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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)




ARTHUR AYSHFORD was one of at least two sons of William Ayshford and Sybil Mayforde. His grandfather Stephen Ayshford had founded the Ayshford family on an estate in the parish of Burlescombe, east Devon, in the 12th century.

Arthur must have been born in the latter part of this century.

Like his father, Arthur was a second son, but it was he, not his brother John, who inherited the estate on his father’s death, John having presumably died without an heir.


AGNES LE BEL. Arthur’s grandfather Stephen had married into the Le Bel family two generations earlier. Agnes was the daughter and, it is supposed, the co-heir of Humphrey Le Bel.

Her brother Richard is recorded in the Guild Roll of Totnes in 1270. Later Ayshfords held property there, and this may be through Arthur’s marriage to Agnes.


The couple had a son John.


In 1215 discontent in the country, including the barons, the church and the common people, forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, putting limits on royal power.


The Ayshford estate was at this time a modest one. Its fortunes improved when Arthur and Agnes obtained for John the hand of Agnes Peverel of Sampford, who was descended from a younger branch of a baronial family.


Arthur appears in the Cartulary of Canonsleigh Abbey in the parish of Burlescombe in 1231 when “Arthur de Esford” witnesses a grant to the canons by his overlord Williamde Clauilla (Clavil), lord of the manor of Burlescombe.

In 1228-1243 (probably late in that period), he witnessed another grant of land to the canons by William de Clauilla of Burwoldescumbe. His name appears then as “Arthur de Aisford”.[2]


Their son John had died by 1241, so Arthur’s death must have been close to his.


[1] Except where otherwise stated, the source is: F. & H. Ayshford, Notes Towards a History of the Ayshford Family of Devon. Typescript booklet.

[2] Cartulary of Canonsleigh.




Sampson Tree