Nancy Brown married John Dixon in 1773 at Castle Sowerby, when she was said to be aged twenty-nine. No baptism for her has been definitely located. However, the available evidence indicates that she was a daughter of John and Ann Brown.


The will of John Dixon of Southernby in Castle Sowerby, dated 14 December 1787, does not mention his wife but devises the guardianship of his children to “my Brother & Sister in Law Daniell Relph & Sarah Brown”. Daniel and Sarah, along with the testator’s son John, were made joint executors of the will. Both Daniel and Sarah died before 7 March 1801, when the will was proved by John Dixon as the sole surviving executor.[1] The Caldbeck parish registers record the burial of Sarah Brown of Southernby, single woman, in 1790. Daniel Relph was evidently the one of that name whose will was dated 21 October 1798 and proved on 17 January 1801 by his widow Jane,[2] the latter dying in 1810.[3] The marriage of Daniel Relph and Jane has not been found. However, it seems much more likely chronologically that Jane was a sister of Nancy Brown rather than a sister of John Dixon. John was much older than his wife and was born around 1712. The children of Daniel and Jane Relph were baptised in the late 1760s and the 1770s, so a birth for Jane in the 1740s seems most plausible.


The baptism at Castle Sowerby in 1749 of Sarah, daughter of John and Ann Brown, seems to be that of the sister-in-law of John Dixon. She had a brother called George, and a George Brown was a witness at the marriage of John and Nancy (Brown) Dixon. Another sibling was Fanny Brown (“Phanny”), and John and Nancy (Brown) Dixon had a daughter called Fanny (as did Daniel and Jane Relph).


John and Ann appear to be the John Brown and Anne Lawson, widow, who were married at Caldbeck in 1740. The bride may be the Anne Atkinson who married John Lowson at Caldbeck in 1732.


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JOHN BROWN married on 8 December 1740 at Caldbeck, Cumberland, ANN, widow of            Lawson.[4] Ann was buried on 15 July 1765 at Caldbeck.[5]


Children of John and Ann (          ) (Lawson) Brown:

                i               JANE BROWN, d 29 Jul 1810;[6] m DANIEL RELPH.[7]

                ii              NANCY BROWN, b ca 1744,[8] d 10 May 1787;[9] m 20 Dec 1773, Castle Sowerby, JOHN DIXON[10] (see here).

                iii             MARY BROWN, bap 11 Mar 1746, Castle Sowerby.[11]

                iv             SARAH BROWN, bap 20 Apr 1749, Castle Sowerby,[12] bur 4 Nov 1790, Caldbeck.[13]

                v              GEORGE BROWN, bap 13 Jun 1752, Castle Sowerby.[14]

                vi             FANNY BROWN, bap 2 Apr 1754, Castle Sowerby.[15]

[1] Cumbria Archive Service, PROB/1801/W541.

[2] Cumbria Archive Service, PROB/1801/W739.

[3] Cumbria Archive Service, PROB/1816/W696.

[4] Caldbeck parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service, PR 71/3): “Brown John of Slate Quarry and Anne Lawson Widow of Church Town”.

[5] England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991 (

[6] Cumbria Archive Service, PROB/1816/W696.

[7] See the discussion above.

[8] The entry for her marriage in the Castle Sowerby parish registers states that she was 29.

[9] Her monumental inscription at Castle Sowerby appears to give her date of death as 10 May 1787. In any case, Nancy evidently died within a small number of years of the birth of her son George (bap 1784) as the will of John Dixon, dated 14 Dec 1787 (Cumbria Archive Service, PROB/1801/W541), does not mention her and devises the guardianship of his children to Daniel Relph and Sarah Brown.

[10] Castle Sowerby parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service, PR 78/3).

[11] England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 (

[12] England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 (

[13] Caldbeck parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service, PR 71/3).

[14] England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 ( A George Brown of Caldbeck died on 4 Mar 1818 (Cumbria Archive Service, PROB/1818/W377) but his age is given as 80 in his burial entry in the parish registers.

[15] England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 ( She may be the Fanny Brown who married Mark Pearson at Caldbeck in 1780, but there was also a Frances Brown baptised at Caldbeck in 1755.