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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 BEERE was the eldest child of John Bear and Maude Nott.

Baptism. Rose Ash. (DCRS transcript)
1597  Bear, Richard  s. John  8 May

He was born in this upland North Devon parish, 5 miles SE of South Molton, in the closing years of Elizabeth I’s reign. He was four when the queen died and the Stuart era began.

His family seems to have had a respectable status in the village. His father, or possibly his grandfather, was churchwarden from 1606 to 1609.


WILMOTT FUYAN was from another Rose Ash family. She was born two years after Richard, at the start of the new century.

Baptism. Rose Ash.
1599(1600)  ffuyn, Wilmott  d. John  14 Jan

Her mother’s name was probably Wylmott too. If so, she died in 1602. Wilmott was their youngest child. It is possible that her father remarried some seven years later.

The Rose Ash registers only go back to 1592, so it is not possible to tell how large the Fuyan family was. Wilmott had at least two elder sisters and two brothers. Her sister Poliner died in 1604.


Richard and Wilmott married in Rose Ash in 1621.
1621  Beere, Richard & Wilmott d. John ffuyan  5 May

Richard was 24 and Wilmott 21.

They had at least ten children, and possibly several more, in the troubled years leading up to the Civil War and during it.

1621(2)  Beere, Patience  d. Richard  10 ffeb
1623(4)  Beere, Oliver  s. Richard  13 Jan
1624 Aug 24  Elizabeth
1625(6)  Beere, William  s. Richard  24 ffeb
There is a gap in the register for 1626-7
1628  Beere, Elizabeth  d. Richard  24 Aug
There is a gap in the register for 1631-2.
1635  Beere, Joane  d. Richard  9 Aug.   Joane was buried on 18 Aug.
1636 /7 Mar 12  Grace
1638(9)  Beere, Anne  d. Richard  27 Jan
Two daughters are recorded for Richard Beere in 1640.
1640  Beere, Anastasis  d. Richard  jnr  15 Aug . This first Anastasis was buried on 5 Nov 1644
1640  Beere, Agnes  d. Richard senr  11 Oct
There are clearly now two Richards. It is reasonable to assume that Wilmott’s husband was now Richard senr, so he is the father of Agnes, but not of Anastasis. No identifiable marriage has been found in the locality for the other Richard Beere, so without that date, we do not know if some of the earlier children may be his.
1642  Beere, Richard  s. Richard  3 Apr.
The register does not tell us whether the father was Richard senior or junior. The infant Richard was buried  on 18 May 1643.
1644  Beere, Barbara  d. Richard  5 Apr
1644 Beare, Anastasis d. Richard  10 Nov.  We can assume that this second Anastasis was another child of Richard junior. Her previous namesake had been buried five days earlier. This means that Barbara must be the child of Richard senr and Wilmott.

Richard and Wilmott would have been slightly older contemporaries of Oliver and Grace Bruer, who do not seem to have come from Rose Ash, but had children baptised here from 1639 to 1642.

The register ceases with the institution of the Commonwealth in 1646 and does not begin again until the Restoration in 1660. Because of this 15-year gap in the records, the subsequent history of the family is uncertain. We do not know what side they took in the Civil War, or how actively they were involved. There is a possible pointer in their naming their eldest child Patience. This sort of name was particularly favoured by Puritans. The Civil War in England was, in fact, more about the rights of Parliament than about religion. North Devon, heavily dependent on sheep-farming and the wool trade, generally favoured Parliament. Not so Rose Ash’s Royalist rector, Roger Trosse, who was put out of his parsonage and living, having supplied the Cavaliers with a horse. After the war was over, around 1655, there was a riot in Rose Ash, when the Puritan Constable forcibly stopped a game of bowls which had traditionally been played on the village green.

Rose Ash green [1]


We do not have a burial for Richard Beare senior. Since his widow died in 1668, it is reasonable to assume that her husband died during the Commonwealth period.

This make it likely that the following burial is his widow.
1668  Beere, Wilmott wid.  6 Nov

There is a burial for Richard Beere the elder on 30 June 1673. By then, Richard’s younger namesake would have become ‘the elder’.


[1] http://www.devonheritage.org/Places/Rose%20Ash/images/dsc_8634.jpg




13. FUYN

Sampson Tree