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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



JOCELYN DE WELLES. We are descended from the de Woolavington family, lords of the manor of that name in Somerset. The earliest we know of there is Ranulph de Woolavington in the mid- to late 12th century.

Ranulph was not, however, born in Woolavington. An alternative surname for this family is de Waleis or Welles. This enables us to find Ranulph’s origins in Nottinghamshire. From here we can trace his origins back to the founding member Jocelyn de Welles.

We learn about him from the History of the Welles Family in England.[1]

“Another branch, which may be called the Ecclesiastical branch of the Family, was founded by Jocelyn de Welles, the Fleming, who was also a near friend and companion of William, Duke of Normandy, and came with him at the Conquest. He settled in Somersetshire, and was the ancestor of the Bishops Hugo, of Lincoln, and Joscelin, of Bath and Welles, Somersetshire, brothers; also of Bishop Simon de Welles, the Crusader, who was at the siege of St Jean d’Acre,, in Palestine, and had a grant of arms from Richard Coeur de Lion.”

It is probably true that Jocelyn obtained lands in Somerset, since this is where we find some of his descendants, but there is also a strong link with Nottinghamshire.

Drawing on the History of Welbec Abbey in Nottinghamshire in Dugdale’s “Monasticon Anglicanum” the writer adds:

“JOCELYN DE WELLES, the Fleming, born about 1030, came into England with William, Duke of Normandy, and was tenant in fee of King William, of lands in Cuckney, Nottinghamshire, which is held by one knight’s fee (one Knight, for the King’s service in war).”

Cuckney is a village 5 miles south of Worksop, between Worksop and Sherwood Forest.

“When it became known in Normandy, in 1066, that William, Duke of Normandy, was about to invade England, to subjugate the Saxons, he received large accessions to his army, from Flanders, of British warriors, whose ancestors had been driven out of ancient Britain, some centuries previous by the Saxons, and settled in Flanders. Hence Jocelyn the Fleming.

“Through the friendship of Matilda, Queen of William the Conqueror, large numbers of the Flemings came into England, …

“This Manor [Cuckney] was held in capite of the King. It is evident that Jocelyn was a near friend, and perhaps a connection, of William, Duke of Normandy, whose wife, Matilda, was daughter of Baldwin, Duke of Flanders.”

Matilda and the Norman Conquest[2]


“ The aforesaid Jocelyn had issue a son and heir,

Ricardus, or Richard de Welles, born about 1060.”


It is clear from this birth date given for Richard that Jocelyn’s son was born in Flanders, before the Norman Conquest.

We do not know the name of Jocelyn’s wife or those of his parents.



[1] Welles, Albert, History of the Welles family in England. Boston, 1874.
[2] Thoughtco. Matilda of Flanders: William the Conqueror’s Queen.




Sampson Tree