Sunday, August 26, 2012


As early as the year 1611 when John Kirkham was Captain of the ship Salamander, out of the Port of Bristol, the Kirkham family has been identified with the Bristol/Bath area.  The earliest christening of any record for Kirkham’s was 11 June 1673 when George Kirkham was recorded as the son of John and Mrs. John Kirkham.  This event took place at the Bath Abbey, St. Peter-St. Paul Church.  This ancient church was the religious home of the Kirkham’s for three generations.
James Kirkham was baptized 21 March 1762 in the Abbey Church, St. Peter-St. Paul, Bath, Somersetshire, England, the son of Thomas Kirkham and his wife Mary.  We do not know how he spent his childhood or youth except to say that he was in an area of England where there was much sea-going activity through the port of Bristol nearby.  Undoubtedly he received his desire to go to sea because of his visits to Bristol and the activity of the port there.  For a hundred years before his birth, the Port of Bristol had been an important embarkation place for American and the New World.
James grew to be five feet three inches tall, of a swarthy complexion with grey eyes and dark hair. 
When he was thirty-one years of age he entered the service of the Royal Navy by going aboard the ship Dictator as an ordinary seaman, 23 November 1793.  He also served on the ships Hector, Tonnant, and Britton, from his enlistment in 1793 until his discharge 19 Aug 1815.  At one time during this enlistment he had an accident to lose the first joint of his middle finger on the right hand.  The official report from the Public Record Office in 1929 states also that he had a hurt leg. 
James Mercer Kirkham (researcher) in his correspondence with the Vicar of Charles Parish, Plymouth, received this certification:
“Marriage solemnized in the Parish of Charles, Plymouth, in the County of Devon in the year 1813; James Kirkham, mariner, a bachelor and Ann Jeatt, Spinster, were married in this church by banns, this seventh day of February in the year one thousand eight hundred and thirteen by me, Robert Hawker, Vicar.
This marriage was solemnized between us:
James Kirkham
The mark (x) of Ann Jeatt
In the presence of W. Osborne
      Jane Jeatt.”
The place of the marriage of James and Ann Jeatt was a remarkable building.  It had been built almost two hundred years before their marriage and was not really completed in its structure until the year 1857.   The bells, a tower, and remodeling took place until the year 1815 when two galleries were added to the structure.  At one time, before its destruction by bombs in World War II, it was accepted as one of the best existing structures of gothic architecture. 

James was about 51 years old when he first married.    From his marriage date and his official record on the high seas, James Kirkham came into the Port of Plymouth while attached to the ship Briton, and went to the well known gothic church of Charles Parish and there married Ann Jeatt whose ancestry is not known at this time.  (Many hundreds of hours have been spent in trying to learn more of this family. {according to E. Kay Kirkham}). 
Being a pensioner of the Royal Navy, James Kirkham was entitled to residence in the Greenwich Hospital (a huge complex of buildings and obviously not like our current hospitals).  Keep in mind that James Kirkham (because of having been in the Royal Navy for twenty years before he was married) was quite old when his children were admitted to the hospital school, and he was possibly in for    the “hurt leg” received in the Navy.
The children born to this couple  are listed on the family group sheet.   Some were born in one parish and baptized in another.  As all the children eventually attended (or lived at) the Greenwich school until they were old enough to get out and earn their own way or to marry.
Ebenezer was baptized in 1822 and at St. Leonard, Shoreditch, London.  The parents address was Hoxton.  The father’s trade was rope maker.  Ebenezer was admitted to Greenwich Hospital School on 31 July 1826 and discharged to H.M.S. Ganges when he was fifteen years old in 1831. This was a year before the death of his father, and he was at sea at the time.  It is not known where or when Ebenezer died or where he resided during his lifetime---possibly Australia.
Jemima was born in the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, London when her parents were living at 86 Long Alley, Shoreditch.  At that time, her father was a bricklayer.  She was admitted to the Greenwich School in 1929 and was still there in 1831.   She married a shoemaker, Henry J. Cornell on 1 November 1842 when she was 24 years of age, at Lambeth, St. John’s Waterloo, Surrey, Engl.  It seems they left to go to Canada in 1845. 
George, (our direct ancestor) was baptized on 13 May 1931 in the parish of Charles, Plymouth, Devonshire, England.  His parents were living at 21 Tavistock Street, Old Town, Plymouth.  He was admitted to the school of his siblings in on 8 January 1834 at age 9.  At that time, he was declared a “real object of charity”.
Jane Kirkham was listed as 5 ½ year old in 1831, which means her birth year was about 1825-6.
Other addresses given for this couple from the Public Records Office were:
21 Mount Pleasant, East Row, City Road, Shoreditch, Middlesex.
5 Knight’s Court, Greenwalk, Holland Street, Blackfriar (near Waterloo Bridge) in London which was probably in Christ Church Parish.
While in the hospital at Greenwich, James Kirkham passed away on 25 Aug 1832 (age 70) within the Christ Church parish, Newgate, London.  His wife Ann was living as well as children, aged 16, 14, 10, 6, and 1 ½.  

Born 18 March 1822 and went to the Greenwich school when he was 12 in January of 1834.n His elderly father died when George was 10 years of age.   He was a painter and bachelor at the time of his wedging on 17 December 18944.  The newlyweds kept a Green Front store in London.

 Ten years after their marriage, they joined the LDS church, with Mary Ann joining 2 months prior to George.   Five years later, Uncle Thomas Isom left Mary Ann “a neat sum of money” to permit them to emigrate to Zion in Utah.  This sum of money left to Mary Ann permitted her family to make the voyage without want or a lack of necessities upon arrival in the valley of the Great Salt Lake.  They were traveling with four sons, ages seven, five, and three year old twins.  Their actual departure took place on Monday, April 11, 1859, aboard the sailing ship William Tapscott.  There were 725 Saints on board and the Kirkham family was aboard in the bowery, between decks. 

The children of George William and Mary Ann were seven in number: the first son, Thomas James, died in London aged two; and the two youngest daughters, the only daughters, Mary Ann Eliza and Frances were born and died in the Salt Lake valley. 

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