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Untangling the four Israel's of Massachusetts

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Untangling the four Israel's of Massachusetts

Jeffrey Green (View posts)
Posted: 1053794299000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1054782564000
Surnames: Kinney, Kenney, Kenny, Perkins, Towne, White, Wilkins, Richards, Fuller, Balch, Smith, Stockwell, Leland, Hood, Case
I will start with the recent discovery of an illegitimacy that will have a
major impact to some Kenney family lines. I'm presently still in the
discovery stages of this, but what I have so far is compelling enough to
warrant this posting.

This begins with the descendants of Israel Kenney b. August 22, 1712 in
Salem Village, Essex, MA, the son of Daniel and Mary (Richards) Kenney.
It's become evident that this Israel Kenney had two sons, both named
Israel Kenney, Jr., each by a different partner.

There has always appeared to be a problem with the birth dates of these
two Israel's, some researchers calling one date a birth date and the other
a christening. But I've now discovered through the town vital records of
Middleton, Essex, MA, that there are in fact, two separate Israel's who
were born ten months apart. The way that these entries are made in the
town records makes it quite obvious that Israel, Sr. sired both of them.

The first Israel Kenney, Jr. was born to Rebecka Perkins on January 6,
1745/46. Rebecka Perkins b. January 12, 1726/27 in Topsfield, Essex, MA,
was the third child of Robert and Elizabeth (Towne) Perkins. It appears
that Rebecka had an affair with Israel, Sr. in about April 1745 that resulted
in her becoming pregnant with his child. In the evidence of the birth entry,
and their age differences, she was 18 and he was 33, it's fairly certain
that they had never married. So far, I've not been able to find any record
of such an event.

On January 11, 1745/46, five days after the birth of Israel, Jr., Israel
Kenney, Sr. and Eunice White (2nd cousins) filed an intention of marriage
in Boston. At this time, Eunice was not pregnant, as she bore her Israel,
Jr. on October 21, 1746.

What happened here, I have yet to find out. Israel didn't appear to have
any intentions of marrying Rebecka and was probably in denial of the
affair. This may explain the timing of his action to rush off to Boston and
file an intention of marriage with Eunice, immediately after Israel was born.

Then, on April 20, 1747 in the Essex County Probate Court there's an
intestate filing (File #: 15324) for Israel Kenney of Middleton. I've yet
to find his actual date of death, but it could have occurred anytime from
January 1745/46 to April 1747. It appears to be a very suspicious death
when you consider what was taking place in this man's life. Yes, it could
have been an illness or some sort of malady, or an accident. But my
thoughts are that he was either murdered or he committed suicide. If he
had been ill, he would most likely have dictated his will on his sick
bed, which was often the case back then. But he didn't, so it was
obviously sudden and unexpected.

Then there's the Application of guardianship (File #: 15325) for Israel
Kenney, minor, of Middleton, that was filed on the same day as the filing
for Israel, Sr.. This would undoubtedly be for the first Israel unless
there was some type of law that required the surviving spouse to prove
themselves capable, or there may have been some sort of family hassle
over the custody issue.

Regardless of how all of this will pan out in my ongoing research, the
following is now certain:

Israel Kenney, Jr. b. January 6, 1745/46, the son of Rebecka Perkins, is
the Israel that married Hannah Wilkins and settled in Hollis, Hillsborough,
NH where they raised their nine children.
Their first surviving child was named Rebecca. They had no child named
After the death of his wife Hannah, Israel Kenney, Jr. went to Knox,
Hancock, ME (now Waldo Co.) to live with his son Moses. It is in the town
records for Knox, at the time of its incorporation in 1819, the Israel
Kenney in the household of Moses Kenney gives his date of birth as January
6, 1745. In the 1820 Census, there is an elderly male in the household
of Moses Kenney in the age range of this Israel. In the Revolutionary War
pensioners list for residents of Maine, Israel Kenney, Private, of Hancock
County is listed as having applied for his pension on April 11, 1818. The
other dates show he was placed on the pension roll July 21, 1819 and that
he died March, 5, 1820. (the 1820 census was taken in January)

Note: Their son Israel Kenney, III that married Mehitable Wilkins October
09, 1794, did not marry a Judith Fuller, ever. His wife Mehitable did not
die bef. 1800. She survived his death on July 17, 1848 in Knox, Waldo, ME
and she is listed as dying in March 1860. She was listed in the 1850 census
as a widow with their youngest daughter Melantha in residence with her.
Israel #2
The Israel Kenney, Jr. b. October 21, 1746, the son of Eunice (White) Kenney,
is the Israel that married Hannah Balch and raised their seven children in
Middleton, Essex, MA.
Their first daughter was named Rebecca. The mother of Hannah Balch was
Rebecca Smith.
Their second daughter was named Eunice. Israel's mother was Eunice White.

Note: Unless their sons Daniel, William or John went by a middle name of
Israel, this family did not have a son named Israel that married a Judith
Fuller, and given the dates of their documented marriages, it is unlikely
that it could have been any of these three brothers. The origins of this
Israel are not known to me at this time, but he did exist.
Israel #3
The Israel Kenney b. October 23, 1739 in Sutton, Worcester, MA, the son of
Daniel, Jr. and Elizabeth (Stockwell) Kenney, is most likely the Israel that
married Sybil Leland October 24, 1762 in Grafton, Worcester, MA. There is
no further information on this marriage or of any issue. It is doubtful that
this could be the Israel Kenney that married Susannah Hood. He would have
been 52 at the time that Susannah's Israel is said to have drown.
Israel #4
This brings me to the final Israel of the four.
Josiah Kenney married Deborah Towne on May 01, 1729 in Topsfield, Essex, MA.
It is uncertain whether they had two or three children before Deborah died
on October 16, 1732.
They had their first child, Mary on December 15, 1729, which does appear in
the Topsfield records. There are purportedly two other children that have
been attributed to this marriage. I haven't found any evidence yet, but I
doubt that this couple had a son they named Asa. Josiah married as his
second wife, Mary Case on July 03, 1734. She is said to have given birth on
August 18, 1736 to a son they named Asa. Now there are postings in family
files that show an Asa, supposedly the son of "Deborah", that died a week
after Mary (Case) Kenney gave birth to her Asa. Were Josiah and Mary
counting on the first Asa dying at the time they named another son Asa?
At this time I believe that Josiah and Deborah (Towne) Kenney had only two
children, Mary and Israel. This Israel is the one that has been the subject
of dispute for many years. It is said by many that he was about sixty years
of age when he fell through the ice on December 24, 1791 in Maugerville,
New Brunswick, Canada. If Deborah's second child was an Israel, then this
would be the only one of the four Israel's that matches that age. He and his
wife Susannah (Hood) Kenney named their first child Deborah, his mother
being a Deborah also. The name Deborah did not appear in his wife's family
nor was it one of the most commonly used names during the period of the mid
eighteenth century. It is also said that this Israel was a trained blacksmith,
his stepmother's (Mary Case) family was involved in the blacksmith trade. I
find it is highly likely that this Israel is a second child of Deborah and
Josiah Kenney.

The research on these four Israel's is ongoing and there appears to be some
evidence on a couple of them that has been overlooked or purposely ignored
and some of it may just not exist.
Genealogical Records: Massachusetts Genealogical Records, 1600s-1800s
Listed in: Boston Marriages from 1700-1751, Vol. I
Marriage Intentions, 1741-1751
Page number: 281
Israel Kenney & Unice White Jan. 11, 1745

Births, marriages, deaths 1703-1822
Middleton, Essex, MA - Vital records
Salt Lake City : Filmed by Reproduction Systems
for the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1971
film # 0876103

Essex County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, 1638-1840
File #: 15324
Name: Israel Kenney; Kenny; Keney; Kinney; Kiney
File Date: 20 Apr 1747
Residence: Middleton
Type: intestate

Essex County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, 1638-1840
File #: 15325
Name: Israel Kenney; Kenny; Keney; Kinney; Kiney
File Date: 20 Apr 1747
Residence: Middleton
Occupation: minor
Type: guardianship

"The History of Hollis New Hampshire"
From its First Settlement to the Year 1879
by Samuel T. Worcester

Town and Vital Records, 1812-1892
Knox, Waldo, ME - Vital records
Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1953
film # 0011041

Military Records: Revolutionary War Pension Lists
Listed in: Pension Roll of 1835, Volume I, Maine, Page 188
Pension Application date: April 11, 1818
Pension Commencement date: July 21, 1819
Lists date of death as: March 5, 1820.

1790 Census - Hollis, Hillsborough, NH
1800 Census - Hollis, Hillsborough, NH
1810 Census - Hollis, Hillsborough, NH
1810 Census - Knox, Hancock, ME
1820 Census - Knox, Hancock, ME
1830 Census - Knox, Waldo, ME

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Jeffrey Green 1053794299000 
Kristine DeFr... 1087774661000 
Georgia Kinne... 1087930109000 
Lisa Z 1122825807000 
Georgia Kinne... 1122834136000 
Jeff_Green51 1171906975000 
Les_Uhrich 1203869970000 
Jeff_Green51 1203874816000 
Les_Uhrich 1203896154000 
JaneElizaStar... 1249760020000 
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