Origins of surname
This noble French family came from Chateaubriand in Brittany.
Only three generations of the family lived in Jersey, as refugees from the French Revolution, and there was only one birth in the island, but such is the lengthy and distinguished pedigree of the family shown in the tree linked below that we believe it merits this family page.
This is the longest tree on Jerripedia, running to 27 generations.
- de Chateaubriand
This family derives its origin from, and is a branch of the ducal family of Brittany; and the barony which bears its name was, before the annexation of that province to the crown of France, one of the most considerable dignities of the duchy.
Although not a native family, its members have been settled in Jersey for three generations; and while belonging to one of the most illustrious French houses, the late Count Frederick de Chateaubriand was proud of having been born in an English dependency, and took the most lively interest in all connected with the island, his native place, and so endeared him by early associations.
At the close of the last century (18th), the family of Chateaubriand was divided into two branches, of which the first was represented by Count Rene de Chateaubriand, father of the famous poet, whose visits to, and residence in, Jersey are frequently alluded to in his Memoires d'Outre-Tombe and other works.
The second branch had for its chief the brother of Count Rene, Peter de Chateaubriand, who was the father of Armand de Chateaubriand, the first of the name established in Jersey. After having bravely fought for the Royal cause, during the whole of the campaign of 1792, he was entrusted with the honourable yet perilous mission of conducting, between Jersey and France, the correspondence and communications of the Royalists. This delicate task he pursued with success for the long period of 15 years, from 1795 until 1810, when, being cast upon the coast of Normandy by stress of weather, he was arrested, carried to Paris, and condemned to death by the government of the day. [He was executed by firing squad in a Parisian square - Ed].
The Count Armand de Chateaubriand was one of the numberless exiles of good family expatriated by the French Revolution. Although Germany and England received by far the greater number, yet as many as four thousand sought refuge in Jersey, among whom were ecclesiastics of all grades, from the bishop to the priest, and nobles of the highest rank, accompanied by their servants and dependants. As most of these were well provided with money, which they spent liberally, and brought with them habits and manners of the most courtly order, Jersey has to thank them, in more senses than one, for the benefits that their misfortunes were the means of showering on the island.
Count Armand married Jeanne Le Brun, a native of Jersey, by whom he had Jane, born in Jersey, died 1820, and Frederic, Count de Chateaubriand, born in Jersey, married the granddaughter of Count Castaldi, ex-ambassador of the Republic of Genoa to the English court, and subsequently a naturalised subject of the British crown, by whom he had five children - Henry, Louisa, Mary, Theresa and Blanche. [There is no evidence in Jersey church records of the birth of a daughter to Armand and Jeanne Le Brun, and she does not appear in any of the online trees we have consulted in constructing the family tree above - Ed]