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)
THOMAS VOYDON alias BOWDON and ELIZABETH DOWNEY (10)
THOMAS VOYDON alias BOWDON. Aliases were common in Witheridge at this time. This may reflect the number of births out of wedlock in an earlier generation and a strong local custom of acknowledging both surnames. Thomas is occasionally recorded as Bowdon, but usually as Voydon alias Bowdon. There are no instances of his Voydon surname being used alone.
Thomas does not appear to have been born in Witheridge. There are no Voydons in the early registers, though there are some Vowdons, and only a few Bowdens. Mable Bowden, wife of Hugh, was buried in 1590, and in 1613 Philip Bowden was buried Cent annor, presumably a hundred years old. There is then a gap until 1650, when Robert, son of Richard and Jane, was baptised. It is possible that this couple were also Thomas’s parents, and that they moved to Witheridge about this time, but there is as yet no confirmation of this.
The next occurrence is Thomas’s marriage. He is not stated to be from another parish and was probably living in Witheridge by then.
ELIZABETH DOWNEY. The Downeys were an old Witheridge family. The parish registers begin in 1585, and in 1588 Katherine Downey, daughter of William, was baptised.
Elizabeth was born in 1658, the year that Oliver Cromwell died. She was baptised in Witheridge on 24 Feb.
Her father was William Downey. In 1649 there was a baptism in Witheridge of Roger, son of William and Emline Downey. In 1653 Emlin, daughter of William Downehay was buried. Early next year, William Donney married Hasle Ellson. In 1657 Elizabeth, daughter of William Downey was baptised. Elizabeth could thus be the child of either couple. Indeed, Emline, wife of William, might have died, though her burial has not been found, and William could have remarried to Hasle. But since Elizabeth named one of her own daughters Emeling, it is reasonable to assume that these were separate couples and that Elizabeth’s mother was Emline Downey, not Hasle Donney. Emline’s marriage, and hence her maiden name has not yet been found.
Thomas and Elizabeth married in 1677.
1677 Thomas Bowdon & Elizabeth Downey were marryed the 10th day of November
Elizabeth must have been in the advanced stages of pregnancy.
1677(8) William sonne of Thomas Bowdon & Elizabeth his wife was baptized the 3rd day of March
1679 Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Voydon alias Bowdon & Elizabeth his wife was baptized the 24th day of March
1682 Emeling daughter of Thomas Voydon alias Bowdon & Elizabeth his wife was baptized ye 24th day of May
1685 Dorothy daughter of Thomas Voydon alias Bowdon & Elizabeth his wife was baptized ye 28th day of June
1686(7) Mary daughter of Thomas Voydon alias Bowdon & Elizabeth his wife was baptized ye 27th day of February
Then misfortunes followed one after another.
1687(8) Thomas Voydon alias Bowdon was buryed ye same day (11th day of February)
1688 Mary daughter of Thomas Voydon alias Bowdon was buryed the 5th day of December
1689 Dorothy daughter of Thomas Voydon alias Bowdon was buryed ye 3rd day of November
Two years after Thomas died, Elizabeth had another son, though he is not recorded as a base child.
1689(90) John son of Elizabeth Voydon alias Bowdon widow was baptized the same day (12th day of February)
Elizabeth’s burial has not yet been found.
NEXT GENERATION: 9. BREWER-BOWDON
PREVIOUS GENERATIONS: 11. DOWNEY