth to be Buried at the Discretion of my Executor and as Touching what worldly goods it hath pleased God to Endow me with I give and Devise and Bequeath in manner and form following – –

Item – I give unto my Son John Browne Twenty Shillings current money of Virginia.

Item – I give unto my grandson Josias Brown the Son of Walter Browne when he comes to years of Twenty and one, one Negro Boy called Dick about eight years old.

Item – I give unto my son Jesse Browne after my Decease the plantation whereon now I live and all the Lands of mine that lies in Virginia – Except the Lands that is given to Mary Drake and her son Jesse Drake I say unto my son Jesse Browne and his Issue Lawfully begotten of his Body not to be cut off by an Act of Assembly nor to go out of the Name of the Brownes – I likewise give my son Jesse Brown all my Books and Instruments and Medicens belonging to my practice and likewise I give my son Jesse Browne a Negro man called Will and a Negro woman called Bess.

Item – I give unto my daughter Mary Drake wife of John Drake a certain Tract of Land lying on the South side of the Beaver Dam Swamp containing five hundred acres land more or less I say unto my daughter Mary Drake and the Heirs lawfully begotten of her body forever – it beginning at the South prong of the Beaver Dam Swamp up the said Swamp to a marked tree on the head line so along the head line to the North prong of the said swamp and down the said swamp to the first station.

Item – I give unto my grandson Jesse Drake the son of John Drake and Mary Drake his wife three hundred acres of Land more or less on the South side of the Nottoway River across the neck to a marked poplar standing in a Branch so up the said Branch to the head of it from thence by a marked line to my head line and along the head line to his Mothers corner Tree in a Branch and down the various courses to the said Branch to Vassers corner tree in the Beaver Dam Swamp so down the said Vassers line to the first station in Nottoway River I say unto my grandson Jesse Drake and his heirs Lawfully begotten forever.

Item – I give unto my daughter Sarah Battel the wife of John Battel so much of my land that lies on the Indian Branch to be added to her deed adjacent to her plantation as will take half the Survey of the said Tract of Land being six hundred and forty acres likewise I leave the use of a Negro Boy called Dorsetshire to my daughter Sarah Battel during her life and after her decease I do give the said Negro boy called Dorsetshire to my grandson William Battel her son, likewise I leave a Negro woman called Violet to my daughter Sarah Battel during her life and after her decease to her son Jesse Battel I do give the said Negro woman called Violet.

Item – I give unto my grandson Josias Browne a negro man called Dorsetshire when he comes to the age of Twenty and one and if he dies before he comes to the above age then it is my will and desire that the above said Negro man called Dorsetshire and the aforementioned Negro Boy called Dick aged about eight years return to my Executor.

Item – I give unto my grandson Samuel Brown the son of John Brown a Negro girl called Nan.

Item – I leave the use of a Negro man called Warham unto my son John Browne during his natural life and after his decease I do give the said Negro man called Warham to my graandson Samuel Browne, his son.

Item – I give unto my granddaughter Sarah Browne the Daughter of Walter Browne a Negro girl called Cherigarllen and one feather bed and furniture when she comes to the age of Twenty and one and if she dies before she comes to the age of Twenty and one then the above said Legacies to return to my Executor.

Item – I give unto Samuel King my grandson the son of Henry King and Martha King his wife one Negro boy called London and if the said Samuel King dies before he comes to the age of Twenty and one the aforesaid Negro Boy is to return to my Executor.

Item – I give a Negro man called Hamsheire unto my grandson Samuel Nicholas Drake when he comes to the age of Twenty and one.

Item – I leave the use of a Negro Girl called Marreia unto my daughter Mary Drake the wife of John Drake during her life and after her decease I do give the said Negro girl unto Jesse Drake her son.

Item – I give unto my granddaughter Penelope Lawrence the daughter of William and Penelope Lawrence two young Negroes above Ten years and under Sixteen years old and if she dies before she comes to Twenty and one years or without Issue then the aforesaid Legacies to return to my Executor.

Item – I give unto my son Jesse Browne my plantation lying on the Indian Branch in North Carolina with one Moiety of the said Tract containing Six hundred and forty acres to him and his Heirs.

Item – I do give all the rest of my Estate both Real and Personal to my son Jesse Browne and of this my Last Will and Testament I constitute and appoint my son Jesse Browne Executor to see this my last Will and Testament fully satisfied and do hereby utterly disallow, revoke, and annul all and every other will formerely by me made or Legacies or Bequeathed by me made in anywise whatsoever before this Will or Bequeathed Ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my last Will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and fixed by Seal the day of the year above.

Samuel Browne (Seal)

Signed, Sealed pronounced and declared by the said Samuel Browne as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us. Test: Hardy Councill, Jr; John Gennill; John Dunkley; John Eley

Inventory of estate admitted to record on June 22, 1741.

 

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