The Tingey family history

The Tingey surname is one of my paternal ancestral families, that lead me back to my 6x Great Grandmother Ann Tingey. Her earliest appearance in the records that I've found so far, is in March 1769 when she took her 'bastard' son Thomas Tingey (my 5x Great Grandfather) to be baptised at the parish church in Witcham, in the fenland of Cambridgeshire, England.

Shorly after Ann's appearance at Witcham with her illegitimate son, she married James Toll and had at least two more sons.

Thomas went on to become a shepherd in the fields surrounding his native Witcham, where he set up home with his wife Mary Barber. The couple had at least three children, including my 4x Great Grandfather, Robert Tingey.

Robert followed in his father's footsteps to become a shepherd, moving to the nearby village of Little Downham when he married my 4x Great Grandmother Fanny Harrison in 1820. They swiftly became parents, with my 3x Great Grandmother Mary Tingey being born the same year, as the first of their eventual 12 children.

Mary married three times - out-living all three husbands, with my 3x Great Grandfather James Martin being her second husband, and therefore ending my Tingey ancestral line.

The Tingey family in Lincolnshire

Brothers William Tingey and James Tingey leave Cambridgeshire and head to Lincolnshire in around 1850.

James would soon return home with new wife Eliza Maltby, but William, who had taken work on the railways, remained in Lincolnshire to set up home in Brigg, Cleethorpes, and Grimsby. His oldest daughter Mary Ann Tingey went on to marry Shipping and Fishing entrepreneur Thomas Campbell Moss, and they became Mayor and Mayoress of Grimsby in 1915.

Origins of the Tingey surname

Whilst my own research has led me only as far as the mid-late 1700's in Cambridgeshire, the family's origins remain unclear.

The Internet Surname Database suggests that the surname may be Breton in origin. Whilst the surname attracts a number of variants including Tingay, Tyngye and even Tangue, I've yet to find anything more than an East Anglian origin, which when accompanied by the low level of literacy and a thick fenland accent, could easily lead to these variants recorded by baffled vicars and census enumerators.

Surnames connected to my Tingey family

My research into my Tingey ancestors has allowed me to discover several other surname connections: