Ricky Gervais Family History
The comedian Ricky Dene Gervais was born on June 25th, 1961 in Reading, England to Jerry and Eva Gervais.
He was by eleven years the youngest of their four children. Ricky’s sister Marsha later said: “When we were growing up, we all took the mickey out of each other. Ricky’s attitude was that he doesn’t care what you say about him. So why should he care what he says about you?”
Father Jerry was a laborer who left home at 5.30 am every day to work on a building site. They lived in a council house.
Ricky was obsessed with animals from an early age. So it wasn’t much of a surprise when he decided to study biology at University College London. He changed his mind two weeks later and eventually graduated with a degree in philosophy.
In the 1980’s Ricky aspired to become a music star, but then got involved in standup comedy in the 1990’s. He rose to fame on TV in Britain with The Office in 2001, scored a second hit with Extras in 2005, appeared in various film comedies, toured and made the acclaimed Netflix series Afterlife.
His particular brand of humor became known in America through a version of The Office which started airing in 2005 and then when he began hosting the Golden Globe Awards in 2010.
A French Canadian Heritage
Ricky Gervais has said he has no interest in ancestor programs like Who Do You Think You Are? nor would he wish to appear in one. Indeed, growing up in England, he has had little connection with the French Canadian past of his own family.
His father Jerry had arrived in England from Canada at the time of the Second World War. He met his English wife Eva during a blackout and they married in Reading in 1944. His grandfather Delore did cross over from Canada with his new wife on the Queen Elizabeth in 1957, staying in Reading for five weeks before returning. But that was four years before Ricky was born.
Anyway, here is an account of Ricky Gervais’s French Canadian ancestry. It comes in two parts – as Talbot and Talbot dit Gervais in Quebec and as Gervais in SW Ontario.
Talbot and Talbot dit Gervais in Quebec
The forebear of this family was apparently a Talbot, not a Gervais. Jean-Jacques Talbot, the son of Nicholas and Marie Talbot in Rouen, arrived in New France (as it was then called) in 1698. He married Charlotte Sommeraux in Montreal that year and they settled in Montmagny, a town forty miles northeast of Quebec City on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river. Charlotte died in 1710 and Jean-Jacques remarried two years later.
Jean-Jacques, like most compatriots of his time, took or was given an alias or nickname during his military enlistment. His alias was Gervais and thereafter he became known as Jean-Jacques Talbot dit Gervais. For a while his descendants stuck either with Talbot or Talbot dit Gervais.
The earlier Talbots of his family tree had large families and were well documented. Jean-Jacques had eight children, as did his son Simon; while Simon’s son Jean-Baptiste had seven.
There is somewhat less information about the later Talbots. They seem to have remained around Montmagny. The last here was Stanislas Gervais, or, as he was baptized in 1823, Francois Xavier Ladislas Hermenegilde Talbot dit Gervais. In 1844, or perhaps a bit later, he moved away to Pain Court in Kent county, Ontario where he had accepted the position of postmaster.
Gervais in SW Ontario
Pain Court was and is a French-speaking agricultural village in SW Ontario, so named by Catholic missionaries because of the small loaves of bread that were all the impoverished parishioners could offer.
Stanislas Gervais decided that his family name was Gervais; and his descendants through the four generations at Pain Court – Stanislas, Stanislas Jr, Delore, and Francis – were all Gervais. Their principal occupation was farming.
The Windsor Star in Ontario reported the death of Delore Gervais as following on March 6, 1972.
“Delore Gervais, a lifelong resident of Pain Court, died on Friday at the age of 77 at Chatham’s St. Joseph hospital.
He was a township assessor from 1924 to 1953 and had served on council for a number of years. Surviving are two daughters, Mary Bechard of Windsor and Elizabeth Elliott of Thedford; and five sons, Lawrence in England, Francis of Pain Court, Adelard of Wallaceburg, and Joseph and Arthur of London.”
Lawrence of course was Ricky’s father Jerry.
Ricky Gervais’s Family Tree
- Jean-Jacques Talbot dit Gervais (1665-1730) from Rouen in France m. Charlotte Sommereux (1678-1708) in Montreal in 1698; rem. Catherine Lamarre in Montmagny, Quebec in 1710
- – Jean Talbot dit Gervais (1699-1763) m. Barbe Fortin
- – Marie Talbot (1699-1767) m. Jean Fournier
- – Simon Talbot (1702-1883)
- – Jacques Talbot dit Gervais (1704-1783) m. Marguerite Meunier
- – Joseph Talbot dit Gervais (1711-1796) m. Marie Patry
- – Marie-Catherine Talbot (1712-1760) m. Charles Rousseau
- – Genevieve Talbot (1715-1785) m. Pierre Beaudoin
- – Augustin Talbot (1718-1749) m. Marie Mignaud
- Simon Talbot from Montmagny, Quebec m. Marie Isabel (1708-1734) in 1730; rem. Marie Allaire (1713-1785) in 1734
- – Marie Genevieve Talbot (1731-1790) m. Jean Pelletier
- – Simon Talbot (1735-1776) m. Marie Blanchet
- – Marie Therese Talbot (1736-1769) m. Pierre Bouchard
- – Pierre Talbot (1740-1780) m. Marie-Marthe Pelletier
- – Therese Talbot dit Gervais (1741-1820) m. Ignace St. Pierre
- – Jean-Baptiste Talbot dit Gervais (1743-1813)
- – Augustin Talbot dit Gervais (1744-1802) m. Marie-Anne Blais
- – Marie Marguerite Talbot (1750-1789) m. Jean-Baptiste Lecompte
- Jean-Baptiste Talbot dit Gervais from St. Pierre-de-la-Riviere-du-Sud, Montmagny m. Marie Pelletier (1747-1823) in 1764
- – Marthe Talbot (1765-1822) m. Louis Bernier
- – Jean-Baptiste Talbot dit Gervais (1767-1817)
- – Marie Catherine Talbot dit Gervais (1775-1859) m. Joseph Fraser
- – Francois Talbot dit Gervais (1777-1852) m. Rosalie Gagne
- – Marie Anne Talbot dit Gervais (1780-1832) m. Gabriel Belanger
- – Marie Angelique Talbot dit Gervais (1783-1845) m. Joseph Lefebvre
- – Marie Modeste Talbot (1787-1832) m. Pierre Morin
- Jean-Baptiste Talbot dit Gervais from St. Pierre-de-la-Riviere-du-Sud, Montmagny m. Rose Casault (1772-1800) in 1789
- – Rose Talbot (1792-1863) m. Felix Blanchet
- – Jean Baptiste Talbot (b. 1794) m. Marie Pelletier
- – Joseph Talbot dit Gervais (b. 1795)
- Joseph Talbot dit Gervais from St. Francois-de-la-Riviere-du-Sud, Montmagny m. Marie Talon (b. 1798) in 1818
- – Stanislas Gervais (1823-1872)
- Stanislas Gervais from St. Francois-de-la-Riviere-du-Sud, Montmagny m. Marie Allaire (1823-1881) in 1848
- – Stanislas Gervais (1849-1934)
- Stanislas Gervais from Kent county, Ontario (Pain Court) m. Marie-Francoise Peltier (1856-1940) in 1873
- – Marie Jeanne Gervais (1875-1957) m. Vital Duphette
- – Jean-Remi (Jerry) Gervais (1884-1940)
- – Delore Gervais (1894-1972)
- – Vital Ervais (1897-1981) m. Isabelle Bechard
- Delore Gervais from Pain Court m. Florence Desloges (1894-1934) in Ohio in 1919; rem. Irene Griffore (b. 1900) in Ontario in 1956
- – Laurent (Jerry) Gervais (1919-2002)
- – Mary Gervais (1920-2016) m. Victor Bechard
- – Francis (Frank) Gervais (1921-2013) m. Luella Charbonneau
- – Joseph Gervais (1923-1981)
- – Adelard Gervais (1925-1981)
- – Elizabeth Gervais (1926-1997) m. Ralph Elliott
- Laurent (Jerry) Gervais from Pain Court in Canada m. Eva House from Reading (1925-2000) in Reading in 1944
- – Larry Gervais (1945-2019)
- – Marsha Gervais (b. 1948)
- – Bob Gervais (b. 1950)
- – Ricky Gervais (b. 1961).
- Ricky Gervais with partner Jane Fallon (b. 1960) since 1984
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