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John Monteagle Browne

Susanna M. Edgar
Born: January 1, 1849
Born: March 30, 1847
Died: February 18, 1919 Died: October 28, 1921
Father: Robert Monteagle BROWNE Father: Alexander EDGAR
Mother: Margaret Macourt Mother: Susannah MARTIN
Married: March 1842, Letterbreen, Drumbeorg


NOTE: The records of deaths are taken from the tombstone erected by George Crean MARTIN, the uncle of Susanna M. Edgar. The most important photographic records of the family are in two photographs in the collection of Dorothy Robertson.


Annie BROWNE b 1876, married Thomas Maxwell GILPIN June 9, 1897 in Ardglass, Co. Down. She died between 1903 and 1908 leaving two children, Daisy Mongomery GILPIN born 1899 and James Alexander GILPIN, b. 1903. I do not have her death date, but it is possible that she died in childbirth.
John Plunkett BROWNE b 1874
James Carlyle Monteagle BROWNE b. 1877, died on August 8th, 1910.
Edgar Monteagle BROWNE, born 1878, married Ozra HINSHELWOOD.
Jane Edgar BROWNE, born July 10, 1881, married Thomas Jackson BROWN.
Hugh Alexander Edgar BROWNE, b 1885, married Eleanor.
Martin M.G. BROWNE, born 1887, married Ethel

Wedding of Annie BROWNE & Tom GILPIN


I don not have as yet enough pieces put together to put together even the start of a coherent story for my great-grandparents: John Monteagle BROWNE & Susannah M. EDGAR. Going from the motto Suivez la Raison on a ring given to me by my grandmother and the middle name of "Monteagle" they are most likely connected to the BROWNE family of Mayo. Either that or they are pretenders to such. We will assume the former. Then again, there is the confusion of "Montague" and Monteagle" in the middle names of some BROWNE suspects. Anyway. here are the snippets:

My grandmother saved a newspaper clipping from the Belfast Newsletter, Friday, June 24, 1955, "Historic St. John's Point". Given that the family is said to come from here and there is enough evidence to direct us to Ringfad or Tullycarnen, there is likely a connection to the BROWNEs of St. John's Point.

Legal documents indicate many names in the title to St. John's Point when it passed to lay hands, such as Donal M'Gwynne, the Earl of Kildare, Viscount Lecale, Sir Robert Ward, Thomas Tipping Smyth, Captain Peter Browne and others.
This reefy headland was indeeed a terror to the mariners of long ago, and many a brave ship foundered there. We learn from the records of the Commissioners of Irish Lights that in one period of 18 months early in the last century 13 ships were wrecked, 13 lives were lost, together with cargo valued at £57,800.
In 1832 the Killough Shipowners appealed to the Ballast Board in Dublin to build a lighthouse and the scheme was finally approved in 1839. The new lighthouse was designed by George Halpin, the lighthouse engineer, and the Marquess of Downshire laid the foundation stone in 1840, the builder being Captain Peter Browne and the first light shown in 1844.
JANEVILLE The quaint old estate of Janeville which we pass on our way to the lighthouse is of interest. The Smyth family or O'Gavins were
[one of] many at St. John's Point. One of the family conformed with the Established Church and laid the foundation of the Janeville house of whom we had Major T.T. Smyth, of the South Down Militia, whose daughter, Mary Jane, married Captain P. R. Montague-Browne of the 9th regiment who died in 1864. He was succeeded by his son, Major-General A.S. Montague-Browne, who died in 1916.
Janeville had its ghost early in the last century when a lady who paid a visit to St. Johnston, as it was called, relates that she saw the figure of a little girl in a red silk frock, the deceased 10-year old daughter of Major SMYTHE picking flowers in the garden. She hailed the child by name, when she vanished into thin ai


In the tales of some familes, this Captain BROWNE is the villain. He was the agent for Lord Bangor who owned most of the land in and around Killough. The RANAGHAN family farmed in the area at Kilbride, St. John's Point and Commonreagh in the 1830s as Catholic tenant farmers and were put off the land.

Other snippets include a report in the Down Recorder when a Major BROWNE of Janeville was a witness in an assult case, 25 June 1853. Earlier on, the Ordinance Survey Memoirs list him as a corn mill owner in 1836 (Vol 17, p. 35, 36, 49, 88). Another source, Killough, the Church by the Loch, p. 90, 91 indicates that General BROWNE of Janesville was a regular attendant at the Killough Lifeboat committee c. 1903 and his ancestors had provided a lifeboat service along the coast for 100 years. Finally, in Lecale Miscellany Vol III (1993) "St. John's Lighthouse, Captain BROWNE, formerly of Mayo, served with the 9th East Norfolk Regiment".

John BROWNE is listed at Tullycarnon, Ardglass in the 1901 Census.

Browne Brothers Architects of Tullycarnan were the architects of new Masonic Hall 20 Apr 1912. SOURCE: ROs Davies, Down Reporter Article.

The Ordinance Survey Map of Belfast (Bloomfield) 1902 shows a J.C.M BROWN, architect and civil engineer living at Holly Park, Knock, Belfast. (In all likelihood James Carlyle Monteagle BROWNE) This was brought to my attention courtesy of Margaret Innis and it accords with the memory of Dorothy Robertson (grandaughter of the above) of visiting Holly Park as a child. It is possible that it was the home of John & Susanna BROWNE before they retired to Ardglass and then was passed to their eldest son.

In August 1910 (according to the obituary of James Carlyle Monteagle BROWNE), John Monteagle BROWNE lived at Ringfad, Ardglass, Co. Down . Before then, they had lived in Belfast. His granddaughter, Dorothy Robertson, recalls hearing that they had two residences for years, the other being in Knock, but they then moved full time to Ardglass. In their later years, the family lived in a house called "The White Lodge" near Coney Island.

John Montague BROWNE owned a drapery business. The last person known to be running it was Hugh Martin in the 1950s. He sold it and a few years later there was an accident and it burned down. It was rebuilt and is now a clothing store in Ardglass called C.W. WIlls. Back when the BROWNE family ran it, people came from the surrounding areas to have their clothes made up. The bolts of cloth were displayed on the ground floor and the tailors and seamstresses worked upstairs.

In the marriage notice of his daughter, Jeannie Edgar, John Monteagle BROWNE is described as resident at Tullycarnan, Ardglass and Knock, Co. Down.

Ardglass means Green Heights.

Berni Sutton currently owns "White Lodge". She and her family live there and have renamed the place “Heron Farm”. She is a ceramic artist and her husband is a furniture maker. They also board horses and have a gymkhana of sorts near the road. They are restoring the three cottages. In the past one cottage was called “ONE TREE COTTAGE” and the other “NO TREE COTTAGE”. We are assuming that since the third had been used for housing poultry, that it no longer had the designation of “cottage”. They plan to be open for B&B business by Easter of 2002 (For bookings, email: coneyislanddesign@bigfoot.com ).

Of further interest: They found an old slate sundial in the loft inscribed with the name “Lieutenant John Martin Esq. Ringfad. July 12th 1690. We still don’t know who he is and how he fits in. The earliest MARTIN ancestor we have was Allan MARTIN born in 1743. This sundial would seem to indicate an even earlier presence of the family.

When Susanna died, the remains of her estate was sold off on January 22nd, 1923, realizing proceeds of 165:5:3.:

QUESTION: How does Montague fit into this? How does Monteagle fit?



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