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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



REGINALD DE FERRERS is the first of the family for whom we have an effigy. It lies in the north transept of the church of St Andrew in Bere Ferrers, built by his son.


Reginald was born around 1200 in Bere Ferrers, on the lower reaches of the River Tavy.

“Bere” comes from the Saxon birland, meaning a spit or point of land. The parish occupies the triangle between the Rivers Tamar and Tavy, north of their confluence, before the Tamar flows out into Plymouth Sound.

He was the only known son of Henry de Ferrers. His father died young, probably around the time of Reginald’s birth. He is thought to have had an older sister Matilda.

We do not know the name of his mother.

Reginald’s lands included Bere Alston, north of Bere Ferrers, and Newton Ferrers, further east.

In the first half of the 13th century, many barons and their knights went on Crusades. We have no evidence of whether Reginald was amongst them.


MARGERY/MARGARET LE DENNYS was the daughter of Henry le Dennys lord of Pancrasweek and his wife Isabel. Pancrasweek is a village in the far west of Devon, between Bude and Holsworthy. The river Tamar forms its western boundary.


In 1225 they had a son William. He rebuilt the church of St Andrew in Bere Ferrers and endowed an archpresbyter, four priests, a deacon and choristers to say masses day and night for himself, his wife, his parents, and a couple who may be his first wife’s parents.


Reginald died in 1247, aged 47.

 Reginald de Ferrers[1]

At the east end of the north transept is the stone effigy of a knight in mail with crossed legs whose head rests on his helmet. It is unusual, in that the head is turned outward. It has been suggested that this represents Sir Reginald de Ferrers who died probably early in the C14. But the note on the left says that “Reginald de Ferrers” was “father to Sir William de Ferrers who founded this church.”


[1] Derek Harper.  https://s2.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/06/14/23/6142318_58e5de73_1024x1024.jpg





Sampson Tree