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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 EDWORTHY was a parishioner of West Worlington when he married. He is very plausibly the son of Richard and Catherine Edworthy of Cheldon, the parish immediately west of West Worlington. The names John gave his children certainly reinforces this identification.

He was born about the start of 1747. [1]

Baptism. St Mary, Cheldon

1746(7) C John Son of Richard and Catherine Edworthy was Baptized January the 5th

John was the third of five surviving boys and had an elder sister.


JOAN LOCKYEAR was the daughter of John Lockyear and Mary Brewer, baptised in 1748 in East Worlington.

Baptism. East Worlington.

1747(8)  Joan  Daughter of John Lockyear  March 2nd

She appears to have grown up in poverty. Her parents feature regularly as recipients of relief from the Overseers of the Poor. They both died when Joan was 18.


East and West Worlington are tiny villages which lie on the narrow road along the Little Dart river, west of Witheridge.


John Edworthy married Joan Lockyear in her home parish of East Worlington. Neither bride nor groom could write.

Marriage. East Worlington.

John Edworthy of the Parish of West Worlington and Joan Lockear of this Parish were Married in this Church by Banns this twentieth Day of December in the Year One Thousand seven Hundred and seventy two by me Richard Bryan Rector

This marriage was           )  +  the mark of John Edworthy

Solemnized between Us )  +  the mark of Joan Edworthy late Lockear

In the           )  William Boundy

Presence of )   + the Mark of Samuel Grinny

East Worlington [2]


Their first three children were baptised in East Worlington.

Baptisms. East Worlington.

1773  Mary daughter of John Edworthy  April 12

1775  Richard son of John Edworthy  February 21

1776  Catharine  Daughter of John Edworthy  december 26

They went on to have a number of children baptised in the neighbouring parish of West Worlington. These are the earliest Edworthys in this parish register.

Baptisms. West Worlington.

1778  Ann daughter of John Edworthy  December 25

1780  Elizabeth Daughter of John Edworthy  May 13

1783  Novr 30 Frances daughter of John Edworthy. P

1786  William son of John Edworthy & Joan his wife  Jan: 1st  Ps

The following year, their daughter Joanna was baptised in East Worlington, though the family were still living in the western parish.

Baptisms. East Worlington.

1788  Joanna, daughter of John Edworthy and Joan his wife of West Worlington  Jany 1st  P

They returned to West Worlington parish church for subsequent baptisms.

Baptisms. West Worlington.

1789  John son of John Edworthy & Joan his wife. Novr 15  P

1792  George son of John Edworthy and Joan his wife. Augt 19th


The designation P after an entry in the 1780s meant that the couple were paupers. The Edworthys may also have been maintained by the parish before and after these dates, but repeal of the legislation meant that a fee did not have to be paid for a baptism, so it was no longer necessary to distinguish paupers as exempt from payment.

The disruption to the economy caused by the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars resulted in high prices which drove many farm workers into poverty.


In 1797 Richard Edworthy of this parish, John and Joan’s eldest son, married Elizabeth Boundy, resident in this parish. The following year, their eldest daughter Mary married John Sampson. Both were ‘of this parish’. Richard witnessed the wedding.


In 1800 John and Joan’s 20-year-old unmarried daughter Elizabeth had a baby.

1800  Aprl 27th Mary, base Daughter of Elizabeth Edworthy. Singlewoman.


In 1806, Frances married William Pepper, Husbandman of this parish. John Edworthy witnessed the marriage with his mark, but it is not possible to be certain whether this was her father or her brother.


Joan died in 1808

Burial. West Worlington

1808  Joan, Wife of John Edworthy. Aged 60.


John outlived her.

At the end of that year, their daughter-in-law Elizabeth died too, after less than ten years marriage to Richard, leaving him with several motherless children.


By 1810, William Edworthy was a husbandman. In that year he married Elizabeth Ford. It may be that his father John Edworthy was a husbandman himself, tilling a few acres, but in the early 19th century the term seems to have been used to mean a farm labourer.


In August of that year, their 20-year-old son John died.


In 1811 Elizabeth had another illegitimate child, this time a son William. But in 1815 George Collins finally made an honest woman of her. There is no indication of whether he was the father of her children.


None of their children were literate, as John and Joan were not.


John died in 1820. He was buried, like his wife, in West Worlington. [3]

Burial. West Worlington.

1820 Jun 13  John Edworthy  Husbandman aged 75. 

This overestimates his age by a year.


Their sons became, and their daughters married, husbandmen. The youngest son George was living at Irishcombe in 1834.In 1845 John junior is designated as a labourer. For a while these two terms are used in parallel, depending on which clergyman is officiating. Within a decade, the term ‘labourer’ becomes standard, and ‘husbandman’ disappears from the registers.


The Edworthy family continued to be dogged by problems. In the 1851 census, Elizabeth was a pauper agricultural labourer, widowed, and visiting the home of John Parish, carpenter in West Worlington, possibly her daughter’s family. Frances was also widowed, but was doing better as a housekeeper. She was visiting the Boundy family, agricultural labourers in West Worlington. William was a pauper, living with his son, a farm labourer, still in West Worlington. George, the youngest at 59, was still in work as an agricultural labourer. In the absence of old-age pensions, many people fell into poverty in their later years.


Their troubles did not end with this generation. In 1854 John Edworthy, probably a grandson of John and Joan and nephew of Mary, was imprisoned for stealing corn from his employer. [4]

John Edworthy 42)  stealing as servants
Thomas Furse 18 )
3 pecks of wheat 25 Oct from John Wensly of West Worlington.
John Wensly: Farmer  25 Oct.  Pris worked for me  Edworthy was in barn  Furse ploughing  I had lost corn before  I therefore watched barn   between 5.6 afternoon saw Furse go to barn  he could not see me  took bag from barn & put it in wagon shed. He then went to barn & helped Edworthy in work  ¼ hour after they went to wagon shed  Edworthy brought bag. Went to gate  Furze opened it  I was in hedge. I said he had carried it far enough  he said first time & brought Furze  said he had nothing to do with it  2 peck ¾ same bag

John Edworthy 3 months.

Thomas Furze. 1 whiped 1 day.

From a notebook of Baldwin Fulford J.P., 1855.



[1] BMDs Devon Record Office.
[2] http://btckstorage.blob.core.windows.net/site4091/About%20Worlington/Beach%20Cottage.jpg
[3] Findmypast Burial Transcript
[4] From the notebook of Baldwin Fulford JP at Great Fulford.







Sampson Tree