Gauvain family page
Juliette Josephine Gauvain, photographed in Jersey in 1854 at the age of 48. She was an actress who adopoted her uncle's surname Drouet, and became French writer Victor Hugo's mistress and accompanied him during his stay in Jersey and Guernsey. She had earlier been the mistress of renowned Swiss-born French sculptor Jean Jacques Pradier, and had a daughter Claire with him in 1826. Juliette, who was the subject of many of Pradier's sculptures, was born in Fougeres, Brittany; it is not known whether her family were in any way related to the Gauvains in Jersey at the time she stayed in the island
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Origins of surname
This surname originates with a personal name, from the Welsh Gwalcmei. Together with its variants, it is found in Brittany, the western part of which had strong links to Wales.
Another variant, probably not found as a surname, is Gawain, famous as a Knight of the Round Table.
Although the compiler of our Comprehensive list of Jersey surnames dates Gauvain from 1749, there are baptism records going back to 1540. The variant Gauvin is found in official documents from the 14th century.
- Gauvain, 1749
- Gauvin, 1668; Gauvain 1749
- Gavin, 1340
Births and baptisms
This will created by a member of the Gauvain 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 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Marie Gauvain, wife of Albert George Bisson, 122 Halkett Place, St Helier - 3 May 1944, D/Y/A/112
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