The Devon Brinsmeads decade by decade  




The American colonies issued The Declaration of Independence signed on July 4th, 1776.

Robert Brinsmead died in St. Giles in the Wood in 1774, leaving Grace, his widow.

Between 1770 and 1780 Henry and Francis' line began to grow as their sons Henry and Thomas married and started families. During this period Francis Brinsmead (Henry having died in 1741) and her sons lived in Alversdiscott, a small village to the north of St. Giles in the Wood. Francis died in 1775 and was buried in St. Giles in the Wood.

Henry Brinsmead married Elizabeth Brooke of Alverdiscott on July 27, 1774. They had only one child, Mary, born in 1776.

Henry's younger brother Thomas Brinsmead married Susannah Meddledon. No record has emerged of their marriage. However, they went on to have a very large family, starting with Henry in 1773, Thomas in 1777 and Robert in 1780.

1780 is the first year for which St. Giles in the Wood tax rolls are available. It shows Henry and Thomas Brinsmead jointly owning the freehold to Dodscott (sometimes knows as Clarke's Dodscott) which is a short distance to the east of St. Giles Village. From the name, we suspect that the farm was inherited through their mother Francis Brinsmead (nee Clarke) who died in 1775. Thomas obviously left Alverdiscott and took possession because his son Robert was born back in St. Giles in the Wood.

Henry remained in Alverdiscott where he was the village blacksmith. He and his wife Elizabeth signed virtually every wedding register there for almost 40 years.  

The family in 1780 looked like this.

Robert and Grace's line

Grace (age 79)

Thomas Barns (age 60) and Grace (age 57), presumably still living in Dalton, Devon (not researched so far and not tracked beyond this decade)

  • Ann Dalton (age 29)

Henry (age 60) and Ann

  • Mary (age 37)
  • Elizabeth (age 33)
  • Ann (age 31)
  • Robert (age 24)

Robert (age 53) and Jane (by 1780 renting the "town tenement" farm from Dennis Rolle Esq.)

  • Mary (age 20)
  • John (age 15)

Margaret (age 47)

Henry and Francis' line

Richard Budd (widower, spouse of Francis) 
  • Mary Budd (age 19)

Henry (age 44) and Elizabeth

  • Mary (age 4)

Thomas (age 40) and Susannah (age 26)

  • Henry (age 7)
  • Thomas (age 3)
  • Robert (newborn)



Captain Cook sailed on several major voyages over this decade. In 1772 he sailed south to New Zealand and Antarctica. In 1778 he visited  the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and then the West coast of North America. Cook died in 1779.

Gainsborough painted the Blue Boy in 1779, nine years before his death in 1788

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