Go to Brereton Home PageThe Brereton Family - Genealogy

Notes by Michael Sandford

This page is an introduction to the genealogy of the Norfolk Brereton family.

But first here are links to other pages on this site which cover specific aspects:

There are five starting points for a study of the Norfolk Brereton genealogy. I start with the most recent.

1. Duncan Brereton compiled a family tree of the some known living descendants of John Brereton of Brinton (1752 -1823). This tree contained only the descendants of two of John Brereton's sons: Charles David of Little Massingham and Shovell of Birningham. There may also be possible living descendants of two other sons: William John of Brinton and Randle of Blakeney. Duncan's record was based on two earlier studies 2 and 3 below supplemented with current information from family members. At the Grand Brereton Reunion Duncan distributed this family tree in the form of 3 printed A4 sheets joined together. We plan to place the contents on this site in due course.

2. The next most recent source are 4 A3 charts prepared by Charles David Lloyd Brereton ( 1910 -1996). These sheets are as follows:

Charles's charts were distributed to family members during or very shortly after 1984, since 1984 is the last date recorded. I received a photocopy of these charts from my mother in about 1985. I had however seen early version of Charles's work when I visited their house at Bottisham in 1960 for Sunday lunch during my first year at Cambridge. .I remember especially Charles showing me a chart, which was probably a precursor of that which he eventually distributed. The only part that I remember today was the descent from the Royal family,

It appears to me that much of Charles's work was based on the notebooks of his Uncle, Philip Harington Lloyd Brereton (1877 - 1960) who was my grandfather. I speculate that he had in 1960 recently borrowed Philip's notebooks following Philip's death. I hope his children may have some recollection of additional details of his work on the family history.

3. By far the most extensive body of work I have studied is that of my grandfather, Philip Harington Lloyd Brereton (1877- 1960).

Philip Harington Lloyd Brereton (poorly scanned at present I am afraid)

The records from PHLB consist of two notebooks and some loose papers which he left on his son John Brereton ( (1917-1996). These notebooks are presently held by Nona. I have a photocopy made for me by Rosemary.

During his lifetime I never knew of Granfa's work. My first sight of the notebooks was around 1985 after I had seen Charles's charts. When on a visit to Little Massingham, Uncle John showed me the notebooks. At that time I did not realise exactly how I could make use of the information contained therein. The numerous details of distant ancestors it seemed to me could only be handled and appreciated if entered into a genealogical computer program. I had at that time just acquired a Sinclair QL computed and had typed in a genealogical program and was using it to enter details from Charles's charts. I can remember saying that I should need to return on a future occasion to enter details from Granfa's notebooks.

A worthwhile project would be to publish the results of this most painstaking research undertaken by Granfa. The first step in such publication could be placing the material on the Web. Here then is that first step, the male Brereton line of the ancestors of Philip.

4. The fourth document is the book, The Brereton Family of Cheshire 1100-1904 by Robert Maitland Brereton (1834-1911), who was PHLB's Uncle. He was born at Little Massingham and emigrated to the USA. He published the book early in the C20. I first looked at he copy held a Glebelands, Little Massingham during the Grand Brereton Reunion 2000. Unfortunately there was insufficient time to determine its contents. However this book is quoted on Charles's charts at one point as being a source for the genealogy of the Norfolk Breretons. The book must have been available to Philip, in fact the copy at Glebelands is presumably Philip's. An assessment of this source of information should be made, to in order to understand how it may have supplied data for the work of Philip and Charles.

In June 2003 I was able to make contact with the great grandson of Robert Maitland Brereton, Ted Hollister Pope who lives in California. We have exchanged family information and he has sent me a scanned CD copy of Robert Maitland's Brereton's Book. This confirms that this was a most important source available to my grandfather PHLB and his nephew CDLB, since it deals extensively with the pedigree of the Norfolk Breretons and many other branches, and traces these back to 1100. Very Interestingly, RMB refers to the unfinished work of his second cousin Robert Pearson Brereton (1819-1894), who had done extensive work but died before maturing and arranging it. I believe that RPB's papers and letters have been inherited by a descendant. If I can confirm this, then these will form a fifth collection of genealogical research by and about the Norfolk Breretons, and being the earliest will be of great interest.

Both RPB and RMB were victorian engineers whose works last to this day. See this page for a brief account.

5. The fifth source is the vast family collection of papers, letters (1800-1950s) and the genealogical notes prepared by PHLBrereton during the 1940s and 1950s as he researched and produced the items mentioned at 3. I have only recently gained access and started to study these. They add a comparatively small amount to the genealogy since almost all has been summarised in the items above. The interest of these papers is more in the detailed light it throws on the lives of the Little Massingham Breretons and their kinsfolk. I expect I will have substantial information ready to place on this site during 2004.

For the moment we note the significant anniversary in 2004 on the 20 June which is exactly 160 years since Joseph Lloyd Brereton recited his poem "The Battle on the Nile", which had won the Oxford University Newdigate Prize, in the Sheldonian Theatre.

Page last updated 9 November 2008 by Michael Sandford