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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



JOHN BAUNFELD. Today the Bampfyldes are chiefly known for their manor of Poltimore near Exeter. This was given to one of their number in 1298. Going further back, their ancestral home was Weston Bampfylde in Somerset. This lies just to the west of Cadbury Castle, the Iron Age hill fort associated in legend with King Arthur. This would have formed a major part of the view from the Bampfyldes’ manor house.

There were two very small villages in the parish, Great and Little Weston. The manor house was in Great Weston.

Cadbury Castle [1]

The parish lay on sloping ground between the hillfort and the river Cam. The river formed the boundary on the NW, with the Henshall brook on the south and west. The eastern boundary was the path known as King Arthur’s Hunting Trackway.

Unusually for our medieval ancestors the Bampfyldes are believed to be an ancient Saxon family who owned manors before the Norman Conquest. Most pedigrees that have been passed down to us are of Norman or Flemish families, who took over English lands in the 11th and 12th centuries.

The earliest ancestor of this line known to us is John Baunfeld in the reign of King John [1199-1219]. Unfortunately, we do not have the document that establishes this date.

 Research into this family is hampered by the multiple spellings of the surname: Bampfield, Bamfield, Bamfeild, Bampfield, Bampfylde, Baumfilde, Baunfield, to name just some.

There are also a number of differing family trees.

Sources include the 17th– century Sir William Pole’s Collections Towards a Description of the County of Devon, the 18th-century Thomas Wotton’s The Baronetage of England, the 19th-century Thomas Westcote’s A View of Devonshire in MDCXXX, with a Pedigree of most of its Gentry and J. L. Vivian’s Visitation: Bamfield of Poltimore. A recent, well-researched pedigree is that of Stirnet Bamfylde 1[2], and there is also ‘The Manor of Poltimore’ on Wikipedia[3]. I have tried to show where other sources vary from the line I am following.

Some of these family trees begin with the gift of the manor of Poltimore in East Devon to John Bamfield in 1298. Vivian gives his father as John Baunfeld or Baumfilde, who flourished in the reign of King John, 1199-1216, but the gap in time seems too great to be plausible.

Wotton inserts too more generations, which is more credible, though there is some question about the names of the wives.

The John Baunfeld of King’s John’s reign is the earliest recorded of this family.

The Baronetage of England calls him Richard Baumfilde.


JOAN HASTINGS was the daughter of John Hastings. Some trees say she is simply a daughter of John Hastings, and do not give her baptismal name.

There are also family trees that place this marriage two generations later.

There is a window in Poltimore church that shows the arms of Bampfylde and of many of their wives.[4] The first one, after Bampfylde itself, is Hastings: or, a maunch gules [gold, a red sleeve]. In heraldry, a maunch is detachable lady’s sleeve with a wide pendulous cuff, fashionable in the 13th and 14th centuries. Its position in the window indicates that she was the earliest known wife of the Bampfyldes.

The same juxtaposition was found in a shield bearing many arms over the fireplace of an old house in Bampfylde Street, Exeter.

The Hastings family are believed to have come to England with William the Conqueror.

The Baronetage of England says that they married towards the end of King John’s reign or the beginning of that of his son Henry III, in other words, around 1219.

They would have been young adults in 1215 when King John reluctantly signed Maga Carta, limiting royal power and giving more say to his barons.

We do not know the name of even John and Joan’s eldest son and heir. Wotton and The Baronetage of England give them an unnamed son who married a daughter of William Hoxham/Huxham. This may be a confusion with a later John Bamfield who also married a daughter of William Huxham in the 14th century, though it is not impossible that the Bampfyles married twice into the same family.

We should expect them to have started their family in the 1220s. These were the early years of the reign of Henry III.

England’s population more than doubled during the 12th and 13th centuries, fuelling an expansion of the towns, cities, and trade, helped by warmer temperatures across Northern Europe.

We have no information about when John and Joan died.


[1] Mapcarta. Cadbury Castle Map.
[2] https://www.stirnet.com/genie/data/british/bb4ae/bampfylde1.php
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manor_of_Poltimore
[4] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BampfieldArms_ThirtyQuarters_PoltimoreChurch_Devon.xcf




Sampson Tree