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Beck family page

This is an English surname which has been present in Jersey since at least the 1830s, when William Richard and John James, the sons of William Beck and Mary were baptised in St Helier


The baptism of Harriet Jane Beck, recorded in St Helier in 1833

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Origins of surname

This surname almost certainly indicated someone living beside a stream 'beck', from the Old English Bekke and the earlier Norse bekkr. It may also come from the Norman French bec, also meaning a stream.

Early records

The name first appears in Jersey church records in the 1830s, when William Richard and John James, the sons of William Beck and Mary were baptised in St Helier. This family only had a brief stay in Jersey because William and Mary came from Somerset and appear to have returned to England while their children were young.

Samuel Beck, who married Ann in 1831, was born in England about 1803, as confirmed by the 1851 census, not Jersey, as shown in some online trees. Samuel and Ann had eight children baptised in St Helier between 1833 and 1850, six of whom are shown living with their parents in the 1851 census.

There is some mystery about Ann's identity. The census, as was the practice, shows her under her married name, Beck. The baptism records for the couple's first four children show her as Ann, or Nancy, without a surname. The records for the last four children show her as Ann, or Nancy, Renouf.

But the baptism record for the third child shows the godparents as 'grandparents Thomas Ahier and Ann, suggesting that the mother may have been born an Ahier. The mystery deepens with the marriage record of Samuel and Ann in 1831, which names her as Ann Coutanche. This is supported to an extent by the 1851 Channel Island census, which shows Samuel as head of household, and, in addition to six surviving children, the household includes Francis Coutanche, shown as step son. Another member of the household, Servan Renouf, is shown as father-in-law of Samuel.

All of this tends to suggest that Ann was born Renouf, had a son by a first husband called Coutanche, and after he died, was married to Samuel Beck with her name recorded as Coutanche. The Ahier connection is unexplained, but seems to be a red herring.


  • Beck

Family records


Family trees


Occupation records


Births and baptisms


Great War service

Notes on our list, abbreviations used etc

  • Arthur Beck (1891- ) (St Mt) son of John George and Kathleen Isabel, Lieutenant, Canadian Infantry
  • Arthur Bartlett Beck (1881- ) (St H) son of John and Mary Ann Torevell, RSM, RE
  • Henry Clifford Beck (18790- ) son of Henry and Mary Summers, Leading Seaman RN, HMS Blenheim
  • John le Landais Beck (1899- ) (Gr), Air Mechanic RAF
  • Thomas Helier Beck (1882- ) (St My) son of John and Mary Ann, Stoker RN, HMS King George
  • Thomas Nathaniel Beck (1880- ) (St H) son of Samuel and Susan Nother, Stoker RN, HMS Bramble


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