Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


The story of the Kinghorn’s of Leith

The memorial to the Kinghorn Family was placed in South Leith Church by William Kinghorn who was the eldest son of High Kinghorn and his wife Alison Henderson. High Kinghorn was born in January 1802.

He became a builder in later life and was succeeded by his son who greatly developed and extended his business. His premises were situated in Coburg Street in North Leith. The site later was occupied by Messrs Johnstone & Rose. William Kinghorn carried out a number of important building contracts among these being the erection of some of the barracks at Edinburgh Castle, an extension of the East pier of Leith and the building of several lighthouses including Skerryore, Whalsy, Skerries and North Ronaldsay.

William Kinghorn found time between 1849 and 1851 to serve on the Town Council of Leith. He was a Baillie in 1850. He was also a Deacon of the Incorporation of Wrights. He died unmarried in 1874 aged 74.

William Kinghorn was succeeded in the business by his nephew High Kinghorn. A daughter of his became the wife of Captain MacIntosh who did excellent service during the First World War He retired with the rank of Commander and became Master of Trinity House.

The common ancestor of all the various Kinghorn’s mentioned on the memorial came from Ormiston in East Lothian. However we find a James Kinghorn born in the West kirk Parish of Edinburgh in April 1776. One of his sons was born in North leith in 1799 from who was descended James Kinghorn and Marion Kinghorn. From this James Kinghorn are descended Mr James Kinghorn who became an Elder at South Leith Church and his sisters. A brother of theirs was Hugh J.S.Kinghorn MA who was born in October 1870 and was on the staff at George Watson’s School. He responded to the call for workers in Foreign Service and he accepted a post t Kalimpong, India in 1909. He worked there until his death in 1914.

Marion Kinghorn the aunt of the above family married in 1863 James Miles who for fifty years associated with the administration of the Poor Law in Leith. He was first of all Inspector of Poor for the Parish of North leith. Afterwards he became clerk to the Leith Parish Council. Among her family is Alexander Miles MD. FRCS who was a well known surgeon both at Leith Hospital and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

South Leith Records (C)

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