The first deeds that mention the Westaway name are to be found in the Calendar of Deeds transcribed by Tinsley. In 1541 there was a bargain and sale by John Westawaye of Dolton to John Martyn of all his messages, lands etc in Morchynton in Throwleigh. Morchington is a farm west of a place called Waye which was part of the Rushford Manor of Chagford, Devon and it is possible this is where the origins of the Westaway name came from.
In 1564 there was a bargain and sale by William Gryble of Spreyton to Elyce Westawaye of Colbroke, Devon, of two closes of land called High Downe and and Lower Downe and in 1568 a bargain and sale by Richard Alforde to Elyce Westaway of property in Harmyston which was situated in Nymet Tracey. The manor deeds as listed in the Westaway Chronicle start as early as 1504 with a John at Lydcott and by the mention of many of the names it appears that the Westaways held this property for a number of years and it is quite probable that the Inwardleigh Westaways came via a son of this John who may have married an Ellis hence the name Elyce that appears frequently in the early Inwardleigh Westaways.There are many incidences of Reddaway, Westaway & Ellis marriages and as most of them were farmers or trades connected to farming, such as tanners or weavers, initially these farms changed hands according to whom they married. The Reddaways had been farming in the area as early as the 1300's and If you view the map below you can see that all the farms mentioned in the wills and Court Deeds were in a small area. View map (press centre of arrows to enlarge)Some of the farms mentioned are Apple Donford, Boscombe, Coombe, Coscombe, Donaford, Golberton, East Cliston, Ventown, Honeycott, Mollis More, Northwood, Radcomb, Reddaway, Lydcott and Arscott
The Westaway's mentioned in Plymouth during the 1600's, were from the Okehampton area but moved there to take advantage of the new exciting exploration of New England. One John Westaway is named as a supplier of goods in the early Newfoundland records and it is probable the branch around Cornworthy were also involved in this trade, supplying meat and provisions. The wool from the sheep was used for serge weaving and most of this was done by the wives in their little cottages and this would also have been exported to New England for clothing as well as being used by the local community. Some of the Westaways in Belstone were thatchers, others butchers, and one branch living in South Tawton in the early 1700's were physicians and druggists The Westaway family are fortunate because with the Manorial record extracts and early wills there are many clues as to how they lived.
The Distribution Map of the Westaway Name from 1524 - 1674 shows clearly the name was predominantly found around the Okehampton area of Devon.