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|Last update - March 2016
Henry Kingman left England bound for the New World in 1634 with his wife Joanna and 5 children. He was then 40 years old according to the embarkation list. They have numerous descendants in the USA and there are many trees (with many discrepancies between them) published on the web. A common theme on many of these trees is a statement that Henry came originally from Frome in Somerset. This despite the fact that there is no contemporary evidence to support this and the parish registers of St John in Frome denying the baptism of any Kingman there prior to 1607 (they date back to 1558).
However, this appears to be one of those cases where there is a gem of truth in the family lore.
Back in 2011 an Australian Kingman was kind enough to join our project and give up a sample of his DNA.
It had no matches at all, even at the 25 marker level, not within the study and not in any other database.
This line traces back confidently to a George Kingman who lived in Farrington Gurney, Somerset in the early 1700s. George was not born there, at least he wasn't baptised there accroding to the parish records, but the burial of Thomas Kingman in Farrington Gurney (who also wasn't baptised there) makes it a reasonable bet that George and his siblings were the children of Thomas and that Thomas probably was the Thomas baptised in Frome - ten miles from Farrington.
5 years pass and John Kingman, a descendant of the emigrant Henry, joined the study with both his yDNA and atDNA (name menitoned here with John's express permission). To my own great surprise he was an excellent, if long distance, match with this known Somerset line.
The match between these two is 33/37 +4. By no means a recent common ancestor, but one born probably in the range 1450-1550.
We may not have proof that Henry the emigrant came from Frome, but we do now have definitive evidence that he was related to a family of Kingmans who lived in nearby Farrington Gurney, and who most likely lived in Frome for about a hundred years - the exact timeframe that includes not Henry's birth, but certainly his departure for Massachusetts.
The other line included here comes from Stephen Kingman, born in Farrington Gurney but who lived in Ston Easton. Stephen is a known illegitimacy, but his father's name does not appear in any records found. As such, a match with the other Kingmans would have been a surprise. Someday we may get a match and identify who the father was, albeit 300 years after the event.