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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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JOHN ASCOTT was a resident of Dunsford in 1694, when he married Alice Perkin in the parish church. The most likely baptism for him is in the neighbouring parish of Drewsteignton.

Baptism. Drewsteignton.
1680  John the son of John and Elizabeth Arscott was Xtned on Sunday July the 4th Anno Predict.

The spelling of Arscott/Ascott varied from parish to parish.

The likelihood that this is the right parentage is strengthened by the fact that John Ascott of Dunsford named his first two children John and Elizabeth.

This would make him only 14 at the time of his marriage. This is young for someone not from a family affluent enough to support the young couple, but legal at that time.

There is another possibility in the nearby parish of Spreyton. John son of Richard Ascot was baptised in nearby Spreyton on 29 Nov 1659. This would make him 34 at the time of his wedding, which would be older than usual. The parents of this John were Richard and Honor. John Ascott of Dunsford used neither of these names for his children, which would be contrary to the Devon practice.

The Drewsteignton baptism looks likely to be the right one. In this case, his mother was Elizabeth Trend.

He was the oldest of six children, but only three of them survived infancy.

John moved to Dunsford before his marriage, probably to work there, since his parents remained in Drewsteignton.



ALICE PERKIN was also resident in Dunsford when she married. There is no other mention of the surname Perkin in the Dunsford registers. Nor has her baptism been found in another parish.The registers of most parishes in this area go back to at least the early 1600s.

However, the 1660 Poll Tax for Dunsford shows William Perker and his wife paying tax at the basic rate. [1]

In 1664 the will of William Parker of Dunsford was proved.[2] This is likely to be the same man. He would appear to be too old for the father of Alice Perkin who was married in 1694, especially if she married a 14-year-old, but he might be her grandfather.

A large part of Dunsford is missing from the 1674 Hearth Tax returns. The list that remains shows no Perkins, Perkers or Parkers, nor do they appear in the 1641 Protestation Return for Dunsford


Marriage. Dunsford.
1694  John Ascott and Alice Perkin. Married July 20

The couple remained in Dunsford. From then on John’s seems to be the only Ascott family there.


Dunsford village lies just downstream of a beautiful stretch of the Teign, the wooded gorge that begins near Drewsteignton and winds between steep-sided tree-clad hills some six miles to Steps Bridge, where there were then only dangerous stepping stones.

From Dunsford, the river takes a sharp turn south to Doddiscombleigh and Christow.

                                Sowton Mill[3]


Much of the area was in the hands of the Fulford family, who were granted the manor in the 12th century, and still live at Great Fulford. If they came from this area, older members of  John and Alice’s family would remember how Colonel Fairfax besieged this Royalist house during the Civil War of the 1640s and bombarded it from a redoubt in the park.

                                        Great Fulford 


John and Alice had seven children, though three of them died as babies.

Baptisms. Dunsford.
1695(6)  John ye Son of John Askott was Baptized  Aprill 2
1696  Elizabeth Daughr of John Ascott Boptizd Decembr 29
1699  Mary the Daughter of John Ascott was baptiz’d November 5°
1701  Agnes the Daughter of John Ascott was baptiz’d June 29°

Agnes was buried on September 3, at three months.

1702(3)  Grace the Daughter of John Ascott was baptiz’d February 16°

Grace lived for a year, and was buried on February 27, 1702(3).

1705  Sarah the Daughtr of John Ascott wa baptiz’d May 1st

Sarah was buried five months later on October 16.

After five daughters, Alice bore her second son.

1706  Thomas the Son of John Ascott was baptiz’d Octobr 13°

Thomas seems to have lived, but Alice herself died two years later.

Burial. Dunsford.
1708  Alice the Wife of John Ascott was bury’d. Octobr 17°

John was left to bring up the four surviving children. There is no record of his marrying again in Dunsford.


His son John married and had begun to raise a family in the parish. But in a terrible week in June 1732, first ‘John & James the sons of John Arscott’, and then ‘Sarah ye wife of Jno Arscott & Sarah his Daur’, were buried. One explanation is the terrible epidemic of influenza which swept the country, reaching Devon in February 1732. But since there is no evidence of a lethal epidemic in the rest of the parish, a possible cause of the tragedy was a house fire.

John senior lived another four years, long enough to see his son remarried and another granddaughter added to the two surviving boys.

Burial. Dunsford.
1736  John Ascott Senior  August ye 5th  


[1] Devon Taxes 1581-1660, ed. T.L. Stoate, (CD ©B.D. Welchman, 2004)
[2] Findmypast.
[3] © Copyright Martin Bodman,  Creative Commons Licence.






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