Olivier Breau

The Breau Family includes Olivier Breau; born about 1801 in Neguac, NB, died before 1871 at Neguac, NB; married to Marie Madeleine Mazerolle.

Family reference: 182.832

Born Born abt. 1801   Néguac, N.B.
Married Married 2 August 1824 Marie Madeleine Mazerolle Néguac, N.B.
Died Died probably before 1871    



  1. Isaïe Breau; b. abt. 1826; d. 1826
  2. Marie Olive Breau; bapt. 1827
  3. Prime Breau; b. 1829; d. 1890
  4. Edouard Ned Breau; b. 1830; d. 1884
  5. Isaïe Breau; d. 1834; d. btwn 1862-1871
  6. Marie Madeleine Breau; b. 1835
  7. Michel Breau; bapt. 1840; d. 1907
  8. Joseph Breau; bapt. 1841; d. 1874

The Parents of Olivier

Olivier’s Early Years

The First Settlements

Given the lack of roads in the mid-18th century, it is almost certain that the first non-native settlers to the region arrived by canoe and that for a subsequent period of time, their main means of transportation was by water. This is supported by the fact that the first settlements tended to be at the mouths of rivers. The Savoie family settled along the Rivière-des-Caches, the first Robichaud along the Godins Brook, and the Breau family along the McKnight Brook. The entrance to the Cove Brook, called the French Cove, was likewise settled early. A member of the Breau family was the first to settle there1.

Pioneer Life in Neguac

It is hard to give an idea of the trials these first settlers endured, of their courage and their faith in the future. Once they decided to settle at Neguac, the Breau families chose their land, made clearings and built their cabins. These houses were built of logs in the round, or squared with an axe, the chinks caulked with clay or moss, with two or three openings to serve as windows. In those days, lighting by paraffin or coal oil was unknown. People used boxes of tin or wood fastened to the wall or hung from the ceiling, filled with cod oil or elderberry oil, if the cod oil was lacking. They boiled the pith or white substance found in the stems of the elder shrub, and obtained a kind of oil which satisfactorily replaced the cod oil. I say satisfactorily, for its odor was more agreeable than of burnt cod oil. Tow served for a wick. For sweeping they used a broom made of birch shavings or branches of fir or spruce. White sand cleaned with the soap of the country, made of cod oil.

Their food consisted of potatoes, game and fish, but what a variety of fish! Cod, mackerel, herring, bass, eels, shad and trout; add to that lobster and shellfish. Beechnuts were also on the menu, they made a kind of flour from them. Small wild fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, garnished the pantry.

And do not let us forget the brown bread, made of wheat, barley, and buckwheat flour. As they had no threshing machine they threshed the wheat or barley with a flail made of a handle and wooden beater lashed together by a leather strap or an eelskin. The grain was then cleaned, winnowed, ground or crushed between two stones, one superimposed on the other, of which the lower was hollowed in the form of a basin, while the other was rounded so as to fit the first with a hole in the middle through which the grain fell into a small basin. The latter stone was activated by a turning movement, until the grain was transformed into a coarse flour (bran and flour mixed). To this primitive apparatus they later added a handle. This marvel of a flour mill could grind a gallon of wheat or barley at a time. Beverages consisted of an infusion of lime flowers, of wild cherry leaves, or potato (tea of the woods). The raising of sheep and the cultivation of flax provided clothing2.

Olivier and Marie Madeleine Mazerolle

Marie was a daughter of Paul Mazerolle and Marguerite Thibodeau.

Olivier was a farmer in the Alnwick District of New Brunswick all his life. By 1851 the area had several descendants of his grandparents, Victor and Marie (neé Arsenault) Brau. In nearby farms were his younger brothers Pièrre, Hubert and Ned and his cousins Germain and Simon Breau.

Also with him in the 1851 census were his wife and six children. By 1861 his wife was deceased and three sons were at home with him. At the time of the 1871 census he was probably deceased also, for four of the children were the only ones recorded3.

The Final Years for Olivier



  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 OlivierBreau1801
0 OlivierBreau1801
1 EdouardBreau1830
1 LouisEdouardBreau1875
1 CeciliaBreau1910
2 EddyBreau1906
3 EmeldaBreau1909
4 OmerBreau1914
2 PrimeBreau1829
1 JosephBreau1876
1 StanleyBreau1925

-- JimBenedict - 18 Apr 2006

Revision: r1.1 - 22 Oct 2009 - 03:21 - Main.guest