Joseph Jenckes b. 1656

Joseph Jenckes 10th great uncle on RootsMagic tree.
Joseph was born in Pawtucket. Rhode Island in 1656. His father and grandfather, both named Joseph, were well known in area. His grandpa built the first American Fire Engine, ever, and designed a first coin, the Pine Tree silver shilling. His dad was a founder of Pawtucket, RI and built the iron works and mill there.
Joseph got busy in his local government early on, held lots of town positions: a surveyor of land, state auditor, deputy governor, speaker of the deputies, assistant governor, then 19th Governor of Rhode Island from 1727 to 1732.


Proceedings of the General assembly held for the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at Newport the first Wednesday in May 1727. The following officers were declared and elected and duly engaged. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island at

One of his first jobs as governor was a meeting with King Charles II to discuss land boundaries of Rhode Island and Connecticut, a big issue in Colonial America. Later on Governor Jenckes wrote letters to King George II. Several respected sources state that he was 7 feet tall, a giant in his time. “Mr. Jenks [senior] was ancestor of a rather remarkable line. Joseph Jenks, Governor of Rhode Island from 1727 to 1732, and who was not only applauded for his executive ability but renowned for his personal appearance, being seven feet and two inches tall”. Volume 2 page 159. History of Lynn, Essex county, Massachusetts by Newhall, 1865

Joseph and his first wife Mary Brown had 9 children. After Mary’s death Joseph married Alice Smith, granddaughter of John Smith the miller of Rhode Island and 10th great grandfather of Elizabeth Speedy Roose. Joseph and Alice didn’t have kids.

Governor Jenckes to George II letter. Volume 4 page 393. Rhode Island. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, Providence : A. C. Greene and Brothers, state printers, 1856.

Governor Jenckes photo is on several websites, including Find a Grave, but with no source. Same photo is at Wikipedia, different format.

Joseph Jenckes, governor on Wikipedia

Joseph appointed Governor. Volume 4 page 387. Rhode Island. Records of the Colony of Rhode Island, Providence : A. C. Greene and Brothers, state printers, 1856.

Joseph Jenckes b. 1628

Joseph Jenckes 10th great grandfather on RootsMagic tree.

Joseph was born and baptized October 1628 in England. In his 20s, by 1650 he was working at his dad Joseph Sr’s iron forge in the new colony of Lynn, Massachusetts. In 1660 Joseph is tried for treason after he said he wanted to turn King Charles’s head in to a football. He said this probably in a tavern, drinking, after work with friends, was overheard and turned in to the courts. There was some kind of trial, Joseph was jailed, then he wrote a long letter to the court, he was released and the charges were dropped.

In 1663 Joseph lived through the earthquakes in Lynn. The first one was January 27, “chimneys fell, people were forced to seize upon supports to prevent falling. On the evening of the fifth of the next month another earthquake; in some places doors opened and shut, walls split, bells rang, and floors fell. Between that time and July, thirty shocks took place, the earth seemed to undulate, as if upon stupendous waves, rolling from the northwest. In some instances ponds were dried up, the courses of streams changed, trees torn up, and hills riven”.

March of 1669 Joseph had left Lynn for Pawtuxet, Rhode Island. He built and ran a sawmill and iron forge. He and his family were some of the first settlers and Joseph held different town, civil positions.

In 1689, with the governor of Rhode Island and others, Joseph signed the ‘Petition from the Governor and Council of Rhode Island, to their Majesties William and Mary, of England’ congratulating the new King and Queen of England and the colonies. “Most dread Sovereign : We your Majesties’ most humble subjects and supplicants of your Collony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England, having received the joyful tidings of both your Majesties’ safe arrival in England, after your so great and hazardous undertaking, for the good of the nation, to relieve them from Popery and arbitrary power; as also Concerning your accessions to the Crown”.
Annals of Lynn 1660 page 251: tried for treason

On Wikipedia with sources: Joseph Jenckes, Jr.

Annals of Lynn 1663 page 252: earthquakes

1663 Charlevoix earthquake

Records of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence plantations
Volume 3 page 258: a letter to  William and Mary