West Country Roots


Somerset and North Devon

Brinsmeads now live all over the world.  Many are in the USA, Australia and Canada as well as the UK. However, most of them seem to have their roots in the West of England. The earliest cluster of Brinsmeads was centered around the Somerset village of Bishop's Hull, just outside of Taunton. We suspect, but cannot as yet prove, that the Devon Brinsmeads came from that line at some point.

With the exception of the Brinsmeads who left for America in the early 17th century who still live there under the Brinsmead name, or more often the American modification "Brinsmade", all the other Brinsmeads in the world descrended from one family in St. Giles in the Wood in North Devon. While there were Brinsmeads scattered throughout Devon and Somerset from the 1300's through the 1700's, and also some on the Lincolnshire - Yorkshire border, all these lines have died out. Many of these Brinsmeads, as yet unconnected to the current family tree, are detailed in the series of pages called "The Ancients".

For three centuries,  the Brinsmeads centered mostly (although not entirely) on three villages in North Devon - St. Giles in the Wood - Alverdiscott and - Weare Giffard. Our first records are of a Thomas Brinsmead, buried in May, 1626 and Agnys buried on June 27th, 1627 in St. Giles in the Wood, followed by Robert Brinsmead who married Christian Chockshead in St. Giles in the Wood in 1639.The first hundred years after Thomas and Agnes are covered on another page.

The Devon Brinsmeads - Decade by Decade

Based on our review of the original review of the parish records of these North Devon parishes we have built up a picture of the family as it grew over the years.