The first known members of the Genheimer Family arrived at Philadelphia on the ship Mary in 1732. They were from the Palatinate Region of Germany by way of Rotterdam, Holland. The Philadelphia port authorities did not understand the German language.
Stephen, age 60, was registered as Haffa Kenama. Jacob, age 16, became Jacob Kenama.
Previous arrivals from the Palatinate were living in York County, Pennsylvania.
The authorities directed these arrivals to also settle in York County. Nothing more is known of Stephen.
Jacob Gannamer, his wife Barbara and children were living in the Codorus Settlement of York County in 1841. By 1745, the family name was Genemer. In 1747, Jacob Kennamer bought land in Maryland. In 1751, Jacob Kennemore sold this land.
In 1752, Jacob Canamore was granted a survey of 350 acres by the South Carolina authorities.
This land was in the Broad River Valley near present Winnsboro, Fairfield County. The Boshart Family lived in Newberry County adjoining Fairfield County on the west. In Fairfield County, some members of the Ganamer Family were affiliated with the religious society Baptist River Brethren or Dunkers.
Jacob and Barbara are probably buried in Fairfield County, South Carolina. Their three sons, Hans, John and George, are the progenitors of the members of the Kennamer Family - and similar spellings - in the world today.
Hans and Rachel Kennemur lived at Salem Crossroads, Fairfield County, South Carolina. John and Elizabeth Kenimer lived in Fairfield County before moving to Easley, Pickens County, South Carolina. The George Canomore Family settled at Liberty, South Carolina.
Because Hans and Rachel Kennamur are buried in Pisgah Cemetery, the remainder of this essay will be about how they came to this beautiful cove.
The War for American Independence ended with Treaty of Paris in 1783. The treaty signed, by representatives of the British Government and the fledging thirteen colonies, gave the young nation the land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River. The settlement of this land is referred to as the Westward Movement in American History. The Hans Kennamur Family was a part of this movement.
For their helping the colonies during the War of Independence, the Cherokee Indians were allowed to establish an independent nation within the United States. The capital of the Cherokee Nation was Echota. This was near present Calhoun, Georgia. There was a mounted police force to prevent white settlers from entering the Cherokee Nation. The land in the Cherokee Nation was the southern part of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. The land in the Big Bend of the Tennessee River in North Alabama was included in the Cherokee Nation.
In 1805-06, the Cherokees ceded back to the United States the land in present Lauderdale County, Limestone County and the western part of Madison County.
Mississippi became a territory in 1806. The land in the Mississippi territory included most of the present Alabama. The ceded land in the Big Bend became a part of the Mississippi Territory. The Cherokee land in Eastern Madison County and in Jackson County was never a part of the Mississippi Territory.
The opening of the new land in the Big Bend was good news for members of the Hans Kennamur Family.
From Kennamer Genealogies, by Willard C. Kennamer, I quote, "On October 8, 1807, members of the Hans Kenamur family sold 484 acres of land for $200.00. In the fall of 1807, he moved his large family to the Maysville and Brownsboro neighborhood of the Flint River." This move is a historical fact.
The boundary line between the Cherokee Nation and Madison County, Mississippi Territory was about two miles east of the Flint River. The land on which the members of the Hans Kennamur Family settled was in Madison County, but very near the boundary between the United States and the Cherokee Nation.
As a student of Historical Geography, this writer has pondered the following question many times. How did the Hans Kennamur Family wagon train travel more than three hundred miles in about two months? There were thirty members of the family. Their ages were from 6 months to 69 years.
It is this writers' opinion that they came through the Cherokee Nation with permission from the Cherokee Mounted Police. How was this possible since the police were supposed to prevent white settlers from entering the Cherokee Nation? This question will be answered later in this essay.
The historians of our family by mutual consent agreed not to publicly discuss specific subjects. In correspondence, John R. and Willard C. Kennamer agreed not to publish anything that would embarrass or bring reproach on the family. This writer read some of that correspondence before it burned in the museum fire.
Cousin Willard was of the opinion that Rachel, the wife of Hans, and Elizabeth, the wife of John, were of Cherokee blood. There were several reasons for this belief. First, after extensive research in the South Carolina archives, he could not find a last name for Rachel, nor for Elizabeth. Second, he did not find a record of the marriage of Hans nor of John. Third, before 1810, John and Elizabeth settled in the Cherokee village of Villanow. This village was near Echota, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Fourth, after living in Madison County, Mississippi Territory for approximately eight years, Hans and Rachel, with six of their children, settled in this cove with the Cherokee Indians.
Kennamer Genealogies, by Willard Clifton Kennamer. 1954 ed.
The Kennamer Family, by John Robert Kennamer & Lorrin Garfield Kennamer. 1924 ed. The Kennemer Family by Woody & Nelda Kelley. 1982 ed.
History of Alabama, by Albert Moore. 1934 ed.
Alabama A History of the Deep South, by Rogers, Ward, Atkins & Flynt. 1994 ed.
Unpublished Research, by Lewis W. Page, Sr.
For distribution at the August 4, 2007 reunion of the Kennamer Family Association, Inc.
Lewis Wendell Page, Sr.