Now that I have two active research projects featuring a Thomas KINGHORN, I need to decide how I am going to identify which one I am talking about, especially in this blog. Actually there are three, the Thomas KINGHORN who lived in London, had a son called Thomas as well, but he is not the subject of my research, so I probably won’t be referring to him a lot!
So far there is no evidence to suggest that either of them had a middle name, which although sometimes a little clumsy could help distinguish the two. Likewise they don’t appear to have used the used the suffix “junior” or “senior” or “younger” or “elder”, so I am not going to start now, especially as they may mean I need a “middle” as well.
I could give them a number, but then what happens if I find another earlier Thomas, do I have to re-number? or do I end up with a zero Thomas KINGHORN as well as the first and second. No, that wouldn’t work either, so I need to find some other way of distinguishing them.
There are a few attributes that I could use, but none of them really ideal. I could use where or when they were born (or died), but I don’t know either of them for the first Thomas yet. I could use the name of their spouses, the second one had three, so which one should I choose?
I could use the name of the place where they lived, I am pretty certain one spent most of his life in London, but not so sure about the other. Likewise I could use occupations, but that assumes they kept the same job throughout their life, and doesn’t help when I get to the Thomas who was the grandson of the oldest one (see how complicated that was?) who appears to have been a tailor like his father.
Perhaps the most obvious choice would be to use their relationship to me, but 4x great grandfather and 3x great grandfather are a little cumbersome. I could reduce this to 3ggf, 3xggf, 3xgGf or gggGf but that looks just plain ugly. Using that system would make the Thomas I mentioned in the previous paragraph, my ½3xgu or ½gggu (my half-3x great uncle), and that just doesn’t bear thinking about!
My family history software gives them unique ID numbers (23 and 221), but they are not particularly helpful for telling the two apart or rather telling which one is which.
I think I will use the full relationship for the time being, so Thomas KINGHORN (4x great grandfather) and his son Thomas KINGHORN (3x great grandfather) and hope I don’t have to refer to the other one too often! Hopefully, I can find some other bit of unique information for both that will help or tie down a date of birth for the first one.
If anyone has any suggestions then leave me a comment, I would love to hear…