Poignard family page
Although we previously showed several records for this family in Jersey, we now believe that they were all Poignands. The records indexed under Poignard in the Ancestry collection of Jersey church records are undoubtedly 'Poignand'. The name occurs in various island records in the 20th century, and appears to have still been present in the 21st century, but it is probable that all these references are mistakes
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Origins of surname
A poignard was a pointed knife used by the French aristocracy and nobility, but whether the surname is derived from this word is not known. There is no doubt that the surname exists - there are some 16,000 records in the Geneanet database, and all of those cannot be wrong. The question is whether it has been present in Jersey.
We have no idea if and when the name arrived in the island. The notes below suggest that, with one possible exception, there has been no Poignard family in Jersey and that all records referring to the name should read Poignand.
Included in applications for identity cards during the German Occupation, according to transcriptions, are John Frederick Poignard, of Villa Miramar, St Brelade, born in 1912, and Winter Poignard, of Les Ormes, St Brelade, born in 1888. Winter's baptism clearly shows him as Poignand and we have now ascertained from St Lawrence birth records that John Frederick was also born a Poignand.
There is a photograph on Jerripedia's Grandfather clocks page of a long-case clock attributed to Poignard in 1750, but perhaps this should be Poignand. What is believed to be a definitive list of clockmakers in the island features three Poignands, but there is no reference to Poignard.
A De La Taste family tree in Payne's Armorial of Jersey shows a marriage of Leonora de La Taste to Louis Poignard, but baptism records for their children in the early 1800s show that he was definitely Louis Poignand, and she was baptised Leonore.
John Jean's book Jersey Sailing Ships lists John Poignard (1849- ) as an ordinary seaman on the Evelyn and Warrior, but he does not appear in any parish birth or baptism records.
Ancestry's census transcriptions shows a Poignard family living at Grove Farm, St Lawrence, in 1891, but the handwritten entries are undoubtedly Poignand. The same is true for the 'Poignard' family living in St Peter in 1871. The index for these entries has now been changed to 'Poignard', but should also be Poignand.
There are 20 individual census entries now transcribed as Poignard, but analysis of the original sheets shows that all should be Poignand, including the oldest, in the 1841 census - Frenchman Lachaine 'Prignano', also wrongly changed to Poignard.
There are only two Poignards in Ancestry family trees shown to have been born in Jersey. Mabel Louise, who married Hedley Pallot is shown as the daughter of John Francis Poignand, and the Caroline Poignard who married Auguste Louis Allix in 1867 was definitely a Poignand.
There are four wills registered under Poignard for people known to have been baptised Poignand, and the digital Roll of Honour for the Great War identifies a casualty as Private John Francis Poignard, whereas the photograph of his gravestone shows clearly that he was Poignand.
The two Poignards shown in the digital Roll of Service were also correctly identified in the official version in 1919 as Poignand.
There are four Poignards in our database of funeral directors' registers, but on closer examination they are also proved to have been Poignands.
There were no Poignards in the online Jersey telephone directory in 2017, but the Jersey Evening Post published a letter to the editor from an Alan Poignard in 2009. This, the most recent reference to Poignard in Jersey, is the only one which we have not been able to disprove.
- Poignand - despite the similar spelling it is believed that this is a distinct surname, with different derivation