John Gayer Week St Mary





William Gayer of Okehampton, Devon

John Gayer, Week St. Mary;

Samuell Gayer of Stratton;

Benjamin Gayer of Stratton


Rev John Gayer

Philip Gayer

Edward Gayer

John Gayer of Dublin and children

John Gayer (Sr.) of Week St Mary. Born 1611 to Roger Gayer, in Whitstone where his father had property (Thorne and East Balsdon and West Balsdon as described in the will of Roger Gayer).  There is no record of a marriage for John, which would probably have occurred around 1635-1640.  There is a record of a John Gayer (Jr.) born to father John Gayer (Sr.) in Week St. Mary 22 Nov 1641. There is also a record of a Mary Gayer “daughter of John Gayer” marrying Edmund Chapman in 1678. This Mary was probably born about 1656. She may or may not be John (Sr’s) daughter.

A John Gayer of Week St. Mary paid a Hearth Tax in 1664 on 4 fireplaces.  This is likely John Gayer (Sn.) who would have been 53 year's old at the time.

Payments of a Hearth Tax were required in England from 1662-1689 and it was the occupiers who were liable for this tax and not the owners. The most complete record for Cornwall is the 1664 Hearth Tax which lists the occupants and the number of hearths they had. A tax of 2 shillings had to be paid for each hearth in two instalments – Lady Day (25th March) and Michaelmas Day (29th September). Although the poorest people were exempt, they were often included in the returns with their poor status noted.

Two shillings is 10 pence in 2012 currency and using the calculator at might be equivalent to a tax of 153 per year per radiator in a centrally heated house!

John Gayer (Jr.) of Week St Mary. Born 1641 to John Gayer.   He married twice:
Firstly to Margery Pearce 20 July 1673 in Week St. Mary.  Margery died in 1679 and in that 6 year period there is a record of only one child born to a John Gayer. i.e. John Gayer (3rd) in 1676.  There may have been other children but there is no record.
Margery, wife of John Gayer d.1679.

Epitaph in the Church of St. Mary (in Week St. Mary) :   
    " Since man's compared to an injured tree,
    To this blest soul that name applied be;
    Sweet words, pure thoughts, good works with her endear'd,
    Her leaves, her blossoms, and her fruit appear'd.
    Her pith was virtue, charity her rinde,
    One verdant branch from her is left behind;
    Death hath not cut her downe, who rather is
    To be a tree of life in Paradise.
    Short was her life, yet lives she ever,
    Few were her days, yet dies she never;
    She breathed awhile, then went to rest,
    God takes them soonest whom he loveth best."

John Gayer (Jr.) married secondly Honor Badcock in 1682. Honor was the daughter of the Rector of Whitstone. Honor died in 1690 and in those 6 years of marriage, four children were born to John and Honor Gayer, in Whitstone:
  • Benjamin Gayer   19 Jul   1683 
  • Sarah Gayer        11 Jul   1685, 
  • Joseph Gayer      27 Jun  1688,   
  • Johanna Gayer    16 May 1690
Honor, wife of John Gayer, (died) 1690
The church of St Ann, in Whitstone, is an ancient building of stone with granite dressings in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower of four stages, with pinnacles, containing 5 bells, all recast in 1776: at the west end of the nave is a memorial to John Cornishe, formerly rector of this parish, 1525, and there are others to the Hill and Symons families, 1650-82: Magdelene Spoure, 1687, and to Honor, wife of John Gayer, (died)1690

John Gayer (Jr.) may have lived on a property called “Thorne”. There is a reference to Thorne, in the parish of Whitstone, in November 1621 and again in 1646. In 1700, Henry Badcock of Whitstone (father of Honor) leased “Thorne” to John Gayer, Gentleman, of Thorne for 5. The property was also mentioned in the will of Roger Gayer

There is a record of a death of John Gayer on 18 Mar 1711.

Thorne, Whitstone, was a manor in medieval times and had in 1086 land for one plough and 20 acres of pasture -  Wikipedia   

Back to previous page....