Charlotte image

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


 WILLIAM de BOSON. Information on the early generations of our Boson family are sparse. They mostly come from online family trees, which do not usually quote their sources.

Searches are also hampered by the many variant spellings of the name. Bozon, Bosum, Bozun, Bozom, Boyzon, Boysum, Bozum, Boyzum, Boson, Bouzan are only some of the variations.

The name is derived from an old French word Buzon, meaning “one connected with the law”.


We have no birth date for this first William de Boson. His death is given variously as after 1166 or after 1179.  The birth date of 1170 given for his son makes the latter more likely. This places him in the century immediately following the Norman Conquest.


Our earliest connection with the Bosons lies in the parish of Holne on the southern fringe of Dartmoor. In Norman times the Bosum family were granted lands in what is now the hamlet of Michelcombe, which became known then as Holne Bosum.[1] Norman times are held to be from 1066 to 1154, so it could be William himself who received this grant, or more likely his father or grandfather.

Dartmoor above Michelcombe[2]


He probably held other estates. There are early connections between the Boson family and the parish of Malborough, just north of Salcombe in the far south of Devon, and with Churston and Thurlestone, also on the south coast.

We do not know the name of William’s wife.

Some trees go directly to a son William, whom family trees say was born around 1170. Others say his son was John, who was the father of the second William. Given the suggested death date of 1228 for the second William, the first option seems the more likely. One website equates John with the second William.

1170 was the year when Archbishop Thomas à Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, at the prompting of Henry II. His death sent shock waves through the country and made Canterbury a major site of pilgrimage.

The Boson children may well have been baptised in the Norman font in All Saints, Malborough. It  dates from the 11th century, apart from the four supporting pillars. This would give us a connection a thousand years back.

All Saints, Malborough[3]


As part of the landed elite recently arrived from the continent, William and his family would have spoken Norman French.

William probably died in the late 12th century.


[1] Holne Villagers
[2] Holiday in Dartmoor.Michelcombe.
[3] Devon Churchland. Malborough Church of All Saints.




Sampson Tree