Welcome to www.kennamer.com!

This page contains information and links to genealogical materials on the Kennamer family.  There are several common spelling variations of the family name, including Kennemer, Kennamer, Kennemur, Kennimer, Kenemore, Kennemore, Kenimer and others. We believe that all of these people in the United States can trace their ancestry to one man, Stephen Kennemar, who came to the U.S.  with his son, Jacob, in 1732.

Kennamer Reunion

The annual Kennamer Reunion is held in Kennamer Cove at the Kennamer Family Pavilion on land near the original Hans Kennamer farm. The 2011 and subsequent reunions will again be held on the first Saturday in August (August 2, 2014). The reunion normally begins in late morning, around 10:30, with a business meeting followed by a picnic-style lunch and an afternoon of visiting.

Everyone is welcome. If you would like to attend, please bring food, water or soft drinks for the luncheon. Additionally, while seating is available, many families prefer to bring their own folding chairs to sit in. The Association will provide trash bags and portable restrooms.

Due to the increasing cost of mailing and the time required to update the mailing list, a written reminder is no longer mailed. Information on future reunions will be available on this web site. Additionally, if you will provide Cheryl Kennamer with your email address, she will send an electronic reminder about the reunion in mid-July. You may give Cheryl your address at the reunion, or you may send it to her email account.

The family now also has a Facebook group. Reunion news will be announced there as well as on this web site.

The first Kennamer reunion was held on August 15, 1929. The upcoming one will be number 86. Kennamer Cove is near Woodville, between Huntsville and Scottsboro.  Click here for directions and maps.

A collection of minutes, newspaper articles and other materials on the reunions was assembled in 1976 by Ralph Kennamer. I've scanned it in, along with additional minutes through 2009. The minutes make for fascinating reading and are valuable sources for tracking down your relatives.  You can read them online or download them in Microsoft Word format. I'll add new minutes as they become available.

References

The Kennamer Family Association maintains the Kennamer Reunion pavilion and the adjoining Pisgah Cemetery. Its address is: Kennamer Family, 133 Kennamer Circle, Woodville, Alabama 35776. 

Anyone interested in Kennamer family history should get a copy of The Early History and European Origin of Kennemer (and Similar Spellings), written by Harkness Kenimer.  It is a 25-page monograph describing the basis for the author's conclusion that the Kennemer family originated in the Palatine area of Germany, in a small town named Oppau. He believes that the family descends from Stephen Kennemar who immigrated to Philadelphia in 1732. He also concludes that the original family name was probably Genheimer. By the kind permission of Mr. Kenimer, you can read it online or download it in Microsoft Word format. Wayne Kenimer has supplemented this material with a short genealogy and timeline. About 40 miles northwest of Oppau is a town named Genheim. As far as I know there isn't any documentation to back this up, but it is tempting to speculate that the family might have come from there to Oppau before the 15th century. An occupant of Genheim would have been called a Genheimer.

Another possibility for the original namereally a variant spelling of Genheimeris Gönnheimer, pronounced something like Kurnheimer.

The three main genealogies of the Kennamer family in the United States are:

bulletThe Kennamer Family, originally written by John R. Kennamer, Sr. and Lorrin Garfield Kennamer and published in 1924 by McQuiddy Printing Company in Nashville. A second edition was issued in 1973 by Woody A. and Nelda C. (Kennamer) Kelley and published by Commercial Printing Company in Birmingham. A reprint of the 1924 edition is also available. I ordered mine through Barnes & Noble. You can also order this book directly from Higginson Books on their website or by email. If you prefer to write, the address is 148 Washington Street, P.O. Box 778, Salem, MA 01970. Phone 978-745-7170. The cost is $58 for a paperback edition or $70 for a library binding, plus taxes and shipping fees. Note that this reprint edition doesn't have the very useful index that was added in the 1973 edition.
bulletKennamer Genealogies, compiled by Willard C. Kennamer and published in 1954 by Edwards Brothers in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  You can read the foreword and the introductory pages on the early history of the family here.
bulletThe Kennemer Book: A Great American Family, written 1982 by W. A. Kelley and N. C. Kelley and published in Gurley, Alabama by Concept VIII, Inc. Long out of print, occasionally a copy will turn up on eBay or a used-book store.

Other important references include:

bulletThe Kennamer Family Association Roll Book.
bulletThe Kennamer Family - A Short History. Lewis Page wrote this short monograph on how the Kennamer family came to Kennamer Cove. Mr. Page has also recently written a short history of Kennamer Cove.
bulletThe Story of Woodville, by John R. Kennamer, Sr. and published by East Alabama Publishing Co., Inc in Lanett, Alabama in 1950. This book is relevant to Kennamer family history because Hans Kennamer was one of the earliest settlers in the Woodville area. Kennamer's Cove, the site of the original Hans Kennamer farm and the location of the annual Kennamer Reunion,  is about three miles from Woodville. A portion of the book has been excerpted here.
bulletThe History of Jackson County Alabama, also by the prolific John R. Kennamer, Sr.. Published first in 1935, this book was reissued in 1993 by the Jackson County Historical Association, Post Office Box 1494, Scottsboro, Alabama. Books may be purchased for $20.00 at the Scottsboro Public Library or the Scottsboro-Jackson County Heritage Center.
bulletThe Family of James Allen Kennamer and Matilda (Maples) Kennamer, compiled by Alice Ruth Page in 1979.
bulletHistory of Union Cemetery, Woodville, Alabama, 1834-2005, written by Joann Thomas Elkin with assistance from Sue McLaughlin. This book is available for $60 (including shipping) from Sue McLaughlin, 4301 Running Pine Dr., League City, TX  77573-4746. You can also submit an order by email. A number of members of the Kennamer family are buried in Union Cemetery, just a few miles from Kennamer Cove.

An inventory of the burials at Pisgah Cemetery was compiled by the Pisgah Cemetery Committee in 1999.

In the last years of the 18th century, Hans Kennamer and his family lived for almost 40 years in Fairfield County, South Carolina.

Here is a passenger list from the ship Mary that brought the first two Kennamers to the US on September 26, 1732. See also Names of Foreigners Who Took the Oath of Allegiance to the Province and State of Pennsylvania: 1725 - 1775, William Henry Egle, M.D., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1892. Stephen Kennamer, age 60, is listed as having taken the oath of allegiance. He was traveling with his young son, Jacob, age 15 or 16.

I have a table that displays which states the family ended up in.

My cousin George Parks pointed out that the Bureau of Land Management has made available some of their early land patent and deed records, including many for land purchases in Kennamer Cove.

A little farther afield, there is a GenWeb site devoted to the history of Jackson County, where Woodville is located. Kennamer Cove itself is just over the border in Marshall County, which also has a GenWeb site. There is another for Fairfield County, South Carolina, where Hans and his family lived from about 1771 until 1807. None of these focus on the Kennamer family specifically, of course.

Ever wonder what all that third cousin twice removed stuff was about? Here is an article that explains it.

Kennamer Links

Mike Kennamer runs an interesting site that is called The Kennamer Cove,  with a lot of information about Kennamer Cove in North Alabama. There are directions, maps, pictures and information about local accommodations and attractions, including Steve and Cheryl Kennamer's Kennamer Cove Trading Post.

Bill A. Nichols's pages contain a great deal of information on Hans Kennamer and his descendants, including an extensive database of family members. If you are a Kennamer and want to trace your ancestry back to the 1400s, this is the best place to start. Mr. Nichols  has a page devoted to the early history of the family in Oppau, Germany, just outside Mannheim.

There are two on-line Gen-forum pages for discussing genealogical issues related to the Kennamer and Kennemer families.

Another interesting page is maintained by the Glad family. While they are mainly interested in other family names, they have a fairly extensive collection of genealogical records on members of the Kennamer family also. Tom Glad runs a mailing list for coordinating online research on the family. To subscribe, send email to KENNAMER-L-request@rootsweb.com. In the body of the message type only the word:  subscribe.

If you are aware of other sites that I should link to, please let me know. My email address is waltke@kennamer.com.

This page was last updated on 08/04/13.