Charlotte image

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



HUGH DE FERRERS was a younger son of Sir William de Ferrers and Isolde de Cardinham. His father was lord of the manor of Bere Ferrers, on the lower reaches of the River Tavy, Bere Alston to the north, and of many other estates.

He was born around 1277. Both his parents had been married before, so his father was 52 and his mother 47.

Hugh became an MP for Devon in 1302.

When his father died, his elder brother Reginald was heir to the Ferrers estates, but in 1303 Hugh had the good fortune to marry the heiress Alice Boson.


ALICE BOSON/BOZUN was the daughter and co-heir of Robert Boson and Joan de St George. She was born around 1270.

Her mother’s family were from Leigh Bretville in Plympton St Mary, not far from the Tamar River where Hugh had been born at Bere Ferrers.

On her father’s side, she was descended from a family who took the names successively of Nonant, Valletorte and Boson/Bozun. Their home was at Trematon Castle above Saltash, a little way south of Bere Ferrers.

When her father died in 1285, he left his daughters Joan and Alice as his heirs.

The family owned many manors, so it was not difficult for Hugh and Alice to find a home.


The marriage brought them to the village of Churston, just south of Brixham on Tor Bay. From then on it became known as Churston Ferrers. It had a manor house, a chapel, and a home farm, surrounded by peasant cottages.

During the Norman 12th & 13th centuries Churston Court was used as a dower house (the widow of the owner of the Manor being of the Nonant, later Bozun, families of Totnes).

Most of the present church is 15th  and 16th -century, but the chancel is early 13th-century, dating from the family chapel. There is still a doorway for the lord of the manor and his family to enter from Churston Court. Also surviving are the Norman porch and the priest’s room above. Here the visiting monk from Totnes could rest his head before continuing his journey on foot to St. Mary’s, Brixham, via Monk’s Bridge. The people of the village and Manor would not had entered the Lord’s Chapel, but gathered round the village cross in sunshine or rain to be given Mass, in Latin, by the same monk.


Another manor Alice brought to the marriage was Thurleston. It lies near the west-facing coast, 4 miles from Kingsbridge. It derives its name from the “thirled stone”, and arched rock just off the shore.

Thurlestone Rock [1]


The lords of the manor of Thurlston had the power of inflicting capital punishment.

In the early 14th century Hugo de Ferrers, knight of Devon, of Thurlestone, appeared before Walter Tauntefer, Mayor of Exeter, and Walter de Langdon, Clerk, as debtor for £4 to Roger de Whetene, a merchant of Exeter.


Alice and Hugh had two sons, John, and Herbert.


There is an undated deed recording a grant to Hugo de Ferrers and Alicia his wife, and to William de Chiverston and Joanna his wife, by Gilbert de Boterford, of a watercourse in North Radworthy.

Another deed is a quit-claim by Hugh de Ferrers and Alice his wife to Stephen de Haccombe and Joan his wife of all right to the homage and service of Thomas de Halghewylle from lands and tenements “by the broke” in the manor of Dartington, which the said Thomas is accustomed to pay for a moiety of the same lands.

Joan de Haccombe was Alice’s sister, and co-heir to their father’s estates. The Haccombes are also our ancestors.


Alice and Hugh did not have long to enjoy married life. Hugh died on 18 March 1309, at the age of 32.


He left his son John as his heir, but they boy was a minor and did not succeed to his inheritance until 1324.


[1] Wikipedia.





Sampson Tree