Baptism and godparents, 17th century

Insight into the 17th-century parent's mind, from Pierre Le Roy's MSS notebook. Published in 1893, it was edited by the Reverend George Lee, who gives the original French and a translation. Pierre was the schoolmaster of St Martin's parish.

On the baptism of my children.

1. Ursula, our first born, was baptized on the 8th of August, in the year 1619, and presented by my father-in-law, John Wight, who at that time was a soldier at Castle Cornet, and had married my wife's mother, Ursula de Vick, as her second husband, after the decease of Edmund Brett, her first husband, my wife's father, who then was Captain in one of the ships of the late Queen Elizabeth of happy memory, and he died and two of his sons with him on the coast of Spain. The ship split asunder under their feet. The said Ursula, our first born, died about 40 days after her baptism.

2. William [Guillome], our first son, was baptized on the 14th of December in the year 1620, and was named and presented by Peter Le Roy, his grandfather, who was son of William; and that William my grandfather was son of Peter, and was of St Sampson's, of the neighborhood of Noirmont.

3. Collette was baptized on the 14th of February, 1622, and presented by Nicolas le Bair, who then was Elder in the church of the Castel, and she died aged one year and a half. [Pierre's mother was Collette Bailleul.]

4. Pierre le Roy, our second son, was baptized on the 1st day of December, 1625, and presented by John le Feyvre, the advocate, acting for Mr Pierre Henry, of the Haye du Puits, who was godfather, and was ill, and he lived in Town so that he desired him (Mr le Feyvre) to come in his stead.

5. Marie, third daughter, was baptized on the eighth of September, 1628, and was presented by Mr Pierre Henry, of the Haye du Puits, for his brother-in-law, Pierre Gibault, eldest son of Mr Jean Gibault, who at the time was Seneschal of the Court of the Vale. She was named after my cousin Marie Henry, wife of the said Pierre Gibault, and sister of the said Henry.

6. Daniel was baptized on the 14th April, 1631, and presented by Hellier de Jersey, Elder, and died aged 8 months.

7. Aune [Anne] was baptized on the 14th October, 1632, and presented by Mr Pierre de Beauvoir, Seigneur of the Granges, who was at that time a Jurat, and afterwards was appointed Esquire Bailiff.

8. Thomas was baptized on the 17th January, 1635, and presented by Mr Pierre de Beauvoir of the Bosq, son of Mr Pierre de Beauvoir, the advocate, and he named him after his uncle, Mr Thomas de Beauvoir, of the Bosq, who died without heirs and was a Jurat at the time of his death. [Fashion Notebook: 'Mr Thomas Beauver du Booke was buried on the 8th August 1633. He left his brother Peter a large estate.']

9. Phillippe, baptized on the 14th October, 1638, and presented by Mr Pierre Bailleul, son of Mr Samuel Bailleul [Samuell Bailleull], my cousin, through Collette Bailleul, my mother, daughter of Jean Bailleuil, of the Lande, and of Jouanne le Jerzies [Joan le Jersiais], daughter of Ollivier le Jersies.

10. Ester [Esther], baptized the 5th day of June, 1642, and presented by Mr Nicolas Henry, of the Grève [de la Greuve], who at that time was Lieutenant Captain in the Parish and Clos of the Vale, and Elder in the Church of the said parish, and Vavasseur on the Court of St Michel.

11. Joshua was baptised on the 20th of June 1646, and presented by Mr Joshua Gosselin, at the time Jurat and King's Receiver in the said year. And he was the last of eleven children whom it pleased God to give us, and of whom eight are yet alive at this day, the 16th February, 1658.

He goes on to give the same details concerning the children of his eldest son William, who married Susanne de Jersey, daughter of Job; of Pierre his son, who married Susanne Langlois, daughter of Rogier; and of his daughter Mary, who married Samuel Martin son of Jean [St Martin]. Involved were: Marie Moullin, André Moullin [Castel], Denis de Beaucamp, Thomas de Jersey, Michel de Jersey, Henry and Charles de la Marche, Jean Breton du Préel, Jacquine Hallouvris widow of Pierre Hamelin, Roger Langlois, Nicolas Ozanne des Lisles, Elizabeth Henry of the Haye du Puits, Jean Tiaust [Tiault] son of Nicolas, Mr Hérivel, Jean Martin, Pierre Ollivier son of Jean.