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Positions held by the
Carey Family

From the end of the thirteenth century there was a Carey in Guernsey of some importance, being versed in Law and Custom and hence a man of education. His descendants became landowners in St Martins, the senior Branch remaining there while the junior Branch gravitated to the Town of St Peter Port and engaged in commerce. Members of the junior Branch became shipowners and added to their possessions by marrying heiresses of wealthy local families for several generations in succession.

Map of Guernsey 1783
Map of Guernsey 1783



Many of the Carey family became Jurats (legal representatives) being deputised by the inhabitants of the Island to proceed to England to lay before the authorities there some case of reputed hardship or of interference with rights granted to the Islanders by Royal Charters. As the office of Jurat is unpaid, they could not have held it unless they had attained some degree of wealth, nor, since Jurats are elected, could they have held the position had they not won the esteem of their fellow-countrymen.The first recorded mention of a member of the Carey family being elected to office is of Nicholas (A12) in a deed dated 1522. Since that time the Carey family has provided twenty five members to fill the position almost constantly for the last four hundred years. 



The holder of this office collects the Crown Revenues and discharges the liabilities of the Crown for certain services - in due course remits the net Revenue to England. These positions being held by family members as follows:

Nicholas ( B1)


Pierre (C1)


Thomas (C2)


Pierre (F35)


John (H12)

John (H22)

Julius Alphonso (Hh5)

Victor Gosselin (Hg11)


Constable / Douzaine


In order to police the various Parishes within Guernsey, several positions were created generally by election within each parish.

Vingtaine's were established within each parish containing 20 households - the 'Vingtenier' was the third ranked position which policed 20 households. The second rank was the Centenier who policed approximately 100 households and the first rank of honorary police in the parish was the Constable or Connétable.

Each of the ten parishes of Guernsey had a Douzaine which can consist of between 12 to 16 persons or more in the larger or split parishes. The Douzenier is elected by the parish electors to serve a 6 year period of office and 2 of them are elected each year. Most Douzeniers in the country parishes are expected to have served a term as Constable before they can be elected as a Douzenier. They are unpaid and serve as secular parochial administration.

The most senior (most years served) is usually the 'Dean' (Doyen de la Douzaine). Meetings are held monthly, chaired by the Constable of the parish, where proposed laws, government affairs and parochial matters are discussed with the parish Deputies and Conseillers.

One of the Douzaine is elected each year to represent the Douzaine in the 'States' (Island Government).



The highest local rank to which a Guernseyman can attain is that of Bailiff, the head of the civil and social life of the Island. In the last one hundred and fifty years, five Careys have filled this distinguished position; as shown below.

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Sir Peter Stafford Carey
1845 - 1883


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Sir Thomas Carey
1895 - 1902


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Sir William Carey
1908 - 1915

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Victor Gosselin Carey
1935 - 1939

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de Vic Graham Carey



The Guernsey States of Deliberation have 59 members, the Bailiff and the Deputy Bailiff, 12 conseillers (councillors) elected for a six year term, half of them renewed every three years, 33 members (people's deputies) elected for a four year term in six multi-seat and four single-seat constituencies, 10 representatives of parish authorities and 2 representatives of the States of Alderney. The councillors were last elected in April 2000.

No political parties exist in Guernsey.


Elizabeth College

The two volumes of the Registrar of the Elizabeth College in Guernsey record the names of 130 Careys since its refounding in 1825 - 1911. Hardly a single list of Officers of the Militia does not contain one of the name together with a long list of members of the family who have served as 'Capitaine' or Chief Officer of the Militia, in the times when this was organized by the principal inhabitant of the local parishes. From the middle of the eighteenth century, when Armed Forces took service out of the Island, are noted members of the Navy and Army serving at the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the Egyptian Campaigns, the Boer War and the Great War 1914-18.