||John Jenney migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).|
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Claims have been made that John was the son of Henry Jenney and Mary Smythe but this couple's son John stayed in the village of Great Cressingham (not far from Norwhich, England) where he had a family.
Another theory, put forth by Matthew Hovious (see below), is that John Jenney was the posthumous son of Christopher Jenney by Avis Homberston. But the chronological details suggest this is impossible. (See attached g2g discussion.)
John Jenney's marriage record indicates he was from Norwich, England, and the following summary is quoted from Hovious's 2008 article in The Genealogist:
Hovious refers to a 1588 subsidy list for Lakenham, an outlying neighborhood of Norwich, which "shows that John Jenney was taxed on L5 in goods, the precise amount that Avis Jenney, who previously had no taxable goods, inherited from Francis Southwell.... On 17 July 1591, John Jenney also paid tax on 100s in land, the precise amount once owned by Avis Jenney." This land could have been the house in which Avis lived as a widow. "The only real estate that was left to Avis free and clear was the house in an unnamed location where Christopher [Jenney, the executor of the will of Avis's deceased husband by the same name] was apparently paying a man or woman named Bardwell to raise Avis's children by her first marriage. It is certainly possible that this house could have been in Norfolk rather than in the vicinity of Dunwich..."
It appears that Avis gave her bit of land and personal property to young John Jenney in the 1580s as she moved to London with her elder sons (by her first marriage to Thomas Crathorne), where she died in 1597.
This article, after much discussion of further evidence, summarizes the argument for the parents of John Jenney being Christopher Jenney and Avis Homberston:
Summary of Hovious's Argument for John Jenney's Parentage
- "The documents presented in the first part of this article raise the question, 'Why Lakenham?' To be more precise, what member of the East Anglian Jenney family would have any reason to settle in this out-of-the-way suburb of Norwich? I believe that the business connections, family ties, property dispositions, chronology, and relative rarity of the name Avis, all of which have been discussed in the second part of this article, suggest that the answer may be 'a son of Christopher Jenney of Dunwich.' The foregoing certainly suggests that despite their gentry origins any children of Christopher Jenney of Dunwich may well have begun life with means modest enough that they would be more likely to be found operating a village mill than in the manorial dwellings of the squirearchy. The chronology of events described above, and the multiple business and social ties between individual Jenneys, Godsalves, Spanys, and Homberstons all argue in favor of John Jenney of Lakenham being a son of the only Jenney known to have had business dealings with the Godsalve family, an association with the Spany family, and a wife who belonged to the Homberston family of Norwich. That said, the argument that John Jenney of Lakenham is the son of Christopher Jenney of Dunwich also rests partly on the relative rarity of the name Avis. My comprehensive search of parish records, wills, and indentures related to the Jenney family revealed no other woman of that name married to any Jenney in East Anglia during the 1500s. For Avis Jenney of Bracondale not to be the same woman as Avis Jenney of Dunwich, it will be necessary for two women named Avis to have married two men surnamed Jenney, the first couple apparently leaving no marriage record, wills, or documentary evidence of themselves before 1576.
- "So, was John Jenney, the miller of Lakenham, a posthumous son of Christopher Jenney of Dunwich, and by extension a great-grandson of the formidable Sir Edmund Jenney, Sheriff of Suffolk? Given the spotty record-keeping at Lakenham, the loss of most Dunwich registers to the sea, and the partial or total destruction of relevant parish records in other known Jenney home places such as East Walton and East Dereham, direct evidence of John's birth may never be found. At the moment, a circumstantial case can be made based on two sets of facts. Firstly, Christopher Jenney married the widow Avis (Homberston) Crathorne in 1568 and died in 1570, leaving her exposed financially, though clearly believing that her presenting him with an heir was still a biological possibility; and little of his estate was in fact specifically left to her, save a house and some lands in an unnamed location. His property was occupied by his testamentary executor in 1573, and his widow petitioned for administration of the remainder of the estate at Norwich Consistory Court, which record places her in Norwich on 18 June 1574. Secondly, less than two years later a Mrs. Avis Jenney who had not previously appeared in Lakenham records is found in the records of that area of Norwich, and she appears to have had a son named John, who can first reliably to be shown to be of age by a 1588 list of able-bodied men, in which case he may have been born in 1570/71....I myself, once having determined that this Lakenham/Dunwich connection, however surprising, seemed the most plausible explanation of John's origins, have played devil's advocate against it on more than one occasion, and yet always find myself coming back to the Homberston family links to both areas, the chronology between the departure of an Avis Jenney from her dead husband's lands in Dunwich and the appearance of an Avis Jenney in a suburb of Norwich, and the seemingly inescapable connection between the John Jenneys of the two Lakenhams, that of Norwich and that of the Plymouth colony."
John Jenny, in Plymouth Colony, received a grant of land in March 1637/8. "The record states that 'one hundred and fifty acres of lands are graunted unto Mr. John Jenney, lying on the east side of the Six Mile Brooke...to be called by the name of Lakenhame.' Lakenham was and is a part of the English city of Norwich, the city already given by John as his place of origin in his 1614 marriage record." (Hovious, p. 6)
"The first reference to a John Jenney in Dutch records of the Leiden pilgrims seems to be his having served as a witness to the marriage of Robert Peck and Jennie Marit in November 1609, John Jenney himself, it will be remembered, married Sarah Carey in the Dutch city of Leiden on the first day of November 1614. Crucially, the 1614 record identifies him asa "Jongman" [i.e., single man] from Norwich. Little is known of John's life in the Netherlands. He seems to have worked as a brewer's apprentice, according to his marriage record and his contemporary, Edward Winslow, who would eventually witness John Jenney's will.... Winslow wrote that 'as for the Dutch, it was usual for our members that understood the language and lived in or occasionally came over to Leiden to [take communion] with them, as one John Jenny, a Brewster [i.e., brewer], long did.'"
He emigrated in 1623 in the Little James, settling in Plymouth. He was a brewer and miller (but apparently not a very good one). [PCR 1:118, 2:76] He also served as a translator for Dutch immigrants.
He married in Leiden 1 Nov 1614 Sarah Carey, of Monk's Soham, Suffolk [Leiden 135]; she died at Plymouth between 18 August 1655 (codicil to will) and 5 Mar 1665/6 (probate of will).
For trading with the Indians, against the law, John Jenney was presented at Court, on January 6, 1636/7, in the following manner:
He died in Plymouth between 28 December 1643 (date of will) and 25 May 1644 (date of inventory). 
The name Jenne changed to Jenney somewhere in the time between father and son. Documentation has been found for both father and John that show both spellings of the last name. It appears that he adopted the spelling "Jenney" around the time he was first elected Assistant to the Governor.
Witnesses hereunto John Jenney (seale); Edward Winslowe; Thomas Willett; William Paddy.
Inventory of John Jenney
- A true Inventory of all the goods chattells and cattells wch were mr John Jenneys lately Deceased taken and appnse by Willm Paddy and Nathaniell Sowther the xxvth Day of May Anno Dm 1644 £ s d [reformatted for easier reading]
- Inpris two cowes 10 06 08
- It one three yeres old heiffer 04 13 04
- It iiii ewe sheepe 06 00 00
- It one ewe sheepe 01 00 00
- It three weather sheepe 02 05 00
- It 1 cow calfe 00 12 00
- It three oxen 19 00 00
- 43 17 00
- In the chamber ovr the parlor
- It 1 little feather bed & two boulsters 01 00 00
- It 1 pillow 00 02 06
- It 2 blanketts 00 10 00
- It 1 pere of old sheets 00 05 00
- It 1 old chest 00 02 00
- It 1 new sheete 00 06 00
- It 5 fine old sheets 01 05 00
- It 5 paire of old sheets at 5s 4d 01 06 08
- It 8 pillow beers at 20d 00 13 04
- It i halfsheete & a peece of old linnen cloth 00 03 00
- It 1 table cloth 00 04 00
- It 9 old napkins at 4d 00 03 00
- It a little towell & old linnens 00 02 00
- It 1 old trunck 00 00 08
- It a baskett wth Dressed hemp in it 00 02 06
- It xlb of feathers 00 06 08
- 06 12 04
- In the Parlor
- It vi sett cusheons 00 10 00
- It a feather bed and furniture to yt 3 old blanketts i old greene rugg & curtaine 3 10 0
- It an old warmeing pann 00 02 06
- It a chest 00 02 00
- It 9 napkins at 6d 00 04 06
- It 4 fine old napkins 00 02 00
- It 1 long towell 00 01 08
- It 2 Diap cloths 00 01 04
- It 8 course napkins 00 03 04
- It old linnen table cloths 00 04 00
- It 1 seeled chest 00 06 08
- It a short carpett 00 03 00
- It a carpett 00 06 08
- It his wearing apparell 03 00 00
- It 5 yards cotton Darnix 5s a black hatt 12s 00 17 00
- It a chaire table 42 & a featherbed tick 26 01 00 00
- It 2 beere barrells & other lumber 00 04 00
- It 3 silver spoones 00 15 00
- 08 04 08
- [fol. 51]
- In the Dwelling house
- It i smale globe 00 02 06
- It Cartwright on the Rehemist testament 00 08 00
- It mr Downams workes 00 08 00
- It i old bible 00 01 00
- It other old bookes 00 04 00
- It a kneadeing trough & cover 00 08 00
- It 2 joyne stooles 1 forrne and a chaire 00 07 06
- It i spinninge wheele 00 04 00
- It 3 old peecs a pistoll & a paire of bandeliers 01 10 00
- It 3 salts & 2 smale pewter cupps 00 03 00
- It 2 quart potts & a pint pott 00 06 04
- It x peecs of pewter 32l & 3 porringers 01 15 04
- It x peecs more of pewter 24l 01 04 00
- It 3 smale latten pans 00 01 06
- It i larg latten pan 00 01 00
- It a pewter bottle 00 00 02
- It 3 smaler kettles 00 11 00
- It a bras cover 00 00 03
- It a smale bras pann 00 12 00
- It 2 larg bras kettle 22l at 26 01 08 00
- It i copper kettle 22l at 01 01 00
- 10 16 07
- It i larg copper kettle 01 05 00
- It i frying pann 00 02 00
- It a skimmer and an old bras ladle 00 00 08
- It a bras candlestick 00 01 06
- It a bras posnett 00 02 00
- It a larg iron pott 00 10 00
- It 4 other iron potts broken & maymed & a posnet 00 16 00
- It 1 iron kettle 00 05 00
- It a fire shovell & a paire of tonges 00 02 00
- It 3 paire of pott hooks 00 02 00
- It 2 paire of pott hangers 00 05 00
- It for trees payles & other lumber 00 05 00
- It a black bill 00 01 08
- 03 17 10
- In the Dary house.
- It 8 earthen panns & potts & tubbs 00 05 00
- It 3 trees & a kimnell 00 02 06
- It an earthen bason 00 00 02
- It a churne 00 02 00
- It a cheese presse 00 02 06
- 00 12 02
- In the chamber over the house.
- *It two bed steads 00 12 00
- It a feather bed & boulster & two pillowes 02 00 00
- It i old rugg and a blankett 00 06 00
- It i paire of sheets 00 07 00
- It i smale seacanvas feather bed & boulster wth cotton 00 12 06
- It iiii old blanketts 00 12 00
- It 2 pillowes & pillow beers 00 07 00
- It i joyned table 00 12 00
- It i longe wheele 00 04 00
- It 2 old axes 00 02 00
- It 1 smal adds & other old iron 00 07 00
- It 2 old netts 00 05 00
- It an old cartrope 00 02 00
- It 2 jarrs tubs & old baskets & lumber 00 05 00
- It a paire of steeleyards 00 06 08
- It 18 bushells of wheate 03 12 00
- It vi bushells of barley 01 04 00
- 11 16 02
- Without Doores.
- It 3 yeokes 00 07 06
- It a paire teases for a single oxe 00 02 06
- It i old Harrow 00 01 06
- It i old weane and wheeles 04 00 00
- It 2 cheanes & a broken one 00 14 00
- It i old plow an ovrworne coulter & share & hooke 00 09 00
- It a broken sith a clevis pin & old saw & a yeoke & fork 00 01 00
- It i boate vi£ xs whereof she* hath a third pte 02 03 04
- It ii bushells & a peck of wheate. 00 09 00
- It iii bushells & a half of barley 00 14 00
- It 5 pecks of peas 00 05 00
- It i bushell of oates 00 02 00
- It to receive for the salt panns 08 06 08
- It 5 sides at tanning 04 10 00
- 22 05 06
- Sum totall 108£ . 03s . 03d .
Nathaniel Sowther William Paddy.
- [fol. 52]
- Debts oweing by the Testator.
- It To Samuell Chaundler 05 10 00
- It To mr Paddy 04 00 00
- It To Thom Pope 00 07 00
- It To John Barnes 03 00 00
- It To John Yeonge 01 02 00
- It To Richard m: Chanceys man 00 04 00
Wikitree's Magna Carta Project has identified a likely but unproven descent from Magna Carta surety baron William de Huntingfield to John Jenney.
There are two weak links in this lineage. First of all is the parentage of John Jenney himself. Circumstantial evidence indicates that he was the post-humous son (that is, born after his father died) of Christopher Jenney of Dunwich, Suffolk (a town that got eaten up by the sea) by Christopher's second wife Avis, who relocated to the Lakenham neighborhood of Norwich, where John Jenney became a miller before leaving England. [This is discussed at length in Matthew Hovious's "Norwich Revisited: The Origin of John Jenney, Plymouth Colonist," in The Genealogist, vol. 22, no. 1 (Spring 2008).]
The second weak link is the mother of Nicholas Wychingham, the great-grandfather of John Jenney's presumed great-grandmother Katherine (Boys) Jenney. Nicholas was the son of William Wychingham by his wife Margaret. Margaret appears to have been the daughter of Sir John de Brewes, who in his 1370 will bequeathed a silver cup to "the lady Margaret, wife of Sir William de Wychingham."
Sir John de Brewes's descent from William de Huntingfield is covered in Douglas Richardson's Magna Carta Ancestry and Royal Ancestry.
Although the John Jenney house was recognized for years, the treasures hidden within, had long been forgotten until 1969. It was then that Warren Miliken and his wife Alice bought the John Jenney house. During some renovations Warren uncovered curious timbers, trading beads and children’s hand prints in the 17th century horsehair plaster walls.and and eventually proved to be those same timbers from the 1622 fort, used in the 1675 watch house and later given to Samuel Jenney to add a dwelling onto the counting house in 1679. With the help of dutch reconstructionist architect Ret. B. Offringa and many years of research the design of the original fort could be determined. The surviving corresponding timbers were identified in the back addition on John Jenney’s house. These are now clearly seen and labeled in the lower level of the home. The recreation of what the original fort looked like can be seen downstairs in the Samuel Jenney addition as well. Along with the timbers and drawings of the original fort, one can still see the 1623 malting floor and kiln and if you have a good sense of smell perhaps a remnant scent of John Jenney’s beer, from the first microbrewery in America.
This profile is a duplicate of John Jenney and will be merged into it. All prior sources except Anderson's "Great Migration" were unsourced user submissions without value.
He was born Prior to 1589 as Anderson said and more likely around 1571 in the area of Norwich, England. He died 28 Dec 1643 in Plymouth, Plymouth Colony. This bio info will be left behind post-merge.
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