My Guernsey Roots


Having grown up in Guernsey, born of Guernsey parents - it is hardly surprising that the majority of my ancestors are from Guernsey too.

My Foote ancestors arrived in Guernsey from Devon in the early 19th Century. They were butchers, and were among a number of immigrants drawn to Guernsey to feed the growing population. More details of these families can be found on my Guernsey Butchers site.

My Hawkins & Steer ancestors also arrived in Guernsey during the 19th Century from Dorset and Devon respectively.

My Jamouneau ancestors were Huguenots or French Protestant refugees who fled their home in Poitou in France in the early 18th Century.

Many of the other Guernsey families I'm researching can be traced back as far as island records exist. These include: Bisson, Falla, Gallienne, Marquand, Martel, Ozanne, Priaulx. There are separate pages on each of these families.

Tracing your family history in Guernsey

This is quite different to other parts of the United Kingdom. In some ways it is easier because many families have lived in the same parish for generations, and women continue using their maiden name in official documents right up until their death. In other ways, it is more difficult, as all the official records are kept in the island. It is definitely worth joining the Family History Section of La Société Guernesiaise, and, if you're interested in the island's history, the Guernsey Society too. In Guernsey, the Priaulx Library is the centre for Family History research. They hold major Guernsey civil birth, marriage & death records as well as parish baptisms, marriages & burials registers on microfiche. Further details of their holdings are listed on their site. They do not hold wills or land records - these are held at the States of Guernsey Greffe, together with the records of the Royal Court.

Other records can be found at the Island Archives - including records relating to the German Occupation and evacuation of the islands during World War II. The Channel Islands are included in the UK Censuses, and so the 1901 Census online includes Guernsey and a transcript of the Guernsey 1841 Census is now available online.

Other sections of this site will help you if you are interested in ancestors from Guernsey who were Huguenots, Methodists, Butchers or fought in World War 1.

If you are planning a visit to the island, the award-winning Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery is worth a visit. If you want to see how beautiful the island is, I can highly recommend the Image Gallery at the official States Tourist Board site. The Guernsey Press regularly publish articles of interest to Family Historians on their site, together with all the local news.

Other sites of interest to family historians include Alex Glendinning's Research in the Channel Islands FAQ, John Fuller's Channel Islands Genealogy and Peter Guilbert's Guernsey Genealogy pages which include family trees of a number of island families, and an index to the Stranger's Cemetery in St Peter Port.

Last update: 1 Sep 2007
© Stephen Foote 1996-2006