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  • Mel Hulbert

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - #3 'Long Line'

‘Long Line’ is the prompt for week three. There are many different angles to approach the week three theme from, such as the line you can trace back a long way, a place where a line had resided for a long time or maybe a particular ancestor who might be part of a long line in a particular trade for example. It has taken me a while to decide which angle to pursue for this theme and have settled on my ancestry in Guernsey, Channel Islands. I had wondered about my ancestors George White and Suzanne/Susanne/Susan Moullin for many years, knowing that they were from Guernsey and immigrated to Australia in 1841 with their children but knowing very little else about them. They arrived aboard the ‘William Turner’ and on the index and images of Bounty Immigrants [1] George lists his parents as William White and Ellen Murphy and Suzanne lists her parents as Nicholas Monlin (dead) and Esther Pryor.

In 2015 I found myself in the northern hemisphere for my other passion of solar eclipse chasing and decided to stop in at Guernsey and see what I could find out. The Priaulx Library is also the local and family history research centre and the only place to view parish records (none are online). The staff were incredibly welcoming and helpful and they present you with a booklet on arrival to guide you through their archives. Most of the records are in French and the booklet came in very handy initially but after a while, reading parish records in French becomes second nature. I began by finding the marriage of George and Suzanne in 1826 [2] and learnt that George’s father was Edward White, a native of Northern Ireland and Suzanne the daughter of Nicolas Moulin of St Peter Port.

So interestingly William is not listed as George’s father on his marriage. Some possible theories I have are: was William White and Ellen Murphy a mistake at the Australian end (written on the wrong record); or was Edward an older brother of George and took the role of father/guardian hence William is correct; or was Edward correct and is the father of George? I did find the burial for an Edward White but he seemed too young to be the father of George. To this day I am still trying to figure out who George’s father was!

Suzanne’s information sounded like it matched the information she had given when arriving in Australia, so I went in search of her birth and baptism (the records list both events) and found she was born in 1797 [3] to parents Nicolas Moulin and Esther Gallienne - not Esther Pryor. I double checked and she was the only Suzanne Moullin born in the right time frame and during my Moulin research I found no other Suzannes. Esther was not a common name in the records and I could find no reference to Esther ever having the surname of Pryor or any Esther Pryor though I did note there were other Pryor’s in the records.

I did find Esther’s burial record in 1844 [4] and the record states that Esther Gallienne was the widow of Nicolas Moulin. Women were recorded with their maiden names in the parish records, making the tracing of families easier though when you have several Nicolas Moulin’s across a few generations it can become harder to sort out burials, especially if they died before their spouse.

My direct ancestor was George and Suzanne’s second son George and I set about to find his birth and baptism however I came up empty. I know he was born c1830 but could not find his birth. The first birth I could find was their third son Nicolas born in 1831 [5]. Recently their first son’s baptism has come to light showing he was born in Jersey so I do wonder if George Senior was travelling for work around the islands and if George Junior’s baptism is recorded on another island still waiting to be discovered.

I spent the rest of my time at the library tracing the Moulin and Gallienne lines to see if they were new arrivals or had been on Guernsey for generations. The answer for both families was generations. The earliest Moulin was another Nicolas who married Rebecca De La Rue and their first child, a son named Nicolas was born in 1723 [6]. I was unable to find a marriage record for Nicolas and Rebecca nor their baptisms however I do have some additional records I have from my visit and I am still working my way through and trying to sort the individual families out. The earliest Gallienne I can confirm is Philippin Gallienne who married Elisabeth Pallot in 1715 [7]. I have a birth and baptism record for a Philippin Galienne in 1684 but I am still trying to determine if it is the correct Philippin Gallienne. Twins also seemed to run in the Gallienne line, with Philippin & Elisabeth and George & Suzanne having twin boys. So where am I now in my Guernsey research? Well, there are still a number of gaps as I’m sure Esther has some other siblings, not just the two younger sisters I have found so far. I would like to find out more about some of the other lines such as Pallot, De La Rue, Le Page and Renouf as well as trying to trace the Moulin and Gallienne lines further back. Hopefully, in the not too distant future I will be able to return to Guernsey and visit some of the other Channel Islands to continue the hunt!


[1] "Australia, New South Wales, Index to Bounty Immigrants, 1828-1842," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 January 2015), Susan White in entry for George White, 5 Oct 1841; citing Ship William Turner, volume 57, Western Sydney Records Centre, Kingswood; FHL microfilm 416,877. [2] Priaulx Library,Guernsey: St Peter Port, Town Church Marriages 1794-1835 [3] Priaulx Library,Guernsey: St Peter Port, Town Church Baptisms 1783-1797 [4] Priaulx Library,Guernsey: St Peter Port, Town Church Burials 1832-1846 [5] Priaulx Library,Guernsey: St Peter Port, Town Church Baptisms 1813-1/1/1832 [6] Priaulx Library,Guernsey: St Andrews Church Baptisms 1661-1920 [7] Priaulx Library,Guernsey: St Peter Port, Town Church Marriages 1704-1794


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