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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)

Baker  Tree


 GEORGE WOODOWER. We have not found a plausible baptism for George. He is likely to have been born in the 1640s. Some parishes do not go back that far. Others have breaks around the time of the Civil War and it Republican aftermath.

James Woodower of St Peter, Sandwich, married in 1669. He could be George’s brother. There is a possible baptism for James Woddar, son of Gilbert, in Canterbury, 11 miles away, in 1646. We have not found a similar baptism there for George, but it is possible that he too is Gilbert Woddar’s son. If he was younger than James, his baptism record might have been lost in the confusion of the Commonwealth. [1]


ELIZABETH GOODMAN. Elizabeth was baptised at St Clement, Sandwich, on 12 Nov 1643, in the middle of the Civil War. She was the daughter of the seaman Robert Goodman and Elizabeth Fawkins.

She was the middle child of three, with older and younger brothers. We have not found her father’s burial. It is possible that the small size of this family is because he died early, possibly lost at sea.

Elizabeth’s mother died in the Great Plague which devastated Sandwich in 1666. George and Elizabeth junior survived it.

Marriage. St Peter, Sandwich
1671 Aug 22   George Woddower and Elizabeth Goodman

 Before the River Stour silted up, Sandwich was one of the Cinque Ports for the defence of the south-east coast. Their accompanying privileges were set down in a series of Royal Charters. The last one was granted by Charles II in 1668 and can be seen in the Guildhall, Sandwich. These privileges included freedom from tolls and customs duties, freedom to trade and to hold their own judicial courts. The Cinque Ports were also entitled to send Barons, to carry the Canopy over the Sovereign at his or her coronation.[2]

Deposits of sediment have now left it two miles from the sea.  It is still one of the best preserved medieval towns in the UK. Within the old town walls are many period houses, with their “Kent peg” roofs, laid out in a street plan which has changed little since the creation of the Domesday book in 1086.[3]

The roofs owe their origin to Protestants fleeing persecution in the Netherlands and France who settled there after 1560. They introduced dyke drainage to facilitate market gardening and were responsible for growing the first English celery.[4] They also brought weaving techniques and skills such as clay tile making which give Sandwich its characteristic Kent peg tiles, as well as numerous Dutch gabled houses.

The Dutch gable on the vestry of St Peter’s church may be a contribution from a community of Flemish Protestants who were given a licence to live in Sandwich in the previous century and worshipped at St Peter’s church.

St Peter’ Church, Sandwich [6]

The couple had four children. The unusual name Woddower occurs in several variations. Another is shown in the Sandwich baptismal register. Three girls and a boy were baptised at the old church of St Peter.[5] 

Baptisms. St Peter, Sandwich
1672/3 Jan 12    Mary d/o George Woodower + Elizabeth his wife
1674 Nov 15  Elizabeth
1677 Dec 30   Ann
1681/2 Feb 5   George

None of the children seems to have died in infancy.


There is a burial for George Widower in Minster in Sheppey, in Jan 1682, but this is rather far away to be George Woodower of Sandwich. It would be more persuasive if it were Minster in Thanet.

George must have died before Dec 1716, when Elizabeth is recorded as a widow.

If he was a mariner he might have been lost at sea.

Burial. St Peter, Sandwich
1716  Dec 5   Elizabeth Woodwar  widow

She was 73.


[1] BMDs from Findmypast
[2] www.open-sandwich.co.uk
[3] www.discoversandwich.co.uk
[4] Wikipedia
[5] Helen Nobbs
[6] http://www.stpeterschurch-sandwich.org.uk/images/stpeters1.jpg



Baker Tree