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)
WILLIAM AYSHFORD and SYBIL MAYFORDE (29)
WILLIAM AYSHFORD was the second son of Stephen Ayshforde and Agnes or Magdalaine le Bel. His father founded the family at the estate of Ayshford in the parish of Burlescombe, between Tiverton and Wellington, after apparently moving from Bampton. He is thought to be descended from the steward of the Norman lord Walter de Clavile. The Ayshfords themselves were Normans.
William was probably born in the 1130s, around the time that civil war broke out between Henry I’s daughter Matilda and his nephew Stephen over the succession to the English throne. The war lasted from 1135 to 1154, when King Stephen died and was succeeded by Matilda’s son, Henry II.
SYBIL MAYFORDE is thought to be the daughter of Sir John Mayforde.
The couple had at least two sons, John and Arthur.
William did not grow up expecting to succeed to his father’s estates. Sometime between 1161 and 1173, Walter de Clavile, the Ayshfords’ overlord, founded a priory for Augustinian canons at Legh in Burlescombe. Among the witnesses were Stephen Ayshford and five of his sons, including both the eldest son Walter and William. But Walter appears to have died childless between then and the death of their father around 1180. William inherited not only the Ayshford lands, but another estate of his father’s, named after him Stevenston in Upton Pyne, just north of Exeter.
We do not know when either William or Sybil died.
 Except where otherwise stated, the source is: F. & H. Ayshford, Notes Towards a History of the Ayshford Family of Devon. Typescript booklet.
 Cartulary of Canonsleigh.
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