Names I think ought to be added to Guppy's List


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


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.


Abell is highest in Leics but also frequent in Okehampton in 1881; a Hatherleigh name in 1851, only two Ables recorded, both as servants in another household so possible mis-spelling. Able is a Norfolk name & Abel is commonest in Aberdeen. Found at Little Hempston in 1544.


St.Thomas in 1881, with diffusion into Somerset. Five variants in 1332, in the north of the county. Six in Tudor times.


An uncommon East Devon name but presumably a denizen from Somerset (most frequent at Chard in 1881). None found in Subsidies.


South Devon names. Avant is Newton Abbott & Avent is Plymouth in 1881. In 1851 Avant is more Teignbridge & Avent is in the South Hams. Avent in South Hams in 1544 but Avan, Aven & Avenant all recorded then in Bishopsteignton.


Scattered in 1851. Seem to be more in Exminster & Haytor Hundreds in Tudor Subsidies but the 1619 Babbs are in the Dawlish/Teignbridge area. In 1881 the name has highest numbers at Taunton, Stoke Damerel & Bideford. A maritime name?


East Devon, a focus in Southleigh/Colyton in 1851. In the same area in 1544.


East Devon esp. Ottery St. Mary in 1851. One in Honiton in 1544.


East Devon, esp. in Ottery St. Mary in 1851. Wider spread in Tudor period.


Backaller is an Exeter name in the 1851 Census but occurs at Axminster circa 1300. Blackaller is more a Teign valley name and occurs there in 1544.


Characteristic of Beer in East Devon, Axminster in 1881. Early examples not seen unless a Balche at Kentisbury in 1544 is relevant.


Highest numbers are at London & Newport Pagnell. Nevertheless the overall pattern does suggest a Devon origin with early, successful migration out of the county. Within Devon in 1881 the name is highest in South Molton & a bit lower at St.Thomas. In 1332 the Bodelegh family appear at Parracombe. Five references in the Tudor Subsidy.


Totnes & Kings bridge in 1881.


Widespread across England but some tendency to be higher in the south-west. Five in the Tudor Subsidy & four in 1332.


Highest in Newton Abbott & Totnes, in 1881 has strange high numbers elsewhere (e.g. Hertford) but is clearly a Devon Name. Eight references in Tudor Subsidy.


Two centres in 1881:Beds (Ampthill) & Devon (Plympton). One at Christow in Tudor Subsidy.


I believe this to be originally a Devon name but in 1881 most of the Bunkum name are in Liskeard (Cornwall) and the Buncombes are in Axbridge (Somerset). In the 17th. cent a William Bunkam was a Freeman of Exeter and another gave his name to a cottage in Hemyock.


In Devon Burgin is an Exmouth name in 1851. Burgoin is slightly wider spread in South & East Devon (Honiton, St.Thomas) and Burgoyne is yet more common & spread wider still. The statistics for the 1881 census show 1173 Burgins of which only two are in Devon and most are around Sheffield, 54 Burgoins of which 28 are in Devon and 1303 are Burgoynes - 228 of them in Devon. So from the Census data it looks like Burgoin & Burgoyne are Devon names while Burgin is a Hallamshire name. However for the index of the Tudor Subsidy Rolls Stoate gives only Burgin in his index. While these sometimes refer to Burgins there are also variants like Borgong or Burgeyn in his transcript. Again in 1619 there were Devon Burgins aplenty, in Stokenham & Blackawton as Shipwrights or Otterton & Paignton as sailors.


Has been said to be a Dorset name originating at Chardstock but the 1881 distribution implies an origin in the Crediton district.


This is a Cornish name creeping into Holsworthy & Bideford. Burnard & Bernard both occur in 1332.


Newton Abbott in 1881.Two in Tudor Subsidy, not seen in 1332.


Devon (Honiton & Newton Abbott), Nottingham (Nottingham & Basford) and Norfolk (Downham) in 1881. Occurs at Ottery St.Mary in Tudor Subsidy. Carnall also occurs in Devon but is very much more common in the Midlands of England.


St.Thomas & Newton Abbott in 1881. Many (17) in Tudor Subsidy.


A south coast name mainly in East Devon in 1851. Not seen in Tudor Subsidy but there are many early refs circa 1300 in East Devon. In 1881 there are highs are in Honiton & Axminster but the highest number are in Cheshire.


Half of the bearers of this name were in Barnstaple PLU in 1881. Half a dozen recorded in 1544.


Honiton & St. Thomas in 1881. East and Mid Devon in1851. Ten or a dozen refs in Tudor subsidy. At Salcombe Regis & Sidmouth in 1619. Many early refs, circa 1300, in East Devon. Confusion with Channin possible.


Torridge, around Woolfardisworthy in 1851. Recorded by Stoate in Boynton, Cornwall. Stratton & Holsworthy in 1881.


Totnes in 1881 (but Chudley is a Crediton name). Ashburton/Newton Abbot in 1851. More in East Devon in Tudor Subsidy. Six in 1332.


Strongly clustered in East Devon, so much focussed in Ottery St. Mary that I'm tempted to suggest the Church Hill there (aka Silver Street) as the origin. Cottle says Somerset, following a statement by Sir Winston Churchill in the 17th cent. claiming a Norman descent. This was denied by Horace Round (1930) who suggested East Down but also noted that Burke's Peerage only took the line back to a Churchill in Rockbeare. In contrast Hoskins says Broad Clyst and Bulson says Chardstock. Nowadays it may be more common further east but as one goes back in time the name is more and more an East Devon name.


Torbay & its hinterland. In 1544 is at Stoke Gabriel, Paignton etc.


Teignbridge (Bovey Tracy) in 1851 but presumably originating at Clampit in Christow where there were no less than 12 Clampits paying tax in Tudor times plus one each at Trusham & Doddiscmbleigh. Also occurs in 1332.


In 1851 is generally scattered across East & Mid Devon and much the same in Tudor times. In 1881 most are at Honiton & high numbers are at Exeter & St.Thomas. Occurs in East Devon 1332.


Crediton & Tiverton in 1881. Mid Devon in 1851.Two Cleggs in Stoate's index are probably Cliggs as Clegg is clearly a Lancs/Yorks name but these two are at East Budleigh & Membury.


In 1851Clode is general East Devon while Cload is Upottery plus Torbay and Plymouth. The earlier records are for Clodde, in East Devon in 1544.


A Crediton name. Clotworth occurs in 1332.


Stratton & Great Torrington in 1881. Most seem to be Hatherleigh & Shebbear in 1851. None seen in earlier records.


Exeter and western parts of Mid Devon plus outliers in Plymouth and Torbay. In 1544 is more in the north - Witheridge Hundred.


Although frequent elsewhere in England, shows some south-west tendency with high densities in Bridport, Axminster & Honiton. Cock & Cox occur in 1543-5. Guppy gives highest frequencies in Dorset and Somerset.


Only found at Brixham up to 1851? Not in the 1544 Subsidy but is in the Mariners list of 1619, at Brixham. In 1881 migration to Portsmouth and Guernsey is obvious.


Newton Abbot in 1881. Four in 1544 but none in 1332.


In 1881 at Tiverton & diffusion north & south. Is this from the Cruggs of 1544? They were at Tiverton, Uffculme & Witheridge.


A bi-modal distribution, at Bideford & Sidbury, See Dark (1998).


In 1881 was mainly at Bideford, Stratton & Holsworthy. Some 35 recorded in the Tudor Subsidy & found as Deyman in 1332.


South-east Devon in phone books, spread along the south coast - Plymouth, Torquay, Exeter in 1851.


Denning in Uffculme, Ottery St. Mary & Axminster, no Denne or Denman in Devon. Denning at St Marychurch in 1544 but the 1881 distribution suggests an origin in Somerset - Frome, Chard, Shepton Mallett. Denne seems Essex/Suffolk & Denny is mainly Kent.


In 1881has two centres, one in Devon the other in Surrey/Sussex. Found as Deudenay in 1332 & a possible as Deddenay at Doddiscombleigh in 1544 so may be assumed to be a Devon Name.


Distin is Totnes, Kingsbridge, Dustan is Okehampton in 1881. In 1544 three as Distayn and eight as Dustayne.


Holsworthy for Facy and Barnstaple for Facey in 1881. A dozen Tudor records.


One Fatere in 1332 but at Great Torrington whereas later Fayters all seem to be around Exmouth.


Scattered in the eastern half of Devon in 1851, East Devon & Dartmouth in Tudor Subsidy but the 1881 distribution implies a Dorset/Somerset origin.


Although it is clearly found much more often in the north and east, (e.g. frequent in Norfolk and Yorkshire), there are significant numbers in the Kingsbridge district (in Modbury and Ugborough) which have historical continuity through the parish registers & the Subsidies of both 1545 & 1332. Guppy gives Notts, and Leics- Rutland as highest.


Okehampton & Crediton highest in 1881. Eight in the Tudor record. Three in 1332.


The first accords with Hoskins description, the second is an East Devon name. Stoate records Coldsworthy which is also in the 1851 census but not in Devon in 1881(Then only one person of the name, in Bristol) I have also seen Colsworthy & Coldsworthy in East Devon. In 1619 Goldsworthy is at Exmouth, Exminster & Topsham. It has its centre of distribution in Helston & Redruth in 1881 so I suspect both spelling confusion and that there is some sea borne migration.


Occurs in Eastern Devon & Torbay in 1851 but no early records & the 1881 distribution suggests a Surrey or Sussex origin.


Holsworthy would seem to be the centre but there are high numbers of Gliddon in St.Thomas in 1881. At Pyworthy & Bridgerule in 1544. Possibly Gildene in 1332 but these are scattered & not near Holsworthy?


Axminster and East Devon in 1881. Not seen in earlier Devon records & has been called a Dorset name.


In 1881 is highest at Redruth but Newton Abbott looks like the centre of this name's distribution. More than a dozen Gribbel or Grebbell in Tudor Subsidy and as Gribbele in 1332 at Crediton. (In my experience a Gribble in the west country is a black cherry and not the mollusc.).


Grigg is mainly in Cornwall (St.Austell) & into Devon(e.g. Bideford) with some diffusion into the rest of the country in 1881. Six in Devon Tudor Subsidy & seven in the Cornish. Found in Devon as Grygga in 1332. However the slightly more common Griggs is very much an East of England name found in Suffolk, Essex & Kent. Looks like two distinct, unrelated names.


Dartmouth & Plymouth in 1851 & at Dartmouth in 1619 but suspect as an original Devon name as the 1881 distribution implies an origin in Hemel Hempstead or Berkhempstead.


St.Thomas & Okehampton highs in 1881.Five in 1544 but none seen in 1332. Places of the name at Bratton Clovelly & Huntshaw.


South Devon but more frequent in Somerset with, perhaps, Wellington as its origin or centre of distribution. Around Exeter and East Devon in Tudor times; first record I've seen is late in 13th cent. at Sidmouth, still there in 1619 and nearby in modern telephone directories.


West Cornwall and South Wales have by far the highest numbers in 1881 though it does occur in Devon. There are about 50 in the Tudor Subsidy & one at Budshead in 1332 for Devon but over 120 are in the Cornish Tudor Subsidy.


Has a strange distribution with a scatter of highs across England -Lancs, Hamps, Axbridge & the Home counties (Berks) but also frequent around Tavistock. A dozen or more can be found in Tudor times. Possibly as Hacche in 1332 in Braunton Hundred and Hacche, the place in South Molton, is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Presume multiple origins.


In 1881 these are Cornish names, with diffusion into Devon, especially Hawke (Hawk was more infrequent & scattered) but southerly in concentration i.e. Plymouth to Totnes.


High numbers at Totnes, Newton Abbott etc in 1881 but higher at Stoke-on Trent, Birmingham etc so it is not distinctly Devonian but there are half a dozen Hethes in1332 & Heythe/Haythe occur in Tudor Subsidy.


Devon (Newton Abbott) and Somerset (Williton) in 1881. About 25 in the Tudor Subsidy & many recorded in 1332.


Occurs in three clusters: one by the place near Crediton, another by Bideford and a small patch on the somerset border. In 1544 Hokeway is at Crediton, Stockleigh Pomeroy & Down St.Mary so the place is probably the point of origin.


South coast of Devon & Cornwall (St. Austell, Truro, Newton Abbott & St. Thomas) in 1881 and appears the same in both 1851 and the modern phone book. About 30 mentioned in Tudor Subsidy.


In 1881 Horrill is scattered across Devon & Cornwall, Horrell is the same but with a peak in numbers at Lauceston. About 20 Horwill (below) in the Tudor subsidy may be relevant, There is a Horile at Diptford in 1332.


Centred on Crediton in 1881 and some 20 in the Tudor subsidy but I suspect conflation with the two preceeding names. There is a place called Horwell in Colebrooke.


A Cornish name, spread into Devon in 1881. Not seen in earlier Devon records but there are three in Cornish Subsidies of 1524 & 1543.


Widely distributed across England in 1881, when in Devon there were some numbers in the Exeter area but it has been a Devon surname for 700 years: found at Topsham & Exminster in 1298 and taxed at Upton Pyne & Exeter in 1544.


North Devon & South Wales. Frequent in 16th cent. A dozen entries in 1332.


A Cornish name centred on Redruth but spreading into Devon especially Plymouth in 1881. There are a dozen references in the Cornish Tudor Subsidy but there are three in the Tudor Subsidy for Devon so must be given denizen status.


Most common in the east midlands but in Devon is found around Dawlish. At West Teignmouth in 1619; at Whitchurch in 1544.


Layman is St. Thomas centred in 1881 but Leyman is more in Newton Abbott. Three as Layman and a dozen as Leyman in subsidies of Tudor era. A Leaghman recorded in 1332 but see next.


I think there are three original names and confusion between them; Leaman is Manaton centred, Lemon is both Uffculme & Northam, Lowman mainly about Uffculme in 1851. I suggest three names from the three rivers:Uffculme Lemon & Lowman from the Lowman River, Northam ones from the Lew (a tributary of the Torridge) while Leaman comes from the Lemon river (a tributary of the Teign).


In 1851 all eight of the Heads of Households were in Ottery St.Mary.


In1851 were mainly in the Plymouth area so I infer a Cornish origin. But there are Lobbs at Cullumpton & South Molton in 1544 & there is a place of the name in Braunton. The 1881 distribution has the highest numbers in St. Columb & Bodmin.


In 1881 is at Plympton & Kingsbridge, in 1544 at Petertavy & Whitechurch (and Modbury if Luger is the same).


An east Devon name? St.Thomas & Honiton (plus Plymouth) in 1881 & the same eastern area in 1544 but in 1332 are more in the west of Devon.


Coastal migrant. In 1881 is present, in a roughly decreasing sequence, in Totnes, IOW, Poole, Portsea, Weymouth, Bridport etc. Long established in Devon; there were eight recorded in Tudor Subsidy. One at Hatherleigh in 1332.


East Devon, mainly at Honiton & Broadhembury in 1851. In the same area in 1544 but different parishes:Musbury,Awliscombe, but especially Combe Raleigh.


A name from South Wales that has been at home in Devon for 700 years. Mainly along the south coast: East Devon to Plymouth in 1851. A Morgan paid tax in Colyton in 1332 & there was a Sidmouth "shipmaster" called Dai Morgan in 1303. Found at Plymouth & Uplyme in 1544.


Moyse mainly in Cornwall, at Stratton & Launceston, and in Suffolk, with the Tavistock area a poor third. Moysey is narrowly confined to Kingsbridge. There were about ten recorded for the Devon Tudor Subsidy and a Moys at Stokenham in 1332.


Moxey is St.Thomas, Bridgewater & Exeter while Moxhay is more restricted to Newton Abbott in 1881. Eight in 1544.


South Devon, centred in Newton Abbott in 1881. Seven mentioned in Tudor Subsidy Rolls and present in 1332 e.g. at Teignmouth.


An East Devon name, before 1650 is almost confined to Yarcombe and the 1881 high is Axminster and Honiton so I doubt if it is a Dorset name moved over the border tho the border is one that moves!.


Barnstaple in 1881 & High Bray in 1544.


Most in the north west & into Stratton/Launceston in 1881. In 1851 is at Bradworthy, Welcome, Hartland etc. But in 1544, with the exception of one at Great Torrington, Oke is found more in the south east e.g. Aylesbeare, Dunchideock etc.


Devon & Cornwall in 1881, centred on Tiverton. Five in 1544 including one at South Tawton & at South Tawton in 1332.


Surprisingly high numbers at Barnstaple for a name, Parkin, which is really from northern England(note that Parkins is at Hitchin & Luton & the most frequent, Perkins, is in a band from the Severn to the Humber) Stoate's index for Devon gives 16 as Parkin & none as Perkin or Parkyn. Yet a Parkyn was an Exeter Butcher in 1519, Parkyn was a Cornish name in 1881 and Stoate's index to Cornish Subsidies gives about 40 as Parkin in Cornwall too. The first fewI checked on, in both the Devon & Cornwall Subsidy volumes, were all Parkyn in the text. So - I guess that the usual SW (mainly Cornish) form was Parkyn which has been eroded to Perkin & Parkin as it diffused eastward to meet Perkin(s) or Parkin(s) coming west.


Somerset name, centred on Wellington, a few have moved into Devon in the Tiverton area in 1881. But there are eight places in the Tudor Subsidy, like Bishops Nympton, Georgham, Ilfracombe, Fremington with Parkmen paying tax in Devon so it is an ancient migration.


Scattered over the south west in 1881,with the highest numbers elsewhere (Lancashire, Nottingham, Newmarket) but in Devon prior to 1750, was most frequent in Teignbridge e.g. in 1544 was at Chudleigh, Dawlish, Ashcombe, & in Kenton in 1619. A Pare at Stokenham in 1332.


In 1851 Perryman is scattered across Devon but Perring is very local to the east of the South Hams. Perynn at Dartmouth in 1619 but both at Georgham. However in 1881 Perrin is hardly a Devon name, except for some at Barnstaple it is common further east & north in England.


Newton Abbott (and Leicester) in 1881. Five given as Pincent in 1544. Found as Peynsend in 1332?


Some Pyn or Pynne, in 1332, may be Pines rather than Pinneys. Stoate's Index gives 30 Pine, 6 Pinhay, & 3 Pinney. By 1881 Pinhay & Pinhey are rare names of the Totnes District. Pine is common & widespread but most are at Totnes, Tiverton & Barnstaple. Pinney is a Chard/Yeovil name but some numbers at Axminster & Honiton. The only Pinhay I know in Devon is PinhayFarm & Pinhay Bay, almost on the Dorset border, but I also know these areas were formerly quite often called Pinney so suggest this as the origin of Pinney with a separate origin for Pinhay/Pinhey in Totnes and Pine at (?) Tiverton. i.e. three names in all.


Tiverton centre in 1881. In 1851 is Mid Devon but the modern phone books show a concentration in SE Devon. Is Pookhayne in Southleigh significant?


Kingsbridge & Totnes in 1881. Four in 1332. Possible confusion with Pitt?.


St. Thomas in 1881. No early examples seen. Is it a form of Prideaux?


Bideford, Swansea & Barnstaple in 1881. Prust & Prest, plus combinations, occur frequently back to 1332 when there was one Prust at Great Torrington.


Newton Abbott & St.Thomas in 1881. Scattered in 1851. In Drewsteignton in 1544 & 1332. A place Puddicombe in Shilstone.


Tiverton in 1881. Two as Queynt(e) in 1332 and one Quancz at South Tawton.

Randle/Rundle and vars.

In 1851 Randell has a few scattered examples in S. Devon, Randall is in Plymouth, Stokenham & Uplyme, & Randle is on the south coast plus Barnstaple. Rundle, however looks like diffusion into Devon from Cornwall. Bedevilled by spelling variation, e.g. Rondell, Randell & Rendell all occur in Tudor East Budleigh and there was a Rondel in 1332 at Totnes. The 1881 distributions confirm Rundle and Rundell as Cornish, Rendle and Rendell as Devon but Randal has its highest numbers at Pontefract and Hartlepool & highest densities at Wilmslow and the New Forest. Randle is both South Devon and the Midlands. See also Yandle .


Scattered across Devon but absent from the South Hams & Teignbridge in 1851. If an origin is sought for this apparently locative surname it might be North Tawton on the Census evidence or Monk Okehampton on the Subsidy evidence.


East Devon, centred on Colyton in Censuses but only found at Tavistock in 1544. All living Restoricks are said to descend from one married couple who settled in Axmouth in 1615 but the ultimate origin of the name is in a Cornish farm called Restowrack in St.Dennis.


The high density in Plymouth in 1851 may imply recent immigration from Cornwall. In 1881 it is still a West Cornwall and North Wales name. nevertheless there are maybe a score of Tudor records in Devon. The form without an s is also frequent back in 1332.


East Devon with diffusion into Mid Devon & Teignbridge At Sidmouth in 1619 and possible origin at Venn Ottery - there in 1332.


St.Thomas & Honiton in 1881. East & Mid Devon in 1851. Not seen in earlier records. Looks like a Clyst valley name.


Devon & Cornwall, centred on Tavistock in 1881. In the Tudor Subsidies is at Germansweek & North Petherwin.


I would guess these all stem from "saelig" meaning happy or cheerful and they appear to follow one another across England (cf Yandle) e.g. Selleck is at Plympton St.Mary,Sellek is at St.Thomas, Selly is at St.Thomas & Tiverton, Selley is St.Thomas & South Molton, Sellick is at St.Thomas & Bridgewater, Sealey is Bridgewater & Wells while Seeley is Suffolk & Warwick, & Seely is Norfolk & Lincs. But some have a very restricted earlier distribution - in 1851 Selleck was centred on Shaugh Prior & Selley on Kenn. Stoate indexes Selake, Selly & Sely (18 entries) for 1544 and there are six possibles, as Sele,Selle, & Sely in 1332.


Newton Abbott in 1881. Torbay & its hinterland in 1851. In 1544 is mainly in Teignbridge especially at Kenton.


Totnes in 1881. Six indexed as Sholebeare in Tudor Subsidy.

Sherrell/Sherill/Shirwell etc

A number of variants in the Plymouth area from the Phone books and Census evidence. A place with the Sherrell name is in Dunterton near Seccombe but may be secondary while Shirewell is north of Barnstaple. Perhaps convergence of two names?


Torbay & its hinterland in 1851, majority in Brixham. At Widecombe & Ilsington in 1544. Smerdon or Smardon Down is at Petertavy.


Despite the song "Widdicombe Fair" I can find no evidence of any Stewer families in Devon. In 1881 in England there was only one person of this name, near Hull. There have been some Stuers & Stures in Devon but these are virtually all in the deep south(Kingsbridge), well away from Widdicombe. .


Swete is St.Thomas in 1881 while Sweet is much more Cornwall & Somerset. Half a dozen in 1332.


Kingsbridge in 1881, South Hams in 1851 but Ottery St.Mary, Kenton. Christow & Holbeton in 1544.


Only in Ilfracombe in 1851 but I have seen East Devon references in the17th century, In 1881 is based at Wareham & Weymouth i.e. a Dorset name sporadically diffusing into Devon.


St.Thomas, Tiverton & Honiton in 1881. A dozen in 1544.


Brixham only in 1851? In 1881 mainly Totnes PLU. Slightly more spread in 1544 - at Brixham, Berry Pomeroy, Stokenham & Kingdwear.


Scattered with Newton Abbott & Exeter as the highs, in 1851 shows some concentration on the west bank of the Exe estuary like Kenton & Dawlish which continues back in time.


In 1881 is South Devon & Cornwall esp Totnes & Kingsbridge. A dozen in 1544.


A Manaton centred scatter in Devon in 1851 but it is spread across England. The 1881 distribution implies three centre of origin: one in Devon one on the Berkshire Downs & one in the Midlands.


Two centres in 1881: Cumbria & Newton Abbott. A Wallyng at Feniton in 1332.


Widely distributed across Devon, Dorset & Somerset in 1881. As Weye frequent in 1332 & back to 1238.


Newton Abbott & Totnes for Waymouth, but Weymouth is Kings bridge & Newton Abbott in 1881. Half a dozen in 1544 but not seen in Subsidy of 1332.


Newton Abbott in 1881. Ashburton plus some scatter in 1851. In Berrynarbor, Bickleigh & Manaton in 1544, also a Whedon in Sidmouth might be related but there are many Wheaton/Wheeten in early 17th. cent. Sidmouth.


In 1851 seems to occur in Devon only at East Budleigh & Chardstock but Wiscombe, the place, is in Southleigh. In 1881 the greatest numbers are at Chard & Sherbourne.


I am unsure about this one. Highest numbers of Woolcott are in the IOW. There are many in the London area. And there are significant frequencies Williton to Tiverton. Some 15 as Wollcot/Wollacot in Tudor times and Wollecote at Thrushelton in 1332. Hence a Devon name but though the London Woolcotts might be emigrants from Devon, might the IOW Woolcotts have a separate origin? I suspect that the Wollacotts may be a different line - they are mainly Newton Abbott & Okehampton in 1881.


Holsworthy, Okehampton, & Tavistock in 1881. Four in 1544.


Two main groups in 1881: one in Macclesfield/Leeds, the other Tavistock/Launceston plus a good scattering e.g. in Essex at Lexden. Six in Devon in 1332 so I would infer two points of origin.


None of the OO variants (Wooton, Wooten, Wootton) seem Devonian to me but Wotton is clearly a south Devon name with highest numbers in Newton Abbott & Totnes. Mentioned in Tudor record some 15 times. Ten in 1332.


South Hams coast, west from Stokenham in 1851. Seems South Huish centred in 1544. At South Huish and Malborough in 1619. In 1881 highest nos. are in Plympton St. Mary then Kingsbridge, Totnes & Plymouth. A few also occur at Barton Regis, Hull, the Wirral & Guernsey=coastal migrant?

Yandle complex - Yandle/Yandel/Yandell/Yendle/Yendell

Cf. Randle etc The 1881 distributions suggest each Poor Law Union has its own preferred spelling: Exeter=Yendall, South Molton=Yendell, Barnstaple=Yendle, Taunton=Yandall, Wellington=Yandell, Williton=Yandal. I have not found early examples.


Most in Barnstaple in 1881 but the 1851 distribution is suggestive of diffusion from Zeal Monarchorum. If zeal is from a monastic cell then this name might be thought to be represented by Selle, in 1332 but this only seems to occur in East Devon and may be the beginning of Selley q.v. A Zayle occurs at Plymstock in 1544 and to make confusion more confounded a Zelley occurred at Pilton. Remember also that Zeal, as a place name, has been variously written e.g. Sele, Seyle etc.