The WILLS Family of Lustleigh Devon

4. Chudleigh etc. Farms

4.1. Dunscombe

Some two miles to the south of Chudleigh village. In the 1851 census Joseph WILLS was in Dunscombe farm living with his wife two daughters and four sons, he was farming 130 acres and employing 3 labourers. His brother Henry was nearby at Waddon farm. Joseph was the only generation of our WILLS family that are known to have lived at Dunscombe.

4.2. Waddon

WaddenWaddon is south of Chudleigh, and nearby to Dunscombe. Waddon was farmed by our family for two generations starting with George WILLS who was born in 1764. Of his 10 children one of his daughters, Mary, married John WILLS of Compton and emigrated in 1847 to Ontario and then Iowa. George's son Henry continued farming Waddon and had five sons by his first wife before she died and then two more by his second wife who also died. In 1860 he set sail for Ontario with is five older sons and the two younger ones followed 10 years later. In Ontario he cleared the trees and founded Wadden farm with descendants there today.

In the1851 census Henry and family are shown at Waddon farm with 200 acres and 5 men.

Other Farms:

Compton Barton, Marldon

Compton barnsCompton Barton farm, in the parish of Marldon, was purchased in 1817 by Joseph WILLS of Smallacombe. This is some 20 miles away, bearing in mind the Devon landscape a long way. Was the reason to get away from Dartmoor and be on the red Devon soil? It was eventually sold in 1860 with Smallacombe. A grandson of Joseph was Dr William WILLS MRCS father of William John WILLS who lost his life in 1861 exploring Australia whilst his father had a medical practice in Ballarat and attended to the wounded in the Eureka stockade massacre. A brother of Dr Wm was a ship owner and emigrated to Newfoundland, his son Thomas was the manager of the Canadian Bank of Commerce in the Klondike during the gold rush, with descendants in Canada today. A sister of Dr Wm married Cmdr Le VESCONTE of the Royal Navy one of their sons was lost on the Franklin expedition searching for the northwest  passage and his remains are buried in the Painted Hall at Greenwich. Compton farm is located near to Compton Castle, this is sometimes confused with another Compton Castle in Compton Pauncefoot which has possible connections with the coat of arms of another WILLS family involved in the wars of King William in Ireland.

Wolleigh, Bovey Tracey.

Wolleigh On 24 July 1545 John WILL was baptised at Bovey Tracey, son of John of Wolleigh and Margote. Probably a relation to Henry WYLL of Willmead.
In the photograph Wolleigh Farm is the building on the left and in the foreground a typical Devon lane in early spring with primroses in the bank.

Plumley, Bovey Tracey

Located in Bovey Tracey just over a mile from the centre of Lustleigh village. The Willmeade family owned Plumley in 1561 and in 1686 Richarde WILLMEADE sold it to the PONSFORD it then passed to the FRENCH family and in 1742 it was purchased by William HARRIS born 1699. His son William owned Plumley, Hatherleigh and Northcombe all in Bovey and his son John married Mary WILLS of Town Barton and his great grandson John HARRIS born in 1852 sold up and emigrated to become a Texas ranch owner. Mining for "shiny ore", an iron oxide, was carried out here from dates unknown but it finally ceased at the beginning of the 20th century.

Higher and Lower Lemonford, Bickington.

LemfordOriginally in the parish of Ashburton but after the boundary changes of about 1890 was moved to Bickington. Lower Lemonford is located on the south bank of the Lemon river and is now a caravan park very near to the centre of Bickington.
Richard WILLS baptised 1738 at Bickington was of Lemonford and his brother William baptised 1775 in Ashburton was of Higher Lemonford, shown in the photograph, their sister Mary married John WILLS of Ilsington. Richard's son Richard baptised in 1761 was also of Lemonford and the 1851 census shows a Richard WILLS in Lower Lemonford farm with family and 55 acres.

In the will of William he leaves an annuity of £1 to his brother Thomas, thereby indicating that Thomas must have been on hard times. Thomas, the son of this Thomas married Susan PERRYMAN of Ilsington and their family were baptised in the Methodist Chapel in Bovey Tracey, most unusual at the time for the family of a gentleman farmer. Two of his sons, Charles and Thomas and daughter Sarah emigrated to Tasmania in 1854 and 1856 with many descendents today living in Australia

Lower Collybrook, Ideford

CollybrookIn the village of Ideford with Higher Collybrook farm which is across the road.
The sale notice for Collybrook Farm of 1828 shows G Wills as the propieter with 75 acres, possibly this was what is now known as Higher Collybrook because the 1851 census shows George Wills in Lower Collybrook with his wife Susanna (nee MORTIMORE) seven children and three servants farming 107 acres. In 1881 his son Charles is farming 78 acres here with his wife Mary. George's oldest son Thomas WILLS, born in 1822, became a master butcher in Willesden in London. A grandson of Thomas the butcher, Thomas Harvey, said to be one of 14 children, emigrated to Australia in 1915 and founded a Wills family there today. Other descendents of this London family have not been traced.

Reed, Christow.

ReedOn the hillside above the village of Christow, formerly a thatched house with one room for the family and the rest for animals, then a corrugated iron roof and now a desirable tiled residence.
In 1881 George WILLS, descended from the Waddon and Lemonford family, was farming 120 acres here with his wife and family of 10. We have lost touch with the descendants of this family although we believe George was of Aller farm when he died in 1903. George was the oldest brother of Thomas and Charles who emigrated to Tasmania in 1857.
The picture was taken from the top of a large heap of mining waste the precise date and nature of the activity is not known but also living in part of the farmhouse in the 1881 census were two "miners of barytes". Mining activity is said to have continued here at least until the 1960s.

Whiteway Barton, Kingsteignton

Whiteway BartonThomas WILLS married Mary nee VOOGHT in 1828 and they farmed at Whiteway Barton. On 4 May 1830 their only son John Thomas Brock WILLS was baptised and the father died in 1846 leaving his son wife and two daughters to continued there until 1850 when it was sold.
On 25 Oct 1853 JTB arrived at Port Phillip in Australia, having sailed from Plymouth, and his descendents are still farming in Australia today.
The 1851 census shows Whiteway Barton, Kingsteignton, as a 300 acre farm.

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Updated 15 Jan 2006 by Mike Wills