The Browne family
The earliest Browne was James Browne of Killymaddy House in Castlecaulfield, Co. Tyrone. He died in 1730 and was said to have been present at the Siege of Derry in 1689. However, it is more likely that it was his father who was at Derry because James was born c.1680. He is buried in the family grave at Benburb, Co. Tyrone.
James’ son was Samuel, born c.1720. He married Elizabeth about 1745 and died in 1764. They had a daughter, Isabella, born c.1750, and a son, James, who was born in 1747, married Mary about 1780, and died 1843. This James and Mary had three sons: James who became a naval surgeon and died in 1880; Samuel, who died in 1868; and William.
William Browne, MD (c.1808-1872)
William was born about 1808 and became a doctor. He married Ann Elizabeth (Anna Eliza) Walker, a daughter of Abraham Walker of Richhill, Co. Armagh, and a sister of Ellen Walker, who married William Sinclair. They had eight children, many of whom were to be associated with the military services or were doctors: James, who became a colonel in the Devonshires; Thomas John, a doctor and chief medical inspector for the Local Government Board for Ireland; William, a colonel and Dungannon JP; Abraham Walker, a colonel in the RAMC who served in Afghanistan and Egypt and was awarded the CBE; Samuel Cairns, a naval surgeon like his uncle James, but died aged 31 years; Theodore Dickson, a doctor in Benburb; Edward George, who became a major-general in the RAMC; and Mary Jane, who married Harry Greer.
Dr Thomas John Browne, MB (1851-1943)
Dr Thomas John Browne married Sarah Sinclair, his first cousin, in 1878. They had five children: Eleanor Ida Sinclair who married William Collen; Ethel Sarah remained unmarried; Lilian Anna, who married Lieut.-Commander William Crawford Harrison in the British Navy; and William Sydney Browne, a lieutenant in the East Yorkshire Regiment, who married Alice Carr. After his wife Sarah died in 1891, Thomas married Janie Lindsay in 1899. They had one child, Reginald Lyndsay Browne (Rex), born in 1900.
Dr Thomas Walker Browne (1884-1923)
Thomas Walker Browne, John and Sarah’s last child, became a major in the RAMC, and married Clair Christine Sinclair of Palmerstone, Dublin, who, quite unusually given that his father had married a first cousin, was Thomas’ second cousin once removed; Clair was the granddaughter of his mother’s brother. Their wedding on 1 February 1915 at Monkstown, Co. Dublin, was very subdued because Thomas’ brother-in-law, Lieut.-Commander Harrison, the husband of his sister, Lilian Anna, had died earlier that day in the ill-fated Formidable. HMS Formidable was the second British battleship to be sunk by enemy action during the First World War. It was struck by two torpedos whilst steaming in the English Channel in rough weather conditions. William was one of 35 officers and 512 men out of a complement of 780 who were lost.