Gustavus Brown, M.D.

Gustavus Brown, M.D. was born in Dalkeith, Scotland on April 10, 1689, son of Reverend Richard Brown and Jane Mitchelson of Dalkeith, Scotland. Gustavus was Laird of Mainside and House Byers, Roxburg, Scotland. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh.

At age 19, he served as a surgeon on a royal ship that came to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. In May, 1708, while he was on shore in Maryland, a severe storm forced the ship out to sea without him. He was left in there with nothing but the clothes he wore.

He stayed, practiced medicine, and married Frances Fowke, born February 2, 1691, the daughter of Colonel Gerard Fowke and Sarah Burdett of Charles County, Maryland. Gustavus took Frances home to Scotland to live, as he had much property there, but Frances persuaded him to go back to Maryland. They lived at "Rich Hill," near Port Tobacco in Charles County. Dr. Brown became prominent in local affairs. In 1723, he was appointed as one of the seven trustees to fill vacancies for school teachers. In 1728, he was appointed as a commissioner to regulate the parishes of St. Mary's and Charles Counties. He was Assistant Judge of Charles County Court in 1755. He was also a vestryman in the Port Tobacco Parish.

Gustavus and Frances Fowke Brown had 12 children, including Richard (below). She died on November 8, 1744, age 54, and was burried at "Dipple" on the Potomac River, Stafford County. These facts were engraved on her tombstone.

Dr. Brown married second, Margaret (Black) Boyd, widow of an Irish merchant of Port Tobacco. With her, he had two more children.

Dr. Gustavus Brown died of stroke at "Rich Hill" in April, 1762. His will, dated December 9, 1755, mentions that he had several sons and nine daughters. His daughter Sarah was married to Rev. John Scott, from whom Francis Scott Key, author of The Star Spangled Banner, was descended.

Reverend Richard Brown, M.D.

Reverend Richard Brown (Gustavus1) was born December 7, 1725, in Charles County, Maryland. He was the youngest son of Rev. Gustavus and Frances Fowke Brown. While a student in Edinburgh, Scotland, he became embroiled in the battle of Culloden. He was condemned to be shot for fighting on the wrong side, but saved himself by proving he was a colonial who had been forced into the service of Prince Charles, the Pretender. He was ordained in the Church of England in London on July 9, 1750. In Scotland, he married Helen Bailey and brought her home to Maryland. Rev. Richard and Helen Bailey Brown had 12 children, including Alexander.

On December 14, 1799, four physicians tended to George Washington, who was suffering from a fever and severe sore throat, causing him difficulty breathing and swallowing. There was Dr. James Craik, Dr. Gustavus Brown of Port Tobacco, Elisha Cullen Dick tried various remedies such as sage tea, Spanish fly, poultices. These were not to much avail, so they bled him of more than a half gallon over a period of 12 hours. He died about 10 p.m. that night.

Source: St. Petersburg Times, pg A3, Sunday, December 12, 1999

Alexander Brown

Alexander Brown (Gustavus1,Richard2) married Humphrey Ann Frances (Toy) Whiting, a widow. Their child was Helen Bailey Brown.

Helen Bailey Brown

Helen Bailey Brown (Gustavus1,Richard2,Alexander3) married Dr. Robert Alexander, who died at age 30, leaving her a widow with two children:

  • Robert Alexander, M.D. (~1807-1836)
  • Sigismunda Mary Alexander,(1808-1870) married Pearson Chapman, (1803-1877). They lived at "Mt. Aventine," in Charles County, Maryland.


A History of Chapman and Alexander Families, by Sigismunda Mary Frances Chapman, Berryville, VA, 1939.

Virginia Genealogies, by Rev. Horace Edwin Hayden, 1891, 3rd printing by Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD

© research and design by Katharine Moore, 2005