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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)



JOHN DAVY. There are many question marks over the history of John Davy. The only certainty, as yet, is that he had a daughter Dorothy baptised in Warkleigh in 1713.


St John, Warkleigh
15th century font

Warkleigh is a tiny village on the slopes above the River Taw, just south of Chittlehampton.

There is a baptism for John Davy there on Christmas Day, 1692.

Baptism. Warkleigh.
1692  Decembr 25 John the son of William Davey was baptized

It is tempting to think this must be Dorothy’s father, but he would have been only 20 when she was born. This is possible, but untypically young. The mother of this baby was probably Mary Morish.

In the early years of the eighteenth century, there are baptisms for the children of Thomas Davy, husbandman. He may be related to John.

Sixteen years after William Davey’s son John was baptised there is a tantalising entry in the Warkleigh marriage register.

Marriage. Warkleigh
1708  John  Davey and

Perhaps this indicates that John Davey’s banns had been called in Warkleigh and the parson started to record this as a marriage, but then remembered the wedding had taken place elsewhere. If only he had gone on to record the bride’s name, before crossing it out!

If this marriage did take place, the groom is unlikely to have been William Davey’s son. Marriage at sixteen was legal, but very unusual for anyone lower than the gentry.

That same year, the Warkleigh register gives a particularly frank account of what was a not-uncommon experience for young women who went into service.

1708  Susanna the base child of Thomas Mock of this parish by his maid Ruth Phying, was baptized in this parish church of Warkleigh September the 26th. She deposed he had made use of her body five years before carnally, before the justices of Chumley.

Thomas Mock was a husbandman, whose wife Dorothy had died in 1701.

There is no record of any baptism in Warkleigh for a child of John Davey until more than four years after this crossed-out marriage record. We reach firm ground for the first time with the baptism of John’s daughter Dorothy in 1713.

Baptism. Warkleigh.
1712(3)  Dorothy the daughter of Jno Davy christened February ye first day

John’s marriage has not yet been found in the surrounding parishes, nor the baptisms of any earlier children. Dorothy is the only child whose baptism is recorded in Warkleigh for John Davy and his unnamed wife, but they appear to have had others, so they could have arrived there fairly recently.

Three years after Dorothy’s birth, two children died within a month.

Burials. Warkleigh.
1716  James the son of John Davy was buried June the 30th
1716  Elizabeth daughter of Jno Davy was buried July the 23

It is reasonable to assume this is the same John Davy. The deaths of two children so close together suggests a serious infectious illness.

The following year, Ann Davey was married, and in 1722, Samuel Davy. One or both of them might be John’s older children, or they might be more distantly related.

There is greater doubt over the next two John Davys in the register.

Burials. Warkleigh.
1721  Agnes ye Daughter of John Davy of Chittlehampton was bury’d May 29th

Chittlehampton is adjacent to Warkleigh. The family may have moved across the parish boundary and continued to use Warkleigh church, or this may be a different man.

1721  John Davie of King’s Nympton was bury’d November 9th

Warkleigh and King’s Nympton are close, but not adjacent, so this is less likely to be the same man continuing to use his old church. But if John had moved to King’s Nympton and had a married daughter in Warkleigh, he may have gone back to be nursed in his last illness. In 1719 there had been a baptism in King’s Nympton for Margaret, daughter of John and Luce Davey.

This is followed three years later by another burial.

1724 Apr 3   Mary Davy of Kings Nympton widow

More likely 1748 burial Warkleigh. John Davy June 21





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