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Tuesday, May 19, 2015


GO BROWN! (Brown University, Providence RI
So named after Nicholas Brown, Jr., Class of 1786, who donated
$5,000 to a professorial endowment and got naming rights in return. 

WHAT’S IN A NAME--GUEST BLOG—By Rebecca Dazell, Browns, America’s fourth most popular surname, essentially is derived from a nickname. In England, Scotland, or Ireland, those with brown or red hair, or dark skin, might have been called “Brown,” and the name stuck. Sometimes, it has roots in a translation from another language, such as the French “Brun,” the German “Braun,” or the Gaelic “Donn.” In the United States, freed slaves sometimes named themselves for the color of their skin

Titanic survivor, actress/philanthropist Margaret Tobin,
aka Unsinkable Molly Brown
Frustratingly, the name itself reveals little about a family’s origin. On you’ll find more than 40 million historical documents related to the name Brown. You can narrow some of this information down by researching passenger lists to see where your great-grandfather sailed in from to see if your name was Anglicized at the border.

These many different roots add up to an incredibly popular surname, one of the most common in the United States and Great Britain. Brown ranks fourth in the 2000 U.S. Census, with 1,380,145 occurrences; in 1850, there were 143,376. Browns have always been especially numerous (over 5 percent of the population) in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, with an increase in the South after the Civil War:

Edmund "Jerry" Brown, Jr., 4-time Governor of California
once had dreams of becoming the first Brown U.S. Pres.
In the latter part of the 19th century, Browns continually rang in at well over 100,000 in England, particularly concentrated in Yorkshire and Lancashire, where 10 percent of the population had the name:

Popular Willie Brown, Jr.,
Speaker CA State Assembly
Mayor of San Francisco
In Scotland, Lanarkshire was historically a Brown stronghold, with a third of the population named Brown in the 1881 census Browns may be ubiquitous, but each family’s name has its own nuances and derivations. But probably, somewhere way down the line, there was a kid nicknamed for his/her auburn locks.

Jim Brown, Hall of Fame member of the
Cleveland Browns of the National Football League
Dan Brown, author of DaVinci Code
James Brown, the Godfather of Soul

Other Brown names, places and events:
Brownouts--temporary electrical outages
Brownies--Girl Scouts cookie entrepreneurs
Brownies--Delicious chocolate baked treats
Brownie "Hawkeye"--Early Kodak camera 1950s
Sweet Georgia Brown--Vintage blues tune
"Brown"--nickname for United Parcel Service
Brown bagger--person who takes a sack lunch to work
Downtown Johnny Brown's--Popular San Diego restaurant
Tina Brown--American Journalist, Editor
Peter Brown--Author, Illustrator of children's books
Hollis Brown--American band
Bobbi Brown--Cosmetics line
Bobby Brown, M.D.--New York Yankee player, cardiologist, President of Major League Baseball's American League.
St. Louis Browns--Defunct professional baseball team 1940s
Samantha Brown--TV travel hostess
Brown Bear--Alaskan mammal and name of Brown University's mascot
John Brown--Civil war abolitionist
Buster Brown--Line of American made shoes
Brown Line--Chicago Transit Authority and others
Brownstone--Style of residential urban architecture
Brown Brewing Co., Troy, NY
Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY.  Brown Palace Hotel, Denver, CO
Brown chocolate/cocoa/coffee
Brown vs. Board of Education--Landmark Supreme Court case ending legal racial segregation
Paul Brown--Professional football coach, franchise owner of the Cleveland Browns
Brownsville, Texas--Border city ingloriously remember for state prison executions
Brown Joke--Comedian George Gobel on the Tonight show said given the fame of Johnny Carson's other guests that night he felt like a pair of brown shoes at a black tie dinner.

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