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Buesnel family page


A Buesnel family picnic early in the 20th century

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Origin of Surname

Various theories exist for the origins of this name. Busnel is a common name in Normandy and Brittany and is believed to have possibly derived from Burnel, another common name in this area, and in turn from Brunel, and brun, the French for brown. Alternatively it is suggested that it could come from the Nordic 'Bjorn' (the bear), or the Scandinavian name Burnouf.

Another argument has the name as a diminutive form of the French buse, a bird of prey of the falcon family. A coat of arms granted to the Busnel family of Brittany is recorded in Riestap's Armorial General and depicts a black buzzard on a silver shield.

Early records

Although it is quite often suggested that this name arrived in Jersey with 17th century Huguenot refugees, it was actually present in the island at least a century earlier, making it more likely that the first Huguenot Buesnel, if there were any, arrived with the first wave of refugees following the Massacre of St Bartholomew in 1572. There are no Buesnels listed in the 17th century Abjurations.

However, it is certain that the Buesnel family was established in the island well before, the first baptism being registered in St Saviour in 1540 - that of Perronelle, daughter of Collas and Collette.


  • Busnel
  • Buesnel
  • Busnell

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