Les Arbres

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This St Lawrence property is described in Vol 1 of Joan Stevens' Old Jersey Houses as 'one of the most picturesque of all the houses recorded, and beautifully situated, in a parish and an area rich in old houses'.

Unfortunately this failed to gain it an entry in the St Lawrence parish millennium book, but two substantial entries in Mrs Stevens' book provide us with valuable information about the property and its owners.

And an article written by Mrs Stevens in a series on Jersey houses for Jersey Topic in 1966 gives further information

Two sections

The eastern end of the house is the oldest, and it has a 17th century arch and a tourelle staircase on the north side. The external straight stone staircase serves the newer section of the house.

The first three editions of Vol 1 made no mention of any occupants of Les Arbres, but as the fourth edition was being prepared for publication in 1980 the initials IMH were noticed on the older arch, almost certainly representing Jean Mahaut (or Mahauld) whose family, associated with Avranches Manor, owned the Fief des Arbres until 1597. The house is on the Fief du Roi, adjoining Fief des Arbres, which it is believed may explain its name.

Mahaut family

Mahaut family baptisms can be found in the St Lawrence registers from 1655, when Jean, son of Jean was baptised, followed by Nicolas, son of Nicolas in 1657, and Jean's sister Katherine (1657- ), brothers Josue (1661- ), Edouard (1663- ), Nicolas (1665- ), and sister Philippine (1668- ).

There are undoubtedly Mahaut records missing from baptism and marriage registers, but Nicolas, son of Jean, appears to have married Elizabeth Gibaut in about 1697, and over the next 17 years there are seven children of Nicolas who are baptised in St Lawrence (Marie, Philippine, Jeanne, Jean, Elizabeth, Catherine, Jeanne) but of these we can only be certain that Jean's mother was Elizabeth Gibaut.

There is no record of the baptism of the Edouard Mahaut, who married Rachel Sorsoleil in St Lawrence in 1718. They had children Jean (1719- ), Edouard (1722- ) Rachel (1724- ) and Nicolas (1727- ). Rachel married Augustin Le Rossignol in 1742. Their son Edouard (1747-1834) married Elizabeth Renault, of St Mary, (1746-1834), the couple dying within a fortnight of each other. Their initials appear on stones dated 1805 and 1816 at Les Arbres.

There are no Mahaut baptisms registered in St Lawrence after Nicolas in 1727, and although there is a marriage of Jean and Jeanne Le Gros in the parish in 1774, and a single family in Trinity in the early 18th century, the name seems to have died out.

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