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In the 1500s there were three families of Kin(g)(s)man living in three different villages in Wiltshire. The spellings of their surnames seem to have been fixed in each of the three villages, I have not yet found any crossover in the spellings. As these were fairly wealthy, educated families, it is likely that the spellings were determined by the family members themselves and not by the local cleric. The major question is, were these three families related?
A second question is whether any or all of these families descends from the Kinnesman family of Northamtonshire? That part is covered on the Kinnesman DNA page.
John Kyngman lived in South Newton and died there in 1522, leaving considerable monetary sums to his nine children, all bar one of whom were of age to inherit. This gives a best guess of his birth as being sometime around 1470, or perhaps earlier. I am working on tracing his line forwards in time, but as yet have not got found a living male direct line descendant.
Robert Kingesman lived in Overton which lies about 25 miles north of South Newton. He died there in 1592, his eldest son Richard died in 1616 and his younger son Robert died there in 1647. Again Robert was a fairly wealthy yeoman, escalated to today's values, the monetary sums in his will amount to about £940,000 - this excludes his land and houses.
John Kyngman had a grandson called Robert (son of Thomas who died in Great Wishford in 1536 and named his son Robert as a beneficiary in his will). Could Robert Kingesman of Overton possibly be Robert, son of Thomas Kingman of Wishford?
Thomas Kinsman died in Highworth in 1558.
Highworth lies a further 20 miles north of Overton. No will has been found for Thomas, but there was one left by his son Roger, a tailor, who married late in life and died leaving infant children, including Robert who was born in 1589 and is the most likely person to have emigrated to America in 1634 on the Mary and John. There are many descendants of his line in America today.
My own line is that of Kingsman of Overton, but this is from my mother's side so my DNA would be of no use in trying to trace this line. Fortunately I found a fairly close cousin (we share the same G3 grandfather, William Long Kingsman, b1805) who was willing to contribute his DNA to the study. Tracing this cousin was fun, as he was born in New Zealand, but now lives in the USA. He took the 37 marker test with ftDNA.
Some time earlier, one of the first people to contribute to this study had taken the same test. He is a descendant of Asa Kinsman, born in New York, USA, in 1820, the son of Asa Kinsman and Hannah MacMartin. We believe that this Asa descends from Robert (the emigrant) of Highworth, but have not been able to complete the paper trail. This was also a 37 marker test with ftDNA.
Just to prove that you should never make assumptions (mine being that Robert the emigrant was not related to my own line in any way) there turned out to be a very good match between the two samples. They match on 32 out of 37 markers, with a genetic distance of 5 - this is not the closest of matches, but is entirely consistent with the written records. The results give an estimate of the nearest common ancestor being about 23 generations ago, and we know from the paper trail that the lines were certainly separate 14 generations ago.
This has now been further improved as in late 2015 we got a volunteer from the line of Robert the emigrant. He tested with a relatively new company, yseq.net , who reported on 36 markers used by ftDNA in their alpha+beta panels. He matched 35/36 +2 with the donor from the Asa Kinsman line, so finally proving that link. The closeness of the match suggests they shared a common ancestor at about the time of Asa Kinsman's grandfather.
This donor also matches 31/36 +5 with the original Kingsman line donor, with all the variations on the same markers as before. So, we now also have proof of the linkage between the lines of Robert of Overton and Edward of Highworth. They probably were not brothers or even first cousins, but they may well have shared a common great grandfather sometime in the early 1400s.
In fact, the lines come closer than that as we found when another of my Kingsman cousins donated his DNA. This test was done by the Sorenson laboratories and so does not have all of the same markers tested, even so we know that one of the mismatches (mutations) on the first Kingsman sample is particular to the line of William Kingsman, it is not present in the line of his brother James. This new sample has a 31/33 marker match with the Kinsman sample and a genetic distance of 2.
Combining the information from the paper records with these DNA results suggests that the Kingsman and Kinsman lines shared a common ancestor, perhaps as recently as 16 generations ago - this would equate to the same generation as John Kyngman of South Newton, and perhaps could be him.
As ever, what we need is more people to come forward and join the study.
I know there are living descendants of James Kingsman (uncle to William and James), and also of Thomas Kingsman who branches two generations earlier. Samples from these lines would further help pinpoint the mutation points on the Kingsman yDNA and improve the accuracy of the analysis.
I am working on finding descendants of John Kyngman of South Newton, if you are working from the other end (backwards in time) and find a match, please do contact me so we can pool information.
Again, there are many descendants of Robert the emigrant in the USA. So far I have not found any who are interested enough to participate in this study - if you are one, then I'd love to hear from you.