St. Giles in the Wood, Devon, England
The Village History
The St. Giles Millennium Society published a book - St. Giles 2000 - which includes quite a lot of detail about the history of St. Giles in the Wood, although very little about the Brinsmeads, who had all left by the turn of the twentieth century. However, many of the current residents descend from the Brinsmeads through the female line. St. Giles in the Wood is lucky to have an on-line Parish clerk - Bill Cooke who maintains a web site devoted to the village records.
Gravestones and Monuments in the Church (large .pdf file)
The Parish Church
The grave yard at St. Giles in the Wood contains several dozen Brinsmead gravestones. Visit our photographic archive of all the Brinsmead gravestones, which are deteriorating and many churches, the church has begun to move them aside.
The first Brinsmeads in St. Giles
So far we have not found records to establish exactly when the first Brinsmead moved to St. Giles in the Wood. They were clearly there by 1620 since church records record births at that time. While this is not certain, it appears that all the Brinsmeads in St. Giles descended from one family.
A taste of some of the village life can be obtained from the newspaper accounts of the time. Those articles related to the Brinsmeads are included in two "Special Editions" of the North Devon Journal.
Several members of the family left St. Giles in the Wood for Australia. This letter was published in the North Devon Journal soon after it was received.
We have been able to trace the locations of the farms and village houses the Brinsmeads lived in from the early tax records (from 1780 - 1832) and from the census records (1841 - 1891 census). We have copies of these records for the entire village. Should anyone want a look up for another name, please e-mail us your request.
Click on the thumbnails below for some more pictures of the village of St. Giles in the Wood.