Sorting through the Sinkins…Post #1…

Being a “bad” genealogist, I admit to jumping around from family to family, depending on what captures my interest. During this past week, I returned once again to the Sinkins family of my second great-grandmother, Elizabeth Hannah (1832-1896), one that has given me plenty of mysteries to solve.

Back in 2017 I went “down the rabbit hole” trying to find my Sinkins/Morris third great-grandparents, George Mustin and Elizabeth, in the 1871 census, and despite repeated efforts since, that case still remains open. Now I have several more, after moving back a generation to George Mustin’s parents and siblings who were based, at least at first, in Devonshire, based on information from census returns, and backed up by parish records.

Devonshire was a new venue for me, so when I had to start researching there a few years ago, I did what I always do, and explored what records were available. At the time that I began work on the Sinkins family, I didn’t have easy access to the actual images from Dodbrooke (the birth location on the census returns), so had to rely on transcriptions. Eventually I did find a George Sinkins of the correct age baptized in Dodbrooke, the son of William and Nancy Sinkins, in May 1809, and, earlier this year, was able to see the record 1 itself on FindMyPast. When I looked, however, for a marriage record for a William Sinkins in Dodbrooke during this period, I could never find anything, so the first mystery I had to solve was: what was Nancy’s maiden name?

While I never copy directly from other family trees, I do use them as a resource if I run into a brick wall, and over the years I have seen the surname Hamilton for Nancy, and given that William and Nancy named their third son, Charles Hamilton Sinkins,2 I had leaned that way, but could find no evidence to back it up. When I checked other trees earlier this week, I found one that had Nancy’s name as Farley and began my search based on that tidbit. I found nothing in Dodbrooke, however, I checked the one census return in which Nancy appears (more on that later), in 1851, and noted that she gave her place of birth as Kingswear,3 Devon. Keeping in mind, of course, that places of birth aren’t always correct in the census, I still hoped for the best, and moved to that area. Her estimated dob was 1784, based on that census return, so I searched with a two year window with no results.

Disappointment set in, and instead I searched for other Nancys in Kingswear, but nothing seemed to fit. Then returned to the Farley surname, and searched for a marriage of William Sinkins and Nancy Farley in about 1805, when the first Sinkins children started appearing in the parish register in Dodbrooke. Still nothing. Not wanting to give up, I broadened my approach and searched everything for Nancy Farley with a wider birth range and that’s when I had my breakthrough – a marriage in Kingswear on May 1, 1805, of Nancy Farley and William Jinkins. Knowing how many times the Sinkins name has been mistranscribed as Jinkins, I opened the record and found what I needed:

SinkinsWilliam_FarleyNancy_marriage-transcription-image
Transcription

William signed his name, while Nancy made her mark. The witnesses were someone by the name of Hodges (initial illegible) and Daniel Farley.4 On the transcription page, FindMyPast suggested that a baptismal record for a Nancy Farley in 1781 in Kingswear might be relevant. I clicked to see if this might prove useful, and found a baptism for a Nancy Farley, daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth.5 Given that I had just seen a Daniel Farley as a witness on the marriage record, I’m fairly confident this is the correct record, as the age discrepancy is only three years, and it was quite common for people in the past not to know their exact age. Dodbrooke is about 11 miles from Kingsbridge and I’d love to know how they met each other – as William was a carpenter, perhaps he had work in nearby Dartmouth, just across the river from Kingswear (Dodbrooke, middle-left and Kingswear, upper-right)  click map to enlarge):

Dodbrooke-Kingswear_SeriesOneOrdnanceSurvey_Vision-of-Britain_withlines_edit2

“This work incorporates historical material provided by the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth through their web site A Vision of Britain through Time (http://www.VisionofBritain.org.uk).”

Used according to the CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC LICENSE

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Dodbrooke, in South Hams and Devon | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
(http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/20249 : accessed 10 August 2020)

While the couple married in Nancy’s home parish, by September of 1805 they were living back in Dodbrooke when their daughter, Mary, was baptized on the 20th of that month.6 Several more children followed at regular intervals: William (1806),7 George (1808), Charles Hamilton (1810), Mary (1812)8 (more on this in another post), Elizabeth (1814),9< Eli (1817),10 Ellen (1819),11 and Frederick (1822).12 (click tree to enlarge)

SinkinsWilliam_FarleyNancy_descendant-tree_v3

By the late 1840s, however, the family all were living in London, except for William Junior, who was in Leeds, Yorkshire and had been since at least 1838.

Furthermore, it’s with William’s family I found another piece of corroborating evidence for Nancy’s maiden name, in the birth of his son, Farley, in 1845,13 that added a little extra reassurance. The name Farley is not a common one but it’s not unusual for babies to be given the last name of their grandmother as a first name. I’m confident I have the correct family, despite the distance from South Devon, as William’s place of birth in the 1851 Census appears as “Devonshire Dodbrooke”, while his marriage to Susanna Cox in London, in 1834 was witnessed by a W. Sinkins,14 whose signature is almost identical to that on William and Nancy’s 1805 marriage record.

Finally, though I know that age variations are common census returns, I looked again at Nancy’s entry in the 1851 census and realized that the error was one of transcription. While I correctly read the age as 69, the Ancestry transcriber had clearly read it as 67, which would explain the 1784 estimated dob in the indexed result. I checked on FindMyPast and there her age was indexed properly as 69. The census was taken the night of March 30 that year, and Nancy was baptized in June 1781, and given that children were generally (but not always) baptized within a month or two of their birth, the age is consistent. While working too quickly, I made the mistake of relying too heavily on the search result information, even though I KNOW I should always look at the record itself. So often as we gain confidence in our genealogical skills we forget the little things we learned as beginners, especially when moving fast in order to maximize writing time.

At this point I believe I can say with reasonable confidence that the Nancy Sinkins who appears in the Dodbrooke parish register entries and the 1851 Census with William Sinkins of Dodbrooke, was born Nancy Farley in Kingswear, Devon, in 1781. Obviously, I can never be 100% certain, given the brevity of the late 18th and early 19th century parish records, however, the preponderance of the available evidence does support my hypothesis.

This post covers only one of my Sinkins mysteries…following are some of the other questions I must try to answer over the coming weeks:

a) did William and Nancy have a fifth daughter, Elizabeth, born on April 1, 1827?
b) when did William and Nancy’s first daughter, Mary, die – in 1805, shortly after her baptism, or in 1812?
c) why does most of the family not appear in the 1841 census? Were they all living in the Paddington area of London, where the census records have been lost?
d) why did William Sinkins Jr move to Leeds?

Stay tuned…

Have you particular lines that generate a number of family history mysteries?

Sources

1. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 24 May 1808. Sinkins, George, son of William and Nancy. n.p.; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/2; Dodbrooke, C.M.B. 1805-1812. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 09 of 18). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 10 March 2020) Note: George’s middle name Mustin does not appear here – did he adopt it later?
2. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 25 0ct 1810. Sinkins, Charles Hamilton, son of William and Nancy. n.p.; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/2; Dodbrooke, C.M.B. 1805-1812. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 13 of 18). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 10 March 2020)
3. Census returns. England. Regents Park, St Pancras, Middlesex. 30 Mar 1851. Sinkins, Nancy (age 69). Class: HO107; Piece: 1493; Folio: 509; Enumeration District: 14; Page: 1; Schedule No.: 535; Line: 18; GSU roll: 87822-87823; citing: Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA): Public Record Office (PRO), 1851. Collection: 1851 England Census – digital image (no. 110 of 110) Ancestry (www.ancestry.ca : accessed 26 January 2017)
4. Marriages (PR). England. Kingswear, Devon. 01 May 1805. Sinkins, William (of the parish of Dodbrooke) and Farley, Nancy (of this parish); Page: 30; Entry No.: 1; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council. Collection: Devon Marriages and Banns – digital image (no. 59 of 65). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 05 August 2020) Note: This seems the most likely marriage for William Sinkins, especially as in the 1851 Census, William’s place of birth appears as Dodbrooke and Nancy’s as Kingswear. The first baptism of a child with the parents William and Nancy Sinkins in Dodbrooke is September of that same year, followed by several more through to 1821.
5. Baptisms (PR). England. Kingsweare, Devon. 04 Jun 1781. Farley, Nancy, da. of Daniel and Elizabeth. n.p.; citing: South West Heritage Trust; Archive reference: 2994A/PR/1/3; The Register Book of Baptisms and Burials in the Parish of Kingsware. Collection: Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 13 of 45). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 06 August 2020)
6. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 20 Sep 1805. Sinkins, Mary, da. of William and Nancy. n.p.; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/1; Dodbrooke, C.M.B. 1725-1809. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 104 of 107). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 06 August 2020)
7. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 31 Dec 1806. Sinkins, William, son of William and Nancy. n.p.; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/2; Dodbrooke, C.M.B. 1805-1812. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 05 of 18). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 08 August 2020)
8. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 24 Sep 1812. Sinkins, Mary, da. of William and Nancy. n.p.; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/2; Dodbrooke, C.M.B. 1805-1812. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 16 of 18). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 08 August 2020) Note: A margin note indicates Mary was privately baptized. ///// Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 31 Oct 1814. Sinkins, Mary, da. of William (carpenter) and Nancy. Page: 6; No.: 48; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/3; Dodbrooke, Baptisms 1813-1881. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 16 of 211). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 08 August 2020) Note: A margin note reads: “Mary Sinkins, 14th Sept 1812 privately baptized”. On the same day her sister, Elizabeth was also baptized. Perhaps the first parish register notation was made without Mary being present and on this occasion she was.
9. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 31 Oct 1814. Sinkins, Elizabeth, da. of William (carpenter) and Nancy. Page: 7; No.: 49; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/3; Dodbrooke, Baptisms 1813-1881. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 17 of 211). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 08 August 2020)
10. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 05 Feb 1817. Sinkins, Eli, son of William (carpenter) and Nancy. Page: 13; No.: 102; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/3; Dodbrooke, Baptisms 1813-1881. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 23 of 211). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 08 August 2020)
11. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 06 Oct 1819. Sinkins, Ellen (b. 05 Aug 1819), da. of William (carpenter) and Nancy. Page: 22; No.: 169; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/3; Dodbrooke, Baptisms 1813-1881. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 32 of 211). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 08 August 2020)
12. Baptisms (PR). England. Dodbrooke, Devon. 05 Feb 1817. Sinkins, Frederick, son of William (carpenter) and Ann. Page: 31; No.: 245; citing: South West Heritage Trust and Parochial Church Council; Reference No: 5721A/PR/1/3; Dodbrooke, Baptisms 1813-1881. Collection: England, Devon Baptisms – digital image (no. 41 of 211). FindMyPast (www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed 08 August 2020)
13. Baptisms (PR). England. St. Peter, Leeds, Yorkshire. 14 Dec 1845. Sinkins, Farley (b. 12 May 1845), son of William (schoolmaster) and Susanna. Page: 113; Entry No.: 1950; citing: Yorkshire Parish Records. Leeds, England: West Yorkshire Archive Service; Wakefield, Yorkshire, England; Yorkshire Parish Records; New Reference Number: RDP68/3A/14. Collection: West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910 – digital image (no. 246 of 267). Ancestry (www.ancestry.ca : accessed 09 August 2020)
14. Marriages (PR). England. St. Mary, Newington, Southwark, Surrey. 14 Jul 1834. Sinkins, William (bachelor of this parish) and Cox, Susanna (spinster, a minor of this parish). Page: 100; Entry No.: 298; citing: Church of England Parish Registers. London Metropolitan Archives, London; Reference Number: p92/mry/072. Collection: London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932 – digital image (no. 557 of 611). Ancestry (www.ancestry.ca : accessed 26 January 2017) Note: Susanna was married with the consent of her father.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.

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