Useful Dates

My archiving system which has grown from one folder to nearly ten over the past 20 years.

For each surname I am researching I have a folder. In each folder I have my ancestors divided up starting with the oldest and working towards the back of the folder to the youngest and most closest to today. For each ancestor I have created a TIMELINE. This starts from the day they were born or the earliest date that I have any information about them. It ends the same way, either with their death date of the latest information I may have about them. Each timeline is written in 3 colours. One colour for their personal events, one colour for events that were going on in the island they were living in at that time and a third colour for any major events around the world that were happening during their lifetime.  I do this because it helps me get some perspective of their time in history and it may be that these events may have had an affect on choices they made. I write this, not to tell you how it should be done, as I am no professional genealogist, but just to let you know how I organise my records. The dates will be colour coded:

dates in Jersey = green

dates for France = red

rest of world = blue

So the following dates will be constantly added to and may be of some use to you…

1337 – Edward III ordered the Warden of Jersey to enrol all able-bodied men, provide them with arms and appoint officers, forming the islands first formal military organisation. (This is Jersey –  Temps Passe)

1696 – Act of Association was passed through Parliament calling for “all men of importance” to sign an Oath swearing alleigance to the Protestant Succession. In Jersey it would appear that every male over the age of twenty signed. (

1787 On the 20th august John Wesley Methodist Founder arrived in Jersey on a 10 day visit (Details from Jersey Temps Passe Facebook page)

1789 – The start of the First French Revolution. Jersey appears to have been in sympathy with the insurgents. Thousands of French aristocrats flee to Jersey resulting in an enormous expansion in the size of St. Hélier. ( A brief History of Jersey – Was your ancestor a French aristocrat?

1829 – The Metropolitan Police were formed in London.

1832 – Cholera Epidemic in Jersey Did some of your ancestors die around this date? Could they have they died of Cholera?

1837 – A riot took place in Halkett Place ”when disappointed oyster fishermen stormed the street after their petition protesting at the re-election of lieutenant Spark as Inspector of Oyster Fisheries was rejected in the States by one vote” (This is Jersey – Temps Passe) Was your Jersey ancestor an Oyster Fisherman at this time?

1837 – On August 11th work started on the much delayed railway from St. Aubin to La Moye in Jersey

1848 Sir John Hobhouse, a leading politician in the UK, decided to spend his holidays in Jersey, he found himself staying in accommodation near a house where he soon discovered cholera was rife. (This is Jersey) Did any of your ancestors die around 1848? Did you know what they died of?

1849 – Second Cholera Epidemic in Jersey Check out the list of names of Cholera victims on the Jersey Heritage Trust archive records: Daily Cholera returns

1851 Great Crystal Palace Exhibition, LONDON

1852 – Victoria College building was completed and opened.

1870 Opening of Railway from St. Helier to St. Aubin in Jersey

1871 Channel Islands Exhibition, held in Victoria College Grounds, JERSEY (This is Jersey – Temps Passe)

1871 – On the 29th March a petition was signed by 343 people regarding the need for harbour developments. The list of signatories is here: Town Petition of Merchants

1875 – On the 11th August Joseph Phillip Le Brun was executed for murder on the island of Jersey. This was the last public hanging in the British Isles.(

1881 (UK) Cremations were unheard of until 1885 (source: WDYTYA)

1899 – On the 30th March 1899 the London and South Western steamer, the ‘Stella’ sank on it’s way to Guernsey and Jersey. It hit the rocks off Alderney’s coast and sank within 15 minutes. 86 passengers and 19 crew died. The Wreck of the Stella – Titanic of the Channel Islands Among the drowned was a W. Davey, I have yet to confirm whether or not he is a relation. He was the son of Capt. Davey of the brig ‘Union’. Were any of your ancestors among the dead?

1901 – The 1901 Census for the Channel Islands was taken on the night of 31 March 1901.

1906Jersey Military Medal Day – 1st October 1906

1911 – Many women were not in the 1911 census due to ‘suffragette’ tendencies or beliefs. Is this why you can’t find a particular female at this time?

1921 – King George V, Queen Mary and Princess Mary visited Jersey. Were any of your ancestors baptised with the name ‘George’ during this Kings reign?



WDYTYA = Who Do You Think You Are – TV programme


  1. Excellent organisation which mirrors my own bar the colour coding (My France is blue, CI red and rest of world green lol) So important to have some sort of method and filing procedure.

    1. Thank Joanne,

      I really need to update it a bit. I find having a timeline really useful when researching my ancestors as it gives me some kind of perspective as to what was going on in their times.

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