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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)


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JOHN ARSCOTT. We do not know the origins of John Arscott of Drewsteignton. His marriage in 1679 would suggest a birth date between 1645 and 1665. The 17th-century Drewsteignton parish registers give many Arscott/Ascott  marriages and burials, but only two christenings, in 1625 and 1627, until the baptisms of John’s own children from 1680. We would expect more. It may be that there are some gaps in the baptism register. [1]

The most likely Drewsteignton marriage for his parents is that of William Ascot of Drewsteignton and Joan Pethybridge of Chagford in 1655. The bride’s name appears in Boyd’s Marriage Index as Pithibridge..

There are also baptisms for John Arscott in South Tawton, 1661, son of Adham. In Belstone, 1658, son of John. In Sampford Courtenay, 1650, son of Richard and  Agnis.


There are no Arscotts in the surviving returns for Drewsteignton in the 1674 Hearth Tax, though part of the return is missing. [2]

In 1678, the year before his marriage, John Arscott contributed 1 penny towards the rebuilding of St Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire of 1666. He was a young man of 23, but this points to a low social status. [3]

Also in Drewsteignton, Joanne Arscott contributed 5d and Marg. Arscott 1d. William Arscott of Crosse died in 1672. Joane could be his widow, possibly the Joane Easterbrooke who married William Arscott in 1637, or Joane Peteybridge who married William Ascot in 1655.


Drewsteignton [4]


ELIZABETH TREND.  John and Elizabeth were married in Drewsteignton on 17 June 1679.

  1. John Arscott & Elizabeth Trend, Both of this Parish (Their Banns having been thrice Published and without Denyall) were Married on Tuesday June the 17th Anno Predict.


Their eldest son John junior was baptised on 4 Jul 1680.

Five more children followed.
1682  Sunday 31 Dec   William. William lived for less than 2 months. He was buried on Sunday Feb 25 1682/3.
1683/4  Tuesday  18 Mar  Elizabeth, by Roger Specott, Vicar of Spr… (Spreyton?)

Elizabeth too died. She was buried on Friday Oct 8 1686.

John and Elizabeth also named their next daughter Elizabeth, wishing to have a girl bearing her mother’s name.

1686/7  Wednesday 2 Feb   Elizabeth.

But three years later, this second Elizabeth died too. She was buried on Trinity Sunday June 15 1690.

Meanwhile, another son was born, followed by a third daughter.

1689  Thursday 10 Oct  Peter. The rector adds  that he was baptised “By my son William Reade, Deacon”.
1692  Whit-Sunday 17 May  Agnes.

The couple raised only three of their six children.


John Arscott was buried on Sep 2 1720.


Elizabeth survived him by six years. She was buried on 16 June 1727.



[1] BMDs from Findmypast
[2] Devon Hearth Tax Returns of 1674. Ed, T.L. Stoate. www.thebookshop.org uk.
[3] Genuki Devon Drewsteignton.
[4] Holiday in Dartmoor.






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