Ah, who doesn't love Brunswick Stew? And everyone has his or her own favorite recipe. Probably not the one that includes squirrels and/or rabbits but certainly more than one meat. Along with the several meats the recipe takes, are several vegetables including but not limited to, lima beans and corn.
No one seems to know quite how Brunswick Stew got invented, but there are some interesting tales. Below is the pot that supposedly first cooked Brunswick Stew on St. Simons Island in 1898.
Why it should be displayed in Brunswick, Georgia rather than on St. Simons is a mystery, but there it is. And notice that there is some ambiguity here. The meaning could be that the first time the stew was made on the island was 1898. Or it could mean that that first time the stew was ever made, was on the island.
In any event, there are other claimants to the title of inventing it. One goes that it was originally made in Brunswick, Germany. Since most of its ingredients are indigenous to the Americas though, I kind of doubt this one is true.
Another one comes from Brunswick, Virginia. According to their marker (below), in 1828 a camp cook stewed some squirrels with onions, butter, stale bread and seasonings.
Since real Brunswick Stew requires several meats and vegetables (and so far as I know, no bread), this seems doubtful to me, too.
The most likely theory to me is the old Indian hunting stews, where bits of meat and whatever vegetables were handy were simmered together in a communal pot and enjoyed by the hunting band.
But despite the claims, there's no clear-cut answer.
My advice, when you come across it, is to enjoy it. Especially from Southern Soul, here on the island. Their stew is reminiscent of the Brunswick Stew my daddy used to go out and bring home when someone he knew in the country was cooking it. And oh, boy! It was good then and it's good now!