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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)



We have no certain proof that the Walter de Poulett of Pawlett, who flourished in 1203, was the father of William de Poulet of Pawlett whom Colin Winn has established as the first in the line of confirmed descent of this family.[1] William de Poulet is named in 1229 and 1242. The name and place, coupled with the generation gap between the two, make this relationship of father and son probable.


Pawlett is a village 4 miles north of Bridgwater, in the Sedgemoor area. This region once formed a large bay of the Bristol Channel. Drainage of the Somerset Levels had started by the Domesday Survey of 1186 and was continued by the monasteries of Glastonbury, Athelney and Muchelney, to create farmland.


Fog and frost covering the Somerset Levels on a cold winter morning near Glastonbury.


Winn thinks that Walter was of English stock, rather than Norman. A century after the Conquest, socially aspiring English families were giving their children Norman names.

We know little about Walter, except that his lands were amerced (fined) in 1203, in the reign of King John.[2]

This was the year when the Crusaders captured Constantinople from the Byzantine emperor Alexius III and forced him to flee.

The Victoria series History of Somerset says that the Pawlett family held the terre tenancy of Pawlett. That means Walter had actual possession of the land, as occupier. He was the owner of the land, not a lessee.

It states confidently that Walter of Pawlett was succeeded by his son William in his estate at Pawlett in 1242-3.[3]

If this conjecture is right, Walter’s son and heir William was probably born around 1200 or earlier.




[1] Winn, Colin G, The Pouletts of Hinton St George, Research Publishing, 1976.
[2] Winn.
[3] ‘Pawlett: Manors and other estates’, A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6: Andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and neighbouring parishes) (1992), pp. 268-273. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18677  Date accessed: 18 November 2010.




Sampson Tree