Boleat family page
Emile and his wife Cecile Samson
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Origin of Surname
The name Boleat is Breton for ringer of bells.
About 630 Boleats have been identified by the Boleat Genealogy Study. Most belong to a single family originating in Plufur in inland Brittany and spreading to Jersey in the 1870s and to the rest of France a little later.
Three separate families have been identified in Brittany, although they may be related and are fairly close geographically. The approximate numbers identified for each branch are –
- Plufur, 495
- Brélévenez, 80
- Garlan, 40
- Total 615
In addition a separate family with about 15 Boleats existed in the Rhône-Alpes, around Bourg-en-Bresse, between 1550 and 1730.
Two brothers from the Plufur branch moved to Jersey in around 1875 and about 50 of the 495 identified members of the Plufur branch have been born in Jersey, and a further four, descended from one of the brothers, in Australia. More generally, the family that originated in Plufur is now widespread throughout France. In Brittany, the main concentration has moved to Brest.
Until the late 19th century the Boleat family were manual workers, mainly in agriculture. There were exceptions. Gabriel and Claude Boleat, sons of Jean Boleat born in Guerlesquin in 1802, were clergymen. Another brother, Jean Boleat, was awarded the Military Medal for service in Mexico in 1862. Jules Boleat, probably a nephew of the brothers, became a Professor at the Petit-Séminaire Pont Croix, near Quimper.
The separate Boleat family in the Rhone-Alpes, almost certainly unconnected with the Plufur family, was more distinguished, occupying public office in the Duchy of Savoy.
The key dates in the family history are –
- c1540 - Antoine Boleat born in the Rhône-Alpes
- c1560 - Nicolas Boleat born in Plouaret, Brittany
- c1570 - Philip Boleat born, probably in Garlan, Brittany
- 1576 - Antoine Boleat was “Avocat Fiscal” in Bourg-en-Bresse, Rhône-Alpes
- 1656 - Yvon Boleat, direct ascendant of today’s Boleats, born in Plufur, Brittany
- 1700 - Around 35 Boleats
- 1800 - Between 40 and 50 Boleats
- c1875 - Yves and Joseph Boleat moved from Brittany to Jersey
- c1895 - Francois Marie Boleat and Marie Francoise Boleat moved from Brittany to Paris
- 1900 - Around 50 Boleats, 40 in France and 10 in Jersey
- 1912 - Yves Boleat (son of Yves, above) moved from Jersey to Australia
- 2008 - 250–300 Boleats, 80% in France, and all but a few of the rest in Jersey
The Jersey branch of the family are direct descendants of Yvon (1656), Jean (1695), Maudez (1725), Jean (1754), Yves (1792) and Yves (1825). Yves (1825) married Jeanne Auffret. They had five children: Francois Marie (1845, Plouaret), Jean (1849, Ploumilliau), Guillaume (1851, Ploumilliau), Yves (1857, Trégrom) and Joseph (1865, Plouzélambre). However, the pattern of births looks strange and there might be other children.
The younger Yves moved to Jersey between 1873 and 1877. In 1883 he married Augustine L’Hermitte, born in Jersey in 1862, the year after her parents arrived in the island from St Sauveur le Vicomte in Normandy. However, the Jersey Census records say that she was born in France. Augustine was the daughter of Francois L’Hermitte and Augustine La Hougue. Yves seems to have married a second time, to Marie Le Boulanger in Cavan in 1885.
Yves’s younger brother, Joseph, moved to Jersey between 1877 and 1881. The fact that he was recorded in the 1881 Jersey Census means that he arrived in Jersey before the age of 16. He was described as a farm servant at the Marsh Farm, Grouville.
Yves and Augustine had five children -
- Marie, born in 1885 (the first Boleat to be born outside France) who married George Brown and subsequently died in Jersey. They had four children.
- Yves, born in 1888. He emigrated to Australia in 1912, married Nellie Collas and died in 1945. They had three children.
- Charles, born in 1889, who died at the age of 40 in Jersey. He married Lily Evan. They had no children.
- Emile, born in 1893, who died in Jersey in 1970. Emile married Cecile Samson. Cecile’s father was from France while her mother was descended from the long established Du Feu family in Jersey. Emile and Cecile had seven children. One daughter moved to England but the other children remained in Jersey as do most of their children.
- John, born in 1895, who died in Jersey. He married Lizzie Tolcher (known as Emmie); they had one daughter.
Joseph married Augustine Guyamard; they had three children –
- Josephine, born in 1886 who married Arthur Brown.
- Louise, born in 1889 who married George Le Cornu.
- Joseph, born in 1893, who married Augustine Le Mouton. They had three children who stayed in Jersey as have their children.
A DNA test suggests that the Boleat family originated in Turkey, migration to Europe occurring about 5,000 years ago.
- Le Boleat
Great War service
This will created by a member of the Boleat family is now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, date and reference number shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1948, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Yvon Boléat, Vingtaine du Roquier, St Clement - 14 March 1917, D/Y/A/76