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Jöran Kyn (abt. 1620 - abt. 1690)

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Jöran "Jurgen Schneeweiss" Kyn aka Snohvit, Keen, Kihn, Kijn, Kyn, Kien, Kuhn
Born about in Sachsen (Saxony), Germanymap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about (to about ) in New Sweden (now Chester, Pennsylvania)map [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Chester, Pennsylvaniamap
Kyn-2 created 6 Aug 2010 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 3,316 times.

Categories: New Sweden Forefathers.



"The history of Jürgen Schneeweiss prior to 1642 is unknown. 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]
"Governor Printz' Monatgelderbuch, 1653-1653, recorded that the New Sweden soldier known as Jürgen Schneeweiss came from "Sachsen" (Saxony, Germany)."[2]


Flag of Saxony, Germany
Jöran Kyn migrated from Saxony, Germany to New Sweden in 1643 aboard the Fama.
Flag of New Sweden in 1643 aboard the Fama

He arrived on the Delaware River in 1643 aboard the Fama (Swan).[3][2]

Life in New Sweden

"Joran Kyn, or KEEN who had come over with Governor Printz as a bodyguard, was for many years the 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."[4]
"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."[1]

Death and Legacy

Joran Kyn died by 1687 in Upland (by then known as Chester, Pennsylvania.)

Notable Descendants

Suggest we create or identify existing profiles for the people below, moving content to their biographies. Source is Gregory Keen's The Descendants of Joran Kyn of New Sweden.[5]

"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 his 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 patent-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 the ministry of that church, but in 1868 became a Roman Catholic. In 1871 he was appointed professor of mathematics in the theological seminary of St. Charles Borromeo at Overbrook, Pennsylvania. From 1873 till 1876 he devoted himself to the study of Greek literature. In 1887 he was elected librarian of the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1880 Mr. Keen has 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 the Delaware and a series of original articles on " The Descendants of Joran Kyn, the Founder of Upland." he also wrote the chapters on "New Sweden" 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 was 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."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Johnson, William R. (2007-). "JORAN KYN: EARLY SETTLER OF NEW SWEDEN." Retrieved on 7 September 2015 from
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig. "Jürgen Schneeweiss, Progenitor of the Keen Family." Swedish Colonial News, Volume 1, Number 11 (Spring 1995).
  3. Sten Carlsson, "The Colonists of New Sweden, 1638-1656: Their Geographical and Social Background" In Swedish American Genealogist, vol. 12:2 (June 1992), pp. 49-65. Cited in Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s.]
  4. Gregory B. Keen, The Descendants of Joran Kyn of New Sweden, (Philadelphia: Swedish Colonial Society, 1913)
  5. Gregory B. Keen, The Descendants of Joran Kyn of New Sweden, (Philadelphia: Swedish Colonial Society, 1913)

See also:

  • "First Finnish Settlement in America 1638." Official Program. Finnish Tercentenary Day. 300th Anniversary of First Finnish Settlement in America. Chester, Pennsylvania. June 29, 1938. 1938, 27 pp. Retrieved 1 January 2016 from


  • 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.

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