Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Kingshott is an unusual surname. There aren't a whole lot of us around, but we have spread around the world. Unusually, perhaps, the Kingshott one-name study also documents a single family so it is directly related to the more widely recognised genealogical pursuits.
I started researching the Kingshott family in 1991 after coming across someone with the same surname as me, when I was working in Australia. I was intrigued as I had never met another Kingshott who was outside of my immediate family. I therefore set out on a quest, which continues to this day, searching for the links between the different branches of the family and wondering if we were all related.
In time, as technology increased and information and contact became quicker and easier, I expanded my search to other branches of the Kingshott. Now, it has become an obsession.
If you have a Kingshott in your family, then there is no doubt that they will link in with me, and I would like to hear from you.
The family did not always have the Kingshott surname. There are many variations on the spelling, even through the 19th century when general literacy levels increased greatly, however the earlier spellings were all variants of Kingett. Quite how you get Kingshott from Kingett is not easily explained, but I have several examples from various old documents where families who were recorded formally as Kingett were actually signing their name Kingshott (or variations thereof). Similarly, I have instances of Kingshott's signing their name Kingett.
In previous centuries literacy among the poorer classes was almost non-existant. To read or write for the rural population did not lead to food being placed on their tables. It was not essential, so, for the most part, the poor working classes did not learn to do so.
The Kingshott's were almost exclusively agricultural labourers. There were a few farmers in there, some shoemakers and so on, but almost all were poor. The only literate people in regular contact with these families were the local clergy. So, at important events like baptisms, marriages and burials, the names of those involved were spoken to the clergy who had no option but to write the names down phonetically. This is why there are so many spelling variations found throughout the parish registers, and even with children of the same family!
An example of this is the family of William & Dinah Kingshott of Petworth. They were married, under the name of Kingshott at Wisborough Green, Sussex, on 11th June 1816. They had ten children and the spellings of the surname in order of their bapism were:- William Kinshot, James Kinchet, Charles Kinchett, Lucy Kinchett, Eliza Kinchett, Jane Kingshot, Henry Kingshott, George Kingshott and Elizabeth & Ellen Kinchett.
This sort of pattern is repeated throughout the various other branches of the Kingshott family and provides irrefutable proof of the links between various surname derivations. I have also proven this through DNA studies too.
Some spelling variations that I have found include Kinshott, Kinshot, Kingshot, Kinchett, Kinsett, Kingett, Kinggett, Kingshotte, Kingsholt, Kingschott, Kingchatt, Kingchott, Kenshott, Kenshett and so on. There are even some more unlikely variations, such as Kinsett and Kincett. This sometimes makes it difficult to follow these families around. There are also clear regional variations. For example, those families from Hampshire often dropped the 'g' and became Kinshott.
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