De Gruchy

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de Gruchy family page


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Front row: Lilia de Gruchy, nee Blampied, Constance and John de Gruchy; Back Row: Edward, Harold and Stephen de Gruchy, at Greenfield (Tr)


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Origin of Surname

The family originated at Grouchy, near Carentan, on the borders of the Cotentin and Bessin in Lower Normandy. [1] The name is Viking in origin, probably derived from the old Norse personal name Geirolfr, (Spearwolf) and ey, (Norse for `Isle` or 'Island'), making a place name, 'Spearwolf's Isle' or 'Island', at the time of the Viking settlements in what would become Normandy. The first syllable in the name of the Jersey parish of Grouville is thought to be of similar origin. The family`s initial place of settlement is believed to have been in the former marshlands adjoining the Douve estuary, at Brevands, between Isigny and the above mentioned Carentan.

Early records in Normandy

In 1090, Raulon de Grouchy, (Raulonus de Grocei,) granted to the Abbey of St Sauveur le Vicomte tithes on his land in Houesville. In the same year, Geoffroy de Grouchy, (Godefridus de Grocei,) did likewise, on his land in nearby Boutteville, both parishes being near Carentan [2]

The knights Guillaume and Nicolas de Grouchy followed Robert Courteheuse, Duke of Normandy, on the First Crusade (1096) and were present in 1099, at the Fall of Jerusalem. [3]

Robert de Grouchy, milite (knight), witnessed a grant by Guillaume de Varennes, Comte de Sussex, in favour of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Lessay, in the Cotentin, during the reign of King Henry I (1100-1135). [4]

In 1195, Robert de Grouchy, (Robert de Groceio,) Knight, was Castellan of Bayeux. [5]

Guillaume de Grouchy, son of Richard, was a Seigneur in the parish of Kerkebu, now called Carquebut, near the above mentioned Houesville, [6] in the latter years of the reign of King Richard 1.

In 1248, the Crusading knights, Robert and Henri de Grouchy, were sent from Acre by the King of France on a mission to the King of Egypt. Henri`s son, Louis de Grouchy, became a Knight Banneret. Their descendant, Jehan de Grouchy (1355-1435), Sieur de Monteraullier, a veteran knight who had been a French prisoner at Agincourt, avenged himself at Harfleur, routing the Town`s English garrison, and perishing in the hour of victory. [7]

Early records in Jersey

Hugh de Grouchy, (Hugo de Groceio), who witnessed a deed in Rouen in 1066, was recorded as being responsible in 1089 for the collection of taxes and administration of justice in the four central parishes of Jersey that constituted the Ministerium de Groceium, (the place-name Grouchy). His descendants, or heirs, did not seem to have been always resident in the Island, perhaps as these early medieval offices could be purchased and sold, which appears to have occurred in this instance, by 1180, when Roger Godel is recorded as being the minister. Deputies could also be appointed by the holders, or ministers, of such offices, of which there were in Jersey three in total.

The family had more substantial seigneuries in mainland Normandy, to which they also gave their name. The Jersey Fief de Gruchy or de Grouchy, now called Grochy, held in capite, directly from the Crown, which is situated in the north of Trinity, from the terms of its tenure, certainly dates from this epoch.

In the Assize of 1299 two Richard de Gruchys are mentioned, one the son of a priest. In the 1309 Assize Roll Geoffroy, Richard, Etienne and Guillaume de Gruchy are mentioned. The latter was fined for bringing an action hors de la Royaume, presumably at the Ecclesiastical Court of Coutances, Normandy, which heard cases involving inheritance, against Colin de Laundes and Jean de Barentin.

As the latter is mentioned in 1382 as having been a previous holder of the Fief de Gruchy, the historian Guy Fortescue Burrell de Gruchy considered it likely that the dispute had involved that fief, which bears evidence of having been subsequently divided. The Fief de la Gruchetterie, the north-eastern half of the apparently divided fief, eventually passed, prior to 1515, to the de St Martin family, whose successors were the Lemprieres of Dielament.

Between 1338 and 1345, when Mont Orgueil Castle was under attack from the French, Rauf (Radulphus) de Gruchy, was among the defenders. In 1440, Philippot de Gruchy is mentioned as acting on behalf of his wife in a legal transaction. Clement de Gruchy of Trinity was ordained deacon at Coutances in 1490 and priest in 1491.

Robin de Gruchy, born about 1350, is mentioned as the eldest son in a `partage`, or property division, dated 1397, shown below. His co-heirs were Jean and Guillaume de Gruchy, who was, in all likelihood, the Guillaume mentioned below, in 1402, and an unnamed sister, married to Collas Carré. Robin, who was also mentioned in surviving deeds of 1420, displayed on the Baudains family page, and 1423, in both of which his name was spelt de Grouchy and 1437, is the earliest de Gruchy from whom modern members of the family can trace their ancestry. His family has been associated since the middle ages with La Chasse, in the east of Trinity.

Gruchy or de Gruchy

Rauf de Grochie and Guillemet de Grochie are mentioned in a deed of 1402, at the Jersey Archive, as being tenants of the Fief de la Trinité, in the west of the parish, Guillemet being a variant of Guillaume. If he or his son was the "Guillaume Grouchye" who bought in 1439, from Thomas de St Martin, two fields on the same fief, as might well be expected, then the link between the de Gruchy and Gruchy families will have been discovered, as one of these fields was described as being to "the north-east of Grouchye`s house". The house will have been Champs Clairs, a property long associated with the Gruchy family and, in particular, the Descendants of Rauff Gruchy. The fields are no doubt those retaining the name Clos Gruchy (T.340 and 1299), which are a few hundred metres to the north-east of the house. [8] Historians have long accepted that the two families were of identical origin. Nonetheless, the branches of de Gruchy and Gruchy developed separately from this date. [9]

Island officials

In the form de Gruchy, the family has given to the Island`s service three Jurats, one of whom was a Lieutenant-Bailiff, seven constables, two deputies, two Deputy-Viscounts and two rectors, one of St Lawrence, the other of St Peter. Prior to the Reformation, there was the "Priest de Gruchy" (1299) and Sire Clement de Gruchy of Trinity (1491). In 1819, the Rev. Jean de Gruchy of St John, after having been "for several years the minister of a French Independent Congregation", was ordained in the Baptist Church. He was, at a later date, a Swedenborgian minister of the New Church.

Members of the family have also served as clerics beyond the confines of the Island, in England, France and North America. The Rev. Martin de Gruchy was both schoolmaster and Perpetual Curate of the Chapelries of Elstead and Seale in 18th century Surrey, whilst the Rev. George de Gruchy was, in the 19th century, Rector of Little Bealings, Suffolk and was then Vicar of Stoke St Millburgh, Shropshire. Matthieu de Gruchy, a Jersey privateersman converted to Roman Catholicism, was ordained in France and became Vicar of Beauvoir-sur-Mer, in the Vendée. He was executed by a French revolutionary firing squad in 1797. In Canada, the Rev Philippe de Gruchy was Rector of Milton Sheppard, Quebec, and the Rev Edouard de Gruchy became, in 1876, Pastor of the First French Methodist Church, Montreal. He was afterwards a United Church of Canada minister and author. His brother Thomas was a Baptist minister in Connecticut and New York.

Payne's Armorial of Jersey

Arms

The arms of de Gruchy and Gruchy are identical, namely "Or, a fretty of six pieces, azure"

Variants

There are few, if any, surnames for which so many variations in spelling can be found in Jersey records.

de Groschie de Grochie de Grouchy de Gruchy,1695
Gruchy de Grouchie, 1397 Grochie Grochye
Grochy Groussey Grussey Gruche
Grochee Groschey Grouchie Gruchie, 1607
de Groschy, 1510 de Grochy, 1461-78, 1504 de Grouchy, 1420, 1423, 1515 Grouhy 1515
de Grochie, 1461-78 de Grussy, c1340 de Grochee de Grouche, 1309
de Groceio: The surname in Latin, 1089-1250 Groceium: The place name in Latin, pre-1250

Family records

This is a 1397 partage recording an agreement between the children of an unnamed de Gruchy over the division of his estate . Its discovery in Canada in 2023 showed that it had been misread in 1836 by French heralds, acting at the behest of Marshal de Grouchy. The resultant entry in J Bertrand Payne for his Armorial was also therefore erroneous. This document, courtesy of Mr Herb Reynolds of Calgary, has led to a revision of our main de Gruchy tree - Descendants of Robin de Gruchy (1350) where a transcript and translation of the salient points will be found in the footnotes
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Family trees


This is the most comprehensive set of trees for any Jersey family. It is based upon the trees in the 2000 book The de Gruchys of Jersey, (Second Edition), by Walter Le Quesne and Guy Dixon. The trees were substantially updated, enlarged and more detail added by Guy during from 2017 onwards, and remain under review.

Descendants of Robin de Gruchy (1350) Descendants of Robin de Gruchy (1548) Descendants of Matthieu de Gruchy and Marie Mollet
Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Esther Mauger Descendants of Elie de Gruchy and Marie Cabot Descendants of Hugh de Gruchy and Sara Jean
Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Sara Le Masurier Descendants of Noe de Gruchy and Marie Grossier Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth Remon
Descendants of Helier de Gruchy and Anne Mauger Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Guillemette Gruchy Descendants of Philippe de Gruchy and Elizabeth Le Geyt
Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Judith Dorey Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Marie Grandin Descendants of Jacques de Gruchy (1565)
Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Susanne de Gruchy Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Marie Renouf Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Helene Le Breton
Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth de Gruchy Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Nancy Mollet Descendants of Noel de Gruchy and Jeanne Langlois
Descendants of Matthieu de Gruchy and Perronelle du Feu Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Douce de Gruchy Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth Le Riche
Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth du Feu Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Marie du Feu Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Jeanne de Gruchy
Descendants of Philippe de Gruchy and Jeanne Richardson Descendants of Philippe de Gruchy and Esther de Gruchy Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Elizabeth Mauger
Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth Luce Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Marie Hocquard Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Magdelaine Blampied
Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Miss Larbalestier Descendants of Matthieu de Gruchy

Descendants of Thomas DeGrish/DeGrish of Trinity, Newfoundland: Was this a Jersey family?

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Church records

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These records may still contain some for the Gruchy family, but we hope that we have now separated the two names


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Newspaper records


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Ships, shipowners and ships' captains



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Family histories and biographies


Abraham de Gruchy, his businesses and his successors


The de Gruchy Family, a history by the Rev J A Messervy Guy Fortescue Burrell de Gruchy: Medieval Historian of Jersey, President and Benefactor of La Société Jersiaise
William Laurence de Gruchy: Founder of La Société Jersiaise Matthieu de Gruchy: Privateer and Roman Catholic priest, shot as a spy
Martin de Gruchy: Solicitor and Jersey's first notary public Francis Arthur Labey de Gruchy: Indian Army and French Foreign Legion officer
Brehm de Gruchy: An emigrant to Canada at the age of 14 The Rev Thomas de Gruchy: Baptist minister in North America Added 2020
Dr Alfred Nicolle de Gruchy: Colonial Service doctor Added 2020 James Henry Ball de Gruchy: Military and environmental scientist Added 2020
William de Gruchy: Settler in Virginia after the murder of his master mariner father by Nicaraguan bandits Gordon Carl de Gruchy: World-famous Australian physician and haematologist Added 2021


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Great War service



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Occupation records



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Family wills



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Burial records

Family homes

Mon Sejour, Rue de La Croiserie, Trinity. The datestone - 18 PDGC ♥♥ EDGC 32, is for Philippe de Gruchy and his wife Esther, nee Amy. Philippe was described in the 1851 census as 'architect and carpenter', and in 1871 as 'builder'. He may have built the house. He was Vingtenier of Croiserie. The datestone is a rarity because it does not show the initials of the wife's maiden name. Philippe and Esther Amy married in Trinity in 1829. They had no children. Philippe fathered a son by Elizabeth Starck, named Philippe Starck, and afterwards Philippe de Gruchy. He set himself up farming at nearby Le Vallon, featuring there on a 1882 datestone
Beau Parcq, Trinity Beechfield, Trinity Blanche Pierre, Trinity Brabant Farm, Croiserie, Trinity
Cambrai, Trinity Carmel Farm, Rozel, Trinity Clos Durell, Trinity Greenfield, Trinity
Haute Vue, Trinity Hautmont, St John L`Abri des Hougues formerly Les Hougues, Trinity La Carriere, Longueville, Grouville
La Chasse, Trinity, La Profonde Rue, Trinity La Croiserie, Trinity La Croix, Croiserie, Trinity La Fevrerie, Maufant, St Saviour
La Forge, Trinity Langley House, Rectory Lane, St Saviour Laurel Cottage, St Saviour Laurel Lands, Maufant, St Saviour
Laurel Lands Farm, Maufant, St Saviour Le Catel, Route des Côtes du Nord, Rozel, Trinity Le Catel, Rue de la Falaize, Trinity Le Catel, Trinity
Le Houguillon, Trinity Les Fontaines, Rondin, Trinity Les Prairies, Trinity Les Vaux, Trinity
Little Grove, St Lawrence Maison du Buisson, Maufant, St Saviour Maufant Farm, St Saviour Meadow Court, St Mary
Noirmont Manor, St Brelade Oakfield Farm, aka Bannelais House, Trinity Piece Mauger, Trinity Profonde Rue, Trinity
Rochebois, St Aubin Sous Les Bois, Trinity Springfield House, Croiserie, Trinity Surville Farm, Queruée, St Martin
The Elms (La Mare), St Mary The Grove, St Lawrence Ville Machon, Rozel, Trinity Whitton Grange, St John
This picture was described as being of Jeanneton de Gruchy, nee Messervy, born in 1772, died in 1863, and photographed in 1859 by Wm Cook of the Parade. After lengthy research it transpires that Jeanneton was the daughter of Josue Blampied and Anne, nee Romeril. She was baptised in Trinity on 12 April 1801. She married Jean de Gruchy, son of Thomas and Jeanne, nee de Gruchy, in Trinity on 5 August 1821. They were living at Blanche Pierre, Croiserie, Trinity in 1851. They had eight children, none of whom was baptised at the parish church. It is possible that they had Methodist baptisms. There is no record of a photographer William Cook, but E R Cook was in business at 10 Royal Parade from 1857, so either he, or a relative, was probably the photographer. Although not among the oldest of surviving Jersey portraits, anything from the 1850s is now very rare



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Family album

Charles de Gruchy and Family in 1895, St Helier, being Maud, Anna, Gladys, Charles, Rita and Percy. The date may be 1892
The de Gruchy family at Greenfield (Tr), on completion of the new wing, 1890. Jean de Gruchy (1816-1895) refused to change out of his working clothes! (Edward de Gruchy of Greenfield)

Occupation curfew cards

Curfew passes issued to brothers Edward and Harold de Gruchy during the Occupation as members of the Trinity Honorary Police [11]


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Family businesses

Advert for de Gruchy's Jersey House in Gaspe, Canada
An application by his employer to exempt Percival de Gruchy, his manager at his King Street business, from military call-up


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Family gravestones

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Tips

The church record links above will open in a new tab in your browser and generate the most up-to-date list of each set of records from our database. These lists replace earlier Family page baptism lists, which were not regularly updated. They have the added advantage that they produce a chronological listing for the family name in all parishes, so you do not have to search through A-Z indexes, parish by parish.

We have included some important spelling variants on some family pages, but it may be worth searching for records for a different spelling variant. Think of searching for variants with or without a prefix, such as Le or De. To search for further variants, or for any other family name, just click on the appropriate link below for the first letter of the family name, and a new tab will open, giving you the option to choose baptism, marriage or burial records. You will then see a list of available names for that type of record and you can select any name from that list. That will display all records of the chosen type for that family name, and you can narrow the search by adding a given name, selecting a parish or setting start and end dates in the form you will see above. You can also change the family name, or search for a partial name if you are not certain of the spelling

The records are displayed 30 to a page, but by selecting the yellow Wiki Table option at the top left of the page you can open a full, scrollable list. This list will either be displayed in a new tab or a pop-up window. You may have to edit the settings of your browser to allow pop-up windows for www.jerripediabmd.net. For the small number of family names for which a search generates more than 1,500 records you will have to refine your search (perhaps using start or end dates) to reduce the number of records found.

New records

Since August 2020 we have added several thousand new records from the registers of Roman Catholic, Methodist and other non-conformist churches. These will appear in date order within a general search of the records and are also individually searchable within the database search form

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Notes and references

  1. This area was ancient marshland with scattered settlements, adjoining the Baie des Veys, between Carentan and Isigny, where four river estuaries meet. The rivers are the Douve and Taute near Carentan, and Vire and L`Aure near Isigny. At Brevands there is the hamlet and former fief named Grouchy. All but two of the Lower Norman place names Grouchy or Gruchy are situated within 30 kilometres of Brevands, which forms the centre, or hub, of the `wheel of settlement` or rather, of fief acquisition, whether by grant, marriage or by other means. See also the Jersey Fief de Gruchy
  2. De Lisle, Histoire de St Sauveur le Vicomte, (Valognes, (1867), 52, 54
  3. Dumoulin, Histoire de Normandie..
  4. Ogilvie, Les Conquerants d`Angleterre. Ogilvie`s work gave rise to the erroneous belief that Robert de Grouchy had been a part of William of Normandy`s army that had landed, a generation earlier, at Pevensey in 1066. He was more likely to have been a witnesses from the vicinity of Lessay, accompanying that church`s ecclesiastical representatives
  5. F. M. Powicke, The Loss of Normandy (1189-1204), (University of Manchester, Historical Series, No. XVI, 1913), 110, citing Stapleton, 265, 272. He was probably the Robert de Grouchy, Knight, who witnessed in 1197, with his fellow-knight Thomas de Grouchy, a deed in Latin, recording a donation to the Abbey of St Lô, amongst whose archives it was preserved, until the Second World War. Fortunately, the deed was published in Archives d`Harfleur, (Preuves). Thomas was also mentioned in the Exchiquier de Normandie (1198), as being one of the knights of King Richard 1 of England. He may furthermore have been the Thomas de Grouchy (de Groceio), who with his brother (fratribus) Richard de Grouchy, witnessed in 1172, with others, a grant to the Priory of Saint Georges, Bohon, which is situated three kilometres south of Carentan
  6. Inv. de la Manche, Blanchelande, page 46
  7. The statue of Jehan de Grouchy, who was given the nickname "Le Père des Cauchois," is to be seen to this day in Harfleur, in the Place Jehan de Grouchy
  8. ABSJ, IV, 422
  9. The two names have become so confused in Jersey's church records that we originally listed them all under 'de Gruchy/Gruchy' in our database. Having decided that this was unhelpful to those wishing to establish with certainty whether their ancestors were Gruchys or de Gruchys, we painstakingly separated the database records.
    Many online trees start with the correct family name in later generations but drift backwards into the other. There are numerous instances over the centuries of a Gruchy and a de Gruchy with the same given name having children at the same time, leading to confusion and resulting inaccurate descents.
    Our de Gruchy trees have all been researched and checked many times over many years by the foremost authority on the family, Guy Dixon, whose mother was a de Gruchy. We are as confident as it is ever possible to be that the two family names are correctly separated in our database and family trees.
  10. Not Elizabeth Emma as shown in online trees
  11. These cards are held by Jersey Archive. Visit The Archive online catalogue for more information. A subscription may be needed to view some of the site's content
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