De Gruchy

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de Gruchy family page



Mrs de Gruchy, probably Ann, née Le Moignan, wife of Noel de Gruchy, photographed by Ernest Baudoux

Record Search

Direct links to lists of baptisms, marriages and burials for the de Gruchy family can be found under Family Records opposite. If you want to search for records for a spelling variant of de Gruchy, or for any other family name, just click below on the first letter of the
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Origin of Surname

The family originated at Grouchy, near Carentan, on the borders of the Cotentin and Bessin in Lower Normandy. The name is Viking in origin, probably derived from the old Norse personal name Geirolfr, (Spearwolf) and ey, (Norse for `Isle` or 'Island'), making a place name, 'Spearwolf's Isle' or `Island`, at the time of the Viking settlements in what would become Normandy. The first syllable in the name of the Jersey parish of Grouville is thought to be of similar origin.

Early records

Hugh de Grouchy, Hugo de Groceio, was recorded as being responsible in 1089 for the collection of taxes and administration of justice in the four central parishes of Jersey that constituted the Ministerium de Groceium, (the place-name Grouchy). His heirs or descendants may not have been always resident in the Island, as these early medieval offices could be purchased and sold. Deputies could also be appointed by the holders, or Ministers, of such offices, of which there were three in total. Furthermore, the family had more substantial seigneuries in mainland Normandy, to which they also left their name. Nonetheless, the Jersey Fief (`manor/landholding`) de Gruchy, or Grochy, held in capite, being directly from the Crown, which is situated in the north of Trinity, from the terms of its tenure, certainly dates from this epoch.

There are few, if any, surnames for which so many variations in spelling can be found in Jersey records.

In the Assize of 1299 two Richard de Gruchys are mentioned, one the son of a priest! In the 1309 Assize Roll Geoffroy, Richard, Etienne and Guillaume de Gruchy are mentioned. The latter was fined for bringing an action "hors de la Royaume", presumably at the Ecclesiastical Court of Coutances, Normandy, which heard cases involving inheritance, against Colin de Laundes (sic) and Jean de Barentin. As the latter is mentioned in 1382 as having been a previous holder of the Fief de Gruchy, the historian Guy Fortescue Burrell de Gruchy considered it likely that the dispute had involved that fief, which bears evidence of having been subsequently divided. The Fief de la Gruchetterie, the north-eastern half of the apparently divided fief, eventually passed, prior to 1515, to the de St Martin family, whose successors were the Lemprières of Diélament.

Between 1338 and 1345, when Mont Orgueil Castle was under attack from the French, Rauf Radulphus de Gruchy was among the defenders. A Rauf de Gruchy, (perhaps the same in old age), and Guillemet de Gruchy, both of Ville à L`Evêcque, Trinity, are mentioned in a deed of 1402. In 1440 Philippot de Gruchy is mentioned as acting on behalf of his wife in a transaction, whilst Clement de Gruchy of Trinity was ordained deacon at Coutances in 1490 and priest in 1491.

Jean de Gruchy, born about 1300, is the earliest from whom modern members of the family can trace their ancestry with any degree of certainty.

William Lawrence de Gruchy (1838-1920), Jurat and co-Founder of La Société Jersiaise
William Philip de Gruchy in 1875

Although generally accepted by historians to have originally been one family, the branches of de Gruchy and Gruchy have developed from the late 15th century quite separately. However, the two names have become so confused in Jersey's church records that we have listed them all under 'de Gruchy/Gruchy' in our database.

Payne's Armorial of Jersey

In common with most families of mediaeval importance, the variations of spelling in the name of this one are numerous. Its name has been written, at different epochs, De Groschie, De Grochie, De Grouchy, De Gruchy, and Gruchy. Among the various contracts or legal deeds in the possession of the family is one dated 1362, in which the name is spelt De Grouchie; another, dated 1420, where it appears as De Grouchy; and in one of 1695, as De Gruchy. The patronymic is of such early occurrence in Norman annals that, to use the words of the Revue Generale Biographique, "the origin of the family is lost in the night of time".

Among the followers of William the Conqueror to England was a [de] Grouchy [which is probably erroneous], while another member [correctly:"two members"] of the family [the knights Guillaume and Nicolas de Grouchy] fought in the Holy Land in the first Crusade. Among the soldiers in that of 1296 was Henri De Grouchy, whose arms are blazoned among those which decorate the ceiling of one of the chambers of the Palace of Versailles, [which should read:"among those which decorate the walls of the Chambres des Croisades at the Palace of Versailles"]. The French branch received a confirmation of nobility at Rouen, 7 January, 1497, [error for 1479]. The present General Count De Grouchy, son of the celebrated Marshal of that name, and Commandant of Division at Strasburg, writing on the subject in 1855, says, " I have heard from my father that two branches of our family were obliged to expatriate themselves after the conquest of Normandy by Philip-Augustus. One settled in Jersey, and engaged in commerce there, while the other sought refuge in England, where its descendants remained until they emigrated to America, in consequence of their religious opinions, which were opposed to the Puritan principles of Cromwell. This branch is now, I think, extinct, for I met its last member at Philadelphia in 1817, and who bore the same arms as myself ; he was sixty years of age, and, although married, had no issue".

The Jersey branch has various traditions respecting its exodus from the Cotentin, where several places still bear its name, as shown by the maps of that district. It settled in the parish of S. Trinity in that island in the latter part of the 12th, or commencement of the 13th century, where it acquired considerable landed property, and gave its name to the Fiefs De Grochy and De Gruchetterie. This last is now possessed by the Seigneur of Rozel, who holds the court of the fief in the house pointed out as the original residence of the family [La Chasse, Vingtaine de Rozel].

Several of its insular members have been in orders. Sire John Grouchy was Rector of St Mary in 1557 ; in 1607 the Rev Olivier Groschie was Rector of S. Clement. The Rev Daniel Grouchie, who married Catherine De Carteret, sister of the Seigneur of Trinity, was Rector successively of St Peter and St Mary. The Rev. Philip de Gruchy was Rector of St Lawrence in 1730, and one of the last Roman Catholic Rectors [error for: "priests", this being Matthieu de Gruchy, formerly Vicar of Beauvais-sur-Mer, France, living in the 1790s at the edge of Trinity], was also of this family. For a complete list of de Gruchys who held clerical and civic positions, see The de Gruchy Family a history by the Rev J A Messervy.

Many branches derived from the same source have, from a very remote period, relinquished the prefix de. Its members are very numerous: in one vingtaine in the parish of Trinity there are no fewer than 16 individuals named Philip De Gruchy, besides many others in various parts of the island. Although the Jersey family has increased to such an extent, the French branches have been less fortunate, and are soon likely to become extinct, as its present members have no male issue. [Fortunately, this did not occur. The family in France continues].


  • De Groschie
  • De Grochie
  • De Grouchy
  • de Gruchy, 1299
  • Gruchy, 1299
  • de Grouchie
  • Grochie
  • Grochye
  • Grochy
  • Groussey
  • Grussey
  • Gruche
  • Grochee
  • Groschey
  • Grouchie
  • Gruchie 1607
  • de Groschy, 1510
  • de Grochy, 1461-78
  • de Grouchy 1515
  • Grouhy 1515
  • de Grochie 1461-78
  • Grussy c1340
  • de Grochee
  • de Grouche 1309
  • de Groceio [the surname in Latin] 1089-1250
  • Groceium [the place name in Latin] pre-1250
This picture was described as being of Jeanneton de Gruchy, nee Messervy, born in 1772, died in 1863, and photographed in 1859 by Wm Cook of the Parade. After lengthy research it transpires that Jeanneton was the daughter of Josue Blampied and Anne, nee Romeril. She was baptised in Trinity on 12 April 1801. She married Jean de Gruchy, son of Thomas and Jeanne, nee de Gruchy, in Trinity on 5 August 1821. They were living at Blanche Pierre, Croiserie, Trinity in 1851. They had eight children, none of whom was baptised at the parish church. It is possible that they had Methodist baptisms. There is no record of a photographer William Cook, but E R Cook was in business at 10 Royal Parade from 1857, so either he, or a relative, was probably the photographer. Although not among the oldest of surviving Jersey portraits, anything from the 1850s is now very rare

Family records


Family trees

This is the most comprehensive set of trees for any Jersey family. It is based upon the trees in the 2000 book The de Gruchys of Jersey, (Second Edition), by Walter J. Le Quesne and Guy M. Dixon. The trees were substantially updated, enlarged and more detail added by Guy during 2017 and 2018, and remain under review.


Church records

Tips for using these links

These records may still contain some for the Gruchy family, but we hope that we have now separated the two names


Newspaper records


Ships, shipowners and ships' captains


Family histories and biographies

Abraham de Gruchy, his businesses and his successors


Great War service


Occupation records


Family wills


Burial records

Family homes

Family album

Family businesses

Advert for de Gruchy's Jersey House in Gaspe, Canada
An application by his employer to exempt Percival de Gruchy, his manager at his King Street business, from military call-up

Family gravestones

Click on any image to see a larger version. See the Jerripedia gravestone image collection page for more information about our gravestone photographs


The church record links above will open in a new tab in your browser and generate the most up-to-date list of each set of records from our database. These lists replace earlier Family page baptism lists, which were not regularly updated. They have the added advantage that they produce a chronological listing for the family name in all parishes, so you do not have to search through A-Z indexes, parish by parish.

We have included some important spelling variants on some family pages, but it may be worth searching for records for a different spelling variant. Think of searching for variants with or without a prefix, such as Le or De. To search for further variants, or for any other family name, just click on the appropriate link below for the first letter of the family name, and a new tab will open, giving you the option to choose baptism, marriage or burial records. You will then see a list of available names for that type of record and you can select any name from that list. That will display all records of the chosen type for that family name, and you can narrow the search by adding a given name, selecting a parish or setting start and end dates in the form you will see above. You can also change the family name, or search for a partial name if you are not certain of the spelling

The records are displayed 30 to a page, but by selecting the yellow Wiki Table option at the top left of the page you can open a full, scrollable list. This list will either be displayed in a new tab or a pop-up window. You may have to edit the settings of your browser to allow pop-up windows for For the small number of family names for which a search generates more than 1,500 records you will have to refine your search (perhaps using start or end dates) to reduce the number of records found.

New records

Since August 2020 we have added several thousand new records from the registers of Roman Catholic, Methodist and other non-conformist churches. These will appear in date order within a general search of the records and are also individually searchable within the database search form


Notes and references

  1. The 1891 census shows them both living at Laurel Farm, Piece Mauger. Jean is listed as a farmer and Walter as a carpenter
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