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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 TAVERNER alias AVERY. When William Taverner married Elizabeth Ellis in Moretonhampstead in 1719 he was one of a small group of Taverners who appear for the first time in the Moretonhampstead registers in the early 18th century. He was not born in Moreton.

The most plausible baptism found for him is in neighbouring Drewsteignton. William, son of William Taverner alias Avery and his wife Hannah was baptised in Feb 1699.


William senior’s  baptism has not been found in Drewsteignton. Before this baptism there are no Taverners in the Drewsteignton registers. There are a handful of Averys, and some Avery alias Crockers. None of them have a son William.

Theere are possible baptisms for him in Bovey Tracey, nearly 10 miles away.

Baptisms. Bovey Tracey.
1667 Nov 13  William the sonne of Gorge Tavernor.
1670 Oct 24  William the sonne of Bartholomew Taverner
1674 Nov 1  William the sonne of Steeven Taverner

Although only the name Taverner is used in the Bovey Tracey registers, we know that this family carried the alias Avery.


Baptism. Stokeinteignhead.
1670 Jun 28  Willm ye sonne of Mary Taverner illegitimate.

Baptism. Dunsford
1676/7 Mar 6  William ye sonne of John Taverner

Dunsford is adjacent to Drewsteignton. The Taverner alias Avery surname was very common there.

On the other hand, the 1667 and 1670 baptisms in Bovey Tracey would make William much closer in age to Hannah, and in the same parish. The son of Bartholomew Taverner is the nearest to her. Couples were usually about the same age.

Unfortunately, William and Hannah did not have enough children for us to use their names as evidence.


The only marriage found for William Taverner or Avery and Hannah is in Exeter in 1698.

Marriage. St Martin, Exeter.
1698 Dec 29 William Taverner & Hannah Christopher (Boyd’s Marriage Transcripts)



HANNAH ?CHRISTOPHER. The only baptism found for Hannah Christopher is in Bovey Tracey.

Baptism. Bovey Tracey.
1668/9 Mar 23   Hannah daughter of Edward Christopher.

There is no record of Hannah Christopher of Bovey dying young or marrying someone else.

The only burial we have found for Hannah Taverner is in Drewsteignton.


The only suitable marriage found for William Taverner and Hannah took place on 29 Dec 1698 at St Martins, Exeter, between William Taverner and Hannah Christopher. But this is only 2 months before the baptism of William Taverner alias Avery in Drewsteignton.

If this is the right marriage, the couple may have chosen to wed in Exeter because of the very obvious state of Hannah’s pregnancy.


There may be another marriage between William Taverner or Avery and Hannah in a register now lost, or another baptism for Hannah Christopher. However, most of the parishes in this area have registers going  back before this.


A possible scenario is that William left Bovey Tracey for Drewsteignton, unaware that he had made Hannah Christopher pregnant. When this was discovered her father and the Overseers of the Poor put pressure on William to marry her in a late stage of her pregnancy.

A similar thing happened to John Turner of Chulmleigh.

Two children are recorded in the Drewsteignton baptism register.

Baptism. Drewsteignton.
1698/9  Feb 26  William the son of William Taverner, alias Avery, and Hannah his wife.
1702/3 Jan 2  Mary daughter of William Avery alias Taverner and Hannah his wife.


William died in 1731.

Burial. Drewsteignton
1731 June 29  William Taverner

Hannah died in 1748.

1748 May 16  Hannah Taverner






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