Here's what we've pieced together so far, mainly from living relations who remember their grandfather, Edmund, from when they were youngsters in Mallow, co. Cork. Please note that we have NO DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE so far.
Edmund Browne and Ellen Purtell were both from co. Tipperary originally, and were married in St Mary's Church, Cahir, co. Tip. It's believed that this was some time before 1900 (the earliest known year of birth of a child was 1902) and since Ellen was born in 1860 at the very earliest, the marriage was definitely no earlier than about 1875.
After their marriage they lived in Cashel co. Tip for a while, before moving to Mallow, co. Cork (reason unknown).
Edmund worked as the steward at the Mallow Club, and the family 'lived in' at 'the big house' (we've checked the Guy's Postal directories for Mallow from 1914 and 1926, and he's not listed as steward of the Mallow club in either but, intriguingly, there's an Edward Browne listed as steward of the Commercial Club in 1826).
They had 17 children, 9 of whom survived to adulthood:
- Billy (emigrated to USA)
- Johannah (Josie/Josephine)
- Kathleen (Kitty)
- Nellie (Ellen?)
This is the sum total of additional information that we have about these two individuals:
Born in Cahir co. Tipperary (younger than Edmund, so born 1860 or later).
- Born around 1859-60 (determined from the belief that he was 78 when he died).
- Believed to have been born in a house on Regent Street in London, where the Galeries Lafeyette now stands (although we can find no trace of him in the BMD birth registers)
- It's believed the family returned to their hometown of Cashel, co. Tipperary soon after his birth.
- When he was young he ran away from home and joined the British Army, and served on the north-west frontier in India with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, and maybe in Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. (the KOSB were apparently stationed in Fermoy, co Cork around 1975, and around 25% of the British Army in Ireland were Irishmen at that time. And the KOSB did serve in India on the north-west frontier in the late 1800s, so the story seems feasible).
- He 'owned' the Hibernian Hotel in Mallow for a while (the Guy's Postal directories for Mallow from 1914 and 1926 both list the proprieter as Patrick Walsh, so I guess it would have been before 1914?)
- Died 31 May 1938 at the County Hospital, Mallow, co. Cork.
- Buried in St Gobnaits cemetery (Mallow?)
Uncertainty About Spellings
Edmund Browne is noted on my grandmother's marriage certificate as Edmund Brown (without an E) and on one of her sisters baptism certificate as Edmond Browne (with an O).
I'd love to get in contact with the "Mike Browne" who put the following message on a rootsweb board in January 2000 (needless to say the contact email is no longer valid):
"Subject: Cahir,Co.Tipperary marriages 1880's:
I am searching for info on Edmund Browne - Ellen Purtell /Purtill (of Cahir,Co.Tipperary) marriage possibly about 1880's."