search the entire family tree for people and place names

you can set the search sidebar to automatically hide itself after loading a new page


Michael de Gingedale

Earliest records reveal that in 1273 Michael de Gingedale held tenure of lands owned by monks of Glastonbury, Somerset that remained in the family until 1664. During this five century period members of the family moved, via the Manor of Garsdon, to Wiltshire and neighbouring counties. Some variation in the spelling of the name occurred, but by the early 17th Century Gingdale, Gyngel, Gyngle and ultimately Gingell, were names closely connected with districts where the majority of the family where landowners, farmers and yeomen. Many were Quakers.

An ancient house in Christian Melford is known as "The Gingells". Whilst monuments in Thornbury Church refer to Dr. Daniel Gingell and William Raymond Gingell - the latter being British Consul in China, and who died in 1863. A memorial tablet in Old Sodbury Church stands to the memory of Mary Gingell, who died in 1788, and of her husband Henry Gingell who died in 1802.

Church records at Melksham, Wiltshire, reveal the marriage of Daniel and Betty (nee Aldman/Adlam) in 1757. Of their thirteen children, two daughters and four sons (James, George, Daniel and John) were sent to New Barn Farm, Chigwell, Essex, thus establishing the Gingell family in Eastern England. James died in early age; George, on leaving the farm, went to London; Daniel married Elizabeth Taylor and took up residence at Chambers Farm, Epping Upland; John, after marriage, resided at Belle House, Stampford Rivers, and founded a successful hay and straw business in Whitechapel, London, E1, taking his son James into partnership. In 1851 James was elected Life Governor of the London Hospital and died in 1884.

Daniel and Elizabeth (nee Taylor) of Epping, Upland, had four sons and a daughter - Daniel of Moreton, John of Buckhurst Hill, James of Epping, George of High Laver Hall and Elizabeth of Brighton.

In the mid-19th century a number of industrial Americans settled in London and, attracted by the name Gingell, decided to use it. This probably accounts for references to the name Gingell in London and Middlesex Poll Books, none of whom has any connection with agriculture of the Gingell family from Wiltshire and the surrounding districts.

Information provided by Kathleen Gingell.

Micheal Gingedale

From a book in Swindon Ref Library...

Edited by Ralph. B. Pugh

extract from 66 page 43

Swaneburg (Swaneborg and Stodfold)

Michel Gyngedale (Micheal Gingedale) for stealing 2 horses and other things imputed to him by the indictment of 12 jurers. ( he got off ...l think)

Swaneburg... Swaneborg is .......... Swaneborough Hundred

Information provided by Pauline Gingell.

Micheal Gingedale

Soure: WIlts Gaol Delivery and Translation trials 1275-1306

Delivery of Old Salisbury Gaol, Thursday after the exaltation of the Holy Cross of Edward 1st (17 Sept 1276) before Sir William de Braybuf and Sir Hereward of the Marsh, justices.

Swaneburg (Swaneburg and Stofold)

Michel Gyngedale was taken for stealing 2 horses and other things imputed to him by the indictment of 12 jurors. He pleaded not guilty of larceny, robbery and burglary. The jury of Swaneburge and Stofold hundreds, say he is good and lawful and not guilty. Released.

Information provided by Louisa Gingell.

Calne Connections

Some records from the Stewards Book of the Borough of Calne 1561-1688

1583 - payment made to John Mountegrew and William Guyngell for making 31 'lugges' of hedge in the Marsh.

1586 Payment made to William Guyngell, William Graynger, Thomas Goddard, Richard Dyrham, Thomas Sylcke and Isaac Brabantes for trenching 1L. 11s. 01/2d

This is information I gathered from transcripts of records held at UCL when I was a student there in the 80s. There is another early reference to a 'GENGEL' from North Wilts and I will dig out this reference too.

Information provided by Louisa Gingell.

Gingells and Gyngells

Herewith, at last, is my tree as promised. When I started back in 1980 I suspected the trail would lead to Wiltshire, and so it proved.

Jasper Gingell was a canal builder on the Kennet and Avon. This led the family to Reading where the arrival of the railway presumably put an end to that job. Daniel Gyngell (the one who adopted the "Y") became a tenant farmer for the Palmers. His descendants became engineers, biscuit bakers, inn keepers, seedsmen and boatbuilders. My father was an insurance clerk, I was a telephone engineer and my son, naturally I suppose is involved with computers. What, I wonder, is in store for my newly arrived grandson? I hope his relationship to Karl Marx will not weigh too heavily!

I have gathered much more about the Gyngells. Notably Gellini Gyngell the showman (his diary is wonderful). One of his descendants jumped ship in Australia, was posted with a price on his head and then became a successful coal merchant! Also the porcelain painter in the Worcester factory. Henry Sandon tells us quite a bit about him. One of our clan set up the Co-op in Reading.

Hope all this is of some interest.

Information provided by Roy Gyngell.

The Legend of the Risca Cuckoo

Many, many years ago, or so the legend says - a man and his son lived in the tiny village of Risca in the ancient county of Monmouthshire.

And it came to pass one day in the month of April that a brown bird was heard to sing in the garden of their home.
The son, beseeched his father that he might possess the brown bird for himself.
The doting father agreed and thus thay devised a plan.
When next they spied the bird, they would swiftly build a fence around it and thus it would be trapped.
The bird appeared and they begun ther task!

They toiled from dawn to dusk and when they had finished, they stood back in admiration of their handywork.
Just then the bird ceased singing, flew into the air and away into the wood. Disappointed but not daunted, they resolved to build the fence higher when next the brown bird came to rest in their garden.

The brown bird came back again and while he sang, father and son toiled once more, but at dusk the bird flew away to the wood. Foolishly they toiled for many days and the fence grew higher while the birds song became sweeter.
Eventually, they realised that they could never capture the creature in that way.

An old and wise acquaintance who was passing by, rebuked their simple-mindedness.
"Why on earth", said he "are you trying to catch a cuckoo, when you already have two cuckoos in your garden?". And thus it was thereafter that all those born in the village of Risca in Monmouthshire, came to be called "cuckoos"

Information provided by Lee Gingell.

Gingelly Oil

I came upon something interesting and thought of you. You have been finding out more things about the Gingell name than I have and wondered if you knew this: There is an oil known as Gingelly oil. It is derived from the seed of the sesame plant found in India. It is used as a hair oil and as cooking oil. It would be interesting to find out how the oil got its name.

Information provided by Joseph Gingell.


My great grand father Edward Hatherall, father to my grand mother Winne Hatherall fought in the Zulu wars. Looking through books and info on the Zulu wars I found an area where Lord Chelmsford and his troops were attacked by 10,000 Zulus. This area is known as GINGINDLOVU and is some 200 km from Durban. The name means THE SWALLOWER OF THE BIG ELEPHANT. The battle of Gingindlovu took place on the 2nd April 1879. There were 1200 Zulus wounded and 9 British killed and 52 wounded.

Information provided by Lee Gingell.

Daniel Gyngell

Year: 1790 - 1821


Event: Entry in biographical dictionary

Source: A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers and Other Stage Personnel in London 1660 -1800: Philip H Highfill Jnr, Kalman A Burnim and Edward A Langhans, Southern Illinois University Press, Vol 6 Garrick to Gyngell (ISBN 0-8093-0833-9) 1978

Text (complete entry):

Gyngell [Daniel?] [fl 1794 – 1821] conjuror, singer, performer on musical glasses, manager.

Gyngell the showman seems to have been one of those entertainers of the populace whose perambulations and personalities were well known to all in their day but who operated so much on the fringes of the larger theatrical enterprise that most of their activities went unrecorded.

He was first noticed at Bartholomew fair in 1794, "at Flockton's original Theatre up the Greyhound yard, Smithfield2, in partnership with Mrs Sarah Flint, long-time assistant of the recently deceased John Flockton, who had inherited Flockton's fantoccini and other theatrical properties. Gyngell and Mrs Flint performed jointly at fair time (August and September) for several years. In other seasons they operated in taverns and inns, one known occasion and place being 21 July 1800 at the George Inn Chiswick. There in the Great Room they gave their varied entertainments under the heading "Machinic Theatre". Their bill presented Gyngell's playing on the musical glasses, singing and sleight-of-hand, Mrs Gyngell's singing, and Mrs Flint's fantoccini. Later bills also included Flockton's Grand Musical Clock, which motivated "upwards of Nine Hundred Figures, at Work in their respective Trades and Callings". Perhaps that was what was meant by "Machinic".

In 1810, according to the Lord Chamberlain's record, one Daniel Gyngell, presumably the subject of this entry, was granted a license for music and dancing at the rooms at No 5, Princess Street Leicester Fields, during the period 2 March to 31 May.

In a review in the Examiner for 6 August 1815 William hazlitt spoke of "our old friend Mr Gyngell, the celebrated itinerant manager, and only the only showman in England, who, after the festivity of the week, makes a point of staying the Sunday over, and goes with all his family to church." Hazlitt had lately (according to a playbill of 16 February 18150 had an opportunity of viewing the family Gyngell at the little theatre in Catherine Street, the Strand, where they returned on 10 March 1816.

A newspaper notice of the New Jubilee Pavillion, dated 1 September 1816, in the Harvard Theatre Collection is given in full to show what Gyngell's typical offerings were like in his later years:

Mr GYNGELL, sen, having returned from a Country tour through the principal Cities and Towns in England, where his MECHANICAL and SCIENTIFIC Entertainments so peculiar to himself were received with unbounded applause, intends introducing them at BARTHOLOMEW FAIR, West Smithfield, on TUESDAY Next, and three following Days, consisting of inimitable Card and other Deceptions, astonishing pieces of Mechanism, wonderful live Birds, Harmonized Musical Glasses; also the matchless feats of YOUNG GYNGELL on the Swinging Wire, Balancing, &c. To conclude with the Original FANTOCCINI, or Automaton performers, whose feats resemble life itself – Adjoining to the Jubilee Pavillion will be exhibited Mr PAAP, the celebrated Dutch Dwarf – the Smallest Man in the World, who has received the unqualified approbation of all the Sovereigns in Europe.

When he toured through Canterbury, Ramsgate, Margate, and the Isle of Thanet in December 1821 Gyngell declared in his bills that it had been four years since he had exhibited "in this County." That is the latest date we find him performing. Another clipping at Harvard identifies his family (none of whom, presumably, performed in London during the eighteenth century) as Joseph, a juggler and equilibrist, Horatio, a dancer and painter, George, a pyrotechnist, and Louisa, a beautiful tightrope dancer. That source also names Nelson Lee, a juggler, as a nineteenth-century member of the Gyngell company.

Gyngell was pictured in an anonymous engraving which showed him performing at Bartholomew Fair in 1815. His Bartholomew Fair booth was shown in an engraving by J Nixon, after Rowlandson.

Gyngell, Mrs [Daniel?] [fl 1794 – 1821?], inger. See GYNGELL, [Daniel?].

2 accompanying illustrations (Harvard Theatre Collection):

Playbill: entertainment at George Inn, Chiswick, 21 July 1800, by WIDOW FLINT and MR GYNGELL

MR GYNGELL, at Bartholomew Fair, artist unknown

Research Comment:

This book is in Steve Wood's possession. There is no direct evidence that Horatio Gyngell, the son of Daniel Gyngell, is the same Horatio Nelson Gyngell who is Emma Gyngell's father. However there are connections, albeit circumstantial, that could point to them being the same person:

  • The entry presumes that none of Daniel's family performed in the 19th century which fits with our Horatio's age (born c 1800)
  • Our Horatio was born in London and Daniel was in London in 1800 (at least in July of that year)
  • Daniel's Horatio was a dancer and painter and we know that in later years our Horatio was a scenic artist (1871 census, 1881 census, 1885 Emma's marriage certificate)
  • Horatio (Nelson) Gyngell is an unusual name and no other Horatio's have yet been detected for that period (1800 – 1850)

None of the above is conclusive but given the comparative rarity of Horatio's name and his occupation it is a reasonable presumption to make that he is Daniel's son.

It is unfortunate that Mrs Gyngell is not directly named and no ages were given.

One dictionary definition of fantoccini is:

Puppets caused to perform evolutions or dramatic scenes by means of machinery; also, the representations in which they are used.

See also following description of fantoccinis and contemporary illustration found on the web.

Relation to Steve Wood:


Information provided by Steve Wood.

American Civil War

The following Gingells are recorded as fighting in the American Civil War.

Andrew Gingle - Union - Infantry - 116th Regiment, Illinois Infantry

August Gingle - Union - Cavalry - 17th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry

Hiram Gingell - Union - Cavalry - 1st Regiment, Connecticut Cavalry

Hiram Gingle - Union - Cavalry - 1st Regiment, Connecticut Cavalry

James Gingle - Union - Artillery - 1st Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery

John Gingle - Union - Artillery - 1st Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery

Richard C. Gingell - Union - Artillery - 2nd Regiment, Connecticut Heavy Artillery

Robert Gingell - Union - Cavalry - 1st Regiment, Connecticut Cavalry

Robert Gingell - Union - Infantry - 77th Regiment, New York Infantry

Thomas Gingle - Union - Infantry - 177th Regiment, Pennsylvania Infantry (Drafted Militia)

Wilson Gingle - Union - Artillery - 1st Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery

(Soldier Name - Side - Function - Regiment Name)

Information provided by Joseph Gingell, and sourced from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailor System website.

Gingells from Silver Spring and Bethesda

My father lived in the greater Washington DC area (Silver Spring being part of that) his whole life, as did his father. My father was born in Alexandria VA, and my grandfather was born in Tenleytown, DC, back in the days when the District of Columbia had several cities and villages, not just the city of Washington. I grew up there until going away to college.

We knew growing up that there were some probably distant relatives in the area and we visited them on a couple of rare occasions. Members of the Gingell family owned significant portions of the area now known as Bethesda, and in an unfortunate demonstration of poor investing skills didn't hang on to the land until now, when it's worth about $500M/acre :) .

Maps of the county containing both Silver Spring and Bethesda from the mid-1860's show several farms in the county and in what is now Bethesda as owned by several families of "Gingle"s, which we know are in our past somehow. A prominent bend in a major thoroughfare near what is now the National Institutes of Health was known as Gingell's curve for many years, though the name has faded into disuse, it wouldn't be known to any other than the oldest residents of the area, and they've been overwhelmed with spectacular growth in the area over the last 30 years. Bethesda when I was a boy was a sleepy town that I and my friends could ride my bicycles into for a day of hanging out, with no building taller than a couple of stories. Now you would be risking your life to walk as a pedestrian much less riding a bicycle in the streets of a town that has many buildings 10-20 stories high.

A theory I have heard is that the George Gingell with a birthday of 1859 in the above tree is the same one that is in my family tree as my great-grandfather. And that he has two families, one possibly illegitimate, or perhaps simply married twice. On the illegitimate theory, I think I'm in the "questionable" branch of things.

My father's father had some siblings, at least one sister and another brother. This would suggest an ongoing pairing of my great-grandfather and great-grandmother, a long-term mistress, or a second marriage. Or, perhaps the George Gingell's are not the same in the two trees either.

This is probably far more than you want to know, but since you inquired about some of the history I thought I'd relate what we think we know.

Best wishes,

Rob Gingell

Godert de Ginkell, 1st Earl of Athlone

I'm fairly sure I first came across the name Godard de Ginkel somewhere on your website. However he has a page on Wikipedia. He was the 17th century Earl of Athlone but I think originally from the Netherlands, which ties in with what my brother said he had discovered some 30 years ago. He thought the name Gingell first came to England with Flemish crofters either with or following William the Conquerer (1066), but I don't know where he got that from.


Clive Gingell

please note : exact date information is only shown for events dated 100 years ago or more

the information within this website is provided in good faith, however no warranty can be made for its accuracy