Renouf family history in a 1910 Christmas card

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Renouf family history
in a 1910 Christmas card


This Christmas card, sent to Mrs Renouf, of Green Hill, Gorey, in 1910 by S Le Gresley, set the Jerripedia editorial team a challenge to identify Mrs Renouf and trace her history. Apart from the outcome of their research undoubtedly being of interest to Renouf descendants, it also provided a good check of the resources available to all researchers through our website

The 1911 census return, which was completed a few months after the card was received, quickly established that the recipient of the card was Eliza Esther Renouf, the 72-year-old widowed mother of head of household at Green Hill, Eliza Mary Renouf.

After a brief diversion down the wrong family tree - there were two Mrs Eliza Esther Renoufs born within weeks of each other in 1838/39 - we were quickly on the track of the Renouf side of the family.

Eliza Mary's age was given in the census as 46, but she was a little older, having been baptised in St Lawrence in 1862. She was the daughter of Charles Renouf and Eliza Esther, nee Whitley. They were married in St Saviour in 1862.

Existing tree

Eliza Whitley already featured in a Jerripedia family tree - Descendants of John Charles Whitley - and was the eldest child of Thomas Whitley, a St Martin farmer, and Esther, nee Beaugie. She had a younger brother Thomas, and sister Marie Sue.

In 1861 the family were shown living at Gorey Pier, and Thomas' household also included his brother Philip and sister Jane. His wife, Esther, died in 1847.

After her marriage to Charles, the couple lived and farmed at Grande Longueville, St Saviour and La Robeline, St Ouen. Eliza Mary was their first child, followed by Charles Whitley (1864- ), Ann (1866- ), Alice Ann (1872- ) and Walter Matthew (1878- ).

Charles was the son of Jean Renouf (1794-1876) and Betsey (or Elizabeth, depending on which record is viewed), nee Poingdestre (1796-1842), married in St Helier in 1817; and grandson of Philippe ( -1847) and Rachel Marett (1764-1847). This couple married in St Helier in 1789, but the line stops there, because despite research by a number of Renouf descendants, the ancestry of Philippe has not been confirmed. His marriage records shows him as being of St Helier, but the first Philippe Renouf baptised in the parish before that date would have been 40 at the time of his marriage and 98 when he died, suggesting that the right Philippe may have been one of those born in another parish some years later.

It is an interesting genealogical challenge, all set in motion by a Christmas card.
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