The Irish surname Browne, also found in England and Scotland, is generally a nickname referring to the color of the hair or complexion, Middle English br(o)un, from Old English brun or Old French brun. This word is occasionally found in Old English and Old Norse as a personal name or byname. Amongst the early recordings of interest are those of Anthony Browne, the 1st Lord Montague (1526 - 1592), whilst in Ireland the Galway Browne's, the Lords Oranmore, are descendants of a 12th Century Anglo-Norman invader called "Le Brun", and the Brownes of Killarney, the Lords Kenmare, are descended from an Elizabethan settler. Amongst the very earliest of settlers to the new colonies of America was Edward Browne, who emigrated to Virginia from London in September 1635.
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