A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

De la Mare Family of Guernsey

Please click the following link to view the de la Mare family tree (Adobe Reader required):

De la Mare Family Tree



Gg 5         (Nicolas Galienne and Marie Heaume)?



Gg 4         Pierre de la Mare and Marie Galienne (1746?)


Gg 3         Jean de la Mare (1773-) and Judith le Lacheur(1774-1857)

(of St Pierre du Bois)


Gg 2         Abraham de la Mare I (1815-1882) not married to Marguerite le Moigne (1821-1896)

(Butcher of Le Douit, St Pierre du Bois) but fathered by her


Gg 1         Abraham de La Mare II (1838-1917) and Marthe (Patty) Le Cras (1845-1928)

( Farm labourer of Sous l’Eglise|)


Gm         Marie Louise de La Mare (1876-1961) and (i) Edmund Alfred Bourgaize ( 1871-1904)

(ii) George William Torode (1868-1943)


Parents:         Edward Torode 1913-1981 and Alice Beatrice Salmon 1903-1993


Brian Edward Torode

(b 4th July 1941)

 (d 4th March 2014)

Brian Torode’s De La Mare Family of St Pierre du Bois and St Saviour’s, Guernsey.

I have not been able to prove so far, any ancestors before Jean and Judith, but I have much more information still to work on.

In the late 1800s and even into the early 1900s marriage in Guernsey was very different to what it is today. Engagements were made and preparations for marriage arranged, but it is frequently recorded in parish records that one or other of the parties failed to turn up – celebrations having started the previous evening and continued right through the time of the wedding. The marriage was then postponed – and sometimes forgotten about – and the couple just continued living together as husband and wife, or until they got round to making it ‘legal.’ Birth outside marriage was common amongst the country folk and if a church marriage was arranged after such a birth, the couple had to acknowledge their impropriety and publicly acknowledge the child as their own, or if it wasn’t the child of both parties, then one had to acknowledge willingness to ‘adopt’ the child as his/her own. Although illegitimacy was frowned upon, it wasn’t the disgrace that we often think it to be, especially if one kept amongst one’s own social class. In Florence’s case, her birth was made legitimate when she was 3 years old.

In recording births, marriages and deaths, Guernsey custom was mainly to give the name of the parents or spouse, and on the female side, to give the maiden name eg; Baptism: Jean de la Mare son of Abraham and Marie de Garis or in the case of Marriage: John Torode son of William and Marie le Cras daughter of Charles and Ann le Lacheur.

Pre 1771:

Pierre de la Mare and Marie Galienne my great, great, great, great grandparents. It is probable that Marie, born c1746, was the daughter of Nicolas Galienne and Marie Heaume of St Peter’s who would be my great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents.

Pierre and Marie had at least three children:

Judith, baptised at St Pierre on 7th September 1771, her godparents being Nicolas de la Mare (her grandfather?); Marie Jehan, and her mother Marie nee Galienne.

Pierre who was baptised at St Pierre on the 9th of October 1772. His godparents were Jean Brehaut, Nicolas de la Mare ( his grandfather?) and Marie nee Galienne his mother.

Jean, baptised at St Pierre in 1773. John married at St Pierre, Judith le Lacheur in 1798.

1773: Jean de la Mare and Judith le Lacheur., great, great, great grandparents

Jean de la Mare, the son of Pierre de la Mare and Marie Galienne, was baptised at St Pierre du Bois in 1773 presumably the year in which he was born.

On 13th October 1798 aged 25 Jean married at St Pierre du Bois, Judith le Lacheur aged 24, daughter of Jean le Lacheur and Elizabeth nee le Page. Judith was born on 23rd October 1774, a year after her future husband Jean, and she died the 7th January 1857. They had at least four children:

Jean ( John) born 1801;

Mary born 1806 and living with her father in 1841.

Pierre born 1809 a fisherman by occupation.

Abraham (i) born 1815. At the time of Abraham’s birth they were all living at Sous l’Eglise, St Saviour’s.

In the 1841 Census, Jean aged 40 is living at Le Douit married to Rachel aged 35. Jean’s occupation is given as pilot ( fishing boat pilot) By 1851 they had eight children: John 19; Betsey 16; Peter 13; Abraham 12; Mary 9; Rachel 7; Henry 5 and Julia 2.

It has not been possible so far to determine with any accuracy, the marriages and offspring of Mary and Pierre. However:

1815:.Abraham de la Mare (i) great, great, grandfather

Abraham was born on 15th September and baptised on 17h September 1815. His parents were living at Sous l’Eglise, St Saviours at the time of his birth. His godparents were Pierre le Lacheur, Jean de la Mare and Rachel Tostevin. Abraham had at least two brothers and one sister:

Abraham’s first child was the illegitimate Abraham (ii) by Marguerite le Moigne. He was baptised at St Pierre on 19th December 1838, his place of birth being given as Rocquaine. He is named Abraham de la Mare, and described as illegitimate son of Marguerite le Moigne. His godparents were B…le Huray, James Fallaize and Elizabeth Fallaize. His mother Marguerite had been born in 1821, the daughter of James le Moigne and Mary his wife.

In the Census for 1841 Marguerite is aged 20 and living with her parents:

James le Moigne, publican aged 55 born La Fontenelle

Mary his wife aged 55

William, son, aged 25, labourer

Marguerite daughter aged 20

Caroline daughter, aged 15

Abraham de la Mare aged 2 was living with the family.

Later that year on 17th June 1841, Marguerite, married Fred Pallot. On 20th February that same year, Abraham de la Mare (i) married Harriette Bachelay, daughter of Jean and Mary nee le Moigne who had married in 1811. Mary, widow of Jean Bachelay, died aged 88 on 31st October 1872. They had at least two daughters, Sophie, born 1818, who married Henri Breton. Sophie died at Les Rouvets aged 42 on 8th March 1860. The other daughter was Harriette, born in 1824 and who would have been only 17 at the time of her marriage to Abraham. His illegitimate 2 year old son was then living with his mother Marguerite le Moigne and her parents. The 1841 Census described Harriette’s husband Abraham (i) as a sailor aged 25 born at St Pierre.

Abraham and Harriette saw the birth of their first and only child Henriette in 1842. She was born and baptised on 29th March at Le Douit, but died the same day. The Parish register records her death daughter of Abraham de la Mare, au Vinaires, Pecheur and Harriette Bachelay.

The marriage was not intended to last for exactly a year later, on 16th March 1843, Harriette herself died in childbirth –‘au couche’ – thus leaving Abraham a widower.

Ten years later, in the 1851 Census we find the following information:

Le Cotillon:

Fred Pallot, fisherman aged 29

Marguerite, wife, 30 

Nancy, dtr, 9 

Robert, son, 7 

Margaret, dtr, 5 

Mary, dtr 3

Frederick, son 1

Abraham de la Mare, stepson, 12.

Le Douit:

Abraham de la Mare , head, 36, fisherman, b St Pierre

Elizabeth, wife, 29

Marie, 3

Abraham, 1

Infant, 1 month.

It would seem therefore that Abraham probably four years after the death of Harriette had remarried a woman by the name of Elizabeth and by 1851 they had had three children. Abraham’s son, Abraham was still living with his mother and stepfather at Le Cotillon. Of further interest is the fact that next door to where Abraham and Elizabeth were living, was Jean de la Mare, a widower aged 77 and probably Abraham (i)’s father – the age and details fit perfectly. Next door to him lived another Jean de la Mare, who is very likely Abraham’s brother Jean, the fisherman pilot aged 51; his wife Rachel aged 45 and eight children ranging in age from 2 up to 19.

Turning to the 1861 Census, the Pallots are still living at Le Cotillon – Frederick aged 40, a fisherman; Marguerite nee le Moigne, his wife aged 40, and unmarried 22 year old Abraham de la Mare, an agricultural labourer.

At le Douit, we still find Abraham de la Mare senior, a fisherman aged 44, living with his wife Elizabeth aged 38, daughter Marie aged 12, son Abraham aged 11 and the previously one month old infant now named John and aged 10.

Interestingly next door lived Jean Bachelay aged 44, with wife Mary aged 56 – Henriette’s brother? While next door lived Jean de la Mare aged 61 which would be the age of Abraham’s brother John, born in 1801.

The maiden name of Abraham’s wife Elizabeth is not known, but by 1871, Abraham is still living at le Douit, a widower aged 57 with his daughter Elizabeth aged 10 and Jean Bachelay, his brother in law, also a widower aged 51. This would confirm his relationship to the late Harriette suggested above.

Abraham lived at le Douit until his death on 28th August 1882 aged 68. Death was exacerbated by severe rheumatism and his death certificate gives his occupation as butcher. Marguerite le Moigne died in 1896.

Abraham de la Mare, (ii) illegitimate son of Abraham de la Mare and Marguerite le Moigne, my grandfather, was baptised the 19th December 1838 at St Pierre. His godparents were B….le Huray, James Fallaize and Elizabeth Fallaize. After living with his mother Marguerite and his step father, Frederick Pallot until the age of 34, he married Marthe (Patty) le Cras daughter of Charles le Cras and Mary nee Mahy. They were married at St Saviour’s Church by licence on 14th January 1872. The Rector, the Rev D Carey, officiated. Patty had been born on 5th November 1845 so was younger than her husband by 7 years. Prior to her marriage, Patty was a domestic general servant in the home of Mr Hilary Dorey at Plaisance in the Catel Parish, where he lived a 70 year old widower with a 9 year old son.

Abraham and Patty had four children:

Abraham, born 2nd May 1872, just under four months after their marriage. He died on 25th December of that year;

Alice Mary, born Sous l’Eglise 23rd July 1874 , baptised at St Saviour’s 16th August 1874 – godparents Abraham de la Mare (i) her grandfather, Patty le Cras her mother and Mary Mahy her mother’s mother. Alice died on 28th November 1874 and was buried on 3rd December.

Marie Louise – born 9th September at Sous l’Eglise1876 and died 22nd March 1961.

Joseph born Rue Fauvresse St Saviour’s 5th December 1880 and who died 29th December of convulsions.

In the 1881 Census the family is living at Rue Fauvresse, Sous l’Eglise, St Saviour’s and consists of Abraham de la Mare, Head, aged 43 an agricultural labourer born St PduBois; Patty, wife, aged 36; Mary, daughter aged 4 ( Marie Louise ), both born St Saviour’s.

In 1891, they had moved to Les Prevost, Les Butes Road, St Saviour’s.

Abraham de la Mare, Head, married, aged 50, agricultural labourer employed, born St PduBois

Patty, wife, married, aged 44 born St Saviour’s

Marie Louise, daughter, aged 14, scholar, born St S

Willie Guilbert boarder aged 4, born St S.

The Census for 1901 shows them living at La Pomare, St PduBois, in the same house as Marie Louise, now married to Edmund Bourgaize. The details are given below under Marie Louise and Edmund Bourgaize. Abraham has given his age as 63, Patty as 53.

The 1911 Census provides the following information: Living at Sous l’Eglise in two rooms:

Abraham de la Mare, Head, married, aged 75, farm labourer, born St Pierre, father born St Pierre.

Patty de la Mare, wife, aged 60, married 36 years, born St Saviour, father born St Saviour.

Four children, 1 alive, three died. ( the one alive is my grandmother, Marie Louise de la Mare)

John Cecil Bourgaize, grandson, aged 11, at school, born St Peter’s, father born St Peter’s.

Alfred Bourgaize, grandson, aged 9 at school, born St Peter’s father born St Peter’s.

Abraham de la Mare signed this entry with his mark X

The grandsons John and Alfred Bourgaize were the children of Marie Louise , daughter of Abraham and Patty, and her ‘husband’ Edmund Alfred Bourgaize, although no trace of their marriage has been found.

Abraham (ii) died at Sous l’Eglise, St Saviour’s aged 79 on 23 Jan 1917. His daughter Marie had gone out to fetch some peppermints for his indigestion but when she got back he was dead. His death certificate records cause of death as Bronchitis and heart failure. His occupation is given as labourer and his parents are given as Abraham de la Mare and Marguerite le Moigne.

The Press announcement of his death is as follows:

Deeply Regretted, Abraham de la Mare at Sous l’Eglise. The funeral will leave here at 2.45 on January 27thfor burial at St Saviour’s Church. Men and women invited.

Patty survived Abraham a further 11 years, dying at 29 George Street, St Peter Port where she had been living with her daughter Marie Louise and son-in-law George William Torode.


Marthe de la Mare (Patty Le Cras) and Alfred Bourgaize

Patty’s death certificate records that she

Died April 19th 1928 at 4.40 pm. Marthe le Cras, widow of Abraham de la Mare, daughter of Charles le Cras and Mary Mahy, aged 82. Died at her daughter’s residence 29 George Street St Peter Port, her usual abode. Cause of death Heart failure and chronic bronchitis.

The funeral took place at St Saviour’s Church on 27th January at 2.45. Abraham and Patty are buried in the same grave just outside the North Porch of the Church on the left hand side.

1876:: Marie Louise de la Mare – grandmother

Marie was born on 9th September 1876 at St Saviour’s. Her parents were Abraham de la Mare and Marthe – pet name Patty – le Cras. She was baptised at St Saviour’s Church on 24th September: Her baptism entry reads – (original in French):

Marie Louise, daughter of Abraham de la Mare and Patty le Cras his wife, born 9th September 1876, was baptised privately on 24th and then presented at church 8th October following.

Her godparents were Abraham de la Mare (her grandfather) Patty le Cras, (her mother) and Mary Mahy (her mother’s mother, ie her grandmother). The Register entry is signed, J Girard. Rector.

Marie had two brothers and one sister:

Abraham, born 2nd May 1872 who died seven months later on 25th December;

Joseph born 5th December 1880 and who died twenty four days later on 29th December;

Alice Mary born 23 July 1874 who died four months later on 28th November 1874.

Marie first married – or lived at St Pierre du Bois at La Pomare with – Edmund Alfred Bourgaize, born 12th December 1871 and who died 18th December 1904. Edmund was the son of Alfred and Marie Mary Bourgaize and he had four brothers and two sisters, all born in St PduBois.

The 1901 Census for Edmund and Marie Louise records as follows: 2 rooms, Ebenezer, La Pomare

Edmund A Bourgaize, Head, married aged 29, farmer employer born St PduB

Marie L, wife, married aged 24, farmer’s wife born St Saviour’s

John C Bourgaize, son, unm aged 1 born StS

Walter Bourgaize, boarder, unm aged 25, agricultural labourer born St PduB.

The Walter is brother of Edmund.

It must be remembered that for Census purposes, the number of rooms does not include kitchen, toilet, scullery etc, only living rooms and bedrooms. Even so, two rooms was barely adequate for a family yet alone a family with a lodger.

Interestingly enough, in the same house also living in two rooms were Marie Louise’s parents:

Abraham de la Mare, Head, married aged 63, agricultural labourer worker, born St PduB

Patty, wife, married, aged 53 born St S

William Guilbert, boarder, unm aged 14, agricultural labourer born St S.

Edmund Bourgaize was addicted to alcohol and was found dead in a shed at St Pierre du Bois on Sunday 18th December 1904. The local Press gave a full report of the inquest on 22nd December 1904.

The Guernsey Evening Press report of Thursday 22 December 1904 reads as follows:

This day, before Sir H.A.Giffard, KC, Bailiff and Jurats H le Coq, F.B.Mainguy, E.C.Ozanne and Julius Bishop, INQUEST. DEATH FROM ALCOHOLIC POISONING.

An enquiry was held as to the cause of death of Edmund Alfred Bourgaize aged about 32, who was found dead in a shed at St Peter’s about midnight on Sunday.

Mr Walter Robin, Constable of St Peter’s said he was called at 1.45 on Monday morning by two of the witnesses. He found deceased on his back on a bed in a packing shed at L’Eclet. The body was still warm. Witness at once telephoned for Dr Benson, who arrived shortly afterwards. Deceased who lived at Sous l’Eglise, St Saviour’s was addicted to drink. Mr Pierre le Cras lived in the same house as deceased who had appeared quite well of late. After dinner on Sunday, deceased went out about 2 o’clock. He was quite sober and had only drunk about half a pint of cider. Witness did not see deceased again.

Mrs le Cras gave corroborative evidence.

Mr Jean Tostevin who resides at L’Eclet saw deceased about 4 pm on Sunday and gave him a glass of gin. Deceased had evidently been drinking and he remained at witness’s house during the evening. Eventually he was placed on a bed in the packing shed. He was then sufficiently sober to walk. Witness saw deceased between 10 and 11 o’clock and shook him but obtained no response. At first witness thought he was drunk but on realising that he was dead informed the Constable.

Corroborative evidence was given by several other witnesses who were in the company of the deceased and Jean Tostevin at L’Eclet on Sunday evening. All stated that Bourgaize drank his gin ( Old Tom) without water. Mr Jean de la Mare who lives at Le Douit, near L’Eclet, was called about midnight on Sunday by the Tostevins to see Bourgaize. He at once realised that the man was dead.

Dr D’A Benson, was called about 2 am on Monday to see deceased. Witness had known the man for years and did not remember having ever seen him sober. Witness was of the opinion that death was the result of acute alcoholic poisoning. There were no marks of violence on the body.

A verdict in accordance with the medical evidence was returned.

The Inquest – Levee de corps – page 307, December 1904 Greffe Records.

In French – the following a translation from the original:

The Court having been informed that Edmund Alfred Bourgaize aged about 32 died in a building situated at L’Eclet in the parish of St Peter in the Wood, during the night of 18-19 December 1904 and the Procureur du Roi having called for a doctor, (Dr Benson) and other witnesses sworn on oath to discover how he came to his end. The Court after having heard the said witness on oath, listening to the conclusions given by the Procureur du Roi, gave permission to those to whom it belonged, to bury the body of the said Bourgaize, the which was addicted to drink, having passed part of the afternoon of Sunday 18th December with Mr Jean Tostevin at L’Eclet; being drunk was put to bed on a feather bed in the said premises between seven and eight in the evening; he was visited during the night and towards two in the morning the Constable and Dr Benson were sent for. There were no marks of violence on the body. He had died about midnight and his death was caused by alcoholism.

Marie and Edmund had three children

Edmund born 2nd May 1897 who died aged 10 weeks;

John born 1898 who died 4th July 1977;

Alfred born 25th June 1901 at La Pomare, St Saviour’s, and who died about 1964/65.

I gather from what my father told me that Marie was very cruelly treated by Edmund her husband, due to his drink problem and many a time she and the two boys slept in fields or in hay ricks to escape his violence.

The son Alfred made good and lived in his own terraced house at the Mont Saint, St Saviour’s with his wife Annie Brehaut – (Cuckoo Annie we called her.) They died childless. Alfred was Marie’s favourite son of this marriage and she maintained her visits to him and Annie right to the end of her life. I used to walk with her from town to the Mont Saint, where we had tea or sometimes lunch. There I loved to use the outside lavatory – the thunder house as uncle Alfred called it. Before leaving, Marie always had her basket filled with vegetables from the garden and I was always given sixpence with the command – ‘Not to spend all at once mon petit.’ Then we’d walk back to town.

The other son, John, married Hilda Vidamour. He was a farm labourer and had one daughter, Gwen, and sons Ronnie, Gordon and Lionel. Towards the end of their lives John and Hilda lived in the Rohais, St Peter Port. John turned out very much like his father – loved a drink, but loved it too much. Never the less he was much loved by Marie Louise and was always welcome at her home when he had had ‘one too many and couldn’t face going home to Hilda.’

After Edmund’s death Marie married George William Torode a widower and on the marriage certificate Marie is described as widow, so there must have been a marriage to Edmund Bourgaize but I have not been able to trace one so far.

Details of the marriage of Marie Louise and George William and their offspring are given below. George William died in 1943. The announcement in the Guernsey Star on 9th March 1943 is as follows:

Died at his residence, 29 George Street, St Peter Port, George William Torode, beloved husband of Marie Louise de la Mare, passed peacefully away aged 74 and 8 months. Deeply regretted. Funeral at Bordage Mission Hall, Wednesday March 10th 1943 at 3 pm. Relatives and friends please accept this intimation.

Marie died 22nd March 1961 and was buried on 25th from Salem Chapel in Vauvert.

The Evening Press announcement of Marie Louise’s death on 25th March 1961 reads as follows:

On March 23rd 1961, Marie Louise, nee de la Mare, widow of George William Torode, at 93 Victoria Road, in her 85th year after a long illness patiently born. Deeply mourned. Funeral will meet at Salem Methodist Chapel on Saturday at 2 pm. Relatives and friends please accept this intimation.

Marie’s death certificate records cause of death as carcinoma of the left ovary. 93 Victoria Road was where Marie was living with her daughter Mildred. Both George William and Marie were buried in the same grave at Foulon Cemetery – no tombstone at present.

1907: FLORENCE de la MARE

Florence was born on 17th March 1907 at Les Rouvets, St Saviour’s. Les Rouvets was the Torode family home for generations, and at the time of Florence’s birth it was owned and occupied by George William Torode. He had been born in the house on 9th July 1868 and baptised at St Saviour’s Church on 2nd August 1868. He was a market gardener, a property owner (his own house) and the country parishes’ agent for the Guernsey Evening Press. At the time of Florence’s birth, her mother, Marie Louise, nee de la Mare, was the widow of Edmund Alfred Bourgaize who had died from alcoholic poisoning on 18th December 1904. (see above)

Marie Louise and George William Torode may have been living together when Florence was born, as Marie was a widow and George a widower. But on 16th March 1910 George William Torode and Marie Louise de la Mare were married by Licence at the Greffe and his address is then given as Rue a l’Or St Saviour’s and hers as La Cache, St Peter in the Wood. (The Rue a l’Or home was one of the houses which are now at the bottom of the Reservoir.)At the time of this marriage Florence was exactly three years of age.

The details on the marriage certificate state that George’s father was Nicolas Daniel Torode and Marie Louise’s father was Abraham de la Mare. Both George William and Marie Louise signed their own names, but the witnesses – Marie Louise’s father Abraham, and Julie le Cras – a cousin of Marie Louise, could only put their mark with a X. It is interesting that there is a sworn statement included on the Certificate as follows:

We the undersigned, George William Torode and Marie Louise de la Mare hereby acknowledge Florence de la Mare, natural child of Marie Louise de la Mare, born on 17th March 1907 at Les Rouvets in the parish of St Saviour in the Island of Guernsey, to be our child.

Thereafter presumably, Florence became legitimate, as Florence Torode, but I have not yet seen her baptism nor death certificates which I will do in due course.

However, before George and Marie Louise were married they had a further two children – twins John Clifford and Clifford John, born on 29th March 1909. They both were baptised immediately and privately indicating imminent death. John died the following day – 30th March; Clifford John died two days later on 1st April. Family legend has it that the twins were bewitched by someone who wanted to marry George William and resented his relationship with Marie Louise.

The following year Marie Louise was again pregnant and Mildred (Shirley’s mother) was born on 7th April 1910, at Rue a l’Or, just three weeks after George William and Marie Louise had tied the knot. Mildred was baptised at St Saviour’s on 20th April 1910.

The 1911 Census lists the family which was living at the time, at Le Moulin, St Saviour’s. 4 males, three females in 3 rooms.

George William, Head, aged 42. married 1 year. Six children: four alive, two dead. Labourer, born St Saviour’s, father born St Saviour’s.

Marie Louise de la Mare, wife, aged 35 married 1 year. Housekeeper, born St Saviour’s, father born St Saviour’s. (in same Census, her father’s birth place is given as St Pierre.)

George Torode, son, 15, single, driver born St Saviour, Father born St Saviour.

Wilfred, son aged 12 single, born St Saviour, Father born St Saviour.

(These two sons were children of George William’s first marriage.)

Florry daughter aged 4 born St Saviour’s father born St Saviour’s.

Mildred daughter aged 1, birth details as Florry.

Jospeh Denil, border aged 39 single labourer, born France, father born France.

Three years later, on 21st November 1913, the fifth child Edward John Torode was born at Les Dunes, Catel. He was baptised at St Saviour’s on 7th December 1913. (BrianTorode’s father) and married on February 8th 1941, Alice Beatrice Torode nee Salmon..

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2014 by in Guernsey Family and tagged , , .
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