Le Geyt

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Le Geyt family page
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Charles William Le Geyt, Jersey's first postmaster, who fought at the Battle of Minden

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Origin of Surname

Unusually for a name established in Jersey for so long, we have been unable to find any information which might suggest a derivation. Given that one of the variants listed for the name is spelt 'Le Gett', It is possible that it is of similar derivation to the English surname Leggett, which comes from an old word for an ambassador or deputy - the same stem as 'legate'.

Early records

This family name first appeared in the Short Inquisition of 1274.

Payne's Armorial of Jersey

Conclusive evidence of the antiquity of this family exists by the mention of its name in the Extente of 1331. It appears also in various official documents of the Island, showing that its owners held positions of trust and emolument, at different periods, in their native island.

Philip Le Geyt, Jurat of the Royal Court, was one of those brave and devoted men, who, forsaking property and employment in the service of their exiled and then powerless king, Charles II, retired in defence of his crown to one of the last strongholds left him in all his dominions — Elizabeth Castle. His son, the eminent legal commentator, speaking of this event, says:" I can add, upon good authority, that my late father retired to Elizabeth Castle in the King's service, when the island was captured in 1651 by the Parliamentary forces of England; that, during the siege of the Castle, my father's residence was sacked, thus involving the loss of all his furniture; and further, that, by the articles of the reduction of the Castle, he was obliged to pay two years' value of his income."

His son, Philip Le Geyt, was born in 1636, and is well and deservedly known for his able comments upon the Laws and Customs of Jersey; indeed their value is so justly appreciated, that, in 1846, they were published at the expense of the States of Jersey of the Island. His biography, written by M Sorsoleil, was elegantly translated by Dr Shebbeare, and prefaces the second volume of his critical and learned History of Jersey.*

He was eventually sworn Lieutenant-Bailly of the island, a post which he filled with equal honour and dignity. He was, says his biographer, "a man of the ancient stamp of virtue; uniform in his different phases of life, and always equal to himself. In him, knowledge, politeness, and probity, were the inseparable companions of the love of religion and zeal for justice." He died on 31 January 1716, aged eighty.

Philip Le Geyt, the nephew of the preceding, was, shortly after his uncle's death, appointed Lieutenant-Bailly of the island. The grand-nephew of the first Lieutenant-Bailly, Philip Le Geyt, and grandson of the last named Robert Le Geyt, was for some years Wood-reeve to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, and was first cousin of the late Vice-Admiral Philip D'Auvergne, Prince of Bouillon. He married Jane, daughter of the Rev William Burch, Rector of St Mary, Dover, and of Mongeham, Kent.

His son, Vice-Admiral George Le Geyt is the present representative of the family. He married, in 1812, Rose-Marie, daughter of the late Rear-Admiral Heath (two of whose brothers, and their brother-in-law, Dr Drury, were successively Headmasters of Eton and Harrow, during the interesting period of the education there of Lord Byron, Sir Robert Peel, and other celebrated characters), and by whom he has had issue eleven children. An ancestor of the mother of Admiral Le Geyt, whose name was Dejovas, came over as a volunteer with William III, was with him in all his battles, and was wounded at the battle of the Boyne.

Arms

As borne by Vice-Admiral George Le Geyt): Ermine, a lion, rampant, gules. Impaling: Per chevron, sable and argent; in chief, two mullets of the second, in base a heathcock, ppr., for Heath.

Crest : A lion's head, couped, ppr

Motto : Quo fata vocant.

Variants

  • Le Geyt, c1340
  • Le Geyte 1274
  • Le Geyt dit Rauvet 1584
  • Le Geyt dit Le Maillier 1491
  • La Weyte
  • Le Gay
  • Le Jayt
  • Le Gey
  • Le Gett
  • Le Geict
  • Le Geyt dit Maret

Family records

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Family trees


The following two trees cover roughly the same lineage. Each contains details missing from the other. We are in the process of assembling a definitive tree, checked against Jersey church records. Until this is completed researchers are advised to study both these trees carefully


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Church records



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Family histories



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Le Geyt family members who served in World War 1



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Family wills


Family businesses

Family photo album

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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