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Ambroise Brau

The Breau Family includes Ambroise Breau / Brau; born about 1705 in Port Royal, died 1768; raised his family with Marie Anne Michel in the upper region of the Bay of Fundy, escaped the Acadian Expulsion, fled north and finally settled his family at Neguac, New Brunswick.

Family reference: 182

Born Baptised 11 Oct 1705 Port Royal, Acadie (now Nova Scotia)
Died Died 28 Jan 1768 Neguac, Northumberland Co., New Brunswick
Married Married 29 Oct 1726 Marie Anne Michel at Port Royal, Acadie

Parents:

Children:

  1. Joseph Brau; b. 1727; d. 1811
  2. Marie Josephe Brau; b. 1728
  3. Athanase Brau; b. 1733; d. bef. 1794
  4. Anselme Bro; b. abt. 1736; d. 1797
  5. Paul Brau; b. 1741
  6. Marie Madeleine Brau; b. abt. 1743; d. 1820
  7. Jean Baptiste Brau; b. abt 1746
  8. Jean Victor Brau; b. abt 1750
  9. Isabelle (or Anastasie) Brau; b. 1753; d. 1771

The Parents of Ambroise

Ambroise’s Early Years

Ambroise and Marie Anne Michel

British edict Marie Anne Michel was born on September 12, 1706 at Port Royal, Acadie, the daughter of Jacques Michel dit St. Michel and Catherine Comeau.

Ambroise and Marie-Ann married in Port Royal in 1726 at about twenty years of age. Together they raised nine children who likely were involved in the farming and household operations of the family.

By this time Ambroise had relocated his family to the outer reaches of the Acadian settlements at a place called Chipoudy (near today's Hopewell Rocks) and just west of the isthmus separating New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. This relocation likely allowed Ambroise to flee north to the Miramichi area ahead of the British military.

The parents were already starting in their fifties when the difficulties with the British broke out in the open. The family was tragically divided by their escape from deportation. Ambroise and Marie-Ann fled north with only four of the children; three sons: Joseph (age 28), Anselme (age 19) and Jean Victor (age 5); and the youngest daughter, Isabelle Anastasie at two years of age. They lost five other children to the expulsion who ended up finally (some to be confirmed) in southern Louisiana; three daughters: Marie Josephe (age 27), Athanase (age 22), Marie Madeleine (age 18); and two sons: Paul (age 14) and Jean Baptiste (age 9).

The Tragedy of the Expulsion

Expulsion The Great Upheaval (le Grand Dérangement), also known as the Great Expulsion, The Deportation or the Acadian Expulsion, was a final solution in the New World to the years of political and military struggles overseas in Europe between Britain and France. At that time the British had control of the lands of Nova Scotia but were outnumbered by the French Acadians in the agricultural colony. By this time, Acadians had been on the land for 150 years or about six generations and had less political than emotional loyalty to the old country. But they were strategically too close to the British colonies of New England and were perceived to be a threat.

After some uneasy years of informal truce with their British overseers, the Acadians in 1754 were forced into an unacceptable point of alliance: to swear allegience to the Britsh Crown and potentially face conscription of their young men into the military. The reluctance of the French settlers to cave into this demand then started a mass ethnic cleansing in 1755 of the whole peninsula by British forces under the direction of Governor Lawrence at Halifax.

Governor Lawrence was offering a bounty of thirty pounds for each Acadian male prisoner, twenty-five pounds for each woman or child and twenty-five pounds for an Acadian or Native scalp1.

Beaubears Island

The island is only 2 kilometres in length and less than a kilometre wide, but its location, at the forks of the Northwest and Southwest branches of the main Miramichi - about 50 kilometres upstream from the river's mouth, lent the island to some isolation, distance and protection from the British military scouts.

For thousands of years, the island was a natural gathering place for native Mi'Kmaq of the Miramichi, who called it "Quoomeneegook" (pine island). But it became a scene of misery and death during the British expulsion of the Acadians in the mid -1700's. In 1757, in a desperate attempt to evade British troops in the St. John Valley and the Bay of Fundy, the French general, Charles des Champs de Boishébert, led the French fugitives up the northeast coast of New Brunswick to the Miramichi, installing about 900 of them on Beaubears Island with hopes of only temporary deprivation, followed by a timely rescue.

But when provisions from Quebec finally arrived the following May, it was far too late; after a harsh and hideous winter of subsisting on cattle hides, seal oil, beaver skins, and finally, their own deerskin boots, During the winter, at least 200 refugees died of hunger and starvation and scurvy and were buried at Beaubear's Point.

Those who survived, and attempted to settle in the areas surrounding Beaubears Island, faced even more suffering. In 1758, British forces, led by Colonel Murray, erased almost every trace of human settlement - Acadian and Mi'Kmaq- on the Miramichi.

In the spring the majority of the survivors went to Chaleur Bay and Quebec where they hoped to be safe from the British soldiers. Some remained on Beaubears island and also at French Fort Cove (downstream of Newcastle) where a battery was set up. These two settlements were destroyed by British forces in 1760, three years before the Treaty of Paris ceded the French possesions in North America to Britain.

Settlement at Neguac

Neguac at the time of the expulsion was inhabited only by the indigenous native population who used the area for summer camps, junting game in the woods and fishing in the teeming waters of the Miramichi River and bay. The first white settlers were of the Acadian Savoie famiy, Jean Savoie and his wife Anne Landry, and the five Savoie brothers, being Jean, Pierre, Joseph, Amen and Francois along with their wives and their sister Josephte, who decided to settle definitely at Rivière-des-Caches. They are thus the founders of Neguac.

Razing of Burnt Church A short time after, another family arrived, Ambroise Breau, his wife and two sons; Anselme, born 1753 then married Anastasie Arseneau, and Victor who married Marie Arseneau. This family chose its land at Lower Neguac; Anselme and Victor Breau were consequently the first settlers in that part of Neguac. Their children were the founders of L'Anse, Covedell2.

In 1758, Colonel Murray, under orders from General Wolfe, pillaged the village of Rivière à la Croix in search of Acadians. The British troops burnt all the dwellings inlcuding the church and confiscated all provisions. The Acadians who were lucky enough to escape hid in the woods, up the small river that has since then been known as Rivière-des-Caches. The name Burnt Church was later adopted by the English because the remains of the burnt church stood as a land mark for several years1.

The Final Years for Ambroise

Marie Anne died on January 25, 1768 at Neguac, New Brunswick and Ambroise then died three days later. They were 62 and and 63 years old, respectively.

Footnotes

Notes on the children:

These comments are extracted from the ancestry.com website on family trees and from "A Breau Genealogy" 3 and will require future verification.

  • Joseph Brau; b. 1727; d. 1811. Joseph was the oldest at the expulsion at age 28 and undoubtedly was able to help his parents flee into New Brunswick. He married Marie Blanche Boudreau in 1760, about five years after the escape, and died in Memramcook, Westmoreland Co., New Brunswick.
  • Marie Josephe Brau; b. 1728. At the age of 27, she was captured and deported, dying in Louisiana, likely at the age of about 50.
  • Athanase Brau; b. 1733; d. bef. 1794. Athanase also was deported to Louisiana.
  • Anselme Bro; b. abt. 1736; d. 1797. Anselme did manage to escape to New Brunswick and married Anastasie Arsenault in the new land, passing away on April 16, 1797 in Neguac.
  • Paul Brau; b. 1741. Paul was captured at the age of 14 and ended up in Louisiana. There is no record of any marriage for Paul.
  • Marie Madeleine Brau; b. abt. 1743; d. 1820. Madeleine would have been twelve at the time of deportation and the records indicate that she arrived in Louisiana, married Simon Gautreaux and passed away in 1820.
  • Jean Baptiste Brau; b. abt 1746. Jean Baptiste was also lost to the expulsion, at age 9 and likely died in Louisiana.
  • Jean Victor Brau; b. abt 1750. See the topic page for Jean Victor, of the first generation of the Breau families in Neguac.
  • Isabelle (or Anastasie) Brau; b. 1753; d. 1771. Isabelle survived the expulsion at two years of age and was taken by her parents to Neguac. She married Armand Dit Savoie and they lived in the area.

The Migration of Ambroise and Family

Migration of Ambroise Breau

Sources

  1. "No Man's Land", by Jean-Louis Comeau, Kanata, Ontario, private publication, June 1998; 229 pages; a genealogical history of Comeau Settlement; ISBN 0-9684439-0-7
  2. "History of Neguac", by Rev. Arthur Galleon of Petit Rocher, New Brunswick; translated from the French by Dr. Louise Manny; private collection; typed manuscript on loose paper; undated
  3. "A Breau Genealogy", 2nd Edition, compiled by Robert Brault and Clarence T. Breaux; private publication, 2nd edition 2004; 440 pages; history and family lines of the descendants of Vincent Brault (1629-1686), a pioneer Acadian

Family Outline

Descendancy Chart for AmbroiseBreau1705
0 AmbroiseBreau1705
1 JeanVictorBreau1750
1 JacquesBreau1779
1 OlivierBreau1801

-- JimBenedict - 17 Apr 2006
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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
Migration.gif manage 232.7 K 28 Jul 2006 - 05:53 JimBenedict migration
Expulsion.gif manage 54.6 K 28 Jul 2006 - 06:02 JimBenedict Expulsion
British_edict.gif manage 56.1 K 28 Jul 2006 - 06:03 JimBenedict British edict
Razing.gif manage 57.5 K 28 Jul 2006 - 06:04 JimBenedict Razing

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