As well as the main island of Jersey, the states includes the nearly uninhabited islands of the Minquiers, Écréhous, the Pierres de Lecq and other rocks and reefs.
Historically, the islands have been under the control of Brittany, Normandy and France. The government, the Assembly of the States of Jersey, came into existence in the 16th century but its origins go back to much earlier times.
The capital is St. Helier. In 2007 the population of Jersey was an estimated 91,321.
Getting Started with Jersey Research
Jersey is divided into twelve parishes. All have access to the sea and are named after the saints to whom their ancient parish churches are dedicated:
- Saint Brélade
- Saint Clement
- Saint Helier
- Saint John
- Saint Lawrence
- Saint Martin
- Saint Mary
- Saint Ouen
- Saint Peter
- Saint Saviour
These parishes are further divided into vingtaines (or, in the case of St. Ouen, cueillettes).
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Did you know?
- Until the nineteenth century Jèrriais, a variety of Norman French, was the language of the island, although French was used for official business. Although today Jersey is predominantly English-speaking, Jèrriais survives and there have been efforts to revive the language in schools.
- The French writer Victor Hugo moved to Jersey in 1852 to escape the French government. He and his family lived near Le Dicq until he was expelled from the island in 1855 and sailed to Guernsey, before eventually returning to France.
- The famous actress and socialite Lillie Langtry (1853-1929) was born at St Saviour where her father was the Dean. She is buried in St Saviour's churchyard.
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