A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode

Le Cras Family of Guernsey

Gg viii Pierre (m 1663) Cateline le Letdie (?)


Gg vii Charles (1665-1728) m (5.11.1691) Ann de Garis (d 1705 fme.)


Gg vi Charles (1695 –vivant 1754) and Rachel Brache (1695-1745)


Gg v Thomas (1725-1802) m (19.7.1750) Marie Alexandre (d 1820 vve)


Gg iv Charles (1758-1829) m (18.5.1787)Susanne Brehaut (1767-1845vve)


Gg iii Charles (1790-1860) m (15.12.1816) Marthe Tostevin ( 1790-1875vve)


Gg ii Charles (1820-1904) m Mary Mahy (1818-1900 fme)


Gg i Marthe( Patty) (1845-1928) m (1872) Abraham de la Mare (1838-1917)


G-parents: Marie Louise de la Mare ( 1876-1961) m George W Torode (1868-1943)

The late Mr Tom Priaulx supplied for me the following assessment of the le Cras family. From 1616 it was much better off in the material and social sense than in more recent times they have been given credit for. They were pew holders, suggesting a family of some substance and their holding in the Fief St Michel in the 17th century points to an owner – occupier farming way of life, a reasonably successful one too. They retained possession of some of their land right into the 19th century.

They also entered into sensible marriages up to the 18th century, but there seems to have been a decline post 1787 after the marriage to Susanne Brehaut – probably too large a family of sons to give them all a good start in life and the boys had to learn trades – carpenter, mason, blacksmith, butcher etc – and not to depend on inherited property.

The le Cras name was in St Saviour’s from the late 1400s. The earliest reference I have traced is to an Etienne le Cras in the Fief St Michel’s Perchage of 11th October. Etienne was a house and surrounding land owner of 2 vergees 10 perches; in addition he owned a field Courtil Hus of 1 vergee 17 perches; part of a meadow at Bas Marais of 2 vergees 8 perches; a field at Camp de la Marette of 28 perches; at Courtil a Lain 1 vergee 15 perches and land at le Mont Saint of 1 vergee 17 perches, making a total holding of 9 vergees 15 perches.

In the same Perchage, Charles le Cras, Etienne’s brother, owned a house and surrounding land of 2 vergees 10 perches; a field, Courtil du Rigout of 1 vergee and part of the meadow shared with his brother Etienne at le Bas Marais of 1 vergee 10 perches.

My direct line starts from

Pierre le Cras (Gg viii),married Cateline le Letdiee on 28th July 1663, when John Moorhead had just been appointed Anglican Rector, a position he held until 1669.

They had five children of whom:

Charles (Gg vii) was baptised 16th July 1665, His godparents were Mr Andros and Lt Blondel

Marie was baptised 21 April 1667. Her godfather was Helier des Maret. Marie died in infancy.

Ane was baptised 21 July 1668 and her godfather was Mr Andros. Ane must have died in infancy because a second

Ane was baptised 1st February 1669.

Marie was the last known child, baptised 30 October 1671, and her godfather was Thomas Torode.

It is likely that there were also children named Pierre and Cateline but so far no reference has been found.

No further record of Cateline Letdiee ( name difficult to read in register) has been found, but it is probable that Pierre le Cras is the one named in the registers who died on 12th October 1671, just before the birth of his daughter the second Marie.

Charles, (Gg vii) married Ane de Garis, of La Croix, Les Jenemies, on 5 November 1691 a particularly good marriage according to the late St Saviour’s authority, Mr Tom Priaulx. The Rector at that time was Alexandre de Soulies who moved on the following year. In the 1694 Livre de Perchage Charles owned the land which was previously owned by Charles le Cras in 1616. The other land owned by Etienne in 1616 was now owned by Jean Brache, by right of his wife, the daughter of Etienne le Cras, although part of the 2v 8 p at the Bas Marais Meadow had been disposed of and now amounted to 1v 35 p.

Charles and Ane had four children:

Ane baptised 26th October 1692, who died aged one day on 27th October.

Marie was baptised 25th February 1693, her godfather being James de Garis

Charles (Gg vi) who was baptised 25th December 1695 and was alive in 1754.

Ane baptised 24th December 1699. Ane was buried on 30th March 1725.

Charles, husband of Ane, died on 5th March 1728/9 aged 53. He still owned the property listed in 1694 and had added to it by 1718 land at La Place de la Maladerie of 2v 20p. His wife Ane had pre-deceased him by 23 years – on 10th August 1705 and it is probable that Charles had re-married. (See below, dispersal of land)

Charles le Cras, (Gg vi) son of Charles and Ann de Garis, was baptised 25th December 1695 and was still alive in 1754, where he is named in the Livre de Percage. He married

Rachel Brache, fille Pierre and Ane David, who had married on 15th November 1688. In the 1718 Livre de Perchage, Charles owned a field formerly belonging to his late mother, at Courtil de la Croute 1v 20p.. As this was inherited during the life of his father, this makes it clear that Charles the father had remarried, and forfeited by Guernsey law, his life enjoyment of inheritance.

By the time of 1754 Livre de Perchage Charles, husband of Rachel Brache, had inherited the property formerly belonging to Etienne le Cras in 1616, and his own father’s property listed in the 1718 Livre de Perchage and had bought a field bought from Jean Andros. This made him a considerable property owner in the Fief St Michel.

On Wednesday 11th January 1749, the family would have experienced the abnormally high tide which had flooded all the low lying land from le Petit Riguenet entrance to Perelle Bay near the Charles house at the Richmond end of the bay at La Tablette, just past Perelle slipway. The water flowed over Richard Brehaut’s hedge. ( This was in Les Jenemies/La Croix area) By the following March 26th which was, Easter Day, it had rained incessantly for fourteen days; on May 3rd there was heavy hailstorm; on 17th/18th June strong gales arrived and 40 loads of vraic was gathered on the sea beaches. There were severe frosts on Thursday and Friday 16th and 17th November which were repeated throughout the middle weeks of December. On Sunday June 10th the following year, hail stones as big a magpie’s eggs was seen in the same area.

Charles and Rachel had at least eight children.

James was baptised at St Saviour’s on 9th March 1720 and died on 25th of the same month.

Rachel was baptised 10th June 1722 but died soon afterward.

Thomas (Gg v) was baptised 10th October 1725.

Ane died 30th March 1725.

Anne the second was baptised 3rd November 1728. Her godparents were Judith Brache, Ane Bazin and Charles le Cras her grandfather. She died aged 4 and was buried 19th of November in 1732.

Charles was baptised 25th December 1731 and died within the year on 29th November 1732.

Charles second died 1st January 1789 and finally another

Ane who was baptised 25th April 1736. Ane married Daniel le Rey but there was no issue from this marriage. Daniel is mentioned in the Livre de Percage for 1796 when he owned land formerly belonging to Ane’s mother, Rachel Brache.

Charles the father, was still alive in 1754, a widower, as Rachel had died ‘age de 50 ans environ, morte des enfleur, le 16 octobre 1745’(died from swellings of the body)

Thomas le Cras, (Gg v) son of Charles and Rachel Brache, was baptised 10th October 1725 and presented at Church by Thomas Brache, Charles le Cras and Marguerite le Page. (The name Thomas actually came into the family as the result of the marriage between Charles le Cras and Ane de Garis. Her uncle Thomas owned the estate at les Annevilles, St Saviour’s.) Thomas married Marie Alexandre on 19th July 1750. Marie was the daughter of Jean Alexandre and Elizabeth Allaire.

Thomas is mentioned in the Livre de Percage St Michel 1769 and their son is mentioned in the 1808edition. In the 1796 Livre, Thomas owned most of the land belonging to Charles in 1754, plus Ane de Garis’ field, plus Courtil des Flaguees which he owned by right of his wife Marie Alexandre.

Thomas senior died 18th March 1802 followed by his wife Marie Alexandre who was buried 19th December 1820, ‘Veuve Thomas le Cras.’ ( Widow of Thomas le Cras)

Thomas and Marie had nine, possibly ten children.

Rachel was the first born , baptised 5th December 1750. She died 18th December 1755, aged 4 and three quarter years of whooping cough.( Parish register)

Thomas was second born and baptised on 4th November 1753. He made his first Communion in 1775 at the age of 22. By 1808 Livre de Perchage, Thomas owned all of his father’s property. He married (i) on 7th July 1782, Marie Torode daughter of Nicholas, who died 19th December 1790. A son Thomas, son of Thomas and Marie, died at Les Jenemies on 26th March 1847aged 60. Thomas’ second marriage was to (ii) Margaret le Page.

Marie the third child was baptised 16th April 1756 and died 19th May 1762 aged 6 years.

Charles (Gg iv) was the fourth child who was baptised 29th March 1758, presented by Nicolas de Garis, Pierre Alexandre and Esther Galienne...

Elizabeth was the next child baptised on 28th March 1762.

James was next born and baptised on 30th September 1764. James married Judith Alexandre daughter of Jean Alexandre and Judith Galienne. They had a son Thomas who died in June 1847 at Les Prevots of accidental poisoning. James died aged 71 on 28th May 1835 and Judith his wife died a widow 21st January 1848 aged 84. In 1796 he owned the house and land formerly belonging to his uncle by marriage, Daniel le Rey husband of Ane le Cras, amounting to 3.5 vergees. By 1808 he had increased his holdings with some of the lands descended from Charles and Ane de Garis

Pierre was baptised 17th July 1768

Marguerite baptised 17th September 1771 and died the 1st January 1809.

Jean was the last of the children, was baptised 24th January 1773. He died in hospital on 14th January 1851 aged 78. He had two sons, James and Daniel.

Nicolas baptised 5th October 1760 (?)

Charles le Cras, (Gg iv) son of Thomas and Marie Alexandre was baptised 29th March 1758. He was presented at Church by Nicolas de Garis, Pierre Alexandre and Esther Galienne. On 18th May 1787, at the age of 29, he married Susanne Brehaut, daughter of Richard Brehaut son of Simon, and Magdelaine le Lacheur, daughter of Phillipin, who had married 29th August 1742. Susanne had been baptised 15th February 1767, so at the time of her marriage she was 20 and Charles was 29.

Charles le Cras, fils Thomas, et Susanne Brehaut fille Richard, tous deux de cette paroisse, se sont maries ensmble le 15 mai 1787.’

The Rector at this period was Andre Migaut, who was assisted 1784-1798 by Rev F A Emeric de St Dalmas, formerly a Roman Catholic Canon of Nice.

In the 1808 Livre de Perchage Charles owned a small holding amounting to just 5p with a house on site, formerly belonging to Jean Torode

Charles and Susanne had four known children:

Charles who died as an infant, born 1st February 1789.

Charles, (Gg iii) baptised 10th October 1790…

Thomas baptised 21st November 1793, his godparents being Nicolas Torode, Rachel de le Ree sa femme and Richard Brehaut. Thomas married Judith (Colenette?) and died at La Marette on 8th March 1851, aged 57. Thomas and Judith had three sons and three daughters between 1826 and 1840.

Jean, fils Charles le Cras et Susanne Brehaut baptised 29th October 1797.

Charles senior died 9th February 1829 aged 71 and was buried 12th February at St Saviour’s. His widow Susanne nee Brehaut died May 18th in 1845 ‘widow of Charles le Cras, daughter of Richard Brehaut and Magdelaine le Lacheur. Susanne’s death was not registered until two weeks after her death, on 31st May 1845.(Death Cert.)

It was after Charles death that this branch of the family fell on hard times. Susanne received ‘Payment des Pauvres’- parish poor law relief – in 1835 = 1/9; 1837 = 4/2; 1838 11/-; 1841 = 10/-, although other branches of the family owned considerable land and property at Sous l’Eglise.

Charles le Cras (Gg iii) son of Charles and Susanne Brehaut, was born in 1790 and baptised at St Saviour’s on 10th October in the same year. His grandparents were Thomas le Cras and Marie Alexandre his wife, Charles paternal grandparents and Jean Brehaut his maternal grandfather. He married Marthe Tostevin, fille Daniel and Rachel de Garis, on 15th December 1816.

Charles le Cras, fils Charles et Marthe Tostevin fille Daniel, se sont maries le 15 fevrier 1816’

Marthe was born 18th January 1790 and baptised the following day. At the time of their marriage, they were both aged 26

By 1834, Charles owned a house and land at Les Jenemies. He is described as a butcher in the 1841 Census

St Saviour’s, Les Jenemies. 1841

Charles le Cras Head aged 50, butcher born Guernsey

Marthe wife aged 50

Susan daughter aged 15

Nicholas son aged 11

Elizabeth daughter aged 8

Susan le Cras mother aged 80.

Susan le Cras aged 80 is Charles mother nee Brahaut. As she died in 1845, she is not mentioned in the 1851 Census. Charles has however changed trades by 1851 although the family was still at les Jenemies.

St Saviour’s, Les Jenemies, 1851

Charles aged 60, agricultural Labourer;

Marthe his wife aged 59;

Nicolas, son, aged 20, agricultural labourer;

Elizabeth aged 18, dressmaker –

all were born in St Saviour’s.

Charles died of consumption aged 69 on 4th March 1860 and was buried on the 9th. In the 1861 Census, his widow Marthe is still living at Les Jenemies, a widow aged 70 described as a knitting woman, and living with her daughter Betsey ( Elizabeth) still unmarried aged 26 and also a knitting woman.

In the St Saviour’s Census for 1871, Marthe has moved to live with her other daughter Susan who had married John Breton in 1849. Susan lived at Les Jenemies and is now 43 years of age and a dressmaker. She is described as Head of the house, ( not widow,) and living with her is her unmarried daughter Betsey aged 19, also a dressmaker, born St Saviour’s. There is also Alice also unmarried, the dressmaker’s daughter aged 14 and born in St Peter Port. Marthe is described as a widow aged 83 ‘ the dressmaker’s mother. ‘

A boarder named Thomas Sarre aged 6 and born in the Catel Parish is also living in the house.

Marthe died on 25th April 1875 at Les Jenemies:

Marthe Tostevin, veuve Charles le Cras, est mort agee de 85 ans, le 25 avril 1875, fille Daniel Tostevin et de Rachel de Garis, Les Jenemies.’

Marthe died of natural causes. Her Death Certificate states that she was daughter of Daniel Tostevin and Rachel de Garis and widow of Charles le Cras.

Charles and Marthe had had at least five children between 1820 and 1832:

Marthe was born the 1st November 1817 and baptised on 9th day of the same month. Her godparents were Daniel Tostevin, maternal grandfather and Elizabeth Tostevin and Marguerite le Cras. Marthe married Pierre Brehaut fils Pierre on 11th June 1837.

Charles (Gg ii) born 15th September 1820 and baptised 24th of the month. His godparents were Pierre Tostevin, Rachel Tostevin and Charles his father. Charles married Mary Mahy and died a widower on 5th February 1904 aged 83, ‘farmer’

Susanne was born on 11th April 1826 and baptised 23rd April. Her godparents were Jean Martin, Susanne Tostevin and Marthe le Cras her mother. Susanne married Jean Breton, fils Nicolas of Les Huriaux, on 4th October 1849. Susan died a widow 17th March 1906 aged 79.

Nicolas was baptised on 6th December 1829. His godparents were Thomas le Cras, Judith Colenette and Charles le Cras his father. Nicolas married Henriette Brehaut, fille Nicolas on 12th May 1853.

Elizabeth (Betsey) was baptisd 28th October 1832. In the 1851 Census she is described as a dressmake.and her godparents were Abraham Martel, Elizabeth Tostevin his wife and aunty to Betsey, and Betsey Martin.

Charles le Cras ( Gg ii) son of Charles and Marthe Tostevin, was born 15th September 1820 and baptised at St Saviour’s on the 24th of the same month. His godparents were Pierre Tostevin, his maternal grandfather, Rachel Tostevin his maternal grandmother and Charles le Cras his father.

Charles was the second born of the five children of Charles le Cras and Marthe Tostevin. His brothers and sisters were Marthe (1817) Susanne (1826) Nicolas (1829) and Betsey (1832).

Charles married Mary Mahy, daughter of Jean and Susanne le Maitre of the Vale parish. Mary was born on 6th June 1818 and baptised 14th June 1818. She died at Sous l’Eglise on 13th August 1900 aged 82, of heart failure where she was probably lodging.

{Jean de la Mare was the first of the de la Mare family to own Sous l’Eglise and after his death in 1700, it was inherited by his son Jean, who later sold it to his half brother Nicholas. This Nicholas was followed by his eldest son Nicholas whose children having pre-deceased him, his property was inherited by his two sisters Rachel and Elizabeth and his three Naftel nephews, sons of his sister Judith, by partage of 1782. Rachel took the house and enclos, the others the detached fields and rentes. Rachel died in 1805 and was the last of the de la Mares of Sous l’Eglise. The Naftels then held the house and enclos of Sous l’Eglise and it remains in their possession in 1963. There is some connection between Naftels and granny Torode, Marie Louise de la Mare, because she took me there once (1950s) to see ‘mes cousins’ and it was also the house where granny Torode’s father died.}

In the 1841 Census Return, Charles and Mary are living in the Catel Parish at Les Maresq. Charles is described as a journeyman aged 25 and Mary his wife is aged 30. They have one son, Charles aged 9 months. It must be remembered that in the 1841 Census, dates and ages were rounded up or down, and Charles actual age would have been 21 and Mary’s 23.

The 1851 Census is somewhat more accurate where the following details are recorded:

Les Prevost, St Saviour’s 1851,in the last house in the district were

Charles le Cras Head, married aged 30, agricultural labourer born St Saviour’s

Mary Wife, married aged 35, charwoman born Vale

Charles son, aged 10, scholar, born St Saviour’s

John son, aged 8, scholar born St S

Julia daughter aged 7 scholar born St S

Marthe daughter aged 6, scholar born St S

Mary M daughter aged 4, born St S

Alfred son, aged 3 born St S

Susanne daughter aged 9 months.

Martha is my great grandmother, who in adulthood was called by her familiar name, Patty.

The 1861 Census contains similar details but the family is now at

St Saviour’s, Sous l’Eglise 1861.

Charles aged 41 is still an agricultural labourer

Mary aged 49 is still a charwoman.

John aged 18 a shoemaker

Martha aged 15 a scholar

Alfred aged 13 a scholar

Thomas, a new arrival is aged 6

William another new arrival aged 3

Peter another new arrival aged 1

Apart from Mary, everyone was born in St Saviour’s.

Charles and Mary had fifteen children between 1840 and 1863 but not all had survived. This large family contributed to the downward trend in this branch of the family.

Charles was born 1840. He was a labourer and died at Les Jenemies of heart disease. His death was reported six days after the event. In the 1876 Parish Records, the family were receiving poor relief – 23.February 1876: ‘au trois plus jeunes enfants du feu Charles le Cras 5/- chaque.’ Indicating that by 1875 Charles had died.

Charles and Betsey Jehan married about 1863 when their first child Charles was born. Previous to her marriage Betsey was in service at Clos Vivier, St Saviour’s, a boarding house run by Marie Galienne. Betsey was a general servant aged 15 at the time of the 1861 Census. Betsey and Charles were living at La Fontenelle, St Saviours by 1871 where Charles senior is a 33 year old agricultural labourer, born in the Catel ( actually St Saviour’s) Parish. His wife Betsey is aged 25, born in St Saviours as were all their children –; Charles 8 , at school; Betsey 5 – born 6th October 1865 – at school; John 4 and Alfred 2 and a half, Patty, fille Charles le Cras and Betsey Jehan, born 11th September 1869, aged 18 months. Another son, Henri, was born just after the Census was taken, on 11th April 1871 at les Rouvets. This Henri died just eight months later on 30th November. Charles, the father, died at Les Jenemies, St Saviour’s on 16th September 1875 aged 35- from exhaustion? – and was survived by his wife, Betsey Jehan and the children. Young Alfred was living in 1881 aged 12, with his grandparents Charles and Mary nee Mahy.

Jean was born on 16th October 1841 but only survived 15 days, dying on 31 October ‘proche (near to) les Jenemies’.

Jean the third son was so named in memory of his deceased brother, and was born 16th March 1842 and died unmarried on 28th January 1906.

Julie was born 5th January 1844 and baptised 21st of that month. Her godparents were Abraham Simon, his wife Jeanne du Maresq and Marguerite Mahy. Julie married on 3rd June 1870, Fred Batiste son of Jean, of Les Prevots. They had a son Frederick who died aged 1 year 4 months on 10th January 1880

In the 1881 Census, Fred and Julie are living at Les Issues, St Saviours.:

Frederick 46 agricultural labourer;

Julie aged 39

Adelina aged 10 ( born 20th October 1870.)

Alice aged 6, ( baptised 24. October 1874)

Mary Louise aged 1 ( b 2nd May 1880, died aged 20 months at Frie au Four)

By the time of the 1911 Census, Fred had died and his widow, Julia aged 65 was living in three rooms at Frie au Four, St Saviours. She is described as a charwoman , mother of 4 children, all still alive. Fred, her son born 1885 and now 26, is living with her and is unmarried, and a postman. Julia signed the Census Return with her mark, not her signature.

Marthe ( Patty) (Gg i)was the fifth child, and married Abraham de la Mare – details of which marriage are given below. Marthe was born 5th November 1845 at les Prevots, and baptised three weeks later on 30 November 1845. Her grandparents were Pierre Brehaut, Marthe le Cras his wife, and Susan le Cras.

Marthe died in St Peter Port, 30th November 1945.

Marie Marguerite was the next child also born at Les Prevots on 26th October 1846 and baptised 8th November. Her godparents were Tomas le Cheminant, Margaret Mahy and Judith Bourgaize. She died aged 9 on 24th March 1855 at les Prevots.

Alfred was born 30th December 1847 and baptised 23rd January 1848. His godparents were James le Moigne, Thomas le Cheminant and Marguerite le Cras. In the 1871 Census, Alfred had married Sophia Pipet and was living at St Andrews.

1871: Les Norgiots, St Andrews.

Alfred le Cras, Head, married aged 24. Agricultural labourer, born St Saviour’s.

Sophia P, wife, married aged 37, charwoman born St Andrew’s.

Sophia, daughter aged 2 months, born St Andrews.

Alfred was receiving poor relief in 1880 of 4/2 and in 1881 of 3/-. In the 1881 Census, Alfred is 33, Sophia 45, daughter Sophia 10 and another daughter Patty is aged 8,both born at St Saviours and both baptised 28th June 1872 from Sous l’Eglise- ‘fille Alfred le Cras and Sophie Pipet.’ By 1891, Sophia le Cras, the elder daughter is aged 20 and working as a domestic servant at the home of the Ozanne family next door to the school in Catel Parish. Ten years later, 1901, she is in service at St Martin’s at Le Carrefour au Lievre in the home of Susan reed a retired lady living on her own means.

Sue was born 17th May 1849 and baptised on 3rd June. Her godparents were Jean Mahgy, Susan Mahy and Betsey le Cras. She died aged one year, on 14th June 1850.

Sue was the name also given to the next child born 14th August 1850 at Les Prevots, and she was baptised on 8th September the same year

Luc was born in 1851 but was buried 23rd August 1855 aged 4 years.

Nicholas was baptised 22nd May 1852, with Nicholas Bourgaize, Charels le Cras senior, and Susan Mahy as his godparents. He died in 1855 and was buried, aged 3 years, 28th March, just five months after Luc. .

Judith Betsey was born at Les Prevots on 31st March 1853 and baptised 17th April that year. Her godparents were Nicholas Bourgaize, Judith Brehaut and Rachel Tostevin. Judith too died young, on 2nd April 1856 aged just 3 years.

Thomas was baptised 18th December 1854, of Le Douit. His godparents were Thomas Brouard, Daniel le Prevost and Betsey Jehan. Thomas was a Couteur de l’Eglise ( Treasurer) and married on 25th April 1880 Marguerite Torode, fille Abraham.

In the 1881 Census he is living at Les Moulins, Head, married aged 26, an agricultural labourer, born St Saviour’s. His wife is Marguerite aged 28 also born St Saviour’s.

By 1891 they had moved to Les Prevost, St Saviour’s where Thomas is a blacksmith, employed, aged 36. His wife Marguerite is aged 38 and they have a daughter Ada aged 8.

Next door to them lived Charles Torode, a blacksmith employer aged 58 – at Carrefour Les Prevosts- presumably Thomas’ employer. ( See Torode family Tree for more details)

Thomas and Marguerite and Ada had moved to Bas Courtils, St Saviour’s by 1901. Thomas is now an agricultural worker aged 46; Marguerite his wife a charwoman aged 48; Ada is 18 a pupil teacher and a new arrival to the family, Minnie is aged 6, born in St Andrew’s.

Thomas died 29th August 1906/8 of Hydrophobie, at La Housse aged 51 years 8 months. ‘Il a ete Couteur de l’Eglise il y a quelques annees’ ( He had been Church Treasurer for several years)

William was the twelfth child born on 10th October 1856 and baptised on 28th of that month. His godparents were Nicolas Bourgaize, Charles le Cras jnr and Susanne Mahy. William married Mary-Anne le Cras. In the 1871 Census, Mary Anne was a domestic servant with Nicholas Bourgaize, farmer at Rocque de Coudray, St PduBois. Her age is given as 16 and she was born in St PduB. In 1861, Mary Ann le Cras is living at La Fosse, St PduBois with her grandparents, Nicholas de la Mare and Judith hbis wife, and their daughter Rachel aged 20. Mary Ann is aged 6, her brother 7 and both are surnamed le Cras. This suggests that their mother – a de la Mare, married a le Cras, but other than that, no trace of mother or father has been found.

Mary Ann and William le Cras had their first child, Mary, when William was only 19 years of age and Mary Anne 21. Mary the daughter, was baptised 15th February 1875, but seemingly did not survive into adulthood. Neither did another daughter. Clarisee, baptised 12th June 1884 from Sous l’Eglise, nor Alice, baptised 17th April 1876 from Courtil Phillippe.

The 1881 Census shows they were then living in St Saviour’s at le Frie au Four. William is aged 24, a plaster’s labourer, born St Saviour’s.

His wife Mary Ann, born St PduB is aged 26. They have two children, William aged 3, born Sous l’Eglise and baptised 22 June 1878; , and James aged 1, baptised 5th April 1880, while parents were both St Saviour’s born. The Parish registers also show a Marie-Louise born 2nd June 1881 at le Frie au Four. In 1883. There is a lodger living with them, Nicholas Bailey aged 41, a shoemaker. Born in the Catel.

Ten years later, in the 1891 Census , the family is living at La Forge, St Saviour’s where William now aged 34 is an employed plasterer. His wife Mary-Ann is aged 35 and a worker; son William is aged 12, James appears to have died and another son has been born, John Albert, aged 8, and the daughter Mary L aged 9. John Albert was baptised 26th January 1883 from Sous l’Eglise.

The 1901 Census shows them living at Rue des Messuriers, the Forest.

William head, married aged 45, employed plasterer

Mary wife, married aged 46

John son aged 17

Mary daughter aged 13

Elsie M daughter aged 7 and Cecil R aged 3 months, both born Forest.

In the 1911 Census, they are living at Le Variouf, Forest in 2 rooms-William is aged 54, a plasterer on own account; Mary Ann le Cras (Census says Mary Louise) aged 55; son John aged 24, a plasterer’s worker ( his dad’s?); son Cecil Radford aged 10 and Nicholas Bailey, aged 24, single, born Catel a labourer. ( his father Nicholas, was lodging with William and the family in 1881) The Census says that they had had fourteen children, of whom only five were then alive.

Lucie was born 12th October 1857 and baptised on 14th March 1859. Godparents were Charles le Cras, Marthe Priaulx and Rachel Mahy. She died aged 3 months at Le Douit.

Pierre was born 17th December 1859 and died unmarried , a plasterer at Frie au Four in 1881. He too received a poor relief payment of £1.0.0 in 1881 just before he died.

Joseph was the last child of the marriage. He was born 18th September 1863 at Sous l’Eglise and

baptised 14th October that year. His godparents were Charles le Cras snr and Jean and Julie le Cras. Joseph died 13th August 1890 aged 27.

Charles le Cras, widower of Mary Mahy died 5th February 1904.

The 1871 Census Return shows that John, Thomas, William, Peter and a new arrival, Joseph aged 6, are all living at home with their parents Charles and Mary. Martha ( Patty) has gone into service at Catel Parish, with Hilary Dorey at Plaisance, (see below).

John now aged 24 is still a shoemaker;

Thomas aged 17 is a blacksmith;

William aged 14 is a plasterer and

Peter aged 13 and Joseph aged 6 are sons and scholars and all were born in St Saviour’s and all are living ‘near the Church’.

The 1881 Census Return presents a problem in relation to ages. Age wasn’t as important then as it is today and in many Census Returns one reads expressions such as ‘aged about 30’ or ‘in the region of 45 years’: The family is now living at Sous l’Eglise , Les Prevost Enumeration District. This would be the same house as in 1871 – both addresses are very near the church.

Charles is now aged 60, still an agricultural labourer. Mary his wife is aged 62, still a charwoman.

John’s age is given as 40 and his place of birth, Catel and the son of Charles, but his job has changed to agricultural labourer. Peter is now 22 and has joined William as a plasterer, although William is no longer living at home. Joseph is aged 18 and described as son, and ‘idiot’. Alfred who is given as grandson, aged 12 is living with his grandparents because his father Charles died in 1875 and by 1881 Betsey his wife, cannot be traced in Census so may have died or remarried.

The 1891 Census does not help in that Charles aged 70 and Mary aged 71 are living in Sous l’Eglise Village.

John is still at home, unmarried aged 48 and an agricultural labourer. No other children are still at home.

Next door is living Peter le Cras, aged 31 an agricultural labourer and employer, married to Julia M aged 29 born St Peter Port. They have two children;

Julia M aged 3, born St Saviour’s and

Abraham aged 1 month, born St Saviour’s.

By the 1901 Census, Charles wife Mary has died and he is living alone, a widower aged 81 but still working as an agricultural labourer. The address is Sous l’Eglise, (Enumeration number 6.)

He is still living next door (Enumeration number 7) to his son Peter le Cras, now aged 41 and married to Julia M aged 39. This Census gives his wife’s name as Julia Mary Bailey, born St Peter Port.

Their children are

Julia M le Cras aged 13, at home, born St S full name Julia Mary Le Cras

Abraham J le Cras aged 10 born St S full name Abraham John Joseph aged 9 scholar born St S

Charles le Cras aged 4 born St S

Amy M le Cras aged 3 months, born St S.

In 1904, February 5th Charles le Cras aged 83, son of Charles le Cras and Mary Mahy died at Sous l’Eglise St Saviour’s, farmer. He died of natural causes and his death was registered on February 5th, the same day as his death. Mary nee Mahy his wife had died on 13th August 1900 at Sous l’Eglise.

Marthe ( Patty) (Gg I) le Cras, daughter of Charles le Cras and Mary Mahy.

Patty was the fifth of 17 children born to her parents Charles le Cras and Mary Mahy. Patty was born at les Prevots, St Saviour’s on 5th November 1845 and baptised in the Parish Church of St Saviour’s on 30th of the same month. Her father at the time was 27 and her mother 24.

The Baptismal Register gives the following scant details:

Marthe le Cras, fille Charles, journalier des Prevots, , et Mary Mahy, fut baptisee le 30 Novembre 1845.

Four siblings had been born before Patty – Charles (1840) Jean (1841 d 1841) Jean (1842) and Julie (1844). Following Marthe’s birth, another twelve siblings were born, as listed above.

The 1871Census return for the Catel Parish, informs us that Patty, aged 26 and still unmarried was a general servant in the home, Plaisance, of Hilary Dorey, a retired farmer aged 70, a widower with a son aged 9.

Patty married Abraham de la Mare of St Pierre du Bois on 14th January 1872 (see de la Mare Line) when she was aged 27 and he was 34. They were married by Licence in St Saviour’s Church, the Rector, Rev D Carey officiating. Patty was five months pregnant at the time.


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

Abraham was the first child of this marriage and was born on 2nd May 1872 – he died on Christmas Day of the same year.

Alice Mary was born on 23rd July 1874 and baptised on 16th August. She too died before her first birthday, on 28th November 1874 aged 4 months.

Marie Louise, (Grandmother) my grandmother was the third child of the marriage and was born on 9th September 1876 at Sous l’Eglise, and baptised privately on the 24th of the month- as she was not expected to survive. However, she made good progress and was presented at St Saviour;’s Church the following month, on 8th October 1876. Her godparents were Abraham de la Mare – her father , her mother Patty and her grandmother Mary Mahy.

Joseph was the fourth child of the marriage born 5th December 1880, but who died of convulsions on the 29th of the same month.

The 1881 Census records St Saviour’s

Rue Fevresse: Abraham de la Mare head 43; Patty wife, 36 and Mary daughter, 4.

Thus Marie Louise was the only child to survive and marry.

Patty survived her husband Abraham by eleven years and after his death lived with her daughter Marie Louise and her husband George William Torode and family, at 29 George Street, St Peter Port, where she died on 19th April 1928, aged 82. The Death Certificate contains the following details:

Tuesday 19th April 1928 at 4.40 pm, Marthe le Cras, widow of Abraham de la Mare, Charles le Cras, father, Mary Mahy, mother. Died at 29 George Street, St Peter Port, aged 82 years, her usual abode. Born St Saviour’s, Guernsey. Cause of death, Heart Failure and Chronic Bronchitis. Dr Bisson . Death Registered April 20th. 1928.’

Patty’s granddaughter Millie told Brian that Patty was suffering from a bad fever and fell out of her bed. She hit her head heavily on the floor and died soon afterwards. Her funeral announcement informed relatives and friends that

The funeral will leave the house, Sous l’Eglise St Saviour’s ( Now Deep Meadow) on Monday 23rd inst at 3 pm’ Patty was buried to the right of the North Porch at St Saviour’s Churchyard.

Abraham de la Mare and Patty nee le Cras’ only surviving child, Marie Louise was born at Vieux Sous l’Eglise on 9th September 1876. This house is the one below St Saviour’s Church past Deep Meadow, on the right hand bend in the road as you go up the hill towards St Pierre du Bois ( the same house described on page 6 above)

Marie Louise de la Mare, daughter of Abraham de la Mare and Patty le Cras,

married twice:

  1. Edmund Alfred Bourgaize, (12.12.1871 – 18.12.1904), by whom there were three sons, Edmund (1897), John (1898-4.7.1977) and Alfred (25.6.1901 – c1970).

Edmund Alfred was the son of Alfred Bourgaize and his wife Marie Mary. In 1871 Alfred was aged 16 and living at home at Les Sablons St Pierre du Bois, with his parents Samuel aged 47 and his wife Mary. Edmund was not yet born.

Not of significance to my descent, but interesting nevertheless is the fact that

in the 1881 Census the family is living at Les Salines Road, St Pierre du Bois where Alfred senior, (Edmund Alfred’s father), now aged 26, has married Marie Mary aged 32. Alfred is described as an agricultural labourer.

Their children are as follows:

Maria Louisa aged 12, daughter, scholar born St PduB

Alice Elizabeth aged 11daughter , also of St PduBois

Edmund Alfred aged 9 son, of St PduBois

Walter aged 6 and Alfred Peter aged 2, both sons also of St PduB.

This does raise an issue if Alfred is now 26, he would have been only 14 when Maria Louisa was born, and only 15 when Alice Elizabeth was born – likewise only 17 when Edmund Alfred was born and 18 when Walter was born. His wife, Marie Mary, the mother of the children, is six years his senior so not really an issue. On the other hand, it may be that Alfred married Marie Mary and ‘inherited’ some or all of these children by her previous marriage or relationships.

In the 1891 Census, the family has moved to live at La Roque Poisson in St Pierre du Bois and all members of the family are listed as having been born in that parish.

Alfred Bourgaize, Head, married, aged 36, agricultural labourer.

Marie wife, married aged 43

Edmund son, unmarried, aged 18, agricultural labourer

Alfred P aged 12

Margaret aged 9

Edward aged 7

William aged 5

Elsie aged 3 and

Wilfred aged 6 months.

In the 1891 Census, Edmund has married Marie Louise de la Mare, and is living at Ebenezer La Pomare, St Pierre du Bois in 2 rooms:

Edmund A Bourgaize Head, married aged 29, farmer, emloyer, born St Pierre du Bois.

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

John C son aged 1 born St Saviour’s

Walter Bourgaize boarder, sing. Aged 25 agricultural labourer born St PduB

This Walter is Edmund’s brother.

In the same house, also living in two rooms are the in-laws, !!!!! Marie Louise’s parents.

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

Patty, wife, married, aged 53,

William Guilbert, boarder single, aged 14, agricultural labourer born St Saviour’s.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Edmund Bourgaize in 1904 are explained in the de la Mare story and the Torode story

Marie Louise de la Mare’s second marriage from which I am descended was to

  1. George William Torode (9.7.1868 – 1943), on 16th March 1910. ( See Torode or de la Mare Line.). The surviving children were:

Florence, Millie), and Edward, my father.

One comment on “Le Cras Family of Guernsey

  1. David Le Cras
    June 24, 2015

    This was incredible to find all this info as my wife had traced the family tree back to 1640 and this has confirmed all the work she had done. Obviously we branch out in the latter years. My father was Samuel Arthur and had a brother Nicholas who was a cobbler. I also contacted a Le Craw in the USA who thought his ancestor was a Jean Le Cras who emigrated to the US in about 1700, I think he must have been from Jersey as was unable to trace any Jean’s around that date in Guernsey. I would like to print out this summary and would appreciate how this can be done or purchased. Our son, Timothy David Le Cras is now resident in Ohio and lives about 2 hours drive from the Guernsey County Ohio.

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