Homestead

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Jersey houses

Grouville:

Homestead


HomesteadGrouville.jpg



This archetypal Jersey farmhouse on the Grouville Main Road was in the possession of the Bertram family for a long period.

It features in the second volume of Old Jersey Houses, suggesting that it dates from the early 18th century, but the article gives no details about the house itself, other than to note that a roadside arch with the date 1852 is probably a 17th century construction.[1]

Datestones

There are three datestones at the property. EBT ♥ SET 1758 [2] provides the earliest Bertram reference, for Elie Bertram (1698-1760) and Susanne Estur, who married in 1722. He was the first of five Bertrams to be Constable of Grouville, the first three all called Elie. His period of office was from 1741 until his death, a remarkable 19 years.

It is suggested [3] that the datestone marks the construction of the house in 1758, but this has not been confirmed. The house passed on Elie's death in 1760 to his eldest son Philippe, husband of Anne du Parcq (1731- ), and when Philippe died seven years later, it was inherited by his son Elie.

The next stone, 18 EB ♥ AM 12 records the ownership of this Elie, and his wife Ann, nee Mourant. He was the third Elie to be Constable of the parish, for three years from 1795 to 1798; again from 1805 to 1808, and for a few months in 1817, before his death.

He left the house to his son Charles (1788-1880), whose ownership is commemorated by the third datestone, 1877 CB ♥♥ FD. He married Frances Dalton and was Constable for three years from 1823. In 1839 he was elected Jurat and he was allowed to retire at the age of 74 in 1862, although he lived another 18 years.

Datestones are often wrongly referred to as 'marriage stones', but they rarely mark the year of an owner's wedding. It is clear from the three stones at this property that they also do not mark the year when ownership passed from father to son (or otherwise). It is far more common for a stone to be erected to mark the construction of a property, as is suggested for Homestead, or when substantial alterations are carried out, which is possibly the explanation for the other two stones here.

Why the earlier granite arch should have been dated 1852, during the ownership of Charles Bertram, but he did not commission a datestone until 1877 will probably remain a mystery.

Notes and references

  1. OJH I, 139
  2. The ♥ symbol is used to represent the hearts found on many datestones
  3. OJH I, 139
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