Le Gallais

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Thomas Le Gallais, Receiver-General in 1902
Le Gallais family photographed by Ernest Baudoux

Origin of Surname

The name supposedly means The Welshman (Galles is the French for Wales), but there are suggestions that it is actually a corruption of gaullois, 'Gaul' being the historic name for France. Given that the family in Jersey almost certainly originated in France rather than Wales, we prefer this interpretation.

It first appears in the Assize Roll of 1309. Charles Le Gallais is listed in the Jersey Chantry Certificate of 1550

Payne's Armorial of Jersey:

This family, which is supposed to have migrated hither from Brittany, has been naturalized in the island from a very remote period. It is divided into several branches, which, although the connection between them is not precisely ascertained, are universally allowed to derive from one common source.

One of these is represented by Matthew Le Gallais, Seigneur of Surville. Another, now settled at La Moye, in the parish of St Brelade, formerly possessed an estate at Rouge Bouillon, in the parish of St Helier; an estate which, as stated by the two Extentes, or Royal Rent Rolls of the 17th century, owed to the Crown the somewhat fanciful dues of two cabots of wheat rent, two capons, two hens, and fourteen eggs. This branch is represented by Philip Le Gallais, Jurat of the Royal Court, and Stipendiary Magistrate of the Police Court.

A third is represented by Mr John Le Gallais, son of Nicholas Le Gallais, who, through his mother, Elizabeth, daughter and eventual heiress of Thomas de Gruchy, of Trinity, represents also a branch of that family.

Arms (as borne by Matthew Le Gallais): Gules, a crescent, between six roses, or, three in chief and three in base. Quartering : Argent, three trefoils, sable, for Payn Gules, four fusils, conjoined, in fesso, argent ; a crescent, in base, for difference, for De Carteret Per fesse, argent and or; in chief, a dexter hand, clenched, ppr., cuffed of the second; in base, a mullet of the first, for Poingdestre Impaling : Azure, three crescents, or, for Nicolle. Crest : A cock, statant, ppr., the dexter foot uplifted. Motto : Jamais chancelant. Arms (as borne by Philip Le Gallais): Same Arms, Crest, and Motto. Impaling or, on a chief, embattled, sable, three mullets, argent, a crescent for difference, for Amy. Arms (as borne by John Le Gallais): Same Arms and Crest. Quartering: Or, fretty azure, for De Gruchy. Motto : Semper Fidelis


  • Le Gallais
  • Galles
  • Le Gallez
  • Gallie (probably not a variant - see family page for derivation

Family records

Le Gallais lineages in Jersey

Prominent family members

Family businesses

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