A group of small rocky islands off the North West coast of France, and 90 miles South of England. The group consists of Jersey and Guernsey, two or three smaller islands - Alderney, Sark and Herm - and various tiny islets of rock or seacrags. The total area is about 75 square miles. The soil is fertile and exceptionally well cultivated. The islands send large quantities of early potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, and other fruits and vegetables to the English markets. Each of the largest islands possesses its own peculiar race of cattle. The people, who are of Norman descent, are industrious and fairly prosperous. Their numbers increased from 49,430 (excluding Alderney) in 1821 to 95,840 in 1901, giving at the latter date the great average density of 1,278 inhabitants to the square mile. The language of every-day intercourse is the Norman-French patois; of the popular assemblies, law courts, and churches, modern French. English, however, is taught in schools. The islands enjoy practically home rule. The chief executive officer in Jersey, and also in Guernsey and its dependencies, is the Lieutenant-Governor. The people are Protestants and the islands are attached to the diocese of Winchester.
- From the Harmsworth Encyclopedia,1909