George and John Foote were butchers and farmers - a family tradition which continued into the 20th century. They played a prominent role in the Island's Agricultural community - in which the Guernsey breed of dairy cattle plays a significant role.
There were a number of sailors and shipowners in the family. Guernsey was one of the major shipping ports during the 18th & 19th Centuries. George Foote, together with two other butchers : Francis Lamble and Charles Henry Baskfill, owned a number of ships. Among their fleet was the Dispatch built in Guernsey in 1849 by Henry Marquand and John de la Mare. At 338 tons she was one of the largest ships ever built in Guernsey. Another of the ships they jointly owned was the Jessie which was also built by Marquand & de la Mare in 1846.
My great-grandfather, William Henry Foote (pictured left), spent six years at sea with William Le Lacheur & Sons, rising from apprentice to Second Mate. Le Lacheur was responsible for establishing the coffee trade between Costa Rica and Europe. During his time with them, my great grandfather rounded Cape Horn twelve times - one of the most dangerous routes to shipping. He returned to settle in Guernsey, where he took over the family butcher's business in the Town Markets, and farming the family estate.
His brother, George William Foote (1853-1947), was a veterinary surgeon, and a well-known island character. He trained in Somerset where he met his wife-to-be Annie Orchard - they were married in Martock, Somerset. Following the 1881 Veterinary Surgeons Act, he was registered as an "Existing Practitioner" with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. He practised as a vet in Guernsey for more than sixty years, and saw his last case the week before he died at the age of 94.
Both of my Guernsey-born grandfathers, and nine of my great uncles fought in the Great War - more details about researching them on my World War 1 page.
Last update: 20 Mar 2004