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Breau Surname List

BREAU clan

BREAU clan

IN about the year 1652, BREAU clan a young man from the Poitou region of France, Vincent Brault by name, arrived in North America. He had been recruited as an agricultural worker for the fledging French colony called Acadie, which was then just a small settlement of 300 habitants. Vincent settled at Port Royal, now Annapolis Royal in present day Nova Scotia. Several years after arrival, he married a daughter of another colonist from the same region in France, and they became the parents of five sons and six daughters:- the originating family of the Breau, Breault and Breaux descendants of New Brunswick, Louisiana and elsewhere.

The Port Royal colony prospered with the labours of the agrarian settlers, but the wars between France and England caused the community to fear raids from the nearby British colonies of New England. Indeed, Acadia was captured by Virginian forces in 1613, then returned to France in 1632, to be once again taken by Boston forces under the British flag in 1654, only to be returned to French control in 1667. Finally by 1710, all of Acadia was surrendered to the English, and renamed Nova Scotia.

As the forces at the tiny British garrison were outnumbered by the Acadians, an uneasy peace followed. Several decades later, the English administration in Annapolis Royal and in Boston looked with concern at the rapid increase in the Acadian population, reaching 12,000 by 1755. They also worried over the Acadian colonists' moves to new rich lands and the prosperity they enjoyed, particularly in light of the British failure to secure Anglo-Protestant settlers for Nova Scotia.

Action was required. The English in Annapolis Royal, under the command of Major Charles Lawrence, insisted on an absolute loyalty of the french Acadians to the English Crown, under pain of deportation. The Acadians refused, and so the Grand Derangement began, with over 7,000 Acadians dispursed, with only their clothing and a few possessions, to the English colonies along the Atlantic seaboard.

Our family branch had fled just prior to the expulsion of 1755 by taking refuge on the Miramichi River in the region of Oak Point, or French Fort. Ambroise Breau and his family of nine children escaped the deportation and they later moved to Neguac, New Brunswick, where he was one of the founding pioneers.

Their eighth child, Jean Victor Breau, was only five years old at the time of the expulsion. Marrying Marie Arsenault, they raised eight children in the Neguac area.

The Family Name 1

The Brault/Braud/Breau/Breuax (all pronounced "bro") family name may have several possible derivations. It may have derived from the old family name Beraud or Berault, modified to be pronounced Braud or Brault. Beraud/Berault comes from the German "berwald", from "ber" (bear) and "wald" (ruler or governor), hence a person having power or mastery over the bear. It may also have originated from southern France, being a name derived from a place having the characteristics of being rough, uneven, unpleasant or pitiful, hence a rough uncouth man or a dweller in a muddy place. Thirdly, it may have derived from an ancient Gaulish word "brolii", later appearing in French as "breil" or "breuil", denoting a small wood surrounded by a wall, hence a dweller in an enclosed wood.


  1. "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

How do I find my ancestor?

Click on a Breau name below to follow your lineage. A complete listing of names and dates can be found by going to the Breau Family Name Index.

Family Outline

Descendancy Chart for VincentBreau1631
0 VincentBreau1631
1 JeanBreau1674
1 AmbroiseBreau1705
1 JeanVictorBreau1750
1 JacquesBreau1779
1 OlivierBreau1801
1 EdouardBreau1830
1 LouisEdouardBreau1875
2 PrimeBreau1829
1 JosephBreau1876

-- JasonBenedict - 17 Nov 2005


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I Attachment sort Action Size Date Who Comment
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SomeFamilyMemories.jpg manage 12.0 K 22 Nov 2005 - 23:44 JimBenedict  

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