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Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

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Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby JET » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:43 pm

My 2xgreat grandfather, Richard Thornhill THOMPSON, died in York in 1893. He can be found on the 1871, 1881 & 1891 censuses in York. As he has a relatively unusual occupation of Mathematical Instrument Maker, I have managed to track him back on the 1861, 1851 & 1841 censuses to Kent & London.

On the 1841 census, he is living in Bolton Street as a lodger and apprentice at the house of Daniel HENNINGS (Mathematical Instrument Maker) & his wife, Eliza. He says he was not born in that parish. His future wife, Susannah NEAL, was living in Great Bolton Street with her family.

The middle name of Thornhill seems to have been important to him. He named one of his sons Richard Thorn(e)hill William Thompson. Another son, Samuel James Thompson (my ancestor) named his son Richard Thornhill Thompson.

At Richard & Susannah's marriage, one of the witnesses was M Thornhill Thompson. Richard named his father as a Richard Thompson (deceased).

I have spent years trying to trace Richard's father, but without success. I thought that the Thornhill middle name might help, but sadly not. I have tried, without success, to establish the identity of the M Thornhill Thompson who witnessed the marriage. On the 1841 census, Susannah's family had a lodger named Matilda Thompson, who may be a candidate, but I haven't managed to find any more about her.

Intriguingly, there is a Richard Turnill Thompson in Lincolnshire, whose father was Richard Turnell Thompson. My 2xgreat grandfather was born in 1821, one year after Richard Turnill was married. According to census records, Richard Turnill's oldest child was born 3 or 4 years after the marriage, so there could have been an earlier child who did not live with the family.

The repetition of the Richard Turnill/Turnell/Thornhill combination makes me think there could be a connection, but I have been researching long enough to know that the unlikeliest of coincidences do happen and these people may be completely unrelated.

If anyone could unearth a clue or make any suggestions that would help me to take things further back, I would be very grateful.




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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby scammellhm » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:34 pm

Just a thought but seeing he was an apprentice have you tried searching for his apprenticeshop papers or documentation at the suitable London Guild ?
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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby JET » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:46 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I did wonder whether apprenticeship records might help, but I believe there wasn't a specific guild for Mathematical Instrument Makers at that time, so he could have joined any guild. I was hoping to avoid having to make a trip to London and trawl through records until I struck lucky, but if that's the only way, it's worth a try. Thanks again.


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Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby brunes08 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:13 pm

Regarding the Thornhill name, might it be Richard's mother's surname or from her side of the family or his paternal grandmother's name etc. My gt gt grandmother's surname was Chapman. One of her son's (my gt grandfather ) had Chapman as a middle name and then his grandson (my uncle) had Chapman as one of his middle names too. On another branch of my family, the same thing happened. I believe that this is very common in Scottish families to keep the female name within the family.
The other possibility is that his mother's name was Thompson. He may have been illegitimate and the putative father's name of Thornhill included to recognise this but he said his father was Thompson to hide this fact. This happens a lot when the couple are not married for some reason. I have examples of this in my family too. Just some thoughts!
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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:47 am

Re the Guild: I suspect that you may have phrased your comment about joining any guild slightly poorly but just in case....

He couldn't have joined any guild in the sense that he was free to choose. There would be only one guild that he could have joined - the problem is that you (and I) don't know which that guild was. That may be what you meant to say - it's not easily expressed concisely!

I don't know the setup of London guilds but would suggest that a jewellers guild would be a good place to start. Or a clock makers? You should have a look at some easily available guild records to get an idea of the subtypes of occupation in that guild, then cross check against another. Also, check for Daniel Hennings first - he might be easier to find and would surely have been a master of his guild, whereas your chap might only have been an apprentice, and not have been a master craftsman of his guild for years. If ever...

Not specifically helpful but in Dundee, the Hammermen's Guild covered blacksmiths, jewellers, clockmakers and others - each with their own subsection. I'm sure London Guilds would have been more specific but it illustrates the possibilities.

On a different aspect - you don't say where he claimed to be born in the censuses - doesn't that help? Or is there a reason you didn't say?

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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby JET » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:03 am

Thanks for the new ideas.

The point about Thornhill as an indicator of mother's maiden name, or father of an illegitimate child, is one I need to give more serious thought to. I was aware of it as a possibility, but was rather desperately hoping that it might be a longstanding middle name that would be the key to unlocking previous generations. The discovery of the Turnill/Turnell middle name may have got me overexcited!

Re the Guild, that's a very helpful clarification. I didn't realise that there would only be one possible Guild that he could join. I have read of some unexpected Guild memberships for other occupations and thought it might depend where your father had a connection, or where you lived. I think I have read that there were clockmakers in the Grocers Guild, which seems odd, but I shall definitely dig a bit deeper here.

He usually gives his birthplace as St Pancras, Middlesex. Looking for a common surname like Thompson there is a thankless task, unfortunately.


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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby Amazinggrace » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:31 pm

Brunes08 is right, you could be looking for maiden surnames to crack it. It is as he says very strong with us scots. My two middle names are my mothers maiden name and my grandmothers maiden name. Worth a punt.
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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby sdup26 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:37 pm

As others have rightly said, middle names are often family names (for example, mother's maiden name being carried on when she had no living brothers), but it wasn't uncommon for someone to take an unrelated benefactor's surname as a middle name, out of gratitude.
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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby scammellhm » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:51 pm

? regarding a bit more information on apprenceship records

1. the London's guilds may keep their own records
2. the TNÁ has a register of produce ips i have been guided tours approaches record dorset is 1785 but there was a route she 14 1853
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Re: Help please - Richard Thornhill THOMPSON (1821-1893)

Postby scammellhm » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:19 am

Sorry speech to text went haywire.
Contact

2. TNA hàs apprentices registets at leat for DOrset abd WIltshìre arr covered from AT
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