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 DE KARY and ELIZABETH STAPLETON (25)
JOHN DE KARY was the only known child of Adam de Kari and Ann Trevett. He was born around 1200, probably at the manor of Kari in St Giles on the Heath, near Launceston.
The manor of Kari features in the Domesday Book. It takes its name from the Cary Brook, a tributary of the Tamar. North of the village, overlooking the River Carey, is Carey Barton, which may be the site of the medieval manor house. There is also a 16th– century monument to the Cary family in the church.
The Devon Carys have no connection to Castle Cary in Somerset.
John was born during the reign of King John, but most of his life would have been spent under the rule of Henry III, who came to the throne as a child in 1216 and reigned until 1272.
His father is the first of that name to be recorded. It is likely that his family came from Normandy, but we do not know whether Adam was the first to move to England, or whether he had ancestors living in St Giles before that. John would, in any case, have spoken Norman French.
His mother was from a Somerset family.
It is likely that John grew up in the manor house at Carey Barton.
ELIZABETH STAPLETON was the daughter of Sir Richard Stapleton and also believed to be an only child. We do not know her mother’s name.
She was born around 1210.
The Devon Stapletons originated in the village of North Devon village of Cookbury, 5 miles NE of Holsworthy, where there is still a Stapleton Farm. This lies halfway between Cookbury village and Holsworthy, and it is likely that this is where Elizabeth grew up.
St Giles on the Heath and Stapleton are 9 miles apart.
Fifty years later, the family had moved to Annery in Monkleigh, south of Bideford, Here William and Mabel Stapledon raised a large family. Two of their daughters are our ancestors, one of their sons was Walter Stapledon, Bishop of Exeter, and another was the judge Sir Richard Stapledon. It is possible that William was a grandson of the older Sir Richard and thus Elizabeth’s nephew.
John and Elizabeth’s only known child was William, born, we believe, at St Giles on the Heath about 1230.
We have a suggested death date for Elizabeth around this time. She would have been about 20.
John would have seen the 13th-century building of St Giles church, which replaced an earlier chapel. It began as a Norman church consisting of a nave and chancel, with perhaps the west tower. As lord of the manor he may well have contributed to its building.
St Giles on the Heath 
King John had signed Magna Carta in 1215. An updated version of this was ratified by his young son Henry III in 1225.
But the barons’ resentment against the king simmered throughout the 13th century. It culminated in the Second Barons War of 1264-7. The barons demanded that King Henry rule with the advice of a barons’ council, rather than a group of his favourites. The war was led by the Frenchman Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. Eventually, King Louis of France was called upon to arbitrate and victory was awarded to King Henry.
If John de Kary was still alive then, he would have been rather old to have taken part in the fighting.
We have a suggested death date of 1290 for John. He would have been 90.
NEXT GENERATION: 24. KARY-BEAUMONT
PREVIOUS GENERATIONS: 26. KARY-TREVETT