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Deffains family page

This family came to Jersey in the 19th century, from Brittany, and probably from the Cotes d'Armor department in the north-west of the region. It is still present in the island today.


The 1901 St Helier register entry for the marriage of Joseph Marie Deffains and Anne Marie Herve

If you can help with information about the Deffains family, please contact, using Jerripedia as the subject of your email. We are particularly interested in information which will help create further family trees, family histories and photographs

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Origins of surname

This is a name from the Cotes d'Armor and Ile-et-Vilaine departments of north Brittany. It identifies someone from a locality called Fain or Fains. There is a commune called Fains in Ile-et-Vilaine. The name may also be associated with the old French for fin, meaning 'end' and refer to someone living on or beyond the boundaries of a village.

It could also, it is suggested, be derived from fein, the old French for hay.

Early records

We are not entirely confident in the connection between the Joseph Deffains who is at the head of the first family to settle in Jersey and Joseph Jean Marie Deffains, and his ancestors from Plemy, Cotes d'Armor shown in the tree below, but we think there is a strong likelihood that this is the same family.


  • Deffains, the variant common in Jersey
  • Defains
  • Defain
  • Deffain

Family records


Family trees


Births and baptisms

None of the Deffains children born in Jersey up to 1915 was baptised in an Anglican church


Great War service

Notes on our list, abbreviations used etc


Family wills

These wills created by members of the Deffains family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers 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 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page

  • Deffains : Joseph Francois , of La Tourelle, Gorey, St Martin - 18/Jun/1951 , 08/Oct/1963 , D/Y/B1/76/21
  • Deffains : Joseph Marie , Rosary Cottage, St Lawrence - 17/Aug/1935 , 15/Apr/1936 , D/Y/A/98/113
  • Deffains : Marie Francoise , nee Le Moine, widow of Joseph Francois Deffains, of La Chaumiere, Sion, St John - 14/Dec/1964 , 20/Nov/1965 , D/Y/B1/92/3
  • Deffains : Peter Paul , of Belle Vue, St Lawrence and formerly of Green Lodge, St Lawrence - 01/Jun/1963 , 12/Oct/1976 , D/Y/B1/247/40
  • Deffains : Raymonde Beatrice , wife of George Philip Merhet, of The Elms, St Mary - 29/Nov/1978 , 08/Oct/1980 , D/Y/B1/332/10
  • Deffains : Walter John Noel , of La Pointe, Vinchelez, St Ouen - 08/Mar/1940 , 28/Feb/1963 , D/Y/B1/72/72

Family gravestones

Click on any image to see a larger version. See the Jerripedia gravestone image collection page for more information about our gravestone photographs

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