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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



JOHN BOSON. In 1387 Joanna Boson, daughter of John Boson of Bozomzeal in South Devon, married Richard Lercedekne of Ruan Lanihorne in Cornwall.

Several family trees equate him with Sir John Boson of Bozomzeal who was a judge, MP for Dartmouth and Sheriff of Devon in the first half of the 15th century. But that John was born too late to be Joanna’s father.

They also say that he was the grandson of Robert Boson and Joan St George who lived in the early 13th century. Again, the gap of two centuries makes the later John untenable.

What is more likely is that Joanna’s father was a more obscure John Boson, who lived in the 14th century. This would accord with a family tree in the Herald’s Visitations for Dorset.[1] This makes John Boson of Bozomzeal the son of Edmund Boson and the grandson of Robert Boson and Joan St George. Nevertheless, there are discrepancies in this tree, so it should be treated with caution.


It was Joan St George who brought to the Boson family the manor in Dittisham, known to locals as “Ditsum”, on the lower reaches of the River Dart,. This is the site of the house known as Bozomzeal, a mile from the village.

Dittisham and River Dart [2]


John was born around 1341 and would have grown up in the manor house at Bozomzeal.

While he was still a child, he lived through the devastation of the Black Death, when up to half the population died. Thereafter, labour shortages made it much more difficult for landowners to keep serfs to farm their land, as labourers absconded to seek higher wages in towns. Estate owners often rented out land they were unable to farm themselves.


The Heralds’ Visitations gives John’s wife as Jane, daughter of Henry Fortescue. Another website makes her Edmund’s wife. But there are doubts that this may be the wife of a later John Boson.

Another possibility lies in a property deed of 1375. This was between John Boson and Matilda his wife and John Judde, burgess of Aveton Gifford. It concerns lands and messuages in Aveton Gifford.[3] Aveton Gifford is only 8 miles from Malborough in South Devon, where the Bosons were based before they acquired Bozomzeal. These could well be Joanna’s parents.


The Heralds’ Visitations names a daughter Jennette, who married Baldwin Fulford of Dunsford in mid-Devon, but other evidence makes her too of a later generation.

They give only a linear tree, without siblings. We know from another website, based on a history of Trigg in Cornwall, that John Boson of Bosomzeal had a daughter Joanna, who married Richard Lercedekne (L’Arcedekne).[4]

There appear to have been no sons, and Joanna may be the only child.


We do not have a death date for John or his wife.



[1] St. George, Henry; Lennard, Samson; Rylands, J. Paul;  edColby, Frederic Thomas, The visitation of the county of Dorset, taken in the year 1623.1885.
[2] Cool Places – Dittishaom Village
[3] National Archives. 74/103/11
[4] Sir John Maclean, The Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor. 1873



Sampson Tree