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Archiver > KINNEY > 2003-02 > 1045155795

From: Jeff Green <>
Subject: [KINNEY] The Sir Thomas myth
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 12:05:22 -0500

In reply to the many e-mails on my comments pertaining to Sir Thomas Kinne.

The reference to Hazel Crane Amos can be found on by searching

"Hazel Crane Amos".

It's from the National Genealogical Society Quarterly dated March 1957, Volume 45, page 44

If you don't have access to, I can e-mail you a copy of this image

file "005973.44.gif"

Hazel Crane Amos of Shawnee, Kansas, published a genealogy in 1955 that included a line

from a Sir Thomas Kinne Baronet of King's Lynn, County Norfolk.

AMOS Our ancestry [Amos, Beverly, Goodale, Graham, Keeney, Miller, Walton],

by Hazel Crane Amos. 202p. 1955. $32.00

I haven't seen her book, but she may have obtained her information on Sir Thomas from

Florance Keeney Robertson's publication.

Florance Keeney Robertson's book "The Genealogy of Henry and Ann Kinne was published

in 1947. She states on page one in her opening sentence:

"Henry Kinne(y), the American progenitor of an extensive and honorable

line of early New England and New York pioneers and their descendants,

was the son of John Keney and Sarah Cheever and the grandson of Sir

Thomas Kinne Baronet of King's Lynn, Co., Norfolk, England. (See Ancestry

of Henry Kinne through 125 generations)"

What is this book about 125 generations that she refers to. No one, but no one knows. I have

been trying to track this publication down for over two years and it appears that Ms. Robertson

is the only person that knows anything of it's existence. Why is it that she can find proof of this

Sir Thomas Kinne, when there are no references in any of the official publications of English

entitlements of there ever being anyone, by any variation of the name Kinne, being given any

title? Indisputable proof can only be obtained from these publications, and it just doesn't exist.

I do not know if Florance's book has been reviewed by the NGS, but I'd doubt that it would

win their seal of approval. It's rife with errors and it doesn't list a single reference that is backed

up with any information on the author or the publisher. The NGS has a slightly large problem

with that sort of publication. They wish for you to only use publications of this sort as a guide.

You may visit their site and explore their standards at this link.

Might I also refer you to the following postings on the KINNEY-L of my brief collaboration

with another researcher from across the pond in Surrey, England.


KINNEY-L Archives

From: "Laurence Kinney" <>
Subject: [KINNEY] Sir Thomas KINNE
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2002 19:46:07 +0100

Hello Listers A couple of Listers from the USA have asked me to check out this man, saidto have been born in Kings Lynn and Knighted about 1618. I called today at The College of Arms in the City of London and met WindsorHerald, William G Hunt. I have bad news for the descendants of Sir Thomasfor no-one with that name or a variant was ever Knighted. We looked at theIndex of The Knights of England (1905) and published by The Central Chanceryof the Orders of Knighthood of the Lord Chancellor's Office. It coverseveryone from 1257 to 1905. We also looked at Burkes Family Index which covers all names ever mentionedin any Burkes publication, including peerages & baronetcies. Again, no SirThomas. It might help if I explain the simple difference between a Knight & aBaronet. Both carry the prefix Sir but a Baronetcy is a hereditary title andcan be passed down to descendants. A Baronet has the suffix Baronet, Bart.or, more commonly, Bt. A Knighthood dies out with the holder and cannot !
beinherited. It seems clear that 'Sir' Thomas wasn't entitled to that title by referenceto anything granted here in England. However, there is just the remotepossibility that he was granted the right to bear Arms, i.e. to have afamily crest. That could only be established by the employment of one of theHeralds at the College of Arms (Mr Hunt is at <mailto:> ). His 'phone number is 020 7329 8755 andhe can be contacted at The College of Arms, Queen Victoria Street, LondonEC4V 4BT. The involvement of a Herald for such research involves the payment of a feebut Mr Hunt was so august that I felt that it would be vulgar to ask howmuch! Sorry to bring you bad news. Best wishes Laurie KinneyKINNEY BRITANICUS The NGS was unable to find anything in 1955, and we now have man working withsome of the most knowledgeable people in this field of study, and they are unable tofind anything either.


This was my reply to Laurence Kinney's posting. I wasn't real happy upon learning

of this about our Sir Thomas either.

KINNEY-L Archives

From: Jeff Green <>
Subject: * Re: [KINNEY] Sir Thomas KINNE
Date: Sat, 27 Apr 2002 22:07:56 -0400

Since your note about "Sir Thomas", my research has caused me to thinkof another scenario.Assuming that there never was a "Sir" Thomas Keney, I'm beginning to thinkthat maybe it was a Sen. (senior) Thomas Kenne that could have been notedin that bible, if the bible story was true. The Norman "de Kenne" familyappears to have had it's English origins in a place called Kenne Manor inCounty Somerset. It's located about seven miles to the southeast of Taunton.In the 1200-1400's it was known as Kenne Manor, then in the late 1400'sit appears that it was just called Kenne, and today it's called Kenny.There are entries (pre 1600) in the LDS database under the de Kenne andKenne spellings in these areas along with the variations, Kenn and Kene.There is a Thomas Kenne that married a Mary Kellye, 15 Apr 1602 at Axbridge, Somerset, England, which is about 25 miles from Kenne Manor.There's also an LDS listing for the birth of a Thomas Kenne in King's Lynn,Norfolk in 1611 and the parents are!
shown as Sir Thomas Kenne and Mary.(the Sir obviously being gleaned from the erroneous assumptions of another researcher)If these are credible entries, then this would give us a Thomas senior, aThomas junior and a possible reason for the error that either Thomas Keney (Henry's son) made in copying the information from the bible, or someone else's interpretation of his handwriting.As for anyone purposely making up the story about the gift of sailing vessels,I would think that it should be documented somewhere in their Royal Archives,as that ain't pocket change.I think that Thomas is still our man, he's just not Sir Thomas. I've found a Mary Kelley born 23 Apr 1580 in Kenn, Devon, England, father's name, "John".The town of Kenn, is about 30 miles from Kenny and is bordered by Kennfordon the north, and Kenton on the south, and it's five miles due south fromExeter, England. It's also about a mile west of the River Exe, which couldhave been used as a port for merchant vessels. A!
nd with the "Ken.." inthese town names, it's quite possible that it could have been due to theKenne family's influence and power in the area.It's possible that the family's shipping business spread out to other portswhich could suggest the migration of a branch of Kenne's to the King's Lynnarea.I went back into some old e-mails that I received from Herb Melendybecause I remembered one about the de Kenne name. It was posted onKinney-L /Subject: Re: Name origin reply by M.L.Kinney on Dec. 12, 2000.With the info in this posting about the de Kenne's of Somerset, maybe wecould trace things from the time of the Domesday book forward. It's obviousnow that Henry of Salem Village is descended from this family and it's verylikely that most of the other English Keney/Kinney/Kenney lines do too.Things are beginning to lend evidence to a fairly wealthy and influential family,whether Thomas was a Sir or not.Now, as for that bible story.Thomas may have wanted a copy of that information fo!
r himself before a brother or sister inherited it, or maybe he was like us, interested in where we came from. You know he did raise a family of his own. There was a fire in1696 that destroyed Henry's tavern, and its' said that he lost everything, andI would assume that meant the original bible too. Well who's to say thatHenry's bible wasn't copied from his father's copy. I don't think that thesepeople were totally stupid enough to think that if they weren't to inherit thefamily bible then they weren't entitled to their family history. The story that I had seen was that Thomas had copied the family history into his bible forhimself, years before the fire. As it turned out, he had been the only one ofeight children that had cared enough to do so. What's so hard to believeabout that? How many people in your family have cared enough to sit downand do something to document their genealogy?I know of at least one. You.

* Notice my remark about Henry's tavern. It did not elicit any questions from other researchers

at this time, when I first mentioned it. I continued to believe of it as part of Henry's character until

recently, when I gave Henry a closer look. My mistake for not checking for an indisputable



This is the response that I received from Laurence Kinney.

KINNEY-L Archives

From: "Laurence Kinney" <>
Subject: [KINNEY] 'Sir' Thomas KINNE & King's Lynn
Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 16:34:22 +0100

I have no further information on this gentleman and remain convinced that hewas not entitled to style himself 'Sir'. I do however have news on a KINNEcoat of arms and on John KYNNE of King's Lynn. The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales (1884) by SirBernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, gives a single line entry:-"Kinne. Gu. a chev. ar." There is no illustration but Gu is defined as"gules or red", chev as "chevron" & ar as "argent, or silver, or white". It's clear that someone with this name was granted the right to bear arms but Iimagine that it would require the services of a herald at The College ofArms to take matters further. I'm afraid that matters of heraldry arecompletely beyond my abilities. John KYNNE certainly did exist. He was a merchant and shipowner in King'sLynn, also serving as an alderman on the town council. He served as Mayor ofLynn 1562-3 and in 1572, dying during that second mayoralty. He served asmember of Parliament for Lynn but nothing !
is known of his parliamentarycareer. He married twice, firstly to Margaret and secondly to Anne, possiblythe widow of a man called BARBOR. His only son was called John. He left abequest to Roger BARBOR 'my wife's son'. His will was dated 15th January1573 and he died before 7th August 1573. The will was proved in thePrerogative Court of Canterbury. He asked to be buried in St Nicholas, King's Lynn, next to his first wife,Margaret. He appears to have lived in Tuesday Market and also held land in Gaywood,then about a mile east of Lynn but now part of the town. In 1570 he bought100 loads of stone from Greyfriars at 4d a load. Henry VIII had dissolvedthe monasteries in the 1530s and the Benedictine priory and fours friariesin Lynn were closed and plundered for building materials. KYNNE was possiblyrebuilding his house in Tuesday Market, for much of Lynn was rebuilt between1550 & 1650. There was also a KYNNE merchant family in Althorne, Essex. I would refer you to The History of P!
arliament - The House of Commons1558-1603 published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office (1981) & to King'sLynn by Dr Paul Richards (1990). There are also two unpublished theses thatare relevant. 'Elite and Community: The Mayors of Sixteenth Century King'sLynn' by S M Battley - State University of New York PhD (1981) and 'TheRulers and Merchants of King's Lynn in the early Seventeenth Century' by G AMetters - University of East Anglia PhD (1982). When did 'Sir' Thomas emerge from the shadows and are there any contemporaryrecords of his existence? The parish registers for St Margaret's King's Lynndate from 1559 & those for St Nicholas from 1562. I hope that this will be of help to those of you who are 'Sir' Thomasgroupies (my interests are in Ireland and Scotland & I have no connectionwith Lynn). Lynn is a very attractive and historic town - well worth a visitif you are ever in the UK. It was used as a film set for one of Hollywood'sless successful films, Revolution. That shoul!
d give you a 'flavour' of theplace. Best wishes Laurie KinneySurrey UK


Maybe the person we should be looking at is this John Kynne of King's Lynn. Considering that
there are numerous references that Henry's father, John, was a mariner (and inn holder) it is
possible, given the dates, that Henry's father was a grandson of this Mayor, merchant and shipowner
of King's Lynn. Given that this John Kynne had only one son named John, would lend credence to
this notion.
This Sir Thomas Kinne has been a brick wall for way too long. Does anyone still have any questions
as to why?

Jeff Green

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