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John Tenney (1640 - 1722)

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Deacon John Tenney
Born in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusettsmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusettsmap
Husband of — married in Merrimack Village (now Bradford, Mass.)map
Descendants descendants
Died in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusettsmap
Profile last modified | Created 13 Sep 2012
This page has been accessed 816 times.


John was born in 1640. He is the son of Thomas Tenney and Ann Mighill. [1]

Deacon John Tenney, bom in Rowley, Mass., 14 December 1640, son of Thomas and Ann ( ) ; married in Rowley 26 February, 1663, Mercy Parrat, daughter of Francis and Elizabeth ( ) Parrat of Rowley. Mrs. Tenney was bom 23 July, 1646, and died 27 November, 1667. He married in Merrimack Village (now Bradford, Mass.) 2 December, 1668, his second wife, Susanna Woodbury, daughter of Humphrey and Elizabeth ( ) Woodbury of Beverly, Mass. Residence, Bradford, Mass. Mrs. Susanna Tenney was bom 4 February, 1648. She was "dismissed from ye Church of Christ in Beverly " and united with the First Congregational Church at Bradford in 1682-3. (Church Manual.) For a copy of the will of her mother, Elizabeth Woodbury, see Essex Hist. Col., Vol. IV., p. 235; and by said will Susanna Tenney received " 20s.,to be laid out in a gold ring, to be kept by her in remembrance." Inventory on Woodbury estate taken 28 August, 1680, the amount being £64.28. Mrs. Susanna Tenney died 9 April, 1716. "Here lieth the body of Susanah Tenney who died April; the 9, 1716; and in the 68 yeare: of her age." Bradford Ancient Burying Ground.

At the first town meeting 20 Feb., 1668-9, John Tenney served as moderator and was chosen selectman, again selectman 1676-78-80-82-86-87-88-92-93-96-98; in 1668 clerk of writs; in 1673, 1681, 1698, constable, and in 1670 fence viewer (Gage). The town as first called Bradford in 1672 ; in 1677 John Tenney served on the school committee.

In 1682 John Tenney was one of the 18 who formed the first church under Rev. Zachariah Symmes (Gage, 107). His name appears first in the list of deacons, chosen 13 Dec, 1702; in 1670, sent to attend the ordination at Amesbury, Mass. ; in 1698, appointed to settle the boundary between Bradford and Rowley.

He was in 1701 chairman of the committee of the proprietors of Bradford, to adjust the claims of the heirs of Musquonomonit alias Masehonnomet, Indian Sagamore of Agawam (Gage, 373-77).

As early as 12 December, 1682, at "a private Fast held at the house of Brother John Tenney," an instrument was drawn preparatory to the gathering of a church, and from time to time brothers were nominated to provide elements for the Lord's Supper. Mr. Tenney served on a committee "for ye good of ye town as to settling ye Reverend Zachariah Symmes, and for the further carrying on the affairs of this town for a settlement of all ye ordinances of God in the place." (Church Manual.) Voted by the town, 28 June, 1705, that Captain David Haseltine and Ensign John Tenney go abroad to inquire after assistance in the work of the ministry. He served on a committee " for ye healing of differences in ye church," and " votes were overhaled by Brother John Tenney and Brother John Kimball." Again the 16 August, 1706, he was chosen " to treat with the Rev. Mr. Symmes to see what he would abate of his salary." Deacon Tenney was one of " a committee of three to manage that affaii- of calling a council, 4 November, 1707." Voted by the town, 14 June, 1708, that Deacon Tenney, with the other two deacons, " go and invite the Rev. Mr. Thomas Symmes to come and preach." From this date, his name disappears from church committees.

Edward Hazen and wife Hannah of Rowley, for the consideration of £50 from John Tenney of Rowley, deeded one hundred acres in Merrimack land southeast of Merrimack river, also four acres of meadow in Crane meadow, etc., the 20 May, 1664. (Ipswich. Deeds, 4 :41.) Witnesses, Ezekiel Jewett and Thomas Tenney.

He and wife Susanna, for the consideration of £70, deed to James Tenney of Rowley six acres and some meadow land that was formerly owned by Thomas Tenney, Senior. Samuel Tenney, a witness; date, 1690. (Essex Deeds, 14:232.) By deed, he transfers meadow in Crane meadow in Rowley, 1 December, 1690. (Essex Deeds, 14 : 282.)

Again, by deed, " to my only son, Samuel Tenney, of Bradford, all land in Rowley and Bradford belonging to my estate, reserving only one-half during the life of self and wife." Dated 22 October, 1691. Thomas Tenney, Junior, a witness. Acknowledged 9 July, 1696. (Essex Deeds, 13 : 237.) John Tenney and wife Susanna of Bradford deed to James Tenney of Rowley in 1690. Acknowl-edged, 29 August, 1696. (Essex Deeds, 14 : 233.) Mrs. Margaret Corwin of Boston, Mass., for the value of £120, conveys by deed seventy or eighty acres of salt marsh at Plum Island in Rowley to a syndicate of ten men, of which John Tenney is one. Date 2 March, 1694-5. (Essex Deeds, 16 : 43.)

Deposition of Francis Jewett and James D. Palmer, that John Tenaey hath quietly possessed a hundred acre lot conveyed by deed 13 : 118, valuation £70, from 10 August, 1688, to 17 March, 1712- 13. (Essex Deeds, 26 : 128.)

The name of John Tenney is found in "ye garrison at Blackport, Maine," (Bodge) under date 12 October, 1676, and, under Captain Scottow, the 12 October, 1677-8. He died 13 April, 1722. (Ameri- can Ancestry.)

Children :

8 *Sarah b. 17 Oct., 1665; bapt. 8 Jan., 1666.

9 *Samuel, b. 20 Nov. 1667; bapt. 23 Nov., 1687.

The Tenney family, or the descendants of Thomas Tenney, of Rowley, Massachusetts, 1638-1890 (1904) pp.13-15



  1. Entered by Steven Marsden, Sep 13, 2012
  • Early Settlers of Rowley, Massachusetts. George Brainard Blodgette and Amos Everett Jewett. 1933. Reprinted by the New England History Press, Somersworth, New Hampshire. 1981. Pages 373 - 374.
  • Click the Changes tab for the details of edits.

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