Tag Archives: westminster

Criminal registers at ancestry.co.uk

3 Aug

Why do Ancestry always do this to me? I thought I had this week nicely planned out, I knew what I wanted to achieve this week and then Ancestry go and put up a new database, which I cannot resist exploring.

The database in question is the Criminal Registers (1791-1892) from the National Archives (Series HO 26 and HO 27). These have been in the works for a while as part of the Ancestry World Archives Project. I learnt about their release at lunchtime from the BBC News website, and couldn’t resist having a look on ancestry.co.uk and checking some of my surnames.

The disadvantage of this database is that it provides very little detail on what actually took place, but there is just enough here to provide a gateway to further research. I can see that newspapers are probably going to be quite useful here, and this database is going to open up a lot of interesting material that would probably never have come to light otherwise (unless an ancestor was found in prision during a census or was transported). Another good starting point mentioned by Ancestry is the National Archives research guide Tracing 19th and 20th Century Criminals.

A case in point is one of my elusive relations Wybrants KINGHORN (son of my 3x great grandfather Thomas KINGHORN). There are two entries in the database for him, the first trial on the 31st May 1852 resulted in imprisonment for 8 months for simple larceny. The second trial on the 9th December 1853 was for larceny in dwelling house after previous conviction, but this time he was aquitted. Both trials took place in Westminster, Middlesex which fits with what little I do know about him already.

Maybe the reason I can’t find him in the 1851 and 1861 census is that he was detained elsewhere or even using an alias. Whatever the reason I now need to follow this up and search for more details and clues to his whereabouts. I can see it is not going to be a quick process, but now Ancestry and it’s transcribers have provided me with a signpost it is up to me to try and find out more. Time to go and re-write my plans!

LONDON: Genealogy sightseeing from a London bus

14 Jun

I had noticed several buses passing the top of the road at the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office, and thought that it would be a good idea to find one heading south, which would take me closer to Victoria railway station and home.

I walked a short way down the street and found the bus stop, and as luck would have it there was a bus direct to Victoria, the number 38. I had just missed one (I had seen it going past as I walked to the bus stop) and back home in rural West Sussex that would normally mean waiting another hour (or sometimes two) for the next one. Fortunately here in London the timetable said it would only be 4 to 6 minutes.

It has been a while since I travelled on a London bus, not that it is much different from any other bus, except that this one announced the upcoming stops to passengers. Anyway I sat down an relaxed, and before long we were stuck in traffic, but at least I was seeing more of the streets of London than I would on the Underground.

I sitting back enjoying the world outside the bus when I realised we were heading through the streets of Westminster, the area where Thomas KINGHORN (my 3x great grandfather) had lived. I strained to see the street names, trying to spot one I recognised.

We must have been travelling down Shaftesbury Avenue, because we turned left into Great Windmill Street (or one end of it) and I realised we were in the street where Thomas KINGHORN had lived! Not that much remained from the time when he was living here, but it was nice to be there anyway.

A bit further along I guessed we would pass the St James’s Church, Piccadilly and sure enough we did. I caught a brief glimpse of the church and the colourful market outside, the church where four of Thomas KINGHORN’s children had been baptised, including my 2x great grandmother Dorothy Isabella.

I could go home happy now, in fact I was over the moon, my escape by bus from Underground mayhem had turned into a genealogical sightseeing trip!

How hard can it be to find Wybrants KINGHORN?

10 Apr

Wybrants KINGHORN was the eldest son of Thomas KINGHORN (3x great grandfather) and his first wife Alicia DALTON. It is an unusual enough name (I haven’t been able to find what it means or where it comes from yet), so I assumed it would stand out like a sore thumb. However after several hours searching last night (not quite into the small hours, but very near) I still cannot find him in the 1851 and 1861 census.

From the 1841 census I know he was born around 1832, in the county of Middlesex (most likely in Westminster or Marylebone). The birth year agrees with the age on the GRO BMD death index entry.

He married in Q2 1852 in the St Giles Registration District, London. Not sure who his wife was, because I haven’t ordered the marriage certificate yet, but I think I am going to have to if I really want to find him.

He died in Q4 1866 in the Marylebone Registration District, London, aged 34 years old. Again, I haven’t ordered a death certificate or checked probate records, so those are possible avenues of research to follow.

Try as hard as I might, I still can’t find him in the 1851 or 1861 census on Ancestry.co.uk (I had a quick look on findmypast.com with no luck).

In the grand scheme of things I shouldn’t be spending too much time or money on Wybrants KINGHORN, he is only my half 3x great uncle after all, but I don’t like to be beaten and I feel I need to find out so I can tell the complete story of his father Thomas KINGHORN.

If anyone finds him please let me know, meanwhile I will try some different websites and even more different spellings to see if I can flush him out, before I order a marriage certificate.

What next for Thomas KINGHORN?

9 Apr

Having confirmed Thomas KINGHORN’s (3x great grandfather) place of birth and baptism I think I almost have all the information I need to complete the mini biography for him, which was my initial goal.

However when I think about it there are still a few vital questions I would like to have answered before I move on elsewhere:

  1. When did he arrive in London and was he on his own or with parents and/or siblings?
  2. Where were his first six children baptised? Were the later births registered?
  3. Where were the family living prior to the 1841 census? What house numbers and street names?
  4. What does Thomas’ occupation of tailor mean? Was he self-employed or did he work for someone else? Did he have a shop? Did he work from home or in a workshop? What exactly did he make?
  5. Where did Thomas’ children go to school?
  6. Where were Thomas, his second wife and their child and his third wife buried?
  7. How did Thomas’ children (with his third wife) end up in Brighton?

I am sure that whilst answering these questions, others will occurs to me, but that is quite enough to be getting on with for now.

Then I need to get hold of some illustrations, probably old postcards of the churches and streets where they, along with current photos of the same locations. Also I need an old street map I can reproduce (so something in the public domain) and probably a modern day map for comparison.

So it still looks like I still have my work cut out, I can think of several archives that I am probably going to have to visit to find out what I want (or confirm that it is not going to be possible to find out). I should however have enough information already for a very rough first draft, so watch out for that soon.

More KINGHORN research and Google Street View

19 Mar

I discovered another little piece of the puzzle relating to my 3x great grandfather Thomas KINGHORN. I was able to identify the location of an address in Westminster, London where the family were living when his first wife Alicia (nee DALTON) died in 1846.

The address given was 5 George Place, and from the burial record I knew that George Place was in Cross Street, but I couldn’t find Cross Street on any modern maps. The answer was in The Survey of London available on Britsh History Online which revealed that “In 1886 Cross Street, Cross Court and South Row, extending from Kingly to Marshall Street, were renamed Ganton Street.”

I had no trouble finding Ganton Street on Google Maps and with a click of a button I was standing in Kingly Street looking down the narrow road that Thomas KINGHORN once lived in! I hadn’t realised that Google Street View had only just gone live in the UK.

I will of course be making a visit to Westminster at a future date to get some photos, but Google Street View is a genealogists dream, especially if you are unlikely to ever be able to visit your ancestral home town in person.

Kinghorn research in Westminster

13 Mar

A day off from work enabled me to make another visit to the City of Westminster Archives Centre in London in search of more information about my 3x great grandfather Thomas KINGHORN.

It is quite strange to think that although I only came away with one new “fact”, it was all things being considered quite a rewarding and enjoyable day. I still do not know where the children from his first marriage were baptised (or if they were) but I do know where they weren’. I am running out of options now, and may do better to wait until ancestry.co.uk release their London records collection (supposedly starting early 2009). It doesn’t help that I cannot find birth registrations for the last two children, who were born after 1837.

Still at least I now know where Thomas KINGHORNs first wife was buried, St James Church, Westminster on the 6th September 1846. Also I discovered the whereabouts of No. 5 George Place (the address on the death certificate), it was/is in Cross Street, Westminster, so there is another address to add to the list of places to visit and get a photograph of.

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