It will also help to remind me how we made certain decisions. I deliberately say 'we' because whilst I am happy to collate and document all this information there are other family members out there researching and passing on valuable finds and information. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to all who help.
This is the history of the Pinckney family so although Pinckney women and those who married into the family are just as important (and are just as methodically recorded in the main web site) in this description I am interested in following the origins of the Pinckney name so by definition we will be concentrating on the male line. In this case, specifically my male line.
So we start with me. Like all of you there is no page for me or for that matter anyone who is living. This is to protect your privacy. The most you might find is you name listed on your mother or father's page.
1837 to present
The first period covers 1837 to the present day. The proof for this period is provided by the Birth, Marriage and Death registries and certificates which were introduced by law by Queen Victoria in 1837. In addition the Census records from 1841 onwards started to contain more useful information. The earlier ones just contained vague counts so are of no use to genealogists.
My father was James Alfred Pinckney born on 17th of Feburary 1920 and who died in 2008 aged 88. We have his birth certificate so we know his father's name was Edward Pinckney and his mother was Florence Kessiah Pinckney formerly Scott.
Edward Pinckney was born on the 23rd of June 1879. I am the youngest son of my father and he was the youngest son of his father so there is quite quickly a big gap between generations. Edward married Florence Kessiah Scott in on the 2nd August 1903. We know this for definate because we have the marriage certificate. I never knew my grandfather, he died on the 3rd of December 1943. His page shows the only photo we have of him. I did know my grandmother, we used to visit her regularly and she was still living independantly until her death in August 1970. She was 90 years old. They had 3 children.
I have Edward's birth certificate which gives his father as Joseph Pinckney and his mother as Ann Elizabeth Pinckney formerly Flaxton.
I then have him and the family listed in the 1911, 1901, 1891 and 1881 censuses.
Joseph Pinckney was born on the 7th August 1841, died 10th of February 1919. I have his birth certificate which gives his father as Joseph Pinckney and his mother as Eliza Pinckney formerly Gillett. Joseph married Ann Elizabeth Flaxton in 1866 and they had (up to) 20 children (I think one or two I have attributed may be incorrect).
I then have Joseph and the family listed in the 1911, 1901, 1891, 1881, 1871, 1861 and 1851 censuses so his family is well documented.
Great Great Grandfather
Joseph Pinckney was baptised on the 23rd of Feburary 1820, died 21st November 1866. I have his birth registry which lists his parents as Thomas and Mary. Joseph married Eliza Gillett on the 18th of April 1842 and I have their marriage certificate where she is listed as Jillett but this may be incorrect. Joseph and Eliza had a total of 13 children.
I then have Joseph and the family listed in the 1861, 1851 and 1841 censuses and they consistently give his age to give a birth year of 1820 exactly. There is only one Joseph born 5 years either side of 1820 with a father Thomas.
Third Great Grandfather
Thomas Pinckney was born on the 16th of February 1789, died 24th March 1833. We have his baptism entry which lists his parents as Joseph and Hannah Pinckney. Thomas married Mary Ann Bataille on the 2nd December 1809. Thomas and Mary had 15 children between 1810 and 1833. The information from the children's baptism records is consistent and I have documented this family in detail in The East of London line. For a long time this was the furthest back that we had managed to go.
There is only one marriage for a Thomas Pinckney and Mary in the 10 year period either side of 1800 which is Thomas and Mary Bataille and the marriage was 11 months before the birth of their first child Mary Ann (named after her mother as was the custom).
London 1737 to 1837
The next few generations are where the records start to become a bit more sketchy and we have to rely on hand written Baptism, Marriage and Death details maintained in parish church records and some centralised transcribed indexes.
Fourth Great Grandfather
Thomas's father was Joseph Pinckney born around June 1768, died 8th December 1798. His baptism entry lists his parents as Joseph and Mary. Joseph married Hannah Brees on 15th February 1784. They had 5 children.
Fifth Great Grandfather
Joseph's father was Joseph Pinckney born around 20th October 1737. His baptism entry lists his parents as Robert and Eliza. Joseph married Mary Dorrell on the 11th Nov 1762. So far we have only been able to find one child, Joseph.
Sixth Great Grandfather
Joseph's father was Robert Pinckney born about 1715, died 1759. We have not managed to find his baptism record yet but we are confident about him for a number of reasons. Robert left a will in which he bequeth's items to his son Joseph. No other children are mentioned. All other surviving siblings are listed. One brother Henry was crossed out. We now know that this was actually Heneage Pinckney. I guess whoever transcribed the will had never heard of that name so made a guess. We also have Heneage's will which lists the same family members, some of them are detailed as being 'of York'. I have also found the baptisms of most of them in York. Unfortunately we have so far not found the baptism for Robert.
Robert's sister Ann was granted the freedom of the City of London in which it describes her as "Ann, daughter of Robert of York".
We are therefore convinced that we have traced the family back out of London up to Yorkshire.
Having establish that the family are from Yorkshire we are now beginning the next phase of our journey.
Seventh Great Grandfather
Robert's father was Robert Pinckney.
We know that Heneage and Robert were brothers because they both listed the same siblings in their wills. There are also various references to York. We have Heneage's baptism record from York and this lists his father as Robert. This is such an unusual name that it has to be the right person.
My (Eighth) Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather
In Heneage's will he mentions a cousin called Calverley Pinckney. It is not definite that Calverley was strictly a first cousin but there is nothing at the moment to suggest otherwise so we are working on that assumption. The birth of Calverley and all his siblings have been found in Eryholme in Yorkshire. They all list their father as Christopher Pinckney. So by deduction, at the moment we are assuming that Robert had a brother called Christopher and they therefore had a common father.
We have so far been unable to establish who Robert and Christopher's father was but we can say with some certainty that the family were from Yorkshire.
Robert, Heneage and Calverly all moved to London along with others from these two families.
One line of the Pinckney family was from Bishop Auckland. Members of that family emigrated to America and became very famous, some of them even signed the American Constitution. I have looked on a map and seen that our line can now be traced back very close to Bishop Auckland so it would be amazing for us to be able to join our line with the famous American line. Watch this space.