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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)



JOHN AYSHFORD was the last of a line of four of that name to hold the Ayshford estates in Burlescombe and elsewhere. He was the eldest, and perhaps the only son of John Ayshford and Alice Boscoe. He was probably born in the second quarter of the 14th century.[1]


EDITH GAMBON came from a family which lived at Morston Barton. The house lies in Halberton parish, SW of Burlescombe, but is only just over a mile from Willand.

Morston Barton


Relations with the Ayshford family must have been good. Edith’s brother married John’s sister.


As well as his lands in East Devon, John inherited estates near the South Devon coast from his grandmother.


John and Edith had survived the ravages of the Black Death in 1348, when they were possibly children or teenagers. This was followed by a desperate shortage of labour to work the land and perform other crafts. In spite of punitive laws to keep them on the land, many peasants left to improve their lot in the towns. We do not know the extent to which the Ayshford and Gambon lands were affected by this.


John and Edith had just one son, William, born 5 July 1361.


In the year following William’s birth, on 14 Oct 1362, John died while still probably a young man. Heather Ayshford speculates that this may have been the result of a flare-up of the Black Death in1361, following its first devastating outbreak.

Baby William, as was customary with underage heirs of estates, became a ward of the king.


How long Edith lived is unknown.


[1] Source of family details: F. & H. Ayshford, Notes Towards a History of the Ayshford Family of Devon. Typescript booklet.




Sampson Tree