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.
Father James Alfred Pinckney 1920 - 2008
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 Pinckney formerly Scott.
Grandfather Edward Pinckney 1879 - 1943
Edward Pinckney married Florence Kessiah Scott on the 2nd August 1903, we have the marriage certificate. This gives his age at the time as 24 so he was born in 1879.
Edward's birth certificate shows that he was born on the 23 Jun 1879, it gives his father as Joseph Pinckney and his mother as Ann Elizabeth Pinckney formerly Flaxton.
We then have him and his parent's family listed in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses and with Florence and his family in the 1911 census.
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. I never knew my grandfather, he died on the 3rd December 1943. His page shows the only photo we have of him. I did know my grandmother Florence, we used to visit her regularly and she was still living independantly until her death in August 1970. She was 90 years old.
Great Grandfather Joseph Pinckney 1841 - 1919
Joseph Pinckney married Ann Elizabeth Flaxton on 2nd April 1866 and they had (up to) 20 children (I think one or two I have attributed may be incorrect). Their marriage certificate shows him and Ann as being of 'Full' age.
So to get his birth year we need to look in the census records. The 1911 census gives his age as 69 which means he was born around 1842. The census was taken on 2nd April and we find that he was actually born on 7th August 1841.
Joseph died 10th of February 1919.
His birth certificate gives his father as Joseph Pinckney and his mother as Eliza Pinckney formerly Gillett.
We then have him and his parent's family listed in the 1851 and 1861 censuses and with Eliza and his family in the 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses.
Great Great Grandfather Joseph Pinckney 1820 - 1866
Joseph Pinckney married Eliza Gillett on the 18th of April 1842 and I have their marriage certificate where she is listed as Jillett but I think this is incorrect. Joseph and Eliza had a total of 13 children. Again their ages are both listed as 'Of Full Age'. Again we revert to the censuses, the 1861 census gives his age as 41 so he was born around 1820 and it shows he was born in Shoreditch.
There were no birth certificates back then but we do find that he was baptised on the 23rd of Feburary 1820. This lists his parents as Thomas and Mary. There are only two Joseph's born 5 years either side of 1820. The other Joseph born in 1823 in Yorkshire. So I am confident we have the right Joseph.
Joseph died 21st November 1866.
We then have Joseph and his family listed in the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses and they consistently give his age to give a birth year of 1820 exactly.
Third Great Grandfather Thomas Pinckney 1789 - 1833
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 (including Joseph) and I have documented this family in detail in The East of London line.
We can be confident of Thomas and Mary because of records held at the French Hospital where their son John gives detailed information on his application to be admitted, including Mary's full name, her father's name and their address which matches that listed on the later baptism records.
There is a baptism for Thomas Pinckney (importantly with the correct spelling) in the correct timeframe and situated a stones throw from where he and Mary Ann were married. He was born on the 16th of February 1789 and was therefore 20 years old at the time he was married. We are therefore confident we have the correct Thomas.
We have his baptism entry which lists his parents as Joseph and Hannah Pinckney.
Thomas died 24th March 1833.
For a long time this was the furthest back that we had managed to go.
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. Some of it needs a little more detective work but I have included that work.
Fourth Great Grandfather Joseph Pinckney 1768 - 1798
Joseph married Hannah Brees on 15th February 1784. They had 5 children.
All the children were baptised in Southwark. Sarah was their second daughter. She married William Eatwell in 1807 and he witnessed the marriage of Thomas and Mary Ann in 1809 so we are confident that we have the correct Joseph and Hannah. We can only find a single marriage between a Joseph and Hannah and that is in 1784. This ties in perfectly with their first child Elizabeth being born the following year in 1785.
Joseph was born around June 1768, his baptism record lists his parents as Joseph and Mary. The only slight doubt is that this would mean that Joseph was only 16 when he married Hannah. A bit young but certainly still legal and possible. It could be that this is correct or that he was not baptised straight away so he might have been a bit older.
He died 8th December 1798.
Fifth Great Grandfather Joseph Pinckney 1737 -
Joseph married Mary Dorrell on the 11th Nov 1762. They had 5 children. The marriage registry states that he was Joseph Pinckney of Cornhill parish aged 25 years. This means he was born in 1737.
Joseph was born around 20th October 1737. His baptism entry lists his parents as Robert and Eliza.
Together with the baptism stating his parents we have his marriage stating he was from Cornhill which is exactly where his parents and other relatives lived, worked and died.
We are therefore confident that this is the correct Joseph.
We have so far not managed to find a record of his death.
Sixth Great Grandfather Robert Pinckney 1715 - 1759
Robert Pinckney married Elizabeth Parkin in Liverton, Yorkshire on 21st January 1735. We could guess at an age of about 20 for Robert at the time of the marriage which would mean he was born around 1715.
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 who died a few years before Robert. 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'. His sister Ann also left a will mentioning the same family members. I have also found the baptisms of most of Robert's siblings in York. So to place Robert being born in York in around 1715 is perfectly consistent.
From Robert's will we also know that he ran John's Coffehouse in Cornhill.
Robert died 1759 and he was buried in St Michael's Church in Cornhill.
Through these various references we are convinced that we have traced the family back out of London up to York.
Having established that the family are from York we are now beginning the next phase of our journey.
Seventh Great Grandfather Robert Pinckney
We know that Heneage, Robert and Ann were siblings because they all 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.
Ann was granted the freedom of the City of London in which it describes her as "Ann, daughter of Robert of York".
So we are happy that their father's name was Robert but so far we have not managed to find out anything else about him.
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, Ann 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 quite close to Bishop Auckland so it would be amazing for us to be able to join our line with the famous American line. At least we are now in the right part of the country.
Watch this space.