Here is an e-mail from Frank Brierton
(in New Zealand). He's got some great information about the Brereton/Brierton
Excellent website. Well done!
I've been researching the Brereton/Brierton family tree for over
30 years and have a vast amount of info "on file" but
apart from my direct ancestors have not yet had time to fully type
up and create a database for all the other stuff I have available
- guess it will have to wait until I have time (hopefully) in my
I'm a frequent visitor to your site and often reply directly to
email enquirers when I think I can help them. It just occurred to
me that it may be a good idea for me to post some of this info on
site to save me repeating it.
I'm descended from one of the Irish branches and as quite a few
people researching this family have Irish connections I thought
it appropriate to present some background on the origins of the
Brereton family in Ireland.
Although the BRERETON spelling now appears to be the most commonly
accepted usage, as you are aware, it has varied over the last 900
years. My own variation - BRIERTON - goes back a long way in Cheshire
and early English records but oddly enough also appears to be quite
widely used (relatively speaking) in Ireland, alongside BRYARTON
and BRIARTON as well as BRERETON and other variations. Like most
families I find ancestors with a variety of spellings, including
all the above, so for those with Irish ancestry the following should
be of interest.
Brereton's in Ireland
from "Irish Surnames" by Maclysaght
On account of the prominence of the Parliamentary general Sir William
Brereton and of Major Brereton one of the disbanded officers of
Col. Sadlier's regiment who settled in Co. Tipperary, Brereton is
often regarded as a Cromwellian name in Ireland.
Actually there were families of the name from Brereton in Cheshire
established in Ireland nearly a century before the Cromwellian Settlement.
The most notable of these were in Co. Down and Queens County (Leix).
In the former they were located at Lecale before 1530, and one Ralph
Brereton was sheriff of Co. Down in 1591. The founder of the fortunes
of this family in Ireland was Sir William Brereton whose vigorous
action enabled Lord Deputy Skeffington to crush the rebellion of
"Silken Thomas" in 1535; four years later as Lord High
Marshal he opposed Con O'Neill. His son and two of his nephews held
high office and received large grants of land.
According to family tradition the Brereton's of Queens County came
from England at the time of the attempted plantation of Leix and
Offaly under Philip and Mary; in fact the Loughteeog property was
acquired by Sir William's grandson Edward in 1563. Grants in that
county are recorded at various dates from 1563 to 1594. His youngest
son John Brereton was constable of the castle of Wexford and seneschal
of the county; he received a grant of land there under Edward VI,
but the connection with that county does not appear to have lasted
long: the census of 1659 includes a number of tituladoes called
Brereton in Queens County and elsewhere, but none in Co. Wexford,
nor does the Civil Survey of Co. Wexford contain the name among
English Protestant or Irish Papist proprietors.
The principal Leix properties were Loughteeog and Shanemullen,
and the families who owned them retained their influential position
until quite recent times. Carew includes the Loughteeog family in
his list of the principal gentry of Queen's County in 1600: one
was MP for Ballinakill in 1613; and Father Edmund Hogan, editor
of the MS known as the "Description of Ireland in 1598",
states that the Shanemullen family were in Co. Carlow when he wrote
in 1878. They are not listed in Co. Carlow in de Burgh's Landowners
of that date, though that work includes them as extensive landlords
in Co. Tipperary.
Other families from the Queen's Co. settlers remained staunch catholics
throughout the penal times. The Fiants likewise indicate that the
Brereton's of the 16th century, several of whom received pardons
like their Gaelic neighbours, were not by any means all devoted
to the English interest; and in the vital test of 1689-90 John Brereton
of Loughteeog was found on the Jacobite side and was outlawed for
"high treason" by William of Orange.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Well Bruce, how's that to start?
It's really exciting now to see that a lot more info is becoming
available through the internet. National Archives UK have an excellent
site and have lots of freely available data. Also sites for US immigration
through Ellis Island and Castle Garden provide lists of names, ships,
dates etc for migrants to the US.
I have collated lists of Brereton/Brierton etc names from BDM civil
registers from 1837-1900 for England & Wales and some for Ireland
1864-1900 and lots of other documents. Unfortunately, as mentioned
I have not yet typed this all up yet in database form that could
be transmitted on the net...but I'm working on it!
Hope you'll agree the above Irish info is worth adding to your
Frank Brierton (firstname.lastname@example.org)