WINDGEAT family trees

There's lots more information on the HOME page.

[Map] [Horrabridge tree] [Totnes tree] [Staverton tree] [Torquay tree] [Ugborough tree] [Wingett families]


Windeatt records are numerous in the semi-circle of villages and small towns that ring the southern and eastern edges of  Dartmoor.  There are also branches in the TORQUAY  area (now know to have originated from Ughborough) and an important one in TOTNES (which probably originated in Ashburton).  There is also a tree in KINGSBRIDGE which may link to the one originating in HORRABRIDGE (near Tavistock) and another on the edge in East Dartmoor which we haven't properly worked out  yet.  See the list below for further details:

Map of South Devon

The main trees we have  identified originate in areas roughly near the ringed locations on the map of South Devon below.

My own hunch is that these various trees probably all descend from a single ancestor in the 13th century when hereditary surnames began to be used - possibly he came from WINGATE FARM on the North Devon coast.  This farm is near LYNTON where there is a record of a Richard Wyndout in 1332.  He or his immediate descendants were probably involved in tin-mining on Dartmoor because not only does the surname occur in the early coinage records but it is also is very common in the Stannary towns and nearby parishes in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  We are highly unlikely to ever be able to prove this - but we can keep searching!

At some future date I would like to display full family trees in this section but it will probably take a while.  Currently I just have a small fragment of most of the trees available as a sample, although I have almost finished the Horrabridge tree (the one on which I have personally done the most research).  The six trees we have identified so far are briefly explained below - click on the title link  to access the individual pages.  Each tree is named after the village/town/or parish in Devon where it starts or has the most family members.  

The five places are shown on the map above. You can click inside the red circles to go straight to the appropriate pages or you can use the list below.   HORRABRIDGE, TOTNES AND TORQUAY are circled.  STAVERTON is near  BUCKFASTLEIGH and UGBOROUGH  is near IVYBRIDGE. 

Family Trees identified so far

 HORRABRIDGE  The tree starts with John WINGATE, mason of Horrabridge,  christened in 1742 in Buckland Monachorum the son of John WINDIATT and Sarah.  His son George, a builder, moved to Shaldon on the coast and John, a plasterer, moved to Exeter. John had  seven surviving sons, some of whom also followed building trade professions (two plasterers, a hellier and a painter). One of his two daughters married a jeweller, George TURNER, and two of her brothers and a nephew became jewellers too.  Branches of the family were in Exeter, Shaldon, Torquay, West Teignmouth and Plymouth.    Most descendants spell their name WINDEATT (although the Kingsbridge tree uses WINGATE).
KINGSBRIDGE There have been WINGATEs living in the Kingsbridge/Dodbrooke area since at least the sixteenth century but we don't have even a speculative family tree for them.  I am just about to start on one but in the meanwhile there is a little bit of information on the link to the Kingsbridge section on the left.
STAVERTON This tree goes back to William WINDETT who married three times in Staverton in the early eighteenth century (Mary HEARNEMAN in 1725, Elizabeth COKER in 1727 and Mary CALLARD in 1733).  The family moved on to Plymouth in the first decade of the nineteenth century and some branches moved on to London, Canada and Australia.  This is a very large and extensive tree and a lot of research has been done into the nineteenth century records.  Most descendants in the UK spell their name WINDEATT, while the Canadian/US descendants spell it WINGET.
TORQUAY This tree starts with Robert WINGET who married Elizabeth ELLIS in Churston Ferris in 1810 - but we now are fairly sure that Robert originated in Ughborough (see WINGEAT family page) and was apprenticed to George Foale of Churston Ferris, Yeoman, in 1800.  Early records were in Churston Ferris and Galmpton but then the family moved the short distance to Babbacombe and Brixham with one branch moving on to London.  Some members were fishermen in Brixham and the small tree found in Grimsby, Lincs, is linked to this branch.  Most descendents spell their name WINDEATT.
TOTNES  This tree has been passed down through the family and starts with the death of an Oliver WINDEATT in 1650. Early family members were non-conformist traders in Totnes and Tavistock and later they became the founder members of the firm of Solicitors in the area.  It includes the curious character of Thomas WINDEATT, bankruptpoet, pastor and destroyer of Childe's Tomb, a prehistoric monument on Dartmoor.  Descendants spell their name WINDEATT
UGBOROUGH This tree starts with Laurence WINDIETT who married Margeritt RIDER in 1591. Family members stayed in the area of Ughborough, Modbury, Ermington and Plympton until the nineteenth century when some branches emigrated to the US; while the branch headed by Richard WINGETT, journeyman papermaker,  moved on to various locations in England.  Most descendants spell their name WINGETT.
East Dartmoor Windeatts Early records show lots of WINDEATTs in Widecombe, Buckland in the Moor and Ashburton.  By the time of the 1851 census there appeared to be only one or two families in this area.  They spell their name WINDEAT (with one T) and appear to have been reasonably well-off farmers.  A Mr. & Mrs. WINDEAT of North Bovey deposited many family papers in the Devon Record Office in 1990 (DRO 3555) and a list of these reveals connections with the locally well-known SMERDON and SAWDYE families. However we don't have a family tree and have not managed to make any contacts with surviving descendants. If you know anything about this branch, please get in touch.
[Link to some Moretonhampstead memorial transcriptions for this family - not found, Jan 2010].
Wingett Families Finding various copies of wills at the PRO revealed several WINGETT families that don't yet link up to any of the larger trees.  I will be gradually adding the information we have on these families to the website. 
STRAYS I will be gathering information about people who don't appear to fit onto any of these trees yet on a strays page.
Maps by Travel
Author picture These pages are being put together by Sandra Windeatt with a lot of help from many correspondents and in particular 

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