Today’s article consists of some random updates to earlier posts.
I. Rev. Billy Brown (5th Great-Grandfather). Link to original post.
I recently ran across his name in a most fascinating publication:
A front-page article from this, the February 25, 1854 issue, reads as follows:
In Chardon, Geauga Co., [Ohio] a laboring man, a member of the Methodist Church, suddenly became a speaking medium and preaches in the trance state to his neighbors, who have for some months assembled at his house on Sunday evening. The intelligence asserts through him that the Spirit of Elder Billy Brown has the control of him. Billy Brown was killed by accident, some [four-plus] years since, and was widely known over this region as a very odd and eccentric clergyman, and belonged to the Methodist order. His manner of delivery was peculiar, and no man on the Reserve has uttered so many things that can never be forgotten as Billy Brown. What is peculiar, the medium knows nothing of his utterances; and when told what he preaches, he often repudiates it in his waking moments. The striking fact on this point is, that the medium in his trance repudiates vehemently the vicarious atonement of Christ, while in the waking state he firmly believes it. The most remarkable physical fact is, that the medium imitates most wonderfully the tones, gestures, articulations, oddities and singularities of the deceased preacher. The medium has no powers of mimicry naturally, but in this state of trance his imitative faculty becomes almost perfect, exceeding what is seen in the most accomplished imitators.
Odd, peculiar, eccentric… that certainly seems to be the consensus of opinion about the man.
I found a handful of scholars who mostly agree on the ancestral line of the American Richmonds. This was a very important family with French origins (Richemont) – and they (that is, one in particular – Roaldus Musard de Richmond) settled in England after taking part in the Battle of Hastings alongside William the Conqueror in 1066. Each generation of descendants is well documented in English records from Roaldus downward – even through the stretch of time when the family name was Webb, from 1430 (the marriage of William de Richmond to Alice Webb) until 1635. That’s when my 10th GGF left England as John Richmond, his rightful Richmond surname intact, and sailed for Massachusetts.
Some perspective and context: The Richmonds were in England for nearly six centuries – they’ve been here for three and a half. They survived all of the King Henrys, Charleses, and Richards, as well as the one-and-only King John, circa 1200.
Mary Gifford Richmond Brown was my 4th Great-Grandmother (Rev. Billy was her father-in-law), and Thomas was Mary’s uncle, the brother of my 5th Great-Grandfather. But Roaldus Musard de Richmond was my 26th Great-Grandfather! There is a 27th documented, but I’m not quite up to dealing with France in the Dark Ages. Not yet, anyway.