You often can use whatever kernel you prefer on any linux version, but you are going to run into problems this time because:
a) .12 is ancient, many years. This means insecure and unmaintained.
b) it probably won't fulfil the requisites for modern distros (it doesn't support udev, ext4, etc.)
But, in any case, why do you think you need such an old kernel? Hardware supports grows, it doesn't decrease over time, so newer versions should support your board if .12 already supported it, shouldn't it?