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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)



RICHARD DODGE of Rose Ash was born before the registers of that parish begin. The christening of a daughter and the death of his first wife in 1591 are among the first entries in the register. We do not know whether Grace was the first or the last child of this marriage, and hence it is difficult to estimate Richard’s birth date. It was probably before 1570.

In the 1569 Muster Roll for Rawes Aishe parrishe (Rose Ash) there is only one man named Dodge. James Dodge was one of four presenters of the muster roll, indicating that he was among the leading parishioners. It is very likely that he was Richard’s father.

If Richard was born in the 1560s, then he would have lived through most of Elizabeth I’s reign.

His first wife’s name was Richord, a girl’s name which has fallen out of use.

Their daughter Grace was baptised in Rose Ash on 27 Oct 1591, and Richord was buried the same day. It is a tragic, but not uncommon story.

Three years later, Richard remarried.


ANNE YELMACOTT.  Anne was married Richard in Rose Ash in 1594. No record of her baptism has been found. The Rose Ash registers only go back to 1591. The early parish registers show no other record of this surname, or of the alias Thom/Tom with which it is sometimes linked. It is likely that she came from another parish. There are no subsequent entries for Yelmacott in Rose Ash, so we assume her family lived elsewhere.

Early entries for this surname are only found in Devon. Anne’s marriage is the first entry for that surname on Findmypast . It is followed by a number of entries for Kings Nympton, mostly wills. [1] Some have the alias Tom. Thomas, whose will was proved in 1594 could be her father. Similarly, Joan Yealmacott, whose will was proved in 1617, could be her mother. These are no more than guesses, but the link to Kings Nympton is greatly strengthened by the existence of a farm called Yelmacott there and by the absence of early instances of the name in other parishes. This farm could well be where Anne’s forbears came from.

Barns at Yelmacott [2]

This is obviously a rare surname, confined to a very small area of North Devon. Evidently the Tom surname gained precedence over Yelmacott or Yeomacott. It is widespread in the area. Yelmacott may have been adopted as an alias to distinguish the branch of the Tom family who lived at Yelmacott Farm from any other. This would reinforce Anne’s likely connection to Kings Nympton.

The Lay Subsidy Rolls for Kings Nympton in 1524 and 1545 show no Yelmacotts. But in 1524 Thomas Thom was assessed for goods at G6, and Robert Thom at G2. 61 taxpayers ranged from G2-G20, with one assessed for wages a W1 and one for land at L3. Thomas Thom was in the top 20% of taxpayers.[3]

In 1545, Thomas Thom was assessed at £7. There were then 57 taxpayers, ranging from £1 to 8. Three were assessed at £8 and two at £7. Thomas Thom was thus in the top 10%.[4] This would put Anne’s family on a similar social level with Richard’s, among the most affluent parishioners.

No earlier instances of the Yelmacott surname have been found in the Kings Nympton register .[5] There are entries for the surname Tom or Toms. In particular, there is the baptism of  Richus son of Thomas Tom in 1572. This could be Anna’s brother, giving her a probable birth date in the 1570s. As a second wife, Anne may have been younger than Richard.

Richard Tom’s father Thomas Tom is presumably a younger man than the one in the Subsidy Rolls.


Marriage. Rose Ash. DCRS transcript.[6]
1594  Richard Dodge and Anne Yelmacott  10 Nov


We know of five children. Their births span the end of Elizabeth I’s reign and last well into the reign of James I, who succeeded her in 1603.

Baptisms. Rose Ash.
1597  Christian d of Richard Dodge  14 June
1599  Marie  d of Richard Dodge  25 March .
1611  Penelope  d of Richard Dodge  1 Dec
1613/4  John s of Richard Dodge  28 Jan
1615  Anne d of Richard Dodge  3 Sept

We do not know why there is such a long gap between Marie and Penelope. Perhaps there were other pregnancies which miscarried, or there are entries missing from the register or illegible.

None of the children seems to have died in infancy, underlining the comparative affluence of the Dodge family,

In 1595 there was the baptism of Marie daughter of Florence Dodge.
In 1596, Anne the wife of John Dodge was buried. John himself died in 1605.
Robert Dodge had three children baptised in Rose Ash from 1610.
These Dodges could all be Richard’s siblings.


Neither of Richard nor Anne lived to see the Civil War. Anne died in 1624, probably in her 50s.
Burial. Rose Ash.
1624  Anne Dodge wife of Richard Dodge. 13 Augt.

Richard lived another 14 years.
Burial. Rose Ash.
1638  Richard Dodge  3 May.


[1] Findmypast.
[2] Martin Bodman.
[3] T.L. Stoate, ed., Devon Lay Subsidy Rolls 1524-1527, CD B. D. Welchman.
[4] T.L. Stoate, ed., Devon Lay Subsidy Rolls 1543-1545, CD B. D. Welchman
[5] Microfiche, Westcountry Studies Library
[6] Extracts from the registers are from the DCRS transcripts in the Westcountry Studies Library.




Sampson Tree