The Devon Brinsmeads decade by decade  



The Ordnance of England was created in 1791. Their first map was the Mudge map of Kent published ten years later in 1801. 

By the 1790’s we start to see the growth of much larger Brinsmead families. The tax records show them renting additional farms and prospering generally, although the end of the decade was desperately poor. However, this same growth rate would subsequently lead to too many people on too small a land base. This in turn explains the later wave of migration to London, to Australia and to a lesser extent, Canada.

Robert and Grace's line

In 1791, Grace Brinsmead, nee Vodden, the matriarch of the line died at age 90. Robert’s wife Jane (nee Bennett) died in 1795.

John and Mary Brinsmead had four children, Elizabeth, born in 1791, Robert, born in 1794, Mary, born in 1797 and Rebecca, born in 1799.

This branch of the family in 1800 looked like this:

Henry (age 80) and Ann

  • Mary (age 57)
  • Elizabeth (age 53)
  • Ann (age 51)
  • Robert (age 44)

Robert (widower, age 73) (renting the "town tenement" farm from Dennis Rolle Esq.)

Mary (age 40) and William Hookway

John (age 35) and Mary (nee Blackmore) John rents Late Allfords Farm from Lord Rolle throughout the decade.

  • Grace (age 14,daughter of John and Grace Judd)
  • Elizabeth (age 9)
  • Mary (age 3)
  • Rebecca (age 1)

Margaret (age 67)

Henry and Francis' line

Thomas and Susannah have two children in the decade, Elizabeth, born in 1793 and Francis, born in 1794. Both died a few days after their birth.

In Alverdiscott, Henry and Elizabeth’s daughter Mary married John Puddicombe in 1795.

This side of the family in 1800 looked like this:

Richard Budd (widower, spouse of Francis)

  • Mary Budd (age 39)

Henry (age 64) and Elizabeth

John Puddicombe (age 32) and Mary (age 24)

  • John (age 4)

Thomas (age 60) and Susannah (age 46) living at Clarke’s Dodscott farm

  • Henry (age 27)
  • Thomas (age 23)
  • Robert (age 20)
  • William (age 16)
  • Hugh (age 12)

On the other side of Great Torrington, in the village of Weare Giffard, the local blacksmith John Beer and his wife Elizabeth had a daughter Elizabeth in 1781.





1795 is known as The Famine Year. There was a spate of food riots in the spring of 1795. Bad harvests left wheat in short supply, raising the price of bread for a growing population. The war with France prevented imports and fears of a revolution heightened. 

The Seven Years War begins in 1796 when Britain, allied with Prussia, declared war on France and her allies Austria and Russia. 

Forward to 1800 (coming soon)

Back to 1780