Guppy's List of Devon Surnames

Annotated by

Max Hooper


1 Which are Devon Surnames?

1.1 Guppy's List of Devon Surnames

1.2 Names I think ought to be added

2 Early Distribution of some Surnames in Devon

2.1 Sample Surname Distribution Maps

3. References



Anything in normal typeface is from Guppy; my comments etc. are in italic and all surnames are in bold typeface. Place names I use in my comments on the 1881 Census refer to Poor Law Unions/Registration Districts but to individual Parishes in the 1851 Census and the Subsidies. I have also used the modern district names on occasion. Note that this is not an exhaustive, complete, list: some very common names like Smith or Brown, which must surely have originated in Devon as well as every other English county, are omitted and there are probably more Devon names that neither Guppy nor I have come across.



NOTE.-The asterisk denotes that a name, though characteristic of the county, is more relatively numerous elsewhere. The district-homes of the names are placed in brackets, and in some cases, where they lie on the border, the districts may be named after a town in the next county.

Adams (Kingsbridge)

Although the highest frequencies are in Northamptonshire, Devon also has high densities in Kingsbridge and the north of the county in 1881. Also found in the Lay Subsidies of 1554 and 1332. Adam is abundant in 1543-5; fifteen in 1332.

Addems (Exeter)

Virtually only found in St. Thomas in 1881 (51 out of 52) & presumably a var. of Adams above.


Devon plus Cornwall & Somerset in 1881. A dozen places in 16th. cent. found in Axminster, Honiton, Okehampton, Totnes & Paignton. Possible origin at Alford in Marystow & not Alford in Lincs from frequencies in all lists up to modern Telephone directories.


South Devon + Somerset + Yorks in census. At a dozen places in Tudor Subsidy. While it may be characteristic, in that it was established by Tudor times, I do not think Amery can be called, as Guppy does, peculiar to Devon.

Anning (Starcross)

SE Devon i.e. St. Thomas, Honiton, Axminster in Census. Not in Devon Tudor Subsidy? Not in 1332 Subsidy. Possibly a denizen from Dorset?


Appears in 1881 as an East Devon name with diffusion north eastward to Bristol. Anstis is more south Devon & Cornwall. Both occur only once each, in the Tudor subsidy; an Anstey in East Anstey & an Anstys in Lifton. An Anesti occurs in 1238.


Across Devon in census. A dozen places in 1543-5. Only Ashwater in 1332, where there is a place of the name, as there is in Holsworthy.


Widespread across England but considerable numbers also across the whole of Devon. Common in Tudor Devon and as Averay in 1332.

Ayre (South Molton)

North Devon plus groups around Durham and Hull. Eight places in Tudor record, not found in 1332.

Babbage (Chulmleigh)

Both Devon & Somerset in Census. Not in Devon Subsidy of 1543-5. Nor in 1332 Subsidy. See Babb in my additions.


Spread thro. Cornwall, Devon & Somerset, plus isolated groups at Newmarket & Abingdon/Oxford. Six places in Tudor Devon. Batecok occurs but no Badcok in 1332.


Common throughout England, greatest numbers in Birmingham and London, also found throughout Devon but with high density around Exeter in 1881. Baker (and Pistor/Pestur etc) is frequent in all nominal lists back to the 13th century in Devon. (e.g. continuous in the records of Sidmouth - Parish & Manor---back to 1269. Several mentions like " X the Baker " in the Eyre of 1238 but these may not be true surnames.

Balkwill (Kingsbridge)

Torrington is main focus in 1881 but more in south in 1543-5 - Torbryan, Ipplepen etc. Not in 1332.


Wellington and into N. Devon in 1881. Five parishes in 1543-5. Not in 1332.


West Devon and Cornwall name in 1881, with several entries in the Devon Tudor Subsidy but only a couple in 1332. Quite a few Balls in the Cornish Subsidy of 1524 so possibly an early Cornish incomer.

Balsdon (High Hampton)

Holsworthy at the 1881 Census. None in Tudor Subsidy? A Balston at Honiton might be relevant? Not in 1332. North Devon from modern phone books & Black Torrington focus in 1851.


St. Thomas and Honiton in 1881. Baston in Honiton in 1543-5 & six other parishes. Not in 1332.


East Cornwall & West Devon: Plympton, Tavistock, Launceston & Stratton in 1881. Not found in Tudor Subsidy. Not found in 1332.

Bater (Chulmleigh)

South Molton in 1881. Landkey & another half dozen parishes in Tudor Subsidy. A Batyr in 1332 at Alphington.

Batten (Honiton)

South western, mainly Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset plus eastward diffusion. Possible linkage with next?

Batting (Exeter)

Bimodal: one group at Exeter & St. Thomas, the other around High Wycombe. Battin /Bettin common in Cornish Tudor Subsidy of 1524/ 1543. Both are in Devon but Battin most common. In 1332 the spelling is Batyn & the name is frequent.


 (and see Beer.

Devon & Cornwall plus small groups at Yeovil & Mutford in Suffolk for Beare. Bere is Devon & Somerset only. In Tudor record Beare is abundant, Bere frequent. Abundant in 1332.

Beedell (Tiverton)

Tiverton in 1881. Three or four places in that area in 1543-5 as Bedell. Three in 1332, one at Tiverton but another at Tavistock.

Beer (Barnstaple)

Devon & Cornwall, highest no. in Barnstaple. Bere and Beare frequent in Tudor records but variable spelling in earlier period makes unravelling difficult.

Berry (Barnstaple)

Highest density is in Lancs but is also present throughout Devon with high points in Barnstaple & Honiton. Bery, Berie, Biri, & Byry in the Subsidies lead me to believe this name is autochthenous but note possible confusion with names like Bury, Burgh & Burrow.

Besley (Tiverton)

Somerset name, of Wellington/Williton, but also at Tiverton. Beesley is a Lancashire name. One Besly in 1543 at Calverleigh near Tiverton.


Tavistock in Census. As Bickell is at six places in Tudor Subsidy, more northerly, e.g. Stowford, Broadwoodwidger etc. Possibly Bykehull in 1332.

Blackmore (Honiton)

Devon & Somerset plus east-ward diffusion. Common in 16th cent. Only 4 entries in 1332 Subsidy.


Plymouth + Tavistock. A dozen parishes in 16th cent. At Sourton & Plymouth in 1332.


Devon & Cornwall i.e. Tavistock & St. Austell. One at Tavistock in 16th. cent.


Devon and some in Norfolk, in Devon mainly at Tavistock. At Lamerton in Tudor Subsidy.

Bolt (Ottery St. Mary)

St. Thomas & Okehampton in 1881. Three in Tudor Subsidy.


In 1881 generally distributed across England with some SW bias. Frequent in both Devon & Cornwall Subsidies; occurs in Bampton hundred in 1238.


Devon & Cornwall, South Molton, Torrington & Truro. Not found in earlier records.


Newton Abbott. Found at half-a-dozen places in 1332. Presumably named for Bovey Tracy.


Two centres - one in Devon, the other Derby/Lancs. Frequent in the Tudor Subsidy. Presumably appearing as Boghedon in the 1332 subsidy.

Bradridge (Ivybridge)

Totnes. A couple of records for 1332.


Widespread e.g. Cumbria - Cockermouth is a high, as is Essex, but also quite high at Crediton. Present in 1332 at East Prawle & Burrington. While it may be characteristic in Guppy's terminology, with only 9% of the total in Devon, it does not qualify as peculiar in my book.

Braund (Brandis Corner).

Bideford & diffusion thro' Devon. Possibly as Brond in 1332.


Barnstaple. A Braylegh at East Buckland in 1332.


South Molton. Presumably a variant of preceding.

Bridgman (High Hampton)

Mainly in Torridge & North Devon but also a strong cluster in Torbay. Cottle says that the form with the E is more common across England & that without an E is a Devon name. I find both equally frequent in Devon and across England.


plus vars; seems to be east Cornwall & west Devon esp Stratton & Holsworthy in 1881. Three in 1332 and about 15 in the Tudor subsidy.


Devon & Somerset plus eastward diffusion. Nine places in 16th. cent. Devon. Brok/e common in 1332 but how many became Brook and how many Brock?

Broom (Honiton)

Possibly as Brome in Tudor subsidy. Not seen in 1332 but there are compounds such as Bromhill or Bromlegh used as surnames. Widely spread across England in 1881 but the highest concentration is in eastern Devon. Broome, however, appears to be a Lancashire name.


This name is not frequent in Devon in 1881 though Tiverton appears at 15th in a list of density and it poses a problem because of confusion with Broke - which is the spelling commonly seen in older nominal lists. By 1881 Broke, however, was a rare Essex name from Dunmow andBrook appeared to come from 3 sources - Yorkshire, especially Huddersfield, being the most dominant, but with Okehampton a poor second and Hailsham an even poorer third. Where this intrusive S comes from eludes me, though it occurs in other Devon names which first appear in the record as singular but by 1881 are apparently becoming plural (e.g. Willcock-Willcocks) and see Brock.

Buckingham (South Molton)

Two groups: one in Devon & Cornwall the other around Buckingham itself. A dozen places in Tudor Devon but not seen in 1332.


One in the Tudor record at Farway and an East Devon name in 1881 but Bucknall is based on the coast of Lincolnshire.


See Burgin in my additions.

Burrough/Burrow (Honiton)

Burrough is an east Devon name in 1881 and Burrow seems to have two origins: one in Devon, the other in Cumbria. Forms with a final s are much less common in Devon than further north and east in England.


Almost only Devon plus diffusion but some East Anglians too. Canne common in Tudor record. The nearest in 1332 appears to be Ken or Kena but I assume this is from the place/river Ken but in 1238 there are two Cannes in South Tawton.


Some reasonably high densities in Honiton and St. Thomas justify this name's inclusion in the list and it does appear in 1332 but the bulk of Carters are from further east, in the rest of England.


North Devon in 1881. Possibly as Caulesweye at Ilsington in 1332.

Chaffe (Plympton)

A Widecombe name with some diffusion to, e.g. Dunsford, Buckfast and Yealmpton/Holbeton/Brixton in 1851. See Chave.


Okehampton in 1881. A Champyng in 1332.

Channin/Channing (Tiverton)

East Devon & Somerset in 1881. Is this a variant ofChannon? See my additions.


Devon, Dorset & Somerset & diffusion east, common in Tudor Subsidy, six in 1332.

Chave (Tiverton)

Tiverton to Dulverton in 1881. I would say Mid Devon, around Uplowman in 1851. Stoate only indexes Chave but in his transcript some entries areChaf so there is possible confusion here. See Chaffe


Predominantly in Crediton registration District in 1881. A couple as Churiton in 1332.


East Devon & there in Tudor times.


Scattered but most in West Devon, Plymouth & South Hams. Widespread in 1544. Four in 1332.

Chugg (Ilfracombe)

In an arc of 7 parishes around Ilfracombe in 1851. Highampton in 1544. One, at Winkleigh in 1332.


Cornwall & Devon, especially in the south. Five Cleve in Tudor times, many Clive/Clyve in 1332 but possible confusion with Cliff, which is also present in Devon.

Cleverdon (Bideford)

Bideford in 1881 census, eight in Tudor subsidy, none found in 1332.

Coaker (Horrabridge)

Southern and western Devon, from Totnes to Tavistock in 1881. Three as Coker(e) in 1332.


Both are Devon but Cockeram has a two centres, one at Crediton and one at Derby. A Cokeram in South Molton in 1332.

Cole (Tavistock)

Despite some high densities in Wilts (Chippenham) this name has two obvious sources - one in Essex ( "Old King Cole" of Colchester?) and the other in Devon from the 1881 Census. Cole and many compounds (e.g. Coleridge) go back to the 14th century in Devon. The highest numbers are in Plymouth, the greatest density in Kingsbridge but Tavistock runs both close. See also Coles below.


East Devon to Somerset but with another focus in East Northants in Oundle/Thrapston. See Cole - is there an intrusive S here? All the Tudor Subsidy entries I have looked at are singular.


West Devon and east Cornwall in 1881(note Colwell and Colwall are not Devon names).


Central Devon, Totnes to Crediton in 1881. Somewhat surprisingly Coney is clearly a Lincolnshire name centred on Spilsby.

Coombe (Crediton)

Devon and Cornwall plus some diffusion. Coombes is also a Devon name but more in east Devon and even further diffused into England. Many Combe & vars. in 1332.

Copp (Great Torrington)

Torrington & Bideford in 1881. Four in 1332.


Cornwall, Devon & Somerset plus the Home counties & Thingoe in Suffolk. Abundant in the Tudor records and common in 1332.


Cornish with diffusion into West Devon, cf. Jory. Only at three places in Tudor Subsidy & three people present in 1332, mainly by the Cornish border e.g. Bridgerule & West Putford.


Tavistock in 1881. Stoate indexes about 30 instances of Courtis but what about Curtis? In 1881 Curtis is frequent across England south east of a line between the Gower and the Humber.

Crang (Barnstaple)

North Devon esp Barnstaple. Three in Tudor Subsidy.


Virtually confined to south west Devon & St. Germans in Cornwall. Present in half a dozen places in SW Devon in Tudor record but in 1332 the nearest I've found is Creubear/ Crewbere ( 2 at Tavistock & 1 at Newton Ferrers).


South Devon esp. Kingsbridge. A couple of Tudor records.


Cornwall, Devon, Somerset & Dorset with diffusion east. Frequent back to 1332.

Crocombe (Barnstaple)

In 1881 is so frequent in the Barnstaple area that I must doubt if Crowcombe in the Quantocks, Somerset, is the origin. There is a Croscombe in Martinhoe but a Craucombe at Yarcombe in 1332.

Cuming (Exeter)

Five in 1332.Two dozen in Tudor Record but note many possible variant spellings - Coming, Comyn, Cumming, Cummings. Only Coming and Cumming appear to me to be (South) Devon names.

Dallyn (Barnstaple)

A Dallegh at Yarnscombe in 1332 but in 1881 both Dallyn and Dalling are tightly grouped in the Barnstaple area. As Dallin in Stoate's index of Tudor Subsidy. This is the least frequent variant in1881 but still a North Devon name.


A south Devon name in 1881, very much concentrated in Plymouth, Stoke Damerell & Plympton but also occurs across Kingsbridge, Totnes & Newton Abbot. Daumarle in 1332.

*Daniel (Holsworthy)

A Welsh name with highs in Cornwall, spread into Hartland. But is in both the Tudor and 1332 Subsidies for Devon.

Darch (Barnstaple)

see Dark in my additions.

Dare (Axminster)

Across East Devon into Dorset & Somerset in 1881 and most abundant in Axminster. A couple of records in Axminster in 1332.


Across Devon in 1881 with some diffusion, especially into adjacent counties. A dozen mentions in the Tudor Subsidy but none in 1332.


With an E is clearly a Devon-Cornwall name, with some diffusion east, without an E is similar but has surprising numbers in East Anglia & Lincs. Present back to 1332.


Devon and Cornwall with some diffusion eastward in 1881, also present back to 1332.

Dennis (Barnstaple)

Spread across England in 1881 but with a high in Barnstaple. Is present in Devon as Deneys in 1332 and frequent in Tudor subsidies.


Both Devon names in 1881, Densham more in the south (St. Thomas, Newton Abbot) and Densem more northerly(Crediton, Tiverton).


A Dickere at Broad Clyst in 1332 but in 1881 a general south of England name, may be marginally more common in Devon but also frequent in, e.g., Hampshire or Surrey.

Dimond/Dymond (Honiton)

Both are clearly Devon names in 1881, with the I form more common in the east and the Y form more in the west. However I have only found one, as Diamond, in the Tudor Subsidy.

Doble (Cullompton)

In 1881 is most abundant in Taunton, Honiton & Chard. Several as Dobel/Dobil in 1332.

Doidge (Tavistock)

A Tamar valley name, most frequent in Plymouth, Tavistock & Launceston. Possibly Doig/Doyg in 1332.

Dommett (Axminster)

Axminster, Honiton, Bridport & Taunton in 1881. One at West Budleigh in 1332.


The four western counties & a group in Kent. Abundant back to 1332 but usually as Doune so see Dunn.


Cornwall & Devon, with ancient diffusion to Gloucester, London & Kings Lynn. Found (as Drieu or Dryw) back to 1332.

Dunn (Barnstaple)

Seems to me to be a Tynemouth & Sunderland name but in 1881 there are above average numbers in Devon especially at Tiverton. In early records may be confused with Down, Doune, Doon, Don or Den, Dene, Denne, all of which occur in Devon but there is no Dun or Dunn in the 1332 Subsidy but ten possible as Dun or Dune in Tudor times.

*Dunning (Okehampton)

Three apparent focii in 1881; one in Pickering (Yorks), another at Dorchester and the third at Okehampton. Several as Dounyng in 1332.


Spread across England in 1881 but more than average frequency in Devon. Occurs back to 1332.


Okehampton in 1881. Not seen in earlier records.

*Dyer (Barnstaple)

Generally South Western with highs in Devon at Newton Abbot & Barnstaple. What was this name's early form? Dire, Dira, and Dyra occur in the 1332 Subsidy but in the Exeter Freemen it looks as though one family called Teyncturer became Degher between 1308 & 1317, then Deghere between 1378 & 1429 and finally Dyer by 1492. With a Dyre listed in 1305 it is possible there were two names to be confused. There are some (v. few) people still called Dyre and Dyar in 1881 - had the rest been absorbed into Dyer or is it a variant spelling which has become fossilized?


I would not class Earl as a Devon name on its distribution - it is much more common further east. Earle, however, though still an eastern name, is quite frequent in south Devon in 1881. Listed by Stoate in the Tudor Subsidy asErle but this spelling is rare in 1881. At least a dozen as Yurl or Yeorl in 1332.


Very much limited to the Newton Abbot area in 1881. Fifteen as Estbroke in 1544.


A Tamar valley name--Tavistock to Launceston in 1881. Not seen in earlier Devon records so suspect Cornish, tho' not in Cornish Subsidiies of 1524 or 1543 either.


In 1881 Ellacott is mainly in a band across mid Devon (Crediton, Okehampton, Launceston) with Ellicott on either side (South Molton & Newton Abbott).


A name most common in the north of England & North Wales but also occurs with high frequency in Devon, especially in the Newton Abbot/Totnes district but the highest density is in Okehampton. Recorded back to 1332.


In 1881 was essentially a name on the borders of Scotland and in the Penines. Not quite as distinctive a Borders name as Elliot, and the TT form did have a higher than average frequency in South Devon. I find this surprising as common Tudor spelling varied between Ellyot and Ellyott with no obvious reason. When, why, how did these spellings become stabilized?


Two patches in 1881, one Devon, the other Lincs/Notts. Does this imply two origins? Five Elstons are recorded in Tudor Devon.

Elworthy (South Molton)

South Molton & Tiverton in 1881. Not seen in earlier records.

Endacott (Exeter)

Okehampton, Newton Abbott & Totnes are the high points in 1881. Two as Endecote in 1544.


In 1881 highest numbers of Eveleigh are at Bridport, but also high westward thro Honiton to Exeter & St. Thomas. Telephone directories indicate this situation is also true today ( i.e. apparently Dorset centred) but diffusion from "Eofor's Leah" (Wild Boar Clearing) in Broad Clyst seems probable. Several at Broad Clyst in 1544 ( & elsewhere in East Devon). Nevertheless Evely is a Tavistock to Okehampton name.


Patches in Devon, London & East Anglia in 1881 but also frequent in Tudor Devon.

*Farmer (Honiton)

On the basis of the 1881 census I would say not a Devon or Cornwall name, present across central & southern England and the nearest high is at Dulverton. No entries in the 1543-5 Subsidy nor that of 1332..


East Devon with some diffusion but the highest numbers are in an isolated patch at Risbridge, Suffolk. As Feraunt back to 1332.


South Devon plus migration thro' Somerset into Gloucs etc. Reflects what I believe was the "West of England Cloth" trade. Common in Tudor Subsidy. Difficult to trace back because of confounding with Ferrers/ Ferrars, e.g. in 1332 at Churston Ferrers we have Ferers and Ferariis is at Newton Ferrers but at Bradstone it is Ferreys.


Clearly a Devon name in 1881, with the S form ten times more frequent than the one without the S.


South Hams in 1881. Possibly as Fole in 1544 & as Foghel in 1332?


A name of southern England in general, highest in Wilts (Tisbury, Mere, Wilton) but significant in S. Molton & Kingsbridge. Common back to 1332.

Foss (Kingsbridge)

Occurs across England from a high point in Penzance, present in south Devon (Kingsbridge) and common further east so can hardly be called a strictly a Devon name but there are half a dozen Devon records in 1332.

Friend (Exbourne)

Two areas of high frequency, one in Devon/Cornwall, the other on the east coast-Kent/Essex/Suffolk in 1881.


Curious disjunct, patchy, pattern with distinct groups in Birmingham, Lincs, Wilts, IOW and Devon. Frequent in the 16th. cent. Two Folefords at Great Fulford in 1332 ( and half a dozen other places in Devon).

French (Ashburton)

Much like Ford but in Newton Abbot, Totnes & Honiton. Common back to 1332.


Very much Totnes & Newton Abbott in 1881 with only a little diffusion. One in 1332.


A Devon/Cornwall name pair in 1881, with the S version more in Cornwall & the Z version more in Devon. Six in 1332.

*Gale (Tiverton)

A southern England name with highs on the Isle Of Man, Bridport and Newton Abbot, but the earliest record is 1238 in North Molton.

Gammon (Ilfracombe, Barnstaple)

A high number in Barnstaple in 1881 but widely distributed across England with no obvious focus. Various possible early Devon examples, Gambon, Gamonere, Galmeton (Galmpton-the place?) in 1332 and ten in Tudor Subsidy so I accept this as a Devon name.


No obvious pattern to the 1881 distribution with high points in Kendal, Devon, Cambridgeshire & London but present in Devon 1332..


Virtually confined to Devon (Gibbin is Wales & North of England while Gibbens is Kent & Abingdon). Gibbons is in Stoate's index to the Tudor Subsidy, but neither Gibbon or Gibbons is really a Devon name in 1881 & none seen in 1332?


Southern half of Devon; Plymouth & St. Thomas have highest numbers. One in Tudor Subsidy and a Giddeleghe in 1332.

*Gilbert (Holsworthy)

Highest in the Midlands (Birmingham & Leicester) but also high in Cornwall and Holsworthy. Common in the Devon Tudor Subsidy. Present in 1332.


Devon & Somerset, no obvious focus in 1881. A couple of examples in Tudor Subsidy but none in 1332.


Devon & Cornwall plus some diffusion. The16th cent. record is dubious - Glevill & Glanfield? But Glomvill, Glonvyle & Glovyle present in 1332.

*Glass (Exbourne)

Looks like a Devon origin, with stepwise migration to London, dropping siblings on the way, (i.e. along the A4 corridor) and an outpost in North East England. In half a dozen Devon localities in 16th cent. None in 1332.


Western Devon in1881; Holsworthy, Okehampton, Tavistock & Plymouth. Curiously, while Gloyn is fairly limited to this area, Gloyne is quite scattered across Britain, with highs in Denbigh & Yorkshire as well as a reasonable number in Devon. Stoate indexes 14 Glawens for the Tudor Subsidy but this name does not appear in the 1881 Census.

Goodridge (Totnes)

Scattered, but one of the 3 or 4 isolated concentrations is in Devon at Totnes. At several places in 16th cent. Nine in 1332.


Devon & Cornwall plus a group in the Home Counties. More than a dozen places in Tudor period have Goss or Gosse. Some possibles in 1332 like Goos at Topsham as well as Gosse at Shaugh.

Gorwyn (Exeter)

Three-quarters of all Gorwyns lived in Crediton in 1881; the rest had got as far as Taunton, Tiverton or Okehampton. No early examples seen.

Greenslade (Tiverton, South Molton)

Devon & Somerset plus diffusion. Half a dozen places in Tudor era & a couple in North Tawton Hundred in 1332.


In 1881 at Okehampton and a very little diffusion to adjacent Poor Law Unions in Devon. Three recorded in 1332, two at Witheridge & one at Tavistock.


Tight concentration in East Cornwall & South /West Devon, frequent from Bideford & into Stratton and frequent from Totnes westward to St. Germans & Liskeard, but virtually absent from East Devon and Exmoor, Crediton, Okehampton & Barnstaple Districts. Only one found in 1543 at Tavistock & none in 1332.


South-east Devon in 1881, Axminster, Honiton, Exeter & St. Thomas. A dozen records in Tudor Subsidy.


A Dorset name, diffusing from Bridport/Beaminster into the south and east of Devon. Not seen in 16th. cent nor in 1332 in Devon.

Hamlyn (Ashburton)

Although this has been called a Dartmoor name ( see Cottle), in 1881 Newton Abbot had twice as many as Bideford which, in turn, had twice as many as Tavistock. Okehampton had only half as many as Tavistock. In the Census of 1851 this name was scattered but with focii at Manaton, Woolfardisworthy/Clovelly, & numbers in Plymouth. Half a dozen in 1332.


Scattered across England - the main high points are south Cornwall, north Devon, Gloucester, and Yorkshire. Present in the Tudor subsidy, and a Hanecok was at Ashford in 1332.

Hannaford (Kingsbridge, Ashburton)

Most at Totnes, Newton Abbott, Kingsbridge in 1881. One as Hanaford at Bishops Tawton in 1332.

Harding (Barnstaple)

Widely distributed across England, in Devon there were high numbers in Barnstaple in 1881; in 1332 only 1 in South Pool (as Herdyng) but Herding and Harding appear just north of Exeter in the Eyre of 1238. At Sidmouth in 1269 and Coombe Raleigh, Awliscombe etc in Tudor times.


In 1881 highest numbers were in Birmingham and London (Lambeth) but there were also high density patches in the south-west, in Cornwall more than Devon, present in some numbers in Tudor Lay Subsidy lists of both counties, but not found in 1332 tho there is a Harry. There is a Heriz in 1238.


Hartnell is Devon & Somerset, higher frequency in Taunton, Wellington etc but also high at Honiton while Hartnoll is north Devon (Barnstaple) in 1881. Present in Tudor Subsidy.

*Harvey (Exeter, Moretonhampstead)

Widely distributed; the south western high points are Penzance and Newton Abbot. Common in the Devon Tudor Subsidy but not obvious in earlier records apart from one in Exeter in 1403.


Perhaps surprisingly this is a south of England name with no significant high points in Devon in 1881. Frequent in Tudor times and at Teignmouth and Cullompton in 1332. Some sign of an intrusive S creeping in during the Tudor period e.g. Hawkyns in Milton Abbot but Hawkyng in Tavistock.

Haydon (Exeter)

Eastern Devon plus diffusion. Frequent in 16th. cent. May be masquerading as Hydon which is frequent in the earlier records. In 1881 Hydon is a rare surname found mainly in Warwick.


Devon & Somerset in 1881 with highest numbers in Newton Abbott & Totnes but well spread into England with clusters in Cheshire & Surrey. Present in 1332.


Possible confusion with Hydon &/or Haydon in older records. As Heddon in 1332? See Heddon


Devon + Somerset but Heale has a slightly more western tendency within Devon than Heal. Hele is even more southerly with a focus at Totnes. Many in the Tudor Subsidy. Variants frequent in 1332.


I found only 5 Healths in the 1881 census, none of them anywhere near Devon. A puzzle-- is it a Typo for Heath? See Heath in my additions.

Heaman (Dolton)

South Molton & Torrington in 1881.


Two centred - Stratton in Cornwall (& diffusion thence into Devon) and at Maldon in Essex with diffusion into Suffolk. A Heird occurs in Devon in 1332.


Devon ( Torrington) & Bucks (High Wycombe & Amersham, Hearne is as Hearn but many more in the Bucks group. Hern is obviously a Devon name. In eight places in Tudor times but only seen in 1332 as Hurne & variants.

Heddon (Stratton)

I do not see this as other than a variant of Headon/Hydon/Hidon though to be strictly accurate it does look as tho' Headon /Heddon is North Devon/ Cornwall and Hydon/Hidon is Somerset from the 1881 Census but is Haydon distinct?

Heggadon (Lew Down)

In 1881 two thirds of the Heggadons are at Okehampton. (Only one escaped from Devon - but only as far as Launceston!) As Heghedon in 1332 at Ashwater.


The I variant is an East Devon name with diffusion into Somerset & Dorset, the Y variant is spread along the coast, especially at Plymouth and Portsmouth. Other variants found back to 1332 include Helier & Helyere etc.

Helmer (Kingsbridge)

In 1881 most are at Kingsbridge but there is also an isolated cluster in Teesdale. Grenwich & Bishops Stortford also show smaller isolated clusters. Helmer does occur 7 times in the Tudor Subsidy.

Hext (Ashburton)

Newton Abbott & Totnes plus minor spread in 1881. Nine in Tudor Subsidy.

Heyward/Heywood (Bideford)

In 1881 Heywood is a Lancs name, Haywood is the north Midlands - Staffs, Derby, Yorks. Hayward is across England but relatively few in Devon and Heyward is also well spread but with some significant numbers in Devon. However it is a Newton Abbott name rather than a Bideford one, as Guppy said. Several Hey-/Hay- or -wode/-ward variants in 1332 & a dozen of each in the Tudor Subsidies.

Hillson/Hilson (Ivybridge)

Plympton, & then the Soke of Peterborough & Lancs are the 1881 focii for Hillson but Hilson is high in Plymouth, Bedford, Huntingdon etc. For neither are there any obvious forerunners in earlier records.

Hill (South Molton)

Widely distributed, with higher numbers in Plymouth and Newton Abbot, i.e. the south of Devon rather than South Molton, though there is an "atte Hille" there in 1332.

Hockridge (Bideford)

Bideford & Holsworthy in 1881. I have seen no early records but the distribution pattern is that of a locative surname, named from a farmstead in the Bideford area.

Honnibal (Honiton)

I do not think of this (or Honeyball, which is a Suffolk name) as a Devon name, it is more Chippenham & Wellington.

Hodder (Kingsbridge)

Devon and Dorset. Not found in Tudor Subsidy nor in 1332 but other Hod & compounds do occur.

Hodge (Newton Abbot)

Hodge is Devon & Cornwall (plus groups in Kent/Sussex & Lancs), butHodges is not really a Devon name, more Dorset/Somerset. Singular abundant in Tudor record. Not found in 1332.


Devon & Cornwall, especially in the south, with diffusion through Somerset. Some confusion occurs with Hoopel & Hoopell, which is a Kingsbridge name, and some with Hopper, which is surprising as it is a north and east, coastal name, present in Durham, Gateshead, Sunderland, South Shields, Scarborough, and less frequently down to Kent, in the Medway & Dover. Hooper is frequent in Devon records back to 1238, the first 5 people recorded with this name are all in East Devon (4 in Sidmouth, 1 in Honiton) but it is present across Devon, Somerset & Dorset in some numbers by 1332 so may be presumed to have begun at several points in this area.


In 1881 the highest numbers were at Bideford & Torrington. In 1851 there were three clusters: one by the place of the name by Crediton, another near Bideford and a smaller one on the Somerset boundary. In 1544 Hokeway occurred in Crediton Hundred, at Stockleigh Pomeroy and Down St. Mary.

Horton (Ivybridge)

A Birmingham name in 1881 but with a high in Plymouth, Only one place with 2 Hortons in1545/6 and that is Silverton; one record, at Exeter in 1316 and several in 1238 but none in the 1332 Subsidy.


Somerset and Devon boundary - Bedminster, Bridgewater, Taunton Wellington, Honiton---the "pays" of the Blackdown Hills? But only one at Holcombe Rogus in 1545. Not in 1332?

Hurrell (Ivybridge, Kingsbridge)

In 1881 two groups: South Devon & Essex/Suffolk/Norfolk. Hurell occurs in 1544 & Horile in 1332 but remember Horrill & Horrell also appear in Devon. See my additions.


In 1881 is a south Devon name, Newton Abbot, Totnes, St. Thomas, plus Torrington and some diffusion to Wellington & Chard. Curiously Hutchins is clearly a Hants/Berks name and this is the form used by Stoate in the Devon Tudor Subsidy. Note it is usually plural in Devon; the singular is a Dunmow (Essex) name but the similar Hunkin/ Hunkins both occur together in Devon (admitted the singular is more common in Cornwall).


Mainly south Devon in 1881, Plymouth to Totnes. A few in the same area in the Tudor records but Huxham, the place, is in Wonford Hundred just north of Exeter, where there were three people called Hoxham who paid tax in 1332.

Huxtable (Barnstaple, Ilfracombe)

In 1881 is found across Devon and into Somerset, and across to south Wales but the greatest number are in Barnstaple district. As Huckstaple/Huckestable in Tudor record at West Down, East Buckland, Challacombe & particularly at Charles. Place in East Buckland.


In 1881 is South Devon & Dorset, plus some in Somerset, and clusters at Bromsgrove and Portsea ( a cluster at Portsea is typical of many Devon names - presumably an influence of the Navy). SeeIreland in my additions.


Not really a Devon name, more frequent across the rest of the country rather than the south-west though there are some numbers in Dorset & Somerset. Isaac, however, is highest in North Devon and South Wales. See my additions.


Significant dispersed groups in 1881 suggest four or five separate points of origin for Jackman, one of which is Devon where there are high numbers in Totnes and Tavistock. However in 1881 Jack is a Scots name, most abundant in Lanark, Jacka is a less common name of west Cornwall, Jackaman an infrequent name in Suffolk/Essex borders, Jacks a Shropshire name, while the abundant Jacksons are mainly in the north (Lancs/Yorks) and Jakeman is a name of middle England ( Birmingham, Oxford, Worcester) and Jakes is a Cambridge name. Nevertheless both Jakes and Jackman occur with reasonable frequency in the Tudor records for Devon.

*Jeffrey (Bideford)

Occurs in Devon in 1881 but is widespread across England with high points in the east; with an S is Wales (North & South), --ies is characteristic of middle England. Not seen in the Subsidies.

Jewell (Bideford)

Cornwall & Devon esp. the north. Frequent as Jule in Tudor times & a Jul at Cornworthy in 1332.


Mainly in the IOM & Lancs in 1881. There are some in Devon but not enough, I would have thought, to suggest an origin here but Kelly is numerous in 16th. cent. Devon, four are recorded in 1332 and one, a Kelli , in 1238. There are places called Kelly (near Milton Abbott and north of Callington) in our area.


In 1881 is a Devon, Dorset and Somerset name most frequent at Tiverton, with Carslake a less abundant variant of East Devon (Honiton). Carselak occurs at Chettiscombe (Tiverton) in1332 and Stoate lists several in the Tudor Subsidy as Carslake

Kingwell (Ivybridge)

South Devon, Plymouth, Plympton, Totnes, Newton Abbott. Kingwall and Kingwill are both less common variants, also found in south Devon. Stoate indexes all variants under Kingwill.

Knapman (Exeter)

South central Devon particularly Newton Abbott & Totnes. Four entries in Tudor Subsidy.


Well spread with high points in Devon & Norfolk. Frequent in the Subsidies back to 1332.


Mainly in Newton Abbott Poor Law Union in 1881, more common in Tudor record as Lamshed. In my experience a Bovey Tracy name.


Devon, Lanark & Lancs in 1881, highest at Blackburn, high at Preston too.

but three Devon Poor Law Unions in the first four in frequency. Frequent in the Devon records back to 1332 (40 entries) so must assume three dispersed points of origin.


Devon, Cornwall & Somerset. Numerous in 16th. cent but only three in 1332.

Langman (Roborough)

West Devon, Tavistock/Launceston in 1881. Plympton & Rockbeare in 1332.


Kingsbridge & Newton Abbott as the centre in 1881, one at Ippelpen in 1332.

Leach (Morchard Bishop)

Again widespread but with highs in Devon & Lancs. Presumably represented by Leche back to 1332 in the Subsidies.


Highest numbers at Newton Abbott but very widespread across England, high also in Staffordshire & Somerset, in a pattern which I find difficult to explain unless it be migration from Devon. Four as Leer in Tudor Subsidy.

Lee (Crediton)

In 1881 was widely distributed particularly in the north of England which makes the cluster in Devon stand out: more of this name in Newton Abbot but the higher density was at Crediton. Recorded in Devon back to 1332. (esp. as variants Leghe, Leagh, Lyghe etc). Lea & Leigh, however, are from Lancashire. (see Ley).

Lerwill (Barnstaple)

Barnstaple in 1881. Four as Lerewill in 1554 but this variant does not appear in 1881.


A south Devon name in 1881; three in 1554.


Torrington in 1881: two Letherent in 1554, one in Great Torrington, the other at Langtree in Shebbear Hundred.

Ley (South Molton)

Indexed with Lee & Legh by Stoate in 1554 Subsidy, variants in 1332 include Legh(e), Lyghe, Lygha, Leagh, Leye, & Leie. Most frequent at Barnstaple & Bideford in 1881 but also frequent in Exeter & St. Thomas. Not widely spread outside Devon in contrast to Lee & Lea.

Lidstone (Kingsbridge)

Kingsbridge & Totnes in 1881; five in 1544.

Littlejohns (Bideford)

Most are in the London area in 1881 with significant numbers in Devon but Plymouth and Exeter rather than Bideford. However I feel that this is a Devon name which has "over-dispersed" in that it is all the obvious destinations for Devon migrants which have significant numbers of Littlejohns e.g. London, Bristol, Portsea & south Wales. Eight in 1554.

Loosemoor/Loosmoor (South Molton)

Most in South Molton in 1881 but found across Devon with a tendency to the north. Seven in 1544.

Loveridge (Axminster)

An East Devon/Dorset name ( Axminster, Honiton) in 1881 but well spread into middle England; presumably represented by Laverace in Tudor Devon tho' this is at Tavistock and two as Loverage in 1554. No obvious variants in 1332.

Lovering (Barnstaple)

Barnstaple & Honiton in 1881. Four in 1332.

Luscombe (Ivybridge, Kingsbridge)

South Devon in 1881 esp. Kingsbridge & Newton Abbott. A score in Tudor Subsidy. Present in 1332. Several places called Luscombe in S. Devon.

Luxton (Wembworthy, Winkleigh)

Torrington & Crediton highest in 1881 but throughout Devon into Somerset. A central band in 1851. Six in Tudor Subsidy. There are places of this name at Winkleigh and Upottery.

Madge (Exbourne)

Very clearly a Devon name on the 1881 distribution, centred at Crediton. But what are its roots? Half-a-dozen possibles, as Magge or Maige in 1544 or as Magge in 1332? Magg is a rare name by 1881 and Maggs is Bristol to Bath. Any confusion with Mudge?

*Mann (Ashburton)

An East of England name with a Devon high in Totnes. Occurs frequently in Tudor Subsidy, less so in 1332.

Manning (Chulmleigh, South Molton)

Widespread, but a SW tendency in that Devon/Dorset/Somerset are higher than average. Frequent in Tudor records but only one, at Teigncombe, in 1332.


East Devon & into neighbouring parishes of mid Devon. Similar in 1544. Presumably originating near Tiverton where there is both an East and a West Manley.

Marks (Honiton)

Cornwall & Devon. Mark found at eight places in the Tudor Subsidy & some plural e.g. Markes at Topsham, Markys at Tiverton, Marckes at Slapton but Marke at Paignton, Torrington & Braunton. A Mark at Tiverton in 1332.


A Devon/Cornwall name in 1881, andMaunders scattered widely outsideDevon. However Maund is a Worcester name.


A southern English name with a high frequency in the South West especially Cornwall and Devon. The earliest record I know of (1332) is from Lympstone ( unless a Mei in 1238 is really a May), although I think of it as a Tamar valley name. Numerous records in the Tudor Subsidies for both Devon & Cornwall. Maynard

Mainly about London but there are some in Devon. Common in the Tudor Subsidy, Maynard was in Tavistock in 1332.


Focus on Tiverton & diffusion there from in 1881, Melluish is slightly more southerly. Half a dozen Tudor records and one at Melhuish Barton (Tedbourne) in 1332.


Devon & into Cornwall. At five places in Tudor Devon & one (Whitestone) in Cornwall. Medelonds at Hatherleigh in 1332.


A Cornish name, diffusing into Devon, presumably from Metherell (between Calstock & Callington), which has been going on for some time as there are several Metheralls paying tax in Devon in 1544.

Mildon (Tiverton)

South Molton, Tiverton & Newton Abbot in 1881. Possibly from Meledon in Okehampton in 1332 but Meldon is a v. rare name found at Honiton in 1881 and the only Mildon in the Tudor Subsidy is at Kingsbridge.


In 1881 is well spread across England but does appear to be a Devon/Cornwall name with highest nos at Redruth, Bideford, Launceston & Holsworthy. A dozen recorded in the Tudor Subsidy.


Well spread (with the highest no. of Milman in Cleobury Mortimer) but some numbers in Devon at Plymouth, Tavistock & Newton Abbott in 1881. One at Halberton in 1332 & three in the Tudor Subsidy.

Mogford/Mugford (South Molton)

I suspect two distinct names, both occur in Devon & South Wales, but Mogford is more at Tiverton & Newport (Mon.) while Mugford is more in Totnes & Newton Abbott. Eight noted in Tudor Subsidy as Mogford, mainly around Tiverton and one as Mugford at Hartland. Two at Tiverton in 1332 as Moggeford. There is a place Muckford at Bishops Nympton which was once called Moggeforda.


Generally distributed throughout England, no particular high density or number in Devon but recorded here back through time to 1332 (usually as More).

Mortimore/Mortimer (Exeter)

Mortimer is widely distributed, high numbers in the north of England but also in some numbers in Devon. However Mortimore is definitely Devon. Many in the Tudor Subsidy. Three in 1332.


South Devon in 1881, Newton Abbott to Plymouth. Seven in 1544.


Kingsbridge and North Devon in 1881for Nance-- forms but Cornwall (Truro & St.Columb) for Nan- variant but this also occurs in Plymouth and Tavistock. Not seen in earlier records.


Mainly Okehampton in 1881. At Huish (Shebbear) in Tudor Subsidy.

Newberry (Honiton)

This and Newbury, are both Devon and south Wales names, plus an arc, possibly centred on Newbury in Berks. but Newbery is more strictly a name of southern Devon. Only one in the Tudor subsidy, at Musbury. None in 1332?


Across Devon with highs in north (Okehampton to Barnstape) & well spread into England in 1881. Many records in Tudor Subsidy & only one, as Nywecomena, in 1332 at Teigngrace. I do not see how a combe can be new so I wonder-- could this be "new comer" i.e. an immigrant?

Norrish (Crediton)

Crediton & Tiverton in 1881. Possible origins in a dozen Noreys, Norreys, Norreis & Noricz in 1332 & 16 listed as Norris in Tudor Subsidy but note that Norris is a Lancashire name in 1881.


Tiverton & Okehampton are the two focii in 1881. The Tudor records seem to cluster in & around Black Torrington. Is there a Northam other than the one by Bideford?


Devon & Cornwall. Common in Tudor Devon. Several back to 1238 but also several, separate, places called Northcott, (e.g. in Axminster, Witheridge & North Tawton) for them to originate from..


Plympton, Plymouth, & Tavistock in 1881 i.e. south west Devon but the only Northmore in the 1544 Subsidy is at South Tawton.

Nosworthy (Exeter)

Newton Abbott predominates but also high in St. Thomas & Totnes in 1881. Earlier records seem to me to be focused on Manaton & Widdicombe-in the- Moor where Natsworthy was formerly "Hnott's worthy"(see also Postles 1995).


North Devon & Welsh borders, Nutt is central England and Barnstaple. Nott frequent in Tudor times but only one Nutt seen, at East Down. None in 1332 but several Nott compounds occur.


In 1881 ninety percent of the Oldreives (the most frequent variant) are in Totnes & Kingsbridge. Three in Tudor Subsidy.


Widespread in Devon, Newton Abbott & Bideford the two highest, i.e. no obvious centre within Devon. Eleven in 1544. The place, Paddon, is in Shebbear.


Devon esp. the eastern half with some diffusion to Somerset in 1881. Surprisingly Palfreyman is a name from Bakewell (Derbys). One in 1544.


Newton Abbott & Totnes in 1881 & three places in 1544, esp. Staverton.

Palmer (Lifton)

This is, if anything, a name more characteristic of Somerset in 1881, with high numbers in Bridgewater, Axbridge and the Bristol area but recorded in Devon back to 1332.


Across Devon but Torrington centred in 1881. Three in 1544.

*Parnell (Totnes)

Devon & Cornwall plus some spread esp in Norfolk. Parnall distinctly Cornish in distribution. Six places in Tudor Devon but one in 1332, at South Molton. Despite Parnall appearing Cornish it is found at only three places in Tudor Cornwall.

Partridge (Morchard Bishop)

A disjunct distribution with high points in Devon, Birmingham, Suffolk & Wellingborough. Quite a few in Tudor Subsidy but no obvious variant in 14th cent.

Passmore (South Molton)

Devon, Somerset & Cornwall. Many Tudor Passmores in Devon. Occurs frequently back to 1238, usually as Passemer.


Highest at Chard & into Somerset (Axbridge) but also across Devon with higher nos in east (Axminster, Honiton).


In 1881 the variant with a C is generally distributed, with slight bias to the south west and the S variant is clearly a Devon-- Cornwall name. Earlier distribution confounded in a welter of Pyrse, Pers, Pears (Tudor) & Piers, Paysse, Peres, Perys (14th cent.) etc which link with Paris - another Devon surname, presumably a denizen from France, as well as the patronymic from Peter.

Pearcey (Honiton)

Highest point is Tiverton but scattered clusters across southern England in 1881. I know of no early references in Devon.


Peek is Devon, Cornwall plus Norfolk. Peeke is South Devon but Peak(e) is not a Devon name (more Staffordshire) Peke frequent in Tudor Devon but only three refs in 1332.

Penwarden (Holsworthy)

Highest nos at Holsworthy in 1881 but looks like a Cornish name historically.


Highest at Stafford but high nos at Tavistock. Several origins? see also Parkin in my additions.

Petherbridge (Barnstaple)

Scattered in 1881 (Totnes & Torrington are the highest) but in 1851 seemed focussed in Buckfastleigh, in 1544 it is more focussed on Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Pethybridge, the place, is in Lustleigh.

Petherick (Holsworthy)

Highest at Holsworthy in 1881 but also common in Cornwall & Somerset. No obvious variants in Tudor Devon but Petheck & Pethereck are both found in Tudor Cornwall so presumed Cornish origin.


A South Wales name but also high numbers in Plymouth & Newton Abbot. No Phillips as such but Phelip & Phelp are in the Subsidies. In 1881, while Phelp has a high in Torrington, the Phelps are quite clearly Gloucester based. Pickard (Bideford)

Looks like two original centres, one at Bideford & the other at Bradford (Yorks) At three places in Tudor era & one, at Plympton, in 1332.


South Devon & eastward to Hampshire. Plenty in Tudor times but only 4 in 1332. Is confusion with Peak possible?

Pile/Pyle (Exeter)

Pile is Devon with a light scatter elsewhere. Pyle is tighter confined to Devon esp around Exeter. Ten to twelve in Tudor Subsidy. Ten to twelve in 1332.


As Pynhay & Pynnehegh in 1332, (Paignton & Uplyme). Six as Pinhay and three as Pinney in 1544 but it maybe that we have two names for Pinhay & Pinhey are Totnes & Kingsbridge while Pinney is much more scattered further east with Chard & Yeovil highs in 1881.


South Devon plus a heavy scatter. Without an S is a Wolverhampton and Birmingham name. A score of places in Tudor times. Common back to 1332 ( 16 refs then).

Powlesland (Okehampton)

Okehampton in 1881 Census. Three Pollislond in 1544, one at South Tawton, one at Bickleigh & one at Newton Abbott. A couple of Polislond at South Tawton in 1332. Powlesland, the place in South Tawton, is the likely origin.

Prettejohn/Prettyjohn (Kingsbridge)

Kingsbridge in 1881. As Preterjohn in 1544.

Pring (Honiton)

East Devon--Honiton, Taunton, Tiverton etc. In 1851 Broadhembury to Kentisbeare but more at Clay Hydon, Hemyock & Culmstock in 1544. In 1332 Preng(h) occurs at Woodbury & Honiton.


Prouse is Devon with a light scatter elsewhere. Prowse is much more confined to south Devon. Common in 16th cent. & common back to 1332.

Pugsley (Barnstaple)

North Devon and into the rest of Devon, Somerset & South Wales in 1881 with Barnstaple as its centre.

Pym (Honiton)

East Devon and at least two other centres of spread in 1881. One in Cheriton Bishop in Tudor Subsidy.

Quance (Great Torrington, Barnstaple)

North west Devon esp. Bideford & Torrington in 1881. One at South Tawton in 1332.


Devon & Cornwall plus South Wales. Common in Tudor Subsidy. A pair of records in 1332.

Rabjohns (Cullompton)

Tiverton to Newton Abbott in 1881. Not seen in earlier records.


Okehampton, Tiverton, St. Thomas in 1881. Five in 1332. Eight in 1544.


Several patches of high density, in the North East, the IoW, Cornwall and at Barnstaple. Read is in two patches---Dorset-Hants and Norfolk-Suffolk and is not a Devon name. I suspect a degree of confusion with Ridd, q.v. On the other hand there are Reeds among East Devon seamen in the Customs records circa 1300 and about 50 as Rede in the Tudor Subsidy.

Reddaway (Okehampton)

A classic Devon Name. In 1881 90% of all Reddaways lived in Devon, 50% of all Reddaways lived in the Okehampton Registration District, and the farm Reddaway in Sampford Courtney was occupied by the Reddaway family. Four recorded in 1332, one of them at Sampford Courtney. There is a Redway at Okehampton and two Rodways at Sampford Courtney in 1544.


Tavistock & Plymouth in 1881. Four in 1544, in much the same area but the two in 1332 are not.

Retter (Ottery St. Mary)

Honiton & a lesser number at St. Thomas in 1881. Not seen in earlier records but possible confusion with Rutter which is around in Tudor Devon.

Rew (Exeter)

Eastern Devon(St Thomas) thro' Tiverton northward, plus some numbers at Kidderminster. See Rowe.

Ridd (Barnstaple)

North East Devon/Somerset, or Exmoor name, centred on Challacombe.

*Richards (Barnstaple)

A Welsh name, common in Cornwall but frequent back to 1332 in Devon in the singular form of Richard.


Devon, Cornwall plus Somerset esp. found at Holsworthy. Half a dozen places in Tudor Subsidy. Three Rysdons at Jacobstowe in 1332.


Highest in Somerset but also high at Holsworthy in 1881. Only a Rutley in 1544 at Bickleigh looks like a possible forbear. Rutley mainly at Tiverton in 1881.


Cornwall spreading into Devon. Very frequent in 1544-5 and variants common back to 1332. I assume Rew & Rewe may have been confounded from time to time. In 1881 both of these are strongly Devon names.

Rowell (Newton Abbot)

Has three apparent centres: one in Devon, the others in N.E,England & the Fenland. Four (or five if Ruell) in 16th.cent. Possibly as Rowehill in Chudleigh, in 1332.


Widespread, many in S.Devon but Rowlands is virtually confined to Wales. At a dozen places in the Tudor subsidy. Rollond, & Roulond present in 1332.

Sage (Ottery St. Mary)

Devon plus Kent & Essex. Four or five places in 16th. cent. One at Polsoe in 1332.

Salter (Exeter)

Devon plus a goodly scatter. A score of places in the Tudor Subsidy. Three in 1332. Does seem centred on East Devon but see Postles for the early distribution and his explanation.


The first is high in Barnstaple, St. Thomas & Newton Abbot but also elsewhere across the country. In contrast Saunders is a south of England name with a concentration from Amersham down to the IoW and not really a Devon name.


Devon & Cornwall & scatter but neither Searl nor Searles are common in Devon. Serle/Serell common in 16th. cent records. Four Serles in 1332.

Seldon (Barnstaple)

Devon & Cornwall in 1881, highest at Barnstaple. A Seldon at Hatherleigh in 1332. The place is in Hatherleigh, too.

Sellek (Ottery St. Mary)

St. Thomas in 1881. As Selake in 1544? Selleck is not quite as frequent but much the same area in 1881 except large numbers in Plympton. See Selley in my additions.


South Devon Coast in 1881. Not seen in earlier records.

Seward (Exeter)

Scattered across England but with some numbers in East Devon(& into Dorset & Somerset) Two as Syward in 1332.

Shapland (South Molton)

North Devon, South Molton & Barnstaple, in 1881. A Shopland at West Buckland in 1544 but Shopland is more frequent in Somerset though it is spread across Devon & into Cornwall in 1881.


Eastern Devon, Exeter, Newton Abbot, both names have the same distribution. The nearest in 1544 is a couple of Sherelands but these are in the North.


South Devon & a scatter. A dozen as Shere in Tudor record. Possibly Schyre in 1332?

Sherrill Sherwill (Ivybridge)

see Sherrell in my additions.


see Shapland in my additions.


High in Devon but widespread into the North East. Frequent back to 1332.

Skinner (Barnstaple)

Very much a Devon name but with a surprising high number in Surrey, Sussex & Kent. Abundant in Tudor record and back to 1332.

Slader (North Molton)

South Molton in1881. Six refs in 1544, in North Molton, Knowstone etc. .


Two centred; one in the north of England, the other in north Devon i.e. Penrith and Barnstaple/ Bideford. Five as Sleghe in 1332 & 10 in 1544.

*Sleeman (Holsworthy)

Cornwall and a drift into Devon. Slee & Sleeman both occur in 16th. cent. Not seen in 1332

Sloman (North Tawton)

Devon, Somerset & Cornwall. Six in 16th cent. Not seen in 1332 (but Slo & Sloo occur).

Sluggett (Brandis Corner)

Holsworthy in 1881. Not seen in earlier records but two Slugs occur in the south east in 1332.

Smale (Exborne)

Torrington, Tavistock & Okehampton are the highest areas in 1881. Note that Smail and Smailes/Smales are names of the north-east (Yorks, Northumberland & Durham) but two Smales around Exeter in 1332.

Smallbridge/Smallridge/Smaridge (Barnstaple)

Seems two centred in 1881 with highs in Barnstaple and Newton Abbott. Maybe two names? The spellings in 1332 include Smallrigge and Smalrug at Little Torrington, Langtree & Rashleigh Barton in Wemworthy.

Smerdon (Ashburton)

see Smardon in my additions.


Widespread across England but very high concentration in Barnstaple & South Molton in 1881.


Devon & Cornwall. Five entries in Tudor Subsidy. Two in 1332.


Devon + Somerset and a scatter. A dozen places in 16th. cent. One Snou in 1332.


Holsworthy & diffusion south within Devon in 1881, not seen in earlier record.

Soper (Kingsbridge, Newton Abbot)

Totnes and Newton Abbott focus for diffusion eastward in1881. Thirty or more in 1332.


Taunton centred, spread thro Somerset & E. Devon; with an E is more in East Anglia but two as Sparke in Colaton Raleigh in 1332. More than a score in Tudor Subsidy.


Cornwall & Devon plus Bristol. Five or six places in 1543-5. Six or, if Sparre is a variant, eight in 1332.


Chard/Taunton/Axminster & diffusion therefrom. East Devon & Cullompton in Tudor Subsidy. None in 1332.


Tavistock/Holsworthy & spread esp. into Cornwall (or vice versa). At half a dozen places in 1543-5. Not present in 1332.


Spurrell is Tavistock but Spurle is eastern, Wellington, Axminster & Yeovil in 1881 and I can see no obvious roots to determine whether there are two names here.


Bideford & Torrington are highs in a general western Devon- -Eastern Cornwall in 1881.


Devon & spread but Squires is the more widely dispersed. At 30 places in Tudor Subsidy. Eight in 1332.

*Stacy (Holsworthy)

Very few in Devon, but a high at Bridgewater, more of those with an E are in Devon but Stacey also appears to be a Bridgewater name. Only 3 entries in the Tudor Subsidy & none in 1332.


Very much a Devon name with some diffusion into Cornwall (Stratton, Launceston) and Somerset (Williton) in 1881.


Devon plus Surrey/Sussex. Steere is similar but more confined to Guildford and Kingsbridge. Stere and Sterre occur a dozen times in the 16th. cent. Subsidy.

Stidston (Kingsbridge)

Totnes westward in S. Devon, with a high in Kingsbridge in 1881. Four in 16th cent.


Southern English with a high in Kingsbridge, frequent back to 1332 in Devon.


Devon & into Cornwall with high at Okehampton in 1881. Looks like a North Tawton centre in 1851. Four in 16th cent. look more like South Tawton.

Summers (Honiton)

Mainly Bristol to Birmingham but quite high numbers in Devon. Only one (queried) entry in 1544, but 7 Somer or Somyr in 1332.

Swain (Axminster)

A few in Devon, really a name of Derby/ Notts/ Lincs in 1881. Occurs 6 times in Tudor Subsidy and 9 in that of 1332 so is well supported as an original Devon name.


As Symons is quite a distinct Devon - Cornwall name in 1881, but Symonds is in Norfolk and the Welsh borders, Simmons is southern, especially dominant in Sussex and Simmonds is S.E.& central England. Again there seems to be an intrusive S ; many of the early records are singular ( e.g. in 1332, Honiton has both Symond and Symound').


Not seen in earlier records but clearly a Devon Name with highs in Newton Abbott & Okehampton in 1881.


North Devon. Not in Tudor Subsidy? None in 1332? Is it from Taunton?


Devon esp at South Molton but some very high nos. at isolated spots e.g. Potterspury in Northants. One Tappe in Tudor Subsidy. None in 1332.

Tavener (Exeter)

Widely spread across England & could be several origins but the high in St. Thomas & spread around Exeter make it possible it began as a name in Devon. None in 1332 but several in 16th cent, not all in the Exeter area however.

Thorn/Thorne (Barnstaple, North & South Molton)

Without the E is a Devon/Dorset Somerset name, with the E is definitely North Devon into Somerset. Abundant in Tudor era and in 1332.


Highest at Liskeard but spread westward along the southern coast well into Dorset ( Wareham & Weymouth)& to Southhampton. A score of entries in the Tudor Subsidy. Tom is less frequent, more obviously Cornish (focus at St.Columb).


South Devon , with focus on Totnes in 1881. A Topa at Ugborough in 1332 & a dozen recorded in the 16th cent.


In 1881 is Newton Abbot , Totnes, St. Thomas centred with diffusion into Somerset.

Tremlett (Crediton)

St. Thomas and diffusion into Somerset in 1881, some numbers in Crediton but not Crediton centred as Guppy implies. Milton Abbott & Lydford in the 16th cent. & two at Lustleigh in 1332 suggest this one has moved away from its origins.


Swansea, Bideford & Holsworthy in 1881. A north Devon name with diffusion into Wales & the rest of Devon. Hartland & Welcome in 16th cent. One Trikke in Lamerton in 1332.


Devon esp St. Thomas. Both Trick & Trickhay occur in 16th cent. A place called Trickey at Churchstanton (formerly in Devon, now in Somerset).

Trott (Honiton, Cullompton)

The Census evidence is for a Somerset name based at Chard which has spread but more to Axminster and not, as Guppy says, to Honiton or Cullompton. But there are Trotts in the Tudor Subsidy plus Trote & Trota in 1332.


St. Thomas & Tiverton in 1881. No certain original forms - possibly the preceding Trotts? Or Tudde of which there are two at Ottery St.Mary.

Tucker (Barnstaple)

The 1881 census data confirms Tucker as very definitely a Devon name - with some diffusion east & west. Higher numbers within Devon are at Barnstaple & Totnes, somewhat lower in Plymouth/ Tavistock area & in Honiton district. .


Newton Abbot, Exeter & St Thomas in 1881. One at Topsham in Tudor Subsidy.


Present across England in 1881 but also in high frequency in South Molton and Torrington: in the Tudor Lay Subsidy but not in that of 1332 but is recorded in Exeter in 1417.


Four centres: South Devon, Leeds/Bradford, Dunmow/Braintree, & London. Eight places in Devon's Tudor Subsidy. Eight in 1332, four of them at Harberton.


Two centres in 1881, one at Totnes the other at Tynemouth. Must surely be two separate origins. One at Paignton in 16th cent.


Stratton in Cornwall & spread into Devon. Not found in Tudor or earlier Subsidy records.


Totnes & Newton Abbott in 1881. Two in 1544: West Ogwell & Bovey Tracy.

A place of the name at Ideford.


Two centred in 1881, one in the midlands, (Birmingham, Warwick) & one in Devon (Newton Abbot, St. Thomas). Several in Tudor records, four in 1332.


Two centred in 1881, one in the north midlands, (Mansfield, Barnsley) & one in Devon ( Newton Abbott, St Thomas, Okehampton) Not seen in Tudor record but a Valencz at Teigncombe in 1332.

Vanstone (Bideford, High Hampton)

Okehampton, Newton Abbott, Bideford are the main areas in 1881; occurs in Merton & Hatherleigh in 16th century.


East Devon, Somerset to Bristol. Stoate's index gives many Venners & one Fenne for the Tudor Subsidy in Devon but Vean is frequent in Cornwall. No Venns but many Fennes in 1332.


In 1881 there is one main area encompassing Taunton, Tiverton & S.Molton and a number of scattered high points : in Cornwall at Stratton & St. Austell, and in Kent at Rye, North Aylesford, & Dover etc. Four as Venour in 1332?


Devon & diffusion, Vickery is similar but a bit more northerly. A dozen in Tudor Devon. Present in 1332.


Voaden is Okehampton & Vodden is Torrington in 1881. One Vowdon in 1544. None in 1332? Vawdon is relatively frequent in 1544 & is presumably related? In 1881 it is represented by Vawden , the largest number of which are at Tavistock but it is a rare name - only 13 in 1881. Fowden is a Cheshire/Lancs name and Fawden is a Morpeth/Alnwick name which strangely also occurs at Crediton. Is this migration or a corrupt spelling ofVawden?

Vooght (Newton Abbot)

St. Thomas & Newton Abbott in 1881. None seen in earlier records.


Uppingham & Lincs are highs but Torrington is also high in 1881, five in Tudor Subsidy. Any links with Woolland (q.v.) and similar woodland names?

Wakeham (Ivybridge)

Totnes & Kingsbridge in 1881 & a dozen in the Tudor record.


An east of England name, few in Devon. Wallin & Walling both occur in Tudor Subsidy but I believe these are separate names. Is Waller a Devon name? There is one at Crediton in 1332.

*Walter (Bideford)

Does occur but not frequent, the S variant is clearly a south Wales name. But frequent in 16th. cent. & 8 present in 1332.


Well spread across England with highs in Kent, Sussex etc but also Devon-Somerset. More than a score in 1544, barely fewer in 1332. See Were.

*Warren (Honiton)

Fairly widespread, not noticeably high in Honiton - more in South Molton & Newton Abbot. Common by Tudor times but no early references.(?) In 1332 Warin & Fitz Waryn are recorded and may be the origin of some Warrens but others are likely to have lived by or near a rabbit warren.

*Watts (Barnstaple)

Generally distributed with a high in Barnstaple. Frequent in Tudor Subsidies. I have found no early records. N.B. the Tudor records all seem to be plural - is the S not intrusive here?


Totnes in 1881, not seen in earlier records.

Webber (Chulmleigh, South Molton)

Definitely a Devon name with diffusion toward Bristol. Abundant in 1543-5 but only 3 Webber in 1332 though Webbe is more frequent. In 1881 Webb is central, southern England & Webbe is infrequent in the north, not in Devon.


Occurs in Devon & across the south of England. In the Devon record Weke is common in1544-5 and so is Wyke in 1332. Is it the same name? In 1881 Wyke is Shropshire or Yorks/Lancs/Derby, and nowhere near Devon.

Were (Tiverton)

Tiverton in 1881. Seven in 1544 & ten in 1332 but more widely spread in Devon e.g. at Kenton & Ottery St. Mary. See Ware.

Westacott/Westcott (Barnstaple)

Devon & Somerset Westacott is less frequent than Westcott and is more distinctly northern, About 20 in1332, maybe 30 in 1544 if all variants are included.


Devon & some in Cornwall, highest in Newton Abbott & Okehampton. Five in 1544. Not seen in 1332.


Tavistock & diffusion east & west. A dozen in Tudor times. Not seen in 1332.

Western/Westren (Barnstaple, Ilfracombe)

Western is Devon & Somerset esp. Tiverton, South Molton but Westren is very much Barnstaple in 1881. One at Winkleigh in 1544.


St. Thomas & Honiton in 1881. Fourteen in 1544, as Wheton. As an East Devon name may be the Whedon at Sidmouth. See Whiddon in my additions.


The highest densities in 1881 were in Dorset (Wareham), plus Wincanton, & Shepton Mallett so the appearance of significant numbers in East Devon (Axminster, Honiton & St Thomas) is not surprising. Frequent in the Tudor Subsidies ( about 70 in 1544) and in that of 1332.


Whiteaway is Newton Abbott & Totnes, Whiteway is much the same but more frequent. Six recorded in 1544 & two, at Colyton & Ideford, in 1332.

Widdicombe (Totnes)

Totnes & Newton Abbott but the less common Widdecombe is at Plymouth & St. Germans in 1881. Half a dozen in 1332 at places like Rushford Barton or Langford Barton which could be from Widecombe-in-the-moor and at Withycombe Raleigh which could be an alternative origin.

Willing (Kingsbridge)

Both Willing & Willings have a scatter of high points across England but the centre of Willing does seem to be south Devon in 1881.


The singular is highest in west Devon & Cornwall, with an S is more south Devon. Frequent in the Tudor Subsidy. Missing from 1332? There is a Willok at Broadhembury in 1332 and a Wikoc at Kenton in 1238. Found from 1429 in Exeter.


Devon & Cornwall & diffusion. About sixty in 1544. Many variants of Wille in 1332.


Newton Abbot but there were only 5 in all plus a couple of Withicombe in 1881. See Widdicombe


Kingsbridge & Tavistock but equally high in Birmingham: possible ancient migration from Witheridge? One at Wembury in 1544.

Wonnacott (Brandis Corner)

Holsworthy, Okehampton & Tavistock in 1881. Several in 1544 in north west Devon.


Okehampton & St. Thomas in 1881. What about Woodland of which there are a couple in 1544 and is Wadland etc linked?


Eastern Devon; Wreyford less common, Newton Abbott; Wreford based in Crediton in 1881. There is a Wrey Barton in Moretonhampstead.

Wroth (Kingsbridge)

Kingsbridge in 1881. Not seen in earlier records.


Widespread but high in south Devon. Wyot is frequent in Tudor times but only one Wyet in 1332.


Devon & Cornwall & some dispersal. Abundant in Tudor record. Frequent (if incl. Ya, Yo etc) in 1332.