Central West Devon: All Stops

The early Babb records of Central West Devon are contained in Ashwater, Bradstone, Brentor, Bridestowe, Chagford, Coryton, Dartmoor Forest, Hatherleigh, Holsworth, Marytavy, North Tawton, Okehampton, Shebbear, Sheepwash, South Tawton, Spreyton & Tavistock. These 17 communities have a combined 93 Records, so I’m handling them all at once.

Good Shepherds = Light Green; Chudleigh = Blue Highlights
Map Courtesy of Bing Maps

This part of Devon breaks into 3 categories which are highlighted above and discussed below. From Left to Right they are:

Good Shepherds of Hatherleigh


This line which is formally known as DNA-06 Good Shepherds of Hatherleigh dates back to 1675 with the baptism of Edward Babb. The line now contains 747 members in all. Of the small batch of records found here in this time period we were able to add Tavistock to the tree and to supplement the sources for the other towns on in the highlighted area.


Devon Pedigree (Chudleigh 1768)

All of these towns connect back to Chudleigh (Out of frame on the Eastern border of Dartmoor Forest).

The oldest records in the area date to 1653 when George Babb & Jane Arscott were married in Okehampton. Using the available records,

I was able to merge two trees into one. Devon Pedigree (North Tawton 1726) which was formerly known as Devon Pedigree 12 under Ian Babb’s system has been joined up with the older tree Devon Pedigree (Okehampton 1654) which was formerly known as Devon Pedigree 35.

Seeing the close connections, I started circling this area to see what the other nearby towns revealed and found that from North Tawton and Spreystock to Brentor and Marytavy all of the locations had a common thread.

In Spreytown, I run into a connection back to Chudleigh near Newton Abbot and on the other side of Dartmoor Forest. The family that accounted for about 5 of the names seems to have moved very regularly and are found throughout the area. The line to which they belong is Devon Pedigree (Chudleigh 1768) which was formerly known as Devon Pedigree 28 in Ian Babb’s system.

Tree Merges

Another tree merger happened during my follow up on this line when matching two Samuel Babb’s from adjoining cities resulted in Devon Pedigree (Spreyton 1727) being merged into Devon Pedigree (North Bovey 1707).

Likewise, Devon Pedigree (Spreyton 1736) has also been merged into Devon Pedigree (North Bovey 1707) by matching two Johns.

Loose ends

This has thrown a large number of potential trees into the mix and I’m currently looking for matches. Other trees that must be examined include Ian’s Pedigrees 12, 14, 17, 26, 35. Additionally, there are a number of trees identified in these areas that must be examined for possible connections.

The list above shows the trees with potential matches. The ones with the book icon to the left were involved in the records from this latest round of records. The others are potential matches due to proximity. The green dots indicate that those trees also connect to the Teignmouth region. The Pink Dot has a connection to Doddiscombsleigh!

It is very possible that all of these trees connect and will extend DNA-06 Good Shepherds of Hatherleigh once all is said and done. Chudleigh, along with every location around Newton Abbot is a spaghetti bowl of trees. Could it be that the Lords of Doddiscombsleigh are the Progenitors of the Good Shepherds DNA lineage? Only time and DNA testing will tell.

I’ve also made notes to come back to research a Benjamin Babb who is buried in the Dartmoor Prison Cemetery. He has a POW number, but I’m not clear on how to research those. He died in 1815 just after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. He hails from Barrington, which is in Somerset and I’m not clear on how a British Citizen would have a POW number and be buried at a Cemetery that is located at a prison intended to hold the French. There are no French Babbs to my knowledge, so the whole thing deserves its own day.

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