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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)


 THOMAS JORDAN.  We have no certain baptism for him. He was married in Sandwich and brought up his family there, so he was probably living there before then. The IGI offers a number of Thomas Jordans born in different parishes in Kent around 1670, but none in Sandwich. The most promising one is the baptism at St Laurence on the Isle of Thanet on 11 April 1675 of Thomas, son of Michael Jordan and Eliza.


ELIZABETH WIDDOWAY. This is an unusual surname, and the IGI has very few occurrences. In the East Kent records it occurs variously as Widower, Woddower and Woodower.

There is a possible baptism for her in 1674, which would give a very suitable age of 23 when she married.[1] It is in the same church in which she was married.

Baptism. St Peter’s Sandwich.
1674  15 Nov   Elizabeth  d/o George Woodower by Elizabeth.

Her mother was Elizabeth Goodman.

If this is the right family, she was the second of three girls, with a younger brother.

Elizabeth, and probably Thomas, was born in the reign of Charles II, following the Commonwealth period and the Restoration of the monarchy. They lived through the Glorious Revolution, when the country’s determination not to have another Catholic monarch led to the bloodless coup, in which William of Orange, husband of James II’s Protestant daughter Mary, landed in Devon and James abdicated.

A year later, in 1689, William and Mary were crowned joint monarchs. A Bill of Rights ensured that the succession would pass to Mary’s sister Anne, if William and Mary had no children. Roman Catholics were banned from the throne. To prevent the abuses of the Stuart kings, the bill abolished the royal power to suspend laws. It would now be illegal to keep a standing army in peacetime. There must be frequent parliaments and free elections. Parliament would vote annually on the money to be given to the Crown.


On 1 Feb 1698 Thomas Jorden married Elizabeth Widdoway at St Peter’s Sandwich.[2]


Thomas and Elizabeth raised their family in Sandwich. This was one of the original five Cinque Ports, though by now the River Stour was so badly silted up that deeper draught vessels could not reach it. It was still an important town, however. Deal, which was expanding as Sandwich declined, resented the fact that its inhabitants must travel 5 miles to Sandwich to go to market, and that they had to apply to Sandwich for the enforcement of many laws.

Page, Henry Maurice; Barbican and River Stour, Sandwich, Kent; Sandwich Guildhall; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/barbican-and-river-stour-sandwich-kent-77215

It has two early churches: St Clement and St Peter, and the later St Mary’s. The Jordans worshipped at St Peter’s; the Sextys, the family into which their daughter Elizabeth junior married, at St. Clement’s.

The couple married after the death of Mary II, in the closing years of her husband’s reign.

The baptisms of six children can be found on the IGI

Baptisms. St Peter’s, Sandwich
1699  14 May  John
1700  14 Jul  Thomas

Two years later, William III of England, who had arrived as William of Orange, died. His sister-in-law, Queen Anne, came to the throne, the last of the Stuarts to rule England and Scotland.

1703  21 Nov  1703  21 Nov  Elizabeth 
This was the year of the catastrophic storm.
1706  8 Sep  Ann
1708  12 Sep  John
1712  17 Feb  Mary
1713  27 Dec  Sarah

A year after they had completed their family, Queen Anne died, and the first of the Hanoverians, the German-speaking George I, was invited from the continent to take the throne.

In August 1726, their daughter Elizabeth’s husband died, leaving her with a one-year-old daughter. A baby son was born posthumously. It is very likely that Elizabeth came back to live with her parents.

Within two years, both parents were dead.

It is possible that Thomas was a mariner and died in Deal, just down the coast from Sandwich.

Burial. St Leonard, Deal
1726 Dec 31   Thos Jordan a stranger.

If Thomas had been washed overboard or his ship had sunk, he might have been rescued, but been able to give no more than his name before he died.

We know that he died before Elizabeth.

Burial. St Clement, Sandwich.
1728 Apr 16  Elizabeth Jordan widow poor

The designation ‘poor’ means that Elizabeth was given a pauper’s funeral.



[1] Helen Nobbs
[2] IGI.
[3] Henry Maurice Page (1845-1908).  Sandwich, Guildhall. https://d3d00swyhr67nd.cloudfront.net/w800h800/KT/KT_SGM_06_035.jpg





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