Le Gresley family page
This family name, although it sounds French, probably came to Jersey from England
Mary Ann Syvret Le Gresley (1883-1975) (St O), daughter of John Francis and Mary Ann Syvret
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Origin of Surname
Le Gresley is derived from the Latin gracilis meaning slim. It is not at all clear how the family originated in Jersey: the name sounds French, but according to one of the family trees listed below, appears to have arrived in Jersey from England, where it started as de Gresley and can apparently be traced back to the 12th century. However, the accuracy of this tree is far from certain and there are discrepancies between it and the other trees which show the same later descent.
The name is certainly not Norman, nor have we found it in any of our usual French sources, so the best guess is that the family/families in Jersey did originate from England.
- Nicholas (1564- ) St O, father of Rachel, who married Jean Le Rossignol
- Le Gresley, 1607
- de Gresley
There is considerable doubt about some of the generation links in the above trees and they should be treated with suspicion. The trees suggest that there were two marriages between a Jean Le Gresley and an Elizabeth Perree, and the children of these marriages are sometimes shown against the wrong parents. One Jean Le Gresley was born in 1708, as was his wife, and the other was born in 1740. The confusion is compounded by both Elizabeth Perrees being shown as the daughter of Josue Perree and Marguerite de Caen, but with birth dates for this couple of 1700 and 1701 respectively, they could not possibly have been the parents of an Elizabeth born in 1708.
The result of all this confusion is that the two trees below should also be treated with suspicion.
- Descendants of Elie Le Gresley, an abridged form of the St Ouen tree, avoiding the contentious generational links
- Le Sueur family on the ''Chimborazo'', the story of Mormon pioneer Caroline Le Sueur, nee Le Gresley, and her family
Great War service
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John S Le Gresley photographed by Ernest Baudoux
There is a story recounted by L E F English in his article The Jersey Men, published in the Newfoundland Quarterly - 1950 (available at Newfoundland Grand Banks) as follows: "A story is told of an old 'Jawseyman' named Greeley who had a thriving business at Little Bell Island in Conception Bay. So passionately fond was he of his ancestral home in the Channel Islands that he used his magic powers to revisit Jersey each weekend. It happened that a fisherman went down to the shore this Saturday evening to shoot for a Sunday dinner a sea duck or whatever wild fowl that chanced to wing its way in range of his long musket. Just at nightfall a giant bird was seen to pass eastward, and the hunter raised his trusty weapon and fired. The strange bird fell beyond a point of rock, and the fisherman on rushing to the spot found the bewildered and bewhiskered Jersey planter picking buckshot from his legs. "
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