from Somerset, Devon and Dorset


© Andrew Templer 2022

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The various Templer families

The Somerset, Devon and Dorset Templers

Our Templer family can trace its roots to the Templers of North Petherton in Somerset. Early records show a large number of  Templers in this area and it is from the marriage of Alexander Templer to Agnes Symons in 1573 that our line of Templers descend.

 Rootsmagic Database for the Templer Family

The London Templers

This family came from Alphington, the home village of the Salmon Pool side of the family. It migrated to London and many of the stories that have been passed down through the family match up with the main branch. We just can't make the link between the two families.

Rootsmagic Database of London Templers

The Devonport Templers

William Templer married Mary Roach in 1826 at Devonport, Devon and then emigrated to Australia with his family. Where did William come from?

DNA analysis would seem to indicate that this is family is not related to the Salmon Pool and Stover Templers.

Our American friends

What seems strange is, that so far we don't have records of any of our Templers emigrating to the United States, until the last few years, although we would love you to prove us wrong. If you are searching for American Templers it may be worth checking out this Templer family website

Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Northamptonshire and Wiltshire Templers

There is a family of Templers who can trace their heritage to the above counties. Until recently, I have never researched these families as I have always considered them to be a separate branch. I am know starting to build up family trees for these families but if anybody has done this previously, please get in touch. I am not sure if these families are directly related to each other or maybe to the Somerset Templers. Maybe DNA analysis will give us an answer.

The Hampshire Templers

This family started with the marriage of Edward Templer and Elizabeth Elms in 1775 at Lymington, Hampshire. We would love to know more about this family.

The Perry Purpill Templers

Perry Purpill (Purple) Templer seems to be very influential in Madras, India, having originated from London. We thought at one time the may have associated with James Templer of Stover as he was suppose to have made his fortune in India. We are now sure that James never went to India and has no connection to Perry.

The Knight Templars

We are often asked if we are related to the Knight Templars? This organisation of military knights was formed in 1119 to protect pilgrims on their way to visit Jerusalem. It was a dangerous time as the pilgrims were subjected to murder, rape, enslavement and robbery, during their journey. The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ was a permanent guard for travellers was set up by the Pope and Hugh of Paynes, who became the first Grand Master of the Knight Templars.  Why Templars? In Britain, they are known as Templars, probably due to the influence of Sir Walter Scott’s (1771-1832) book “Ivanhoe” (1820). In most countries where the Knight Templers had any influence such as France, Spain etc. they are always spelt with an ER, but in Britain (and sometimes in America) it is often spelt AR.

The Knights Templar became very rich for a number of reasons. Knights who joined the order had to take a vow and often give money and land to the organisation. In addition, they were often bequeathed large amounts of land and money from the king and other rich families. Another method where the Templars made much money was being the earliest bankers, when a rich person went on pilgrimage, rather than taking large amounts of money with them, they deposited this with the Templers, say in London, to which they were given letters of credit, which they then could use to draw money from the Templars on their way out and back. Naturally, they had to pay for the privilege.

As a result of this the Templars held large swathes of land.  It is my understanding that around North Petherton / Taunton the Knight Templars had an estate. I can’t find any specific reference to the exact place, so I would be interested to hear from you if you have any further details. I know of Temple Guiting, and Temple Cowley but these are some distance away from North Petherton, where our family seems to have originated from. I know that there were other similar estates in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire where other branches of Templers started

The Knights were (supposed to be) a celibate order so our Templer family could be:

The Knight Templars lent their money to kings and nobility, that the King of France owed the order so much money that he could no longer pay them back, so with the connivance of the Pope, the order was accused of heresy and this led them to be excommunicated and banned. Now what makes no sense is that a family kept or adopted this name, based on an order that had been banned.  

Although occasionally you will find a record of our name being spelt Templar, this was likely due to a mis-spelling. The name usually reverts to Templer by the next generation.

Most people who spell their name Templar or Temple are likely to be foundlings who were often given the name of the local ward or church. Over 100 foundlings baptized in the Temple in London between 1728 and 1755 were given the name Templar or Temple. We think that they were given the name Templar to distinguish between the established Templer families already in the London area.

DNA analysis

Some members of the Templer family, including myself, have had their DNA tested. If you are a male Templer and have had your DNA tested or would like to participate in a DNA test, please contact me and we can discuss this.

Rootsmagic Database of Devonport Templers American Templers