Wiltshire Yewe/ Yeo Family of Somerford Magna and Lyneham

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The Wiltshire branch of Yewe/Yeo family seems to have branched off from the main branch in the early 1500's. In 1525 there was a conveyance of property in Warminster from William Chafyn to Thomas Yeo, Christopher Beche and William Whitehed and this Thomas was probably the son of Edmond and Mary Beche. In 1524 Edmond Yeo held Huish Manor and by 1545 this had passed to Thomas Yeo his son. Thomas Yeo married Mary Beche, and the Beches were related to the Dauncey and Whittingtons, who lived at Dauntsey, the manor adjoining Somerford in Wiltshire. (Source - various early IPM`s). By the mid 1500's John Yewe, probably the son of Thomas, had established a wealthy business in Bradford on Avon. Like many of the early Yeo family he was involved in the weaving trade and was a clothier. Around 1562 Henry, Earl of Arundel sold Somerford Mautravers Manor to John Yewe (d, 1588). Henry's wife second wife was Mary Arundel, whose mother was Catherine Grenville, a distant relative and probably a good connection. .John was succeeded by his son John (d. 1623), and then through John's daughter Anne, the manor passed to his granddaughter, Anne Long, who with her father Gyfford Longe sold it immediately

MI to Anne Longe daughter of John in Bradford on Avon Parish Church

. This manor was eventually named The Mount and in recent times was owned by the Phillips family, one of which (Capt. Mark Phillips) married Princess Anne. The Yewe family continue to live in Somerford Magna (Great Somerford) for another hundred years and were involved in the early City Livery Companies in London, the boys being apprenticed to the different trades in London. Much of this evidence can be read in the early wills. It is probable that Richard, the famous Engraver came from this family. The early Yewe wills can be view here. and are well worth reading. Gyffard's father William wanted to write him out of his will if he refused to take up the apprenticeship.

"I give to my son Gyffard Yewe 100 to be paid at the age of twenty one yeares and it is my will that my son John Yewe shall binde him an apprentice in London to such trade as the said John shall think most fittest him and the money shall be given with him to such master as shall take him apprentice and shall be levied and raised out of a certaine tenement call Coppithold situated in Somerford Magna which I bought off of John Yewe, my brother for the terme of the natural life of the said Gyffard Yewe and Richard Yewe my sonnes and further my will is that Mary my said wife shall have the use and occupation of this till my said Gyffard be bound apprentice in London to maintain the said Gyffard with meat, drink and apparel and after the said Gyffard is bounde apprentice William Yewe, my son, shall have the management and occupation until Gyffard Yewe shall have served out the full tyme of his apprenticeship and be made a foreman of the City of London if he be bound to a master thereby and paying yearly to Adam Tucke of Clarke and Richard Horne of Bradford, Wilts, Clothiers to the use of my sonne Gyffard Yewe sum of 5. And if the said Gyffard Yewe shall refuse to be bound apprentice or be conformable in all pointers to the order by me, then for a punishment of such his obstinancy he shall be excluded and debarred from having or receiving any benefit from this my last will, but the said 100 to him by me before given shall remayne to my executor."

The first mention of Lyneham is in the will of John Yeo in 1688, where he classes himself as John Yeo of Lyneham, Gent. He mentions three daughters and a son Daniel. It is this Daniel who is the progenator of all the Yeo's from Wiltshire. Lyneham is not far from Great Somerford and many of the parishes the branches moved to are in close proximity. Daniel & Barbara had several children all baptised in Lyneham Parish Church, John, 1689, Mary, 1692, Ann, 1694 who died aged 2, Ann 1696, Danial, 1699 who died as an infant and Daniel baptised 1701. Daniel arranged and paid £2 for an apprenticeship for his son Daniel in 1720 with Walter Thomas of Lyneham who was a clothier. In his will dated 1722, he was then of Lyneham and gave to his son John, 5 per annum for and during his life, his two daughters Ann Yeo and Mary Yeo, 2 a piece and all his household goods to be divided equally between them. He gave his leasehold estate and all his wearing apparell to his son Daniel and made him executor of his will.

Daniel junior married Elizabeth Townsend in 1728 and they had nine children, Jemima, 1729, Mary 1730, Daniel b. 1733 who married Mary Broom and secondly Sarah Buoy. Their children were all baptised in Castle Coombe, Wilts., William b 1734, married Jane Andrews, and all their children were baptised in Christian Malford, Wilts. John 1738 who died as an infant, Jacob, 1741, married Elizabeth Seager in Chippenham, Wilts and several of their sons moved to the Plaistow, Essex area. Joseph 1743, he also moved to Plaistow, Elizabeth 1747, she married Richard Henley, Thomas 1751 married Ann Butler and remained at Lyneham.

Thomas was a carpenter and had twelve children, Thomas, 1776, Mary 1778, Jacob, 1780, James, 1782, John, 1783, Esther, 1786, William, 1787, Joseph, 1790, Daniel, 1792, Jesse, 1794, Hannah, 1797 and Abraham, 1800. All were baptised in the Lyneham Parish Church. Thomas died unmarried in 1809, and Mary in 1864. Jacob was a carpenter and moved to Brinkworth, Wiltshire, James moved to Swallowfield in Berks and married Eleanor Charlton in 1806 In 1851 he and his son Thomas are listed as cordwainers. . John died unmarried aged 27 in 1810 and Esther in 1867. William never married and died at the age of 42 years in 1831. Joseph married Susanna Burchell and was a timber dealer and carpenter in Lyneham. Daniel was a grocer in Lyneham married Mary Berriman but they had no children. , Jesse was a baker and married Sarah Burgess Simeon, and secondly Ann Hinton. and Abraham a carpenter and wheelright, married Sarah Swindon, but they had no children. Thomas died in 1831.

By 1901 the only Yeo still living in Lyneham was George Henry Yeo grandson of Joseph and Susanna Burchell. George Henry had a son Edward James born 1902 who married Kathleen Swan in 1941.and they lived at The Banks, Lyneham until their deaths in the 1980's but had no children. Edward was a wheelright and also a laypreacher at the Bradenstoke Primitive Methodist Church. He wasn't allowed to marry Kathleen until his mother died by which time it was too late for them to have children. Kathleen was a teacher and school governor, but both were like grandparents to my own children whilst we lived at Bradenstoke and will never be forgotten. Leslie James Yeo, a talented actor, is a great grandson of Joseph and Susanna and his biography can be read on the bibliography page.

However other branches continued to flourish in the Plaistow and Chorlton, Kent areas where they were shepherds, marshman, innkeepers and gas engineers and from this branch descends Chris Yeo, the famous test pilot and his brother Dom Richard Yeo

To help identify the different descendants I have made PDF files of the various trees so they can be viewed visually. You will need to adjust the viewing percentage on your screen to view these. Individual trees are linked from their progenator.

The full tree from Daniel & Barbara can be viewed here. It is an extensive tree so when opened you will need to set the viewing percentage to 400%

The report on the family can be read here and also contains an index at the end so names can be checked.



Thanks to Alan and Thelma East who allowed me to use all their early research and have given me so much help with this branch. Alan descends from James & Eleanor Charlton


  © 2003 Sheila Yeo | For more information on the Yeo family and the research contained in this site email Sheila Yeo or call me on +44 (0)1626 360978