Last night I phoned my Dad to give him an update on my travels. He seems to be very excited about the information I have been uncovering in regards to our lineage. This project has most certainly opened up a new channel of communication between him and I. I mean, I like to talk about the rainfall in Nebraska and receive updates on the Huskers as well a the high school football team, however it’s nice when the starting topics of conversation can move into me sharing something of interest with him.
I was happy to report that I have finally pinned down Richard Kingwell. His death certificate confirmed a few leads that had been shaky until this point. Apparently, he died at the Stowford Mills. Cause of death: Inflammation on the lungs. I thought that perhaps this was a work related death, however, my Dad pointed out that people were dying of Consumption at the time. To be honest, although I had read the words ‘Consumption’ in many history novels, I never really knew what that meant. I may need to do a quick search to see if ‘inflammation on the lungs’ was actually the wording they used for consumption. Also, I found it very sad that the will Rich Kingwell (that is how he signed it….Rich) was written a year before he died. So, I guess then we can conclude that he must have known he was ill. How very sad.
And then you start to think of his wife. And his kids. The very many of them that there were. When you imagine the story, it transforms from just ‘Cause of Death: Inflammation on the lungs’ into a very tragic picture. The family continued to live in the parish of Ermington (which is a part of Ivybridge) for a little while after his death, but then they moved into the St Leonards area of Exeter. I found a census for 1851 (11 years after Richard died) and see that they were actually just living down the road from St Leonards church, very near the river. Unfortunately, I cannot decipher the occupation of Mary Ann Kingwell. To me it looks like ‘Amnuitant.’ Is that a word? I must be reading it incorrectly.
Anyway, my conversation with my dad concluded with him asking me how I was going to get this thing to Edgar, where the family farm has been for years and years. Good question. I will add this to my list.