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BEAFORD, Devon.

The ancestral home of the DYMENT family, is an area of  Devonshire lying between  the rivers Torridge and Taw. The small village called Beaford is the principal centre for family members, although others have been found in the neighbouring villages of Dolton, St Giles in the Wood, Roborough and Ashreigny (Ring Ash)

In 1878 the population of Beaford was reported as “619 (282 males and 387 females) living in 125 houses on 3203 acres[White’s Devonshire Directory]

The 2001 census by contrast showed the village had a total population of 393.

The 1878 directory mentioned above, names  Rev C.W. FURSE as Lord of the manor. Our FURSE ancestors are from St Giles in the Wood and we have not found a connection with him. Also mentioned is Thomas W SNELL Esq of Uppcott  Farm. This was the heir of the apprentice master of Robert DIMONT and John DYMENT.

The last of our ancestors to live in Beaford was William DYMENT [135] born 1811. He  moved to Abbotsham after his first wife died and he married Sarah Bale. The third of their seven children Joseph came to South Wales between 1861 and 1871.



Opposite the Globe we found Forge Cottage. The circular plaque can be seen to the left of the door. In the 1851 census there were two Smithies in Beaford. One was further along the road past the school where the garage is today, this was where William HEARD [6051] worked with two of his sons. Forge Cottage fits the position for Henry HAMMETT’s [10976] smithy. Henry’s first wife was William WESTCOTT’s daughter Jane.

On later the censuses a wheelwright.is living in this area of the village . There are two family wheelwrights, John WESTCOTT [11127], son of William of the Globe, and Robert JURY [4036].

Looking towards the School it is clear that The Globe was an old coaching Inn. It was kept by first William WESTCOTT [10927] then by his son George [10960] and his wife Fanny. You can just see the Gunsmith’s Arms, it is the cream coloured building on the opposite side of the road.


Walking back down the street past the Gunsmith’s Arms and the old post office you cross Green Lane to the School House. This was built for 80 pupils in 1870. It was a Church school and teacher’s residence. The site for the school was given by Miss Arnold. There had been a school in the village earlier as in White’s Directory for 1850 Mr John WESTCOTT [11694] is named as the teacher.

In the 1878 edition of the same publication John WESTCOTT is mentioned as draper, grocer, postmaster and parish clerk (This John’s sister was the second wife of William WESTCOTT [10927] of the Globe).

In 1881 one of the teachers was Julia WESTCOTT [10980] daughter of George and Fanny, granddaughter of William [10927].


The above photograph shows the old Post Office on the corner of Green Lane. It was kept in 1906 by Mrs Thomas WESTCOTT (Kelly’s Directory), The Gunsmith’s Arms is adjoining the Post Office. The Gunsmith’s Arms has been kept by generations of HEARDs from Robert [6067] baptised in the parish church in 1780. He was a gunsmith. Robert had another brother, George who was also a gunsmith. They had two more brothers who were blacksmiths and yet another who was a glazier.

Finally two photographs to give the feel of this pretty little village. The cottage is roughly behind The Globe and the general view is looking back along Exeter Road from the School House back towards The Globe.

Our next visit was 19th March 2008. This time we were looking for more family connections having linked the DYMENT family to several others from the village. We knew there was a connection with the HEARD family who kept the Gunsmith’s Arms. The HEARDs are in turn related to the WESTCOTT family who kept The Globe and the Post Office next to The Gunsmith’s Arms.

Eric took many photographs around the village and churchyard some are shown here and others on the MIs pages.

The church is dedicated to St George and All Saints. The church has been restored several times but is mainly 15 century the tower was rebuilt in 1910. These photographs of the Church were taken by Eric McMullin.on 15 April 2000 when we first visited Beaford.