Our Family Forest
The LaBrune Family

Our Family History

Philip and Ann LaBrune were born in France in 1794 and 1793, respectively. They emigrated with at least three sons, and possibly a daughter sometime in the 1830s. The earliest record I have found of them is the 1840 census of Clermont county, in southern Ohio, near Stonelick township. (Stonelick township is 17 miles east of Cincinnati, Ohio, on the East Fork of the Little Miami river, about 10 miles from the Ohio river and the Kentucky border.) With Philip and Ann in Ohio in 1840 were George (b. 1824 in France), another son 10 to 15 years old (presumably born in France), Nicholas (b. 1831 in France), and a daughter less than 5 years old. Another son, Jean-Baptiste, was born in Ohio that year, after the census. They may have been farmers.

By 1846, the family had moved to Dubuque county, Iowa, on the Mississippi river. (George was married there in 1846.) This region had historically had a large French population because it had been a French territory (prior to about 1800?) and had been an excellent trapping and trading area, a common livelihood of Frenchmen at the time. As the population grew, the land was used for farming. The 1850 census finds Philip and Ann in Jefferson township, 10 miles northwest of Dubuque city. 10 year old Jean-Baptiste, 19 year old Nicholas, and George's family are all living in their house. Both George and Philip are farmers. Philip and Ann passed away in the 1860s. Ann is buried at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rickardsville. We don't yet know what became of the other son and daughter counted in the 1840 Ohio census. Nor do we know what became of Nicholas after 1850.

George married Martha Breault (b. 1828 in Canada) in 1846. (Her name has also been Mathilda and Mary, and her last name has been Bron and Brow in different records.) Their children were Mary (1847), Celina (1850), Josephine (1852), Caroline (1854), George Nicolas (1856), John P. (1858), Joseph Daniel (1860), Adeline (1864), and Mathilda (1866). Caroline married Amab Cousley, proprietor of the Seven-Mile House at Julien Station, and also of French descent. George Nicolas married Adeline Crevier, possibly in the Sioux City area in the mid 1880s, as this is where their children were born and they died there in 1932 and 1929, respectively. The Creviers and LaBrunes were neighbors in Jefferson township in an 1870 plat map. Joseph married Josephine Limoges, a French Canadian, in Jefferson township, but they also headed toward Sioux City, as most of their children were baptized at St. Peter's Catholic church in Union county, South Dakota. In 1880, Martha and daughter Mathilda are the only ones at home. George probably died in the 1870s. My last record of Martha is living with her son John P. and the family of daughter Mathilda LaBrune Schwind in 1900.

Jean-Baptiste remained in Jefferson township until his death, sometime after 1925. In 1858 he married Catherine Dooley, born in Ireland in 1833. They lived with his parents, possibly until the elder LaBrunes' deaths in the 1860s. They had 4 children: John Philip (1859), Anastasia (1863), Mary (1864), and Daniel J. (1869). Sometime between 1885 and 1895 they also adopted Lydia (b. 1882). [I'm guessing that some tragedy befell one of the neighbors, and the LaBrunes decided to adopt the young daughter. According to the 1925 state census, Lydia's mother's maiden name was Maxwell. This is the name of one of the LaBrune's neighbors.  Near the LaBrunes, a Lydia Schaumberger owns a large piece of land in 1906.  I'm guessing that a LaBrune neighbor married a Schaumberg, they had children, the parents died, and the LaBrunes adopted Lydia.] According to the 1880 US census, Baptiste and Catharine owned $10,000 in real estate and $1300 in other assets. This is much larger than the assets shown for Philip and Anne ten years earlier, and is a lot of money compared to most families I've seen in the census. This family was doing well, financially. John married Lizzie Rooney in 1880. Mary died at the age of 19 in 1883. Daniel was last seen living with his father on the farm in 1900.  Adopted daughter Lydia married Frank Schirmer in 1900. Catherine died in 1899, and was buried at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Rickardsville, Iowa. Jean-Baptiste was living with Lydia and her family in 1925.  He died in 1930 and is buried at St. Joseph's cemetery in Rickardsville.

Anastasia was living with the family of her uncle, William Dooley, in St. Louis in 1880. This is where she met James Hogan, a nephew of William's wife and her future husband.  [Read more about Anastasia and her descendants on the Hogan page.]

Name spellings

The name is most often LaBrune, but I have seen census spellings of LaBroon, LaBrun, and LaBruner, too.

Copyright © Michael Cushing.

labrune.shtm last updated 11 March 2015