John de Babb in Exeter – circa 1150

With this find we extend deep into the Dark Ages and can now demonstrate that Babbs have been in Devon for at least 872 Years! I believe this to be the end of the road for the earliest records of Devon. But I’ll continue to comb for other books that will help show light on our path.

Source: epa02647495

To put some perspective on this find we are just 84 years after the Norman Invasion led by William the Conqueror in 1066. After the invasion William set up a series of Feudal Baronies for those that helped him prosecute the war.

This heraldry shows the progression of one such barony by the name of Baunton (Bampton). It passed through 5 generations and might have gone to an Alice who married John de Bab of Kent Close in Exeter. Sadly, they died without issue (ob. s.p.) as did her two siblings.

While women didn’t typically own property in those days it was just in 1137 when Eleanor inherited the Aquitaine from her father upon his death. In 1150 she was still the queen of France to Louis IX (aka St. Louis) and in two years would have him annulled to remarry and create the power couple of the 12th Century. Henry II (Plantagenet) & Eleanor of Aquitaine’s story was immortalized in 1968 in a Hollywood film “The Lion in Winter”. The power couple also happens to be this author’s 25th Great Grandparents. Katherine (or as I prefer to call her “Gramma”) received the Oscar for best Actress for her role in this film.

But I digress. Had Alice and John de Babb (de means from or of) had offspring we would be telling a very different story today. But they didn’t and this event led the barony off into a new direction through a Christiana & Milo Cogan.

Thus, we were sidestepped by history.

With this work complete, I have made my final pass through the records that were available at the Dallas Public Library. I’m beginning to plan my trip to Salt Lake City, which I hope will open a few new doors with resources not available locally.

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