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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)




JOHN MAY. We believe that John May, fisherman, father of a younger John May, mariner of Deal, was the son of the Henry Maye and Margaret Beane.

He was baptised in the village of Ringwould, just a mile from Deal.

Baptism, St Nicholas, Ringwould.
1612/3 Feb 14  John Maye s of Henrye

John was the middle child of seven. None of his siblings died in infancy, suggesting that the May family was not amongst the poorest.


John became a fisherman. This may have been his father’s occupation.

The likelihood is that they lived in Kingsdown, the part of Ringwould closest to the sea.

Rising Sun, Cliffe Road, Kingsdown [1]

Elizabeth was John’s second wife. On 17 Apr 1638 he married Joanna Caston in Ringwould.

There was at least one child from this marriage. Anne was christened on 27 Oct 1639 and buried the following month on 27 Nov.

Henry May, son of John, may also be theirs, though we do not have his mother’s name for confirmation. He was baptised in Ringwould on 30 May 1641 and buried eight months later on 3 Feb 1641/2.

Joanna died the following year. She was buried at Ringwould on 22 Sep 1643.

John lost no time in marrying Elizabeth two months later.


ELIZABETH DOVE was the fourth of six children of Luke Dove and Elizabeth Wilson.

Baptism. St Nicholas, Ringwould.
1620 Aug 20  Elizabeth Dove d of Luke

Another child had died at birth. Otherwise, as with John’s family, there appear to be no infant deaths.

Like John, she was a fisherman’s child, growing up on the Channel coast at Kingsdown, in the parish of Ringwould.


Elizabeth’s father died when she was seven. Her youngest brother was less than one. It must have been hard for her mother to bring the children up without her father’s earnings from fishing. Elizabeth had six uncles who may have contributed support, and it is possible that the fishing community rallied round to help.

Her mother remained a widow for forty years.


John and Elizabeth married in 1643, the year after the start of the Civil War. They were not married in Ringwould, but in the church of St Peter in Canterbury.

The marriage licence is dated 23 Nov 1643.

It is for John May aged 30 Fisherman Ringwould and Eliz Dove  24  Ringwould 

“She abt 24  d of Eliz. Wid.”

There was a seven year age gap between them.


Three more children were born.

Baptisms, St Nicholas, Ringwould
1645 Mar 30  John May son of John
John was buried on  Nov 11 of that year.
1646 Dec 26   Henry 
1648 Jun 4  Luke
1651 Feb 7  John the sonne of John & Elizabeth May


John and Elizabeth were bringing up their children at the time of the Civil War. The principal family in Ringwould were the Monyns. At the time of the Civil War Captain Thomas Monyns received a commission from Oliver Cromwell. Parliament abolished the deans and chapters of cathedrals and took their revenues. Captain Monyns was appointed treasurer-general to administer this. He appears to have used his influence to save Canterbury Cathedral from destruction and kept it in good repair. When the monarchy was restored in 1660, Thomas Monyns, who was then captain of a troop of horse, petitioned the King to keep his position, citing the assistance that he had given to the cathedral. His Majesty, however, refused his request. [2]

We do not know what side the May family favoured.


Elizabeth lived another ten years after the birth of her youngest son. She died in the  year following the Restoration.

Burial. Ringwould.
1661 Sep 1  Elizabeth the wife of John May

John survived her by nearly 20  years.

Burial. Ringwould.
1680 Dec 15  John May Householder

The will of John May Senr Mariner was proved the following year.



[1] https://pubwiki.co.uk/KentPubs/Ringwould/RisingSun1952.jpg
[2] The Monins Family – East Kent History.
www.eastkenthistory.org.uk › people:monins-family





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