Biographies  |   Schooling
Cyril Dawson married Clara Bertha Barreau in 1918.  While The Dawsons arrived in SA in the early 20th century, Clara’s ancestors had been inAdelaide since the very beginnings of the colony.

Clara’s ancestry:

Clara’s Parents:
Alfred Alexander Barreau married Elizabeth Catherine Fitton.

Alfred Alexander Barreau’s parents:
Alexander Barreau (II) married Elizabeth Catherine Nell (Hamilton) in 1845.
Helena, 10.9.1847 – 1926
Anne, 1849 – 1868
Alfred Alexander, 12.6.1851 – 16.12.1910
George, 19.6.1853 – 1920
John Holmes, 17.1.1856 – 1926
Clara Bertha (I). 1858 – 1931

Alexander Barreau (II)’s parents:
Alexander Barreau (I) married unknown.


The origins of Alexander Barreau at this stage are unknown.

As a child I was told that Cyril used to tease his wife, Clara, with the following, that her grandfather (Alexander) was: “Pierre Barreau, the bold pirate from Bordeaux”.  Another family story told was that he had ‘jumped ship’ in order to settle in Adelaide.  And yet another said he had jumped ship in Victoria chasing gold and went overland to South Australia.

More information has been found on Alexander, which is outlined in the biographical section, however we still do not know where he came from, whether he did jump ship, or whether he was ever nicknamed “Pierre”.

More information.

Barreau Family Tree Website
Darryl Barreau’s My Heritage Website

Hamilton Connection
Alexander married Elizabeth Hamilton.  Click here for more info from Doug Wilkie.

The Hamiltons, Hamilton Family Chronicles by Dough Wilkie.
Book available: The Hamiltons 1792-1862, 1997.
Doug Wilkie email


Name: Barreau
A Medieval French surname, while popular in modern France, it is also recorded in England.   A suggested meaning of the name is “little barrel” and perhaps was origninally a nickname.
(from:, sited 7 April 2010).
‘Barreau’ itself is a word in French meaning ‘rung’, or ‘bar’.  It is also used in legal terms in reference to a barrister working “for the Bar” as is said in English.

Updated: April 2012


2 Responses to Barreau

  1. James Mathe says:

    I am from a barreaux lineage. My grandmother was a barreaux on my mother’s side. Grandmother was julia barreaux from around charleroi, belgium. Her father jules holds a u.s. patent for an elevator safety brake device. My mother told me a story of way back somewhere in family history a male was given up to the church (as an infant). Many women who couldn’t provide for or didn’t want a child could anonymously leave an infant at a nunnery. This was done by building a barred receptacle in a perimeter wall of the nunnery. A person could put the infant into the barred receptacle and pivot it around and the infant was facing the inside courtyard and would be accepted by the nuns. The nunnery basically became an orphanage. The receptacle being made of “little bars”……this person in my family ancestry was given the name “petit-barreaux” by the nuns. Barreaux is the plural of barreau……barreau = bar…barreaux = bars. Some in my family dropped the “petit” and others dropped the “x”…..and some dropped both ! Hope this is of some small value to you. James mathe ( usa.

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