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Gorey/Gouray family page

This name probably does not come from the village and port of Gorey in the north-east of Jersey, overlooked by Mont Orgueil Castle, but from the old French for a keeper of young pigs - or does it?


Jean Gorey was buried in St Martin in 1712

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Origins of surname

Charles Stephens, the compiler of our Comprehensive list of Jersey surnames, does not mention Gorey or Gouray, despite the fact that they have been present in Jersey for hundreds of years.

Gorroic was one of three administrative districts of Jersey (the easternmost) in 1180. The church on the hill above the village uses the Medieval spelling Gouray, though this has no historical meaning because it was not built until the 1830s.

In the absence of any clear evidence of the name coming to Jersey from France, where it is found in the Geneanet database in significant but not massive quantities, spelt Gorey, Gouray and Gourey, it is tempting to believe that the original Jersey family derived its name from the Jersey village. We are always highly suspicious of such suggestions, particulaly when the name is documented in several thousand French records.

The only variant which has an explanation in our usual sources for surname derivations is Goret, which means a keeper of young pigs. We have serious doubts that this has any relevance to the Jersey family names.

There was a commune called Le Gouray in the Cotes d'Armor department of north Brittany until the start of 2016, when it was merged with neighbouring communes and lost its name.

Early records

The name can be found in Jersey church records back to 1589 in Grouville, which is the parish in which part of the village lies.

There were 75 baptisms between then and 1802, by which time extinction in the island was seemingly inevitable.


  • Gouray, supposed old form of Gorey
  • Gorey
  • Goret, closest French variant, meaning keeper of young pigs
  • Gourey, 1607, together with the variations below, this appears in our Comprehensive list of Jersey surnames
  • Gourrey, 1573
  • de Gurrick 1299
  • de Currick 1292

Family records


Family trees


Church records


Family wills

These wills created by members of the 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

  • Philippe Gourey of St Saviour 27 April 1728 - D/Y/A/6
  • Constance Gorey of St Mary, widow of Hélier Jean, desires to be buried in St Mary's Cemetery, bequeaths to the poor of St Mary, 10s 5 December 1838 - D/Y/A/24
  • Philippe Gourey of St Saviour 27 April 1728 - D/Y/A/6
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