Monday 23 April 2018

Descendants of Browne and Rossiter families reunite

Mary O'Brien, Poulmounty; Kath Greene Merryweather, Bristol; Martin O'Brien, New Ross and Catherine O'Donohoe, Dunmain
Mary O'Brien, Poulmounty; Kath Greene Merryweather, Bristol; Martin O'Brien, New Ross and Catherine O'Donohoe, Dunmain
Meghan and Sean O'Brien, London; Joanie Monaghan, New Ross and John Keever, London

Esther Hayden

More than 100 people attended the Rossiter Browne family reunion in Spider O'Brien's recently.

A large number of descendants of Martin and Patrick Browne and Mary Rossiter enjoyed a catch up with many of them travelling long distances for the reunion.

Martin Brown was born 1856 in New Ross. A shoemaker by trade he was the husband of Mary Rossiter who was born 1850s in Newbawn. Patrick Brown, also a shoemaker was born 1855 in New Ross. He married Mary Stanton who was born 1857 in New Ross.

Martin and Patrick were children of Thomas Brown and Katie Roche. Thomas Brown was the son of Patrick Brown and Elizabeth Hammon/Harmond of New Ross.

Kath Merryweather of Irishancestors4u said the Browne family from New Ross go as far back as the New Ross Parish records allow. They were one of the Browne family branches of the Browne's of Mulrankin Castle, Newbawn as well as many other places in Co Wexford.

Col. William Browne and his father Patrick Browne mortgaged Mulrankin and other lands in 1637, to equip a regiment for the rebellion of 1641.

Cromwell was successful and William lost all his lands and was eventually killed. His son Col. John succeeded him but he was killed at Mulrankin by Cromwellian soldiers. He was only 30 years old. Col. John's wife Anne Devereux, died in childbirth delivering their only son William in 1649, escaping the soldiers and was brought up by the locals and went on to marry having 7 children.

Martin Browne's wife Mary was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Rossiter from Newbawn. Her sibllings were Patrick, Margaret, Ellen and Bridget.

The Rossiter line is related to the Rossiter's of Newbawn, Rosemount, Taghmon, John Street, Wexford, Ballygarvan, Newcastle, Rathmacknee and Slevoy Castle.

Having been dispossessed of Slevoy Castle, Walter Rossiter took out a tenancy for Newbawn House on the lands owned by Robert Leigh in 1696. Previously, the Brownes of Mulrankin had owned Newbawn House.

The prominent Browne family of Mulrankin, Co Wexford were direct descendants of Sir William le Brun, who with his son Nicholas le Brun, joined the Norman Invasion of Ireland. Sir William le Brun built Mulrankin Castle in Mulrankin, Co Wexford in the 12th century.

Kath has written three books on the history of the Browne and Rossiter families. She said the event has been a great success and it had been great to meet up with family members, some of whom they had never met before.

The relatives all enjoyed some refreshments in Spiders reminiscing about their respective families.

New Ross Standard