Bushnook Genealogy









from England, Australia and America,  but originally from France



      In our family Courtoy is a fake surname, but the name is not uncommon in France

and Belgium.  We are definitely not related. 



I began investigating my Jerkins family history in 1998, only to learn that ‘Jerkins; as a

surname began in South Australia only in 1841.  Through a series of trials and brick walls

ie: my great grandfather’s Will which had his name as William Thomlinson Courtoy

Jerkins I gradually learnt of his mother’s name, then our connections with Courtoy.

In 2003 Ron Courtoy of London purchased the entire file on John Courtoy from the PRO

England.  These papers revealed more information.  I have slowly made contact with the

living of most lines, in Australia and America and now have in excess of 2000 names, all

descendants of John Courtoy.  In 2004 I spotted the family tree of Edme Jacquinet, at

www.geneanet.com and as I already knew of Claude Jacquinet and Ann Constant being

the grandparents of Nicolas Jacquinet I was able to join the trees together.


I am in the process of putting everything I have onto a CD so it can easily be sent

to everyone who wants a copy.  I will write up each family story if I have it but if

you would like to do your own family story, and save me the effort,

I would be most grateful.


I know a lot about some of the names and not a lot about others. 

The project has been very much a combined effort,

cousins, unknown cousins and kind strangers have been

involved and my grateful thanks to everyone,

especially Gail Irwin, Lauris Crampton and Ron Courtoy,

because without their willingness to get involved

most of this would have remained buried under the dust of time.




has most of the names but no stories.

The site contains a search engine but to protect the privacy of the living not everyone

is listed  – please contact me direct.  bushnook@hotkey.net.au



I invite you to leave a message on the genealogy forum for Courtoy at the following website.


I encourage everyone to get involved as this is not just my family tree, it belongs to all

descendants – who will, one day, be grateful that the hard work is complete.






The correct surname originally was Jacquinet.  Courtoy was the surname invented by

Nicolas Jacquinet, a French wigmaker/investor who lived as

John Courtoy in London from 1754 ish onwards.   

He never married but had 4 children with Mary Ann Woolley

and died aged 92 in December 1818.


John Courtoy and Mary Ann Wooley had 4 children, of whom 3 survived infancy.

Their eldest son George Courtoy married Mary Creech

(daughter of Robert and Ann Creech of Dorchester)

Their only daughter Louisa Ann Courtoy remained a spinster.

Both died without issue. Louisa appears to have been

very close to her mother, brother, nieces and nephew Frederick.


Their second son christened 1777 as Jno Joseph William Masserat Courtoy

married as William Courtoy at St. Clement Danes, London

in 1806 to Eliza Williams, born ? Wales.


William and Eliza Courtoy

had 9 children in Middlesex, London including


George Courtoy b 1808

who travelled to South Australia in 1837 then returned to London where he remarried.

He returned to Australia in 1855 then took his second family

into outback Queensland before dying in Sydney, NSW.


Ernest Courtoy b 1826

who was smuggled to South Carolina in 1841, aged 14 and who married

Zillyhollan Hamen and settled in Worth Co. Georgia to raise 10 children.

Their descendants have spread to Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Georgia,

Montana, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, and elsewhere.

Of William and Eliza’s other children

Charles Courtoy b 1823 must have died very young as no records have been found.

William Courtoy b 1817 died 1838 aged 21 of Typhus.


Frederick Courtoy b 1823 and Louisa Courtoy b 1814 shared a farm house

in Dodford, Worcestershire after the death of Louisa’s husband Robert Elliot Lane b 1814


Mary Ann Courtoy b 1812 married Edmund Powell Meredith and I suspect

descendants of their son Edmund Meredith b London 1846 now live in Canada.


Elizabeth Courtoy b 1816 married a tailor Samuel Blanks and lived in Spitalfields.

I am uncertain if there are descendants


John Courtoy b 1807, first born, married, perhaps more than once,

and remained in London. His Courtoy and Day descendants live in London and New Zealand

but I am still looking for Grafton, Hammersley and descendants.


Jno Joseph William Masserat Courtoy also travelled to South Australia, arriving in 1838. 

His relationship with his ex daughter in law Eliza Sewell Flitt produced 5 Australian children.

He was a boatman. He and Eliza lived under the alias of Jarkins or Jerkins. 

He returned to London where he died as John Cortoy aged 75, resident

of Commercial Road, Limehouse in 1852.



I began with nothing, knew nothing and had no expectations of ever finding anything.

Long ago I discovered that in my extended family, everyone knew nothing.

Our family motto could be ‘Nobody knows anything and nobody cares’

It is my aim to change all that!





This newspaper article from the Times newspaper, 31st December 1818

was confirmation of all that I have learnt about John Courtoy and makes me

even more suspicious about events that took place some 200 years ago.

The fortune did exist, but no, it did not come the way of the Courtoy family


It is a long, complicated and perhaps not very honorable tale

of disrespect, conspiracy and greed – regardless of

who dictated the so called Last Will and Testament of John Courtoy

also known as Nicolas Jacquinet, dated 1814.


I have discovered the family who inherited the fortune

and learnt a little of what they were told in generations past.

I am not certain of the truth but

I have been stunned with the revelations unearthed

and understand why we know nothing.  The Godson family suspect

that the papers that told the truth have long since been burnt

but also wish there was a crystal ball to see back in time.



The fact that we have now uncovered so many unexpected tales,

(once carefully hidden  under generations of apathy)

is as close to proof as you will ever get

that pigs can fly – and frogs can probably dance too!


If you are able to add to what I have collected

I will be most interested and grateful.


I intend to produce a CD for distribution to all the cousins who are interested. 

This CD will contain written documents, scanned and downloaded

images and my plan is to share everything…

hopefully saving anyone else from

ever, ever having to attempt a Courtoy family tree again.


I have accidentally become the family archivist. 

It is my belief that only a Jerkins could have linked us all together 

(and survived the various name changes.) 

Curiousity is rewarding sometimes.


If you belong to this family tree, then I am proud to tell you

that we are all descendants of

Françoise PETIET, born 1640

and Edme JACQUINET born 1642

of the village of  Jussey, Haute Saone, Franche-Compte, 70, France.



Invisible Threads link us all through generations of silence.


Please contact me:


Judy Jerkins

42 Laughtons Road,

Lakes Entrance,

Vic 3909

Australia                         email:    bushnook@hotkey.net.au