This is indeed a puzzling situation.I checked my notes (taken while reviewing original records at the Library of VA on microfilm a few years ago), and I wrote that on 10 Aug 1696, William Brown and his wife MARY gave a gift to James Landrum and his wife Mary.I even double-underlined William's wife's name MARY, since I knew about the "Mary versus Elizabeth issue."You mentioned a similar gift record, but you show a date of 1 Aug 1696 versus 10 Aug 1696, and you show "Elizabeth" versus "Mary."Of course, I could have misread the "hard to read" old record on microfilm.
I wonder if William's wife was simply Mary Elizabeth Allen?My notes also show that William and MARY Brown apparently had other children who were named William "Junior" and Sarah.Do you agree that William and his wife had these other two children?Do you know what became of the son named William "Junior?"
Frances Brown "II" (died 1708/1709 in Essex Co., VA; he was a POSSIBLE relative of the above William Brown) was also married to an Elizabeth Allen.The will of Francis Brown "II" was witnessed by a Thomas Brown, and we suspect that he was a cousin of Francis Brown "II."There is circumstantial evidence that the man we call "mystery" Francis Brown (born about 1700) who was in Essex Co., VA (but died in Chesterfield Co., VA around 1756 or so....with a son named Thomas) was a son of the above Thomas Brown...and a male Brown DNA donor who is a descendant of that "mystery" Francis Brown is a "DNA match" to some male Brown descendants of Francis Brown "I."
Francis Brown "I" (died 1691-1692 in Essex Co., VA; apparently married to Elizabeth Cole) had a grandson who was named Abraham Brown.Abraham married Mary Tribble, and they moved to Spotsylvania Co. VA around 1723.They eventually moved to Caroline Co., VA, and Abraham died there around 1735.A William Brown was one of the several men who were chosen to appraise the estate of Abraham in 1735, and a son was typically not allowed by the court to perform that duty for a deceased parent (but more distant relatives COULD perform that duty).PERHAPS that William Brown was out of the William Brown mentioned above, whether or not that William Brown was related to the Francis Brown "I" family.