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The Browne and Baines Family History

In 1946, following the Second World War the Browne and Baines families become united through the marriage of John Richard Browne (1922-2009) from Ireland and Eileen Gladys Baines (1923-2009) of Essex. 

John's three siblings, all born in Belfast, Northern Ireland are Valentine Alice (1917-1938), Freda Doreen (born 1920) and Bertha Browne (1925-1985), whose brief history bio is given below.


Bertha Browne (1925-1985)

Bertha's Marriages (The MATEER and BELL-MURPHY families)

John's oldest sister, Bertha Browne (1925-1985) marries Stafford Mateer sometime before 1943 and in 1963 (after Stafford's death) she marries William Bell-Murphy (1900-1981). William had been married twice before, both his previous wives had died, the first in childbirth. His second wife, Gladys Louise Rutherford (1906-1958) gave birth to four daughters, Hazel, Audrey, Gloria and Gladys Louise Bell-Murphy (1930-1993).

Bertha BrowneBertha's marriage to Stafford Mateer

Bertha Browne and Stafford Mateer had three children, Geoffrey, Cynthia and Stafford. Stafford (c1943-1975) was a victim of the IRA conflict in Northern Ireland when he was shot while driving his car, at the junction of Albertbridge Road and Woodstock Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland. He died two days later, on the 14 April 1975.  Cynthia immigrated to South Africa late 1960s or early 1970s; shortly after her brother Stafford was killed returned home to Ireland and persuaded Geoff to join her in South Africa.

Bertha's second husband - William Bell-Murphy (1900-1981)

William Bell-Murphy was a member of the B-Specials (Ulster Special Constabulary (USC)), although he lied about his age to get in.

Bertha and William were married in 1963, Belfast, Northern Ireland; they had no children together but both had children by previous marriages. William’s four daughters by his previous marriage to Gladys Louise Rutherford (1906-1958) were Gladys Louise (1930-1993), Hazel Joan, Audrey and Gloria.  Gladys Louise Rutherford, William’s second wife, was born 21 July 1906 and grew up in Sunderland, County Durham, Ireland.  She died on 8 July 1958 from Multiple Sclerosis. Her family who were ship builders went to work in Harland & Wolff (Belfast) from Birkenhead, Merseyside, England.

William was born in Newtownards, Ireland in 1900; he died on 18 Jan 1981 and is buried in Dundonald with his parents; although Bertha (his second wife) is not with him in his grave. 

William Bell-Murphy's parents, Mary Bell (1862-1949) and Hugh Murphy (who died 1902) were married in Saint Marks Church of Ireland, Newtownards, Co. Down, Ireland on 2 June 1894.

Relevant site links

[ Browne Family History ][ Origin of Browne ][ Baines Family History ]