|When you get to the point in you life when you have questions concerning your past, but all the people that can answer those questions have moved on-You turn to strangers to help fill in those blanks. It's a shame that people don't take the time to question parents and grandparents about their families, but wait until they are gone to wonder who we are. I hope what I have found helps someone answer questions and help define who we are and who we were. I thank my Grandmother "Nanny" for taking the time to write all she knew about her family, her interest has helped mine, even though she is no longer here. I also would like to thank Julia Charlotte "Bertha" Toch deBretagne Hay for having the presence of mind to keep letters, newspaper clippings, military records concerning the deBretagne family, and Vicky deBretagne Stewart for keeping the history alive after Bertha died. These bits of family history are helping to compile a tree that is mysterious, romantic, tragic and loving.|
Our tree covers the Ducrays': Nicholas who was 50 when he and his wife and their nine children, then living in France, left their homeland to find a new home in a new nation. Nicholas had been blinded in one eye and in later years this was enough to exempt him from conscription in Napoleon's army.
When he became a man with a family he was determind that his sons would grow up in a land where they would not become victims of war. He chose America and this eastern Mead Township (Pennyslvania) because he had friends living here in the predominately French settlement in the Pettis area.
The family set sail on June 20, 1839, from LaHavre, on the ship NAIVRE MARIED, bound for the United States by way of Newfoundland. Their possessions included a chest containing a crucifix and some $2,000 in gold coin.
The ship sinks and the story goes on....
Our family tree is basically around Western Pennyslvania,Fairfield Twp.,Crawford Co., Meadville, Frenchtown and Pittsburg, including the surnames Ferlin, Ducray, Roche, DeVillars, Pees, Mailliard,Farrington, Widmann and Keown.This side of the family are from France, Switzerland and Germany.
The newest search for the my husbands' ellusive side of the family includes the McDaniel's from Quitman Co, Georgetown, Georgia and Barbour Co., Eufaula, Alabama. This line includes the Bennett's which are from Bennettville, Marlboro Co., SC, Braswell and Hinson,Causey, Hatfields and Hugo Stanislaus deBretagne from Belguim. Hugo married Bertha Toch, in Antwerp,Belgium, and had son Hugo, who died as a Marine on Tarawa during WWII and son James Victor, who lived as a Marine and married Odell Laverne Bennett McDaniel.
Our latest quest is to find Peggy Tucker, from New Zealand, Peggy and Hugo deBretagne met during WWII and were to be married, but Hugo's life was cut short on Tarawa, Peggy kept in touch with the family for many years, calling Hugo's mother, MOM, remembering the family that was almost hers.