The Le Brocq family

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The Le Brocq family

The Le Brocq family name may have originated "in situ" according to historian Frank Le Maistre, who considered it derived in Viking times, from "broc" a spur of land or "bro" a receptacle made of pottery [1]

The earliest mention of the family in St Ouen is Benest Le Brocq, born about 1480. Matthieu Le Brocq was also born in St Ouen about 1510 and died in 1595. He was Constable of the parish from 1593 to 1595. Pre-1600 records for the family also exist in the neighbouring parish of St Mary. Most of the available records concerning the family are from St Ouen and St Peter and later, St Brelade, where the earliest date is 1710. The name occurs in nine of the twelve parishes of the island for the most part pre-1800.

In St Ouen there are two houses with Le Brocq family connections.These are La Robeline, where Phile Le Brocq, son of Nicholas married Marie Le Brocq in 1761, and Le Coin Cottage, where Susanne Le Brocq married Jean Le Feuvre, son of Jean, son of Jean, son of Jacques in 1753. In St Mary La Pompe was the home of Elizabeth Le Brocq, who married Jean Arthur prior to 1860.

At least one branch of the St Ouen family moved to St Peter in the early 1700s. In St Peter, near the boundary with St Mary, Les Augerez has a stone inscribed PLCT:MLB 1719. Presumably for Philippe Le Couteur and Marguerite Le Brocq. The land here was owned at least since 1668 by Philippe, son of Philippe, son of Clement Le Brocq.

St Peter's Rectory has a windowsill inscribed for J P and Jeanne Le Brocq, in 1763. Also in this parish is a record of a pew sold to Pierre Le Brocq for ten pounds tournois in 1778 "for as long as he owned La Fontaine". Another Pierre presented an ornate silver kettle to the parish in 1870, and his daughter Jeanne married G W Le Feuvre.The south wall of St Peter’s Church had until recently inscriptions to the Le Brocq family of The Yews dating from the mid 1600s. These are now in the vestry.

In 1675 Elizabeth Le Brocq married Thomas Balleine. In 1723, Susanne, the eldest daughter of Josue Le Brocq and Marie Touzel married Jean Balleine of St Peter as his second wife. A younger daughter Marie had married Jacques Balleine in about 1716. Pierre Le Brocq who married Rachel Poingdestre about 1724 was perhaps their brother. This may have been the Pierre of La Fontaine who bought the pew (above).

Pierre and Rachel's daughter Douce married Jacques Balleine in 1751. The connection between the sisters Susanne and Marie who married the Balleine men, and Edouard le Brocq who moved to St Peter from St Ouen about 1729 must have been close; for they and their husbands appear as godparents to three of his children between 1731 and 1734. It is tempting to think their ancestry was with the St Ouen branch stemming from Thomas in the middle of the 1600s.

There are more than a dozen other marriages between both de Caens and Balleines and members of the Le Brocq family, both in St Peter and St Lawrence. For some reason there is no record of the family being involved with ships or the sea.[2]

Notes and references

  1. This is one of very few Jersey family names which, it has been suggested by past historians, originated in the island, and can still not be shown to have come from elsewhere. There are fewer than 500 Le Brocq and Lebrocq records throughout France in the Geneanet database, and a similar number in the Filiae website, suggesting that the name is more likely to have emigrated from Jersey than immigrated from France. However, the family name Brocq has been very common in France, with over 17,000 records in the Filiae database. Names which it has been suggested in the past were endemic to Jersey were usually claimed as such because the author of the claim was not aware of any immigrant family. Most of these claims have been debunked over the 20th and 21st centuries, but the jury is still out on Le Brocq
  2. This is now known to be inaccurate. The La Fosse, Grantez, Le Brocqs and their St Brelade descendants were shipowners and master mariners in many generations from the 1570s until the late 18th century. Those of St Mary were often master mariners, whilst William Le Brocq junior of The Yews, St Peter, was in the early 19th century the Island`s seventh largest shipowner
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