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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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RICHARD WITHECOMBE was born in North Bovey, between Moretonhampstead and Dartmoor, two years after Charles I was beheaded. Oliver Cromwell was then Lord Protector of the United Kingdom.

Baptism. North Bovey.
1650(1)  Withecombe, Richard  s. of John. Mar 7

Richard was the eldest of the two sons of John Withecombe’s second marriage. The name of his mother has not been found yet. He had three older sisters and a brother from his father’s first marriage, but they were all considerably older than him. Three years after Richard’s birth his father was paying an average amount in church rates, so we may assume he was neither rich nor poor. But by the time Richard was 11, his father was not liable to pay the rate. He died that year, so he may have become poor through illness.

We may assume that one or more of Richard’s elder siblings took responsibility for him. He may already have been out at work, or helping with the family farm or trade.

He had spent his childhood under Cromwell’s Puritan Commonwealth, but the social climate changed with the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. Occasional Old Testament baptismal names in the extended family, like Rebecca and Naomi, could mean that some, at least, of the Withecombes had Puritan sympathies. This was certainly the case with North Bovey’s larger neighbour, Moretonhampstead, and some notable families in Manaton to the south. But communities, and even families, could be divided in their loyalties.


We do not know when or whom Richard married. It is quite possible that her name was Jane. They may have had three sons baptised in North Bovey. There is a nine-year gap between the first and second children of Richard Withecombe, so it is not certain that it is the same father or whether there are two Richards here. If it was one, then other children may have been baptised elsewhere in the intervening years.

Baptisms. North Bovey.
1675(6)  Withicombe, Henry  s. of Richard.  Feb 1

Two-year-old Henry was buried on 7 June 1678.

There is a burial on 3 October 1684 for John, son of Richard Withicombe, whose baptism has not been found. This strengthens the possibility that North Bovey was not the only church which Richard used.

Two more sons followed before the Stuart monarchy was peacefully overthrown and William III and Mary II took the throne in the Glorious Revolution.

1684(5)  Withicombe, Richard  s. of Richard.  Mar 25
1686(7)  Widicombe, John  s. of Richard.  Jan 17


There is no identifiable burial for Richard’s wife. Ann Whithycombe was buried in North Bovey on 1 May 1687, but it is more likely that she was the newly-married wife of Richard’s younger brother John.


Richard himself died in the first year of the next century, at the close of the reign of King William.

Burial. North Bovey.
1701  Withecombe, Richard.  May 2

It is possible that either the burial of Jane Withcombe on 20 March 1714 could be his widow, or that of another Jane Withycombe on 30 Mar 1721.





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