Notes on the early Gaudins

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The early Gaudins

Descendants of Philippe Gaudin (1587) is the substantial family tree assembled by the author, Carol Smith [1]


With the availability of the Parish records indexes for Jersey on it has become possible to re-examine the relationships between the earlier Gaudins more carefully than hitherto (apart from those researchers fortunate enough to live in Jersey or to have been close enough to visit regularly).

It is my belief that on earlier trees, many of which are in common circulation, children have been allocated to Philippe Gaudin (1540) erroneously, possibly due to a misinterpretation of the parish record whereby a father has been thought to be the husband in a marriage. This mistake has been perpetuated in later generations also resulting in generation mix-ups.

It is only possible to speculate about many of the relationships, but in a number of the records the father is clearly stated. eg Jean son of Collas and Jeanne le Haye. This should be interpreted that Jean Gaudin son of Collas Gaudin married Jeanne le Haye and not that Jeanne le Haye was Jean’s mother and therefore Collas’s wife. [2]

That is where mistakes have arisen but throughout these records the surname is omitted where the list is clearly headed Gaudin and must be interpreted in that way.

Marriage record index (St Martin only at this stage) 1594-1616

Using the marriage records to begin with it is possible to group the Gaudin partner in the marriage to different fathers (where this is stated) of which there seem to be three: Collas, Jean and Philippe. We may assume for the purposes of this exercise that they are brothers but we do not know who their parents are or when they were born, only that it is probably somewhere between 1565 and 1585. The marriages are occurring between 1594 and 1616 (ie over 22 years) and it is likely that the age at marriage was approximately 23. The children will have been born over a 20 year span as that is about the longest period of child-bearing so 1565-85 is a best guesstimate. [3] Children seem to have belonged to these three early Gaudins as follows:

Collas Gaudin

  • Jeanne married 1 Abraham Marin on 5 January 1597; 2 Clement Jeannes, 28 October 1607
  • Thomas married Sarra Nicolle on 2 January 1600
  • Jean married 1 Jeanne le Haye on 1 January 1607; 2 Anne Machon 29 November 1609
  • Marie married Jean Lorains on 10 December 1610
  • Elizabeth married Nouel Feret on 17 June 1611
  • There is a marriage for Collas Gaudin to Andrine Nicolle on the same date as that of Thomas’s marriage to Sara Nicolle so this may be another son named Collas or it may have been a second marriage for the father Collas. The wives seem to be related too.

Jean Gaudin

  • Jean married Susanne Hamon on 3 October 1609
  • Marie married Jean Collas on 22 November 1609
  • Jeanne married 1, Thomas Gaudin on 12 July 1612; 2 Philippe le Cove on 24 December 1614

Philippe Gaudin

  • Philippe married Elizabeth Hoden on 3 October 1609

Other marriages for which the father’s name was not mentioned in the record include the following Gaudin first names:

  • Pierre Gaudin married 1 Elizabeth Sohier 9 December 1607; 2 Jeanne Machon 1613
  • Marie Gaudin married Pierre Le Riche November 1594
  • Felice Gaudin married Luquas Machon 7 Oct 1610
  • Philippe Gaudin married Marguerite la Cloche 9 May 1609
  • Jaques Gaudin married Jeanne la Marcharde 10 Dec 1616

It is impossible to know who these people belong to – either one of the above three ‘brothers’ or to other parents, so they have to be left unattached for now. It is possible that the original parish record has further details not included in the index and that needs to be checked by someone with access to those records. [4]

The Baptism Index does not help us much in that mothers names are not mentioned until about 1635, and there is a gap in the marriage records between 1621 and 1635. [5] There is an indication that there were other Gaudins around during the same time period and having children. The new names are Luquas Gaudin (two children between 1606 and 1613) and Matieu Gaudin (two children between 1610 and 1612).

The names repeated as fathers between 1599 and 1630 are: Jean, Thomas, Pierre, Luquas, Matieu, Philippe and Jacques. The most common is Jean, but we do not know if there was just the one or several, all having children at the same time.


For all of the above reasons, it is not wise to speculate too much about the early Gaudin ancestry. There is just insufficient evidence to draw any firm conclusions about the relationships apart from discrete families for which the fathers and mothers are known, plus the children. This does not really start to become clear until after 1635 when the records become more complete and mothers and godparents are included.

Even after that date there are times when it is just not possible to be completely sure who the parents are of a particular child – such a case is where there were three Philippe Gaudins all born close together in 1734, but all marrying different people and with different parents. Easy to make a mistake and completely upset all the previous generations. In these cases every clue has to be examined and the godparents can often be a help in deciding.

However, even here it is not always clear unless the relationship such as g-pere or g-mere is included, as it would seem that the pattern was to name a child after the appropriate sex godparent and they might be a friend, a relative or just an influential person within the community. Another pattern does seem to be to ask the maternal grandparents to be godparents for the first girl and the paternal grandparents to be godparents for the first boy but even that is not hard and fast.

I have made the decision to remove all the Gaudins prior to approximately 1590 (Philippe Gaudin and Marguerite la Cloche, with the exception of Collas Gaudin and his descendants, who remain unattached to the remainder for now) from my tree as it appears they have not been entered correctly and it is not really possible to do that from the information currently available. I will place a comment or note wherever there is any doubt about a relationship or there is a possible alternative.

The Gaudin family is very large and we are dealing with old records going back many centuries and with little supporting evidence, such as from census records in later periods. Although St Martin is the parish where the majority of the Gaudins come from, there is overlap between other parishes from time to time and this has to be carefully checked. There has been much inter-marrying both within the Gaudins and between certain other families and it is not unusual to find cousins marrying, brothers marrying sisters of other families and even step-children marrying where a Gaudin parent has remarried after the death of a first (or second) spouse.

Notes and references

  1. This history from the Ancestry website has been copied here partly because it provides some interesting information about early generations of a well-established Jersey family, partly because it includes references to Jerripedia, and partly because it identifies some of the problems inherent in trying to assemble family trees from incomplete records. Further notes have been included at appropriate positions in the article. Our intention is not to imply criticism of the author, but merely to use her examples to highlight some of the problems most researchers will encounter when assembling their own family trees
  2. Without considerable further research it is not easy to establish what impact following this rule has had on the family tree(s) created by the author, but it flies in the face of standard conventions. In a Jerripedia tree or baptism record ‘Jean Gaudin son of Collas and Jeanne de la Haye’ means that Jean Gaudin was the son of Collas Gaudin who married Jeanne de la Haye’. However, a marriage record ‘Jean Gaudin, son of Collas; and Jeanne de la Haye’ would indicate that Jean Gaudin married Jeanne de la Haye
  3. The enormous number of family trees and records which have been researched since we launched Jerripedia has shown that there can sometimes be remarkable divergences from average timespans and this can easily cause confusion with which generation an individual belongs to
  4. It is worth remembering that sometimes what appear to be second marriages prove to be separate marriages of different members of the family with the same forename
  5. This is not a gap in the Jerripedia index – this information is not contained in the original registers
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