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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



ROBERT TAKELL. Elizabeth Takell married Anthony Snell in the north Devon village of Chawleigh in 1591. We know from Anthony’s will that she had a brother Jeffery. Jeffery Takell raised his family and died in Rose Ash. We have evidence of Takells in Rose Ash going back to the early 16th century. The surname is a rare one in Devon, and in the early records is found more in Rose Ash than anywhere else. It seems reasonable to believe that Elizabeth too came from Rose Ash. The Rose Ash registers only begin in 1591, so we cannot find her baptism.

From the date of her marriage, we should expect a birth date around the later 1560s. This means that her father should appear in the 1569 Muster Roll for Rose Ash.

The surname Takell appears three times in the Muster Roll: the presenter Alexander Takell, the archer Robert Takell and the harquebusier Alexander Takell. The presenter is almost certainly the Alexander Takell who appeared in the 1545 Lay Subsidy Roll, rated at £1. This was then a lowly sum, but he is almost certainly the son of John Takell senior, who is rated highly at £15.

Robert Takell is new to the records in the Muster Roll. Alexander has risen sufficiently in the parish to be chosen as presenter. It is extremely likely that he is Robert’s father.

The question is whether the harquebusier Alexander is the same as the presenter, or a younger man and another son. We have the will of Alexander Takell proved in 1589. He makes no mention of Robert, Elizabeth or Jeffery. This makes it highly probable that this is the will not of Robert’s father but of his brother, Alexander junior.


This first appearance in 1569 gives Robert a probable birth date around 1540, possibly in the closing years of Henry VIII’s reign.

He would have grow to manhood during the reigns of the boy king Edward VI and his sister Mary I. The rest of his life was lived under Queen Elizabeth I.

The marriage date for his daughter Elizabeth (1591) and the baptism date for Jeffery’ first known child (1605) make it likely that Robert was raising children from the 1660s and that Elizabeth is older than Jeffery.

The only evidence we have found for his wife is the burial in Rose Ash of Johane Takell, widow. This accords with an internet family tree that names Robert’s wife as Johane.[1] It gives them four children, including a daughter Katherine


We should expect to find Robert again in the 1581 Subsidy Roll, but his name is missing. We know from his burial date that he was still alive. He has not been found in any other parish.

There is a simple explanation for this. Unlike earlier Rolls, the 1581 Roll did not include those rated for wages or goods at under £3.

The picture emerges of Robert as the younger son of a younger son. His grandfather John Takell was one of the most well-to-do men in Rose Ash. His father Alexander Takell was sufficiently respected to be appointed presenter of the Muster Roll, but not affluent enough to provide extra arms. Robert does not seem to have inherited his grandparents’ prosperity.

His forbears were almost certainly prosperous yeoman farmers raising sheep. Robert would have been raised on such a farm. As an adult in this rural parish, he was probably engaged in farming too, but we have no information about this.


Robert was not without means. In 1583 William Vicarye of Rose Ash, brother to another ancestor Henry Vicarye, drew up his will. He says that he owes Robert Takell forty shillings. Thomas Takell (Robert’s nephew?) owes him the large sum of £7. He appoints Alexander Takell, probably  Robert’s brother, to be one of the overseers of his will. Clearly the Takells and the Vicaryes were close associates.

Robert’s granddaughter Grace Snell married the Vicaryes’ grandson Henry Eyme alias Zeale.


St Peter, Rose Ash, and lych gate[2]


Robert Takell was buried in Rose Ash on 15 Oct 1598. We have no record of his own will.

There is a burial for Johane Takell wid on 27 Jan 1620.


[1]  https://www.myheritage.com/names/elizabeth_takell
[2] ©Derek Harper, Creative Commons Licence. https://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/05/07/86/5078680_31e16019_1024x1024.jpg




Sampson Tree