1860 United States Federal Census

Brother of Frances Browne “The Blind Poetess”

Name: Joseph Brown
Age in 1860: 56
Birth Year: abt 1804
Birthplace: Ireland
Home in 1860: Milford, Oakland, Michigan
Gender: Male
Post Office: Walled Lake
Value of real estate:

Household members:
Joseph Brown 56
Sarah Brown 37
Fanny Brown 9
Martha Brown 6
John Brown 5
Joseph Brown 3
Susan Brown 1


Good Morning, thank you for your question regarding the Browne family in Oakland County.
There are many county histories freely available online at:


At this site you can read the entirety of the 1912 History of Oakland County at: this link ; Page 759 is at this link

The paragraphs are copied below in case you have trouble opening the pages.

“Mr. Fox is affiliated with the local lodge and chapter of the Masonic fraternity, as well as with the adjunct organization, the Order of the Eastern Star, and holds membership in the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Independent Order of Foresters.

On the 9th of October, 1883, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Fox to Miss Susie L. Browne, of Milford, this county. She is a daughter of the late Dr. Joseph Browne, who was one of the able pioneer physicians and surgeons of Oakland county. Dr. Browne was educated in Glasgow University, Scotland, and for twenty-eight years he served as a ship physician and master-at-arms in the British Navy. Later he served in the United States Navy, in similar capacity, and in 1856 he established his home at Milford, Oakland County, where he passed the residue of his long and useful life, a distinguished member of his profession and a man of high-intellectual powers. He was a brother of Miss Frances Browne, the famous blind poet of England… Mr. and Mrs. Fox have two children, Hazel Leslie, who was born at Rochester on the 16th May, 1891, and Lauris Lockley, who was born in the same village on the 26th July, 1904. Hazel L. was graduated in the Rochester high school as a member of the class of 1910, and for two years has been a successful and popular teacher in the country schools of her native state. In 1912 she entered upon a special course in music and drawing at the Michigan State Normal School at Ypsilanti.”

The preceding talks about the Fox family. The Mr. Fox referred to in the first sentence seems to be Willoughby A. Fox.

I have attached a page from the 1870 Census of Michigan containing the Brown family as it was in Milford that year. You can also see this page online on our site at:

Images of census pages from 1850 and 1860 censuses are also attached. Note that he is already in Milford in 1850 even though the history states 1856 as the year he settled there. A history of the county by Durant published in 1877 states that Dr. Browne died in April of 1877. See: this link for the text. Please note that in some sources the name is spelled with an ‘e’ and in others it is not.

The Michigan Genealogical Death Indexing System where you can search for information from archived death records up to 1885 is located at http://www.mdch.state.mi.us/pha/osr/gendisx/search2.htm . There is no way to determine whether any descendants of Dr. Browne are still are still in Oakland County. It is a highly populated area in the Greater Detroit metropolitan area. Names as common as Browne and Fox make the list of people to consider very long. There are over 900 and 5, 000 listings for Browne and Fox respectively, in Michigan. This does not include those that may be using the spelling of Brown without the ‘e’. Searching below the state level would require identifying communities within Oakland searching and searching them separately.



Rebecca Browne – Sister of Frances Browne

Rebekah Wertrine Davidson
31st October 1885 at 9 St(?) Catherine’s Place, Edinburgh in the district of Newington in the City of Edinburgh
Widow of James Davidson, mining engineer
Age: 59 years
Father: Samuel Browne, yarn & linen merchant (deceased)
Mother: Frances Browne ms Larke/Luke [?] (deceased)
Cause of death: Brain disease
Informant: Margaret Beveridge, Sister-in-law, present.


James Davidson

James, lawful son of John Davidson, Schoolmaster of Girvan, and Janet Sutherland was born 13th May and baptised 27 June 1830

Died 15th April 1879 at Millhill Newbattle
Colliery Agent
Married to Rebekah Brown
Age: 48 years
Father: John Davidson, schoolmaster (dec)
Mother: Janet Davidson ms Sutherland (dec)
Cause of death: Pneumonia 6 days
Informant: Robert Wilson, Undertaker, Dalkeith



James John George Davidson
Born 27th September 1857 at Arniston Colliery
Father: James Davidson, Manager Arniston Colliery
Mother: Rebekah Davidson maiden name Browne
Informant: Jas Davidson, father, present

Jeanette Sutherland Davidson
Born 14th February 1868 at Millhill Newbattle
Father: James Davidson, Mining Engineer
Mother: Rebekah Davidson ms Brown
Married: 1856 St Pancras, London
Informant: Jas Davidson, father, present
1881 census
30 Grange Road, St Cuthberts, Edinburgh

Rebecca Davidson Head Wid 54 Annuitant Ireland
James I G Davidson Son Unmar 23 Student of Medicine Cockpen, Edinburgh
Janetta S Davidson Daughter Unmar 13 Scholar Newbattle, Edinburgh
Agnes Anderson Servant Unmar 24 Domestic Servant Newlands, Peebles

1871 Census
Millhill House, Newbattle

James Davidson Head Mar 40 Civil Engineer Minging Ayr Girvan
Rebekah Davidson Wife Mar 45 Ireland
James JG Davidson Son Unmar 13 Scholar Edinburgh, Cockpen
Janetta S Davidson daughter Unmar 3 Newbattle
Margaret Smith Servant Widow 63 Nurse Peebles, Peebles
Mary McCraig Servant Unmar 19 General Servant Linlithgow