My visit to the London Family History Centre today finally confirmed who were the parents of Thomas KINGHORN, my 3x great grandfather. It was a brief visit and my first time at an LDS Family History Centre, but the visit will probably go down as one of my most important research moments ever.
The answer was that Thomas’ parents were Thomas and Margaret KINGHORN, and he was baptised in St Cuthbert’s parish, Carlisle, Cumberland in 1808. I had suspected this for several months, but struggled to find proof, but I finally found it in the baptism registers (well, actually the Bishop’s Transcripts of the baptism registers).
Although Thomas was baptised in 1808, I started looking at the post-1813 baptisms for the same family (I had found the details in the International Genealogical Index but this didn’t give the father’s occupation). As I had the exact date from the IGI it was easy to wind through the microfilm to the correct place.
There it was, listed under occupation, the words I had been looking for: mail coach guard, this was a match for the father’s occupation shown on Thomas KINGHORN’s marriage certificate. My heart stopped (well perhaps not literally), my efforts had not been wasted, my hunch had paid off it was the correct family. As I stared at the entry many more questions rushed into my head, it was like one problem solved, and another dozen arrived to take it’s place.
I checked the rest of the film to see if there was a burial for Thomas, but there wasn’t, at least not between 1817 and 1828 in St Cuthbert’s. So I switched to another film, with the earlier registers on, I wanted to confirm the dates from the IGI were correct for the marriage and the baptisms of the other children.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pre-1813 baptism entries contained the same amount of information (if not more) than the later ones, something which seemed quite unusual to me, I am used to seeing just the date, child’s name and the parent’s name (sometimes just the father).
The entry for Abraham, baptised 10th June 1810, was packed with more information than I could ever have dreamed of, Abraham son of Thomas Kinghorn of Moffat of North Britain, late of the City of Carlisle, guard to the mail coach, and of Margaret his wife / late Sewell.
This gives me the green light to plan a trip to Carlisle to try and find out more (all I need now is a green light from my wife), and believe me there are so many more questions, such as why if they were living in Moffat, did they travel nearly forty miles to have their children baptised in Carlisle.
I also have visions of Thomas KINGHORN defending his mail coach from robbers and highwaymen, but perhaps that is just my imagination running wild again!