Origin of Surname
The family originated at Grouchy, near Carentan, on the borders of the Cotentin and Bessin in Lower Normandy. The name is Viking in origin, probably derived from the old Norse personal name Geirolfr, (Spearwolf) and ey, (Norse for `Isle` or 'Island'), making a place name, 'Spearwolf's Isle' or `Island`, at the time of the Viking settlements in what would become Normandy. The first syllable in the name of the Jersey parish of Grouville is thought to be of similar origin.
Hugh de Grouchy, Hugo de Groceio, was recorded as being responsible in 1089 for the collection of taxes and administration of justice in the four central parishes of Jersey that constituted the Ministerium de Groceium, (the place-name Grouchy). His heirs or descendants may not have been always resident in the Island, as these early medieval offices could be purchased and sold. Deputies could also be appointed by the holders, or Ministers, of such offices, of which there were three in total. Furthermore, the family had more substantial seigneuries in mainland Normandy, to which they also left their name. Nonetheless, the Jersey Fief (`manor/landholding`) de Gruchy, or Grochy, held in capite, being directly from the Crown, which is situated in the north of Trinity, from the terms of its tenure, certainly dates from this epoch.
There are few, if any, surnames for which so many variations in spelling can be found in Jersey records.
In the Assize of 1299 two Richard de Gruchys are mentioned, one the son of a priest! In the 1309 Assize Roll Geoffroy, Richard, Etienne and Guillaume de Gruchy are mentioned. The latter was fined for bringing an action "hors de la Royaume", presumably at the Ecclesiastical Court of Coutances, Normandy, which heard cases involving inheritance, against Colin de Laundes (sic) and Jean de Barentin. As the latter is mentioned in 1382 as having been a previous holder of the Fief de Gruchy, the historian Guy Fortescue Burrell de Gruchy considered it likely that the dispute had involved that fief, which bears evidence of having been subsequently divided. The Fief de la Gruchetterie, the north-eastern half of the apparently divided fief, eventually passed, prior to 1515, to the de St Martin family, whose successors were the Lemprières of Diélament.
Between 1338 and 1345, when Mont Orgueil Castle was under attack from the French, Rauf Radulphus de Gruchy was among the defenders. A Rauf de Gruchy, (perhaps the same in old age), and Guillemet de Gruchy, both of Ville à L`Evêcque, Trinity, are mentioned in a deed of 1402. In 1440 Philippot de Gruchy is mentioned as acting on behalf of his wife in a transaction, whilst Clement de Gruchy of Trinity was ordained deacon at Coutances in 1490 and priest in 1491.
Jean de Gruchy, born about 1300, is the earliest from whom modern members of the family can trace their ancestry with any degree of certainty.
Although generally accepted by historians to have originally been one family, the branches of de Gruchy and Gruchy have developed from the late 15th century quite separately. However, the two names have become so confused in Jersey's church records that we have listed them all under 'de Gruchy/Gruchy' in our database.
In common with most families of mediaeval importance, the variations of spelling in the name of this one are numerous. Its name has been written, at different epochs, De Groschie, De Grochie, De Grouchy, De Gruchy, and Gruchy. Among the various contracts or legal deeds in the possession of the family is one dated 1362, in which the name is spelt De Grouchie; another, dated 1420, where it appears as De Grouchy; and in one of 1695, as De Gruchy. The patronymic is of such early occurrence in Norman annals that, to use the words of the Revue Generale Biographique, "the origin of the family is lost in the night of time".
Among the followers of William the Conqueror to England was a [de] Grouchy [which is probably erroneous], while another member [correctly:"two members"] of the family [the knights Guillaume and Nicolas de Grouchy] fought in the Holy Land in the first Crusade. Among the soldiers in that of 1296 was Henri De Grouchy, whose arms are blazoned among those which decorate the ceiling of one of the chambers of the Palace of Versailles, [which should read:"among those which decorate the walls of the Chambres des Croisades at the Palace of Versailles"]. The French branch received a confirmation of nobility at Rouen, 7 January, 1497, [error for 1479]. The present General Count De Grouchy, son of the celebrated Marshal of that name, and Commandant of Division at Strasburg, writing on the subject in 1855, says, " I have heard from my father that two branches of our family were obliged to expatriate themselves after the conquest of Normandy by Philip-Augustus. One settled in Jersey, and engaged in commerce there, while the other sought refuge in England, where its descendants remained until they emigrated to America, in consequence of their religious opinions, which were opposed to the Puritan principles of Cromwell. This branch is now, I think, extinct, for I met its last member at Philadelphia in 1817, and who bore the same arms as myself ; he was sixty years of age, and, although married, had no issue".
The Jersey branch has various traditions respecting its exodus from the Cotentin, where several places still bear its name, as shown by the maps of that district. It settled in the parish of S. Trinity in that island in the latter part of the 12th, or commencement of the 13th century, where it acquired considerable landed property, and gave its name to the Fiefs De Grochy and De Gruchetterie. This last is now possessed by the Seigneur of Rozel, who holds the court of the fief in the house pointed out as the original residence of the family [La Chasse, Vingtaine de Rozel].
Several of its insular members have been in orders. Sire John Grouchy was Rector of St Mary in 1557 ; in 1607 the Rev Olivier Groschie was Rector of S. Clement. The Rev Daniel Grouchie, who married Catherine De Carteret, sister of the Seigneur of Trinity, was Rector successively of St Peter and St Mary. The Rev. Philip de Gruchy was Rector of St Lawrence in 1730, and one of the last Roman Catholic Rectors [error for: "priests", this being Matthieu de Gruchy, formerly Vicar of Beauvais-sur-Mer, France, living in the 1790s at the edge of Trinity], was also of this family. For a complete list of de Gruchys who held clerical and civic positions, see The de Gruchy Family a history by the Rev J A Messervy.
Many branches derived from the same source have, from a very remote period, relinquished the prefix de. Its members are very numerous: in one vingtaine in the parish of Trinity there are no fewer than 16 individuals named Philip De Gruchy, besides many others in various parts of the island. Although the Jersey family has increased to such an extent, the French branches have been less fortunate, and are soon likely to become extinct, as its present members have no male issue. [Fortunately, this did not occur. The family in France continues].
- De Groschie
- De Grochie
- De Grouchy
- de Gruchy, 1299
- Gruchy, 1299
- de Grouchie
- Gruchie 1607
- de Groschy, 1510
- de Grochy, 1461-78
- de Grouchy 1515
- Grouhy 1515
- de Grochie 1461-78
- Grussy c1340
- de Grochee
- de Grouche 1309
- de Groceio [the surname in Latin] 1089-1250
- Groceium [the place name in Latin] pre-1250
This is the most comprehensive set of trees for any Jersey family. It is based upon the trees in the 2000 book The de Gruchys of Jersey, (Second Edition), by Walter J. Le Quesne and Guy M. Dixon. The trees were substantially updated, enlarged and more detail added by Guy during 2017 and 2018, and remain under review.
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy (1300)
- Descendants of Robin de Gruchy (1548)
- Descendants of Matthieu de Gruchy and Marie Mollet
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Esther Mauger
- Descendants of Elie de Gruchy and Marie Cabot
- Descendants of Hugh de Gruchy and Sara Jean
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Sara Le Masurier
- Descendants of Noe de Gruchy and Marie Grossier
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth Remon
- Descendants of Helier de Gruchy and Anne Mauger
- Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Guillemette Gruchy
- Descendants of Philippe de Gruchy and Elizabeth Le Geyt
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Judith Dorey
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Marie Grandin
- Descendants of Jacques de Gruchy (1565)
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Susanne de Gruchy
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Marie Renouf
- Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Helene Le Breton
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth de Gruchy
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Nancy Mollet
- Descendants of Noel de Gruchy and Jeanne Langlois
- Descendants of Matthieu de Gruchy and Perronelle du Feu
- Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Douce de Gruchy
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth Le Riche
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth du Feu
- Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Marie du Feu
- Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Jeanne de Gruchy
- Descendants of Philippe de Gruchy and Jeanne Richardson
- Descendants of Philippe de Gruchy and Esther de Gruchy
- Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy and Elizabeth Mauger
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Elizabeth Luce
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Marie Hocquard
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Magdelaine Blampied
- Descendants of Thomas de Gruchy
- Descendants of Jean de Gruchy and Miss Larbalestier
- Descendants of Matthieu de Gruchy
- Descendants of Thomas DeGrish/DeGrish of Trinity, Newfoundland: Was this a Jersey family? Added 2021
These records may still contain some for the Gruchy family, but we hope that we have now separated the two names
- De Gruchy baptisms in Jersey
- De Gruchy marriages in Jersey (groom)
- De Gruchy marriages in Jersey (bride)
- De Gruchy burials in Jersey
Ships, shipowners and ships' captains
Family histories and biographies
Abraham de Gruchy, his businesses and his successors
- Abraham de Gruchy, one of Jersey's most successfull businessmen of all time ...
- The de Gruchy family business after Abraham... and the family members who succeeded him
- The de Gruchy Family, a history by the Rev J A Messervy
- Guy Fortescue Burrell de Gruchy: President and Benefactor of La Société Jersiaise
- William Laurence de Gruchy: Founder of La Société Jersiaise
- Matthieu de Gruchy: Privateer and Roman Catholic priest, shot as a spy
- Martin de Gruchy: Solicitor and Jersey's first notary
- Francis Arthur Labey de Gruchy: Indian Army and French Foreign Legion officer
- Brehm de Gruchy: An emigrant to Canada at the age of 14
- The Rev Thomas de Gruchy: Baptist minister in North America Added 2020
- Dr Alfred Nicolle de Gruchy: Colonial Service doctor Added 2020
- James Henry Ball de Gruchy: Military and environmental scientist Added 2020
- William de Gruchy - taken to America by his mother after the murder of his master mariner father at the hands of Nicaraguan bandits
- Gordon Carl de Gruchy: World-famous Australian physician and haematologist Added 2021
Great War service
de Gruchy children photographed by Ernest Baudoux
de Gruchy family photographed by Ernest Baudoux
The banner on this charabanc reads 'Success to the Old Boys - J V de Gruchy'. It is not clear exactly what the occasion was. J V de Gruchy was John Vernon de Gruchy, born in St Helier in 1879, the son of John de Gruchy and Maria Whittenbury. His father was a builder and a ship's carpenter, and John Vernon was described as a carpenter when he married Alice Mary de Gruchy in 1902
Charles de Gruchy (1864-1919), with his wife Alice Lavinia, née Roberts, and the ten of their 12 children who survived infancy. Charles emigrated to Australia before 1890 and married Alice, who was born in Cornwall. Charles was born in Lewes Sussex, the son of Francis de Gruchy (1838-1869), of St Martin, Jersey, and Mercy Piper (1841-1877), of Sussex
Newspaper report of the retirement from Jersey Customs of Herbert William de Gruchy
Jean de Gruchy (1816-1895) who, on the occasion of the photographer`s visit to celebrate the completion, in 1890, of the new wing at Greenfield, refused to change out of his working clothes! The picture is interesting for the reason that few Victorian photographs show working garments or implements. The expression of the offender`s daughter-in-law, adds to the entertainment
De Gruchy family of South Africa (circa 1914). Standing: Harold Linklater de Gruchy, Constance Havergill de Gruchy, Frederick Abram de Gruchy (father), Albert Philip de Gruchy, Gladys Mary de Gruchy. Seated: Doris Lillian de Gruchy, Frederick de Quetteville de Gruchy, Ivor Alan de Gruchy, Mary Irish (mother), Ethel May de Gruchy, Aubin Ewald de Gruchy
- A de Gruchy and Company
- E C de Gruchy, tobacconist and fancy good retailer at 2 King Street
- Matthew de Gruchy was a draper at 10 King Street from 1861 to 1880
- John de Gruchy was in business at 64 King Street as a boot and shoe maker in the 1830s and '40s
- Allix and de Gruchy were in business at 74 King Street as gents' outfitters in the 1930s and '40s, followed by E Allix to 1955.
- Butcher Thomas Charles de Gruchy was in business at 35 Halkett Place in the 1850s, having been tavern keeper of the Old Jersey Inn in the 1840s
- J de Gruchy ran a shoemaking business at 36 Halkett Place from the late 1870s through to the 1900s
- Philip de Gruchy ran a grocery at 35 Queen Street in the 1860s
1887 advert from L'Almanach de la Gazette de Jersey for father and son partnership Jean and Walter de Gruchy. 
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Notes and references
- ↑ The 1891 census shows them both living at Laurel Farm, Piece Mauger. Jean is listed as a farmer and Walter as a carpenter