Gosselin researcher's notes

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Gosselin researcher Richard Smith posted these notes to the Rootsweb Channel Islands list in March 2017:

Beatrice Gosselin

I would guess the Beatrice on the 1901 census is the Beatrice Louise Gosselin who was born on 7 Dec 1885 and baptised 17 Jan 1886 at St Helier, daughter of George Thomas Gosselin, a coach smith (i.e. coach builder) and Louise Susan Huelin, his wife. (Parish registers in Jersey at this time tended to record the mother using her maiden name in the French style.) The sponsors (i.e. godparents) were Peter John Huelin and Tryphena Augusta Randall.

This George Thomas and Louise Susan Gosselin appear on the 1911 census living by themselves at 18 Hue Street, St Helier, he aged 56 [b 1854-55], she aged 53 [b 1857-58]. They had been married 26 years [m 1884-85] and had had four children, all then living. He was a house painter, and had been born in Northfleet, Kent, though his father was from Grouville, Jersey. She was from St Lawrence, Jersey, with a father from St Peter.

Baptisms can be found at St Helier for the other three children implied by the 1911 census: Harold George, b 17 Mar 1887, bp 21 Mar 1887; Clarence Alfred, b 23 Aug 1888, bp 9 Dec 1888; and Percy Huelin, b 25 Jul 1891, bp 1 Nov 1891. These match the names and ages of the three children living with George and Louise on the 1901 census.

The marriage of George Thomas Gosselin, a 30-year-old batchelor, and Louisa Susan Huelin, a 27-year-old spinster, is recorded on 27 July 1885 at St Savouir, Jersey. Both were resident in St Helier at the time of the marriage. The marriage register says he was born in Grouville, son of George Gosselin, a shipwright, and she at St Lawrence, son of John Huelin, a blacksmith.

The marriage register disagrees with the 1901 and 1911 censuses on where George Thomas was born. In Northfleet, Kent or in Grouville, Jersey? But both suggest he was from a Grouville family. Northfleet is on the south bank of the Thames Estuary and was then the site of many shipyards, so it's entirely likely that a shipwright might have moved there for a while seeking employment.

The birth of a George Thomas Gosselin was registered in Q1 1855 in the North Aylesford district of Kent, the district which includes Northfleet. There is also a Francis Alfred Gosslin whose birth was registered in the same district, Q2 1854. Probably he's a brother, though Gosling was a common enough surname in the area, and it could also be a mistranscription of that.

George Gosselin

On the 1871 census, a 16-year-old George Gosselin is recorded in St Helier, living with his parents. He is recorded as a coach smith, born in England. The father was also named George. He was aged 52 [b 1818-19], and a shipwright born in Grouville. The mother was Mary, aged 54 [1816-17], born in St Clement.

We can trace them on the 1861 census. They were living at 32 Don Road. The parents, George and Mary, were aged 42 and 44, from Grouville and St Clement respectively, He was a ship's carpenter. George Thomas was there, aged 6, and although his place of birth is given as St Clement, there can be little doubt it is him. There's another daughter, Susan M, aged 10 [b 1850-51], born in St Saviour. Also living with them was the mother-in-law, 80-year-old Jane Amy [b 1780-81] from St Clement, and a brother, Peter Gosselin, a sea man aged 55 [b 1805-6].

Second family

A second family was also living in 32 Don Road at the time: the family of a tailor named Thomas E Huelin and his wife Esther. Thomas E Huelin may have been closely related to George Thomas Gosselin's future wife Louise Susan Huelin.

Sister

George Thomas's sister, Susanne Mary Goslin, was born on 31 Jan 1850 and baptised 10 Feb at St Saviour. Her parents are given as George Goslin and Elizabeth Susanne Falle, with Edward Falle and Rachel Falle identified as parrain and marraine (godparents). This is following the French style of continuing to a woman's maiden name. It does not mean George and Elizabeth were not married. I can see little reason to doubt ths is George Thomas's sister, as the name, place and father match.

The difference between Susan and Susanne is not relevant: Susanne is the French form of Susan, and this was a bilingual community (and this particular baptism record is written in French). Likewise, the difference in spelling between Goslin and Gosselin will just reflect the spelling preference of the clerk who wrote up the register.

This suggests George (senior) married twice. First to Elizabeth Susanne Falle and then to the Mary found on the 1861 census. There's further evidence for this: on 24 Oct 1858 at St Clement, an Alfred John Gosselin was baptised. He was the child de George Gosselin et de Marie Le Vee, sa femme. He was buried 31 Jan 1859 aged 5 months and 20 days, explaining his absence from the 1861 census.

Marriage records

I have found the two marriage records. On 29 Feb 1846 at St Saviour, George Gosselin, aged 27, célibataire (batchelor) and a charpentier (carpenter), married Elizabeth Falle, aged 25, fille (which means spinster as well as daughter). Both were resident in St Saviour at the timne of the marriage. He was from Grouville, son of Pierre Gosselin (no profession given), and she from St Saviour, daughter of Edouard Falle, a charpentier.

On 20 Feb 1853 at St Clement, George Gosselin, aged 34, veux (widower), charpentier, married Esther Le Vee, aged 32, fille. He was resident in St Helier at the time and born in Grouville, and she was living in St Clement where she was born. The fathers were identified as Pierre Gosselin and Thomas Le Vee, marin (mariner).

The second marriage register entry quite clearly names the bride as Esther Le Vee, yet the 1858 baptism identifies Alfred John's mother as Marie Le Vee, and she appears anglicised as Mary on the 1861 census. Perhaps one was a middle name and one a first name. Or perhaps the clerk made a mistake. She wasn't literate and just made her mark on the marriage register. Possibly the detail was filled in later incorrectly by the parish clerk. The date of the second marriage means that Marie / Esther was presumably the mother of George Thomas.

Registers

The marriage registers identify George's father as Pierre, and the various sources have been consistent in putting George's birth in 1818, give or take a year, and his birth at Grouville. There's a baptism matching this: George, fils de Pierre Gosselin et de Marie Mollet, sa femme, baptisé en particulier, fut representé à l'Eglise par ledit père et Elizabeth Mollet The entry is dated 27 September 1818. He was baptised privately (en particulier), which may have meant he was a sickly child and not expected to live, and then presented at the church (which, I think, is what happened on 27 September). The godparents were the father and Elizabeth Mollet. It was quite common in Jersey at this time for one or both parents also to be a godparent. His mother's name was Marie Mollet, so Elizabeth was presumably a relative of his mother.

I have located five further children of Pierre Gosselin and Marie Mollet in the Grouville baptism register. Pierre on 16 Feb 1806, John on 3 Jun 1808, Tom on 13 May 1810, an unidentified child on 1 Mar 1812 and Philippe on 12 May 1816. George was the youngest of the children I have found. The unidentified child has a blank where it seems the name was to be inserted. Probably it was a boy as the child fut presenté à l'Eglise rather than fut presentée à l'Eglise.

Census

Pierre and Marie married at St Helier: Pierre Gosselin de la Paroisse de Grouville et Marie Mollet de la Paroisse de St Martin furent mariés ensemble le vingtiéme jour d'avril mil huit cent cinq. They appear on the 1841 census in Grouville with their names anglicised as Peter and Mary Gosselin. Peter, a miller, was aged 62 [b 1778-1779] and born in foreign parts; Mary was aged 66 [b 1774-1775] and born in the island. Also in the house were: Charlotte, aged 24 [b 1816-17]; Philip, aged 24 [b 1816-17]; George, aged 22 [b 1818-19]; and Thomas, aged 1 [b 1839-40]. Philip and George were both carpenters, and were clearly the two youngest sons of Pierre and Marie.

The infant Thomas was probably the son of Thomas Gosselin and Elizabeth Syvret baptised 15 Dec 1839, with the parents standing as godparents. The parents had married on 23 Dec 1838 at St Helier, he being from Grouville. I assume Thomas was the son of Pierre and Marie. I don't know who Charlotte was.

Mary's age on the 1841 census and the parish given in the marriage register match perfectly a baptism at St Martin in 1774. Marie fille de Jean Mollet et de Marie Luce sa femme a été presentee au bapteme par Me Elie Gaudin et Mse Marie Le Bastard sa femme le 27e Novembre. This also matches a burial at Grouville on 13 Apr 1842: Marie Mollet a été inhumé âgée de 68 ans.

Pierre Gosselin is shown as being from "foreign parts" on the 1841 census. Unfortunately he does not appear in the 1851 census, which may have given more detail on where he was from, as he died on 30 December 1849 aged 71 years 3 months of vieillesse (old age), and was buried 1 Jan 1850 at Grouville. His age suggests a birth in September or October 1778.

I'm sure he is the same man as the Pierre Gosselin on the 1815 muster roll of Grouville, aged 35, a soldier in the Militia.

Family tree

Jerripedia contains a chart of the descendants of a Jean François Gosselin

My Descendants of Jean Francois_Gosselin relatives do not obviously fit into this tree, nor do the descendants of Pierre and Marie Mollet. Neverthless, as part of my recent research into the Gosselin family, I've tried to verify it in the hope the various Gosselins in Jersey might turn out to be related. So far as I've been able to determine, the tree is accurate, and I think I have a clue as to next generation back, but my familiarity with 18th century handwritten French is reaching its limit.

The earliest generation of this family in Jersey was Auguste Jean François Gosselin. He appears on each census from 1841 to 1891, usually as Auguste Gosselin or Goslin, but with the middle initials J in 1891 and J F in 1851. His place of birth is always just given as France (or 'Foreign Parts' in 1841).

The marriage between Auguste Jean François Gausselin and Honorine Philotée Esmondine Le Guerrier was recorded in the St Helier parish register, dated 20 February 1842. Both were aged 23 (b 1818-19), and resident in St Saviour at the time of the marriage. Auguste was the son of Nicholas Gausselin from Neuville-en-Beaumont, Honorine the daughter of Thomas Le Guerrier from Portbail, both places being in the Departement de la Manche, about five miles from each other. Portbail is almost the nearest land to Jersey and a natural port, and it is natural that inhabitants of the area might have crossed the water to Jersey.

Department archives

The Archives departementales de la Manche tables décennales for Neuville-en-Beaumont (1813-22) list a Juste Jean François born on 18 June 1818, son of Nicolas Fs et Jeanne Fse Jeanne. Looking this up in the corresponding register of births, marriages and deaths for Neuville, I found that à six heures du matin, Nicolas François Gosselin, agé de trente six ans appeared before the mayor à presenté un enfant du sexe masculin, né à deux heures du matin même jour to Nicolas and de Jeanne Françoise Jeanne son epouse, and that they wanted to name him Guste Jean François. The record is signed, somewhat crudely, N Gosselin.

Guste is a diminutive of Auguste, and the Juste in the tables décennales is evidently a mistake introduced when the tables were produced at the end of the decade. There seems no doubt this is the man who emigrated to Jersey. Neuville is a tiny place, with only 37 births that decade, two of whom were Gosselins. The name, including both middle names, the year, the place and the father's name all match.

Auguste's birth registration may be wrong in saying Nicolas was aged 36 in 1818, as at the registration of his sister, Sophie Adelaide Maria Gosselin, born at 2 am on 29 September 1813, the parents Nicolas and Jeanne were said to be aged 35 and 32, respectively.

Even this seems to be an underestimate as at their marriage on 20 Nov 1808 he was said to be agé trent deux ans né a Neuville en Beaumont, arrondissement de Valognes, Departement de la marche, le mardy vingt neuf juillet mil sept cent soixant dixsept. His parents are given as the late Jacques Gosselin and Jeanne Françoise Bliaut. The ages do not quite add up. If he was born on 29 July 1777 (which was a Tuesday), he would have been 31, not 32. The same date is repeated as Nicolas's date of birth in the registration on 25 August 1809 of his son, Nicolas Louis Désiré Gosselin, born on 24 August 1809. And in the 1771-91 register for Neuville, there is a baptism for Nicolas François on 29 Jul 1777.

Nicolas's bride Jeanne Françoise Jeanne was said to be aged 27, born in the commune of Catteville, the adjacent commune to Neuville, in the arrondissement of Valognes on 30 December 1780. This date is consistent with her age. Her parents were given as Louis Thomas Jeanne, domiciled in Neuville, and Marie Levegre, his wife.

The tables décennales only begin in 1792 which makes finding entries before that harder.

Nicolas's baptism contains no new information, just confirming the identity of his parents as given in the marriage registration. However image 45 shows the burial on Monday 16 August 1779 of his father, Jacques Gosselin originaire de la paroisse d'----, agé d'environ quarante ans", putting his birth in about 1740.

Marriage record

The marriage record for Nicolas's parents, Jacques Gosselin and Jeanne Françoisse Bliaut is on images 26 and 27 of the 1771-1791 parish register for Neuville-en-Beaumont. It is dated le mardy onze juin au dit an [1776]. The details of the couple being married start on the 8th line.

Jacque Gosselin jr? veuvier et fils majeur de feu Jean
François Gosselin, et de Jeanne Françoisse Le Lievre de
la paroisse d'Juelott le dit Jacques Gosselin d'eux,
vivant en cette paroisse depuis plusieurs années -- --,
et de Jeanne Françoisse Bliault fille de Jean et de Marie
Martin de la paroisse de Taillepied, la ditte fille
demeurante depuis quelque temps ca cette de St Sauveur le
Vicomte.

This gives the names of Nicolas's four grandparents, who are the earliest generations in the Jerripedia tree, and also repeats the place name that was in Jacques's burial.

These two records -- Jacques's marriage and burial -- both say where he came from, but I can not read the place name.

I cannot see any other baptisms for children of Jacques and Jeanne, besides Nicolas. The window between the marriage on 11 June 1776 and his burial on 16 Aug 1779 is not long, and already contains one baptism on 29 Jul 1777. A second child is possible, and I confess I hoped I would find a Pierre who would turn out to be the man who settled in Grouville on Jersey as a miller early the following century, as according to the 1841 census he was born 1778-79. But I cannot find such a baptism, even posthumously. Nevertheless, I do think there's a reasonable chance that Pierre (and also François, also from Grouville, from whom I descend) are somehow connected to this family in Neuville-en-Beaumont. Certainly this is one of the best clues I have for their origins.

One thing Jacques's marriage does tell us is that Jacques was a widower (veux) when he married Jeanne.

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