St. Giles in the Wood, Devon, England

The Village History

The St. Giles Millennium Society published a book - St. Giles 2000 - which includes quite a lot of detail about the history of St. Giles in the Wood, although very little about the Brinsmeads, who had all left by the turn of the twentieth century. However, many of the current residents descend from the Brinsmeads through the female line. St. Giles in the Wood is lucky to have an on-line Parish clerk - Bill Cooke who maintains a web site devoted to the village records.

St. Giles in the Wood on-line Parish Clerk

Gravestones and Monuments in the Church (large .pdf file)

The parish Church

The grave yard at St. Giles in the Wood contains several dozen Brinsmead gravestones. Visit our photographic archive of all the Brinsmead gravestones, which are deteriorating and many churches, the church has begun to move them aside. 

The first Brinsmeads in St. Giles

So far we have not found records to establish exactly when the first Brinsmead moved to St. Giles in the Wood. They were clearly there by 1620 since church records record births at that time. While this is not certain, it appears that all the Brinsmeads in St. Giles descended from one family.

Family tree for the early Brinsmeads in St. Giles in the Wood 

Newspaper account of early St. Giles following a trip by Brinsmead descendants 

A taste of some of the village life can be obtained from the newspaper accounts of the time. Those articles related to the Brinsmeads are included in two "Special Editions" of the North Devon Journal.

First Edition - North Devon Journal

Second Edition - North Devon Journal

Several members of the family left St. Giles in the Wood for Australia. This letter was published in the North Devon Journal soon after it was received.

A Letter home from Australia - Henry Brinsmead writes to his brother back in St. Giles in the Wood

We have been able to trace the locations of the farms and village houses the Brinsmeads lived in from the early tax records (from 1780 - 1832) and from the census records (1841 - 1891 census). We have copies of these records for the entire village. Should anyone want a look up for another name, please e-mail us your request.

Brinsmeads on the St. Giles in the Wood Tax Rolls

Brinsmeads in the 1841 St. Giles Census

Brinsmeads in the 1871 St Giles Census

The Village

A Photo Tour of St. Giles in the Wood, August, 2002

Click on the thumbnails below for some more pictures of the village of St. Giles in the Wood.

The Brinsmead farm house in the village of St. Giles
The entrance to the churchyard from the Brinsmead house
St. Giles in the Wood village looking down from the from the south. The Brinsmead farm includes the second white building to the right of the road and the field in front of it.

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