M*CH*MORE One Name Study

The MICHELMOREs of Dinnicombe in Cornworthy

by A St D Richards, Exeter, July 19821


The Michelmores of Dinnicombe in Cornworthy are descended from the Michelmores of Buckfastleigh, a family long settled in the parish where, down the years, they served as churchwardens and filled various public offices from a period long antecedent to the outbreak of the Great Civil War of 1642-1649.

It is from one Thomas Michelmore born about 1644, a younger brother of Philip Michelmore (ancestor of the Michelmores of Painsford2) that the descent of the Michelmores of Dinnicombe can be traced. Both these men were the children of Philip Michelmore and his wife Mary, daughter of Thomas Ellis of the same place.3

Thomas Michelmore raised a family of three sons and three daughters. The eldest child, a boy, he named William after his father, while the next male child he called Thomas after himself. This Thomas died, unfortunately, in 1675 when only a fortnight old; but the name was to be perpetuated, for when in 1688 his wife presented him with another son, he named the boy Thomas also.4

However, it is with William, the eldest son, and his descendents that this history treats.5 This William had, by Mary his wife, three sons and five daughters of whom Philip was the eldest. A second son, William, born in March 1689/90, died in that month only six days after being christened, so when the third and last child was born William and Mary named him William also. From this last William, christened in Holy Trinity Church in Buckfastleigh on 10Apr1701 the descent continues.

About this William little is known except that he had an only child, a boy named William [Tree 18], baptised at Buckfastleigh on 2Apr1724.6 On 14Oct1747 he married Margaret [Tree 16], daughter of a kinsman Philip Michelmore of that place. This William and Margaret had three sons and five daughters. Philip, the eldest son, baptised 26Mar1751, married Margaret the daughter of Abraham Callard of Buckfastleigh, and after living for a time in Ashburton finally settled in Cockington where he held land by lease of Roger Mallock. This property passed at his death to his eldest son William and when he died in 1818 the property reverted to Roger Mallock.

Philip and Margaret had three sons and two daughters and it was the second son Philip, born in 1776 and baptised at Bickington, who was the “first of Dinnicombe”. On 21Mar1786 in the neighbouring parish of Moreleigh, he married Sarah the daughter of John Symons, a well-to-do yeoman of that place. By her he raised a family of nine sons and four daughters. Three of these sons, the second son William, the seventh son Thomas and the eighth son Charles Andrew, all emigrated to Australia between the years 1839 and 1849 and it is they who were the ancestors of the many Michelmores still living in that continent.

1Links and notes added by Michael Mitchelmore, October 2008.

2The available records do not contain sufficient information to justify such a statement. The earliest ancestor of Philip of Painsford that can be reliably identified is Philip [Tree 17].

3There is no baptismal record to support this statement. Also, whereas no prior marriage of Philip and Mary is recorded, there was a marriage of Mary ELLES and William MICHELMORE in 1633.

4It would appear that this Thomas also died as an infant (buried 23Jan1689/90).

5It seems likely that this William was not the son of Thomas, since a 'William, son of Thomas' was buried on 18Sep1694 in Buckfastleigh.

6It is also possible that this William was the son of Philip & Margaret MICHELMORE, baptised on 2Feb1719/20.