THE BRUNOT FAMILY is one of the old families of France, which first came into national prominence during the period of the religious wars in that country in the sixteenth century. Major Sanson Brunot (great-great-grandfather) was a distinguished officer in the French army and has a coat of arms (still in possession of the Brunot family), which was bestowed on him for meritorious conduct on the field of battle. His son, Dr. Felix Brunot (great-grandfather), was born in Parish Morey, France, January 9, 1752, and was a foster brother of General LaFayette. He was originally intended for "orders" by his uncle, a Catholic bishop, but experiencing an aversion for that calling he was permitted to enter upon the study of medicine. After graduation from one of the first medical schools of France he joined General LaFayette in his espousal of the patriotic cause in America. He came to this country in 1777, was appointed surgeon in the Continental army under Washington, and rendered invaluable service at the battle of Brandywine and on many other battle fields during the revolutionary war. At the close of that great struggle he was recognized as one of the most successful physicians and skillful surgeons in the new-risen Republic, in whose cause he had patriotically risked his life, and with whose destiny had unhesitatingly cast in his fortunes. No warmer hearted and more earnest friend of freedom than Dr. Brunot ever came to this continent, and no man's service was ever rendered in the cause, of American independence more devotedly than his. After the declaration of peace between Great Britain and the "Thirteen Colonies." Dr. Brunot located at Annapolis, Maryland, but soon removed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he enjoyed a large practice and remained until 1797. In that year he came to Pittsburg and selected his place of residence on a beautiful island (now known as "Brunot's Island") in the Ohio river, a short distance below that city. At his island home he entertained his foster brother and comrades in arms, General LaFayette, and George Rogers Clarke and Herman Blennerhasset and many other prominent characters of American history. He subsequently removed to Liberty street, Pittsburg, where he died May 23, 1838. He was a public-spirited citizen, and after coming to Pittsburg always took a great interest in the growth and prosperity of that city. Dr. Brunot was twice married. His first wife was a lady of Annanolis, by whom he had one daughter, who married but died without issue. His second wife, Elizabeth Kreider, of Philadelphia, whom he married December 17, 1789, bore him six sons and one daughter. Of these sons, Breton and Casper were physicians: Sanson was a prominent minister in the Episcopal church and at one time was in charge of the church at Greensburg: Hilary served as a lieutenant in the United States army, and the other two, Felix and James M., became lawyers and settled in the southern states. James M. Brunot was the father of Hilary B. Brunot, now practicing law in Brevard. North Carolina. Susan Louisa was the only daughter.
Lieutenant Hilary Brunot (grandfather) was the fourth son and was born July 14, 1795, in a house that is still standing in Philadelphia, on the bank of the Schuylkill river. When quite young he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, and was a member of one of the early classes which was graduated front that institution. After graduation he was commissioned as lieutenant in the United States regular army, and was wounded in the sortie at Fort Erie during the war of 1812, and was promoted to first lieutenant for gallantry in this battle. After the close of that struggle he was stationed respectively at Fort Snelling, Mackinaw, Green Bay and Newport. From the latter place, Kentucky, he was stationed at the Allegheny arsenal in Pittsburg. In 1825 resigned his command in the army and was engaged in the manufacture of white lead for many years. His works occupied the entire square upon which the Union depot in Pittsburg now stands. Lieutenant Brunot retired from active business in 1850, and died March 26, 1872. He was an earnest Christian, a man of great force of character, and was very active in politics. He was a Whig and later a Republican, and served for many years as a member of the city councils of Pittsburg. He married, May 6, 1819, Ann Tankard Reville, a daughter of Randell and Margaret Reville, of Newport. Kentucky. The Revilles were early settlers of Somerset county, Maryland. To Lieutenant and Mrs. Brunot were born nine children, of whom none are living. Felix R. Brunot, of Pittsburg, one of the children, was one of the most noted philanthropists of his day.
Hilary J. Brunot (father) was educated in Sewickley Academy and Western University of Pittsburg. Leaving school he was engaged for a short time in the white lead business. In 1845 he engaged in civil engineering and assisted Nathan McDowell to make test surveys for slackwater navigation on the Monongahela river. In 1849 he went with a Pittsburg company to California, where he remained two years. In 1851 he returned to Pennsylvania and helped locate and survey the Allegheny Valley Railroad. In 1854 he resigned from the engineer corps and went to Indiana, where he married and then purchased a stock farm in Rock Island county, Illinois, upon which he resided for five years. In 1859 he removed to Fayette county. Pennsylvania, where he was engaged in farming and speculation in coal lands until 1873, when he came to Greensburg. Since then he has been dealing in coal, oil and gas lands. He was one of the pioneers of the natural gas business, and with the Haymaker brothers put down the first well at Murrysville. In 1883 he started the Daily and Weekly Press, one of the leading papers of the country, which now has far more than a local circulation. During the late war, Mr. Brunot was mustered into the service of the United States at Camp Howell., July 2, 1863, and served until August 16, 1863, when the. regiment, the fifty-fourth, Pennsylvania Volunteers, was disbanded and he was discharged. Hilary J. Brunot married, at Boone Grove, Indiana, July 12, 1855, Mary Bissell. Their children were: Ann Elizabeth, wife of Hilary B. Brunot, Brevard, North Carolina; Mary Caroline, widow of Dr. I. P. Klingensmith, of Blairsville, Pennsylvania; Hilary Sanson, United States consul at St. Etienna, France; Sarah Louisa; William B., died at the age of nineteen years; Felix R., a broker of Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Melusina B., wife of Joseph K. Barclay, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania; James Thompson, died in 1902, and was survived by his wife, Rose Latta Brunot, and an infant son, James T. Brunot; Indiana Traner, died in infancy; John Breton, of whom later. Hilary J. Brunot died June 9, 1900.
John Breton Brunot, son of Hilary J. and Mary (Bissell) Brunot, was born at Greensburg, Pennsylvania, November 6, 1878, and received his education at the high school, Grove City College and University of Michigan. At the last named institution he took a three year law course, graduating June 19, 1902. He was admitted to the practice of his chosen profession in Westmoreland county, May, 1904. Shortly thereafter he became associated with J. R. Spiegel, under the firm name of Spiegel & Brunot, whose office is in the Press building at Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Politically Mr. Brunot is a supporter of the Republican party, and in church affiliations is an Episcopalian. He married, August 26, 1903, Alice E. Turner, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, daughter of John B. and Mary B. Turner. The father was an early settler and prominent business man of Cedar Rapids. Mr. and Mrs. Brunot have one son, John B. Brunot, Jr., born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, November 9, 1904.
Source: Page(s) 135-137, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed March 2006 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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