I don't have much information on the early John Briggs and Mary Brown, but here is what I do have:
Briggs, the Elder, and James Brown, were of those Scotch-Irish families that William of Orange moved from Scotland to settle upon the lands confiscated from the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, after the batle of Boyne, in 1690, and thus became the Scotch-Irish people of history.We have nothing of the ancestry of Briggs, the Elder, or of James and Jane Brown, except the statement of Scotch ancestry.
After reaching America, James Brown purchased, by warrant dated March 13, 1744, 100 acres of land, situated in Colerain and Little Britain twps, Lancaster Co., Pa.By virture of a warrant dated October 3, 1765, James Brown and his son, Hugh Brown, purchased other land in the same twp.In Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd series, Vol 24 lists the people who got warrants for land in Pa.These lands were woods and wilderness. After building a cabin, and later a house; chopping down trees, and clearing the ground in order to cultivate it, these settlers obtained a "patent" for their land, which meant that it was theirs and their heir's forever.James Brown died in 1768.His will is dated May 18, 1768 and was presented for probate June 17, 1768.
The Elder Briggs was born in Ireland and came to America with the James Brown family.About 1766 the son of Elder Briggs, John, married Mary Brown, daughter of John and Jane Brown, of Lancaster Co., Pa.John Briggs was apparently held in high esteem by his father-in-law, since James Brown willed him one-half of his plantation, all livestock, furniture, houses, and moveables--a servant, Matthew Kelly--and the care of his well-beloved wife, Jane Brown, for her natural life.He also appointed John Briggs and Alexander Castles, both sons-in-law, as executors, passing neatly over at least four of his own sons--in fact, going so far as to will his son, Patrick Brown and his grandson, Patrick Brown, five pounds to be shared between them after John Briggs' death to be paid by John Briggs' executors.Mary Brown Briggs was unusally well educated for that day, she was a Presbyterian, and thus, showed her Scotch anti-Catholic antecedents.John Briggs was mustered and passed before the Committee of Observation and Inspection, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on August 16, 1776.His name appeas on the rolls of the War of the American Revolution, as a private, in Captains Ross, Johnson and Paxton's Company.
Hope this helps.Sincerely, JL