14. DOVE

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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)

Cory  Tree



Ringwould is a village two miles SW of Deal. It includes the seaside hamlet of Kingsdown.

The Ringwould marriage registers go back to 1562, the baptisms to 1569 and the burials to 1570. We first come across the Dove family with the baptism of Thomas, son of Thomas Dove, in 1575. This is followed by more baptisms for Thomas’s children.

The only clues we have to his parents are two burials

An index of the burials has that of Ffather Dove in Ringwould on 8 Jan 1582/3. I have not been able to confirm this from the image of the register.

Then we have in the burial register:

Burial. St Nicholas, Ringwould.
1600 Oct ?  Mother Dove widdowe

This form of name was common in the Ringwould registers at this time. These people would appear to be senior members of the community.


The small number of Doves in the Ringwould register at this time makes it likely that this is a nuclear family, rather than an extended one. Their death dates make it highly probable that Father Dove and Mother Dove were the parents of Thomas Dove, who was raising children in the last quarter of the 16th century. The dates of his children’s baptisms suggest that Thomas was born around 1550. This in turn puts the births of Father and Mother Dove around the 1520s, in the reign of Henry VIII.


There are two other entries in the Ringwould register who may be children of Father and Mother Dove. On 14 Jan 1582/3 there is the burial of John Dove. This was not Thomas’s son John, who was alive in 1609. The fact that no father’s name is given, would indicate that he is an adult. Then in Jan 1579/80 there is the marriage of Beatrice Dove to Thomas Pysinge. These two are also likely to be children of Father and Mother Dove.


They may be the first of this name to raise a family in Ringwould. Early registers from the 1540s onwards show a large concentration of Doves in the port of Sandwich and the neighbouring village of Ash. This may be where the Ringwould Doves come from.


At that time Ringwould was a small market town on the road from Deal to Dover. The parish included Kingsdown on the Channel coast, where fishing was the main occupation. Thomas became a fisherman living in Kingsdown, as did at least three of his sons. Occupations were often passed down from father to son. It is quite likely be that Father Dove was a fisherman of Kingsdown too, but we have no confirmation of this.


In 1578 the number of communicants in Ringswould was 60. The church is dedicated to St Nicholas, an early bishop of Myra in Asia Minor. His anonymous gifts of gold coins to pay for poor girls’ dowries and save them from prostitution led to his becoming the modern Santa Claus. There is an image of him in one of the two remaining Norman windows of the church.

Norman window of St Nicholas [1]


Father and Mother Dove lived through the reigns of most of the Tudor monarchs: Henry VIII, who broke with Rome to form the Church of England, the boy king Edward VI, Mary I, who returned the country to the Catholic religion, and Elizabeth I, who restored it to Protestantism.


[1] St Margaret at Cliffe Photo Diary. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_IxbPTJjEYxw/SBZL_0nowmI/AAAAAAAAESQ/CgUpoQyBVo4/s400/IMG_3021StNic%27sRingwould.jpg




Cory Tree