Although Jersey is a small island it has a rich and varied history. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in its place names, some of which are of great antiquity while others are being coined even today. Toponomy is a living study.
These scholarly volumes are the result of thirty years work by three dedicated researchers, Charles Stevens, his wife Joan Stevens, and Jean Arthur. The authors have, in addition, enjoyed the assistance and advice of Dr Frank Le Maistre who has subjected the manuscript to minute and searching scrutiny.
Volume I, the dictionary, is a comprehensive catalogue of the place names in which are explained their origins, deviations, earliest known occurrences and changes in orthography, followed by a detailed gazetteer of their use in the island. There are about twelve thousand fields in Jersey and their names and those of innumerable other localities and features dealt with in this important study have historical associations spanning many centuries.
The sources used in compiling the dictionary are numerous; a great many entries have been culled from the helpful owners of properties visited and many other from unpublished manuscript material dating back to the fifteenth century and before. Earlier sources found in learned publications have been used, and all are included in the extensive list of references.
The forty-one maps in Volume II, locating where possible names listed in Volume I, have been reproduced from large-scale hand-drawn copies of the States’ Official Survey. Seldom has so extensive an area been recorded in such detail.