Browne family genealogy

Of Kilskeagh, County Galway

Arms: Ar. an eagle displ. sa. Crest: A griffin’s head erased sa. Motto: Fortiter et fideliter.

The family of Le Brun, anglicised Brown, and Browne, is of Norman origin, and springs from the Counts of Marche in Poictou. The name is inscribed on the Roll of Battle Abbey. One of the family, Hugh le Brun, married Isabel, of Angouleme, widow of King John. Their son William de Valence, Baron by Tenure, was created Earl of Pembroke, by Henry III. Aymer de Valence, son of said William, was Baron by Writ, 1299; and, afterwards, Earl of Pembroke. At his decease, without issue, the Barony and Earldom became extinct, in 1323.

Sir Hugh le Brun, son of Geoffrey (or Godfrey) le Brun, and uncle of Hugh aforesaid, was one of the Lords of the Marches of Wales; from him we trace the genealogy, as follows:

  1. Sir Hugh le Brun, one of the Lords of the Marches of Wales, had:
  2. Sir Stephen, who mar. Eva, sister of Griffith, Prince of Wales, and had three sons: 1. Hugh; 2. Sir Philip; 3. Sir William, of whom presently. Sir Stephen and his sons supported King Stephen against the Empress Maud.
    1. Hugh, the eldest son, having rendered important services to King Henry II. on his invasion of Wales, was permitted by that Monarch to inherit the father’s large estates; but
    2. Philip and
    3. William, having distinguished themselves in the Civil Wars against Henry were, to escape his resentment, obliged to join in the invasion of Ireland, in 1170, in which year Sir Philip,[1] of Mulrankan, was appointed Governor of Wexford. The Brownes of Mulrankan remained in Wexford till their property was confiscated in the Commonwealth period, under the pretence that William, of Mulrankan (see ante, p. 73), had joined in the War of 1641.
  3. Sir William: youngest son of Sir Stephen; landed in Ireland with the Earl Marshall; went against Dublin, then in possession of the Danes, and settled near Clondalkin. One of his descendants, Fromond le Brun, was Chancellor of Ireland in 1230, 1259, and 1272. Sir William had two sons:
    1. Sir Nicholas.
    2. Walter, of whom presently.
    3. Sir William and his son Sir Nicholas were witnesses to the foundation Charter of Dunbrody Abbey, co. Wexford, in 1182.
  4. Walter: second son of Sir William; had:
  5. Sir Stephen, who had two sons:
    1. Stephen, who settled in Meath:
    2. Sir David.
  6. Sir David: second son of Sir Stephen, was companion-in-arms of Rickard de Burgo, the Red Earl of Ulster, with whom he was connected by marriage, and obtained extensive possessions near Athenry, the capital of the Anglo-Norman settlers in Connaught. He died at David’s Castle; having with his son Aymer built the Castle of Carrabrowne, in Oranmore.
  7. Stephen: son of Sir David; was at the Battle of Athenry in 1316; and Dundalk in 1318, in which he was engaged under Richard, the fourth Lord Athenry, and his brother Sir John Bermingham, the first Earl of Louth. He m. Katherine de Bermingham, dau. of Lord Athenry, and with daughters had four sons:
    1. Henry, of whom presently.
    2. John, of Stradbally.
    3. Robert.
    4. William.
  8. Henry, of Ballydavid: eldest son of Stephen; joined his relatives the Berminghams in the Civil Wars between the Anglo-Irish Nobles, and subsequently accompanied the Earl of Kildare to France, where he joined the Forces of Edward III. On his return he m. Christian, dau. of Sir Ambrose Browne, of Kent, and had with other issue:
  9. Philip, who mar. Lily, dau. of Walter Blake, eldest son of Richard Blake alias Caddle, Sheriff of Connaught in 1304. Philip, while young, was killed in a battle with the native Irish, and was succeeded by his son:
  10. Thomas, who m. Kate, dau. of John Bowdekine, Provost of Athenry, by whom he had a numerous family.
  11. Henry: son of Thomas; mar. Sheela, daughter and heiress of Dominick Mullally, and had:
  12. Thomas, who m. Mabel, dau. of William Browne, Provost of Athenry in 1420.
  13. John: their eldest son; mar. Mary, daughter of Walter Ffrench, Mayor of Galway in 1445, and had:
  14. William, who m. Mary Athy.
  15. John: their eldest son; mar. Honoria de Burgo; joined William de Burgo and others who rose against the oppression of England, and fell at the Battle of Knock-a-tuath in 1504, after which Athenry and Galway surrendered.
  16. Stephen: son of John; mar. Eveline, dau. of Geoffrey Lynch, Mayor of Galway in 1487, and, besides a dau., had six sons:
    1. Andrew, who d. while Mayor of Galway in 1574.
    2. William, of whom presently.
    3. James.
    4. John.
    5. Patrick.
    6. Nicholas.
  17. William: second son of Stephen; mar. Anastatia, dau. of Valentine Blake (by his wife Eveline French, dau. of Geoffrey French), and had four sons:
    1. Andrew, of Gloves.
    2. Dominick, of Barna, of whom presently.
    3. Richard.
    4. Thomas.
  18. Dominick, of Barna: second son of William; Mayor of Galway in 1575; was with other Chieftains a party to a composition which they entered into in 1585, with Sir John Perrott on the part of Queen Elizabeth, for their properties in Connaught. This Dominick m. a dau. of Sir Morogh O’Flaherty, by whom he had a daughter Jane (the wife of Alderman Patrick Kirwan, ancestor of the Kirwans of Cregg and Bawnmore), and seven sons; he died in 1596, and was buried in the family vault at the Franciscan Abbey, Galway. The sons were:
    1. Oliver, of whom presently.
    2. Edward, who went to Germany, attained to distinction there, and had issue.
    3. Geoffrey, ancestor of Lord Oranmore.
    4. Marcus, ancestor of the Brownes of Connaugh Mór, who are now extinct.
    5. Thomas, ancestor of the Brownes of Brownville, and also of Newtown, Ardskeagh, and Cooloo.
    6. James, who had four sons:
      1. Peter, who was Sheriff of Galway in 1647.
      2. Thomas.
      3. Nicholas, ancestor of John Browne, J.P., of Tuam and Greenville.
      4. Peter, who joined his relations on foreign service.
    7. Andrew, Alderman of Galway, ancestor of the family of Clonkeely and Moyne.
  19. Oliver: eldest son of Dominick; served as Sheriff of Galway in 1593, and as Mayor in 1609.
  20. Martin, of Coolarne: his son; was a staunch adherent of Royalty, and therefore, under the Commonwealth Rule in Ireland, his property was confiscated, including the handsome Mansion[2] he had erected in Galway, in Abbeygate-street. He mar. Marie Lynch, and left two sons:
    1. Oliver, of whom presently.
    2. Sir Dominick.
  21. Oliver,[3] of Coolarne (called “Captain Oliver”): son of Martin; m. Julia Lynch, and had at the Restoration a re-grant of part of his father’s lands. He left, with daughters (one of whom, Elizabeth, m. Marcus Lynch, of Barna), three sons, of whom the eldest was Martin.
  22. Martin, of Coolarne, eldest son of Oliver; had issue:
    1. Robert, of whom presently.
    2. Anthony.
    3. He had several daughters, one of whom in 1717, m. John Bodkin, Esq., of Annagh. This Martin, on the 25th October, 1729, joined his son Robert and his grandson Martin in the execution of a Deed affecting the Estates. He is supposed to have been the builder of the Castle now in ruins, standing in front of the modern house of Castle Ellen; the letters “M.B” and “M.K.” (supposed to signify Martin Browne and Mary Kirwan) are engraved by the side of the principal fire-place in the ruin.
  23. Robert: son of Martin; lived at Kilskeagh.
  24. Martin of Coolarne: son of Robert; m. Christian, daughter of Geoffrey, and sister of Dominick Browne, of Castlemacgarrett, in the co. Mayo, by whom he had three sons and a daughter:
    1. Robert, who d. unm., in 1755.
    2. Martin, who m. Mary Kirwan, of Carrowbrown, and died in 1790, leaving a daughter Anne, who at an advanced age died unmarried.
    3. Dominick, of whom presently.
    4. The dau. m. Mr. Blake, of Moorfield. Martin Browne d. in 1753; his widow Christian Browne mar. Walter Blake, of Carrowbrowne, whom she also survived; she was living in 1781.
  25. Dominick, of Ashford, near Cong, and of Kilskeagh: third son of Martin; b. in 1745, and died in 1830. This Dominick mar. Emily, dau. of the Honble. John Browne, of Elm Hall (son of the first Earl of Altamont), and had four sons and one daughter:
    1. Robert, of whom presently.
    2. John William of Mount Kelly, who in Oct., 1832, mar. Mary-Sophia, daughter of Nathaniel Cavenagh, Esq., of Bath, who died s.p. 20th August, 1846, at Berne. He died 11th March, 1875.
    3. Henry, of Illinois, U.S.A.
    4. George, who died unm.
    5. Maria, who m. Edmund Peel, of Bonchurch, Isle of Wight.
  26. Robert, of Kilskeagh: eldest son of Dominick, of Ashford; born 19th Feb., 1789, and died in 1868. He was Ranger of the Curragh of Kildare; mar. in 1830 Harriet, dau. of W. S. Dempster, of Skibo Castle, Sutherlandshire, and had two sons and four daughters:
    1. Robert-John, of whom presently.
    2. George, who in 1853 d. unm. at Rangoon.
    3. Charlotte.
    4. Harriet.
    5. Emily, who m. John Parker, Esq., of Hill-side, and died leaving issue:
    6. Rose.
  27. Robert-John Brown, of Coolarne, Glenagarey, Kingstown, co. Dublin, and of Kilskeagh, co. Galway: son of Robert; born in 1832; mar. on 20th Jan., 1880, Edith, youngest dau. of the late William Beauchamp Stoker, Barrister-at-Law; and both living in 1887.


[1] Philip: Sir Philip, of Mulrankan, is said to have been the ancestor of the Matthew Browne of Mulrankan, from whose son, Sir John Browne, are descended Lord Kilmaine and the Marquis of Sligo.

[2] Mansion: In 1867 the front of this house was still standing, with the “Browne” and “Lynch” Arms carved thereon, with the names of Martin Browne and Maria Lynch, and the date “1627” (the third year of Charles I.)

[3] Oliver: There is a monument in the old Abbey of Athenry erected in 1636, in memory of Oliver Browne, of Coolarne, and Julia Lynch his wife.