Today’s Stop: Doddiscombsleigh, et al

No trip to Devon is complete without a visit to Doddiscombsleigh. It is the one place in all of England that the Babbs were Lords of the Manor. The Manor house is now in private hands, but everyone is welcome at the Nobody Inn (, which was the site for Lunch on our trip to Doddiscombsleigh. I’ve included pictures from our visit at the end of this article.

Nobody Inn (Courtesy of Nobody Inn)

For this virtual trip to Doddiscombsleigh I’m including a number of neighboring communities to make sure I have as complete a record as possible. Heavitree is actually mentioned on the headstones in the floor of the church, so I’ve included that as well. Heavitree is now a part of Exeter. I’ve also looped in Whitestone, Shillingford St. George, Dunchideok, Bridford and North Bovey. The other locations I’ve recently covered are previously covered in my search are Exeter, Exminster, Alphington & Bovey Tracey, any of which stand the possibility of a connection to Doddiscombsleigh. But to be honest the records in Doddiscombsleigh predate all but a single record in Devon. The difference is a mere 6 years and happened about 15 miles away. So, there won’t be any matches to do on the early side of those records.

Doddiscombsleigh and surrounding communities

It is important to note that by the age of the UK Census there were no Babbs left in Doddiscombsleigh. None have appeared in any of the Census’. So, we have to rely solely on the Church Vital records of Birth, Marriage and Death/Burial. There is one supporting Will that I will draw from as well. Finally, there are 140 Records that are only coded as “Devon”. I’ll be handling those at the very end of this process, so I may need to come back here for additional work depending on what they reveal.

The History

Please refer to this site for a complete history of Town Barton and Doddiscombsleigh. I am likely using several terms loosely due to my lack of familiarity with the area.

Doddiscombsleigh – Wikipedia

The Babb Arms of Doddiscombsleigh

Recreating the Babb Family Arms in Doddiscombsleigh, Devon, England – Babb Unabridged

The Babb History

The Babb name initially was associated with a secondary name of Hext, which slowly fell out of use over a few generations. Wyllyam Hext is the first Babb recorded here. He was born before 1481.

The Babb portion of the line ends in 1697 with the death of the Lord of the Manor, John Babb. John and his wife Marie had no children, or at least none that lived to adulthood. John devises an elaborate estate plan that leaves his money to the Ducke family. His sister Agnis had married a Richard Ducke who lived in Heavitree. Heavitree is now entirely encapsulated in the city of Exeter, which as I mentioned in previous posts was a place where people from a number of different lines gathered. There is still significant work to do on Exeter which will come at the end of my project. The main tree is posted below and I’ll follow up with additional information in a separate post.

Pictures of Doddiscombsleigh from the 2009 Babb Reunion:

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