4. SAMPSON-HARRIS

Charlotte image

Fay Sampson’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)

 

 

Sampson Tree

WILLIAM SAMPSON and SUSAN HARRIS (4)

 

WILLIAM SAMPSON was the fourth child of Richard Sampson, agricultural labourer, and Mary Mathews. He was baptised in Meshaw on 23 March 1833. His mother died before he was 8.

The family moved to Cheldon, near his father’s birthplace of West Worlington, where they shared a house with his aunt Anne and her husband and children. William’s older siblings Mary and John were by then working on farms in Chulmleigh, where they were born.

 

1841 Census:  Cheldon

Holes:

 

Richard Sampson

Jane Sampson

William Sampson

Richard Sampson

Samuel Price

Anne Price

Anne Price

William Price

Maria Price

Jane Price

35

11

8

4

40

40

11

7

4

1

Ag lab

 

 

 

Ag Lab

 

Cheldon church

 

William was apprenticed on a local farm. Meanwhile, his father remarried.

1851 Census: West Worlington & Cheldon

Mousebery.

 

Edward Tolley

Mary Tolley

William Tolley

Richard Ware

William Sampson

Elizabeth Coles

Head

Wife

Son

Serv

Appr

Serv

M

M

U

U

U

U

59

64

24

24

18

17

Farmer of 182 Acres

 

 

Ag Lab

Ag Lab

General Servant

Meshaw

Brushford

Romansleigh

Winkleigh

Meshaw

Romansleigh

 

William, like his father, lived the nomadic life of the husbandman and labourer, with frequent changes of home and job. He married a young woman of higher status, whose parents had established a family farm.

 

SUSAN(NA) HARRIS was baptised in Mariansleigh in 1838, the fifth child of Robert Harris and Susanna Cook.

 

1838 Aug 29. Susanna, daughter of Robert and Susanna Harris. Mariansleigh. Farmer.

 

The address of ‘Mariansleigh’ may mean that they were living in the village, rather than on an outlying farm. By 1840 the family were at Triddencott, a farm south-east of the village.

 

1841 Census: Mariansleigh

Triddenacott.

 

Robert Harris

Susanna

Henery

Elizabeth

John

Susanna

Robert

45

35

15

9

5

3

1 month

Farmer

 

 

Ten years later, her baptismal name has been shortened to Susan, and she remains Susan for the rest of her life.

1851 census: Mariansleigh

Triddencott

 

Robert Harris

Susan

Elizabeth

John

Susan

Mary

William

Robert

Head

Wife

Daur

Son

Daur

Daur

Son

Son

M

M

U

U

U

U

U

U

44?

46

20

16

12

6

4

10

 

William Sampson and Susan Harris were married in or before 1861. They lived first at Adworthy, in the parish of Witheridge, where a former farmhouse had apparently been divided to house agricultural labourers.

 

1861 Census: Witheridge

2 Higher Adworthy

 

William Sampson

Susan Sampson

Head

Wife

Mar

Mar

28

22

Ag Lab Meshaw

Mariansleigh

 

Their first son, William, was born in Witheridge, but the couple had him baptised in St Mary’s, East Worlington.

Baptism. East Worlington

1861  Mar 12th  William  Son of Willam & Susan Sampson  Witheridge  Labourer

 

This may have been because this church was nearer than the church in Witheridge, or the couple may moved on to East Worlington before the baptism. They were living in this parish when their next son John was born, c 1864. Around 1870 they moved finally to Romansleigh.

 

1871 Census. Romansleigh

25 Village.  Thorndown Cottage.

 

William Sampson

Susan Sampson

John Sampson

Mary Sampson

Robert Sampson

Susan Sampson

Richard Sampson

Head

Wife

Son

Daur

Son

Daur

Son

Mar

Mar

36/8

32

7

6

3

2

7months

Ag Lab

Ag Lab wife

Meshaw

Mariansleigh

East Worlington

‘’

‘’

‘’

Romansleigh

 

 

None of their older children went to school. There was a small school in Romansleigh and another in neighbouring Mariansleigh. Following the Education Act of 1871 requiring schools to be provided for all children, plans were made for a new school to accommodate the children of both parishes. The Oxham School, midway between the two villages, was opened in 1877. From then on, the younger Sampson children from Romansleigh would have attended it, along with their Harris cousins from Mariansleigh.

In 1871, 9-year-old William had already left home and was a farm servant with Susan’s brother at her old home of Tridencott, Mariansleigh.  William is back with them in 1881. Three more children have been born, but the parents seem a bit confused about their birthplaces.

 

1881 Census:

Village, Romansleigh.

 

William Sampson

Susan Sampson

William Sampson

John Sampson

Robert Sampson

Susan Sampson

Richard Sampson

Sarah Sampson

Frederick Sampson

Elizabeth Sampson

M

M

U

48

42

19

17

13

12

10

8

6

4

Meshaw

Mariansleigh

Witheridge

Westington

Worlington

Worlington

Worlington

Worlington

Romansleigh

Romansleigh

Head

Wife

Son

Son

Son

Daur

Son

Daur

Son

Daur

Farm Labourer

Wife

Farm Labourer

Farm Labourer

Scholar

Scholar

Scholar

Scholar

Scholar

Scholar

 

 

The younger children now go to school. The 1870 Education Act established schools for all.

The two older boys, William and John, joined the Devonshire Regiment before the next census.

 

1891 Census: Romansleigh

Cottage.

 

William Sampson

Susan

Sarah

Elizabeth

Thomas H

Head

wife

dau

dau

son

 

57

50

18

14

7

 

 

agr lab

 

dom serv

 

 

 

 

Meshaw

Mariansleigh

Romansleigh

‘’

‘’

‘’

 

William junior went to India as a sergeant in the 1st Devon Regiment. In Rawal Pindi he contracted fever. To celebrate his recovery, he ate a large meal, collapsed and died on 6 December 1893.

John served in Egypt and returned to Plymouth as a colour sergeant.

 

William and Susan lived in Bell Cottage, which was previously the Blue Bell Inn. Though William appears in every census as a labourer, they appear to have kept a shop. Perhaps Susan ran this from their front room.

 

Kelly’s Directory 1897. Romansleigh, William Sampson, shopkeeper.

 

In the 1901 census, occupations were defined as ‘Employer, Worker or Own account’, with a further column to say ‘If working at home’.

 

1901 Census. Romansleigh.

Romansleigh Village

 

Sampson Wm

Sampson Susan

Sampson Elizth

Sampson Fk

Head

Wife

Daur

Son

67

60

23

17

Agricultural Labourer

 

Dressmaker

Farm Labourer

Worker

 

Own A/c

Worker

Meshaw

Mariansleigh

Romansleigh

Romansleigh

 

None of them is listed as working at home, though Susan may be assumed to do so. It is not clear where Elizabeth did her dressmaking, since she was self-employed. Perhaps she did her sewing at the houses of her clients.

This photograph  of William must have been taken in the early 20th century. It is remarkable for its time because it shows him in his cottage, in domestic surroundings, and not formally posed in a photographer’s studio.

 

William and Susan are buried in Romansleigh churchyard. As you enter the gate, there is a grave on the left of the path surrounded by a railing. It looks surprisingly prominent for a farm labourer’s grave, but perhaps more in keeping with a shopkeeper.

 

         

In Loving Memory of

Susan Sampson

who died November 11th 1907

aged 67 years

also of

William Sampson

Husband of the above

who died October 31st 1910

aged 77 years

“peace perfect peace”

 

 

 

 

NEXT GENERATION: 3. SAMPSON

PREVIOUS GENERATIONS: 5. SAMPSON-MATHEWS

 5. HARRIS- COOK

Sampson Tree