Pinels in Newfoundland
The Pinel name first appears in Jersey records in 1274 and is believed to have originated near Cherbourg, France. By 1668 the descendants of this first Jersey Pinel had moved to St John, Jersey, and from there to St Peter, Jersey in 1749.
Pinel, a surname from Old French pinel - little pine-tree - a nickname applied either affectionately to a tall, thin man, or derisively to a small weedy man.
Early instances: Thomas, master of the brig James and Ellen, Newfoundland, 1828; Amice, of Petites, 1871.
Modern status: Rare, at Burgeo (Electors 1955). Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland E R Seary
Channel Island men were crew members during the great exploration voyages of Jacques Cartier. At this time the Jersiais started to take hold in the Gaspé. The Janvrin, Nicol, Colbs, Fruing, Luce, Perchard, Dumaresq, Le Boutillier, de ste Croix, Le Quesne, Godfrey, Le Gros and Pinel establishments.
From Gaspe many of the Channel Islanders moved on to Newfoundland. The Pinels settled mostly in the southern and western area of Newfoundland. They were merchants (J Pinel [Pennel] at Sandy Point and Daniel Pinel at Pabos), fishermen during fishing season and carpenters during the off-season (Amice, James and Philip Pinel in Burgeo).
James Pinel married Debbie Buffett, daughter of Captain William and Dinah Rose Buffett. They lived in Furby's Harbour in the Burgeo area and had one child, a girl named Gertie Pinel. Debbie died when Gertie was quite young and James moved to Calgary. A widow from Burgeo (Mary ?) followed him to Calgary and he remarried. Gertie was "adopted" and brought up by her grandmother, the second wife of Captain William. Gertie Pinel later came to Calgary to visit her father and married a Calgary resident.
James Pinel first appears in the Calgary Henderson's Directory in 1907. He and Mary lived in Inglewood, one of the first residential areas of Calgary. Their house is still there and was in the Pinel family until the 1980s. James worked for Calgary Brewing and Malting Company, was active in the Freemasons and was noted as an excellent public speaker. James and Mary had seven children: James, Walter, Philip, Harold, Austin, and Jennie. Harold and Walter worked for the CPR until retirement and Jack was in the hotel industry. Harold had four children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild when he died in 1997.