Morcombe Family
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John Morcombe (4th) and Mary Evins were the first of our ancestors to live there.

For a while, the Macumbers, residents of St. Germans, seemed to be possible ancestors. I do not know where father John and his wife Jane Nute came from, but they were very fertile, producing eight children between 1646 and 1655, as below. The only one of their children who married was their eldest son Edmund who married Sarah Sundercock in 1669, but they only produced one daughter, so there were no Macumber descendants. John Macumber married Jane Nute on 15 Dec 1645 in St. Germans and their children are:

Edmund 27-Dec-1646 St. Germans
Elizabeth 23-Apr-1648 St. Germans
Mary 1-Feb-1649 St. Germans
John 28-Mar-1651 St. Germans
John 9-Apr-1652 St. Germans
Anne 13-Aug-1653 Quethiock
Thomas 27-Aug-1654 St. Germans
Benjamin 16-Sep-1655 St. Germans

Edmund Macumber and Sarah Sundercock married on 23 Apr 1669 in St. Germans and their only child Rebecca was christened there on 22 Oct 1671.

There is another John (Markum), son of Philip and Ann, born on 21st November 1700 in East Stonehouse, Plymouth. He married Mary Ellot on 2nd February 1726 in St. Germans. However, this John had no issue and is therefore not an ancestor.

It was John Morcom, probably a shoemaker, who married Joan Harson on 21st November 1740 in St. Germans who is definitely our ancestor through their eldest son William.

Littleham is 27 miles north of Okehampton and Okehampton is 32 miles north of Plymouth, while St. Germans is 5 miles west across the river Tamar. The total distance of 64 miles can be done easily on horseback. It could be done in 3 to 4 days on foot if he stayed a night or so on the way at
somebody's farm. It was a very different problem compared to this age of the motor car when a distance like this would be done easily in less than 2 hours.

My only difficulty is how to understand what persuaded John Morcombe/Marcum to leave the little village of Littleham by Bideford where he and his relations had lived for generations to seek this fortune and love! in far away St. Germans.

I am still unhappy about the distance between John's birthplace and St. Germans, so I have asked Mrs. Joan Bennett to have a final search through the Plymouth church registers to see if she can find a more likely John Morcombe. I would be much happier if our John had turned up in nearby Plymouth. However, the Mormons who put the IGI together have not, so far, been allowed to photocopy the church records of Plymouth and this means a painstaking slow perusal of the church registers of St. Andrews, St. Budeaux, Charles the Martyr, East Stonehouse and Stoke Damerel. I had the intention to study the records myself when we were in Plymouth on 15 Apr 1992 immediately after Vera Thomas's wedding but all I got was my wheel clamped and a penalty of 47 pounds, so the research is best left to Joan Bennett!

John Morcombe/Marcum and Mary Evins had one child, John Marcum/Morcom who was christened in St. Germans on 25th February 1718. Fortunately, the deviant surnames were not perpetuated. The original spelling was restored after the birth of William Morcume in 1742.

John Marcum/Morcom married a local girl called Joan Harson. They had five children, one of whom, John, died at the age of three but the other four survived. They called their fourth child John also but he is not an ancestor.

William Morcume married Grace Spiller (c. 28th October 1744 at St. Erney) on 7th September 1767. Grace Spiller came from the adjoining parish of St Erney, but all the other family events were recorded in the St Germans parish register. William Morcume/Morcombe and Grace had three children. The first, Daniel Harson Morcombe was born in St. Germans. Thomas and Mary were born in Stoke Damerel, a suburb of Plymouth.

William and Grace therefore moved to Plymouth between 1768 and 1776. Only three generations of Morcombes were born in St. Germans compared to at least five in LittlehambyBideford.


©2007 Peter H. Morcombe
Last update: 15-Jun-2007