Guille family page
Miss Guille, photographed by Henry Mullins
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Origin of Surname
It is believed that the surname Guille is a patronymic surname, being a diminuitive of Guillaume (see Derivation of Jersey Surnames). There is considerable confusion in Jersey church records, because although the family with surnames spelt Guillaume or Guilleaume is thought to be distinct from that using Guille, all three spellings can be found for records of people who are clearly closely related. We have combined all baptisms in our database under the heading Guillaume/Guille to assist researchers in tracing family links.
The surname Guille can be found in documents relating to Guernsey as early as the Extente des Iles of 1274. Legend has it that Marie Guille was involved with Archbishop Mauger de Rouen, the uncle of William the Conqueror, who was exiled to the island, and that they started the Mauger family in the island.
Petrus Guille was named in the Assize Roll for 1303, and by 1305, Guillaume Guille is also mentioned. The Extente of 1331 is the first time that the Guille family is associated with the Fief Fortescue in St Martins, Guernsey. And in 1338, Jacques Guille fled Guernsey following the French invasion, and settled in Jersey, starting the branch of the family in that island. In 1342, Colin Guille appears on the Muster Rolls for Mont Orgueil Castle.
Of Guernsey origin, this family owes its settlement in Jersey to an episode in the French occupation of Guernsey, in the 14th century. In 1338, when Guernsey was attacked under the able leadership of Evan de Galles, a renegade of much skill and daring, a truce was agreed on between Edward III and Philip of France, by the articles of which the island remained in the possession of its enemies. Smarting under a foreign yoke, some patriotic inhabitants (prominent among whom were the ancestor's of the families of Guille and Le Cornu) determined to exert themselves to rid Guernsey of the French.
Their efforts, however, were unavailing against superior force, and the little band of adventurers, retiring to Jersey, settled in the parish of St Ouen. According to Duncan, in his History of Guernsey, an old family record, preserved among the St Ouen muniments, states that King Charles II offered to Paul Guille, descendant of James Guille (the first of the name in the island), a Baronetcy, in grateful remembrance of the hospitality and services rendered by the family to himself, and his royal ancestors. When Paul refused the proffered honour, as inconsistent with his moderate fortune, the King was pleased to command that his estate, "La Ville au Neveu," should be freed from the payment of tithes in perpetuity.
In Guernsey, the original family still exists, where its members have filled the highest offices in the Church and States of the island.
- Guillemette, possibly a distinct family
Jersey family trees
Jersey church records
Great War service
- George Touzel Guille (St S) Driver, RFA
- James Guille (1871- ) Mercantile Marine
- John Philip Guille (1891- ) (St S) son of John Thomas and Maria Emily, Sergeant RE, RFC, RAF
- Francis Thomas Guilleaume (1897- ) (St B) son of Francis Thomas and Elizabeth, Private, Royal Marine Light Infantry
These wills created by members of the Guille family are now held by Jersey Archive. By visiting the archive site and using the names, dates and reference numbers shown here, it is possible to view a copy of each will. You will have to subscribe to the Archive's online service to do this. To find out more about this collection, which covers the period from 1663 to 1980, and how to search for your family's wills there, visit our Jersey wills page
- Georgina Guille of St Martin, widow - 30 December 1875, D/Y/A/38
- John Guille, Hampshire House, Five Oaks, St Saviour, bequeaths to Maria Emily Touzel for life the house at Rozel Harbour, St Martin - 23 June 1934, D/Y/A/96
- Philip Guille, Rector of St Martin - 14 August 1875, D/Y/A/38
- Rachel Guille of St Ouen, bequeaths to the poor of St Ouen 5s - 21 January 1865, D/Y/A/32
- James Guille, Bailiff of Guernsey 1511-1537
- Jean Guille (1788-1845), Bailiff of Guernsey 1843-1845
- Thomas Guille (1817-1896), founder of the Guille-Allès Library
Click on any image to see a larger version. See the Jerripedia gravestone image collection page for more information about our gravestone photographs
- Fief Fortescue, St Martins, Guernsey
- Saints Farm, St Martins, Guernsey
- Guille-Allès Library, St Peter Port, Guernsey