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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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NICHOLAS LOOSEMORE was from a family which had been established in Rose Ash for at least a century. He was named after his father, who is himself called Nicholas Loosemore junior. This means there was at least one other adult of that name in the village. Nicholas Loosemore senior could be his grandfather.

Baptism. Rose Ash
1685(6)  Loosemore, Nicholas  s. Nicholas jnr.  30 Jan

His mother may be Joane Dodge, who married a Nicholas Loosemore in Rose Ash in 1666. But this couple had a son Nicholas in 1675 and had no further children baptised in the next ten years. The Nicholas baptised in 1685 may the child of a younger couple.


Sometime in the early 18th century, the Rev Lewis Southcomb compiled a list of the rateable properties in Rose Ash to form a rota whose householders would perform the office of churchwarden. It begins:

An Account How ye Office of a warden, is to be done for ever in ye Parish of Rose Ash.

  1. Nic: Loosemore now warden for ye Easter part of ye Barton.
  2. John Tanner for the other Part.

The Nicholas Loosemore here is probably Nicholas’s father. He was also Overseer of the Poor in 1713. Nicholas grew up in a family which played a prominent part in the village community.

The farm known simply as ‘ye Barton’ is Rose Ash Barton at the centre of the village and appears to have been Nicholas’s home.

Other properties named are:

  1. Widow Lusmore’s part of Yard
  2. Mary Lusmore’s Cottage


MARY SOUTHCOMB’s father was Robert Southcomb and her mother Mary Zeale. The Zeales go back in the Rose Ash registers to 1610, with the burial of Joane Zelie. There were  Southcombs in Rose Ash too from 1587, when George Southcombe, gent, moved there with his young family. He founded a long line of ‘squarsons’, who combined the role of squire and parson from 1675. Mary was probably a fifth cousin of this branch. Her father came from the Mariansleigh line, though he was probably born in East Buckland.

Baptism. Rose Ash.
1694  Southcomb, Mary d. Robert  20 May

Mary was the eldest of five children.


The Southcomb rectors were fond of writing memorandums in the parish registers, about themselves or the local community. Mary would have been nine when the current rector, Lewis Southcomb, reported:

1705(6)  My House Robbd  my self & son Bound.  Mar 14

Twelve years later the Southcombs had a new rectory built.

1717(8)  N.B. This Day my Father, my Self, and my Son Lewis laid ye first Stone of ye Parsonage House  ffebruar: 20/1717/18


By then, Mary Southcomb may no longer have been living in Rose Ash. The likelihood is that she went to live in Barnstaple, since it was there that she married Nicholas. Barnstaple was an important port, before the Taw estuary silted up, and was the largest market town in North Devon.

Marriage. St Peter’s. Barnstaple.
December 1718  Nicholas Loosmore & Mary Southcombe both of Roseash married ye 19th May

It is surprising that they were not married by licence, since neither of them to belonged to St Peter’s parish. But there is no mention of this in the register, and their names do not appear in the list of Exeter Marriage Licences. Possibly the rector of St Peter’s was lax in his application of the law and accepted the fact that one or both of them was a sojourner in Barnstaple.

No record has been found of their having children baptised in Barnstaple.


The following year, Mary and her brother Robert are found pursuing the non-payment of a legacy to them.

8 May 1719

Robert Southcombe, junr legatee in will of Richard Pincombe of Rose Ash, decd against Elizabeth Gould wife of John Gould of Molland.

Richard Pincombe made his will 12 March 1711 & named Elizabeth w of John Gould of Molland his exrix. Elizabeth proved the will 3 Oct 1712 & obtained admin of the goods.

Richd gave a legacy to Robert Southcombe: I give to the children of Robert Southcombe of Rose Ash £2.10 each to be paid out o f my estate in South Molton & he added, after legacies out of his estate (meaning out of the estate  before specified) I give & bequeath to my sister Mary Pincombe the remaining part of my estate in South Molton (the testator meaning his estate in S. Molton aforesaid) for term of her life.

Robert Southcombe is one of the children of Robert S of Rose ash & one of the persons to whom a legacy of £2.10 was given. Seven years are expired since death of testator.

Since his death Elizabeth Gould has received the profits from the estate at S. Molton, but she refuses to pay the legacy.

Similar statement by Mary wife of Nicholas Loosemore another legatee, who is a daughter of Robert Southcombe.

(Moger Series II, no. 725)


28 Aug 1719  Southcombe v Gould

 In case any bill in Chancery was framed & preferred against Elizabeth Gould the defendant by Mary Pincombe, the proctor denies & says on behalf of proponent & alleges that if such a bill was preferred it was solely upon account of another estate called West Cathill in Rose Ash whereof testator Richard Pincombe died seised & not upon any account of the estate of South Molton whereof testator died seised & whereof mention is made as well in testator’s will. Possession of the testator’s estate in the Town & Borough of South Molton (which was all the estate that ever he had there) was taken by Mary Pincombe or given to her with the consent of defendant or her husband since Ladyday last, & that from death of testator home to that time which was about 7 years, the defendant & her husband, took the rents and profits thereof & gave receipts to tenants & during that time the profits amounted to £30 or £40 & are sufficient to answer the legacies.

Southcombe als Loosemore v Gould

(Moger Series II, no. 724)


We do not know why Richard Pincombe left money to Mary and her siblings. £2.10 was evidently a sum worth pursuing, but there is no evidence that the younger children, Anthony, Henry and Grace, went to law over their legacies.


Nicholas and Mary were back in Rose Ash for the birth of their first known child in 1721. They had four more children there. Only three survived infancy.

Baptisms. Rose Ash.
1721(2)  Loosmore, Joan d. Nicholas ye Younger  15 ffeb
1724  Lusmore, Mary d. Nicholas  27 July

Mary junior was just three when she died. She was buried on 29 July 1727.

1727(8)  Loosemore, Roger  s. Nicholas  6 Jan
1727  Lossemore, Nicolas  s. Nicolas  18 May
1735(6)  Loosemore, Grace  d. Nicolas (Privately)  29 Feb.

Grace lived only a week and was buried on 7 Mar.


At this time other ancestors, Thomas Nichols, carpenter and parish clerk of Rose Ash, and his wife Sarah, were also raising a family in the village.


John Tanner had shared Rose Ash Barton with the Loosemores when the rota for churchwardens was drawn up. He was the cause of much controversy. In ‘Touching the Green’, another Southcombe memorandum dated 1726,  John Tanner of Ash-Town (the village around the church) is castigated by the Rector for digging up the Green to make a pond and a saw-pit and planning to site a hayrick or wood stack there. The Rev Lewis Southcomb was strongly of the opinion that the Green should be returned to the parishioners for its traditional use for sports, including bowls.

In 1733, the old rector, Lewis Southcomb senior, died. His son, Lewis junior, who had helped to lay the foundation stone of the new Parsonage House, had been serving as his curate. But it was another three years before he was able to succeed his father as rector. When he was finally inducted into the living, he recorded the circumstances in the parish register with some indignation.

1736  Memorandum: That on ye twenty second day of July one thousand seven hundred and thirty six I Lewis Southcomb received my Institution into ye Rectory of Rose-Ash, and on ye twenty eighth of ye same Month I was inducted into ye same, & on Sunday ye first of August I read ye Common Prayer, the Bishop’s Certificate, & ye 39 Articles as directed. I was admitted by ye Bishop upon my Petition as Patron, myself claiming this Present single Turn under ye       of George Smyth of Exeter Esqr whose Daughter Dory Smyth was married to John Davy of Ruxford Esqr who both conveyed ye next Avoidance to Mr Nic. Redwood Rector of St. Paul’s Exon who again conveyed it to my Father, under whom I claim as sole Heir & Executor to Him.

But I have been kept out of my Right by the most unjust & indirect Dealings of ye Walkers of Exon, Robert Walker (call’d by some Esqr such as He is) & Robert his son & John Walker that wrote ye Sufferings of Clergy-men, who had never been Lords of ye Manour to wch: ye Patronage is appendant, nor having ye least appearance of a Right any other than that Richard Burnbury & Thomas Walker presented John Venner as Trustees (& no otherwise) in ye year of our Lord 1584 at wch: time, & after Arthur Hals of Kenedon was ye Lord of part of this Manour & true and undoubted Patron for that Turn: But by pure Mistake Burnbury & Walkers (ye Trustees) Names were set in ye Bishop’s Book instead of Arthur Hals ye then Lord of ye Manour: And this is the whole Foundation & ye only Appearance of a Title on wch: ye Walkers have been worrying & oppressing me for almost three years past: who being not able to make anything of it, have suffered a Mandamus to come to the Bishop, by Virtue of which (together with my own Petition wch: ye Bishop expected from me) I have received my Institution & Induction yet ye great Mortification I have lost & Discredit of all ye covetous, oppressing & unjust Walkers: Arthur Hals sold his Right & Advowson to George Smith of Exeter Esqr in whose posterity it has continued for six generations as it yet remains tho’ now in ye Posterity of Jno Davy of Ruxford he marrying Dorothy Smith, the only Lords of the Manour and who have any right to ye Patronage of Rose-Ash are  I Nic: Glynn Esqr  2 John Davy Esqr & myself L. Southcomb  3 From Dor: Smyth to Ld Altham who sold to Lewis Southcomb Rector of wch a clear Account shall be left to Posterity to which only shall be depended upon as ye Truth.

The John Walker referred to wrote a colourful ‘Sufferings of the Clergy’ about the fate of High Church and Royalist clergy after the Civil War. He included the story of Roger Trosse and his family, who were evicted from the rectory at Rose Ash.


There is a probable burial for Nicholas in 1738, though the number of men of that name makes identification uncertain.

Burial. Rose Ash.
1738  Loosemore, Nicholas  6 Apr.

This would fit well with a remarriage for Mary three years later. A marriage licence was obtained in Tiverton for:

Exeter Marriage Licences.
1741  Veysey, Thomas of Creacomb , husbandman and Mary Losemore  Of Roseash widow  Nov 17.
Dispatched by Mr Bryer at Tiverton.

Tiverton was one of several places in the diocese where couples could obtain a marriage licence without having to travel to Exeter.

They were married in Rose Ash ten days later.

Marriage. Rose Ash.
1741  Vesey, Thomas of Creacomb & Mary Loosemore, wid.  Lic.  27 Nov.

W.G.Hoskins describes Creacombe as ‘one of the most remote parishes in Devon, completely lost in high and moory country’. The village lies 3 miles SW of Rose Ash.

It is not clear whether they settled in Creacombe. In 1743 there was a baptism in Rose Ash.

Baptism. Rose Ash.
1743  Veysey, Thomas  s. Thomas  2 Oct.

Mary would by then have been 49, so this may be another Thomas Veysey. The surname goes back a long way in the Rose Ash registers. Even less likely to be theirs are the sons of Thomas Voisey in 1746 and 1750, and of Thomas Vesey in 1751.







Sampson Tree