My Priaulx family

The origin of the name Priaulx (pronounced Pree-oh) in the Channel Islands stems from Pierre de Préaux, who was appointed Lord of the Islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney in 1200 by King John. Unfortunately he was only to hold this position until 1204, when mainland Normandy was returned to French rule, and the foundation of the present constitution of the Channel Islands was established.

Since then, the surname can been found continuously through to the present day. They have included bankers, merchants, privateers, builders as well as their fair share of farmers and agricultural labourers. I have three separate Priaulx branches to my family tree, which are outlined below.

Seal of
Thomas De Preaus

Jean Priaulx de la Chambre, Forest

Following the male line of my great great grandmother, Lucie Priaulx, leads through many Pierres, to Jean Priaulx of La Chambre in the Forest parish of Guernsey. This branch intermarried with the Mauger family of the Forest over several generations.

Jean Prios of Le Bourg d'Aval, Forest

Two generations of the above line married into the Priaulx family of Le Bourg d'Aval. Suzanne and Elizabeth Priaulx were first cousins, and married Pierre father and son ! The Priaulx of Le Bourg d'Aval family were all descended from Jean Prios, as shown below.

Pierre Priaulx of Forest, and his descendents in Jerbourg, St Martins

I had originally thought my third Priaulx line was totally unconnected with the other two, since from the early 1800s onwards they lived at Jerbourg in St Martins. However, the oldest Jean Priaulx was born in the Forest, so I am now trying to find out whether there is a link with my other Forest Priaulx branches. William Nicholas Priaulx (pictured right), a prominent island builder in his day, descends from this line.

William Nicholas Priaulx (1861-1963)
my great-great grandfather

Other famous Priaulx include Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx (1805-1891) who donated his house, gardens and book collection to the island of Guernsey. Today, the Priaulx Library is a centre for Guernsey Family History research. His ancestors built their wealth from smuggling and privateering through which they built a shipping company, Carteret Priaulx. This company laid the foundations for the first bank in Guernsey.


Last update: 07 Mar 2004
© Stephen Foote 1996-2004