52 Ancestors: #27 Henry Kinne – Salem Witch Trials Accuser (updated)

UPDATE: Since discovering Moses Branch is not the father of my ancestress Abigail Branch Hooper – I am no longer tied to Henry. However, I’m leaving the post up for those who ARE his descendants and appreciate the research. 


Unlike the Bishop ancestors on my father’s side of the family who were accused and hung for witchcraft – the Kinne ancestors on my mother’s side – did some of the accusing. 

Henry Kinne, my 10th great grandfather, was born July 8, 1623 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, England and died June 19, 1696 in Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. He arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1648 and married Ann Putnam there on October 12, 1649. It is said he is buried in Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts.

She gave him John (1651-1718), Thomas (1655-1687) [my 9th great-grandfather] , Mary (1659-1740), Sarah (1661-1662), Elizabeth (1662-1695), Lydia (1666) and Henry (1669-1731).

Page 370, “The Pioneers of Massachusetts” by Charles Henry Pope published at Boston in 1900 states, “Vincent (Potter), gentleman age 21 came in the Elizabeth & Ann in May 1635, had apprentices../ Henry Kenninge and …, whome he placed with new masters in 1639.” This statement Pope made from the Note Book (legal memoranda) of Thomas Lechford, “a practiser at law, arrived at Boston 1638, kept careful record of papers drawn by or executed by him…”, op. cit. p. 262. “Henry Kenninge, placed as an apprentice with William Park of Roxbury 21 Apr. 1639 by Vincent Potter.” is from the notebook of Thomas Lechford.

In making a deposition in 1684 at Salem, MA, Henry Keney stated that he was sixty years of age, “my father was ye John Keney out of Norfolk in ye olde England, and my mother was ye Cheever and my grandfather was ye Sir Thomas Keney in Lynne ye marchant and trader there who was soe Knighted by ye Goode Queen Elizabeth for ye gifte of ships to ye Captaine Daves ye Navigator, etc.” Yet Henry erred here. His grandfather, Thomas, was knighted 4 October 1618 fifteen years into the reign of the Stuart King James I. These last lines thus apply to the great grandfather of Henry reported to be Sir Robert Kinne of Kings Lynne, County of Norfolk, England.

Kinne Coat of Arms

Kinne Coat of Arms

The deposition of Henry Keney of Salem, MA continues, “I ye Henry was borne ye 8th of the 7th month 1623 and came by ye colonies in ye yeare 1635,” and is the prime source for the establishment of his English heritage. He arrived at Boston on the ship, “The Elizabeth & Ann”, which sailed from London 29 April 1635, having left Holland in May of 1634. He traveled with Vincent Potter, presumably a relative or at least a close friend of the family, as Henry was only in his eleventh year when he left Holland and was barely twelve years of age when he arrived in New England. For a time he served as an apprentice to William Park, who settled in Roxbury, MA.

Henry came to Salem about 1648. He was a “planter” and in 1651 settled in Salem Village, a part of Salem at that time, but now known as Danvers. The site of his house, which burned in 1699 “included within the location of the Boston & Newberryport Turnpike, midway between Preston and Nicholas Streets.” Henry was among the men who petitioned the General Court in 1667 for relief from serving the Military Watch in Salem Town, as they claimed it left their families at home unprotected. The Court decreed that all farmers, who lived four miles from Salem Meeting House should be exempt from the Military watch.

(note: the land is now where the Danvers Plaza Shopping Center, Route 1 and Route 95 are now. Preston Street is to the west of the highways and Nichols Street is to the east )

Henry was a soldier under Major Sedgwick in 1654 and went on the expedition sent by Oliver Cromwell to take the French Fort at St. John’s. He also served under Captain George Corwin and was a member of the Essex Troopers, a body of horsemen, who served in the Narragansett War. Both he and his son, Thomas were at Mt. Hope during King Philip’s War. Henry received land grant number 3 for his services.

He was admitted to the Salem Church 24 August 1654. He was a prosperous planter, or farmer, and was employed to some extent in ecclesiastical work. On 24 March 1692, he was among those who testified against Rebecca Nurse, when she was being tried as a witch. Salem Village, where the Keney and Nurse families lived, then a part of Salem, but now Danvers, was the center of the witchcraft delusion of that period in New England.

Sources: Text: By The Name Of Kinne, Ancestors and Descendents of Nathan Kinnie of Preston, CT & Horton, N.S. by Basil E. Kinney & Dawn L. (Hicks) Kinnie 1992 Text: Some Ancestral Lines, Being a Record of Some of the Ancestors of Guilford Solon Tingley and his wife Martha Pamelia Meyers collected by Raymon Meyers Tingley, 1935 The Tuttle Publishing Co.
(Warrant for Arrest of Martha Corey )

Salem, March the 19′th 1691/2
There being Complaint this day made before us, By Edward put-nam and Henery Keney Yeoman both of Salem Village, Against Martha Cory the wife of Giles Cory of Salem farmes for suspition of haveing Comitted sundry acts of Witchcraft and thereby donne much hurt and injury unto the Bodys of Ann Putnam the wife of Thomas Putnam of Salem Village Yeoman And Anna Puttnam the daugtter of s’d Thomas putnam and Marcy Lewis Single woman Liveing in s’d Putnams famyly; also abigail Williams one of mr parrishis family and Elizabeth Hubert Doctor Grigs his maid.

You are therefore in theire Majest’s names hereby required toapprehend and bring; before us. Martha Cory the wife of Giles Cory abovesaid on Munday next being the 21′t day of this Instant month, at the house of Lt Nathaniell Ingersalls of Salem Village aboute twelve of the Clock in the day in order to her Examination Relateingto the premises and hereof you are not to faile

Dated Salem. March. the 19′th. 1691/2

p us *Jonathan. Corwin
*J onathan. Corwin {Assists

To Geo Herrick Marshallof the County of Essex –
or any Constable in Salem( Essex County Archives, Salem — Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 12 )
On 24 Mar 1691/2 Henry Kinne spoke during the trial of Rebecca Nurse as follows:

Then Hen: Kenny rose up to speak

Goodm: Kenny what do you say

Then he entered his complaint & farther said that since this Nurse came into the house he was seizd twise with an amaz’d condition

Rebecca Nurse was an elderly and respected member of the Salem Village community. She was accused of witchcraft by several of the “afflicted” girls in the Village in March of 1692. Although a large number of friends, neighbors and family members wrote petitions testifying to her innocence, she was tried for acts of witchcraft in June, 1692. The jury first returned a “not guilty” verdict, but was told to reconsider, and then brought in a verdict of “guilty.” Governor Phips pardoned her, but was later persuaded to reverse his decision by several men from Salem. She was excommunicated from the Salem church and hanged on July 19, 1692. Her house in Danvers, the former Salem village, still stands and is open to visitors. A large monument also marks her grave in the Nurse family cemetery on the grounds.

Enders A. Robinson. The Devil Discovered: Salem Witchcraft 1692 . Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL, 2001 (1991), p. 271


Henry Kinne (1623 – 1696) is your 10th great grandfather
Thomas Kinne (1655 – 1687) son of Henry Kinne
Joseph Kinne (1680 – 1745) son of Thomas Kinne
Zipporah Kinne (1708 – 1781) daughter of Joseph Kinne
(Moses did have a daughter, Abigail, but she died in CT – not in Canada like my ancestress Abigail Branch Hooper did.)

About T.K. Eldridge

This entry was posted in Graff/Roberts/Reynolds/etc.. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to 52 Ancestors: #27 Henry Kinne – Salem Witch Trials Accuser (updated)

  1. Nancy Kinney Nulph says:

    My name is Nancy Kinney Nulph and my Mom, Mary L. Kinney, has done quite a bit on research on the Kinneys and she provided me with the chain of names linking me to Henry Kinne. I am traveling to Salem in September and was wondering if there are any Kinney members still living in the area. I would be very interested to connect with any long lost relatives. At one time I thought that Henry was buried in the area and would like some information on this also.

    • kessara says:

      Hi Nancy! I don’t know about any other Kinne/y relatives in the area. I’m in NC. I grew up in MA though.
      I also don’t know where Henry is buried.

  2. Pingback: 52 Ancestors 2015 #44: Frightening | Of Loons and Lady Slippers

  3. Nice Article. You should write more about this!

  4. Kyle Dane says:

    TK, We’re having a discussion of the contemporary spelling of the name Kinne (or Keney or a number of other variants) on WikiTree (http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/211291/straightening-salem-witchcraft-trial-participants-henry). I’m wondering if you could help us by providing the source for the deposition of Henry Keney that talks about his father and grandfather. I wasn’t clear from your post which book it came from. Thanks, Kyle Dane

  5. Annie Bryant says:

    I enjoyed your article about the Salem Witch Trials; my 11th great grandfather is Henry Kinne. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Darrell West says:

    T.K. My mother is a Kenney and goes through the Kinne’s of Salem. I’ve done some research and there seems to be no agreement on which Henry Keney filed the complaint (the Father or the Son. The younger was married to Priscilla Lewis the sister to Marcy Lewis one of the afflicted girls). Have you found anything that points to it being one over the other?

    A few years back I visited the Nurse Homestead and in a movie that was presented it said that Henry Keney was commissioned to build the church that the trials were held in. Interesting.

    Thanks for posting what you’ve learned.

  7. Christopher kinne says:

    Being a direct ancestor of Henry kinne. I am Christopher kinne. As far as I know, most of us live in upstate New York. The rest of my uncles live in Chicago.

    • T.K. Eldridge says:

      Hi Christopher! I realized a few months ago that the Abigail Branch in that descendancy was not my ancestress. Yes, there are two Abigail Branch’s, born about a year different in the same general area – but mine married a Hooper and died in Canada while Moses’ daughter died in Connecticut. I’ve just edited the post (because I forgot about changing that one!) but will still leave it up for those who appreciate the research. – Kessa

  8. Just found this thread. Henry would be my 9th great grandfather. I had no idea we had family involved in the witch trials. My grandfather had a family bible for 4 x GG James & Narcissa Kinnie which he donated to the Ottawa House in Parrsboro, Nova scotia.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s