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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)


Sampson Tree




JAMES LOOSEMORE. The Creacombe registers have not survived before 1696, except for fragmentary Bishop’s Transcripts beginning in 1607.

Nevertheless, this is sufficient for us to pick up evidence of James Loosemore and his wife Johan.

They had children baptised in the church of St Michael in 1607 and 1610. Other evidence suggests that they might have had a child as early as 1598. This makes it likely that James himself was born in the early 1570s, about the time that Francis Drake was attacking the Spanish Main, the mainland coast around the Caribbean.

Creacombe is a very small parish, and there seems to be only one Loosemore family. We therefore assume that James is the son of John Loosemore junior, who was assessed for land in Creacombe in the Subsidy Rolls of 1592, and probably earlier. James was therefore the son of one of Creacombe’s leading parishioners.

The name Creacombe means “crow valley”.


JOHAN. We have no record of their marriage, and therefore we do not know Johan’s maiden name.

The presumed date of their daughter Agnes’s birth means that the couple must have married in the late 1590s, towards the end of the reign of Elizabeth I.


The baptisms of their children whose names have survived in the Bishop’s Transcript were:

Baptisms. St Michael and All Angels, Creacombe.
1607  31 March Mary daughter of James Loosmore.

Less than a month later, on 26 April, there is recorded the ‘burial of the same Mary’.

1610 19 May   Nicolas Loosmore the sonne of James Loosmore and Johan his wife. 


Sadly, the church has now been deconsecrated. The Loosemore children would have been baptised in its Saxon font, which has been dated 700-900. This appears to have been vandalised, either at the Reformation or during the Civil War. The original carved decoration was crudely removed. The font is now in the South Molton Museum.[1]

W. R. Loosemore, who has done extensive research into this family, says:[2]

It is not clear exactly when James and his family left Creacombe for Rose Ash.  The first 17th century lay subsidy return, for 1610/11, is in poor condition but examination under ultra-violet light reveals that the second name assessed in Creacombe parish is probably ‘…osmore’; the section including Rose Ash is so badly damaged as to be illegible.  In 1620-22 Jacobus (James) Loosemore was assessed in Rose Ash on land valued at 40s., while the family name is missing from Creacombe in this and all later returns.  Loosemore first appears in the Rose Ash parish register on 21 August 1620 when Agnes, daughter of James Loosemore, married Alexander Kempe of Meshaw; it is therefore safe to assume that Agnes was born in Creacombe, perhaps about 1598. If she was the eldest child of James and Johan their marriage could not have been later than c1597.

The next piece of the jigsaw was recorded on 30 January 1633/4 when a James Loosemore of Rose Ash married Mary Colman in the parish church.  This James was probably born c1605 (his omission from the 1624/5 subsidy return implies that he was then under 21) and he is probably another son of James 1575, whom we shall refer to as James c1605, very probably born in Creacombe before the start of parish records.

We know from the Rose Ash parish register that on 27 February 1638/9 Mary the daughter of John Loosemore was baptized, while on 10 March 1641/2 Margery the wife of John Loosemore was buried.  The Protestation Returns for Rose Ash, taken in March 1641/2, include the names of
James 1605 and John Lusmore, so both men were then at least 18 years old…. He was an almost exact contemporary of James 1605 and we shall regard him as another son of James 1575 and brother of James 1605.

We may reasonably conclude from all this that James 1575 with his wife and at least two children, Agnes 1598 and Nicholas 1610, moved from Creacombe to Rose Ash some time between 1610 and 1620.

It is not hard to see why relatively prosperous and ambitious families like the Loosemores and the Dodges would leave the tiny and isolated parish of Creacombe for the larger and more accessible Rose Ash.

James 1575 was buried in Rose Ash on 17 April 1624 at a comparatively early age; probate of his will (now lost) was granted in the Barnstaple Archdeaconry Court on 11 May that same year. Alexander Kempe, his son-in-law, died six weeks later and was buried on 6 June. 


They had seen the start of the Stuart dynasty with the reign of James I following the death of Elizabeth in 1603. Only Johan lived on to see things fall apart, with the reign of Charles I leading to Civil War in 1642


James’s widow Johan survived her husband and son-in-law some 20 years, being buried in Rose Ash on 1 December 1644 at the height of the Civil War.  She had inherited his property, for in the lay subsidies of 1624/5 and 1641 she, Johane Losemoore or Joanna Lusemore, was assessed for tax on land valued at 20s.


[1] www.southmoltonmuseum.org
[2] W.R. Loosemore, Loosemore of Devon, an outline family history. www.loosemore.co.uk. Chapter 8.






Sampson Tree