Letters to Edith Carey

26th August 2015

Correspondence on local and family history from the Edith Carey collection.

From Family Notes & Pedigrees, loose.

Le Mont Durant

16 Dec 1920

Dear Miss Carey

Many thanks for the old 'Letters; and Mr Lemprière's two interesting letters on his experiences at the Home Office. We don't get very polite treatment there nowadays. The new bureaucrats do not possess the old traditions. However the deputation obtained some concessions and ought to be grateful. I had heard rumours that the Seigneur had been on the 'bust,' shall we say, and had been in Jersey. But I did not know matters were quite so bad! I have heard of the lady in question ten or twelve years ago. I expect money is too flush in Sark in consequence of the sale of so many properties. It is most unfortunate for the island.

I came across the petition of Joan, wife of Robert Nicholas, re mills you asked me for. I have an idea there is another reference to it somewhere.

Yours very truly,

TMW de Guérin.

Ancient Petitions. No date? No. 12326

Joan, who was the wife of Robert Nicholas of Guernsey, and John her eldest son, pray that whereas they are impleaded by the abbot of Maire Mouster of Tours in foreign parts before the legates for a mill which they hold of this abbot in fee in the said isle, whereof the cognisance of this plea belongs solely to the Crown &c.

Robert Nicholas was jurat in 1358, so the date of the petition is probably shortly after 1359-60, when the lands of this alien abbey were restored to them after the treaty of Bretigny.

The Letter of 20 October 1376 is a lawsuit between Richard Garnache and Monsieur John Guilebert, Rector of the Church of St Michel du Valle, representing the poor of the Vale as holding a pledge [i.e. mortgage?] [gaiger=gagier?] from John Hamelin of la Rousselande for 17 sols &c of rent.

That of 22 October 1399 is a lawsuit between Pierre Richarde and Guillemot Beurlain the younger, for 4 denerels. I have never come across either of these two names.

From the de Garis family file.

Sous l'Eglise,
St Saviour


Dear Miss Carey

I am in receipt of your note referring to Bonamy Book Notes and inquiries concerning the Blondel and de Garis families. The Mr Reserson you mention married Marie de Garis, daughter of Nicolas de Garis, and Marie Rougier, my ancestor of Sous l'Eglise; their daughter, Marie Reserson, was wife of Peter Bonamy, son of Helier and Judith le Mesurier his wife; and Anne de Garis, who married John Guille, St George, was a sister of said Marie de Garis. As regards the Blondels, I am afraid it would be difficult to arrive to any thing correct; they are one of the families in the Island, dating from the eleventh century; there were two distinct families of that name, one spelt with one 'l,' and the other with two 'll': Blondel, Pecques, and Blondel, Gron, St Saviour.

I am also connected with the Bonamy family. George de Garis' mother, of Pomare, St Peters in the Wood, was a Madelaine Bonamy.¹ His son George had two daughters, one married John Bonamy of St Peter Port. Sara Le Mesurier's son, Peter Bonamy, married Marie Reserson, grand-daughter of Marie de Garis. Nicolas Moullin, great-grandfather to my mother, married Marie Bonamy, sister to Peter.

On Saturday next, I shall leave our Bille de Partage at the Old Bank for you, as you will find it easier to understand and though I shall have much pleasure in lending you some of my documents, I cannot do so for some time, but will let you know when I do. Being very interested in the Dobrée plates, I should very much like to see a copy of your work on the subject, if you will kindly let me do so.

Believe me, yours truly,

John G de Garis.

From the Guille family file. 

Le Mont Durand,
[.] Sept. 1915.

Dear Miss Carey,

I rurn you with many thanks Mr Kendall's letter &c. I also enclose you one from Miss Harvey. You were right, as you will see, Mrs Cox, née Elizabeth Guille, was a cousin of Miss Harvey, who knew her daughter. Unfortunately she cannot trace back beyond Mr Kendall''s pedigree. I rather suspect Richard Guille came from the St Martin's family seated at one time near Saint. In 17th century, a Thomas Guille, of Saint, St Martin's, married Rebecca daughter of Jacques Guille, of St George, & Marie de Jersey his wife. About 1704-10 another Thomas Guille de St Martin married Anne de Jersey, daughter of Henry de Jersey du Groignet & Anne Perkins.

This family were undoubtedly descended from Collin Guille fils Thomas (1456-1476), owner of Houses and lands both in St Peter Port and St Martin's. We know of him and his descendants from Col. Carey's collection of 'de Mouilpied' deeds. He married twice, firstly before 23 October 1456 the daughter of John Discart, and secondly, Collenette, daughter of John L'Ecluse & [first name unkown] daughter of Collin Le Merre. The latter [i.e. Collenette] was mother of Thomas Guille, ancestor of the St Martin's family. I have a suspicion that the Guilles of Rohais & St George descend from the first marriage. Anyway, in 1582 (Extente of Elizabeth) a rente was escheated at St Martin's due by James Guille pour John Dicart. This was one of his rentes for 'obits and other suspicious objects' ordered to be escheated to the Crown. This point might be worth looking up. According to a note of Col. Carey, James Guille the Bailiff owned land at St Martin's near Saints or Icart which he sold early 16th century.

I enclose a rough pedigree of early St Martin's family. Note the 'Bille de Partage de l'héritage qui fut [à] Thomas Guille de St Martin entre Thomas et Nicholas ses fils l'an 1509 le 20e Octobre,' is now at St George. I have finished checking Vol. 1 Registers St Saviour's. Not at all bad for first attempt. I hope your cousin will go on, he will find the next much easier. I advise more space between lines, also retyping and insisting on seeing proofs. We know our Marquand & Co. you and I!!

I hope you will enjoy your stay in Jersey. I am so sorry it was impossible for me to go over. I have had a lot of work with my aunt's succession &c.

Yours very truly,

TWM de Guérin.

¹ De Garis MSS p. 22. 22 November 1714. Rente à payer 'au Sr George de Garis fils Jean à cause de Dme Magdelaine Bonamy sa mere.'

 From the Le Marchant family files.

43, Grosvenor Place, S W
30 August 1932

Dear Miss Carey,

I have just received by second post your letter of last Sunday, but being very much engaged this evening I have only time for writing by return of post to thank you for your most interesting letter, and to say that I hope that Colonel Brousson's suggestion that Monsieur Herriot should look in at your house and obtain your valuable information about Victor Hugo's life in Guernsey before he goes on next door to Hauteville House, may be carried out.

With only a few hours to be passed in Guernsey you are really the only person who can give him the information which is the object of his visit to the Island. It would be calamitous if he was to omit seeing you in your house, for a meeting at luncheon at Lord Ruthven's would be far less useful to him, if useful at all.

My warmest thanks for your letter, which some day will I hope bring a high price at Christie's for my grandson or my great-grandson, unless I decide to leave it to the British Museum.

Yours very sincerely,

De Saumarez.

43, Grosvenor Place, S W
6 September 1932

Dear Miss Carey,

How very kind of you to have written me such a long and interesting letter when you must have so much on your hands, in other correspondence. I was much interested to hear that Mr Herriot is in possession of a sketch of Charlotte Corday, which has hitherto been unpublished. The only portrait which I have myself seen is in one of the upper Galleries at Versailles, and was painted by a young artist who had painted a sketch of her face while under examination during her trial, and had obtained permission from the authorities to embody it in a larger portrait in oils before her execution. It is far from being a work of art, and when I wished to have a copy painted of it, and asked a lady artist friend of mine to undertake it, she told me that she had failed to produce anything that she thought I would like to possess, and begged to be allowed to paint for me instead the head of General Dessaix, which is now in my collection of French Generals at Saumarez. I must try and interest my son on the subject and hope that he may be induced to have a copy made of the Versailles picture, in spite of its unattractiveness.

I was  very glad to hear that my old French Army List interested your French guests. They will probably have noticed that his battery was quartered at Valence but its depôt was in Corsica, which probably determined its selection by his family. As he joined from the Military School of Brienne, he will have entered with the rank of lieutenant instead of second lieutenant as at that College he will have learnt his drill and other duties that the class of second lieutenant would have had to learn.

Please keep my Bonaparte MSS as long as you like.

Yours very sincererly, 

De Saumarez.


48, Mount Row. 4th March

Dear Miss Carey,

I am very sorry that your bronchitis is such that you have decided to go to a Nursing Home, for a couple of weeks  - but I think you are very wise. I hope the rest and good nursing will bring you relief. The cold seems to penetrate all over the houses that [it] is impossible to keep up an even temperature.

Many thanks for the registers - perhaps you will hear more time to look them over later on.

I am taking care of your de H genealogical book which I shall return as soon as you are home again. I have found it very interesting: I have linked up a de Beauvoir item with an entry in the Sark Reg[isters].

I have also noted the Havelet Le M table whih ends with Wm le M leaving only one d[aughter] and heiress Eliz[abe]th Tupper, who m[arried] Capn M de C, m. 1815 and having one d[aughter], Henrietta. Col de H wrote his notes in 1854. I am wondering how Col D comes in the picture. Looked up Burkes yesterday and could not find anything under D.

Yours very truly,

S M Henry.




From notebook Guernsey Families 

Le Mont Durand

1 April 1918


Dear Miss Carey

I return you your Notes from Livres des Judgements with very many thanks for so kindly letting me see them. Some of them give so many generations that they are most valuable. You have discovered a new branch of De Lisles, settled in England, of whom we know nothing. Can you link on Leonard de Lisle the ancestor with the early de Lisles - I cannot so far.

I have had a long letter from Mr Nicolle. He says it may be feasible to print some of our charters of Mont St Michel with those of Jersey, if not too long. I wish they would print the Rent Rolls of the Vale Priory but that would be too big an order, I fear. Also who would have time to copy them. I don't know when I am going to get to the Greffe to finish copying the Catalogue even. I have done nothing yet but hope to start work tomorrow. I must get to the Lukis Museum one day this week to get some objects photogrpahed for my paper! I have asked to have this meeting postponed till the 24th if possible to give me more time. Curiously Mr Nicolle has just written a paper on the Jersey Bronze Age implements for the next Bulletin and asks if we have any in the Lukis Museum. I know we have a bronze axe from Jersey and I think a spear head but I don't know where they were found.

We are getting near starvation with 3 oz of butter and half a pound of meat, as bad as Germany, and then we hear Jersey is revelling in plenty!!

Yours very truly,

J W M de Guérin.