Some notes on the Le Moignan family

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By George F Le Feuvre, 1972

The cradle of the Jersey family of Le Moignan was the district of Le Mourier in the parish of St John. The first mention of the name appears in the Jersey Extente, one of the rolls or registers of Crown Revenues, of the year 1331, so it may be assumed with certainty that the family has been established in the island of Jersey for upwards of 600 years.

Meaning of name

The Channel Islands were part and parcel of the Duchy of Normandy and true Jersey family names are therefo0re of Norman origin. According to Dauzat, generally accepted as one of the best authorities on the origin of these names, that of Le Moignan is derived from the old Norman-French word Moignan, meaning the stump of an amputated limb, and is consistent with the old French verb moigner, which meant to amputate.

Although the cradle of the family was in the parish of St John, individual members moved to many of the other parishes through marriage or for other reasons and are now established in various parts of the island. Many were sailors when sailing ships graced the oceans, and the wives of those who became masters of those ships sometimes accompanied their husbands on long voyages, and the birth of children aboar ship during those voyages was not recorded in Jersey registers. That accounts for the lack of detail in some family trees.

Canada

Jerseyman Charles Robin sailed to the Gaspe Coast in Quebec in 1766 and established an important trading and commercial business along the coast. In later years he associated himself with another Jerseyman named Collas, and the firm became known as the Charles Robin Collas Company.

By that time they were building their own sailing ships at Point St Peter near Malbaie, and recruiting their help from Jersey. The brig Dawn which brought my own father and mother to Paspebiac in 1901 was built there. Those ships sailed to the island and along the coast of France, Spain and Portugal laden with dried and salted codfish, and brought the Jersey boys back as apprentices to the Gaspe Coast establishments on the return journey.

Among those boys was Pierre Le Moignan, born in the before-mentioned parish of St John in Jersey on 14 August 1816, son of Amice Le Moignan and Marie Le Rossignol. On 22 November 1837 Pierre married Salome Dupuis, a French-Canadian young lady born at Grande Riviere on the Gaspe Coast on 15 May 1818. They were married in the Roman Catholic Church at Grande Riviere, and Pierre therefore became the founder of a Roman Catholic (and Canadian) branch of the family, of which the Rev Fr Joseph Michael (better known as Michel) Le Moignan is the illustrated descendant.

The Jersey Le Moignan family also produced another clergyman of note on the Gaspe Coast, the Rev Canon Alfred Stanley Le Moignan, born in Jersey on 22 October 1894, who was Rector of St Andrew’s Anglican Church in New Carlisle at the time of his death some 15 or more years ago.

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