Interior of St Andrew's 18 century
I am frequently adding to the stories of individual family members so do come back another time and check the tabs on the
left. The newest items added are at the bottom. Now for the story of the Family.
The Yonge's of Puslinch, Newton Ferrers, Devon
The Yonge's of Puslinch in the parish of Newton Ferrers Devon, near Plymouth, England is
the family this website covers. The family had become established at Puslinch where James Yonge 1679-1745 married Mary Upton the last survivor of the Upton's of Puslinch. This marriage was a symbol of and the cause of the family's rise to the world of English
This James Yonge was the son of Dr James Yonge
a noted Plymouth surgeon and doctor of his day who wrote a fascinating journal about his life which was published some 60 years ago.
Members of the family still live in the area and the Puslinch branch is treated as the senior branch of the family now although the family is spread all over the English speaking
world in The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The earliest member of the family who can be identified with certainty is John Yonge who was born early in the 17th century and who married Joanna Blackaller from a local Dartmouth family, in Dartmouth in 1640.
It is probable that the family prior to then had been of humble origins and so will be impossible
to trace back further. Where the family came from is the great quest of my continuing research. For more information on the current state of this quest (March 2020) click on the tab on the left of the Home Page under “FAMIY ORIGINS”
There are four other distinct unconnected families with the name
1) Of Caynton Manor Egmond near Newport
2) Of Charnes Hall Staffordshire.
3) Of Sturminster Newton Abbot Dorset and Colebrook, Devon known
to go back to the 1530`s. 18th century accounts which refer to the family coming from Colebroke are incorrect. This is a mistake.
4) Of Colyton, Devon. They are first recoded in in Bristol first reference is in the mid 14th century when the family were well established Bristol merchants. Then they moved
to London and Basildon in Berkshire, then to Colyton in Devon and other places such as Axminster and Upton Hellions. Several published works (including the unreliable Burkes Landed Gentry) and derivative internet sources state that the Puslinch Yonge's and
the Colyton Yonge's are connected. This is a complete fallacy. Repetition does not make it correct!
The American Yonge's of the 18th century south and Florida are not connected
Two biographies of Charlotte Yonge refer to a family tradition that a Yonge left Norfolk for the more remote West Country to avoid paying for a knighthood being forced on him by James 1st. There
is however no evidence to support this.
is pronounced as “young” is simply one of the old English spellings of the adjective "young". The details are not clear but it seems that in the 17th century a family row concerning religion led to one brother adopting the spelling "Young" or depending
which version you believe another brother adopting the spelling "Yonge". The “Young” branch has now died out on the male line.
Some of the "Youngs" became noted Royal Navys in the great age of sail. One in the late 18th century received £40,000 prize money from the capture of a Spanish treasure ship.
The family have never been rich or famous, with some exceptions,
but is typical of many country gentry families, living a comfortable life and sending their sons into the professions and the four corners of the Empire and marrying their daughters into similarly placed local gentry families.
Though marriage the family became connected with many West Country families such as the Fortescue,
Upton, Mudge, Colborne and Duke which last is still a popular Christian name in the family. In Australia several family members have adopted the surname “Duke-Yonge”.
Over many years through research at the National Archives in Kew, The British Library the Society of Genealogists, many county record officers especially
the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office and “Ancestry” and “Find My Past” , I have amassed a large volume of documents, letters, photographs and other records.
Large in the number of names and space it takes up, it measures some 30cm by 63cm family tree has been compiled. It has
not been included in this website.
Accompanying the tree
are brief biographical notes of many of the family members over the years for family history should be more than just a list of names. Each individual lives in their own time and their lives are a reflection of those times and in turn influence those times.
The tab “BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES” contains these
brief biographical notes but only of deceased family members. Other tabs contain fuller biographies of some of the more interesting characters from the family story.
Over the past 400 years this family has seen and participated in many historical events and witnessed massive social changes. This continuing
saga has now passed to the current generation .
you have any questions or information, original documents or photos which will add to the story of this family, I would love to hear from you..
By Alfred Lord Tennyson
Two children in two neighbouring villages
Playing their pranks along the healthy leas
Two strangers meeting at a festival
Two lovers whispering by a garden wall
lives bound fast in one with golden ease
Two graves grass green beside a grey church tower
Washed with still rains and daisy blosommed
Two children in one hamlet born
So runs the round of life from hour to hour