French family page
Eliza French, born in Jersey (1847-1936), married John Rive
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Origins of surname
Although the exact manner in which it is supposed to have evolved, and the timing, are somewhat vague, this was undoubtedly a name given to somebody from France. We are very suspicious of the alternative suggestion that it was a nickname for someone 'who adopted French airs'. What exactly were French airs, at a time when the great majority of the English population would never have heard of France, let alone met a Frenchman?
It is also worth bearing in mind that England was not conquered by the French in 1066, but by the Normans, an important distinction then. Any of William the Conqueror's supporters would not have been thought of or called French, but Norman.
- A Rebecca French, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Allen was baptised in St Helier in 1690, but she apparently had no brothers to continue that family line.
- Samuel French and Francoise Ferguson were married in Grouville in 1763, but don't appear to have had any children in Jersey.
It was not until the mid-1800s that any French family became established in Jersey.
Births and baptisms
Great War service
- Arthur William French (1888- ) (St H) son of John, Driver, RASC
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These wills created by members of the French 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 1948, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Eliza French of St Helier, widow of Peter Ingouville, bequeaths to Isabella Frances Ingouville all real property in Kent - 28 December 1872, D/Y/A/36
- Henrietta French of St Saviour, bequeaths to Eliza Maria, wife of Peter Ingouville, all her real estate in the parishes of St Nicholas, Rochester, Strood, Wouldham, and Chatham, co Kent 29 January 1839 - D/Y/A/24