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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)


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WILLIAM FLOD was probably the son of John Flooud and Kathern Hewson, born in 1681 in the parish of St Sidwells, Exeter.

Baptism. St Sidwells.
1681  Flooud, William s of John. Dec 4.

There were several John Floods in the parish. The St Sidwells register does not give William’s mother’s name. But names were usually passed down within a family, and only two Catherine Floods have found at this period. One is William’s eldest daughter. The other is Kathern Hewson, who married John Flood in 1676. It is a fair presumption that William named his daughter after his mother and that he is the son of John and Kathern.


The list of Exeter Freemen 1266-1967 (DCRS transcript) includes:

1695  Dec. 9  William Flood, hellier, apprentice of Walter Strang, hellier.

A hellier is a roofer. But William would only have been fourteen, and it is much more likely that this is a twenty-two-year-old William Flood, baptised at Holy Trinity. After seven years apprenticeship, with ‘proof being made of his service, behaviour and skill’, at least one Exeter craft guild required an apprentice to seek ‘to be made free of the city’.

Freemen were ‘people possessing the full privileges and immunities of a city, borough or company, to which admission was usually by birth, purchase or apprenticeship to a freeman. Before the Municipal Corporations act of 1835, freemen were men of great power, since not only did they possess privileges in trading and local taxes, but usually were also the exclusive electorate and consequently had a vast influence in local government and parliamentary elections’ (Encyclopæedia Britannica). There was sometimes a rush of applications before an election.

William lived outside the city walls, where the rules restricting trade to freemen were somewhat looser.

It does, however, confirm the picture of the Flood family as craftsmen.


William’s marriage did not take place in St Sidwells, where his two known daughters were baptised.

There is a possible marriage in Crediton.


Marriage. Crediton.
1711 Mar 23  William Flood and Anne Berry.


An earlier marriage could have been followed by the following baptisms in the parish of St Davids, adjacent to St Sidwells.

Baptism. St David, Exeter
1709  Sep 7  Mary daughter of Wm Flood
1711  Mar 5  Philipa daughter of Wm Flood


That remains speculation, but the use of the name Cathren, uncommon in the Exeter registers at this time, makes it highly likely that the following children are this William’s.


Baptisms. St Sidwells.
1714  Flod, Cathren d of Willem. Sep 26.
1719  Flood, Jane d of Willem.  Mar 20.


Neither William’s burial nor that of his wife, whose name we do not yet know for certain, is recorded in St Sidwells. It is likely that they moved to another parish and more children may have been born there.







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