Metivier family

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The Metivier family
of King Street


This narrow lane was once lined on both sides with overcrowded cottages

The Metiviers were a family of French origin. Four siblings, the children of Jean Metivier and Martha Dudillot left France in the early-1800s to escape religious persecution. Jean came to Jersey, but it is not known what happened to the other three.

This picture taken from the back of No 68 King Street shows the large number of cottages which existed at the back of the shops. The Metivier Lane properties are visible to the right of the picture. Most of these cottages were demolished in the 20th century to allow the King Street shops to expand.
Looking down on the tangle of cottages in the late 20th century

There were Metiviers in Guernsey, too, although it is not known how closely, if at all, the two island families were connected. In the 1850s John Metivier from Jersey married Julia Metivier from Guernsey and the family moved to London. There were also Metivier immigrants in the USA and Canada, who may have been descended from Jean and Martha's children.

Jersey family

Jean, who was born in 1714, married Marguerite Norman (possibly Normand), the daughter of Pierre. There is no record of this marriage in Jersey church registers, nor of Marguerite's birth, and although Pierre is shown as born in St Saviour in 1683 in some Ancestry trees, there is no record of such a birth, either. It is probably more linkely that Jean and Marguerite were married before leaving France.

There are many trees at Ancestry for the Metivier family, but they are full of inaccuracies and piecing together the Jerripedia version of the family tree has proved very difficult. The research was not helped by the absence of baptism records for many Metivier children, variations in spelling of the name, and an almost complete absence of marriage and burial records for the family.

Jean and Marguerite had a son, Jean, but some Ancestry trees show his parents as Eugene Edmund Metivier and Marguerite Normand. Eugene, however, is almost certainly of Canadian origin and has no place in the Jersey Metiviers' tree.

Jean jnr was born in 1740 and his baptism record in St Helier shows his parents as Jean and Marguerite. He married Marie Nicolle, the daughter of Clement and Elizabeth Tailleur.

The family appears to have prospered, because at various times in the 19th century they occupied three adjacent premises on the north side of King Street (60-64), trading as drapers, and they gave their name to Metivier Lane, a narrow passage between Nos 60 and 62, where a number of cottages were built, once occupied by a large number of families totalling over 100 people. In 1857 the head of the family was James Temple Metivier. As well as his drapery business at No 60 we find his wife, Elizabeth, nee Perchard, running a bookshop and library at No 56.

An 1834 almanac entry shows Metivier and Co trading at No 62. In 1851 James Temple Metivier was trading as a draper at Nos 62 and 64, employing eight staff. In 1861 he was trading at No 60 and by 1871 his son Clement had taken over the business, which was eventually to pass in turn to his son, also Clement, until the business was sold some time in the 1920s to become W H Brough, drapers.

The family name now appears to have died out in the island.

Family businesses

A map of King Street showing the location of Metivier Lane
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