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 your 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 18 children. 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 1759 -
For a long time we thought that Joseph Pinckney was my Fourth Great Grandfather. This was based on a couple of things. Mainly that he was the only Joseph that existed at the right time and the right place. However, there have always been doubts about this relationship for a couple of reasons. First, that for this to be correct then Joseph would only have been about 15 or 16 when he got married. We were not happy about this but thought it might still be possible. If he were only 5 or 6 then obviously we would have said it was wrong. Secondly, that Joseph was born into a relatively wealthy family (Coffee House owners) and yet Joseph's wife, Hannah Brees, and one of their children died in the workhouse. Again, not impossible but not a comfortable association.
I have recently (2021) discovered that there was another Joseph Pinckney in the area at the right time. This information was found in Poor Law records for his mother. We now believe that it was this Joseph who married Hannah for exactly the opposite reasons. He would have been 25 when he married Hannah in 1784. Being born into a family from the workhouse makes much more sense that his wife and one of their children died in the workhouse.
Joseph was born around 1758/59. There are a number entries in the Poor Law Records for his mother (Mary) which list, amongst other things, her children. In the 1761 entry Joseph is listed as 2 years old. In the 1764 entry he is listed as 6 years old. So, depending on when his birthday was and when the records were taken we can say he was born around 1758/59. We have not been able to find any documented evidence for the births of any of their children, which is why we have not been able to find Joseph until now.
Joseph married Hannah Brees on 15th February 1784 when he was about 25 and she was about 20. They had 6 children.
Tha majority of their 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.
Fifth Great Grandfather Joseph Pinckney 1719 -
Joseph married Mary Barton on the 26th Dec 1746 at St Nicholas Church in Bawtry, South Yorkshire. This is detailed in Mary's Poor Law Records. They had (at least) 7 children all details have been found in the Poor Law Records and none of the children's births have been found in any church records.
The records specifically state her marriage to Joseph Pinckney which is confirmed by the church registry. This gives their ages so we can deduce that Joseph was born in 1719.
By remarkable coincidence it now turns out that there were two families where the parents were Joseph and Mary Pinckney living relatively close to each other in London at the same time. One from a wealthy family the other not so fortunate.
I have found a baptism for Joseph Pinkney in 1719 in West Tanfield Church, Yorkshire (North Riding), which, if it is the correct person, gives his parents as Joseph and Ann Pinkney. And so the story continues...
Through these various references we are convinced that we have traced the family back out of London up to Yorkshire.
Having established that the family are from Yorkshire we are now beginning the next phase of our journey.
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.