Samways Family of Merriott

The George & Mary Ann Samways Family were relatively late arrivals in Merriott – first appearing in 1867 when daughter Elizabeth was married.  George Samways was a shepherd.  From the birthplaces of the children, the family must have travelled quite a lot, but George & Mary Ann (nee Croft) eventually stayed in Merriott; Mary Ann was buried there in 1882; George was buried there in 1897. George married again after Mary Ann died.

The family can be found in the 1851 census living at Piddletown in Dorset:

George    38    b. Toller Porcorum
Mary A    36    b. Chilfrome
Charles    13    b. West Lynch
Anne        11    b. Great Toller
Edward    8    b. Clifton
George    6    b. Clifton
Elizabeth    3    b. Clifton

Of these children, only Elizabeth appears to have come to Merriott with George & Mary Ann, as she married Charles Legg in Merriott in 1867.
I have no further information about Charles & Anne

  • Edward appears in the 1881 census :Shepherd; Lower Farm Cottages, 5 Lower St, Middle Chinnock, Somerset, born Clifton Maybank, Dorset.  With him is his wife Sarah (of Broadwinsor, Dorset) and three children: Mary Ann 12, Emma 6 & Jane 2.  Mary Ann is probably the one appearing in the 1871 census of Merriott at the home of her grandparents.
  • George appears in the 1881 census: Shepherd; 4 Houndstone, Odcombe, Somerset, England, born Clifton Maybank, Dorset.  With him is his wife Rhoda, born Thorncombe, Dorset, England, and six children:  Ben 16, George 14, Charlotte 9, Jesse 7, Kate 5, and Laura 2 months.
  • Elizabeth married Charles Legg (of Mosterton, Dorset), in Merriott in 1867 (details below, including baptisms of children.) By the time of the 1881 census the family were living in  Ickford Village Cottage, Ickford, Oxford, England, where Charles was working as a Police Officer.  Another daughter, Elizabeth Ann, is listed as born at Northmaston, Buckinghamshire, England, about 1880.  Three more children were born after the 1851 census:  Charlotte born about 1851, birthplace varies in census detail (Hereson, Kent or Honiton, Devon).  Charlotte married John Pattemore in Merriott in 1881. (Details below).  Prior to this Charlotte baptised a daughter, Ann, in 1869.  Benjamin born about 1853, Waterson, Dorset.  Fanny born about 1855, Hook, Kent.

The following information appears in the Merriott records:


Year Ref Location Details
1871 12 076 Bow Mills Samways George Head M 57 Shepherd Dorset, Great Toller
Samways Maryann Wife M 57 Dorset, Chilfrome
Samways Benjamin Son U 17 Shepherd Dorset, Waterson
Samways Charlotte Dau U 21 Glove maker Kent, Hereson
Samways Fanny Dau U 16 Glove maker Kent, Hook
Samways Ann Dau U 2 Som, West Chinnock
Samways Maryann Visitor U 2 Som, West Chinnock
1881 19 740 Bow Cottage Samways George Head M 76 Shepherd Great Toller, Dorset
Samways Mary Wife M 67 Maiden Newton
Samways Charlotte Dau U 31 Dressmaker Honiton
Samways Fanny Dau U 26 Shirt Maker Hooke, Dorset
Samways Annie GDau 11 Scholar Merriott [probably daughter of Charlotte]
Samways Charlotte GDau 5 Scholar Chiselborough, Somerset
Samways Charles GSon 4 Merriott
1891 2 142 010 Lower Street Samways Ann Head M 68 Merriott (single occupant)
1891 11 147 072 Lower Street Samways George Head M 78 Shepherd Som, Birthplace unreadable; (single occupant)
1891 11 147 071 Lower Street Lawrence Henry Head M 34 Groom & Gardener born Merriott
Lawrence Fanny Wife M 34 Dorset, Hook (nee Samways)
Lawrence Charles Son S 15 General Labourer  Merriott
Lawrence Daisy Dau S 8 Scholar West Chinnock
Lawrence Lettie Dau S 6 Scholar West Chinnock
Lawrence Darthie Dau S 2 Merriott
1901 4 56 29 Broadway Samways George Head M 23 General Labourer  Merriott
Samways Rose Wife M 23 Merriott
Samways Thomas Son 2m Merriott
1901 4 56 33 Broadway Samways Benjamin Head M 48 General Labourer  Dorset, Weybridge
Samways Caroline Wife M 46 Merriott
Samways Benjamin Son 16 Shirt Packer  North Perrott
Samways Arthur Son 13 North Perrott
Samways Walter Son 11 Haselbury Plucknett
Samways Henry Son 9 Haselbury Plucknett
Samways Thomas Son 7 Haselbury Plucknett
1901 30 69 216 Lower Street Samways Ann Head W 77 Parish Relief Merriott

1911 Census:

RefNo of RoomsAbodePersons
2723BroadwaySAMWAYS Benjamin Head 58 M Fish Hawker on Own Account born Wadison? DORSET
SAMWAYS Caroline Wife 56 Married 36 years 10 children born alive 10 still living; born Merriott
SAMWAYS Benjamin Son 18 Heckling Machinist Sailcloth Factory Worker born Haselbury SOM
SAMWAYS James Son 17 Heckling Machinist Sailcloth Factory Worker born Haselbury SOM
SAMWAYS Thomas Son 16 Heckling Machinist Sailcloth Factory Worker born Haselbury SOM
2863BroadwaySAMWAYS Walter Head 26 M Fish Hawker on Own Account; born North Perrott SOM
SAMWAYS Ethel Wife 23 Married 4 years 2 children born alive, 2 still living; born Broadwinsor DORSET
SAMWAYS Ivy Dau 3 born Crewkerne SOM
SAMWAYS Dorothy Dau 2 born Merriott
3033BroadwaySAMWAYS Arthur Head 23 M General Labourer for Hay Dealer, Worker born North Perrott SOM
SAMWAYS Frances Wife 20 Married 3 years 1 child born alive 1 still living; born Crewkerne SOM
SAMWAYS Frank Son 1 born Crewkerne SOM


6 March 1882 Mary Ann Samways 67 Bow Mills Thomas Hodson, Curate-in-charge
18 March 1897 George Samways 84 Great Field, Crewkerne Stanley E Percival, Vicar
17 July 1897 Melinda May Samways 10 w Broadway Stanley E Percival, Vicar
6 June 1898 Henry George Samways 3 w Broadway Stanley E Percival, Vicar
23 November 1910 Ann Samways 86 Lower St, Merriott Stanley E Percival, Vicar
21 April 1926 Caroline Samways 72 Boozer Pit, Merriott Stanley E Percival, Vicar
17 May 1935 Eliza Jane Samways 77 Boozer Pit, Merriott Grave No 26 in New Section. WL Chivers, Asst Curate of Crewkerne
7 March 1939 Lionel Samways 3 days;  13 Newchester Cross, Merriott. Buried in Old Section. Died 5 March. William H Elwin, Vicar
18 November 1939 Benjamin Samways 88 Boozer Pit, Merriott Grave No 83 in New Section Died 16 Nov. GS Stubbs, for WH Elwin, Vicar


Date Name Age/Condition Signed? Father Witnesses
11 July 1867 Elizabeth Samways 

Charles Legg

19, Spinster of Merriott

21 Bachelor of Merriott, Miller



George Samways Shepherd

John Legg Kindle Maker?

Charlotte Samways; John Collins
4 September 1873 Tryphena Caroline Pattemore

Benjamin Samways

19 Spinster of Merriott

20 Bachelor of  Merriott, Labourer



Ann Pattemore Single Woman

George Samways Shepherd

Charlotte Samways

John Pattemore

27 May 1881 John Pattemore

Charlotte Samways

31 Bachelor of  Chiselborough,
31 Spinster of Merriott


William Pattemore Labourer
George Samways Shepherd
George Samways;
Lucy Hockey
27 May 1881 Fanny Samways

Henry Lawrence

26 Spinster of Merriott

26 Bachelor of Ilminster, Servant



George Samways Shepherd 

Simon Lawrence Labourer

Mary Anna Mudford

Hubert Mudford

4 July 1882 George Samways

Ann Hooper

68 Widower of Bow, Shepherd

56 Widow of Lower St



Edward Samways (deceased) Labourer

John Mitchell (deceased) Gardener

Joseph Hooper

Elizabeth Hooper

5 September 1896 George Edward Samways

Rose Ann Osborne

20 Bachelor of Merriott, Labourer
19 Spinster of Merriott


Benjamin Samways Labourer

Henry Osborne, Dealer

Tom Hone

Christiana Sweet

7 August 1897 Samuel Osborne

Charlotte Samways

25 Bachelor of Crewkerne, Market Gardener

19 Spinster of Merriott



Sampson Osborne (deceased) Market Gardener

Benjamin Samways Labourer

Susan Osborne

Henry Larcombe

7 February 1920 Henry James Samways

Gladys Lettie Taylor

27 Bachelor of Merriott, Dealer

20 Spinster of Merriott



Benjamin Samways, Dealer

Joseph Lawrence Taylor, Weaver

Evelyn Lydia Coombs

Joseph Lawrence Taylor


Charlotte Samways (a Single Woman) of Bow Barton 14 November 1869 Ann (born 5 September 1869)
Benjamin (a Labourer) & Caroline Samways, of Higher Street 13 September 1874 Mary Ann (born 30 August)
Charles (a Journeyman Miller) & Elizabeth (nee
Samways) Legg
8 March 1868 Mary (born 20 Dec 1867 of Higher St)
13 June 1869 Emma (born 22 Apr 1869 of Lower St
29 December 1870 Ellen (Born 30 Oct of Shiremore Hill)
13 October 1872 Ellen (Born 13 July 1872 of Mill Lane)
13 September 1874 Matthew (Born 23 June pf Court Mill Lane)

This is the extent of the detail on the family which can be gleaned from the Merriott records;  if anyone has anything more to add to the above, please feel free to contact me , as I haven’t done any research on this family outside Merriott. Thanks!