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Brown


This name, interchangeable with Brown, is very common in Scotland and is of more than one origin. It is a common forename in Old English charters, as Brun, from an adjective meaning brown or dark red. It also occurs in Old High German as Brunn and is the source of the French surname le Brun. A family of this name were owners of Cumberland lands shortly after the Norman conquests. In all cases it seems to be a name describing the appearance of the original bearer. The Brouns of Cols toun, probably the heads of the family but not officially recognised as such by Lyon Court, claim descent from the Royal House of France. They bear on their shield the three fleur-de-lys of the French Monarchy. The Brouns of Colstoun also claim descent from George Broun who in 1543 married Jean Hay second daughter of Lord Yester, ancestor of the Marquess of Tweeddale. The dowry consisted of the "Colstoun Pear" which was said to have been invested with wondrous powers by the 13th Century wizard and necro mancer Hugo de Gifford of Yester. This pear was meant to ensure unfailing prosperity on the family which possessd it. The pear was said to have been as fresh as the day it was picked until in the 17th Century a pregnant descendant, longing for the fruit which was out of season, took a bite of it, whereupon it became as hard as rock. Patrick Broun of Colstoun was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1686, the title to be passed on to his male heirs. On his death he left only a daughter who inherited his possessions while the title went to the Thorndyke branch of the family. Members of a younger branch of Broun of Colstoun settled in Elsinore, Denmark where they became prominent merchants; the name is still found there today.


BROWN/ BROUN: This is among the most common names found throughout Britain and is derived from varying origins. Many came to Scotland from German and Norman-French sources and Brun is commonly found in Old English charters. Although an archaic form, Broun is still used by some families, and indeed sources the pronounciation (-oo-), favoured by many Scots. There were several families in the Shires of Berwick, Edinburgh, Lanark and Linlithgow whose ancestors rendered homage to Edward I in 1296, but there is also evidence of the name in the North-east, Perth and Fife, from an equally early date. The Brouns of Hartrie, near Biggar in Lanarkshire, are said to have settled there by the end of the 14th century, and the Brouns of Colstoun, East Lothian, claim descent from, and bear the 'Fleurs-de-lis' emblems of the Royal House of France - with various 'differences' these charges appear on many other 'Brown' arms. Cadets of the Colstoun line settled at Elsinore in Denmark where they became prominent merchants. The name may also be derived from the Gaelic 'britheamh' meaning 'breive, or judge', but many of the name now in Islay seem to have come from the Lowlands during the 19th century and have no claim to be considered descendants of the Britheamh Ileach ('The Islay Judge'). The Browns of Tiree also appear to derive from Lowland origin and are locally called 'Brunaich'. The name is also an English rendering of MacIlduin, 'son of the brown lad', and many Browns are recognised septs of the MacMillans in Kintyre, and the Lamonts in Cowal. Both affiliations are based on tradition, the former, said to be from the Mac'illemhaoil-dhuins, 'the brown-haired MacMillans' (of Carradale), and the latter, that some Lamonts adopted the name in troubled times. These clan links cannot be assumed by ALL Browns, for they require evidence of one's ancestral genealogicaly.


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