First Families of Orangeburgh District, South Carolina
The Caspar Brown Family
1. CASPER/GASPER BROWN arrived in Charles Town during the second week of January 1750 on the ship GREENWICH without family. The ship's master was Captain Edward Randolph, and the GREENWICH had journeyed from Rotterdam by way of London.1 Brown's birth date and birth place are unknown, but speculation by this researcher and others is that he was between 20 - 30 years old and came from Germany.2 He was a fellow passenger on the GREENWICH with Conrad and Mary Ann Holman, also believed to be from Germany.3 After their arrival in 1750, historical records show that Brown and the Holman family for the next 30 plus years had a close and intimate relationship. Their relationship was so close that some researchers regard Casper and Mary Ann as brother and sister, but no proof has ever been found.4 This is likely where the unsubstantiated maiden name of Brown or Braun was associated with Mary Ann Holman. Braun literally means Brown in the German language. Historical records also show various spellings in use for Brown's first name; Casper, Gasper, Gaspar and Gosper. This writer has chosen to use Casper as Brown's first name.
The Brown - Holman close relationship is first evidenced by them sailing on the same ship to South Carolina. (see Note a.) Within two weeks after their arrival in Charles Town, Conrad Holman petitioned for 100 acres of bounty land,5 and Brown then petitioned for 50 acres on 2 May 1750, in the same general vicinity of each other. Brown's petition is shown below.
"The Humble Petition of Casper Brown setting Forth that your Pet'r came into this Province on the Encouragm't given to Foreign Protest's by the Greenwich, Capt. Randolph, and hath paid his Passage as Per by the Annexed Receipt and prays to run 50 acres of Land on the north side of Congree [Congaree] River aforesaid and that he may have the Bounty of Provision. The prayer thereof was granted." 6
No surveyed plat of Brown's above petition has been found. Petitioning for free bounty land this soon after arrival by both Brown and Holman indicates that they had money to pay for their voyage to South Carolina and weren't subject to indentured servitude. His petition states he had paid for his passage and provided a receipt of that payment. Brown's petition for 50 acres also indicated he arrived as a single man with no family.
Brown's name was recorded six times between 1752 and 1757 in Giessendanner's Book of Record as a susceptor (or godparent). Twice he was present as a susceptor at baptisms of Holman children, Mary Ann and Joseph. Two other times he was a susceptor along with Conrad's wife, Mary Ann. 7 Brown obviously lived near the Holmans and attended worship services in Giessendanner's congregations held at various locations in Amelia Township.
On 5 Nov 1771, Conrad Holman, in his last will and testimony named his wife and Casper Brown as co-executors of his estate. After Conrad died in early 1772, Brown was qualified as his executor on 19 March 1772.8 On 13 June 1772, Jacob Beck, Frederick Hoff/Hoof and Melchor Smith were named as appraisers of Conrad Holman's estate.9 Then on 18 May 1774, the estate of Frederick Hoff/Hoof was appraised by Christopher Rowe, John Herispager and Gasper [Casper] Brown.10 These individuals were fellow church members and nearby neighbors of Holman and Brown.
No historical records mention whether Brown had a family except for a marriage record that exists for a Casper Brown who married a Mary Hulman in St. Philip's Parish on 19 Feb 1772.11 There is no proof that this Casper Brown is the same one as the subject of this biography, although no other Casper Brown has been found during this period in South Carolina.
In 1774, Brown was a member of the vestry of the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Fort Monte, Orangeburgh District, where the members agreed to place a monetary assessment on landowners and slave holders to provide for the church parish operations and the poor.12 In other church matters, Brown along with three sons (Joseph, John, and Melchior) of Conrad Holman all signed a petition sent to the General Assembly in early 1788, requesting to incorporate the St. Matthew's German Lutheran Church in Amelia Township.13 Soon after this event Brown died in Amelia Township, Orangeburgh District in either late 1788 or early 1789. [see Note b.]
Casper/Gaspar Brown served as a private in the South Carolina colonial militia during the Cherokee War (1759) in Colonel John Chevillette's Regiment of men mostly from the Amelia Township, Berkley County area.14 Twenty years later Brown showed is loyalty to the cause of American Independence by providing supplies and support to local Patriots fighting the British. No evidence has been found to show that he served as a soldier during the Revolution, and it's not likely since he was probably in his mid to late forties at that time. Evidence of his Patriot support is found in a claim he filed on 6 May 1781, stating he provided 879 lbs. of wheat flour and hired out a wagon and team for 11 days for militia service.15 One document in this file even has "Capt." Brown written on it, possibly indicating a onetime militia rank.
After 1789, no further information about Casper Brown is known by this writer. He is not mentioned by other researchers in any OGSGS newsletters. It is important that Casper Brown be recognized and included in the OGSGS First Families of Orangeburgh District. He immigrated to and lived in the Orangeburgh District from 1750 until his death in 1788/89. He apparently left no heirs to carry on his name and to be remembered in future generations. It is important for this Holman researcher to honor him and tell his story so that he will not be forgotten.
Other known facts about Casper Brown are:
On 9 July1765 Casper Brown received a plat for 250 acres in Berkley County, Amelia Township on waters of the Santee.16
On 28 May 1770 Casper Brown made a memorial for 650 acres in Amelia Township, Berkley County, summarizing a chain of title to a grant to Moses Mitchell.17 This tract of land was next to Conrad Holman's original 100 acres land grant. He had acquired this land.
On 13 May 1772 Gasper Brown received a plat for 200 acres in Berkley County.18
On 1 May 1786 Gaspar Brown received a plat for 61 acres in Orangeburgh District.19
On 2 May 1786 Gaspar Brown received a plat for 39 acres in Orangeburgh District.20
On 1, 2 Jun 1789 John and Joseph Holman, sons of Conrad Holman, and co-executors of Brown's estate sold the 650 acres Moses Mitchell tract of land to their brother Melchior Holman. Casper Brown's name is not found again in any historical documents.
a. Each of their petitions for free bounty land identify the ship GREENWICH and Captain Randolph and were submitted within the first 5 months of arrival.
b. The time of Brown's death was determined as follows: after an Act created by the General Assembly on February 29, 1788, Casper Brown along with three sons of Conrad Holman (Joseph, John, and Melchior) all signed a petition requesting the incorporation of the St. Matthew's German Lutheran Church in Amelia Township. Then on 1st & 2nd of June 1789, brothers John & Joseph Holman sold to their younger brother Melchior 650 acres of land originally granted to Moses Mitchell that had later been purchased by Casper Brown. In the actual indenture (deed) it states that John & Joseph Holman were acting as co-executors of Casper Brown's estate.21 It is concluded by this writer that Casper Brown died between 29 Feb 1788 and 1 Jun 1789.
Information provided by William Larry Holman, Feb 2017
1 The South Carolina Gazette, 8-15 Jan 1750, issue No 817. Microfilm, University Of Southern Mississippi. Cook Memorial Library. Hattiesburg. MS 39406; Holcomb, Brent H., Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Volume II: 1748-1752, pp. 135, SCMAR, Columbia, SC, 1997. Brown petitioned for 50 acres of land on the Congaree River.
2 Germany is assumed place of birth since he was a fellow passenger with Conrad and Mary Ann Holman on the ship Greenwich and held a close and intimate relationship with them the remainder of his life.
3 Conrad Holman, OGSGS, First Families of Orangeburgh District, SC. (2007) http://www.ogsgs.org/ffam/ffam.php?f=holman.
4 Hallman, Elmer Berley, Jr., Early Carolina Heilmans (Hallmans - Holmans) 1732 - 1800, Columbia, SC, 1972 (out of print). Hallman was first to suggest this brother-sister relationship between Casper Brown and Mary Ann Holman. He even suggested that there name might have been Braun which is German for "Brown." No proof exists to confirm these theories.
5 Holcomb, Brent H., Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Volume II: 1748-1752, pp. 111, SCMAR, Columbia, SC, 1997. Holman petitions for 100 acres of land in Orangeburg District.
6 Holcomb, Brent H., Petitions for Land from the South Carolina Council Journals, Volume II: 1748-1752, pp. 135, SCMAR, Columbia, SC, 1997. Brown petitioned for 50 acres of land on the Congaree River.
7 Salley, A.S., Jr., The History of Orangeburg County South Carolina, From Its First Settlement to the Close of the Revolutionary War, R. Lewis Berry, Printer, Orangeburg, SC, 1898; Giesendanner, Joop, The Book of Record, Orangeburg, SC, http://www.xs4all.nl/~sail/.
8 Charleston Wills, Conrad Holman, Recorded in original Will Book (1771-1774), page 132, Charleston, SC.
9 Conrad Holman, South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ : accessed 23 Feb 2014), Charleston > Probate Court, Estate inventories > 1772-1776 > No File Description Available > images 70 & 71 of 350.
10 Frederick Hoff, South Carolina Probate Records, Files and Loose Papers, 1732-1964," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ : accessed 8 Feb 2017), Charleston > Probate Court, Estate inventories > 1772-1776 > No File Description Available > image 227 of 350.
11 Smith, D. E. Huger and A. S. Salley, Jr., Register of St. Philip's Parish, Charles Town or Charleston, S.C., 1754 - 1810, The South Carolina Society, Colonial Dames of America, Charleston, SC, 1927; Some researchers speculate that the transcription of "Hulman" in the original parish marriage records may have been in error with the name possibly being "Holman" and to the extent that it might have been Conrad Holman's widow, Mary Ann. If this proved to be true, it would dispute the theory that Casper and Mary Ann were brother and sister.
12 Haiger, Anne Martin, The Church Records of Saint Matthew's Lutheran Church Orangeburg County, South Carolina and "The Red Church," Southern Historical Press, Inc., Easley, SC, 1985 p. 85.
13 Quattlebaum, Paul. "German Protestants in South Carolina in 1788," The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, vol. 47:4, pp. 195-204, Oct. 1946, Petitions for the incorporation of their churches.
14 Clark, Murtie June, Colonial Soldiers of the South, 1732-1774, Genealogical Publishing Co, Inc., Baltimore, MD, 1983. A list of the Second Draught of Colonel John Chevillette's Regiment in the Lower Companies, on duty at the Congrees (sic) Store for 52 days, from November 14, 1759 to January 1760, both days included, being 52 days pay to each soldier.; Andrea, Leonardo, Colonial Soldiers and Patriots, The Society, Daughters of Colonial Wars in the State of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 1952.
15 South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SC Archives), Accounts Audited for Claims Growing Out of the American Revolution, A.A. No. 800 , Series 108092, Reel 14, Frame 130, Columbia, SC. Among other documents, there are 2 historical receipts in late April 1779 that show Casper Brown delivered almost 7000 lbs of corn flour to Mr. Charles Collins for public use, most likely use by the local Patriot militia. Each of these receipts was signed by Casper Brown.
16 SC Archives: Series 213184, Vol. 7, Page 412, Item 1.
17 SC Archives: Series 111001, Vol. 10, Page 162, Item 2.
18 SC Archives: Series 213184, Vol. 13, Page 366, Item 3.
19 SC Archives: Series 213190, Vol. 7, Page 386, Item 1.
20 SC Archives: Series 213190, Vol. 7, Page 387, Item 1.
21 Original historical indenture (deed) document, (1 & 2 June 1789). John and Joseph Holman, co-executors of Casper Brown's estate, sell the 650 acres Moses Mitchell tract of land to their younger brother Melchior Holman. Indenture is in the private possession of Moss H. Perrow, Jr., of Creston, SC. (2017)