A brush with technology led to Devizes resident David Lucas learning of two other places in the world that share the town’s name and deciding to research their history.

After typing Devizes into a new weather app, the 72-year-old retired music teacher was surprised to see two more appear – in Ontario, Canada, and Norton County, Kansas in the United States.

Mr Lucas, of Mill Close, said: “Like many people I had always assumed that our town, with its unusual name, is quite unique.”

He found them on Google Street View but in both cases they were simply open areas of countryside, although the Devizes in Kansas did appear to have some buildings and a small cemetery.

After email enquiries, Mr Lucas received a reply from a woman from Norton County who said her grandparents used to go to dances in the Devizes in Kansas in the early 1900s.

A subsequent reply told him that a Reuben Bisbee had settled there in 1873 after emigrating from Canada and had called the settlement Devizes after the name of the settlement in Canada.

Mr Bisbee’s father, Reuben Bisbee Snr, was believed to have come from near Devizes in Wiltshire seeking a better life across the Atlantic.

Mr Bisbee Jnr and his wife Mary arrived in Ontario, Canada, in around 1828 and founded Devizes.

He set up a brickyard and helped turn Devizes into quite an important local commercial centre.

When the railway was built several miles away, businesses moved to be closer to it and the post office shut because the loss of trade, followed by the general store and the school. Gradually Devizes declined into a hamlet before vanishing altogether, and in 1873 the Bisbees moved to Norton County, Kansas, and gave the name Devizes to the settlement that developed there.

He opened up a small post office there and became its postmaster, and there was also a community hall.

He died in 1887 aged 82 and Mary died in 1895 aged 85, and both are buried in the little Devizes cemetery alongside other members of the Bisbee family.

In the early 20th century this settlement slid into decline and all that is left to remind people of Devizes is the small cemetery.

The only reminder of the settlement in Canada is the Devizes Cheese Factory in Denfield, Ontario.

Mr Lucas said: “The settlers in Kansas and in Canada must have been a very tough breed of person to live in these rather desolate places.

“They faced many hardships – it is no wonder that many gave up and went elsewhere, which is what the other Bisbee’s must have done.”

If you have any further information about the Bisbee family contact the Wiltshire Family History Society.