About 8-10 generations ago, in 1806, our paternal ancestors emigrated to Canada from Guernsey, Channel Islands (see A Brehaut Family Some 400 Years Ago for some of our history there). While we are still not a large family, the descendants of this original family are now spread all over Canada (and the United States). And we are dispersed to the extent that we know longer even know, or know of, all the members carrying our name, let alone those who through female descent may have had to give up the name but never gave up belonging.
Henry Brehaut, the father of the family, was a cooper in St. Peter Port, the main city there. In February 1806, he sold his business and, with his family, sailed on the Neptune to take up farming on Prince Edward Island, on a homestead near Guernsey Cove. A family reunion in 1906, to mark the centenary of our family’s arrival, resulted in several papers written (and some published in the Charlottetown Guardian, Aug 11, 1906) including Murray Harbour Settlement and Brehaut, A Sketch.
This site takes as its starting point the family created by the marriage of Judd Brehaut (1915 – 1980), one of Henry’s descendants, and Betty Rutherford (1919 – 2013). Here we intend to catalog and present all of the existing documentation preserved by Judd and Betty as well as adding what we have about our own lives — all of us — for future generations. We will go back as well as forward, back on both the Brehaut and the Rutherford branches of our family tree, forward into all the families that take their life from Judd and Betty. Naturally much of our history will be of the Brehaut line back to Henry and maybe beyond him back to Guernsey. Nevertheless, what we have and know of for the families that have intertwined with the Brehauts over the generations, we will include here for the sake of passing it all on to those who come after us.
Our family seems to have been blessed (or encumbered) with a sense of history; a family reunion in 1906 in Prince Edward Island attracted scores of living descendants and resulted in a lengthy family history being published in the local paper (of which we still have a copy — and which will be posted here, in its entirety). Betty was a voracious hoarder of memorabilia, so we have boxes of school report cards, greeting cards from Judd, awards and recognitions of all sorts. And more recently, Betty’s children and grandchildren encouraged her to write her version of her life and that of some of her children. All of that will also be included here.
But waiting until the end seems imminent seems to be not the best way to gather and preserve accurate family history, so we encourage everyone in our family (and others too, if you can provide the links to expand the family tree) to contribute documents, photos, memories and thoughts about your parents and grandparents, yourself and your children, even of siblings or other relatives — it all helps to make the family history come alive. And if you do not think you have enough on a particular topic or event to make a story all on its own, please comment on the postings of others to add your memories about parts the author might have missed.
What you might think of as trivia today might well be the insight into your life that someone in a future generation treasures beyond measure.
We’re just getting started; in the words of Robert Browning, “Grow old along with me/The best is yet to be.” Be a part of the journey: not only keep visiting, but contribute your own memories, either as a full contributor or through your comments.
Reg Brehaut/Jon Brehaut
July 1, 2017