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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



ROGER STONEMAN.  The most likely baptism for Elizabeth Stonement, who married Thomas Mathews in Chulmleigh in 1748 is the following.

Baptism. Chulmleigh.
Elizabeth the daughter of Roger Stoneman was baptized the 20th day of November 1723

In the days when so many people were illiterate, the spelling of surnames was not set in stone.

There was an earlier Elizabeth Stoneman, daughter of Peter Stoneman, born in 1716, but she would have been considerably older than Thomas. There was only a two-year difference between Thomas and this younger Elizabeth. The older Elizabeth was first cousin to the younger one, so they shared much of their paternal ancestry.


From the date of his marriage we should expect Roger to be born around 1690. His baptism is almost certainly the following.

Baptism. St Mary Magdalene, Chulmleigh.
1691 May 10  Roger son of Peter Stoneman.

His mother was Margaret Gill.

He was the fourth of five children, one of whom died before Roger was born. His younger brother also died in infancy.


ANN BOWDEN. We have not found a plausible baptism for Ann within a 10-mile radius. There were a number of Bowdens in Chulmleigh at the time. There is, for instance, the baptism of Jane daughter of Andrew Bowden in 1686.

The fact that Ann married in Chulmleigh suggests that this was her home parish.


Chulmleigh was a market town standing high above the Taw Valley. Its prosperity was built on wool, but the trade was beginning to decline.  There was no longer the rich income that had built the church of St Mary Madgalene, with its splendid rood screen.

St Mary Magdalene, Chulmleigh [1]


The couple married in 1715, just after George I became the first Hanoverian king, replacing the Stuart dynasty.

Marriage. St Mary Magdalene, Chulmleigh.
1715 Oct 21  Roger Stoneman and Ann Bowden


We have found only two baptisms for this couple, either in Chulmleigh or elsewhere in Devon.

Baptisms. St Mary Magdalene, Chulmleigh.
1716/7 Jan 10  Ann
1723 Nov 20  Elizabeth

 Some baptisms may be missing, or Ann may have suffered miscarriages in the intervening years.

Neither of these girls seems to have died in infancy.


Evidence of the decline in Chulmleigh’s fortunes comes in an answer to Dean Milles of Exeter, who sent round questions 1755 for a history he was writing. Chulmleigh replied that the woollen trade “did flourish here but is now much decayed”.


In 1765 the Chulmleigh Overseeers of the Poor apprenticed Daniel Anstey to Roger Stoneman “by consent”.[2] Farmers and masters of a trade were obliged to take a turn at accepting such pauper children as their apprentices. Unfortunately, the record does not tell us Roger’s trade.


Ann probably died in 1768, in her late 70s.
Burial. St Mary Magdalene, Chulmleigh.
1768 Jan 5  Hannah Stoneman

Hannah was an alternative name for Ann.

Burial registers usually tell us the name of the dead woman’s husband, but the Chulmleigh ones at this period do not.


Roger lived to the great age of 97, and died in poverty, despite the fact that he had been a farmer or the master of a trade. This was the common lot of older people who were no longer able to work. There is no indication that Ann was a pauper when she died twenty years earlier.

We have found no evidence of a son to support him.

Roger was given a pauper’s funeral at the expense of the parish.


Burial. St Mary Magdalene, Chulmleigh.
1788 May 24  Roger Stoneman  pauper.


[1] https://www.britainexpress.com/images/attractions/editor2/Chulmleigh-5518.jpg
[2] Devon Archives and Local Studies Service (South West Heritage Trust) 4678 A/PO 11/43





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