Brouns of Scotland, Denmark and Australia


 The BROUNs of Colstoun, Haddington, Scotland
and especially the descendants of
John BROUN (BROWN) and Charlotte DOWLING


This page provides a very preliminary outline of the family of Sigismunda Broun, wife of Dr Walter Brown. Eventually I hope to create another large section of the site for the Broun family.Although many records acknowledge the Scottish spelling and ancestry Sigismunda's family used the surname BROWN in Australia, and even in Denmark, far more often than the surname BROUN. It seems that BROWN has been adopted by most descendants.

While this page refers only to Sigismunda's direct family other branches of the Broun family have also settled in Australia. Many of these branches are even more closely connected to the ancestral family and home in Haddington, Scotland. The Broun/Brown family tree is very confusing indeed and there is much to be done to sort it out and verify the charts but a descendant in Australia explains the connection between the two "Australian" branches of the family in this way:

George Broun (b. abt 1573) married Euphemia Hoppringle in 1599
1. George Broun (b. about 1599) m Marion Turnbull in 1633

2. James Broun (b. 14/6/1601) m Anna Herriot in 1625

John Brown, my ancestor, descends from James Broun (who was his 4th great grandfather) whereas another branch in Australia (the David Limond Broun family) descends from James's brother, George Broun. The descendants of George Broun, who became the baronets of Colstoun, kept the original spelling of their name, whereas many of his brother's descendants changed to Brown. Even in France members of the family were known as "Brown de Colstoun".

John Brown of Colstoun, Upper Paterson, NSW

For the benefit of search engines on the web, the spelling of this surname in the Danish records varies greatly - Bruun, Brun, Brunn, Bruvn, Brouvn, Brown, Browne, Broune and Broun, to name just a few.

Broun Ancestry

According to the Tartans of Scotland site "the Brouns of Colstoun 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.

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 male 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."

Our first Broun ancestor in Australia

Our family historians advise that John Brown/Broun's grandfather had to flee Scotland after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Lord William Broun of Colstoun was killed at Culloden. Two of his sons went to France and one went to Denmark. The oldest son established himself in Denmark and acquired the home "Kokkedal" about 25 miles out of Copenhagen. John Broun was born there on 28 April 1787.

John's father William Broun / Brown, died in 1788, when John was only one year old, and his mother Elizabeth married again. At the time she had two daughters, Anna Margaretha, aged five and Louise Elizabeth, aged three. Her second husband was Andreas Alexander V Berner, a Captain in Maritime Services and Custom Inspector. They had a son named Alexander, a half brother to our ancestors.

John's sister Anna Margretha Brown married Compte de Foucault. It is not known whether they had any descendants.

Their second sister Louisa married Count Schulier IV. They had two daughters, Elise born 1813, who married General Strinmann, and Louise born 1815 who married Count Danurmann, natural son of King Frederick of Denmark. As far as I know these branches of the family remained in Europe.

At some point John went to India where he married Charlotte Dowling in 1823. It has been said that she was the daughter of a Judge, perhaps even the Chief Justice, in India but I haven't been able to confirm that.

Charlotte Brown, nee Dowling
of Colstoun, Upper Paterson, NSW

In India, family stories say, John and Charlotte Brown "made a lot of money out of indigo plantations and lived in great splendour, entertaining King Christian on many occasions". Then someone invented a chemical dye and the bottom dropped out of the indigo market so John Broun decided to come to Australia. He chartered the ship Marquis of Hastings (skippered by Thomas Richard Simpson) and brought his wife and nine children, two servants and all his household furniture and treasures to this new country.

The family arrived in Sydney, Australia on 23 January 1838, having left England on 20 September 1837. John Brown was 51 years of age when they arrived. They acquired a house at Parramatta where they lived while they looked for a suitable property to buy. John Brown found one in the Upper Hunter and called it "Colstoun" after the ancestral home in Haddington, Scotland.

Many members of their large family settled in the district while others moved to the Tumut area. There are many descendants in Australia today - Dowling Brown and le Brun Brown are last names associated with the family.

In 1860 John Brown became ill (aged 73) and went to Parramatta where his son-in-law, Dr Walter Brown. cared for him. He died, however, and is buried in St John's Cemetery, Parramatta. The memorial in the Cathedral of St John, Parramatta reads:

In memory of
of Colstoun, Upper Paterson N S Wales
Born at Copenhagen, April 28th 1787. Died at
Parramatta, July 9th 1860. Aged 73 years.
His remains rest in the cemetery of St John's Parramatta.
Also in memory of WILLIAM, his son.
Born at Serampore, India, October 5th 1826.
Who was barbariously murdered by the Chinese at Canton together with five of his companions December 5th 1847. Aged 21 years.
His remains rest in the British cemetery at Whampoa
"Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest"
"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"


John Brown's birthplace, a castle in Denmark

Janet Keats (nee le Brun Brown)
Australian granddaughter of John Brown and Charlotte Dowling

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