The Dictionnaire etymologique des noms et pronoms de France (Dauzat, A, 1980; publishers: Larousse) gives TOSTIVIN as coming from
ancient French toster, to grill - applied to grilled, or toasted, bread that is then steeped in wine. This steeping of toast in wine is still done
today in parts of France. The name is likely to have been derived from a place on the coast of France named Toste and that the 'vin' is
added to mean someone from a place. e.g. names ending in 'VIN' mean 'a native of' (for example, POITEVIN - from Poitou, and ANGEVIN -
from Anjou) but apparently there is no place in France called Tostou from which TOSTEVIN could de derived.

In Guernsey there are two ways. The modern, Anglicised, form is 'toss-tee-vin' (much the same as in England), but the Guernsey patois
form is 'toe-da-van'. The latter would be used mostly by the older generation, but It would have been the form used for centuries when the
patois (essentially Norman French) was the everyday language. It is reflected in the early written forms TAUDVIN and TOTTEVYN. In the
USA, the Tostevin line is also known as TOADVINE


Guernsey has a long history, with current research indicating that it was inhabited as far back as 4500, b.c. It has been invaded by the
Romans, Vikings, Normans and latterly France. Despite this, it remains English, but with a distinctive French influence. For a detailed
history, see

                                                                                              A BRIEF HISTORY

Although Guernsey has mainly Norman roots, due to Guernsey's colourful history there is a great mixture of other origins.

After the conquest of England by William, seventh Duke of Normandy, some people were rewarded with land in Guernsey and others were
banished to the island after falling out with the Duke. Wars between Britain and France span many centuries and many famous
Guernseymen were often highly rewarded, for their services to the English Crown. The persecution of French Protestants, or Huguenots,
was largely carried out in the early 1560's. The Huguenots came mainly from areas of France such as Normandy and Picardy . They came
over in two main waves. The first was in the mid 16 th century; the accession of Queen Elizabeth to the throne of England in 1558 gave
them great encouragement. The second wave began in the 17 th century as a result of persecution by Louise XIV. The shipbuilding industry
of Guernsey brought with it new inhabitants, particularly in the period 1812 - 1894. Many 'new' Guernseymen arrived as seamen or
shipmates of the schooners, brigs, cutters and brigantines, which were built in the island during this period.

Since World War II there have been many further immigrants, mainly from England following the return of evacuees after the liberation from
Nazi occupation in May 1945. Large numbers of Guernsey people emigrated to America , Canada , Australia and New Zealand in the 19 th
Century. This emigration was partly as a result of the strict Guernsey inheritance laws, under which only the eldest sons inherited land and
wealth. Also, the opening up of the New World promised a new start and new opportunities.

Names such as De Carteret, Duquemin, Robilliard and Le Cheminant are still very common on the island and are clues to the island's
interesting history.
People from
Guernsey are called
"Donkeys"  because
of their "reputed"
stubborn natures.
Guernsey Flag Meaning:
The St George's Cross represents Guernsey's ties with England. The Gold cross
represents Duke William of Normandy, who used a cross like this on his flag in
the Battle of Hastings.

DAVID E. PEDGLEY OBE BSc has written two very detailed articles