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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)



FRANCIS PETTIT.  Francis was baptised on 11 Nov 1621 in East Langdon, Kent. [1]

He was the eldest son of William Pettit yeoman of Ringwould and Christian Marsh of East Langdon. He was named after his maternal grandfather, Francis Marsh gentleman.

East Langdon is a village on high ground between Dover and Deal.

His nine younger siblings were baptised in Ringwould, where his father had inherited the family farm. It lies 2 miles NE of East Langdon.

He became a yeoman farmer, like generations of Pettit men before him.

Francis was 23 when his father died. He was his father’s principal heir, inheriting “the messuage wherein I now dwell together with the barns, stables and buildings and all my lands arable and pasture whatsoever and wheresoever (not before willed)”, subject to a yearly payment of £15 to his mother. But he had to wait until Feb 1667, when his twin youngest sisters reached the age of 24, before he could take full possession of his inheritance. Until then, his mother administered the estate, and paid his sisters £20 each from it when they reached the age of 24.

Nevertheless, Francis would have lived and worked at the farm before he came into his full inheritance. He was a yeoman farmer, like generations of his family before him.

He married at 28.


THOMASIN BOWLES.  We do not have a baptism for Thomasin. She was married at St Margaret at Cliffe, 4 miles down the coast from Deal, and 3 miles from both Ringwould and East Langdon.

We should expect a birth date around 1625. There were Bowles in St Margaret at Cliffe in the early 17th century, and a family in Walmer, just south of Deal, going back to the 1500s. The early St Margaret’s registers are in poor condition and many entries are illegible. We cannot identify a baptism for  Thomasin there.

The most probable parents for her are Anthony Bowles and Thomasen Pelham, both of St Margaret at Cliffe, who married there on 22 Jan 1611/2. We know of one child of this marriage, Mary, baptised at St Margaret’s on 9 Dec 1616.  There may be others that we cannot now read, including Thomasin’s.

An East Kent History website has an alternative explanation for these missing baptisms. [2]

It equates the Anthony Bowles who married in St Margaret at Cliffe with the Anthony Bowles baptised in Ringwould in 1584. The churches are two miles apart.

Anthony and his wife Thomasine had 8 children baptised in Ringwould, as well as Mary in St Margaret at Cliffe. The first four are entered in the register as “Bowle” and the next four as “Bolde” or “Bold”. The change in spelling coincides with a change in the handwriting in the register.

The Bowle baptisms range from 1614 to 1622., the Bold baptisms from 1625 to 1633. Mary’s  baptism at St Margaret’s would fit between the first and the second.

The seventh baptism is the following:

Baptism. St Nicholas, Ringwould

1630 Nov 28   Thomasine Bold d of Anth

This interpretation fits well with the reference to Anthony Bolds of Ringwould in Francis’s will. If it is correct, it would make Thomasin next to the youngest in a family of nine, one of whom died in infancy.[3]

St Margaret’s Bay  [4]

Marriage. St Margaret at Cliffe

1650 May 30  Francis Pittet and Thomasin Bowles.

Francis was 28 and already a landed farmer when Thomasin married him. Thomasin would have been 20.


The couple brought up their family in Ringwould, where Francis had inherited the family farm.

Baptisms. Ringwould
1651 Sep  14   Elizabeth d of Francis and Thomasin Pettit
1656 May 25   Valentine
1661 Feb 16    Thomasin

We know from Francis’s will that there was another daughter Mary, whom he names between Elizabeth and Thomasin. [5] Her marriage licence tells us that she was born in 1652-3. We do not have a baptism for her because much of the Ringwould register at that time is illegible.


A document from 1660, the year of the Restoration of the Monarchy, shows that Francis was a constable and deputie in “Ringwould and Vill of Kingsdown”.[6] Kingsdown is a coastal village within Ringwould parish.


Francis died in 1667 and was buried in Ringwould. Like his father and grandfather before him, he died in his forties.

He was buried in Ringwould on 23 July 1667.

He left a will dated 20 July 1667. [7]

He appointed Thomasin as his executrix.

To the poor of the parish of Ringwould he bequeathed 10 shillings.

He left his only son Valentine all his lands and tenements in Ringwould or elsewhere, except the use of one garden behind the old kitchen adjoining the street and an equal part of the rooms in the dwelling house, which he gave to his wife during her lifetime.

The condition of this bequest was that Valentine should pay Francis’s three daughters £20 each. Elizabeth was to receive her legacy at or within 10 years of Francis’s decease, Mary at or within 11 years, and Thomasin junior at or within 12 years.

£20 was the same sum his father William Pettit had left to Francis’s sisters.

Valentine was also to pay £12 annually out of the income from his lands to his mother Thomasin.

If these sums were not paid, then Thomasin and the three daughters would be entitled to take them from the rents and profits of the estate. After outstanding debts were settled, Thomasin and her three daughters would each receive a quarter of the proceeds, with the girls receiving their share at the age of 21.

Money from debts and mortgages from John Bolds of W? And Anthony Bolds of Ringwould  should be used to pay Francis’s debts and then to enhance his daughters’ shares.

Since his father had left money for his children’s education, it is perhaps surprising that Francis signed his will with his mark. The witnesses were Richard Dawling, Nicholas Brett and Anne Bold, who also made her mark.

The will was proved in Sep 1667.


A year and a half later, Thomasin married her second husband, Ingram Sutton, a clergyman living in Buckland by Dover. Ingram’s first wife Sarah had died in July 1667.

Ingram had two daughters baptised in Alkham, west of Dover in the 1650s. They would now have been aged 15 and 13. There may have been other children, baptised in parishes whose registers we do not have.


The wedding between Ingram and Thomasin took place at St Nicholas, Ringwould, on 9 Feb 1668/9.

The couple moved to Buckland, taking Thomasin’s younger children.

Thomasin was not yet forty. She bore Ingram two more children.

Baptisms. St Andrew, Buckland.
1669/70  Mar 13  Francis
167/2 Jan 25   Margret

Ingram died shortly afterwards.

Thomasin stayed on in Buckland by Dover.

Her eldest daughter Elizabeth married William Gary there in 1675. He was an innkeeper from Dover.

Mary and Thomasin both married men called John May. Mary’s bridegroom was a mariner from Deal. The wedding took place in 1678 at St Mary the Virgin in Dover, while Mary was living at Buckland.

Thomasin and her youngest daughter seem to have moved back to the Ringwould area. In 1681 Thomasin junior also married a man called John May. In her case, he was a saddler from Dover. The marriage took place at St Margaret at Cliffe. This is the church where her maternal grandparents had married. The Bowles had had eight children baptised at Ringwould and one at St Margaret’s. It may be that they lived close to the boundary between the two parishes. Thomasin senior may have gone to live with her son Valentine on the Pettit farm, or she may have returned to her childhood home.

Her only son Valentine died in either 1679 or 1688.


Thomasin Sutton was buried in Ringwould on17 Apr 1714. She had reached the good age of 83.



[1] Kit Withers. www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pettit-1803
[2] http://www.eastkenthistory.org.uk/people:bowles-valentine
[3] www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pettit-1803
[4] Visit South East England. https://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/imageresizer/?image=%2Fdmsimgs%2FCliffs_at_St_Margarets_Image_CRedit_Gavin_Oakley_edit_2123302083.jpg&action=ProductDetailEssentials
[5] www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pettit-1803
[6] www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pettit-1803[7] www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pettit-1803




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