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About this site

This site is intended (eventually) to give as complete a picture of the Kingsman, Kingman, Kinsman and Kinman families as possible. This is far from being a "one-man" effort. I have been working on the Kingsman tree since 2005, and other contributors for much longer. In particular, I am indebted to Frank Kingsman and Jean Watts for the many years work on the Kingsman family tree that they each put in before the advent of web based information systems. Their records and views made knitting the Kingsman strands together much easier and a lot more fun.

In similar vein, in 2008 I was found by Andrew Kinsman and he is the main reason that the trees of the Kinsman families from Cornwall and Devon have developed so quickly. At the moment it looks like these Kinsman lines come from three families only, two of these have been traced back to the early 1500s in Kilkhampton and Tavistock. The third may prove to be another unique root, an offshoot of one of these, or if DNA evidence is correct it may well originate from a "non-paternal event" between the Kinsman and Pafford families.

I have received similar help on some of the Kingman lines, but these remain cloudy and fragmented at the moment. It is looking likely that they have multiple origins in England and do not link together into one extended family. One major question in the Kingman trees is the origin of Henry Kingman and his wife Joanna who emigrated to the USA about 1635. Most trees state these to come from Frome in Somerset, but with minimal evidence to support this claim. These are my priority at the moment (at the end of 2011), before moving on to the Kinman lines and then trying to tackle the descendant lines in America, Canada and Australia.

This is not the only, nor the first, website to contain a history of parts of the Kin(gs)man families. In places, our work has led us to disagree with some of the conclusions made about some of the earlier links, the major one being just which of the many Robert Kinsmans in the 17th century was "Robert the emigrant" (or immigrant depending on your point of view). I do not claim to have the absolute truth, but I have endeavoured to remove the inconsistencies from the earliest piece of work on which most other Kinsman researchers have based their trees. Consequently you will not find Robert the emigrant coming from Northamptonshire, nor being descended from Robert of Overton, Wiltshire as is case in most published trees. The most up-to-date evidence suggests that he was instead the son of a tailor from Highworth in Wiltshire. This work has now been published in a paper in the January 2010 issue of The American Genealogist.

On this, and on all the content of this site, I keep an open mind. I welcome comment, contributions, questions and especially dialogue, with anyone who has an interest on these fascinating families. My e-mail address is at the bottom of the front page of this site, and I really do look forward to hearing from you. If you are interested in any of these lines please get in contact, some more collaborators would make this move faster and better.

It may be useful to note the convention that I have adopted for dating major events, especially births. Where I give an actual date, then I have very good evidence for it, such as a birth certicate or diary entry or parish register where the curate recorded both birth and baptism. If only a year is given, then there is still evidence to support it, but it may be less definite, such as a census return, with all the inaccuracies that they have. If a year is given as "About" or "Est" followed by a round number, then it is an educated guess. Most often this will be based on an assumed age of 25 on the birth of a first child or marriage, or 50 years prior to a known death date - normally rounded to the nearest five years. This is obviously inaccurate, but places people in "about" the right timeframe. If a birth year is given as "About" followed by a number that has not been rounded, like 1751, then it is like that to get the ordering of children in a family right - most often this being taken from a will, assuming the convention of naming children in order of their age. Again, this is not always true, and falls down where testators have named all their sons first and then all their daughters, but it gives a basis from which to work until better evidence comes to light.

I hope you enjoy using this site. I've had a lot of fun in putting the pieces together, and get much more fun from working with others on linking their information with ours.

Please contact me with any queries or comments.

Derrick Watson

January 2012