Where do we come from?

Seal from a Lease of 1690 showing original arms


The original Puslinch Yonge tree back in the 1970's, showed a link to the Yonges of Colyton but this has since been disproved. Many trees and references on sites such as Ancestry still show this but repetition does not make it right.

The Charnes Hall and Caynton Yonges and have been well researched by members of those families and it seems clear that there is no link there.

The Suffolk Yonge's, who were a branch of the Caynton Yonge, a branch of which which went to America in the 17th century have no link. Nor do the Yonge's of Georgia and Florida in the USA.

Other Yonge families such as in the Isle of Wight, Ringwood, Durnford and Bristol appear to have no connection.

Colebrooke/Sturminster appears from various early references to record the early sources of the family but as pointed out below, these references are wrong. .The fact is that prior to the marriage of John Yonge and Joanna Blackaller in early 1600's, the trail has gone cold and likely to remain so.




This name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an English locational surname from a hamlet in the Totnes area Devonshire. This may explain the prevalence of the name in the area. Locational names, such as this, were often bestowed on those people who left their original habitation or perhaps in this case when the location was lost.


The "black" element of the name is from the Old English pre 7th Century "blaec", a common prefix to place names of streams and hills in particular, and means "dark coloured", or "dense" when used of woods or forests. The second element "-aller" is probably from the Old English "alor" meaning "alder", so the surname Blackler or Blackaller means "one who lives by the dense alder wood" T

The Blacklers are recorded in Dartmouth in 1391, when a John Blackaler, carpenter,among others, received lands and goods from a Richard Henry and his wife, probably in a settlement of debts.


The Blackallers soon became of some status in the area. They appear in the Totnes Guild Rolls by 1509 when Jacobus (James) Blackaller was brewing and selling ale. In 1569 John Blackall was Mayor of Totnes as was Edward Blackall in 1581. There is an elaborate monument in St. Mary's church Totnes to Christopher Blackall who died in 1633 and his wives in the north aisle.


The Totnes and Ashprington (Sharpham is in the parish) Blackallersbore arms identical to those of another branch of the Blackaller family which hailed from Exeter and in 1555 and The Exeter family were merchants and at the end of the sixteenth century one of them was an alderman. In the early part of the next century a member of the family had even moved to London and set up as a draper; they were a family well rooted in trade.


Some married well into the very rich mercantile Giles family but into the Slanings, Fortescues and Heles who were all minor gentry. Others do not seem to have been particularly well-off, some were artisans and some indeed were described in tax returns as being poor or paupers. A real mix of society.


The Blackaller name varies quite considerably in its spelling, amongst them Blackall, Blackeall, Blackler, Blackball and Blacall. The spelling “Blackaller” is used in this account save where referring to a particular document which uses different spelling.


The family was armigerous. At this time the “Yonges” had no right to bear arms.


The family became quite widely spread in Devon. There were numerous Blackallers in Tavistock, North Tawton, Exeter, Plymouth, ,Axminster, Colyton and Cullompton and nearby Dartmouth. The Blackaller name was and today is far more common in the area than Yonge/Young. and is still very prominent in the Dartmouth/Totnes and surrounding areas.



Paternal antecedents of Joanna Yonge nee Blackaller


While there are other Blackallers with the right Christian names and right ages in other parts of Devon, including near Dartmouth, there is no reason to suppose that the Dartmouth details set out below are not what we are looking for.


A Thomas Blackaller married at St Saviours Dartmouth Judyth Marke on the 5th October 1588. That may be the most likely one, because of the Church and when the sons Nicholas and also Robert were born.


It is highly likely that Thomas Blackaller, father of Nicholas and Robert, is the Thomas Blackaller who married Judith Marke on 13th October 1588. Thomas Blackaller appears to have had a third child, a daughter, Rabage, baptised St Saviours 12th June 1595.


The St Saviours burial registers include that of Thomas Blackaller, “a brewer”, buried 30th November 1598, probably the father of Nicholas, Robert and Rabage. 


A Nicholas Blackoller was baptised at Saint Saviours Dartmouth7th October 1589, the son of Thomas Blackaller.


A Nicholas Blackaller married a Rosamond Bale on 14th January 1611 (1612 modern calendar at St Saviours Dartmouth. The original baptism entry has not been inspected. It seems that Nicholas was a seaman.


It would appear Nicholas and Rosamond had six children including Joanna borg in 1618.


Blackaller (or variant thereof) is a surprisingly common name. However, shown under Dartmouth


As to Nicholas’ walk of life, there is a possible clue in a survey of mariners taken in 1619. This is published as “Early Stuart Mariners and Shipping 1619-1635” ed Todd Gray, Devon & Cornwall Record Society. The survey was undertaken by Sir Edward Seymour, Vice Admiral of Devon, and Sir William Courtenay, for the crown, on 28th February 1618 (1619 modern style). It listed all mariners “belonging to all the ports, harbours, sea-towns within the Vice Admiralty of the south part of Devon” as well as their ages and occupations are:


Mariners at home” (ie not at sea):

John Blackaller age 55


Sailors at home”:

John Blackaler age 22

Nicholas Blackaler age 29

Nicholas Blackaler age 18

Ralfe Blackaler age 30

Robert Blackaler age 26

Thomas Blackaller age 26


There was also a Nicholas Blackaller aged 30, a sailor living at nearby Kingsweare.


The term “mariner” could mean an ordinary seaman more likely an officer or even the master of a ship,. The term “sailor” was used for just an ordinary seaman.


Sir James Baggs survey of 1626 does not show for Dartmouth any Blackaller as a ship's owner.


We cannot conclusively assume that just because a mariner or sailor was surveyed in Dartmouth that he was born there or indeed lived there. Other sources indicate that people came to Dartmouth from all over Devon to work on ships operating from the port. Nor is it clear how accurately the ages were recorded. However, it seems very likely that the Nicholas Blackaller aged 29 in 1619 is the Nicholas Blackaller who married in 1611/2 (the Nicholas Blackaller aged 18 could obviously not have married at that time); and this would be consistent with the baptism of Nicholas son of Thomas Blackaller, baptised at St Saviours 7th October 1589.


The burial register of St Saviours records that Nicholous Blackoller died “ye 27th day of February 1625” (1626 modern style)


A Rosamond Blackaller married John Case at St Petrox, Dartmouth, on 4th February 1629 (source, Bishops Transcripts - there is no surviving register for St Petrox until 1652). This could be the daughter Rosamond born 1612 (hence around 17 years old) but more likely to be the mother. If so, Joanna was brought up by her mother and stepfather in Dartmouth, after her father died when she was around eight years old.


Rosamond the wife of John Case alias Land was buried at St Saviours 9th August 1649; after Joanna’s marriage. John Case remarried almost immediately, 3rd September 1649.


There is no Nicholas Blackaller or variant in the Devon Wills index.

There were half a dozen prominent families in Dartmouth in the period but no Blackaller among them.

Virtually every working person in Dartmouth was either directly or indirectly involved in maritime trade either aboard ship or providing victualing or ancillary services.

For more details see paper “Blackaller and Origins”.



Joanna Blackaller and John Yonge


The parish records of St Saviours, Dartmouth show that Joanna daughter of Nicholas Blackaller was baptised on the 22nd of November 1618.


The Dartmouth Church records, St Savours, show that John Younge married Joane Blackaller 21st September 1640 at St Saviours.

Dr. James in his Journal states “June 21st this year 1700. my mother died and left me executor, she was born or christened at Dartmouth November 18, 1618 and enjoyed her memory etc to the last.”

It is possible that John Yonge in marrying Joanna was marrying someone not that different in class or status to himself. Marriage in 1640, could have been welcome in more ways than one to Joanna. She was however only twenty three when she married, at a time when the average age for a woman to marry was twenty six. More speculation.


Henry Blackaller


According to IGI there was a Henry Blackaller, father unknown, born at Berry Pomeroy on the 12th of November 1611. He would seem to be very much a Berry Pomeroy, not a Dartmouth family.


In Berry Pomeroy a Henry Blackaller married a Nichol Adam in 1598. The “Nichol” name appears below which would suggest a link.


Berry Pomeroy is two miles from Totnes which in turn is 12 miles from Dartmouth Berry Pomerory is 4 miles from Ashprington and Totnes is midway between the two. Dartmouth is 10 miles from Ashprington.


Also in Berry Pomeroy a Henry Blackaller married 13th November 1638 a Mary Full.


Henry Blackaller died 1in 1651. His will refers to him being of Bery Pomerory, of having interests in Ashprington and of having a son Henry.

The Berry Pomeroy registers and documents in the Devon Record Office show show that a Henry Blackaller (described in his will as a “yeoman”.) died in 1651 leaving a son Henry. The document in the Record Office reads:

1.EdwardSeymour of Berry Pomeroy,esquire 2. Lewis Full of Aish in Stoke Gabriel, gent., John Full of Downton in Dittisham, and Walter Preston of Ipplepen,yeoman Premises: 7 closes of land (40 acres) adjoining Mockewood and Staunter Wood, and down called Mockwood Downe (12 acres), all in Berry Pomeroy and lately in occupation of Henry Blackaller of Berry Pomeroy,gent.,deceased. Consideration:£208 Lives: Henry Blackaller and Nicholl Blackaller, son and daughter of said Henry Blackaller Rent: 40s.


In 1660 Henry Blackaller of Berry Pomeroy (presumably the son referred to in the above paragraph) married Elizabeth Yarde at Highweek. In the banns she is described as Mrs.


In 1666 at Totnes Elizabeth Blackaller, wife of Henry died. It is not known whether she was the wife of Henry senior or junior. However as called “wife” she was probably Henry junior's first wife.


There is a deed of 23rd October 1666 held in the Devon Record Office, which as been abstracted by the Sharpham archivist, the transcript of which reads


James Yarde of Bradley and Gilbert Eveleigh of Totnes, some form of declaration regarding arrangements by James Yarde in respect of the estate of his wife Michal? Deriving from Henry Blackaller father and Henry Blackaller grandfather, also references her brother Henry. Sum of £2000 being paid. May also be releasing Lewes Full and John Full of their trusteeship in relation to Michal and Henry Blackaller.”


So we have three generations of Henry Blackaller's with the third acquiring Sharpham. So no connection with Nicholas Blackaller. This seems to be the crucial document.

Is the Berry Pomeroy Henry the younger the same as Sharpham one. It appears so for the Henry Blackaller junior who took over Sharpham, his father was named Henry. And in turn his father was named Henry.

The London Marriage Licenses states that in 1674 Henry Blackaller of Sharpham widower married Joanna Northleigh. Church registers show that they married on the 23rd March at Shillingford St George, Exeter. Joanna is described as “Mrs”.

Henry Blackaller junior died in 1684 and is buried at Ashprington Church. The Devon Will Index shows a Henry Blackaller of Ashprington with the will proved in 1685.

According to the Society of Genealogists, a Henry Blackaller went to Oxford in 1638 and 1659. These could well be the Henry senior and junior referred to above. However Alumni Oxiensis only gives the latter who is described as a gentleman.

Question did Henry inherit through his marriages sufficient wealth to buy Sharpham or was this though his own endeavours or was it though his parents resources?

Blackallers long association with the parish of Ashprington:


a) Lewis Full and Henry Blackaller granted a lease to George Archard of two parcels of land 1555.

b) The first Blackaller appears in Ashprington parish registers 1555

c) Lease between Sir Edward Giles and Henry Blackaller of lands at Higher and Lower London and Higher and Lower Hundred Hills 1622.

d) Deed between Edward Giles and Henry Blackaller which endorsed or signed by a Nicholas Blackaller – Nicholas was Joanne's father. 1624

e) Lease between Sir Edward Giles and Henry Blackaller concerning the Hundreds and London's, 1627

f) Mortgage deed relating to Sharpham or part Sharpham involving the Henry Blackaller senior and junior in 1638.

g) 1647 a Henry Blackaller was already assessed for tax in the parish. It is not however known which “Henry” this was.

h) Lease between Henry Blackaller of Pomeroy and Alan Lyde of Ashprington relating to Sharpham for 1000 years Henry seems to be loaning money to Lydes of Sharpham, dated 1644

i) Numerous deeds in 1666 involving Sharpham and area and Henry Blackaller. By February 1666 Henry is described as of Sharpham . The fact there is no land conveyance document suggests that Sharpham was acquired by inheritance.

j)The death of Henry was not the end of the Blackaller connection with Ashprington.. The Ashprington Registers show 1696 12th November refers to Edward son of Edward Blackaller and his wife Sarah Anne.

k) The Alphabetical account of the Nobility and Gentry etc published 1705 refers back to the position in 1673 and makes reference to a Henry Blackaller of Ashprington, Esq.


Sharpham in the parish of Ashprington


So Henry was very much involved with Ashprington and Sharpham but exactly how and when the Blackallers came into possession of Sharpham itself is not entirely clear but it may very well have been through marriage or inheritance.


They had become related to the Giles family when
William Giles married Joan Blackaller of Totnes. Father and son, John and William Giles of Totnes purchased the Manor of Ashprington in 1542 and the property known as Bowden in the same parish in 1543.


According to Polwhele . Edward Drewe, Sergeant at Law to Queen Elizabeth sold Sharpham 'which had large demesnes belonging to it' to John and William Giles of Bowden in Ashprington in the late C16. The actual year was 1598. Edward died during the negotiations. The price paid was £2250 so clearly a very considerable asset and estate.


Their son Edward Giles is presumably Sir Edward Giles (1566–1637) of Bowden – he was knighted at the Coronation of James 1st - eldest son and heir, who at the time of the publication of the Survey of Devon by Tristram Risdon in 1632, was stated to be the owner of Sharpham.


He married Mary Drew (died 1642/3), daughter and heiress of Edmond Drew of Hayne, Newton St Cyres, Devon. Held at the South West Heritage Trust is an Exemplification of Final Accord dated 1684 where a Mary Giles is described as the heir of Edward Giles. It refers to a number of properties including properties in Ashprington but makes no mention of Sharpham for that had already been separated off. Edward and Mary had no children that survived him.


So Henry senior could have acquired Sharpham on the death of Edward Giles in 1637 or on the death of the last male Giles in 1666. A publication by the The Sharpham Trust states as a fact that it was 1666. 1666 was the year in which the deeds at the Devon Record office refer to Henry Blackaller as being of Sharpham


This would seem to be supported by some evidence for though sources are not known various web references state that Edward's estates went to his nephew Richard and that when Richard Giles dies in 1654 that he was of Bowden Totnes and Ashprington. He left three sons, John, Edmund and Peter and numerous daughters.


However deeds at the Devon Record Office indicate from the transcriptions that Edward Drew in fact sold Sharpham in 1624 to Allan Lydde. A deed of 1638 refers to a sale to Allan Lydde “to have and to hold unto the Blackallers for evermore” A deed of 1644 sets out dealings between Allan Lydde and Henry Blackaller. It clearly states that Allan Lydde was them in occupation of Sharpham. The deed also sets out previous two occupiers none of whom were a “Blackaller”. A deed of 1664 indicates that Alan Lydde was still in occupation then.


So if in 1666 this was well after Joanna had married and left the area so she could not possibly be “of Sharpham”. It seems clear however that Henry Blackaller senior had an interest of some kind from the 1620's in Sharpham. However despite the deed of 1624 referred to above d) which might suggest some connection between Henry and Nicholas, it was Henry junior not Nicholas who acquired Sharpham and equally clearly it was not actually the home of Henry Blackaller junior until Joanna had married and left Dartmouth.

For the record the details of the owners of Sharpham on the website “Sharpham,Ashprington – Wikipedia” are wildly incomplete and inaccurate.

Yonges of Dartmouth

Taking spellings YONGE and YOUNG there are three references in the Newfoundland Petition of the 25th January 1642 to John son of Robert of St Saviours Parish. There may have been some double counting in transcription, which is a heavily annotated document. It is by those said to be involved in the Newfoundland Fisheries. We know from Dr James Journal that John had been to Newfoundland so he certainly had a connection with the trade.

These entries in the Petition are in part backed up by the registers of St Saviours.

In 1606 in Dartmouth a John Yonge was baptised. He was said to be the son of Robert Yonge.

Though there are entries for John son of Robert there are no baptisms or marriages (or indeed deaths) for Robert Yonge in Dartmouth so perhaps he was a migrant to the town.

In 1626 in Dartmouth a John Yonge married Jane Winter. These two may well be the one and the same.

On the 14th of January 1620 another John Yonge, also the son of Robert was baptised in at St Savours Dartmouth Dartmouth.

There was a John Yonge burial in Dartmouth in 1676 which could be either of these John Yonge's

Between 1590 and 1630 there are twenty Yonge BMS entries for Dartmouth but Dr James never mentions any Yonge relations in the few times he mentions going to Dartmouth in his Journal.

On the surface the above references to Robert Yonge would suggest a possible link. However the registers of St Andrews Plymouth show that John son of John Younge and Joanna baptised 27th June 1641" which was six months before the Newfoundland petition was signed and almost nine months to the day after his parents were married. It is reasonable to assume that this is John Yonge K5. This would mean the Dartmouth Yonge entries are almost certainly not relevant.

In the 1619 survey of mariners of the West Country there is a Robert Young sailor aged 53, living at Townstall – a suburb of Dartmouth.

John Yonge K5 and Dartmouth

As to John Yonge K5 whether he was of Dartmouth or was an incomer or just passing though and met his future wife, we do not know. It is of course traditional to marry in the home town of the wife to be. Dartmouth at that time was a boom town. While many of those who served in the Newfoundland fishing fleets were from Devon and Cornwall, others came from all over England including in particular Somerset, and Hampshire, for although by this time they had dropped out of direct involvement in the Newfoundland fishery, both counties continued to be a source of labour.

A Possible Devon Lead

Mark Yonge has researched this topic and has suggested John Young, son of Thomas, who was baptised at St Andrews Plymouth on the 8th of December 1610, is John (K5).

Leading back from there, he suggested the parents as a Thomas Yonge married a Catherine {Ketterin) Bowden at Totnes on the 19th of February 1606. There was a Bowden House near Totnes, which might be relevant but this was owned by the Giles family by this time.

This John Yonge, son of Thomas, apparently had seven siblings

There is no sign of this Thomas Young's baptism anywhere in Devon in any possible period.

His children COULD include the following baptisms at Plymouth, St Andrew. These baptisms appear to fall into two groups

31 Aug 1588 Michael Young, father Thomas Young
10 Nov 1589 Alexander Younge, father Thomas Younge
21 Oct 1604 Katherine Younge, father Thomas Younge
18 Sep 1607 Agnes Younge, father Thomas Young
8 Dec 1610
John Young, father Thomas Young
18 Apr 1613 George Young, father Thomas Young
02 Sep 1617 Thomas Younge, father Thomas Younge

There are however several problems with this suggestion of Mark's:

a)The wide gap between the first and last baptism, suggests there may be two “Thomas Yonge's involved

b) Dr James Yonge mentions one uncle living in London, Maurice or Morrice but his name does not appear among the siblings above.

  1. None of the siblings of this John Yonge are referred to in the Journal of Dr James Yonge. and even assuming not all reached adulthood, it seems odd that Dr James makes no mention of any of these uncles or aunts in in Plymouth or anywhere .

d) There is also a Thomas Young who married Jane Hearne at Paignton on the 1st of October 1610. There is also a John Young of Paignton who married Joan Sexton 17th September 1608. Both marriages would work as well as the Totnes marriage.

e) There was a Thomas son of Thomas baptised at Totnes on the 7th November 1610. This is more likely to be an offspring of the Young/Bowden marriage in Totnes just under a year before than the John son of Thomas born in Plymouth in the same year.

f) John was married in Dartmouth which was a boom town with people coming from all over England and John's father had a presence in Cork, so there may have been no Devon connection at all..

So it is the best if not only Devon family that will begin to fit but really only speculation as at November October 2020.

If however Plymouth was the home town of our John Yonge, it could explain why after marriage he moved almost immediately to Plymouth.

There is a John son Of William of Totnes born 9th November 1601. He might be a bit early but perfectly possible.

There is a John son of Martyn born Paignton in 1623 but this would really be too late, especially if John K5 entered into an apprenticeship.

Could the Paignton/Totnes Youngs be the same family? They are only just over five miles apart and only as many miles again to Dartmouth, the home of the Blackallers.

Other West Country Maritime Counties Baptisms– Ancestry/Find my Past Searches 1610-1632

A similar exercise has been carried out for Norfolk – see Norfolk and Charlotte Mary Yonge

One can probably ignore those where the father's Christian name is not common among our family and with John K5 marriage in 1640 anyone born after 1620. If John K5 had an apprenticeship possibly dates earlier than 1620 could be ignored. Those tat are left as possibles are in bold. A John son of John is the most likely


Lockersley 1619 John Younge son of John

Alverstoke 1623 John son of Richard

Fareham 1615 John son of Thomas

Gatcombe 1623 John son of Philip

Kinsclere 1623 John son of William


Ashchurch 1610 John son of John

Shurdington 1617 John son of Richard

Stone 1618 John son of Nicholas

Whittington 1615 John son of Thomas

Boddington 1620 John son of Thomas

Bristol 1620 John so of John

Westbury 1624 John son of Thomas

Sandhurst 1616 John son of David


Powerstock 1613 John son of Robert

Lydlinch 1625 John son of Nicholas

Marnhull 1618 John son of Nicholas


Wells 1615 John son of John

Martock 1600 John son of John

Shapwick 1617 John son of John

Croscombe 1604 John son of William

Wookey 1615 John son of John (Youngo)

Wookey 1627 John son of Boyer

Templecombe 1611 John son of Theoselius

Compton Bishop 1608 John Young

North Petherton 1607 John son of George

Maperton 1611 John son of Edward

Congresbury 1600 John

Bruton 1607 John son of Thomas

Aller 1624 John son of John


St Colomb 1606 John son of Roger


Freemen of Plymouth

According to the website “OldPlymouth” nobody could be elected as a Freeman if they were not born in the Town. According to an Order of the Corporation made in 1474/75, the person was also required to be a member of the Borough Guild of Our Lady and Saint George. The eldest son of an existing Freeman or somebody who had served a seven year apprenticeship with a Freeman could be elected to join the ranks. Subject to the earlier conditions, it was possible to purchase a Freedom but it was also possible for the Corporation to award honorary Freedoms as well.

It is a fact that in 1472 the corporation issued a decree that henceforth "no Foreyn man be made Freman herewithin", andr "foreyns",men who had been neither born nor apprenticed within the town, was deprived of his Freedom, the passport to economic privilege without which he could never trade on equal terms with the native Plymouth. Merchant. However whether this protectionist ruling was was short-lived or long lived, is another question.

This is interesting, for Plymouth Borough Records records show a reference to “John Young” being a freeman in 1646, with a total of 48 others. This might suggest he was made a freeman for services rendered during the siege of Plymouth 1643 to January 1646.

Also another record of all the freeman in 1666 shows a “John Young Surgeon”, as being a freeman among a total of 232.


The question then is how strictly the requirement that being a resident of Plymouth was strictly enforced when being appointed a Freeman of the Borough.

Upon going back over the section about “The Freemen” in Mr R N Worth’s “History of Plymouth from the Earliest Period to the Present Time”, which is usually the starting point for all Plymouth history but which is not entirely accurate, there is the statement ‘In the old days no one could claim to reside or trade in the town without being free of the franchise, or compounding for his disability.’ He quotes a list of Freemen dated 154, which does not contain the surname Yonge or any variation of that. He also refers to the Corporation selling Freedoms for £25, although much later in time. Furthermore, he also states that the Mayor could chose a person to become a Freeman upon his retiring from the office but does not say if residency was a pre-requisite.

The suspicion, therefore, is that even in the time of John K5 money could buy the privilege. It could well be that a gentleman who has been trading at Dartmouth for twenty years and has amassed a fortune could decide to move to Plymouth, offer to buy the Mayor a fine new gold chain of office and treat the Freemen to a slap-up dinner to get elected!

 Worth concludes ‘There were evidently from the earliest date more ways than one of getting on the freeman’s roll; for while to the great majority of the names no note is appended, some of the freedoms are said to have been purchased, and others given by the Mayor, or by the Aldermen.

So in summary only a possible indication. If nothing else however it shows that John must if not born in Plymouth resident have been a man of substance and influence.

We cannot not be sure that the John Young of 1646 is our John Young but there is no other apparent suitable candidate. The John Young of 1666 could be his nephew John but this seems unlikely.

Plymouth Borough Records

Apart from a couple of property references in 1677, the freeman entries are the only times that John Yonge K5his name comes up in the Plymouth Borough records transcribed by Find My Past. Interesting bearing in mind he lived there over thirty years.

However what has not been ut online is the Solemn Covenant. During the Civil War the people of Plymouth signed a solemn covenant to fight to the last man and indeed facing the Royalist army may have proven the lesser of two evils.

John Syms’ diary reveals that failure to keep the oath lead to punishment and even death.


Deserters of the army were punishable by death




Dr James Yonge and Dartmouth

As well as visiting Dartmouth on his medical rounds he also made family or what were likely to be family visits.

1650 Visited Dartmouth three times when his ship was at Torbay

1667 went with his mother to Dartmouth where his brother John's only child a daughter died

1671 went his marriage plans seemed all awry he rode to Dartmouth for some consolation.

1680 spent a night or two with his relations in Dartmouth accompanied by his wife, his mother, his brother Nathaniel and his wife.

1702 Refers to dining with various persons at Dartmouth but none seem to be or are described as relations. By this time presumably his close Blackaller relatives had died.

There is no reference to Sharpham in the Journal or to Blackaller's (and variants) by name

Between 1590 and 1630 there are twenty Yonge BMS entries for Dartmouth but Dr James never mentions any Yonge relations in the few times he mentions going to Dartmouth in his Journal.

The Alphabetical account of the Nobility and Gentry etc published 1705 refers back to the position in 1673 and makes reference to a Henry Blackaller of Ashprington, Esq. The only Yonge/Young referred to other than Colyton is John Yonge of Colebrooke, Esq.


References to other “Yonge” families in Journal of Dr James.


In passing he refers to:


a My Yonge of Ringwood who he said was of his name and profession but that he did not see him.


A Mr Robt Yonge of the ropeway at the Navy Yard Plymouth who with others was appointed to his Navy position as Dr James


A Mr Walter Yonge [Colyton branch] whose home he passed near on his travels


In none of these cases does he suggest any family connection


The Social Position of the Family


It is Important to remember that when looking at how people are described in records may not be a true reflection of their status but of how they wanted to be seen .


In this period 90 to 95% of the population had no designation or prefix.


Of the remainder there was a very small body of the aristocrats This left gentry who were called gentlemen or were honoured with the word “esquire”, pseudo gentry (individuals who had some social status but no landed acre who might be called “Mr” and groups who f did not fit in either category but who were clearly above the 90 to 95%. These latter were often described in terms of their occupation.


John (K5) was a surgeon. Surgeons as opposed to physicians were not considered "gentlemen. The origin lay of surgeons with barbers. Barbers not only cut the hair of and shaved their customers but took on medical and surgical tasks including dentistry. Surgery was a craft not a science, involving hand rather than head. Physicians diagnosed and prescribed. They had a university education. Physicians certainly to the well to do, were expected to be gentlemen. Not so with surgeons. Yet John applies for arms and acquired property in Plymouth. So clearly a man on the make growing up in a period of great social mobility, in the period of most intense social mobility. Various property deeds simply refer to him as a surgeon. However his burial entry refers to him as “Mr”.

Also from the College of Arms (see below) we know that he tried but failed to obtain coat of so he had social pretensions.


The fact that John appears to have supported Parliament is probably down more to the matter of personal inclination than the fact that he was a surgeon or of the middling sort. In fact it may not even have been personal inclination. It could simply be down to the fact he lived in Plymouth a strongly Puritan dominated town.


Dr James (L3) First a surgeon, then a physician who clearly became part of the post restoration Anglican establishment. He helped fund his son's rise to become a land owner. In his will he describes himself as a “physician” as he does in property deeds from 1710. In earlier deeds he describes himself as a surgeon. His burial entry describes him a “Dr” a term not normally used which perhaps reflects his gradual evolution of his professional and thus social status. Clearly on the way up but not a proper gentleman.


John (L2) another surgeon who married into the the Edgomb family who in turn had a connection with the socially superior Wadham Family. In East India Company records and in his will, he is described as a ”surgeon” In his marriage register entry he is described as “Mr”


Samuel. (L4) The first and only member of that generation who went to university. When John (K5) applied for his son Samuel to be admitted to Lincoln College – the least well regarded college - he was described as plebeian. School teacher and later radical non conformist preacher. Definitely not part of the establishment or a gentleman.


Nathaniel (L5) a non conformist and like many of his kind in restoration England, as other avenues were barred, a merchant. In property documents and his will he is described as a merchant. It is interesting how often Dr James in his writings decries people as “meer merchants”. Non conformists being denied state office tended to be active in business and this combined with a traditional contempt for trades people meant Dr James held them in particular low esteem.


James (M7) a physician like his father but also gentry, especially through his marriage to Mary Upton. His father's money enabled the building of Puslinch. A marriage of the two words. In various legal documents he is described normally as “gentleman” but also as “esquire” and “physician” are used. He became Lord of the Manor and acquired the living. He was clearly landed gentry whereas his grand father, though he had pretensions, was described as a surgeon and his father a mixture.


An unsourced account says “he seems for a time to have practised his profession”. Unlike his father he had no books published, there is no record of any correspondence with medical luminaries, no record of him with the College of Physicians and none of the legal documents from the time he married Mary Upton refer to his status of being that of a physician. It seems possible that he settled down to the life of a country gentleman, living literally on the land that came with his marriage and on the financial estate his father had accumulated.


If one looks at the position of the Yonge family from the time of John (K5) to his grandson, James (M7) they moved steadily from up clearly not gentry but probably of the middling sort to clearly landed gentry. In just three generations.


Property References to John Yonge


An account in the Western Morning News of May 1930 of the Elizabethan House in Plymouth stated that after various owners in the 17th century that in In 1651 his son Nicholas Helle conveyed it to John Yonge Chirurgeon of Plymouth (William Sargent being the tenant) for £80.

Another early reference which is n the Plymouth Record Office there is a document Ref: 1/485/17

Description: Counterpart lease for 99 years 1) Mayor and Commonalty of Plymouth 2) john Young of Plymouth, chirurgeon Two new erected shops at the north end of Southside Quay, Plymouth, adjoining another new shop on the quay and next to John Young's new dwelling house on the quay. Consideration: £50 5s. Rent: 4s pa.

Date: 5 Oct 1658

The waterfront of Sutton was the centre of Plymouth seafaring life and still at this point the place to live in Plymouth and having a home there suggests some wealth and status.

The dates suggests that he took many years to rise up in the World and become a man of property.

Worthies of Devon

While at Berry Pomerory John Prince worked on his biography of his home county's many notable figures, which he probably finished in 1697. The book ran to 600 pages, with woodcuts to illustrate the 191 biographies. He struggled to find funding for it; most publishers able to handle such a large book were based in London.. The printer was forced to advertise for subscribers while the book languished for four years until its first publication in 1701.It is evident that Prince was over-ambitious in his work. The alphabetical entries from A to H fill half the book, while L to Z are squeezed into the final quarter, as money problems took their toll on his inclusions. A second volume, detailing 115 entries chosen by Prince to redress the balance, was never published.

No Yonge's appear in the either of the two volumes.


Dr James Brother “Maurice”


There is one reference in Dr. James diary to his father (John) having a brother


Here [London] I met my Uncle Morrice, brother to my father who belonged to the Guards. He had often been in Plymouth but it always proved to be when I were wanting” Morrice, who was said to be in the Guards”.


The surviving albeit very incomplete military records show no one of that name in the army, although thee was an ensign “Morris”. To be an officer in the small standing army of the first part of Charles 11 reign would suggest some status.


The spellings of Morrice, Morris and Maurice have been searched


No "Morris" appears in any Yonge visitation or tree.


Also no such name appears in any of the online parish registers for England or Wales searched on Ancestry from 1600 to 1650. In fact the name in either spelling is incredibly rare before the 1800's.


There is a portrait at Puslinch, on the back of which is written “Morrice Yonge in the Guards” but it is not known when that was written on and with what authority or evidence.


Maybe there is a transcription error or the term “brother” was being used by Dr James very loosely.



John Yonge L2 child of John (K5)


Original family tree says John L2 was born after 1640 simply because it was the year his parents were married. However the records for St Andrew's Plymouth records.


L2 John son of John Younge and Joanna baptised 27th June 1641"


He was thus the first born Also shows after the marriage in Dartmouth that John and Joanna fairly quickly moved to Plymouth which might suggest that there was no strong Yonge connection with Dartmouth.



Plymouth and the Civil War

During the English Civil War Plymouth, in common with the other major port towns, including Dartmouth, sided with the Parliamentarians and so was isolated from the surrounding regions of Devon and Cornwall which were held by Royalist sympathisers. The town was besieged almost continuously from December 1642 to January 1646.


The fact that on the eve of war John moved from one Puritan controlled town to another, when the rest of the West Country was solidly for the King, would seem to indicate where, whether through conviction or self interest his allegiances lay.


There is a secondary reference to a John Yonge being in the Plymouth militia, in the time of Charles 1st The primary source or relevance of this reference is not known. If this relates to John (K5) this would suggest he was prepared to conform by swearing the necessary oath of loyalty to the King.

An examination of Worth's Siege accounts of Plymouth” for the last year of the siege, shows no reference to a John Young/Yonge in Plymouth during the parliamentary siege, contributing money or being paid for services, which might suggest he was not active on the Parliament side.

Worth's Accounts only refers to one surgeon John York who was paid a weeks pay in part payment of arrears. Could “York “ be a misreading of “Young. However the transcripts are apparently only partial.

On checking other primary and secondary Civil War references for Plymouth, and also with Mark Stoyle who wrote a book on Plymouth and the Civil War, there are again no references to a Young/Yonge.

There being no record of him being paid for his services, which might seem odd as surgeons would have been in high demand and he could hardly have avoided treating the injured. However Laura Quigley of Plymouth who is a researcher on surgery during the 17th century emailed me “There were obviously surgeons and other medics in Plymouth before and during the war, but quite a few people aren't in the registers, and surgeons are just not mentioned in any of the material I've seen, which is interesting in itself. There was certainly medical treatment but little if any mention of the surgeons themselves. I don't remember any surgeons mentioned in John Syms famous journal of the Civil War in Plymouth, for example”.

A “day-booke” kept by a Puritan minister, John Syms, has primarily been used as an historical source for studying the events of the English Civil War, especially in and around the Parliamentary stronghold of Plymouth. Syms also served as a naval chaplain aboard a Parliamentary man-of-war.The manuscript is held at the British Library and has still to be checked

He had at one to been involved in the Newfoundland trade but this trade was severely disrupted by the Civil War (Massachusetts ships and London merchants took over from the West Country) so it is most unlikely that he was occupied with that during the War..


Status of Surgeons


Physicians diagnosed and prescribed. They had a university education. Physicians to well to do expected to be gentlemen. Royal College of physicians existed by 1609. Upheld privileges through the courts. Fifty were established in London and rest in cathedral towns and cities. There were ten in Norwich 15780-90


Surgery was a craft not a science, involving the hand rather than head. Surgeons treated external complaints, skin conditions, boils wounds, set bones, simple operations, pulled teeth, suture wounds, deal with scalds and burns. Thus surgeons tended to be less well educated and of lower social status to physicians and learnt on the job rather than from book learning.


Surgery and barbering had long been within one group. The Barber Surgeons Company of London covered both occupations. Qualification for London and other corporate towns was a 7 -year apprenticeship


Below surgeons were the apothecaries. In London in 1600, there 50 physicians, 100 surgeons and 100 apothecaries.


Licences to practice outside London were granted by local authorities and guilds


There was keen rivalry between surgeons and barbers, but less so in provinces where all under one roof of the local barbers guild.


Historian Margaret Pelling has researched the regional barber surgeons regional guilds and has found no evidence of one in Plymouth. The nearest were at Bristol and Exeter. Of the Exeter craft companies, for only two, the Tailors, and the Weavers, Fullers, and Shearmen, are there any records extant. There is a `Description of the arms of the Exeter companies’, with a description of the arms of the Exeter barber-surgeons in Remarkable Antiquities of the City of Exeter (1676).

This does not necessarily mean that there was no barber surgeons guild in Plymouth but that one was not formally constituted. In any event this does not seem a likely source of information.

Those qualified were meant to be licensed to practice by the ecclesiastical authorities which for the West Country meant the Bishop of Exeter. The period when this was most strictly enforced was under Archbishop Laud in the 163's which was the time when John K5 might have qualified. However the records pre 1660 have been lost.

Formal records of medical qualification are very limited and although there were many practitioners, they were used and accepted not because of any paper qualification but because of the service they offered.

Dr James Yonge 1647-1721

One might have expected that Dr James in his Journal might have referred about his background but apart from odd snippets there is nothing.

Was this lack of knowledge or was this socially mobile rather snobbish establishment figure ashamed of that past?

Clearly James must have grown up in a Puritan household. He recounts that in 1659, when aged 12, whilst on a ship he was hit by a swinging rope during a storm and that he treated the storm as a sign of God’s displeasure at the King being called back.

Although Dr James was a surgeon which was not really a respectable calling, he also acted as a physician and by his efforts and energy broke out of the usual status of a surgeon and mixed with the great and the good. There is no evidence, despite owning real estate, that his father made a similar breakthrough.

In 161 he married Jane Cramporne who was the daughter of Thomas and Katherine Cramporne, who was baptised the 14th August 1649 in Charles Church Plymouth.

Carew's Surveys of Devon and Cornwall

These were compiled in the first half of the 17th century. Many county families of note are listed including the Yonge's of Colyton but no other Yonge's which would suggest that our Yonge's were not of the area or were too modest socially to count.

Tristram Risdon Survey of Devon

This work was first published in 1640 and while the edition published in 1811 contains a brief reference in an addendum at of gentry the start of the 19th century to John Yonge of Puslinch. There is nothing on as to where the Puslinch family came from.

For the gentry at the start of the 17th century there is listed :

Yonge of Stetticome” presumably this is “Stedcombe” which Yonge was of the Colyton branch

Yonge of Coliton”

Yonge of Whimple” Manor of Cobden there occupied by a John Yonge of the Colyton branch. Sold by the family in 1794.

Yonge of N Petherwin” This is near Launceston. Arms granted to William Yonge of Tern Somerset 1615. Date and location rule this out

His notebook of his travels contains no relevant references.

This is interesting in a way as other works referred to below which refer to Sturminster Newton and Colebrooke are often based on Risdon. So the information must have come from elsewhere.

Clearly however the Yonge family we are concerned with were not Devon gentry.

Why the Colyton line is rejected


Burke's Landed Gentry shows John Yonge and Elizabeth Strode of Colyton as having two children named John with the older as being the father of Dr James the diarist: However this John Yonge and Elizabeth Strode are in fact of the unconnected o Colyton Yonges, with their antecedents shown several hundred years back. This is not correct as:

I) It would have been highly unusual for parents to give two children living at the same time, the single same name.

2) The Visitation signed off by a member of the Colyton family only shows the one John and he would have been too young to be our John .

3) That Visitation also shows that the above John Yonge born 1623 died 1639/40, whereas the father of Dr James lived until 1679, according to Dr James in his journal,

4) The parish records for Colyton and Axmouth tie in exactly with the Visitations for the Yonge's of Colyton.

5) Dr James in his diary refers to an uncle Morrice, on his fathers side of the family, but this name does not appear in Colyton trees.

6) Dr James in his journal refers to people he met in Devon and names Walter Yonge of Colyton but there is no suggestion that he was a relative.

7) Sir George Yonge is said to be the last of the Colyton line and the baronetcy clearly died with him. However under the laws of succession, if the Colyton and Puslinch Yonge's had been the same family, it would have continued through to the present time.

8) Another John Yonge, who died 1772, refers the family origins but makes no reference to any Colyton Yonge's

9) The records of the College of Arms state that John Yonge (K5) father of Dr James had been using the arms which were later granted to his grandchildren and that they applied for formal recognition in order to regularise the position. The Colyton Yonge's had arms and very different arms well before he applied.

A History of Devon published in 1797

This states:

Yonge of Puslinch

This family which came from Sturminster Newton . Dorset, had resided for several generations at Lansdend in the parish of Colebrooke. They removed to Puslinch in consequence of a marriagewith a co heiress of Upton in the beginning of the last century. The late Sir William Yonge G. C.B. was of this family. He had a younger brother Admiral James Yonge of Barton End Gloucestershire.

The following arms were granted in 1725 to James and William brothers of this family Arms -or six ogresses in fesse between three lions salient. no tincture given Crest -On a wreath or and gules a bucks head couped between fern branches vert [In this grant of arms the name is spelt both Yonge and Young]. At this time the parties to whom the grant was made failed in proving their right to arms. But appears from documents in the Heralds College that the ancestors of the Yonges. then of Landsend in Colebrooke and Sturminster Newton had a grant from the celebrated Camden, Clarencieux King of Arms* of the following coats: per fesse S and argent, three lions passant gardant countercharged :








*Camden was King of Arms 1696-1623.

The marriage with Mary Upton was in fact at the start of that century. Also the reference is wrong for it was in fact through the marriage of the Puslinch Yonge's with the Upton family who had land in Colebrooke, that the Puslinch Yonges had a connection with Colebrooke. See section “Landsend”. Position is complicated by fact that Colebrooke had a connection with Colyton Yonge's and Colebrooke/Sturminster Newton Yonge's.· As to the Sturminster Newton reported connection this may be true but there is no evidence at all and .the inaccuracies we do know about do not inspire confidence. The Heralds office say that this book cannot be relied upon.



Burkes Landed Gentry which unfortunately is taken as gospel by other works and publications including many web sites, but a mistake does not become correct merely because it is endlessly recycled to this day, states:

"The Yonge's of Puslinch descend from a family of the name of considerable antiquity in Devon and originally came from Basingbourne Berks. In 1600 they had settled at many seats in Devon and elsewhere such as Axminster Upton Hellions, Escott, Pallaton Cold broke and Colyton. In 1656 Sir John Yonge was MP for Plymouth. John Yonge son of Sir John Yonge and his wife Elizabeth Strode [of the Colyton Yonge's] was settled in Plymouth in 1640, he married Joanna Blackaller daughter of Nicholas Blackaller of Sharpham Devon. "

Also for the YOUNG branch it has the line descending from Nathaniel's son James and that William was a single person. James was possibly married but we have no record of any descendants. William (M51) did marry and the YOUNG line in fact continued through him.

Clearly Burkes has lumped together a number of separate Young families

However Burkes Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry published in 1847, states “The family of Yonge is of considerable antiquity in Devon and its ancestors then of Landsend and Sturminster Newton had a grant of arms from Camden. John Yonge of Landsend in the Parish of Colebroke near Exeter, living in 1646 had by Joanna his wife with other issue, a son – James Yonge MD of Plymouth.”

Sturminster Newton/Colebrooke is the most common reference in various works but that does not make it right.



The following is extracted from Polewhele's History of Devonshire, first published between 1793-1806. this extract is taken from the 1793 edition with the heading "Mr Yonge in Devonshire" compiled by the Rev John Yonge who died in 1792.

"Old Puslinch was inhabited by the family of Uptons or Uppetons, as sometimes spelt for several centuries, till at the beginning of this century it fell into the joint possession of two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, the latter of whom in this century married James Yonge, surgeon of Plymouth by which means and purchase of the other sisters moiety, he became possessed of the whole, and it has since continued in his family. This gentleman was the grandfather 'of the Rev James Yonge and was the son of James Yonge, also surgeon and . physician, of the same place, by which practice he. made a pretty considerable fortune for those times, and whose father appears to have some concerns or estates in Ireland, and. was perhaps originally from that country, tho' he appears to have settled in Plymouth in the year 1640."

Of particular interest is the reference to the family having business interests in Ireland and possible having come from there to begin with. This of course may simply be repeating what is suggested or rather implied in Dr James Journal. for there is a little more information than in the Journal. However if it is from Dr James, rather than coming from a separate source, it is still interesting for it suggests the family had no other ideas of their origin.





Lysons Magna Brittanica 1822

This too cannot be relied upon. It states

"Yonge, of Puslinch. - This family, which came from Sturminster Newton, in Dorsetshire, had resided for several generations at Landsend, in the parish of Colebrooke: they removed to Puslinch in consequence of a marriage with a co-heiress of Upton, in the beginning of the last century. The Rev. John Yonge, of Puslinch, is the present representative. The late Sir William Young, G. C. B., was of this family: he had a younger brother, Admiral James Young, now of Barton-end, in Gloucestershire."

One can see the picture of the same stories being recycled with never any primary source material to back them up.See section “Landsend”.


The Life and Death Hugh Peters," by Dr. William Yonge (1663), DR. MED

Although there's no overt link, it was once thought that the author may represent a new vector into the Problem. Not only is he of the same political persuasion as Dr. James (a generation later), but it was said that he used he uses as his central text the Latin phrase, "Qualis vita, finis ita", which is the motto of the Yonge’s of Puslinch, in his work t;. Translates this means “as is the life so is the end” or more colloquial “as you live so is your consequence” He does use this tag but he also uses other tags such as on the same page “Diu vivere est bene vivere which means “to live long is to live well”. Mottos anyway are not formalised and this particular motto is well known going back to at least the mid 1500's. It is the title of a poem by John Webster, died 1632 and is used in other works of the period. Accordingly no importance should be attached to it.



During the medieval period, arms were adopted by individuals unilaterally with the simple aim of being distinctive. Later, the active county visitations of the 16th and early 17th century by Royal Heralds had provided a more rigorous form of registration. It appears that the purpose of pedigrees at this time were simple a means of proving a right to ancient arms and were not required for a new grant. However, the College of Arms became a repository for these pedigrees and continue to offer a means of registering a family pedigree.


In 1680, registration became voluntary once more and county visitations ceased. Pedigrees would not have been checked extensively, but would rely instead on testimonials. If someone adopted a coat of arms informally, without the discipline of the formal visitations there would have been little risk of censure. It was not uncommon for people to find a coat of arms, perhaps one attached to somebody with the same surname, and simply adopt it without the formality of a grant from the College of Arms.


There was a revival in the early 1800's, largely to the Herald (Naylor) who was very active in promoting arms to the heroes of the Napoleonic Wars. The Order of the Bath was instituted for serving military officers. Naylor toured the country persuading these newly-honoured individuals to add an accomplishment of Arms to the glory of their families. As a result, many 18th century pedigrees are held in records called the Bath books. This includes the ‘YOUNG’ pedigree.

It seems that prior to the formal grant of arms that in fact the Yonge family had been using arms but were not able to show that a right to do so pre-existed. Hence the petition for a fresh grant. There is no sign that the arms granted had any relationship to the arms previously used, seals on documents held by the PWDRO seem to indicate different arms but need to be checked further.

Ancestors are not normally referred to in a grant, each grant tends to be stand-alone. A pedigree may also be offered but this is independent of a grant of arms unless the applicant is seeking to prove a connection to an older right to bear arms, hence needs to demonstrate descent from an ancient arms-bearing family. The pedigree here was prepared when Admiral William Young was made a Knight of the Bath. The YOUNG arms, updated in 1814(?) when supporters were added coincident with Sir William Young receiving his GCB.

In granting new arms the College often looked at and based arms on other families with same name without checking if they were related. They did not check on and did not require extensive pedigrees. So it is likely to be unproductive to draw any conclusions from any similarity of the Puslinch arms to the arms of any other Yonge family.

The College of Arms have stated that the pedigree or tree us unusually detailed and must have been based on some extensive evidence. However it does not go back earlier than John Yonge.

The College records also state that John had been using the arms which were later granted or devised to his grandchildren James Yonge and William Young and that they applied for formal recognition in order to regularise the position. In 1667 Garter SirWilliam Dugdalestated that assumed arms that have been used in a family for around 80 years are allowed to be borne by prescription. As John Yonge did not acquire arms under this dispensation, the claimed arms presumably did not go back that far.


Going back to but no further back than John Yonge K5, was probably because the 1725 grant was to cousins James Yonge M7 and William Young M51. John K5 was their nearest direct ancestor so there was no need to go back further. This was not unusual; grants were made to various forms of family group, not necessarily even in the same generation.

All this suggests that John was on his way up in the world, but was not deemed to be a gentleman. John had some real estate which was one of the qualifications for a gentleman but he also worked for his living as a surgeon which was not the hallmark of a gentleman. .

It is interesting that Dr James Yonge, who in his writings comes over as a snob, did not pursue the application. Perhaps he did not want an investigation into his families origins. Also by the time his son James and the child of his brother Nathaniel applied, they could clock up the 80 years by going back to 1645 and thus would have no need to go back earlier than John Yonge K5


The arms for the Puslinch Yonges are:

Or six pellets in fess sable between three lions rampant gu.


The details supplied by the College of Arms are slightly different and/or more fully described. They read:

Or six ogresses in fess between three lions salient Gules quartered Duke Upton etc", moto Qualis Vita Finis Ita

Lions rampant appear in a number of the arms in the next section but this just appears to be chance. Lions were a very popular emblem.

The crest is On a wreath or and gules A bucks head couped proper bezanty between two fern branches vert

There are no arms for the Blackaller family though there is for Blackall but not in Dartmouth but Totnes. They are:


Paly of six or and sableo n a chief gules three besants, quartering or on a fess between three griffins heads erased sable, three mullets or

There are no references for the Crampporn family.

Other Arms

There are numerous different Yonge families with arms but there is no indication that the arms first used by John Yonge K65 are modeled on any of them or on the arms of the Blackall family. It was in fact quite common for an individual to copy and adopt the arms of someone with the same name even though there may be no connection. The other Yonge arms are:




Lozengy ar and vert (alternating green and silver squares running diagonally across the shield} upon a bend az two Ibexes heads erased or




As above.



Argent on a bend sable, three griffins heads erased or within a boarder engraved besants. Granted to Thomas Yonge of Newlands and Roxwell Essex.




Three roses and Canton Gules. Granted to William Young 1615




Lozengy or and vert on a chief oz. three bezants.




Ermine on a bend cotised sable, three griffins heads erased or Walter Yonge came to Devon in the time of Henry V11




Ar on a chev. oz. three bezantts on a chief gu. two cinq foils or.


They were granted in 1607, Walter of Basildon branch had by then moved to Devon.




Same Arms and similar Crest as above. The Colyton branch were descended from Walter Yonge of Upton Helion Devon who was the (great) grandson of Walter Yonge of Basildon Berkshire.



Same arms and crest as above. Granted to John who was son and heir of Walter of Basildon.



Same arms and crest as above. Granted to Walter son of John Yonge above. Granted 1583. He had a son Walter who married Elizabeth Stoud 1621





Per fess sable and argent, three lions rampant, guardant countetrchanged




Vair on chief gules, three lions rampant or


Crest-A demi greyhound rampant erased argent


It appears arms granted in 1572 by Robert Coke Clarence, by which date Sturminster/Colebrooke appear to have diverged.


ODUSIN (place not now identifiable) HAMPSHIRE

Only a very limited tree has been published. The arms bear no resemblance to the Puslinch Yonges. The crest like Puslinch feature a bucks head but with an arrow and without two ferns as supporters. The Yonge family of Ringwood, Hants, referred to by Dr James were not armigerous. Nor were the Isle of Wight.




ar on a chief gules, three lions rampant or


Only the Yonges of Colebrooke and Upton Helions appear in the Devon Visitation of 1620




In the marriage settlement , dated before the marriage, for James Yonge the Younger (PWDRO 107/94), dated 28 Sep. 1719, the seals of both Dr James the elder and James the younger are the same and not at all like the arms granted in 20 July 1725.They depict a broad cross with a chevron in top left and bottom right quarters with MAYBE a rose in the other two corners


In the settlement after marriage (PWDRO 107/96),  the seal of James Junior is the same as in 107/194 . The document is dated 18 October in the "Fifth year of the reign of our sovereign lord George". George 1st came to the throne in Aug. 1714,  which suggests this document was dated in 1719.

Under PWDRO reference 1/720/137 there is a lease where Dr James Yonge senior was a party which shows the same arms as in 107/94 and 107/96


Also at Plymouth Archives 1/720/73 is a lease where John Yonge K5 is a party . This shows the same arms as those in 107/94.


Other early deeds which should contain seals for John Young, or his wife do not, or are too damaged to read, so this trail has gone cold.


However it does suggest that the arms originally used by the family were of doubtful legitimacy and not of long user and that a few years after James Yonge junior married Mary Upton, when he felt secure in his new role that the Yonge family wanted a fresh start to show that the family had arrived though the efforts of Dr James Yonge and the marriage of his son James to Mary Upton. So much was everything seen as due to them that the arms of the Upton family, which were of long standing appear nowhere in the new arms. A typical attitude of the nouveau riche.







Dr James journal (which was published by Longmans in the 1960's} contains a reference to a visit to Cape Clear in Ireland.


"We fell in with Cape Clear, the wind to the west, and bore away for Castle haven. It's an excellent harbour within, but it's a somewhat bad entrance. Here there is no town but on the left where we came in there is a cove and an old small castle with no guns or garrison. In it lives Colonel Townsend, one who was formerly a fellow servant with my father but grown great in the late rebellious war. The people are mostly Irish and live in cabins and go very poor in clothes. All provisions are monstrously cheap and money scarce"


It is not entirely clear whether Dr James is talking about Castlehaven or what later became Castle Townsend. The voyage was in 1658 by which time the castle at Castle Townsend was built but Dr James refers to an old castle. It could have been he was referring to the old castle of the O'Driscolls at Castlehaven.


There are no other references to the Townsend family in the Journal.


The term "servant" was used to describe one of the entry routes into the Navy. Captains had servants whose aim was in due course to become officers. Clearly John had nautical connections and his son Dr James served in the Royal Navy.


Far more likely the reference to "servant" could mean that both were at one time fellow apprentices surgeons together, rather than that they were servants in the modern sense of the word. Dr James refers to the surgeon he was apprenticed to as his “master” but also that he was “servant to them all” when referring when referring to the surgeon on board, the surgeons mate and another servant.


A Townsend Family history entitled "An Officer of the Long Parliament and his descendants by family members being some account of the life and times of Colonel Richard Townsend of Castletown and a chronicle of his family" is the source for the following account of his military life.


This work says he was born in 1618 and that he bore the same arms as sir Roger Townsend of Raynham in Essex who was the brother in law to Anne Fairfax the wife of Sir Thomas Fairfax but that records of Raynham branch of family do not show any Richard of the right date. Also that these were the same arms as the Norfolk branch of the family but that there is no birth entry in England or Norfolk for Richard Townsend who was born in 1618 so a close contemporary of John Yonge.


The family appear to have had an extensive presence in Ireland including Cork and Kinsale and one unverified family account is that Richard's grandfather migrated to Ireland. If there were extensive interests in Ireland this could explain that Richard had apparently no objection to serving in Ireland unlike very many Parliamentary solders and again like most solders stayed on after the fighting was over.


The only possible reference for the period prior to the Civil War, we have is Richard Townsend of Ditchford in Warwick who matriculated at Hart Hall Oxford aged 1637 aged 19 but that w2ould make his birth as 1615 so he can probably be ruled out


There are some Devonshire Townsend's but there is no known link with any other branches of the family. However while he may not be the same person, there was a captain Townsend serving in the Parliamentary garrison in Exeter in 1643.

Nothing is apparently known about him before 1643 when he was appointed to command a company, as a Captain, in Colonel Ceely's Regiment, which had been raised to garrison Lyme Regis. Richard was engaged in several skirmishes during the English Civil War, most notably on 3 March 1643 when he surprised and routed 150 Royalist cavalry at Bridport. Later, he was present during the siege of Lyme Regis, 20 April – 13 June 1644 where he distinguished himself and was promoted to Major. In 1645 he assumed command of Colonel Ceely's Regiment when Colonel Ceely was returned to Parliament as MP. Following the siege Richard was appointed Colonel and ordered by Parliament on 17 September 1646 to raise a regiment of foot for service in Ireland.


At the attack on Bridport, Townsend was shot in the head. Could it be that John Yonge (K5) was there and treated Richard Townsend, thus making the connection? If so this would suggest that at one time John was in the Parliamentary forces.

Dr James Yonge was a staunch royalist and an Anglican. His brother Nathaniel was non conformist. The politics of John are not known for sure but it seems likely that during the Civil War/Commonwealth period he was on the Puritan side, though whether from conviction or pragmatism is not clear.

As to the Norfolk reference above, there is unverified claim that the Yonges originally came from Norfolk. See elsewhere in this paper.


If indeed John K5 was an apprentice – see above - this could say something about his father's status in the World.

The social background of apprentices was diverse but but since a premium or capital sum had to be paid to the master for indentures most apprentices were the sons of urban trades people, artisans and professional men and minor gentry. The ratio depended on the trades status. Surgery was not the most prestigious. In the latter years of the reign of James 1st husbandmen (small tenant farmers) and yeoman fell on troubled times and the number of sons of this category who took up apprenticeships declined. So if John followed the norm and was indeed an apprentice servant (some surgeons however undertook no or did not complete their apprenticeship) his father must have had some economic and thus social status.


We have no idea whether John K5 entered into a formal apprenticeship through a Barber Surgeons Guild or like his father one not involving a guild. An apprenticeship was meant to last seven years. By the 1563 Act a full term was not to end earlier than the age of 24. Apprentices were not allowed to marry during their Term.



Over the years large numbers of English people have settled in Ireland, especially in the South. Of these many came from Devon being a short sea trip, that the Irish accent has been attributed to Devon.

There were deep rooted religious political social economic and family links between southern Ireland and South West England. Extended families maintained social and economic links across the Irish Sea. These roots extended to a common involvement in the Newfoundland cod trade. English ships heading to and from Newfoundland often called at southern Irish ports for provisions.


John Yonge (the father of Dr James) married a Joanna Blackaller from Dartmouth in 1640 so no visible Irish connections. The references to Ireland come from the Journal of his son Dr James Yonge.

In' his Journal, Dr James refers to a visit to Ireland in 1659.

"From Plymouth we were ordered to sail for Kinsale to convey some ships thither. My father having some business in Ireland to recover a debt and to see his mother,then living, went with us. When we come to Kinsale my father left us and rode to Cork".


Although there are other references to sailing to Kinsale and indeed Cork, this is the only reference to the family having a presence in Ireland.


Unless she remarried her name should be Yonge although the spelling may have been "Younge" or "Young". We have no Christian name for Dr James grandmother. His father's girls were named Mary and Elizabeth which may be a clue.


James grandmother may have been Irish (which if true might explain why the family did not want to know about their past for at that time many persons saw the Irish as no better than the North American Indians) but Cork did have a large English community and she was far more likely to be part of the Protestant ascendancy. Her name however does not appear in the records of the main Protestant Church of Cork or in Simmington’s Civil Survey of 1654-6 or census of the city of Cork of 1663.


The only reference to a Protestant Yonge in Cork is in the Survey of 1663 which refers to a John Younge and a Robert Sampson and an Edward Rogers and an Anthony Wiltshire holding land in Low Street Cork. However that was three years after Dr James visit and even then his grandmother was apparently a widow. The reference also states that the same people held it in 1641. The full reference is



Ant: Wiltshire. Sampson Robert, John Younge, Edward Rogers, restored


A large house walled and thatched two stories and a garret 60X28 . A malt house two stories and a garret 58X20. A stable of stone and thatch 21 XI 3. An out house cage work and tiled 20XI6 A backside 40X26 all in St Nicholas in Low Street. Owners in I 643 and 1654”



In Original Investors In Irish Land 1642 there are no Blackaller's. There were four “Youngs” Two Johns a Matthew and a Thomas. One John was from Devon and all the rest from London. The Devon one in doubling ordinance of 1643 invested 25 pounds. In Predergasts Cromwellian Settlement Of Ireland he was given number of 1034 the same as Yeo. No occupation is given or location of land holding.




Among the records of the Adventurers of 1642 there is a reference to John Yonge of Colebrook assigning his interest to Thomas Young of Darenth. Although it is always possible the Puslinch Yonge’s and Colebrook Yonge’s were connected, there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. The full reference is


166561'7 assignment by John Yonge Young Younge of Colebrook in Devon Gent. Assigning his share in Irish adventure to Thomas Young of Darenth Kent. Receipt by Thomas July 1643 of £25 from John Young of Colebrooke Devon. Ditto Thomas Young of Blackwell Hall merchant of London. April 1642 three of same by treasurer under arrangement between King and Parliament in all for £ I 00 from Thomas Young of London merchant Ditto but also from Mathew Yonge brewer”


Also there is a John Young with a payment of 10 pounds which is modest compared to the norm. He had 16 acres of land to offset credits in Lismagh baronry Kilkenny county Limerick province

A transcript of the Court Book of Kinsale and this shows a number of YOUNG entries in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Council Book of Kinsale makes a number or references to Yonge's holding various official posts. On the other hand the Court Book of Cork, though years 1643-90, are missing, shows no entries.

Kinsale is a small coastal town south west of Cork, which traded with England, including the west country in particular. At that time it was a thriving and important port, possibly more important than Cork. The history of Kinsale by Michael Mulcahy says it was a colonial town and that the names of the citizens, which include Young" prove this. The - native Irish apparently lived outside the walls in Kinsale (and also Cork). The work by John Silke on the Spanish occupation of Kinsale in 1601-2, makes no reference to the family.

Parish registers for the period are incomplete. In the Fiants of Elizabeth 1 st for Ireland there are many references to YONGE, YONG, YOUNGE and YOUNG In the Irish Patent Rolls of James 1st also has similar name references. It seems that a number Irish of Yonge's/Young's came from Scotland, where Young is a very common name.


The family could have come over with the plantations of the 1580’s or the settlements in the 1620 or after the Civil War. The latter is the least likely as most settlers then were in the Army and there is no evidence from the Adventurers Records to indicate that a family member bought Irish war bonds. Bearing in mind the lack of any evidence in English records before about 1620 (and even then we do not have a parish birth entry it may be that the family were in Ireland from the 1580’s, which would have meant a break of a generation in English records which of course would explain the lack of English records and thus the PROBLEM. This however is and likely to remain speculation.


As we do not know widow Yonge's maiden name and as many records of the Anglican Church in Ireland and other records were lost when the Public Record Office was destroyed in 1922., it seems unlikely that any more definite information will be discovered.


A Pat Crowley of University College Cork, has done extensive ongoing research into the names of doctors, apothecaries, freemen, magistrates, and lawyers in Cork, which covers our period but no likely lead comes up. Irish Court cases for Dublin and Cork reveal a James Yonge servant ofJames Young but nothing to link to our Yonge's


He has also analysed the names of those involved in the West Cork fisheries. There was a Young family at Bantry involved from about 1600 right though and well beyond out period but no name comes up for our period. He refers inter alia to a Dr John Young who came to Bantry in about 1600. However the descendants were still in the area over a hundred years later.


Norfolk and Charlotte Mary Yonge

The Victorian writer Charlotte Yonge says in her autobiography.

"Our tradition is that in the time of James I, when knights fees were heavy a gentleman of the Norfolk family eluded the expensive honour by fleeing into Devonshire. His son acted as a surgeon in the Cavalier Army. "

The only reference we have to Norfolk Yonge's is to a branch of the Caynton Yonge's who moved there in the 19th century. See section “Caynton Yonges”

For the grandfather of Dr James to have come to Devon at the time of James let alone Charles 1st in 1625 would not tie in with anything else we have.

Charlotte refers in to the reference as being" A tradition" but on the other hand whoever told her of the tradition would have been a lot closer in time to the events than we are.

Interestingly F.A Morshead in writing to his Aunt Mary on Christabel Coleridge's biography of Charlotte wrote “ “and what a piece of Yonge and Charlotte genealogy that is at the beginning! But I would not be examined in that for anything.” [Plymouth and West Devon Record Office 308/335]

This is backed up by the fact that where there are known family facts, her references are often incorrect.

A search has been made on Find My Past and Ancestry for John Yonge/Youngs born 10 years either side of 1620 in the County. Looking at common family Christian names and dates, the possible ones are in bold.

Langmere 1621 John son of Thomas

Fincham 1618 John son of Richard

Great Yarmouth 1614 John son of James

Wells 1614 John son of Henry

Little Plumstead 1614 John son of John

Norwich 1610 John son of Edward

Warham 1615 John son of John

Charlotte Mary Yonge and Knighthood

Distraint of knighthood ( a fine for refusing a knighthood) was attempted to be revived by James 1st on his coronation and although a system was set up. no action to enforce was taken and no fines collected. So the reference to James 1st must be wrong. Charles the 1st was more effective. He provided that all those who were offered and refused would have to pay a fine of £40. There were few takers for a knighthood as the value had been diminished by James 1st selling for a bargain £30. This brought in £150000 for 1630 and 1631 alone and by £1635 a total of £173000 had been collected., meant that over 4000 person had paid up. Despite this impressive total not all sheriffs (this might have been particularly so in Puritan Norfolk) were zealous on the King's behalf and Charles wrote to the nobles who headed up the commission charged with collecting monies, to take action against defaulting local sheriffs.

The "book of Compositions for not taking order of Knighthood at Coronation of Charles 1st 1630-32" has been checked for counties of Berkshire, Devon, Dorset, Bristol, Bristol City, Norfolk and Suffolk. This only showed a Robert Yonge in Suffolk and a William Young in Bristol.

The "Commission from the Privy Council of Charles I 28th February 1631 appointing Sir Hamon Le Strange of Hunstanton Collector of fines or compositions for Knighthood in the County of Norfolk" does not show any Yonge/Young listed . Sir Hamon fought on the King's side in the Civil War.

A record from the Norfolk Record Office possibly shows a “Young“ paying a fine of £10 for refusing to take a knighthood but the writing is difficult to interpret and there is nothing to link the name to any other person.

Anyway moving from Norfolk to Devon, would that really have resulted in the authorities losing all track of a member of the gentry, even if, which is doubtful, the Yonge's then would have been considered gentry?

Charlotte Mary Yonge and Cavalier army

As Dr James was a very strong royalist one would have expected him to refer to his father's role in the civil war, if he had been in the King's army but he does not.

As to the reference to the Cavalier Army, original records at The National Archives have been checked. They are not complete but do not really assist. There is one reference elsewhere to a Yonge and the army before but not as a surgeon and this was anyway in the context of the Caynton Yonge's. .

Primary original source documents and secondary sources have been checked for military associations in the Civil War. Various Young/Yonge names come up but there is no evidence that they are our Yonges even where they have the Christian name John

There was a Captain Young in a company under Captain Fortescue (is this significant in relation to the Fortescues mentioned elsewhere in this note?) but this unit was part of Sir Thomas Fairfax forces and he was a Parliamentarian. Query perhaps Dr James father was a Parliament man. What evudence we have suggests he was. This would fit more logically with Nathaniel apparently changing his name because Dr James was such a strong Royalist, he could have felt the family name was being dishonoured. Charlotte Yonge with her fear of non conformists would never have willingly acknowledged a Puritan past.

It could be that Charlotte has got confused with Dr James Yonge who at the time of Monmouth's landing was a surgeon in Lords Baths Regiment, which was of course part of the Royalist army. She was not noted for the accuracy of her history of the family.

Colebrooke, Devon

Church warden accounts and the Visitation show that there was a very well established Yonge family in Colebroke Devon

An account of Colebroke and other areas written in the time of The Rev James Yonge of Puslinch (second half of 18th century) recounts that Coplestone, which is across the road from the parish church where until about the year 2000 the property was known as Young's farm, is now the property of Sir John Yonge. This is a mistake, Sir John was alive in the 17th century, not the 18th. However the fact that the Colyton Yonge's were also in the area which makes for added confusion. Sir George Yonge, of that family, later sold it.

There are several accounts written in the 18th century and early 19th centuries which refer to the family connection with Colebroke and Landsend . For example Lysons Magna Britannica of 1822 reads:

Yonge of Puslinch

This family which came from Sturminster Newton Dorset, had resided for several generations at Lansdend in the parish of Colebrooke. They removed to Puslinch in consequence of a marriage with a co heiress of Upton in the beginning of the last century.

This does not tie in with what we know or the Puslinch Yonge's and their link with Landsend, Colebroke. See separate section “Landsend”.

Logically the family could have come from the property until recently known as "Young's farm" which is opposite church at Colebroke. The former owners were contacted some 30 years ago and while interested in the history had no information.

There is however a reference (source unknown) in an online history of Colebroke by Neville Emberson which states “A sub-manor was Painstone House, now Penstone Barton, where the Colebrooke Yonges lived for most of the seventeenth century. One of them held a court there as late as 1685. Soon after, a branch of the Pidsley family, of Great Wotton, settled there, and one William seems to have rebuilt the house, for a plaster ceiling shows his initials and those of his wife with the date 1737.”

Certain Colebroke Yonge's moved to Cornwall in the 17/18th centuries. Inquiriesmade of Cornwall Record Office show that there no Colebrooke deeds/documents there is no help there. Interestingly a number were surgeons.

So there is no direct primary evidence to show that the Yonge family of Colebroke were the same family as the Yonge family of Puslinch. However if they are the link then the family could be traced back to Sturminster Newton, for there is however clear evidence that the Yonge families of Colebroke and Sturminster Newton were connected for we have the following record

“Robert Yonge of Colebroke and Middle temple James 1 eldest son of Thomas Yonge of Sturminster”

Colebrooke Visitation 1620

Thomas Yonge of Sturminster Newton, died in 1586 had four sons Alphredos, Robert Thomas and John . This information is also confirmed by his will


The Visitation gives the children and grandchildren of Alphredos and there is no John there and no indication that the grandchildren married. There may well be a good reason why a very Welsh name was chosen for two offspring but there is no information at all on this. It may but is probably not a link back to the Bristol, where there was a noted Yonge family.


A Robert Yonge married Elizabeth, daughter of John Northcote and widow of Humphrey Sellwood. The Visitation shows that Robert had a son John but he was aged 20 in 1620 so could not be John (K5) . Also separately we know his wives, Anne Chichester and Elizabeth Burrington and children Joshua and Margaret and we know he died in 1672. We know from Dr James diary when his father died and who he married.


As to Robert's brother, Thomas, the Visitation of 1620 shows him as having three sons. Thomas who is stated to have married and have issue, William who married and lived in Gloucester and Nicholas who was married. All these if they had stayed in the Colebroke area one would expect their issue and further descendants would appear in the Visitation. The original Visitation went up to 1620 but was extended up to the early 19th century


As to John he married a daughter of Seamour who was the sister of Mr Seamour of the Exchequer. They had two children John and Thomas. There are no dates at present for the marriage or the birth of the children. However the child John must have been alive in 1620 when the first part of the Visitation was compiled. If a young child then that would be perfectly consistent with his marriage in 1640. However this is only speculation.


He had a brother Thomas had two sons said to be aged 18 in 1620 but there are no names so again speculation to link to John Yonge K5


He had another brother Amias. Again there were sons but no indication as to what happened to them.

In document “REF – Book of Misc References” under Colebroke are numerous BMD entries




There are numerous references to the Yonge's being of Landsend in Colebroke. These references are in published works from the late 18th century onward which have then got repeated as gospel. However all the evidence indicates that Landsend and other properties on Colebroke (as well as Holberton) came into the Yonge family via the Fortescues and the Uptons.

No index searches at record offices or Colebroke web sites refer to this connection. There are however many references to the Fortescues and others owning and occupying that property at the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office. Some of these are:

107/471 LEASES/COLEBROKE 8th Feb 1465 Lease of messuages and lands in Londysend Martin Fortiscu to John estbroke

107/474 LEASES/COLEBROKE 20th July 1526 Lease of messuages and lands called Landysende and Wode in Colebroke to William Eastbroke of Colebroke

107/475 LEASES/COLEBROKEMEMORANDA Early 17th century Memorandum re validity of lease at Landsend Richard Fortescue to Ellys Westawayard


107/476 LEASES/COLEBROOK 8th August 1655 Reversionery lease of 99 years or two lives of messuages in Landysend Wood. George Fortescue of Coombe in Holberton yeoman to William Brutton of Colebroke to commence on death of John Snell


107/82 FORTESCUE ESTATES 23rd April 1698 Copy of bargain and sale...... messuage and lands etc called Landsend ….... occupied by John Brutton. John Fortescue of Coombe in Holberton to Nathaniel Ryder


107/84 FORTESCUE ESTATES 27th June 1698 Mortgage John Fortescue to John Pollexfen re messuages and lands called Landsend..... occupied by John Brutton

107/96 FORTESCUE ESTATES Settlement after Marriage of James Yonge, the younger, of Plymouth and Mary Upton and Elizabeth Upton 18 October 1718. Deed to lead use of a fine to be levied by James Yonge, his wife and Elizabeth Upton to James Ryder messuages and lands late of John Fortescue Esq deceased then of Elizabeth Upton and Mary Yonge...........messuages and lands in Colebroke called Landsend ….... to the use, as to a moiety, of Elizabeth Upton, and as to the other moiety, of James Yonge for life, and then to Mary Yonge for life, and then to their children, etc.

107/103 FORTESCUE ESTATES 10 & 11 December 1718 Assignment of mortgage: lease and release of messuages and lands called Landsend, Landsendwood, and Birchment, 510 acres, in Colebrooke, occupied by John Brutton by direction of Elizabeth Upton and James Yonge the younger of Plymouth and Mary his wife, Elizabeth and Mary being nieces and executrices of John Fortescue, to James Yonge the elder.

Note: Thomasina Fortescue married John Upton (died 1702 ) and they had two daughters Elizabeth and Mary (Yonge) 1694-1771. John's father, William died in 1654 and when John died ( the male line of this branch died out. It is not known when John Fortescue died but two possible dates are 1710 or 1714.


107/477 LEASES/COLEBROOK 29th July 1742 Lease of 99 years of barton, farm etc called Landsend in Colebroke late occupied by John Brutton gent. James Yonge of Puslinch and Elizabeth Upton of Puslinch spinster to Waldo Calmady.


107/479 7th Dec 1768 Reversionery lease of barton and farm called Landsend in Colebroke late of Waldo Calmady and then John Higgins. Mary Yonge widow of James Yonge and Elizabeth Upton to John Yonge of Puslinch, eldest son to commence on deaths inter alia of Elizabeth Upton

Samuel Young L4

Samuel a brother of Dr James went to Lincoln College, Oxford in 1667. The 19th century biographical entry in Palmer’s Non Conformist Memorial reads “ Yonge, Samuel. s. John of Plymouth, Devon, pleb. LINCOLN COLL., matric. 15 March 1666-7, aged 18: said to have been MA, and died 1707.”

A card reference in the Devon Record Office has the following details.


"Lincoln Oxford Pleb March 166/67. South Molton 1682. Removed to London. died 1707. AG p 393 and ?91 where perhaps the Mr Young at Stanton, Somerseti1690 of possibly Young supplying Castle Green Bristol in 1690's"


That word 'pleb.' would seem to support the view of the humble origin of the Yonge's in the mid 1600s. Pleb would refer to his father and meant that father was not considered a gentleman and so had no rights to bear arms.

A high proportion of its undergraduates came from Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire, and a significant number from Wales and the West Country. Some of the students were 'gentlemen commoners', who, in return for higher fees, shared many of the privileges of the Fellows, down to servitors and the bible-clerk who performed menial duties like waiting in the Hall.

Students going to Oxford paid a fee not relating to their status but the status of their father"Plebeian indicated a person without social rank or title. The term derived from the Latin for "people". and an alternative word was "commoner". The term "gentleman" gave an indication though rather imprecise,, of a social rank above that of plebeian or commoner but lacking a formal title.

Lincoln was not (and never has been) a blue-blooded college. Most of its entrants came from middle or lower rank families, reflecting the 'educational revolution' of late Stuart England that filled the grammar schools and universities with young men whose parents recognised that having a university education was the mark of a gentleman and a means of preferment.

Thomas Fuller in his 1662 History of the Worthies of England, wrote:

Of the colleges University is the oldest. Pembroke the youngest. Christ Church the greatest, Lincoln reputed by many) the least. Magdalen the neatest......”





Sturminster Newton

Looking at the entries for Yonges in the Sturminster Newton and nearby Buckhorn Weston areas from the records in Dorchester Record Office, there were at least 9 Yonges alive in the - period 1525-41 at Buckhorn Weston of which 3 were alive in 1525. At Sturminster Newton there were five in this period of which 2 were alive in 1525. This would suggest the family was well established and it was not a case of one Yonge coming into the area at that time. It is likely therefore must have been more Yonge's in the area.

The Sturminster Newton parish records only start in 1681. Earlier ones are lost possibly by the great fire in Sturminster Newton of 1729. However as records were not obligatory until the middle of the reign of Elizabeth I, and Thomas goes back to about 1550, it is possible we have not lost too much.

The Colebroke Visitation shows that Robert Yonge of Colebroke (see above) father was Thomas Young of Sturminster who married Katherine Pelley of Dorset.

So as the Colebroke Yonge's have been ruled out, so presumably can the Sturminster Newton Yonges.


John Bargus Yonge Tree

He lived at Puslinch and took a keen interest in the family history. Knowledge of this interest must be tempered by the fact that his evident love of the romance of history may outweigh his objectivity and academic rigour.

He created a beautifully illustrated tree containing many fanciful connections and names and imaginative armorial bearings.

We have a book plate of John Bargus Yonge which shows a very fanciful and complex design for a coat of arms. There are elements from the arms (or it may just be coincidence) of the DUKE, UPTON, MOHUN and BASIDON YONGES as well as Puslinch as well as elements whose origin is unknown.

He links up all the various Yonge families including showing that John Yonge (K5) was a direct descendant of Sir John Yonge of Colyton and Elizabeth Strode. Interestingly however he does not show John (K5) as having the same arms as are shown for the other male sons of Sir John. He has just penciled in some new fanciful arms, which suggests he was not sure of the link by the time that he came to colour in the arms

Also at some unknown date by a person unknown, the correct Puslinch Yonges have been ringed round in pencil and the line making the descent from Sir John has been rubbed out, clearly showing the intent to separate the Puslinch Yonges from the Colyton Yonges.

J.Y.A Morshead

In a paper published in 1916 by a relative by marriage, to the family, J.Y.A. Morshead, it is stated that the Puslinch documents used for the paper were transcribed by John Bargus Yonge and the Newton Ferrers documents by Vaughan Holbeton, . On the early history of the Yonge family, Morshead states

"Tradition makes them a Norfolk family who settled in Bristol as merchants. Thence one became mayor of Lyme and the ancestor of the two Whig members who George 1st hated so. Another was the tithe farmer for the dean and chapter of East Devon and a third MAY have come to Plymouth. At all events there was soon a naval surgeon."


There may be a connection between the Bristol Yonge's and the Caynton Yonges and some of Caynton Yonge's did go to Norfolk. However the Bristol Caynton link has still to be proved and all we know indicates there is no link between Norfolk Yonge's and our Yonge's.

The references to the two M.P.'s is probably a reference to Sir William Yonge and Sir George Yonge but they are of the unconnected Colyton branch..

Checks have been made with Lyme Regis Museum and they have no record of a Yonge ever holding a public office in Lyme Regis. However Sir Walter Yonge of the Colyton branch was MP there in 1660 and this may be where the reference came from.

There is the same reference to Norfolk as Charlotte Yonge save in this case the claim is the family went from Norfolk to Bristol not Norfolk to Devon.

Charles Burrell Yonge S3

He was rector at Newton Ferrers for nearly fifty years. . He wrote, possibly in 1938, “A Short History of Newton Ferrers”. He did not even attempt to posit where the family came from.



The indexed work by Richard Izacke Richard published in 1785 entitled "Remarkable Antiquities of the City of Exeter - Rights and Privileges of the freemen of Exeter being an account of all Legacies left to the Poor of the said city from 1164 to 1674 inclusive" has just one Yonge/Young entry, Edward Young dean of the Cathedral who died in 1663. There is nothing to link him to the family. There are no no Yonge entries in any spelling.

In the work by Samuel Izacke “Alphabetical register of divers persons who by their last wills, grants and other deeds have given tenements annuities and monies towards the relief of the poor of the county of Devon and the City and County of Exon and likewise to many other Cities and Towns of England." the Exeter Appendix has a number of Yonge entries of various types but they are just names and it is impossible to make connections.

There was however a John Yonge surgeon fine of £ 1 from book St Michael's 1571 Michaelmas 1572. Could this be John's father? Same name and same profession


Exeter Freemen

The indexed work by Richard Izacke Richard published in 1785 entitled "Remarkable Antiquities of the City of Exeter - Rights and Privileges of the freemen of Exeter being an account of all Legacies left to the Poor of the said city from 1164 to 1674 inclusive" has no Yonge entries in any spelling.


Durnford Wiltshire Yonges

John Edmunds or Young held it in 1589-90 then in 1598 to William Edmunds or Young [ibid MS bks 52 f 43] and then in 1641 and 1646 to William Edmunds or Young and possibly another. Under an Act of 1699 the moiety was sold to Joseph Gifford in 1702.

According to the Visitation pedigree, a John Younge appears around 1500 or a little earlier. There is a John Younge born in 1614 ( son of John, son of Edward, son of John, son of John) but he's shown as marrying a 'Jane Rawmddoch'.

There is then a descent of four generations to a family of Youngs born between 1614 to 1620, nothing after that. Not in itself unusual because the Visitation was in 1623, but there wasn't much consistent information after that date that I could find.

The Gentlemans' Magazine has a reference in 1759 Edward Yonge of Little Durnford m Miss Thomas of Salisbury. So the family were still around well into the times of Dr James

Any possible link can be discounted.


Caynton Yonge's

While Edward Yonge in his detailed history of the family, published 1968 expressly disclaimed any link with the a Puslinch Yonge's, a branch did settle in Ashburton, Devon in the mid 1500's and an article in a back issue of Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, suggests without giving any authority, that they were linked to the Puslinch Yonge's. With the history of the Caynton Yonge's being so well researched, both by Edmund Yonge and Selah Youngs of the USA in 1907, it is probably safe to say there is no link. He wrote

The Yonges of Puslinch, Co. Devon, who have owned their
lovely Queen Anne home for some three hundred years, have no con-
ection with the Shropshire Yonges, other than through the marr
age of the Reverend Denys Nelson Yonge. the 18th descendant of
was Shropshire Yonges, with Mary Isabel Yonge, of Puslinch.
was related to the famous authoress, Charlotte M. Yonge.
and I understand that the Puslinch Yonges came into Devonshire from Norfolk.

Caynton Yonge's and other Yonge families

In the above work by Edward Yonge, there are brief references to other Yonge families:


The General Armory gives a list of a number of families who spell or have spelt their name Yonge, and who come from some English county other than Shropshire. These, with one exception, have different Armorial Bearings and a different Crest from the Shropshire family.


The exception is Yonge of Trent, Co. Somerset, who claimed three roses gules, , a canton of the second, said to be confirmed in April 1615. Their Crest is a lion's head erased per fess, but I am doubtful if they do, in fact, descend from the Shropshire family.

I have referred to the Yonges of Charnes Hall, County Stafford, in an earlier chapter. My friend, the Reverend Gilbert Vernon Yonge, the last male member of this very ancient family, showed me some of his old charters dating, I think, from the 13
th century, when his forebears first settled at Charnes, but we have not been able to prove any relationship.


Gilbert Yonge gave me an old pedigree of the Welsh Yonges This of Bryn Yorkin, Flintshire, dating from the 14th century. This must have been copied many years ago from the Harleian M.S. 2167 now in the British Museum. The pedigree begins with three Christian (or given) names without any surname, and has an explanatory note that the family adopted the name Yonge after these first three generations. The pedigree shows several shields, the largest of which contains no less than fifteen coats, the first coat having an (apparently) Royal Lion rampant or, etc, etc., the second quartering showing the familiar three roses gules of the Shropshire Yonges, but with a cadency crescent. This Coat of Arms, a very grand and imposing one indeed is not taken seriously by genealogists today.


An exhaustive account of this family, written by a Selah Youngs in 1907 traces the family from Wales, Southwold and then to the USA. There are are no Puslinch references or links.

I acquired in 1920 a seven page history of the Yonges of Colyton, Co. Devon. This ancient family is said to descend from Thomas Yonge, Mayor of Bristol in the year 1411 and is, I think,connected with the Puslinch Yonges by marriage. [
No evidence in either family trees of any such connection]

The Yonges of Colyton were Members of Parliament during during many of the Royal reigns. John Yonge, M.P. for Ply mouth in 1641. was created a Baronet by Charles II in 1661. Sir William Yonge, the 4th Baronet, was appointed Secretary at War and was a member of the Privy Council in 1735. He died in 1755.

Sir George Yonge, 5th Baronet, the son of Sir William, was born in 1733. He died in 1812 when the Baronetcy became extinct.

Ian Yonge


August 2021



Annwyn Lewis 04.02.2020 18:08

What about the Yonge’s of Buckhorn? I have Yonge’s going back from here. This is not my tree https://gw.geneanet.org/schnapper?lang=en&n=bull&oc=0&p=ma ti

Ian Yonge 06.02.2020 17:07

Interesting. Only limited space to reply here so if you can give me your email address I can comment properly. More info welcome



Michelle Rawle 25.01.2017 03:07

Hi all, I think I've found a link between the young, morice and bonnell names.
No room here but happy to email for opinions.

I Yonge 01.11.2016 10:03

Interesting reference which I had not come across before. Only limited space to reply here so if you can give me your email address.



Russie McDerment-Fogarty 31.10.2016 22:35

Re: Uncle Maurice
Bro or BIL of John Y?
William Morice--Nominal Roll of Officers of Royal Regiment of Guards, Raised in England, 1660, by Colonel John Russell

Annie Pomeroy 06.05.2016 09:48

Sorry wrong record office
Plymouth and West Devon Record Office,

Annie Pomeroy 06.05.2016 09:47

Yonge Family of Puslinch Catalogue Ref. 308 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk - DRO
ref. 308/177/3/ date: 26 June 1514 and more

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Latest comments

27.10 | 10:41

Hi Ian....Has taken me a while but finally found your website. Brilliant. Will be in touch. Julian Hastings

20.06 | 13:06


Thanks. Praise always appreciated! I presume you are a descendant of Peter Herbert. You can email me on iyonge@legalisp.net for fuller reply


19.06 | 23:35

I am the Great-Great Grandson of Walter Francis Duke Young. This is such a great website and so interesting to read about the Yonge family history!!

27.05 | 17:13

Thank you for this account of Charlotte M Yonge. I wouldn't say she was a recluse, however, judging by her letters. https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/