no image

Jöran Kyn (abt. 1620 - aft. 1687)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Jöran "Jurgen Schneeweiss" Kyn aka Keen, Kihn, Kijn, Kyn, Kien, Kühn
Born about in Sachsen (Saxony), Germanymap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Died after in Upland, Chester, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
29 November 2015
20:37: H Husted edited the Biography for Jöran Kyn. ([[Category: New Sweden Forefathers]]) [Thank H for this]
This page has been accessed 2,054 times.

Categories: New Sweden Forefathers | Long Profiles in Need of Cleanup.

This profile has been identified as excessively long. Please improve this profile, making it into a single, easy-to-read narrative, removing duplication, very long quotes, and long extracts from content that could be summarized and linked to. Need guidance? See Biographies and editing GEDCOM-created bios



"The history of Jürgen Schneeweiss prior to 1642 is unknown other than the fact that he came from Saxony. Undoubtedly, he was among the many Germans recruited into the Swedish army during the Thirty Years War. His name translates into English as "George Snow-white," the second name being indicative of his personal appearance, possibly the color of his hair or the lightness of his complexion, or both. After becoming a freeman, he substituted the word Kühn, meaning "bold" in German, which became the family surname. Variously spelled as Kijn, Kyn, Kien, Kühn or Keen, the surname eventually became standardized as Keen."[1]

Jöran Kyn (or Keen) was born about 1620 in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany.[citation needed]

He arrived on the Delaware Bay or River in 1643.[2]

He died about 1690 in Upland, Chester, Pennsylvania, British America.


Note N1Joran Kyn (KEEN) was one of the original settlers of New Sweden, located on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. Joran Kyn was in what is now Chester, PA. He immigrated from Sweden in the 1640's. Joran Kyn, or KEEN w ho had come over with Governor Printz as a bodyguard, was for many years t he largest landed proprietor in Upland. In 1644, the Swedish Crown patented the territory upon which much of the present city of Chester is located, to Joran KEEN.
From the earliest records, the surname, Keen, has variations in spelling such as, Kyn, Keene, Keen and sometimes Kane. To make matters more complicated, the census takers might not have spelled the name correctly in the census, or the family informant may not have known how to read or write.
You will find references throughout this book to sources on the internet like the one below:
George (Joran) Keen
KEEN, George, or Joran Kyn, colonist, born in Sweden* about 1620; died in Chester, Pennsylvania, about 1690. He accompanied Governor Printz to New Sweden as a soldier in 1643, and dwelt with him for several years on Tinicum island in the Delaware. Afterward he removed to Upland (now Chester, Pennsylvania), where he bought a large tract of land, and settled his two sons and his daughter, he is described as of a singularly pious and gentle disposition, and is the ancestor of eleven generations of descendants that have been born on American soil.--His grandson, Matthias, legislator, born at Upland in 1667; died at Tacony, Pennsylvania, 13 July, 1714, was a vestryman of the Swedish Lutheran congregation of Gloria Dei and chairman of the committee on building their church, which is the oldest extant in Philadelphia. With other Swedes he presented a petition to the general assembly of Pennsylvania in 1709 for redress of grievances that they had experienced at the hands of "William Penn and his officers," charged with fraudulently getting possession of their deeds, abstracting their lands, and increasing their quit-rents. This complaint was referred to the proprietor, and by him to the royal council of Sweden. In 1713 M r. Keen was elected a member of the assembly, and held that office at h is death.--Morris Longstreth, inventor, born in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 24 May, 1820; died at "Highland Grove," near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 2 November, 1883, was a grandson of John Keen, who was a great-grandson of Matthias. After receiving a private school education he was entered as apprentice in Norris's locomotive works. Later, with his younger brother, Joseph, he established a foundry in West Philadelphia for the manufacture of flat-irons on a new principle of his invention. Some years afterward he gave attention to the making of paper out of wood, which had already been accomplished unprofitably by chemical methods, and discovered a means of attaining the end by boiling under pressure, which has completely revolutionized the art of paper-making and reduced the cost of paper about one half. This invention was first carried into effect by Mr. KEEN in t he old engine-house of the Wilmington and Philadelphia railroad at Gray 's Ferry, in West Philadelphia, and was brought to perfection by him in a paper-mill at Royer's Ford, Chester County, 'Pa., in 1854. This led to "the formation in 1863 of the American wood-paper com-party, with pa tent-rights for the United States and privileges in other lands. Mr. Keen made many improvements in various departments of machinery and manufacture, for which he received upward of forty patents.--His brother, Gregory Bernard, clergyman, born in West Philadelphia, 3 March, 1844, was graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1861, and at the Protestant Episcopal divinity school of Philadelphia in 1866. He then was ordained to t he ministry of that church, but in 1868 became a Roman Catholic. In 18 71 he was appointed professor of mathematics in the theological seminary of St. Charles Borromeo at Overbrook, Pennsylvania From 1873 till 18 76 he devoted himself to the study of Greek literature. In 1887 he was elected librarian of the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1880 Mr. Keen h as been corresponding secretary of the Pennsylvania historical society, and during" 1883 and 1884 he edited the " Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography." He has contributed to this periodical translations of numerous Dutch and Swedish manuscripts relating to the early colony on t he Delaware and a series of original articles on " The Descendants of Joran Kyn, the Founder of Upland." he also wrote the chapters on "New Swede n" and '" New Albion" in the " Narrative and Critical History of America," edited by Justin Winsor (Boston, 1884).--His cousin, William Williams, physician, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19 January, 1837, was graduated at Brown in 1859, and at Jefferson medical college in 1862. He w as a surgeon in the United States army in 1862-'4, and, after two years of European study, returned in 1866 and established himself in Philadelphia, where he was lecturer on pathological anatomy in Jefferson medical college for nine years, and also conducted the Philadelphia school of anatomy. Since 1884 he has been professor of surgery in the Woman's medical college of Philadelphia, and he is also professor of artistic anatomy in t he Pennsylvania academy of fine arts. He has published "Gunshot Wounds and other Injuries of Nerves" (Philadelphia, 1864); "Reflex Paralysis" (Washington, 1864); "Clinical Charts of the Human Body" (1872); "Complications and Sequels of Continued Fevers" (1876); " Early History of Practical Anat-Gray" (1875); besides which he has edited " Gray's Anatomy" (1887), and other works.
Most modern scholars now believe that Joran Kyn was in fact from Germany and not Sweden. One of those scholars is Peter Stebbins Craig who in his very well documented book "The 1693 Census of Swedes on the Delaware" points out that Joran came from Germany, specifically Saxony, Germany. His names was in fact Jurgen Schneeweiss and only later did he adopt the surna me Kihn and still later Keen.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigrati on Records | Military Records
Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Perio dicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids
Family Data Collection - Individual Records
about Hans Keen
Name: Hans Keen
Spouse: Willemka Williamka Kijhn Keen
Parents: Joran Kyn ,
Birth Place: Chester, PA
Birth Date: 1643
Death Date: 10 Aug 1684
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
about Joran Keen
Name: Joran Keen
Year: 1643
Place: Delaware Bay or River
Source Publication Code: 1131.34
Primary Immigrant: Keen, Joran
Annotation: Date of arrival at the place cited.
Source Bibliography: CARLSSON, STEN. "The Colonists of New Sweden, 1638-16 56: Their Geographical and Social Background." In Swedish American Genealo gist, vol. 12:2 (June 1992), pp. 49-65.
Page: 53
Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
about Joran Keen
Name: Joran Keen
Year: 1643
Place: Wilmington, Delaware
Source Publication Code: 9448
Primary Immigrant: Keen, Joran
Annotation: In the years from 1925 to 1942, Frederick A. Virkus edited sev en volumes with the title, The Abridged Compendium of American Genealog y, published in Chicago by the Institute of American Genealogy. Each volu me has a section in the main body of the work, co
Source Bibliography: VIRKUS, FREDERICK A., editor. Immigrant Ancestor s: A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogi cal Publishing Co., 1964. 75p. Repr. 1986.
Page: 42
Delaware Colony of Swedes and Finns Has Left Heritage to America
First Finnish Settlement in America 1638
Delaware Colony of Swedes and Finns Has Left Heritage to America
Because the colony of New Sweden retained that name for only eighteen years many students of American history are but slightly familiar with the Finnish and Swedish settlements which grew up in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey several decades before the coming of William Penn. The ships Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip, landing in the spring of 1638, brought t he first Finnish and Swedish settlers. The present nation of Finland was t hen a part of Sweden, and the colony was named New Sweden. Wilmington, t he first settlement, was called Fort Christina in honor of the Swedish Queen, daughter of Gustavus Adolphus who had planned the sending of colonists to America prior to his death on the battle field of Lutzen, in 1632. One branch of the stream which enters the Delaware River at that point still bears her name.
From 1638 until 1656 the land along both shores of the Delaware was the colony's territory, and a succession of ships brought additional settlers, while several royal governors administered the affairs of the colony, Johann Printz being the most famous. He was a distinguished soldier, having led regiments of Finnish infantry in the Thirty Years' War. He built his capital "Printzdorf" on Tinicum Island, and many small settlements developed. One was on the present site of Philadelphia, another at the present Chester, Pa., was called Finland and Upland. In New Jersey is still found t he town of Swedesboro. Newcastle, Delaware, was known as Fort Kasimir. A sizeable colony of Finns settled in present-day New Jersey around what is s till known as Finns Point. The Swedes and Finns traded with the Indians, and sent furs, tobacco and other products back to Sweden, while developing farming, building churches and homes and making a small but successful colony in the New World.
In 1656 the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam descended on the Swedish colony with ships and soldiers, captured Fort Kasimir and Christina without bloodshed, and took possession of the colony in the name of The Netherlands. This conquest by Peter Stuyvesant brought the "South River", as the Dutch called the Delaware, into control by Holland for a mere matter of eight years, when it was transferred to Great Britain by the treaty which changed New Amsterdam into New York.
Finnish character survives says minister Jarnefelt
The earliest maps of the Dutch and Belgian map makers of what is now the e astern shore of the United States show the Delaware River colony of New Sweden. On these maps we see a settlement designated Finland, so named by these pioneers from northern Europe in memory of their homeland. Today eve ry vestige of that ancient community has disappeared. In the place of the log cabins that were the homes of these early Swedes and Finns, we see gigantic manufacturing establishments; instead of the broad cultivated fields waving with wheat or corn or tobacco, we have paved streets and modern homes of a substantial Pennsylvania city.
But even though the log cabins and the fields have disappeared, and the se maps for the last 200-odd years have not borne the name of Finland up on them, yet something, I am certain, has survived this lapse of time.
When we picture these early colonists landing on these shores, stout-hearted and healthy and brave; cutting down the forest and building their log cabins and cultivating the land, must we not believe that as the stream of growing American life swallowed up this settlement and its people, there survived in those who followed them that same love of liberty and independence which brought them here; that there survived the industry and piety of home-loving folk; and the health and vigor of a peaceful people? I would not be true to the people of the country that I have the honor to represent, nor candid in my feelings, if I did not admit of these qualities as traditional in the Finnish people. - Forefathers' Day Banquet, Philadelphia, Pa., April 8, 1938.
Before the transfer to British sovereignty, Upland had become the largest settlement in the Delaware colonies. It included the early settlement of Finland and covered a considerable area of present Chester. For a time the Dutch commissioner from New Amsterdam made his headquarters there. The town grew and was the county seat of Upland County, which under t he British extended over the three counties later created by William Penn: Chester, Bucks and Philadelphia. English settlers began to arrive in so me numbers, although the rush of population followed the royal grant to Penn in 1678 and Penn's first personal visit in 1682. Until then the larger landowners were chiefly Finns.
Penn made his first landing in present Pennsylvania at the mouth of Chester Creek on October 28, 1682, from the ship Welcome. His proposed great city of Philadelphia had just been started at the old Wicoco settlement fart her up the river. The first legislative gathering of Pennsylvania was held at Chester, delegates being named f rom the three new "upper counties" and the three older "lower counties" later to become the state of Delaware. In 1882, Chester celebrated the 200th anniversary and in 1932, the 25 0th anniversary of the landing of Penn, as in 1938 she is celebrating t he landing of the Finns and Swedes.
The first printed description of the settlement of Finland in the New Sweden colony appears on page 75 in Campanius Holm's "Om Nya Swerige uti America", published in Sweden in the Swedish language in 1702. The description says: "Finland, where Finns live, in strong houses well built, without fortifications."
The history of the early settlements has been recorded in several books. T he earliest writer seems to have been Campanius Holm, grandson of a Luther an pastor sent over to the colony. Israel Acrelius, another preacher, wrote a book including much later church history. Amandus Johnson's comprehensive "Swedes in America" followed in 1914. In recent years E. A. Lou hi of New York has published (1925) "The Delaware Finns", and Prof. John H. Wuorinen of Columbia University (1938) "The Finns on the Delaware".
Upland began to be known as Chester at about the time of Penn's arrival, or a little later. The reasons are variously given, one story being that Penn named it on the day he landed, but a more likely version attributed it to settlers in the next year or two, when some writers declare that at least 3,000 persons disembarked at Upland.
Various monuments and tablets mark historic spots in Chester. It is probable that the oldest house remaining is the Townsend-Pusey House, near where the first flour mill was built on Chester Creek. Richard Townsend, Caleb Pusey and others built the mill, in which Penn owned an interest. Tablets mark the site of the "Defense House" where the first assembly met, t he "Essex House" where Penn stopped with Robert Wade, who had bought the property from Madame Papegoja, daughter of Governor Printz, and the old Boars Head Inn, which was also a residence of Penn during his first winter in America.
It is difficult to delineate the exact boundaries of the first "Finland" and "Upland" settlements, although probably Finland lay west of Chester Creek and Upland east and to the north. The claims of Madame Papegoja to so me of these areas were disputed after Governor Printz had left and the Dutch had come in, but she seems to have sold parts of "Finland" even after t he English occupation. At the same time some of the earliest settlers and their children had established title to large areas, and Penn's government made every effort to straighten out old claims and establish sound land titles. Joran Kyn, or KEEN who had come over with Governor Printz as a bodyguard was for many years the largest landed proprietor in Upland.
Under three early governments the area now covered by the city of Chester was a center of life and growth in the opening of the New World. From it went out many of the settlers to other parts of Pennsylvania, and from its earliest pioneers were descended many of those who fought the War of Independence and helped to set up the United States of America as a nation.
A quaint illustration drawn for Campanius Holm's account of the colony on the banks of the Delaware. The scene shows the Indians trading with the Finns and Swedish settlers. In the background is a pitched bow-and- arrow battle between two tribes of Indians.
Swedish Genealogy Collection of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware:
The Descendants of Joran Kyn of New Sweden
Gregory B. Keen, 1913, 330 pages
LOCATION: Morris Library (CS71 .K264 1913)
LOCATION: Morris Library - Special Collections (Del CS71 .K264 1913)
This is an extensive genealogy of the descendants of Joran Kyn (Keen) w ho was one of the original settlers of New Sweden, located on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania. The account begins with a biography on Joran, and relates the events of his immigration to America, as well as some of t he historical details of the era. The account then progresses down through his children and later descendants, providing extensive historical and biographical data of particular interest to any who descend from this family. There is also an every-name index at the end.
Surnames listed: (Due to the number of names, only those with at least 4 appearances are listed)
Allen, Ashton, Atlee, Balch, Baldwin, Banes, Bassett, Bayard, Bingham, Bissell, Bonnaffon, Bouchelle, Bringhurst, Brinton, Buckley, Burtis, Cadwalader, Carpenter, Carrere, Cattell, Claxton, Clymer, Conyngham, Cottman, Crathorne, Curtis, Dale, Denny, Donnaldson, Earp, Ewing, Finney, Fisher, Fobes, Francis, French, Gardner, Garrett, Gist, Goldsborough, Gummere, Hall, Hand, Harris, Hayes, Henricson, Hepburn, Hoffman, Inglis, Isreall, Jackson, Jacobus, Jordan, Kane, Keating, Keen, Keene, Kyn, Lathim, Law, Leech, L udlow, McCall, McCurdy, McMullan, MacLeod, Macpherson, Martin, Massey, Max well, Middleton, Miller, Milner, Mitchell, Montgomery, Newbold, Parsons, Patten, Patterson, Peters, Pettit, Plumstead, Rambo, Read, Reeves, Rogers, Sandelands, Scudder, Shippen, Smith, Souder, Spencer, Spotswood, Spruance, Steelman, Stryker, Swift, Taylor, Thomas, Thompson, Toy, Turner, Wales, Wallace, Wethered, Wharton, Whelen, Whitridge, Willing, Wrenn, Wright, Yard, Yeates


  1. Johnson, William R. (2007-). "JORAN KYN: EARLY SETTLER OF NEW SWEDEN." Retrieved on 7 September 2015 from
  2. CARLSSON, STEN. The Colonists of New Sweden, 1638-1656: Their Geographical and Social Background. In Swedish American Genealogist, vol. 12:2 (June 1992), pp. 49-65.


  • Thank you to Mike Abramo for creating Kyn-13 on 21 Sep 13.
  • WikiTree profile Kyn-10 created through the import of Watson Family Tree Large.ged on Oct 21, 2011 by Jonathan Watson.
  • This person was created through the import of Martin_O_Daniels_Lorentz_Toale.ged on 21 March 2011.
  • This person was created through the import of Smith-Hunter.ged on 10 March 2011.
  • WikiTree profile Kyn-12 created through the import of Kevin Hanson_2012-06-13.ged on Jun 13, 2012 by Kevin Hanson.
  • This person was created through the import of Lynch-Tree.ged on 06 August 2010.

More: Family Tree & Genealogy Tools

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

Do you have a GEDCOM? Login to have every name in your tree searched. It's free (like everything on WikiTree).

No known carriers of Jöran's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.

  • Login to edit this profile.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Michael Abramo, Jonathan Watson, and Kevin Hanson. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for questions directed to the wider genealogy community.)

There are no public comments yet.

Jöran is 20 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 21 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 51 degrees from Lisa Kudrow, 26 degrees from Kurt Vonnegut and 18 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II of the Commonwealth Realms on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

K  >  Kyn  >  Jöran Kyn