Origin of Surname
Guy Fortescue Burrell de Gruchy wrote of Le Geyt: "One of the old Jersey names, still surviving. It means watchman." As might therefore be expected, the name also occurred from medieval times in Guernsey. However, a variant that is listed for the name is spelt 'Le Gett', so it is also possible that the name is of similar derivation to the English surname Leggett, which comes from an old word for an ambassador or deputy - the same stem as 'legate'. It should be borne in mind that some of the English Leggetts will have been of Channel Island origin.
Pronunciation of the Surname
The last letter of the surname, prior to late-19th century anglicisation, was not pronounced, whilst the first letter was soft, as in the French word "Je"
This family name first appeared in the Short Inquisition of 1274, with Raoul La Weyte holding land in Grouville that Robert La Geyte had previously held. In the Extente of 1331, Raoul Le Gay is mentioned as owning one bouvée of land in St Brelade. From the earliest surviving court rolls there have been three distinct Le Geyt families. These were differentiated by the `aliases` dit Le Maillier, dit Rauvet and dit Reide. A fourth branch of what was evidently all once one family, called Le Geyt dit Maret, is now believed to have descended from the Le Geyts dit Le Maillier. The latter family, which was very substantial in the late 15th and the 16th centuries, is probably the senior branch. From the dit Rauvet family came the fervent 17th century royalist Jurat, Philippe Le Geyt, who can be described as the founder of the once considerable fortune of the dit Rauvets. His branch gave to the Island the two Lieutenant-Bailiffs Le Geyt, both of whom were previously Jurats, another Jurat, three Constables and a Registrar of Contracts. The Le Geyts, formerly dit Le Maillier, have also played a prominent role in Island politics, furnishing the Island with two Jurats, one of whom was a former Registrar of Contracts, two Constables and a Deputy. Between them, the two families have held several fiefs and produced officers of the Army and Navy. The most illustrious of these were Vice-Admiral George Le Geyt, C.B. and Major-General Philip Harrison Le Geyt of the Indian Army
Conclusive evidence of the antiquity of this family exists by the mention of its name in the Extente of 1331. It appears also in various official documents of the Island, showing that its owners held positions of trust and emolument, at different periods, in their native island.
Philip Le Geyt, Jurat of the Royal Court, was one of those brave and devoted men, who, forsaking property and employment in the service of their exiled and then powerless king, Charles II, retired in defence of his crown to one of the last strongholds left him in all his dominions — Elizabeth Castle. His son, the eminent legal commentator, speaking of this event, says:" I can add, upon good authority, that my late father retired to Elizabeth Castle in the King's service, when the island was captured in 1651 by the Parliamentary forces of England; that, during the siege of the Castle, my father's residence was sacked, thus involving the loss of all his furniture; and further, that, by the articles of the reduction of the Castle, he was obliged to pay two years' value of his income."
His son, Philip Le Geyt, was born in 1636, and is well and deservedly known for his able comments upon the Laws and Customs of Jersey; indeed their value is so justly appreciated, that, in 1846, they were published at the expense of the States of Jersey of the Island. His biography, written by M Sorsoleil, was elegantly translated by Dr Shebbeare, and prefaces the second volume of his critical and learned History of Jersey.*
He was eventually sworn Lieutenant-Bailly of the island, a post which he filled with equal honour and dignity. He was, says his biographer, "a man of the ancient stamp of virtue; uniform in his different phases of life, and always equal to himself. In him, knowledge, politeness, and probity, were the inseparable companions of the love of religion and zeal for justice." He died on 31 January 1716, aged eighty.
Philip Le Geyt, the nephew of the preceding, was, shortly after his uncle's death, appointed Lieutenant-Bailly of the island. The grand-nephew of the first Lieutenant-Bailly, Philip Le Geyt, and grandson of the last named Robert Le Geyt, was for some years Wood-reeve to the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury, and was first cousin of the late Vice-Admiral Philip D'Auvergne, Prince of Bouillon. He married Jane, daughter of the Rev William Burch, Rector of St Mary, Dover, and of Mongeham, Kent.
His son, Vice-Admiral George Le Geyt is the present representative of the family. He married, in 1812, Rose-Marie, daughter of the late Rear-Admiral Heath (two of whose brothers, and their brother-in-law, Dr Drury, were successively Headmasters of Eton and Harrow, during the interesting period of the education there of Lord Byron, Sir Robert Peel, and other celebrated characters), and by whom he has had issue eleven children. An ancestor of the mother of Admiral Le Geyt, whose name was Dejovas, came over as a volunteer with William III, was with him in all his battles, and was wounded at the battle of the Boyne.
As borne by Vice-Admiral George Le Geyt: Ermine, a lion, rampant, gules. Impaling: Per chevron, sable and argent; in chief, two mullets of the second, in base a heathcock, ppr., for Heath.
Crest : A lion's head, couped, ppr
Motto : Quo fata vocant.
As borne by Noé Le Geyt of La Chasse, Maufant (1619): Azure?, three laurel leaves vert, for Le Loreur. It was anciently the Island custom, also found in mainland Normandy, for men inheriting and settling on maternal land, in this case that of the Le Loreurs, to adopt the arms of that family in lieu of their own. This practice also involved those succeeding to estates long held by another family. Jersey examples of both of these customs are to be seen in the arms of the Lemprière, de Carteret and Dumaresq families, whose arms are in fact those of, respectively, Daubigny, de Barentin and in the case of Dumaresq, both Le Fevre of Vinchelez and Payn!
- Le Geyt, c1340
- Le Geyte 1274
- Le Geyt dit Rauvet 1581
- Le Geyt dit Le Maillier 1491
- La Weyte
- Le Gay
- Le Jayt
- Le Gey
- Le Gett
- Le Geict
- Le Geyt dit Maret
- Descendants of Raulet Le Geyt
- Descendants of Charles Le Geyt
- Descendants of Abraham Le Geyt
- Descendants of John Le Geyt Generation added in 2019 and tree's name changed
- Descendants of Philip John Le Geyt
- Descendants of Johan Le Geyt
- Descendants of Michel Le Geyt NEW
- Descendants of Robert Le Geyt
- Descendants of Jean Le Geyt Added 2019
- Descendants of Rogier Le Geyt Added 2019
- Descendants of Leonard Le Geyt Added 2019
The following two trees cover roughly the same lineage. Each contains details missing from the other. We are in the process of assembling a definitive tree, checked against Jersey church records. Until this is completed researchers are advised to study both these trees carefully
- Le Geyt baptisms in Jersey
- Le Geyt marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Le Geyt marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Le Geyt burials in Jersey
- Vice-Admiral George Le Geyt
- Philippe Le Geyt, Commentator on Jersey Law
- Charles William Le Geyt, Jersey's first postmaster
- The families of two Lieut-Bailiffs Philippe Le Geyt
- Matthieu Le Geyt, Jersey Norman-French poet
- Philip John Le Geyt, writer of letter to Queen Victoria
Le Geyt family members who served in World War 1
- Abraham Sydney Le Geyt (1875- ) (St H) son of Henry and Mary, husband of Alice, Rifleman, Royal Irish Rifles; Private, Labour Corps
- Alfred Edmund Le Geyt (1876- ) (St H) son of Philip and Mary, husband of Marie Catherine (nee Le Page), Corporal, Labour Corps
- Henry W Le Geyt (1875- ) (St H) son of Henry and Mary Ann, Sergeant, Royal Irish Rifles, and Labour Corps
- John Le Geyt (1868- ) Mercantile Marine
- Percy George Le Geyt (1892- ) (Gr) son of George and Matilda, ex-RMIJ, Private, Dorsetshire Regiment
- Philip Sydney Le Geyt (1896-1970) son of Willoughby Stuart Graham Le Geyt; Indian Army: Lieutenant, 153rd Rifles, later Captain
- Reginald Le Geyt (1893- ) (Gr) son of George and Matilda, ex-RMIJ, Private, Royal Jersey Garrison Battalion
- Chestnut Farm, St Helier
- La Chasse, Maufant, St Saviour
- La Guillaumerie, Maufant, St Saviour
- Le Geyt Farm, Croix de Bois, St Saviour
- Fernhill, St Helier
- Philip Le Geyt founded the jewellery business at 2 Queen Street, which is still there today after a number of changes of ownership
A button used by tailor J T Le Geyt
Bell Le Geyt, born 1840 in Jersey, the daughter of Charles William Le Geyt, and died 1934 in England. She received the Royal Lifeboat Society medal for bravery after rescuing two boys in Lyme Regis, was influential in the early Suffragist movement in Bath and Bristol, founded a Golden Coffee Pot in the village of Corston to promote temperance, and wrote two novels and numerous poems.
Clarissa May Cutler, née Le Geyt, her hammock positioned in front of a coastal tower, not positively identified but believed to be in Grouville Bay
Jeweller Philip Le Geyt and his grandson Stuart Le Geyt Cutler, in Royal Flying Corps uniform. Stuart was killed on active service in 1917
Clarissa Cutler, née Le Geyt, with her husband Lt. Col John Fouracre Cutler, a jeweller and their son Stuart
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