In Search of the ‘Boyne’ Soldiers
- Marilyn J. Breakey -
I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Kenneth C. Breakey, Portadown, Northern Ireland for his willingness to ‘conduct the research,’ as well as his acceptance to become a partner in this adventurous search for a common ancestor.
Special thanks to Dr. John W. Hall, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for his dedicated research and sharing of Breakey information over the many years we have corresponded.
My appreciation, also, to Alan Breakey of Bragg Creek, Alberta, Canada for his assistance in translating the French documents.
After nearly thirty-five years of researching the family of Breakey, and as editor of The Breakey Collection, I am about to assert my editorial prerogative and address several unanswered questions that remain, for me at least, concerning our common ancestors, those Breakey soldiers of ‘Boyne’ history and family legend. This is being done with the intention of saving other family members time and money in that they don’t repeat research already undertaken. That being said, I wish to emphasize that this report is in no way an attempt to denigrate our family history, but a means of presenting research results that are in my files.
* * *
For those family members who have familiarized themselves with The Breakey Collection each will recall that our family heritage stems from the surviving brother and cousin who fought under William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in Schomberg’s French Horse. However, for the purpose of this report, and for those family members who do not have access to the first book of memoirs, I wish to utilize quotations taken from The Memoirs of Thomas C. Breakey as edited by Dr. Edward P. Breakey.
“The Breakeys were French Protestants of Huguenots. The cruel treatment of the Protestant Christians in the year 1685, when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, caused over 50,000 families to seek refuge in England. Protestants who remained got a limit of time to leave France or man, woman, and child found in the country would be murdered. At the entreaty of a French Roman Catholic lady who was in love with one of the Breakeys, numbering three, two brothers and a cousin, they left as the 11th hour with only time enough to get over the border into Holland. Being homeless, they joined the army of William III, Prince of Orange” (Breakey, E. 2).
“Later the French lady was eyewitness to the massacre, saw her father lose his life because a poor Protestant servant clung to him for protection. She was so horrified and disgusted with such cold blooded murder and, being a woman of means, she gathered up her money and jewelry, became the most rigid Protestant, left for Holland, found the Breakeys, and was married in all honours to the cousin of my ancestor. All the Breakeys I ever heard of may thank that lady’s advice and entreaties for their existence” (Breakey, E. 2).
“When William III was invited to come to England after James II was exiled, he brought the Breakeys with him. During their stay in England, my ancestor was married to an English woman. At the Battle of the Boyne, the unmarried brother of my ancestor fell. After that battle, my ancestor and his cousin retired from active service and came to live in this part of the country. The cousin of my ancestor was a non-commissioned officer and settled in Balladian. I do not know his Christian name…By him came all the Breakeys, in County Monaghan and, I think in Ireland, except Humphry Breakey and family of Monaghan, Mrs. J. Mitchell…and me and my family, and Thomas Breakey of Carnaveagh” (Breakey, E. 3).
“My ancestor, Wm. D. Breakey, settled in Lisgillin, and built the house in the October of 1690, now inherited by John Greer” (Breakey, E. 3).
“After my brother Robert retired from business and went to Lucan, County Dublin to live, I was cleaning the flower beds in front of the house, when a pack of outlaws come to the door with a wren on a stick. To get rid of them and not knowing what it meant at the time, I offered them money. ‘No,’ said a fellow, ‘that is Orange Bill from the North, a relation of Schomberg, let him put his money where Lanty put the pepper.’” (Breakey, E. 25).
In speaking of his father’s old songbook, Thomas C. Breakey writes: “ ‘As Sure as a Gun’ was a pet song of Duke Schomberg and was always sung by the Breakeys in honour of his memory at every house warming. All hands on their feet. I think I have already stated in this book that my early ancestor, William D. Breakey was present at the death of Duke Schomberg and was one of those who did not let his body touch the ground in the moment of death, but like the monks with Cardinal Woolsie [sic] supported him as a mark of great respect. William D. Breakey was the first Huguenot know to stand in Ballybay, then called Belbuck in Irish” (Breakey, E. 85).
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For many years Breakey family members have been intrigued by the surname ‘de Brequet,’ and a few have searched relentlessly for documentation regarding the surname with the hope that it would lead to our ancestors’ place of origin in France. The following section will detail the search results that are in my files; they will not be recorded chronologically, but by the family member conducting the search.
In 1980 Mrs. Daniel Clinton, daughter of Arnold S. Breakey, sent to the author the following information prefaced with, “I am now going to list some notes that I have in my father’s handwriting:
Register of the Protestant Church at Caen, Normandy –
Page. 108 – de Brecy
Page 640 – de la Breque (also pp. 647, 650, 651 & 659).
Baptised 1565 – Pierre, son of Pierre de Brecy and his wife Cardine
Married at Caen, May 4, 1572 Jaques de la Breque and Ysabeau du Mont by Raoul Le Cevalier, Ministre
De Brecey (from a book by de Magny)
“Nobilliare de Normandy” tome I – Liste des cent dix-neuf gentilshommes qui defendirent le Mont Saint-Michel contre les Anglais (15,000) in 1423
From de Magny, Tome I – Catalog de tons les gents Normands (in 1666) de Brecey – Seigneur d’Asigny, Election de Mortain ; D’or, a la croix du sable, cantonee de quatre merlettes de gueules.
The name de Brecey also appears in the list of compagnons qui ont pris part ala conquete de l’Angleterre avec Guillaume in 1066.
A Chevalier de Brecey who was killed in the battle of Lense in 1691 lived in the Château de la Brisoliere in Normandy.
[Author’s note: the date of the research conducted by Arnold S. Breakey is undated, but most probably occurred somewhere between 1920 and 1940. Also, no reason was given as to why Mr. Breakey referenced the de Brecy/Brecey surname. For further information on Guillaume de Brecey please see “Guillaume de Brecey” in The Breakey Collection.].
For nearly twenty years Dr. John W. Hall and the author have corresponded sharing Breakey information in general, and more specifically Breakey information pertinent to Cavan township in the province of Ontario, Canada. It goes without saying that Dr. Hall has also looked into the de Brequet surname origins, and the following is taken from the author’s correspondence files.
In correspondence dated 24 December 1988 Dr. Hall writes: “The enclosed material is likely self explanatory. I was going after the tradition that Jean de Brequet was an officer in Schomberg’s regiment at the Boyne. By coming across Dalton’s ‘Lists,’ I found that the officers in the regiment at its time of organization in July 1689 had been given in de Bostaquet’s Memoires. Unfortunately the modern edition of this work which was in our university library did not include the list. I had fun reading it although it was in French (and has never been translated!). The Breakey’s were not mentioned in the text. Finally I sent away to the Huguenot society and they sent the whole list from the original edition.”
Attached to the above correspondence were two enclosures pertinent to this discussion.
1. From the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland, photocopies of relevant pages (343 –347) from the 1864 edition of “memoires inedits de Dumont de Bostaquet” consisting of “Liste et Noms – Des Officiers Tant En Pied Que Des Officiers Incorpores Du Regiment De Schomberg, Lors De Sa Creation En Juillet 1689 [List of Names – Officers with Commands in and Officers Incorporated into Schomberg’s Regiment, At the Time of its Creation in July 1689].
In the ‘Compagnie de Tugny’ is listed: MM de Tugny, capitaine and Braglet, lieutenant. Dr. Hall who highlighted this particular entry goes on to say:
“So far as I can guess, if the tradition is true, Breakey must be the Braglet in de Tugny’s company. De Bostaquet was an ‘officier encorpore” in de Moliens’ company and so his story just deals with the people in that company. They were mainly old friends of his anyway. Since there was a surplus of men entitled to commissions among the refugees, the officers’ positions were filled with men who had been on active service at the time when they fled from France. The remainder, which included men like de Bostaquet who had had commissions but were retired, became “officiers encorpores.” Of course as experienced men, they often were assigned special duties and were a good source of replacements for the officers who fell in battle.
This seems to be the only record of this regiment although Dalton appears to have had other sources as well for some of the information in the footnotes.”
“In any event there are no surviving records of the non-officers in the regiment” (Hall to author, 22 February 2003).
2. A photocopy of the title page for English Army Lists and Commission Registers, 1661 – 1714, by Charles Dalton, ed., as well as pages twenty-six and twenty-seven.
The heading on page twenty-six is “The Duke of Schomberg’s Regt. Of French Horse.” Immediately following are multiple surname listings of the various Captains, Lieutenants, Cornets, and Quarter- Masters, inclusive of the name of du Tagny, as Capitan, and Braglet as Lieutenant. Also included are numerous footnotes pertinent to the various names previously listed.
[Author’s note: Of interest to the author are the footnotes referencing eighteen of the thirty-three individuals listed. Such comments as the following are included: “made a brilliant charge in which he was severely wounded…; out of the Regiment 1 June 1693; promoted Major 25 August 1693; killed at the Boyne where he had the rank of Capt…; commanded the Reg’t at Aughrim, where he behaved splendidly; killed at the Boyne,” the last in speaking of Frederic, Duke of Schomberg (Dalton, 26). There was no footnote referencing Lieutenant Braglet.]
In correspondence of 22 February 2003, Dr. Hall writes: There is further documentation on the regiment that one would need to examine, I think…The National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, London SW3 4HT hold two collections of documents:
8101-38 – a series of typescript lists, some with manuscript corrections or additions giving lists of officers and details of pensions; 8303-97 – a bound indexed notebook giving lists of names, some with references to lists or to battles at which those named were present (personal correspondence to author).
During the winter of 2002-2003, continuing in this same vein for a possible soundex equivalent [variant spelling of the same or similar sounding name] of the de Brequet surname, the author’s research resulted in names of Huguenot families taken from Irish Pedigrees, vol.2 by John O’Hart. Table II contains the surname ‘Braglet’ among those who settled in Britain and Ireland during the reign of Louis XIV (Traynor); Table III contains the surnames ‘Bracquehaye’ and ‘Braguier’ among those “names of the Refugees who were Naturalized by Letters Patent” (Traynor).
After sharing the findings with Dr. Hall, and some discussion, both of us felt the best we could offer would be a proposal regarding this theory, and that could only occur after considerable research. At the time neither of us felt we had the time to pursue this as we were both involved in other extensive genealogical endeavors. However, in Dr. Hall’s correspondence of 22 February 2003, he states:
“Your O’Hart find suggest a second line of investigation. This is particularly true because Bracquehaye is, I think, a soundex equivalent of Braky (Breakey) so it doesn’t have the same problems as Braglet. ‘Braguier’ also looks suspicious. Of course, O’Hart copied his list from Agnew so one would have to trace the thread back to see if there weren’t some surviving naturalization records at the P. R. O. or somewhere that would at least give full names and dates. The first step would be to see whether Agnew gives more details or indicates his sources. A more complete reference for Agnew is: Agnew, David Carnegie A. Protestant exiles from France in the reign of Louis XIV, or Huguenot refugees and their descendants in Great Britain and Ireland 2d Edition, corrected and enlarged. London: Reeves & Turner; Edinburgh: William Patterson, 1871-74. This is in three volumes and the key volume is number three (published in 1874 – I think). The Family History Library (LDS) has this on microfiche (6035721, I believe) and I expect that would be the easiest way to get it.”
Nearly twenty years ago Ken Breakey of Portadown, NI came upon the author’s papers in his late sister’s file, and since then has corresponded with the author on a regular basis. Over the years the correspondence became more frequent, and more voluminous, with Ken sending copies of all his search results. During this time Ken, too, began research into the de Brequet surname, and the following is taken from the author’s correspondence files.
13 October 1988
[Letter from the Irish Section of the Huguenot Society of Great Britain & Ireland]
Dear Mr. Breakey,
Many thanks for your letter of 15/8/88 and the most interesting enclosed information about the BREAKEY family in Ireland. I have conducted a thorough search through all the specifically Huguenot sources and was only able to find one possible reference to your ancestors…A regiment list of Schomberg’s French Horse taken from D’alton’s [sic] British Army Lists mentions only one officer who could possibly be your ancestor ie. Lieutenant BRAQUELETS or BRAGLET which in French would be pronounced BREAKLEY. As the L is almost silent I am sure that this is the name which was anglicized to BREAKEY. He is listed as having served in Turny’s [sic] Company of the Regiment but there are no other details about him.
3 April 2000
[Handwritten letter from Memoire Protestante en Orleans, France]
In answer to your letter, please find enclosed the informations [sic] I got from the conservative Mr. Zurfluh, of the Chatillon, Coliguy museum…concerning your ancestors. Those informations are of a general – historical order, in between [which] Guillaume and your de Breguet [sic] probably participated…Schomberg disembarked in Ulster on Feb 1689 against the troops of Jacques II (the de Breguet certainly [sic] participated) with other Huguenot refugees of Schomberg’s army.
28 April 2000
With regard to your letter of April 8 concerning the de Brequet family, this is to let you know that we found nothing about this ‘patrmonie’ in Protestant France by the Haag brothers, nor in the tables of our historical Bulletin nor in the list which consist of thousands of Picardy family names which we have in our archives.
If the two brothers and their cousin emigrated at the time of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes and if they fought in the Duke of Schomberg’s army, you might find evidence of them in the ‘English army commission lists 1660 1715’ by C. Dalton which was reprinted in London in 1860.
We do not have the address of the organization that keeps these lists but you could probably find out where to locate them from the Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
The Huguenot Society might also have record of them (the 2 brothers and the cousin) in the index of their Proceedings or in its 4th series which lists noteworthy parish events in the French churches of London. This might lead back to their French origins.
[Author’s note: Michael Gandy, BA, FSG is a member of the Association of Genealogists and Record Agents and a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists, a noted Historical Researcher, editor of Huguenot Families, on the list of approved independent researchers at the OIOC (Oriental and India Office Collections – formerly known as the India Office, and now part of the British Library), and a committee member of Families in British India Society]. Ken Breakey engaged Mr. Gandy’s professional services, and the following letters, from Gandy to Breakey, are printed with K Breakey’s permission (personal correspondence, February 2004).
11 December 2001
Dear Mr. Breakey,
Thank you for your patience. I am aware that you have waited quite a while. As you probably know in the spring I was diagnosed…Over the next few weeks you can imagine that I got very little research done and, above all, my summer research trip to Paris had to be cancelled. I am pleased to say I got the all-clear in September.
I had wanted to look at French sources but in fact did not get to Paris until November. I began by checking the classic French works on the origin and localization of surnames:
Dictionnaire etymologique des noms de famille et prenoms de France. A. Dauzat (1951)
Dictionnaire etymologique des noms de famille et prenoms de France. (1951. Revised Marie Therese Morlet, 1988)
Dictionnaire etymologique des noms de famille. Marie-Therese Morlet (1991).
Les noms de famille et leurs secrets. Jean Louis Beaucarnot (1988)
Tresors des noms de famille. Jacques Cellard (1983)
Dauzat, the original expert, gives the name Brequais and says that it is a Normandy name derived from breque, a local form of breche, meaning narrow-chested. Celllard gives Breguet and says that it is Provencal and derived from brega meaning a riot, and therefore means a quarrelsome man. Beaucarnot does not list it and neither does Morlet in either of her books.
Morlet is in fact an expert on Picardy and I tried her Etude d’anthroponymie picarde (13e, 14e, 15e siecles) (1967) but she does not give the name.
It sounds to me as thought both Dauzat and Cellard are guessing. A number of colleagues to whom I have mentioned the name say it has the feel of a name from northeastern France – or even Belgium, still known in the 17th century as the Spanish Netherlands.
Amongst the most important modern sources for surnames is Tous les noms de famille de France et leur localisation en 1900 by Laurent Fordant (1999). This analyses all surnames in terms of birth registrations between 1891 and 1990 and is therefore a very thorough guide to local surnames in the 20th century. Of course this is much later than our interest but if a name can be localized even in the 20th century when there has been so much mouvement then it seems likely to be rooted in the same area in earlier centuries as well.
Fordant gave quite interesting results. There were no registrations for De Bre(c) quet at all so if it was ever a French name it has now died out. There were six (only!) references to Brequet which seems almost impossible over a hundred years and may argue one family which died out early or a family of immigrants from elsewhere (such as Belgium). The entries were in Resigny in the departement of Aisne in Picardy, otherwise in Paris and its western suburbs. There were five (only!) entries to Brecquehais in Ponthault-Combault in the departement of Seine-et-Marne which is north east of Paris and next to Aisne so, not in Picardy but next door. There were ten (only!) references to Brecque, mostly in Indre-et-Loire over towards Poitou and in Gers in the South West. There were quite a number of references to Debreuck and De Breuck, which seemed as though it might be a Flemish variant, and they were all in Nord and Pas-de-Calais, right on the Belgian border.
Lastly, there were 279 references to Brecy mostly in Parish and otherwise in Pas-de-Calais, which made me wonder if I should revise my view about Brecy and Brequet not being connected.
So, all in all, a high percentage of the entries found were along the Belgian border in or near the area you yourself think your ancestor came from. No entries to De Bre(c)quet, however.
The prefix ‘De’ of course means ‘of.’ There does not seem to be any modern village in France named Brecquet but it may be very small or less than an administrative unit, ie, a farm. I have not tried any local topographical indexes, let alone historical ones. There is Brecey, as we know, near Avranches.
In fact ‘ed’ was often added to surnames as a sign of increasing status regardless of whether the surname was a place. So you have the French equivalent of the ‘De Smiths’ begin posher than the mere Smiths.
In view of the ‘de’ I tried the Armorial d’Artois et de Picardie (generalite d’Amiens) by Borel d’Hauterive (1981) in case the family were recognized nobles. As a more general work I went through the general section and the Picardy sections of the Bibliographie Genealogique, Heraldique et Nobiliaire de la France by Gaston Saffroy (1968). This is just a bibliography but enormous, very detailed and the best way into printed material before that date. I also tried the Dictionnaire de la Noblesse by Francois Aubert de la Chenaye-Desbois (1980) and the Dictionnaire des familles francaises anciennes ou notables by C. D/E-A (initials only) (1908).
I then tried a number of books on Protestantism in Picardy with a couple on other aspects of the region:
Les dioceses de Cambrai et de Lille. (1978), Pierre Pierraed
Etre et croire a Lille et en Flandre XVIe-XVIIIe siecle : recueil d’etudes. (2000) Alain Lottin
Le protestantisme en Thierache (Haute-Picardie)depuis les origines jusqu a l Revolution..(1931), Paul Beuzart
Recueil da la Societe d’Etudes de las Province de Cambrai. (n/d). Paul Denis due Peage
Documents inedits pour servir a l’histoire maritime et commerciale de la Picardie. Gaston Vasseur (1954)
Lottin has a couple of good lists relating to Lille. Peage, as his title suggests, is about Cambrai and Vasseur, though very good and with names, is not about religion.
I next visited the genealogical library in Rue de Turbigo. This has large collections of parish registers and other genealogical material but has almost a policy of steering away from Protestant records because of the existence of the SHPH, to which I shall come in a moment. However all families are mixed and many 17th century Protestant families were Catholic in the 18th century. One of the most important projects of this library is keep an up-to-date index of every ancestral name which has appeared in any of the family history society journals of France. This is an enormous very impressive work, especially as French journal publish far more pure genealogy than ours. It was very disappointing to find not one reference to Bre(c)quet anywhere.
I also visited the library of the Societe de l’Histoire du Protestantisme Francais: This is the specialist source and has more special books and a number of register transcripts and other lists for Picardy. I had time to list material but did not have time to look at any of it –it is an old-fashioned library not calculated for browsing. Everything has to be ordered up and you are limited to six items per day so you have to think very carefully before you use up you allowance.
Picardy (the modern departements of Aisne, Oise and Somme) had quite a number of Protestants though they by no means dominated. The chief congregation in Aisne for which records survive was that of St Quentin, with its temple at Lehaucourt. Oise had been in a sense the cradle of the French Reformations since jean Calvin himself was born at Noyon but numbers were not enormous later and there are registers only for Clermont and Compiegne. In Somme there is an excellent series of registers for Amiens and a little material for the 1680s for Herly, Neuville-Saint-Riquier and Prouville. However there are also printed books on the region and there would be some Protestant material in the Catholic parish registers, not only aft her Revocation of 1685 but before since some Protestants registered their children with the priest to ensure evidence of age and legitimacy, and in the state records of the new Converts, and the confiscation of refugees’ property.
As you see I covered a good deal of material in France but I have also covered some more ground in England. I continued to search back through the very genealogical Cahiers published by the SHPF. I had got back to no 49 and continued the search back. In No 43 there is a useful list of abjurations at Escardes (Marne) 1694-1716, just east of Aisne, but in fact there were no other record abstracts from Picardy back to Cahier No 22. There are in each number various Members’ Queries but Bre(c)quet did not come up.
This is as far as I was able to get in the time. As you see I have done nothing on London Huguenot sources, nor made any attempt to trace the marriage of James, whether in London, Shrewsbury or Wiltshire. It would be important to look at the Threadneedle Street consistory records and at the King’s Bounty. It would also be useful to look at naturalizations.
I am now back on track and shall be happy to continue the work if you would like me to, in which case I shall be grateful for a further cheque.
9 October 2002
Dear Mr. Breakey,
I am pleased to say I have managed to cover a great deal of ground in the search for De Brecquet marriages. I searched all indexed sources under both D and B and looked at all entries for Br. The following is the list of English counties showing what I have covered and what I have not:
Marriage Licenses c1680-1710
1 Entry for Breakey (service & war returns)
1 Entry for Breakey (East Lothian)
On 18 February 2004 another packet arrived containing sixteen pages, inclusive of four pages of extracts from a “Register of Proclamation of Banns & Marriages” in the counties of Lanark and Midlothian, three pages of deaths in the County of Lanark, one page of deaths in the Burgh of Glasgow, three pages of deaths in the County of Renfrew, four pages of deaths in the City of Edinburgh, and one page of deaths in the County of Ayrshire, a county that is “bordered on the north by Renfrewshire, on the east by Lanarkshire and … on the south by Wigtownshire” (Online Highways).
The above listed pages contained a wealth of genealogical information inasmuch as the following were listed: name of deceased; when & where died; sex and age; name and occupation of father; name of mother, including maiden name; cause of death; signature & qualification of informant, and residence if not in the house where the death occurred; when and where registered, and by whom. After compiling apparent lineages from the above packet, and comparing them to lineages supplied the author by descendants of families of Breakey in Scotland, one aspect of the Scottish Breakey family history intrigues me: aside from William Breaky who married Janet Duncan in Parish of Lasswade, County of Midlothian, 1672, to whom two children were born [John Breakie (sic) 9 March 1673 & Janet Breakie (sic) 1 November 1674] (personal correspondence Colin Ferguson to author 22 January 2000), there are no accounts of Breakeys in Scotland until 1824.
Also of interest to the author are surnames, with an Ireland/Scotland association, long associated with Breakeys in County Monaghan:
1. In addressing the plantation of Ireland, Brian Orr mentions surnames such as Armstrong, Elliott, Irvine, Graham, Nixon and Johnson (Orr).
2. In discussing the origin of settlers during the plantation, he proposes the counties in Scotland from which they came, and the counties in Ireland to which they arrived: i.e. County Cavan in Ireland includes settlers from Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Midlothian; County Armagh in Ireland includes settlers from Midlothian & East Lothian (ibid).
3. The surname Kerr/Ker has long been associated with the early family of Breakey. Andrew Brekey of Lismagonway townland, County Monaghan witnessed a will for Andrew Ker in February 1753 (Breakey & Breakey Appendix G); a Colonel Kerr was raised in the home of Isaiah Breakey of “Mealmore House” (Breakey & Breakey); in a deed poll dated 10 March 1767 William Ker of Newcastle leased lands in Latton to Isaiah Breakey of Aghnamullen (ibid); in 1780 John Ker leased land in Lisnagalliagh to William and John Breakey, sons of Isaiah Breakey of Milford (Breakey & Breakey, Appendix F). One family of Ker/Kerr is documented as being in Glasgow and Lasswade, Midlothian within the same time frame as William Breaky and Janet Duncan (Crack).
4. The Verner surname, too, has long been linked with the family of Breakey in public records, and to this end the author wishes to document the following references.
In public records from the Registry of Deeds, Dublin we find:
Deed reference 158 408 106508 – wherein Thomas Verner of the city of Dublin, in 1750, leased to William Breachy of Lisgallinan, part and parcel of the town and lands of Lisgillan, County Monaghan twenty-eight acres three roods and ten perches of land then in his possession. The deed memorial dated 7 September 1750 was signed, “William Breakey” (Breakey & Breakey, Appendix F).
Deed reference 158 409 106510 – wherein Thomas Verner of the city of Dublin, in 1750, leased to John Breachy eighteen acres, two roods and twenty two perches of land, then in his possession, in Corduffles, County of Monaghan. John Breachy signed the memorial deed, dated 7 September 1750, with his mark: (X) (ibid).
Deed reference 158 407 106506 – where in Thomas Verner of the city of Dublin, in 1750, leased to Joseph Breachy ten acres two roods sixteen perches of land, then in his possession, in Corryhagen, County of Monaghan. The deed memorial, dated 7 September 1750, was signed, “Joseph Brekey” (ibid).
In public records from the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland are the following indentures that include the clause that the said Breakey “does agree to sell all corn and grain at the mill at Portatrave, and by default will pay William Verner one shilling for each bushed of corn and grain ground at any other mill” (ibid):
Deed reference 236/175 – dated December 1807 between William Verner of Church-Hill, Esq, County of Armagh and John Breakey of Corduffles (ibid)
Deed reference 236/189 – dated 28 December 1807 between William Verner of Church-Hill, Esq, County of Armagh and James Breakey & Sarah Breakey, both of Moninton (ibid)
Deed reference 236/223 – dated 18 January 1812 between William Verner of Church-Hill, Esq, County of Armagh and James Breakey of Corryhagan (ibid)
Deed reference 236/226 – dated 18 January 1812 between William Verner of Church-Hill, Esq, County of Armagh and Phillip Diamond, William Breakey & Isabella Breakey, all of Corryhagan (ibid)
Deed reference 236/308 – dated May 1820 between William Verner of Church-Hill, Esq, County of Armagh and Andrew Breakey of Corryhagan (ibid)
The family of Verner, or Vernour, “had land and property at Auchindinny, near Edinburgh, until 1650, which, in 1702 passed to the Inglis family…The first Verner records in Ireland are in the form of two wills. On May 15, 1683 Henry Verner of ‘Gullivenagh’, Co. Antrim, registered a will in Armagh, and on April 24 1684, John Verner left …” (Kerr). Further, marriages linked the Verner and Kerr families.
[Author’s note: for further details on the Verner family, including Thomas Verner, and William Verner of Churchill, the author recommends that the reader connect to the internet link for the Craigavon Historical Society and read the full account of the Verners of Churchill].
The previously discussed ‘evidences of presence’ discussed in this section, whether coincidental or not, are of interest to the author. In addition to the one hundred and fifty year ‘gap’ in Scottish documentation for families of Breakey, the author asks these questions:
(1) Is it possible that William Breaky [married to Janet Duncan], with his son, John, followed the Verners from Scotland to Ireland at a later date and originally settled in Antrim?
(2) Is it possible that Sarah Breakey, born 1692 in Dunluce, Antrim is somehow related to William and John Breakey?
(3) Is it possible that William Breakey is one of the common ancestors of Breakey that settled in County Monaghan on what was once the ‘beautiful estate of the Verner family in Armagh, Tyrone and Monaghan”? (Kerr).
(4) Is there any significance to the fact that Andrew Breakey, eldest son of Isaiah Breakey of Rockcorry, Aghabog Parish, and most probably descendent of the Andrew Brekey [sic] of Lismagonway who witnessed a Ker will in 1753, entered Glasgow College in 1812 for his Master of Arts degree, and additional theological courses? (Personal communication from Gene Pearson, descendant of Rev. Andrew Breakey, to author, 27 February 1986). Pearson also reports, “And only today I had a letter from the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland mentioning that on going to university, he [Andrew Breakey] left Rockcorry and walked to Donaghadee, County Down, crossed to Portpatrick by boat and then walked to Glasgow – over 150 miles altogether. What an undertaking!” (Pearson to author, 25 January 1994). The author, a descendant of the Lismagonway family of Breakey, questions whether other siblings immigrated to Scotland prior to or after Andrew Breakey attended college there, or were there Breakey relatives in Glasgow prior to Andrew Breakey attending college in Scotland?
In light of the previously presented evidence of presence, the author feels this warrants further research.
An evidence of presence relative to time and distance is that of the mention of the family of de Brequet in E. Joyce Best’s work, The Huguenots of Lisburn – the Story of the Lost Colony. [Author’s note: The author recommends that the reader link to the Internet site and read the entire edited version of the work: <http://www.lisburn.com/books/huguenots/huguenots.html >]. Most importantly, please refer to Appendix I of Chapter V (Best).
Arising from this data, in conjunction with previously documented data in this section, the author asks: (1) Were the de Brequets French Huguenots that came to Ireland with Crommelin? (2) Is it possible that two lines of the family of Breakey existed in our early family history – (a) a Huguenot branch from France, and (b) a branch from Scotland?
One concern of the author left to be addressed is that of the missing pages of the memoirs of Thomas C. Breakey.
On 17 April 2003 Ken Breakey, during his visit to the Presbyterian Historical Society, Belfast, NI photographed the original memoirs of Thomas C. Breakey (Breakey & Breakey, Appendix B). His notes relate that the second book contained “pages 1 – 109, then jumps to 200. Page 110 is crossed out and it finishes with page 208” (ibid). Of concern to the author: was this significant?
In searching the files preparatory to commencing this article, the author found two notes of correspondence relevant to this discussion:
Extracts from personal correspondence dated 7 July 1982 from Mr. Bert I F Breakey to author –
“Yes, I did read a hand written manuscript in Belfast – NOT typed!”
“If I made my notes it was in February, 1941 and received the typed version October, 1945.”
“You ‘suspect’ the ‘brief summary’ and typed copy don’t agree. Well, maybe! I may have felt some of the original manuscript was a bit ‘raunchy. Indeed it was!”
Extracts from personal correspondence dated 22 July 1982 from Mr. Bert I F Breakey to author -
“I have searched my file for a letter I had from Miss Jeannie Stewart who informed me that she had omitted a great deal of the histories (or some at least) because of the impropriety or coarseness of the language. Some of is certainly was not fit for ladies eyes or ears. That is the reason for not letting the public see it.”
“I just skimmed through the books while my pal waited.”
The author has no comment.
* * *
This report has been written, and included in The Breakey Collection, for the next generation of family members who research our family history. Whether it is absence of evidence or evidence of presence, the important thing is that family members continue the search.
Baillie, G H, Clutton, C, Ilbert, C A. Britten’s Old Clocks and Watches and Their Makers, pp. 292 – 294. New York: Bonanza Books, 1956.
Best, E. Joyce. “Chapter V – More Huguenots.” The Huguenots of Lisburn – the Story of the Lost Colony. Ed. K. Rankin, Lisburn Historical Society, 1997. 1 March 2003. <http://www.lisburn.com/books/huguenots/huguenots_5.html >
Breakey, Edward P., Ed. The Memoirs of Thomas C. Breakey of Drumskelt House Ballybay, County Monaghan, Ireland. Sumner, Washington: E. P. Breakey, 1963.
Breakey, M J & Breakey, K C. “Isaiah Breakey of Greenvale Mills.” The Breakey Collection. 2004. < www.breakeycollection.com >
Breakey, M J & Breakey, K C. “Isaiah Breakey of Greenvale Mills – Appendix B.” The Breakey Collection. 2004. < www.breakeycollection.com >
Breakey, M J & Breakey, K C. “Isaiah Breakey of Greenvale Mills – Appendix F.” The Breakey Collection. 2004. < www.breakeycollection.com >
Breakey, M J & Breakey, K C. “Isaiah Breakey of Greenvale Mills – Appendix G.” The Breakey Collection. 2004. < www.breakeycollection.com >
Crack, Joanne N. “Kerrs in Scotland 1585 – 1867.” Kerr Family History and Genealogy. © 2000: Doug Bridge Studios. 13 March 2004. <http://members.tripod.com/scotlandkerrs/ >
Dalton, Charles, ed. English Army Lists and Commission Registers, 1661 – 1714. Vol. III 1689 – 1694, pp. 26 – 27. London, England: Francis Edwards LTD, 1960.
Diamond House. “About Breguet Watches, history. brequet” 8 March 2004. <http://www.diamondhouse.be/breguet/brequet.htm>
Giovanni’s Inc. “Brequet.” Watch Information Page. 2001. 8 March 2004. <http://www.jewelry-whoesalers.com/WatchInfo/brequet.htm>
Kerr, J. “Churchill – Home of the Verners.” Review –Journal of the Craigavon Historical Society, vol. 6, no 3. 1968-2004: Craigavon Historical Society. 13 March 2004. <http://www.geocities.comm/craigavonhs/ >
LDS. “Records of a Scottish Village: Lasswade 1650 –1750.” Houstan Rab. LDS film: 6340899
Memoires inedits de Dumont de Bostaquet [Memoirs of Dumont de Bostaquet –not published]. 1864, pp 343 – 347. [Courtesy of The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland].
Online Highways. “Midlothian Scotland.” Counties in Scotland. 1995-2002. 11 March 2004. < http://www.2hwy.com/st/y/ymidl.htm >
Origins. “Weaving and the Textile Industry.” Scots Life. 2003. 11 March 2004. <http://www.origins.net/ScotsLife/weaving.html>
Orr, Brian. “The Plantation of Ireland.” Irish History & Culture. Clans of Ireland, Ltd: 2001. 9 March 2003. < http://www.irishclans.com/ >
Traynor, Pat. “Huguenot [sic] Surnames.” Fianna Guide to Irish Genealogy. Fianna Web Team: 1997-2000. 6 March 2004. <http://www.rootsweb.com/~fianna/surname/hug3.html>
 See “An Investigative Report on the Arms of Breakey (de Brequet)” in The Breakey Collection for further information regarding this comment.
 Author’s note: Scotland has a long history of linen production. In 1786 an Act of Parliament stipulated “everyone had to be buried in linen winding sheets made from materials which had been grown, spun and woven in Scotland” (Origins).
 “An extract of entries in an Old Parochial Register” given under the Seal of the General Register Office, New Register House, Edinburgh on 30th January 2004 provides the following extracted from a Register of Proclamations of Banns & Marriages dated 13th December 1824: “James Breakey, weaver, in Glasgow, and Mary Ann Cook, residing there, 13th December by Mr. John Barr, Relief Minister in Glasgow.”