This Week’s Stops: Totnes & Newton Abbot Greater Metropolitan Area

Today we have a cluster of 11 nearby towns including Ashburton, Berry Pomeroy, Buckfastleigh, Diptford, Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, Paignton, South Brent, Stoke Gabriel, Teignmouth and Totnes. The lion’s share of the 183 records for these towns belong to Newton Abbot, but the close proximity of these other’s makes them worth considering as a group. Coincidentally, there are also 183 people in the Master Tree for this cluster of towns. If we encounter any crossover connections they will most likely be in Newton Abbot.

The entire metropolitan area is about 15 miles (24 km) across and down. I must also mention that the term Metropolitan is a real stretch for these very small towns, but it was the best word I could think of to describe their proximity.

While there is no smoking gun of a connection in this area, I was able to identify a number of significant early Babb encampments in Newton Abbot. The oldest line dates to 1568, which is about 200 years further back than I previously had in the Master Tree for this area. This line contains 39 Members. The Babb surname drops off of it after 3 generations with an all daughter family unit.

Another line picks up in 1592 containing 36 Members. it continues for 6 generations and only gets lost due to the commonality of the given name “John”. There are a good number of Johns in Newton Abbot and it is very hard to sort one from the other when the wife’s name was no included on the Baptism registration record.

The line dates to 1631, It contains 37 members at this time and runs for 4 generations before the paper trail ends.

An even larger Babb encampment dates back to 1735 and contains 42 members. It runs for 5 generations and transfers to Paignton before the Babb surname ends with a female birth. This is the first of any of these lines that shows migration patterns which should prove helpful in making future connections.

This line is also unique in that it has 3 different places where the Progenitor William Babb (b. bef 1720) could map to in other trees. He is most surely one of these 3 people, so we have a pseudo connection. It also places us close enough to an existing tree that we may be able to match it on the lower end. That connection isn’t immediately apparent at this time, there is hope for the future.

I’ll now push forward to Colyton which is much simpler to input than this cluster of cities.


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