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Poindexter Descendants Association Poindexter Descendants Association Screen readers, skip to the Table of Contents

Jersey 1204

Separation of Jersey from Normandy
Kings: Henry ll, Richard Lionheart, John Lackland, Henry lll


Henry ll had built up a large empire through inheritance, marriage and battle. He ruled England and over half of France. His son Richard inherited the crown followed by Henry's youngest son John. John managed to make enimies of just about everyone, even his own barons, who forced him to sign the Magna Carta.

Probably the biggest impact on the Poingdestre family in Normandy and maybe Jersey was John's loss of a battle with the King of France, loosing his claims to Normandy in 1204. John held control of the Channel Islands by whatever means he could, including taking hostages of the first born sons from the fief families of Jersey. The leading families of Jersey remained loyal to John. This separation of Jersey from Normandy opens the way to possible impacts on the family which also had roots in the Bayeux district of Normandy.

Norman families with land tenancy in mainland Normandy and the Channel Islands had to choose one king, Philip of France or John of England, forfiting their rights to lands ruled by the king you didn't choose. Some families split the lands, parcels in Normandy to one son, parcels in the Channel Islands to another son.

This division of ands didn't happen over night as King John's side always held out hope of regaining Normandy, thus Norman law continued to be prevalent in the islandsto make rejoining the lands easier.

Did the Poingdestre family have tenant rights in the Bessin of Normandy and in Jersey? Is that why we have records of Poindestre's in Normandy?

Here are some historical events that may have affected our ancestors and where they lived in the 12th and 13th centuries:

Additional Resources:

  • Jersey 1204-The Forging of an Island Community, by Sir James Holt and Judith Everard, see Publications.
  • Email from Judith Everaud, co-author of the book Jersey 1204. She tells us what pipe roll records records a Ricardus Poindestre in the 12th century.


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Updated February 19, 2022

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