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Home > Beyond the Pilgrim Story > Biographical Information, Wills, Inventories > John & Sarah Jenny  

John & Sarah Jenny

John Jenney was from Norwich, England. He had moved to Leyden by 1614, when he married Sarah Carey of Monk Sohan, Suffolk, England.  John Jenney was a brewer and a miller. He and his wife, with their 2 living children, journeyed to Plymouth on the Little James in 1623. Another son was born on board ship.

John and Sarah had 7 children in all: Samuel, who was born in Leiden and journeyed with his parents to Plymouth; an unnamed child who died as an infant and is buried in Leiden; Abigail, who also journeyed with her parents to Plymouth; an unnamed son who was born in 1623 aboard the Little James but who died before 1627; Sarah, John and Susanna, all born in Plymouth.

Nathaniel Morton characterized Jenney as "a godly, though otherwise a plain man, yet singular for publicness of spirit, setting himself to seek and promote the common good of the plantation of new Plimouth." Jenney was involved in refinancing the Plantation in 1626 and served several terms as an Assistant to the Governor as well as in other positions of responsibility within the Colony.

John Jenney is best known, however, for operating Plymouth Colony’s third (and most successful) corn mill. The earliest corn mill had been located near Billington Sea, a distance from town. Then, in 1632, the General Court authorized Stephen Deane to set up a water-powered corn mill on Town Brook; this mill was only in operation for about 2 years when Stephen Deane died. In 1636, Jenney was authorized to "erect a mill for grinding and beating of corn upon the brook of Plymouth."

John operated the mill until his death in 1644. After his death, Sarah operated the corn mill. The mill was then carried on by their son Samuel and then by outsiders, until its demise in 1847. Sarah died in late 1655 or early 1656. We have wills and inventories for both John and Sarah. John’s inventory includes several books and a "smale globe," indicating some education and a curiosity, perhaps, about the world. Sarah Jenney’s inventory included these same books, but the globe is not listed.

Click here for the will and inventory of the estate of John Jenney.
Click here for the will and inventory of the estate of Sarah Jenney.

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75 Court St, Plymouth, MA 02360 | Phone (508) 746-1620