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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)



NICHOLAS WHITING was the second son of Hugh Whiting of Cranmore in Somerset. His family is thought to have held land in Somerset from the time of the Norman Conquest.

We do not know the date of his birth, but there are documents naming him as an adult from 1267-1297. This suggests he was born around 1240, in the reign of Henry III.

He was presumably born and raised at Cranmore, between Shepton Mallet and the Mendip Hills.

His elder brother Hugh was their father’s principal heir. There was also a sister Margeria. As a younger son, Nicholas grew up knowing he could not expect to inherit vast estates.


He married a girl from a well-to-do family.

ALIANOR CLYVEDON belonged to a well-known landed family of Clyvedon, of Clevedon on the Bristol Channel and Aller, ten miles NE of Taunton. Richard Whiting says in his history of the Whiting family that she was the daughter of Matthew Clyvedon, but his pedigree of the Clyvedons has her as the daughter of John and Agatha Clyvedon and the sister of Matthew.


At some point, possibly when he married Alianor, Nicholas moved from the village of Cranmore to the small town of Bruton, five miles further south. He seems to have retained land at his childhood home of East Cranmore.

The couple probably had two sons, William and John. It was William’s son, another Nicholas, who founded the Devon line of the Whiting family. In the 15th century, their descendant Robert Whiting married another Clevedon, Isabel.


The couple lived through the Barons’ War of 1264-65, which ended with the death of the challenger to King Henry III, Simon de Montfort. In 1272 Edward I succeeded to the throne. He devolved much responsibility for local government to the landed gentry, like the Whitings and the Clyvedons.

Fines, or deeds, relating to Somerset carry Nicholas’s name in 1267-8 and 1296-7. Nicholas was instructed to enter plans relating to the disposal of land in East Cranmore in which he had an interest.

In 1308-9, at the start of the reign of Edward II, Nicholas conveyed to John Clyvedon a house and land at Milton-by-Bruton for £20. John could be Alianor’s father, or perhaps her nephew.


We have no further information about them. Nicholas is thought to have died around 1310.


Alianor’s brother, Matthew Clyvedon, was Sheriff of Devon and in 1316 Governor of Bristol.


[1] Richard Whiting. Whiting of Wood: A Mediaeval Landed Family, 1974 (MS in DRO).




Sampson Tree