Vivian family page
An unknown Capt Vivian photographed by Henry Mullins in the 19th century
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Origin of surname
This is a very old English surname, introduced from France at the time of the Norman Invasion. It was a personal name, derived from the Roman Vivianus. The original meaning was "alive or living".
Although there have been suggestions that the family which was established for centuries in the parish of St Saviour had its origins in the Vivian family of Cornwall - see Descendants of Ralph Vivian, this is unlikely, unless the link was much earlier than suggested.
The form 'Vivian' was known in Jersey as early as 1489, and other spellings are found in records going back as far as 1170, when the Latin form was recorded in the island.
Few, if any, families can be traced down a single male line, in a single parish, from the mid-16th century to the mid-19th, with no sign of the family moving out of the parish. This is the case with the Vivians of St Saviour, whose baptisms are recorded exclusively in that parish for nearly 300 years, until a branch became established in neighbouring St Helier in the mid 19th century.
The family is still present in Jersey today, no doubt descended from that long St Saviour lineage. But can their history be traced further back into Cornwall?
- Vivian, 1489
- Vivean, c1340
- Vivien, 1309
- Vivianus, c1170
These wills created by members of the Vivian family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1948, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Nicholas Vivian of Camborne, county of Cornwall, now of Sion House, St Saviour - 4 May 1889, D/Y/A/48
- Philippe Vivian of St Saviour, desires to be buried in St Saviour's Cemetery, bequeaths to the poor of St Saviour £2 - 15 March 1876, D/Y/A/39
- Elizabeth Vivian, bequeaths to the poor of Grouville, £12 of French currency, and to the Methodist Society, £48 of French currency 7 October 1829 - D/Y/A/21
- Jeanne Vivian, bequeaths to the poor of St Saviour, £24 of French currency 20 May 1831 - D/Y/A/22
- Philippe Vivian, Lowlands, St Clement - 5 April 1933, D/Y/A/94
- Eliza Vivian, St Clement - 3 April 1906, D/Y/A/65
- Henriette Vivian, St Clement - 26 February 1903, D/Y/A/62
- Julia Vivian, St Clement bequeaths to The Home for Aged and Infirm Women £50; to The Jersey Orphanage £50 - 13 March 1906, D/Y/A/65
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