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St John:





Datestones at Beaupre

Photograph by Emile Guiton

The name of this property sounds as if has more to do with Jersey than the earlier Beech Farm, but it appears that the change occurred in the late 20th century when it was renamed after his home in Wales by a purchaser.

Jeanne Gruchy

The house, on the road north to Hautes Croix, was the original home from the late 15th century of the Romeril family, being that of St John, rather than the family of their undoubted kinsmen living 500 yards to the east, across the parish boundary, at La Fontaine, in Trinity. From a daughter and heiress of the Romerils, it passed by sale in 1636 to her brother-in-law, Jean Baudains and then, again through a daughter, Jeanne Baudains, into that of the two 19th century Jurats Picot. Dated stones go back to 1662. Perhaps its main claim to fame is that Jeanne Gruchy (1763-1848), whose mother was a Baudains, lived there with her mother`s family.

She lived in a room at the east end and had a small shop, selling black crepe for funerals and other materials. She was the daughter of Jean Gruchy and Jeanne Baudains.

She either made sufficient money to purchase the Don Gruchy fields which exist in each parish to help the poor.

In the 19th century the property was owned by the Picot family. It is shown on the Godfray map as owned by Jurat Philippe Picot, who was a Jurat from 1841 to 1870. He had earlier been Constable of St John from 1832-35. His nephew, John Picot, having been Constable from 1863-1870, became in the latter year a Jurat.


There is no shortage of datestones on the property, and several of them relate to the Baudains family. The earliest is the Arch capstone, which bears the initials IBD and the date 1668, for Jean Baudains. It is believed that this was placed by Jean Baudains (1602- ), who had married Collette Romeril.

The stone which can be clearly attributed is that with the initials NBD and NVP and the date 1784. This refers to Nicholas Baudains (1728- ) who married Margaret Valpy in 1753. The stone must, therefore, commemorate a date when some work was undertaken on the property rather than being a so-called 'marriage stone'.

Nicholas was the son of Simon Baudains and Marie Nicolle; grandson of Edouard Baudains and Jeanne Romeril; great-grandson of Jean Baudains, referred to above, and Collette Romeril. Jean was the son of Edouard Baudains and Marie.

Falling between these two stones is one dated 1711, with the initials EBD and SBD. This clearly relates to two Baudains, probably Edouard and his son Simon, who was the father of Nicholas (1728- ).

Nicholas Baudains (1728- ) had a sister, Jeanne, born in 1723, who married Jean Gruchy becoming, in due course, the mother of Jeanne Gruchy. Le Don Gruchy was created in 1848.

A fourth datestone simply has the initials EF and SLG with no date, and is a complete enigma.

Finally there is a much more recent datestone, with the initials JEL and AH either side of intertwined hearts, and the date 1938, seemingly commemorating an acquisition just before the Second World War and representing Dr John Lewis and his bride, Miss Ann Hulton.

Families associated with this property

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