A note about Branscombe

Contributed by David Snell

July 2001

As a direct descendant of Elise Veryard, alias Miller and Rawlyn Clapp, I was very interested in your Web pages. You may not be aware that during the 16th /17th centuries the name Veryard, in Branscombe, was in course of transition to Miller and it is from that line I am descended. As with several Branscombe families that of Ellis Miller and Alles Baasteren moved to the neighbouring village of Beer in the early 18th century presumably, being seafarers, because of there being a much more sheltered beach. The Millers subsequently became one of the leading smuggling families of the village. There is a long held tradition that following plague depopulation the village of Beer was taken over by survivors from a lost Spanish ship but I can find no evidence of this which will stand up to close examination. It is, however, recorded that the Spaniards were poor seamen and their Armada ships were crewed by mercenaries from Holland which was then a Spanish colony. That is an entirely different matter and in the 16th century there were many families in Branscombe, again who generally moved to Beer, with Dutch sounding names e.g. Akerman, Overmars or Overmass, Cleef and my own ancestor Alles Baasterem. I have speculated the possibility of the name Veryard being a derivation of the Dutch Verwoerd but equally accept the possibility of Huguenot origins. If you would like a copy of the East Devon descent from Elise, which runs to 10 pages of A4, then perhaps you could let me have a postal address. Sincerely, David Snell. 


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Text copyright © 2001 David Snell.  All rights reserved.