As I continue importing the records collected from the Family History Library of Salt Lake City, via a computer at the Dallas Public Library, I came across another puzzling document that demonstrates a link that was previously unrealized. It begs a series of questions that play into the history of the Hext Surname and raises the specter of just how the “Hext Babbs” came together and became the Lords of Doddiscombsleigh.
The document in question is a deed recorded in Newton St. Cyres, Devon on 19 April 1572, the text of which still survives. I’m not clear on why the Deeds wouldn’t have been destroyed in the Exeter Blitz of 1942 by Nazi Germany, but I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. The record is of a sale of land to Thomas Quicke (Qyycke) in Newton St. Cyres (Newton Seynt Sciers). In the record “William Babb, alias Hext” is mentioned as owning an adjoining property.
Thomas Quick is already a member of our file as he is the father of Elinor Quick(e) who married William Babb, alias Hext on 26 Jun 1587 in Newton St. Cyres. The marriage info and alternate name was already stored in the tree and I’d made a note to research the connection at a later date. This new document set that research in motion.
The surname alias “Hext” that is associated with the Babb Surname occurs in exactly one place, Doddiscombsleigh. You may recall that Doddiscombsleigh is the home to one of the earliest Babb families in all of Devon. The Babbs became Lords of the Manor. The church that is adjacent to the Manor House of the village shows the power of the family that, for a time, was likely the most powerful line of Babbs to have ever existed. To find it specifically mentioned outside of Doddiscombsleigh is a rare event.
The document demonstrates that the Hext/Babb family extended beyond Doddiscombsleigh. This location is 13.4 miles/21.5 km which was a far greater distance in those days.
Elinor would be William’s 2nd wife and most likely not the mother of his children William or John.
While this match may seem inconsequential, anything that expands our knowledge of this family is very welcome news.