Thomas Brereton, Virginia Gentleman  
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An email from Robert Greene:

From: Robert Greene [mailto:robertgreene.rva@verizon.net]
Sent: Wednesday, January 01, 2014 9:49 PM

I just read your story of the Breretons of Virginia. Eventually I want to incorporate it into my family tree on Ancestry.com (Verna Street Heritage).

I am a descendant of Thomas Brereton II of Virginia, son of Thomas Brereton I of Cheshire (England), grandson of William Brereton (XII) of Cheshire (England). Thomas Brereton I married Jane Claiborne, daughter of (Colonel) William Claiborne of Kent (England) and Elizabeth Jane Butler of Essex (England).

Thomas Brereton I was recruited by William Claiborne to leave England and settle in Virginia in 1624. Thomas Brereton I was granted land in Northumberland County, Virginia.

Indeed, the Brereton family eventually intertwined with the Jones family, the Winder family, the Archer family, and the Harris family. Thomas Brereton II married Elizabeth Winder. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert Jones. Their son, William Jones II, married Dinnah Vaden (descendant of Fowlers, Archers, and Harrises)

Celia Jones, the daughter of William Jones II and Dinnah Vaden married Thornberry Greene of Georgia. Their son, Green Berry Greene, was my great-great-grandfather.

Also, (Colonel) William Claiborne was the ancestor of William Charles Cole Claiborne, first Governor of the Louisiana Territory and first elected Governor of the State of Louisiana, my home state. What's ironic is that I am related to the Claiborne family through the Breretons of Virginia and not through the Claibornes of Louisiana. But my Brereton ancestors in Virginia give me claim to being descendant from a "First Family of Virginia".

It is through an entirely different line that I can clam descendancy from a "First Family of Louisiana": the Fortier family. My Brereton ancestors made their way from England to Virginia to North Carolina to Georgia to Louisiana. My Fortier ancestors made their way direct from France to Louisiana. There these two "first families" of America merged. It's a fascinating story.

Robert Greene

A follow-up email:

 I am enthralled by the intertwining of colonial families -- first in Virginia -- and then in Louisiana.  While my English ancestors comprised 6/16ths of my heritage, my Acadian ancestors comprised 7/16ths of it.  The remaining 3/16ths were 1 part each Spanish (Valencia), German (Hamburg), and Irish (Belfast).  My Acadian ancestors came to Louisiana after the Grand Expulsion by the British and their "rescue" by the Spanish from exile in France to provide a buffer between the Spanish in New Orleans and the British working their way down the Mississippi valley toward New Orleans.  

I am currently working on a story about my immigrant ancestors, where in Europe they were born, when they immigrated to American shores, where they landed, and by what routes they came to New Orleans.  It's a story that spans from England to Virginia, from France to Acadia and back to France and then to Louisiana, from Spain to Louisiana, from Germany to Louisiana, and from Ulster to to Louisiana.  I am collaborating with my sister in the project who will produce the "maps" to illustrate the story.

For what it's worth, I have an ancestor whose second husband was a Destrehan (of Destrehan Plantation fame) and whose third husband was a Peychaud (of Peychaud Bitters fame).  Alas, I am descendent from her first marriage to a Hincks of English ancestry by way of Baltimore.  But the story about how and why she and her two sons ended up in New Orleans is really interesting.
 
 

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