Old mentions

  • Andium (?) 4e C.[15]
  • insula Gersoi 1022/1026.[16]
  • insula Gerseii, var. Gersey, Gersei, Gersoii 1042.[17]
  • Gersus ~1070.[18]
  • insula de Gerzoi 1080/~1082.[19]
  • insula de Gersoi 1066/1083.[20]
  • insula Gersoi 1066/1083.[21]
  • l'isle de Gersui 1160/1174.[22]
  • in Gersoio 1223/1236.[23]
  • Gersuy 1339.[24]
  • Gersui 1339.[25]
  • insula de Jersey 1372.[26]
  • insula de Jereseye 1372.[27]
  • insula de Gersey 1386.[28]
  • insula […] de Jersey 1419.[29]
  • Iarsay [lire Jarsay] 1585.[30]
  • Jarsey 1693.[31]
  • Jerzey 1753.[32]
  • Isle de Gersey 1753/1785.[33]
  • Ile de Jersey 1854.[34]


The Channel Islands are mentionned in the Antonine Itinerary as following : Sarnia, Caesarea, Barsa, Silia and Andium, but none of them corresponds to the present names.[35] So that Jersey's first name can't be really identified. Furthermore, later records evoke Angia (also spelled Agna ).[36]

Some say, it could be Andium, a latinized version of the Gaulish (Celtic) *Andion, with and- Gaulish intensive prefix meaning "very", "much", "big". Andium will be the "big Island". It is actually the largest one among the Channel Islands. The spelling Angia could be an ultimate development of *Andia.

Some others identify it as Caesarea, a late recorded Roman name influenced by Old English suffix -ey for "island";[37][38] this is plausible if, in the regional pronunciation of Latin, Caesarea was not [kaisarea] but .

Angia could be a misspelling for *Augia, that is the latinized form of Germanic *aujō (> Old English ī(e)ġ > is-land).[39]), that could have extended before the Viking Age along the coast of France, as for île d'Yeu (Augia, Insula Oya) or Oye-Plage (Ogia 7th C.) and constitutes the suffix -ey in Jersey, Guernsey (Greneroi), Alderney (Alneroi) and Chausey (Calsoi).[40] Chausey can be compared with Cholsey (GB, Berkshire, Ceolesig 891), interpreted by E. Ekwall[41] as "Ceola 's island".

These -ey names could have been reinforced by the Viking heritage, because -ey is similar, so that it is possible to interpret the first part of the toponym as an Old Norse element. The source of it is unclear. Scholars surmise it derives from jarth (Old Norse for "earth") or jarl (earl), or perhaps a personal name, Geirr ("Geirr's Island").[42]


Jersey history is influenced by its strategic location between the northern coast of France and the southern coast of England; the island's recorded history extends over a thousand years.

Evidence of Bronze Age and early Iron Age settlements can be found in many locations around the island. Archaeological evidence of Roman influence has been found, in particular the coastal headland site at Le Pinacle, Les Landes, where remains of a primitive structure are attributed to Roman temple worship (fanum).[43] Evidence for settled Roman occupation has yet to be established.

Jersey was invaded by Vikings in the ninth century. Formerly under the control of Brittany, but in the archbishopric of Rouen, the island was eventually annexed to the Duchy of Normandy by William Longsword, Duke of Normandy in 933 and it became one of the Norman Islands. When William's descendant, William the Conqueror, conquered England in 1066, the Duchy of Normandy and the kingdom of England were governed under one monarch.[44] The Dukes of Normandy owned considerable estates on the island, and Norman families living on their estates founded many of the historical Norman-French Jersey family names. King John lost all his territories in mainland Normandy in 1204 to King Philip II Augustus, but retained possession of Jersey, along with Guernsey and the other Channel Islands. The islands have been internally self-governing since.[45]

Islanders travelled across the North Atlantic to participate in the Newfoundland fisheries in the late 16th century.[46] In recognition for help given to him during his exile in Jersey in the 1640s, Charles II gave George Carteret, bailiff and governor, a large grant of land in the American colonies, which he promptly named New Jersey. It is now part of the United States of America.[47][48]

Trade laid the foundations of prosperity, aided by neutrality between England and France.[49] The Jersey way of life involved agriculture, milling, fishing, shipbuilding, and production of woollen goods. 19th century improvements in transport links brought tourism to the island.

During World War II, Jersey was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1 July 1940 until 9 May 1945 (when Germany surrendered).[50]