View Full Version : Breretons anywhere?
30-07-2006, 7:02 PM
I've drawn a blank on my dad's family at the moment (got back to 1793) so instead of driving myself insane, I've had a quick look at mum's. I'm staggered that within 30mins I have traced my great great great great grandad, Thomas Brereton who is listed on the 1861 census (aged 80) as a Chelsea Pensioner. Im now very curious as to what his background was..where he fought etc. So anyone who has any info/advice would be a godsend. Also anyone who has connections to us...Emma Brereton b 1880/James Brereton b 1857/ James Brereton b 1832/ all registered in Wolstanton Staffs. They were potters. My nan Jenny Brereton Bradley worked for Crown Ducal.
30-07-2006, 7:38 PM
I'm sorry I'm pushed for time at the moment but if you look at the National Archives catalogue, there's only one Thomas Brereton listed in WO 97, born Pevensey, Sussex. Have you found your man in an earlier census and do the details correspond? I spotted someone in the 1851 living in Chester (wife Sarah) which ties up with the National Archives data.
If this doesn't make any sense, I'll try to get back later and expand on this but, of course, I may be barking up the wrong tree.
30-07-2006, 8:56 PM
Army discharge papers are at the National Archives under WO 97 and discharges between 1760 and 1854 have been indexed and are in the catalogue. As I said, there's only one Thomas Brereton whose details don't tally with those you gave.
It is possible that your man's papers were misfiled and not indexed (see the Research Guide "British Army: Soldiers' Discharge Papers, 1760-1913").
Otherwise I'd tend to be suspicious about the census data. It's always dangerous to place too much reliance on census records - particularly one isolated census - unless you have other supporting evidence.
31-07-2006, 2:36 PM
The Thomas Brereton I found was born in Cheshire but is on 1861 census aged 80 living with his son and his family in Burslem/Tunstall. Does this make any difference to your finding. It definitely lists him as a CHelsea Pensioner but do you think that could be wrong?
31-07-2006, 6:00 PM
Well, I don't know what's wrong, if anything. All I can say is that there isn't a WO 97 record in the catalogue that corresponds to the data you provided. The only Thomas Brereton listed is:-
Covering dates 1820-1839
Scope and content THOMAS BRERETON
Born PEVENSEY, Sussex
Served in 88th Foot Regiment
Discharged aged 34
Basically, if you've only spent 30 minutes on the family, it might be a little early to be worrying about army records. Perhaps you should concentrate first on confirming census guesswork with some fundamental BMD data.
31-07-2006, 10:44 PM
Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I'm very new to all this and I'm finding it extremely hard to stay focussed on one branch and to contain all my info. Can you guide me as to the order I should check things please? Also where did you find the war records? I really appreciate how helpful everyone is on this site.
31-07-2006, 11:21 PM
The only way to do it with any certainty is to start with yourself and work backwards in time, generation by generation.
Let's assume you know absolutely nothing. Your birth certificate will tell you who your parents were or are. You can then get your parents' marriage certificate which will tell you who their fathers were. Then get your parents' birth certificates which will tell you their mothers' maiden names. Repeat this for each generation until you turn into a raving lunatic.
Censuses are useful for adding more information to the basic BMD data and for getting a lead on where to look for BMD data (eg birthplaces).
Those are only the bare bones - there are plenty of other sources of data to be explored.
Soldiers' discharge papers are at the National Archives. The catalogue is here -
There are a number of helpful research guides here -
The relevant one in this case is -
Read this and you'll see that to search the discharge papers for yourself you go to the catalogue search page, enter "Thomas Brereton" as the search term and "WO 97" as the Department or Series Code. You can then order a copy of the document from the National Archives or go there and look at it yourself or go somehwre else that has the microfilm.
I hope this has helped.
31-07-2006, 11:24 PM
Obviously you aren't going to order a document unless you're pretty sure it's the one you want! So I don't suggest you actually order that one (yet) but you may see why I'm suggesting that you try to find him in earlier censuses to get some sort of confirmation of his age, occupation and birthplace.
29-10-2007, 10:01 PM
Thomas Brereton, I think, is the brother of my Frances (Fanny Brereton) Please contact me is you want to compare findings
18-12-2007, 5:25 PM
Can anyone help me find more info about this lady who was my ggrandmother's sister listed on the 1901 census (aged 6)with the surname spelled incorrectly as Brearton. I think my nan must have been named after her but I can't find any other trace of her and wonder whether she died young.
Also would Cat1 contact me again as I deleted your email by mistake and have some info to send to you
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