Family tree index
At 21 September 2023 the number of trees was
Jerripedia has the largest online collection of Jersey family trees, all of which have been subject to rigorous checks. In 2018 we started a major programme of checking trees, adding further details where possible and making any necessary corrections. The process continues, and a further major review in 2022 resulted in the deletion of some trees which duplicated information found in a more comprehensive and more accurate tree for the same descendancy. We have not actually deleted the page, just its content, so that any researchers who may have bookmarked these trees will be able to find their way to the replacements. Notes to this effect were added to the tinted box at the top right of the tree which has been retained.
You can also click on the History tab at the top of the page to check on the progress of any tree since it was first added.
Not only has this work enabled us to add considerable extra information to many trees which have been on the site for some time, some over 12 years, but we have also been able to correct errors, expand some trees, establish links between others, and add a number of new trees. We don't guarantee that our trees are 100% accurate - that would not be possible - but we are confident that they have been subjected to more detailed examination than any others online, and can be considered as reliable as is possible for any trees going back as many centuries as many of ours do.
Trees for a small number of large families are still being cross-checked as time permits, and new trees are being received all the time. We don't just accept the trees we are sent. We check them!
2018-2023 family tree reviews - what have our reviews accomplished and what is happening now?
It is always open to site users to add details from their own research. Additions are welcome at any time, but please follow the site policy of contacting us before changing anything in existing trees.
Origins of names
The derivation of many of the surnames is explained in our family pages and others can be found in an article by George Balleine, and further articles have been added on Old family names of the Channel Islands and Jersey names of French origin. However, just because a Jersey's ancestor's name sounds French, does not mean that it is necessarily a long-established island surname, or even originates in France. Read The perils of French sounding names.
Jersey was a French-speaking island (both true French and the Jerriais patois) until well into the 19th century. Some country families did not have English as their main language until the late 20th century and the business of the States and publication of its laws were in French until early in that century. Consequently, the vast majority of children born in the island were given French personal names to go with their, largely, French surnames. This only began to change in the 19th century. As far as possible the members of the family trees in this section of Jerripedia are shown with the names they were baptised with, but if these trees have been copied by those who submitted them from trees published elsewhere, it is possible that anglicised versions of the correct French names will have been used.
Dates given in the family trees are for birth and death, where known, but might be for baptism and burial. These events almost always followed birth and death within a week, but sometimes baptisms may have been delayed, usually only by a few weeks, but perhaps longer if the parents were away from Jersey and had one or more children baptised there on their return.
We rarely indicate in a tree that dates are approximate because this might lead researchers to believe that other dates are accurate: all dates, particularly pre-1650, should be treated as approximate.
Beware of dates which look too evenly spaced to be true - they probably are not. Children in a large family were rarely born every second year; nor did son follow father, and grandfather and great-grandfather at exact intervals of 20, 25 or 30 years. When you encounter such regular gaps it is likely that this is an attempt by a researcher to show approximate dates within a known timespan for several generations.
Do not assume that two or more children in a family who are shown as having the same birth year are necessarily twins, triplets, etc. Again, this may be because the author of the tree does not know exactly when they were born. When we are happy that two children were twins, we add this to the tree.
Jerripedia's trees come from a wide variety of sources. The earliest added to the site in 2010 resulted from the research by members of the original editorial team into their own ancestry. Trees from Payne's Armorial of Jersey were added next, and since then there has been a steady flow of trees submitted by Jerripedia users, or assembled by us from parish records.
Wherever possible trees have been cross-checked with other sources, including (since 2012) our database of church records of baptisms, marriages and burials. We also cross-reference submitted trees with online sources, but never rely exclusively on online trees, unless they have been compiled by a small number of researchers into Channel Island families, in whose work we have total confidence.
We have researched a substantial number of trees from the family history section of Jersey Archive and the library of La Société Jersiaise. Many of these have been deposited by individual researchers, whereas others are the results of work by members of the research teams of the Channel Island Family History Society and La Société. These trees are treated in the same way as submitted trees and are checked with other sources wherever possible.
We have not always listed sources within individual trees, partly because the software on which this site is based does not lend itself to the same approach as that adopted by Ancestry (for example), but mainly because the work involved would detract from our objective, which is to provide as many family trees as we possibly can, in a format which is easy to consult and to levels of accuracy which meet our high standards. However, a revision of our software in 2018 has now made it easier to add notes and sources to trees, and we are progressively doing so for existing trees, as well as trying to provide much more background information for new trees.
Although we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our family trees, they should be treated with the same degree of healthy scepticism as any other genealogical information on the Web. But there are two important differences between our trees and those you will find on other sites. First: our site is available for everybody to view with no charge. Second: all our trees are now checked before they are posted, or immediately after they have been added by contributors who are not part of our editorial team. They are checked against other online trees, against church and public registry records, against census returns, and any other relevant records.
When trees, or sections of a tree, are believed to be particularly suspect, a note is added to the tree. Sometimes those notes invite researchers to treat the trees with extreme caution, and it might be questioned why they have then been included in the site.
The answer is that anybody is entitled, as a registered user, to add any content to the site. When family historians prefer to send their trees to Jerripedia's editoral team for formatting and addition to the site, we believe that they are entitled to expect that their material will be included as if they had added it themselves. The editorial team reserves the privilege, however, to add cautionary notes to any tree, however it has been submitted.
If Jerripedia editors had to guarantee the accuracy of every tree presented, there would be no trees on the site. They are presented as a guide to family historians, who should always attempt to find as many alternative sources as possible and to get back to primary records where they exist.
We embarked on a further major review of trees in late 2022, and we have made a significant change to the site's policy. We were previously happy to have two or more trees covering essentially the same descent, submitted by different users. But as the site has grown over the years and the number of trees has exceeded 3,500, this policy has led to complications and made research difficult. Two or more identical or very similar trees may have been updated separately over ten years or more and details added to one would not be found in the other(s), and vice versa.
Although we have always felt that we had a duty to tree contributors to retain their work, even if it had been overtaken by subsequent research, and more detailed, possibly more accurate trees, there are very few among the 3,500 trees which remain as originally posted. Our trees have two distinct differences from personal trees posted to Ancestry and other subscription sites. They are more accurate and they can be edited by any Jerripedia user, whereas other online trees are the sole preserve of the original poster and owner. Jerripedia trees are not 'owned' - they shared among all its users.
We have come to the somewhat reluctant conclusion that there is little point in retaining versions of trees which are no longer being reviewed and updated, in favour of more extensive and accurate trees covering the same descendancy, and we have embarked on a process of removing trees which now sadly complicate the work of researchers. This process will probably eventually affect up to ten per cent of the total number of trees. They are not being entirely lost - the page remains with a redirection to the newer, better trees, but without the original content. That, too, could be resurrected if a tree's original poster had a strong reason to wish that to be done.
But links to these trees are being removed from family pages and tree indexes.
If you believe that you have identified any errors in our trees, please do not make changes yourself (except to correct an obvious typographical error) but click on the 'Discussion' tab at the top of the page and leave the information you have (or send it to firstname.lastname@example.org - please use Jerripedia as the subject of your email). This will be picked up by site editors and either the changes you suggest will be made to the relevant pages, or you will be contacted by email for further discussion. This does not prevent anyone registered as a contributor adding new trees by creating a link under the appropriate family page, but please do not do so if it is simply a copy of all or part of an existing tree. See Adding your family tree for guidance.
When new trees are now added to the site, links are created backwards and forwards with trees containing spouses, or other relations. This did not happen in the early days of Jerripedia and we embarked on the lengthy process of creating links between over 3,200 trees in the site. Where the spouse of a member of one tree can be identified in their own family's tree, a link is created in each direction.
This is a very time-consuming process, and we have stopped the process of working through from A to Z, partly because we believe that it is of greater value to our users to concentrate on the addition of new trees and establish links to them while they are being processed, and partly because many new trees were added earlier in the A-Z index than we were reaching by working down the index. On opening older trees to insert links to new ones, we often take the opportunity to link to other existing trees, where we know that relationships exist. Also, when we access an old tree, we are taking the opportunity to format it to match our new style, and open it to make other necessary changes.
It is important to note that when the name of an individual shown as a spouse in one tree is also found in their own family tree, it cannot always be certain that they are one and the same person. If both trees show the same names and dates in the marriage, it can be reasonably assumed that they are the same people. Where full correspondence of names and dates is not available the link will be qualified as either possible or probable, depending on the amount of information available. Researchers who come across a link they believe to be inaccurate are asked to please draw the attention of the editor to the problem by leaving a message under the appropriate page's 'discussion' tab.
Treatment of new material
- Important note
Our policy in the past has been to create new trees, even when submitted trees are more or less a mirror copy of existing trees, but we have decided to change this approach from June 2018. We are now more likely to add any information which is new to expand an existing tree. Only when there is a substantial amount of new information will we create a new tree.
Not only will this reduce the workload of our editorial team, but it will help to reduce the number of trees researchers need to study to obtain all the available information for a family lineage. We will not delete any existing trees which overlap, but the policy change will affect most new trees submitted to us.
That does not mean that new trees are any less welcome, and if submitters are anxious that they should be included in full rather than new information being added to other trees, their wishes will be respected.