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The Early History and European Origin of


(And Similar Spellings)


By Harkness Kenimer




The primary purpose of the work is to establish the European origin of the Kennemer ancestors. Therefore no American genealogical facts are given after the 1747 record of Jacob and his family in Maryland.

Genealogy in America has been ably documented by Willard C. Kennamer in his compilation Kennamer Genealogies and by Woody and Nelda Kelly in their publication The Kennemer Book – A Great American Family (2224 Skyline Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76114).

The publication names "Kennemer" in the title but equally represents other spellings of Kenemer, Kenimer, Kennamer, Kennamore, Kennemore, Kennemur, Kennimer, Kinnemore and others.

We acknowledge the assistance by Rudolf M. Gall who did most of the research in Germany. Herr Gall is Chairman of the Regional Group, District of Trier, German Society of Genealogical Research, Cologne. His address is: Cusanusstr. 22, 5500 Trier, Federal Republic of Germany. We have great admiration for Oscar Poller and his valuable genealogical records in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The German-American translating work by Anne E. Harland and the editing work by Doctor Florentine Hudson both of Atlanta, Georgia is very much appreciated. Leigh Kenimer Gowdy, Marjorie Kenimer Kinney and Thomas Kellerhoff were also most helpful.

The real heroes are our ancestors who responded to the lure of the New World and whose labors, together with those of their descendents, have transformed an almost empty continent into the world’s most powerful country.

The author, Harkness Terrell Kenimer, a retired real estate broker, resides at 3137-C South Flowers Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30341.



Earliest Germans

In 113 BC the Cimbri and Teuton tribes began a migration southward from their northern homeland, now Denmark and Sweden, probably because of the encroachment on their land by the sea. About 300,000 strong, they came southward into Yugoslavia and defeated a Roman army sent to intercept them. They then went into France where they defeated two more Roman armies and in 102 BC, a Roman army led by Marius defeated the invaders and pushed them back across the Rhine River.

Caesar described them as barbarians and early Roman writings portray them as fierce and uncouth. They were huge, tall men with powerful limbs, blue eyes, and reddish or blond hair. They were fearless and of great strength in the first onrush of battle but their staying power was limited due to inadequate battle discipline and training.

The Rhine River was the boundary between Gaul and Germany and was Rome’s northern frontier in Western Europe. The Rhine border held for many years until from 12 BC to 9 AD when Emperor Augustus mounted a series of campaigns to extend the Rhine boundary eastward to the Elbe River. The Germans defeated three Roman legions under Publius Varus in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest and the Romans pulled back to the Rhine which halted Roman plans to conquer Germany.

In the border towns and areas of the Rhine and Danube Rivers, the Germans became rather Romanized and vice versa and many Germans served in Roman armies and there were many German generals and other important officers in the Roman army that received lands and titles for such service.


The Franks defeated the last great Roman army in Gaul in 486 AD and by 507 AD their King Clovis ruled over most of Gaul and the Western part of Germany and was the political organizer of both France and Germany. He converted to orthodox Catholic Christianity instead of the Arian Christianity that other German tribes embraced. He won the support of the Catholic clergy and opened the door of Germany for the Roman Catholic Religion.

In 718, Pope Gregory II called on the English missionary St. Boniface to preach the word of God to the German tribes. He established many abbeys and in 723 became bishop, primate of Germany and representative of the Pope.

Charlemagne, who ruled from 768 o 814, advanced the Frankish border to the Elbe River. He defeated the warlike Saxons after 30 years of war and forced them to accept Christianity. His defeat paved the way for the religious conversion and civilization of Germany. A grateful Pope Leo III made Charlemagne the Emperor on Christmas Day, 800. Under Charlemagne, churchmen were depended upon to carry out political duties. Large and wealthy feifs were granted to bishops and abbots and the institution of ecclesiastical principalities was founded.

In about 1200, all of Germany had become the Holy Roman Empire. In 1220 Frederick II granted almost complete independence to the German Catholic Church. The clergy was exempt from taxation and from lay jurisdiction and the ecclesiastical princes were almost independent monarchs. From 1198 to 1216 under Pope Innocent III, nearly every European ruler submitted to the power and authority of the Catholic Church.

In 1231 Frederick II granted great latitude to the German princes giving them control over local justice and other royal prerogatives. The land along the Rhine River was so divided up that it became either ecclesiastical principalities or belonged to small princelings. Most of the land and all of the power was in the hands of the church, the electoral princes, the lesser princes and some middle-class burghers of the prosperous German towns. The majority of the population, the peasantry, was burdened beyond endurance by dues and various levies by both state and church. Most peasants were practically slaves and were forced to stay on their landlord’s estates as serfs.

Religious Changes

Religious changes had been brewing for many years and now centered around the careers of Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) and John Calvin (1509 – 1564). The teachings of martin Luther helped spark the Peasant’s War of 1524 – 1525, the greatest uprising in Germany’s history and all of Germany felt the impact of the revolt. The peasants stormed the castles and forced the nobles to grant their demands. Martin Luther failed to support their campaign and the revolt was put down with such great brutalities that the peasantry was eliminated as a political force for the next 300 years or so.

Lutheranism and Calvinism did however spread to the educated classes, especially the local rulers which resulted in the formation of several Lutheran states with some areas switching back and forth between Catholic and Protestant.

The Thirty Years War, which began as a civil war between the Catholics and Protestants, was waged from 1618 – 1648. Before the end, most of the nations of Europe were involved. This war devastated Germany and killed more than half of the people. It took about 200 years for the nation to recover causing many people to leave for a new life in America. The Palatinate area was very hard hit and soldiers were not content to plunder but committed terrible acts of mayhem on the people. After devastation by advancing soldiers, retreating soldiers renewed the misery. The period of 1625 and 1636, especially miserable, was followed by a famine in 1625 – 1638 adding to the suffering, even reducing the starving people to cannibalism.

With the Peace of Westphalia in 1649, the upper Palatinate was given to the Duke of Bavaria and renamed Bavaria. The new electoral title of Palatinate was created for Karl Ludwig. This Palatinate area again became a battlefield in the war between France and Holland in 1674 – 1675. The French general Turenne devastated it to keep it useless to his enemies. Again in 1685, France laid claim to a large part of the area and continued the devastation started by Turenne, even plowing up the fields and cutting down the orchards.

Recatholization of the Palatinate

The French hostilities ended about 1693 and, as the French has supported the Catholics in the Thirty Years War, all of the Reformed and Lutheran churches, parsonages and schoolhouses had been put in the hands of the Catholic order. The Treaty of Ryswick in 1679 ended the war but the Protestants were compelled to accept the status quo of these Catholic usurpations. In effect, the Palatinate had again fallen into Catholic hands. The Protestant pastors and schoolmasters were driven away or thrown into prison. Hundreds of persecutions on persons and property were made and acts of corruption, tyranny, extravagance and heartlessness on the part of the Palatinate rulers were heaped upon the Protestants. While the country was on the verge of ruin, costly palaces were built and enormous retinues were maintained. While pastors and teachers were starving, hundreds of court officers lived in luxury and idleness. The burden of feudalism still lay heavy upon the peasants and the chasm between them and the upper classes became more and more widened.

Perhaps the proverbial "straw that broke the camel’s back" was the severe winter of 1708 – 1709 in this area – probably the worse winter storm in history as recorded at that time. The precise temperature is not known, as Gabriel Fahrenheit did not invent the mercury thermometer until 1714.

This bitter cold caused animals to freeze in their tracks and birds to freeze while in flight. Even portions of the ocean were frozen. The cutting and gathering of firewood was impossible and many people froze to death. This disaster was perhaps one of the most pressing reasons that England began accepting refugees from this area, as will be discussed in the following pages.

The movement of the Palatines to America and other countries due to religious oppression has perhaps been overworked. There were several reasons: (1) War, (2) The recatholization of the Palatinate, (3) The great poverty and (4) The severe winter of 1708 – 1709.



In sympathy with the German peasants, England passed the Naturalization Act of March 23, 1709. Thirteen thousand Protestant peasants, about one-half from the Palatinate area, immigrated to London before the end of 1709. They had no money and were in rags. They were housed in empty warehouses and army tents while the hard-pressed authorities sought a solution for their settlement.

Some were sent to Ireland to strengthen the Protestant cause there but many of these returned to England because of unkind treatment and the lack of opportunities.

In 1709, 3,000 were sent in ten ships to New York. They were closely packed, had poor food and suffered and epidemic of typhus. One sixth, or about 500, died on this long, hard trip.

They were located on land in the area of Mohawk, New York, by a scheme to produce naval stores for the British Navy with the profits from the venture going toward repaying the government for their transportation, subsistence and other costs. When expenses exceeded profits the result was perpetual serfdom.

Instead of the forty acres that each family expected, small lots were given to build huts and establish gardens. The people could not leave the land and had to engage in the production of naval stores. They rebelled at this unsatisfactory situation and soldiers were sent in to establish control.

The land was not productive as the trees would not produce rosin and the project was closed down about 1712. The settlers were left to shift for themselves. Some of them moved to Schoharie, New York, and were victims of faulty titles and land disputes.

In 1722, Sir William Keith, Governor of Pennsylvania, learning of the distressed conditions of the people while visiting Albany, offered them asylum in Pennsylvania. In 1723, some of them went overland to the upper waters of the Susquehanna River following the river southwards into Pennsylvania near Lancaster turning into the Swatara River, following its upward course into Berks Country and founding their first settlement which they named Heidelberg.

Here they were happy and prosperous and drew thousands of their fellow Palatines from Germany. For the next twenty years, about 50,000 settlers emigrated to York, Lebanon, Berks and Lehigh Counties in Pennsylvania. So many of these settlers were from the Palatinate area that the name Palatine was used as a general term for all German emigrants and in Philadelphia from 1727 to 1734 all emigrants were listed as Palatines.

An examination of present day Pennsylvania maps shows numerous German-sounding names of towns and cities in this and adjoining areas.



Staffa Kenama (Staffen/Stephen Kennemar) and his son Jacob arrived in Philadelphia on September 26, 1732, on the English ship Mary of London, whose Master, John Gray, sailed from Rotterdam with a stop at Cowes. There were 61 men and 122 of their family members. There are three lists: (A) the ship’s captain list; (B) a list of signers of the oath of allegiance; and (C) a list of signers of the oath of abjuration. None of the lists provide a country of origin of the passengers. These lists may be found in Ralph Strassburger’s Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Pennsylvania German Society, Noristown, Pennsylvania, published in 1934. (Kenama/Kennemar listed on pages 93 – 96.)

Excepts of the lists are given below. There is great divergence in the spelling of the two lists. The ship’s scribe and the port authorities had great difficulty with the German language and German dialects.

Ship’s Captain List

Staffa Kenama Age 60 Staffen (SY) Kennemar *
Jacob Kenama Age 16 Oath not required
Christain Clinger Age 26 Christain (O) Cling
Hance Jereck Cole Age 26 Joh. Georg Kohl
Jacob Hoak Age 25 Jacob (X) Hauk
Table Kees Age 20 Dewald (O) Kase
Hansad Miller Age 23 Hans Adam Miller
Simon Miller Age 25 Simon Muller
Hance Jerck Mineer Age 26 Hance Jerreck (X) Miner
Anders Moser Age 24 Andreas (M) Moser
Albright Strows Age 20 Abrecht Strauss
Nicolas Taller Age 45 Nicholas (O) Staller
Henrick Teaney Age 19 Hance Henrick (X) Tany
Jacob Triopare Age 22 Jacob Dreibelbiss
Rhinehold Ysel Age 32 Thyholl (O) Ezle

The fact that some subjects signed with a mark (e.g., X) does not necessarily mean that they were illiterate. It is possible that they could write only in German script that the English could not read. They all subscribed to the oath of allegiance required in this area.

Oath of Allegiance: We subscribers, natives and late inhabitants of the Palatinate upon the Rhine and places adjacent…will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his present Majesty, King George the Second, and his successors, Kings of Great Britain, and will be faithful to the proprietor of this Province: and will demean ourselves peaceably…and strictly observe and conform to the laws of England and of this province.



There is no further record of Stephen and it is assumed that he died. The next record available is that of Jacob being married and living in Codorus, York County Pennsylvania. His wife is named Barbara and his children are as follows:

ANNA MARIA GANNEMER was born on February 17, 1741, and baptized August 1, 1741. The father is recorded as JACOB GANNEMER of Codorus and sponsors are listed as Urlich Buehler and his wife. (Recorded on page 18 of Early Lutheran Baptisms and Marriages in Southeastern Pennsylvania; the Records of John Casper Stoever from 1730 to 1779, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, MD.) Rev. Stoever was born December 21, 1707, in Luedorff, Solinger Amt, Duchy Berg, Unter Pfaltz, Germany. He arrived in Philadelphia September 11, 1728.

JOHN GENEMER: Baptism recorded March 18, 1745, and no birth date was given. Parents are recorded as JACOB AND BARBARA GENEMER. Sponsors recorded as John and Barbara Becker. (Recorded in the records of Rev. Jacob Lischy, York County, Pennsylvania, 1744-1769. Courtesy of the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society, Lancaster, PA.) Rev. Lischy was born in Muhlhausen in southwest Germany and arrived at Philadelphia May 28, 1742. At this same service, Ann Barbara Mueller was baptized. She was the daughter of Simon and Veronica Muller and the sponsors were Jacob and Barbara Genemer. This is very likely the same Simon Muller that emigrated on the ship Mary with Jacob.


Jacob and his family moved to Maryland sometime before 1747. There is a land deed recorded in Maryland whereas JACOB KENNEMARS acquired 25 acres of land in 1747. Another deed shows where JACOB KENNAMAR AND HIS WIFE BARBARA sold the land in 1751. The deed was executed by Jacob with his mark (X).



Prior genealogy work on the European origin has centered around Kinheim, a district of northern Holland, also known as Kennemerland. Kenheim properly suggests the place name Kenheimer, the "er" being a frequent ending to a place name. This theory has been discarded because the Christian names of Stephen and Jacob are not Dutch at all. In Pennsylvania there was no important Dutch influence. It was common for English people to call all Germans "Dutch" or "Dutchman" because the German word for German is Deutsch, pronounced as "Dutch", and the German word for Germany is "Deutcheland." To say "speak German" is "sprechen Deutsch." Most Dutch emigrants settled in New York and New Jersey.

Jacob's son John being baptized by Rev. Lischy who was a Reformed minister is not unusual, as Lutheran ministers were not always available. The Dutch did not give support to Rev. Lischy or the Dutch Reformed Church or the Reformed Church of Holland due to the strong German influence in Pennsylvania and there was no Dutch Reformed Church in this area at that time. Only one being later established in Conewago, 1768-1800.

KINHEIM, GERMANY has also been suggested as a possibility of the place name Kenheimer. Kinheim in Germany is located on the river Mosel near the Luxembourgh border. In 1732, Kinheim belonged to the electorate (Kurfurstentem) of Treves (Trier) and was completely Catholic. These Protestant ancestors could not have originated here and the immigration authorities in Philadelphia and Cowes did not allow Catholics to emigrate at that time. There are no references to Kennamer, or similar spellings, in the church register of Kinheim.

Genealogy matters in the Palatinate Area are in the City of Ludweigshafen and no references to "Kennamer" or similar spellings were found there. Since most family members have used the "KEN" surname, it is natural that the genealogical search should be in areas such as Kinheim in Holland and Germany. Perhaps "GEN" instead of "KEN" should have been researched for the following reasons:

A foremost authority on German names is Doctor George F. Jones, Professor of German languages at the University of Maryland and the author of many books and publications about Germans and Germany, including the book: German-American Names. Regarding the Kennemer problem he writes as follows:


The Palatinate Area in Germany in 1700 was less than 3,500 square miles situated on both sides of the Rhein River extending from below Cologne to below Spires. The capital was Heidelberg and the main cities were Mayence, Spires, Mannheim and Worms. Situated between France and the rival German Princes, it was subject to war, conquest and re-conquest. A portion of the Palatinate is shown on the map here.

Research in the Palatinate Area leads one to the town of Genheim, now Gonnheim, shown on the map. Also, in the immediate vicinity of Ludweigshafen there are towns by the names of Fussgonheim and Rheingonheim. In 1730, the population called these towns Genheim.

Here are the towns and the vicinity supporting.the family place name of GENHEIMER.

A further search leads to the village of Oppau in the Ludweigshafen Area.

Oskar Poller writes in his book The History of the City of Ludweigshafen - The Population of Oppau and Edigheim, 1480-1813:

Poller's book discusses the restitution of catholization and due to the court fights involved there was no Catholic church building and the Catholic services were held in a very small room in the city hall which was constructed in 1731.

There was a Reformed church with very few members and services were held until about 1740 when they were discontinued due to a denominational dispute. Oppau was the residence of members of the Netherlands Reformed church and the French Reformed church, most of these were in the military services.

There is no reference to any other German Protestant church or church service and the reasons for this are outlined in the preceding history chapter.

There was a custom station at Oppau and there were workers from abroad and from other parts of Germany for construction work on the Rhine River canal.



The documentation herein conclusively show that Staffa Kenama or Staffen/Stephen Kennemar who arrived in Philadelphia September 26, 1732, with his son Jacob is in fact the same Hans Stephen Genheimer that we recorded herein. The Institute for Palatinate History, which deals extensively with emigrants from the Palatinate, states in a letter of June 18, 1990:

Reproduced below is the Item 1029 on page 150 of Oskar Poller's book, The History of the City of Ludwigshafen, the Population of Oppau and Edigheim, 1480-1813.

Hans Stephen Genheimer was born in Oppau in 1678, was widowed in 1708 after having been married to Catharina Volcker. A son Jacob was born in Oppau October 21, 1714. Anna Elizabeth was born in 1717. Hans Stephen is mentioned in the tax list of 1721 as lessee of the Schonauer Estate in Oppau, and was mayor of Oppau in 1708. The census of 1721 shows that he owned six and one-half quarters of land and owned 90 Fl. (old German monetary unit).

The name of Elizabeth Schneidler, following Jacob's record of birth is puzzling, as she is mentioned in another place by Poller as the Godmother of Jacob Genheimer.

The last two lines stating that Stephen Gonnheimer emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1711 is in error which is explained below:


Hans Velten Genheimer, father of Stephen Genheimer, is recorded in entry 1026 on page 149 of Oskar Poller's book "The History of the City of Ludweigshafen - The Population of Oppau and Edigheim." 1480-1813. This entry is reproduced below:

    1. Hans Georg, Tz. 1713 - 1745 (s. Nr. 1027)
    2. Hans Peter, 1681 Beständer auf dem Schönauer Hofgut Oppau
    3. Hans Stephan, * 1678, 1708 im Gerichtsbuch Oppau genannt
    1. Adam's Wwe. 1733 in Oppau, Schwester des Jörg G ö n n h e i m e r, Deutschhofbeständer.

Hans Velten (a/k/a Johann Valentin) Genheimer was born in about 1620 at Nordheim near Worms. He lived in Oppau and was a farmer and a hunter. He married Anna Marie Schmaltz October 9, 1645, in Oppau. There were three children including Hans Stephen. The subject matter in the registry is compiled from different sources and there is a court record involving Anna Marie who had a fight with a neighbor's wife and was fined two (? money units), which Velten tried unsuccessfully to have abated as he alleged that the neighbor's wife had stolen a bag of sausage from him, which he could not prove. Velton owned no land but leased a farm in Oppau for 20 years.

In volume 3 of the book Pfalzische Familien - und Wappenkunde (Genealogy and Heraldry) published by the working group for Genealogy in the Palatinate-Rhineland, there is this reference.



In Poller's record, Stephen was born in 1678 and he would be 54 years old at the 1732 Philadelphia landing. The ship scribe recorded his age as 60. These ages are surely compatible. The captain or the scribe could not have understood Stephen and just entered an estimate.

Jacob's birth date is recorded in the Poller record as October 21, 1714 which would make him 17 or 18 on the 1732 date. He was listed on the ship list as 16. Here again, the ages are compatible and the matter of an estimate by the ship scribe is present. Doctor Gall suggests that it was customary for young men to list their age at 16 in order to avoid possible military conscription as some young men were sold as soldiers to the British and Dutch for colonial wars in America and elsewhere.


Their children as shown on baptism records are JOHN and ANNA MARIA. Jacob's grandmother, wife of Hans Velten Genheimer, was named ANNA MARIA. His grandfather was also known as JOHN (Johann) Valentin.


It was customary for several families and friends to band together for the trip down the Rhine to Holland. The trip would take 4 to 6 weeks and there were many hazards and delays. Fees and tolls were demanded and the Elector Palatine could forbid departure and have the passengers seized and imprisoned. It was not a journey to be taken by one person or one family. Passengers on the emigration ships often came from the same areas, often from the same town and very frequently were related to one another or were friends.

Gall checked the passenger list of the ship Mary with families from Oppau and Edigheim as reported in the books by Doctor Poller and shows as follows:

Jocab Dreibelbiss Johann Jacob Treibelbiss from Hasslock was born April 10, 1709
Rheinhold Ezle The name Exel recorded in Edigheim
Jacob Hoak/Hauk The family Hauck/Haugk in Edigheim since 1572
Dewald Kase Joh. Kass recorded in Oppau in 1717 and 1718
Christain Kling Christopher Kling mentioned under taxes in 1627
Joh. Georg Kohl Abraham Kohl in Oppau mentioned in 1706
Hans Adam Miller Conrad Miller came from Badenburg to Oppau in 1729
Andreas Moser Had children baptized in Oppau in 1729
Nicholas Staller Strahl lived in Edigheim. Witnessed a baptism in 1715. Father is Frederick Strahl in Edigheim
Albrecht Strauss Matthias Strauss pays taxes in Edigheim in 1717. Married in 1715 and has three children
Hance Heinrich Came from Florsheim
Tany/Teaney Came from Edigheim
Jacob Walther Phillip Walther mentioned in 1717 in Oppau

It is obvious that numerous passengers on the ship Mary in 1732 came from the Oppau and Edigheim and traveled together with Stephen and Jacob.


On both the oath of allegiance and the oath of abjuration Stephen signed his name with the mark (SY). This does not imply that he could not write but possibly that he could only write in a German script that the English could not read. The question then is why the "SY" instead of the usual "X"


Rudolf M. Gall researched housemarks and published an article "Housemarken in Morscheid" ((Housemarks in (village of) Morscheid)). These housemarks are based on a very old German custom by which houses, tools, equipment and other items are marked. Very few people could read or write and housemarks were in wide use. Notes, records and documents were also signed in this manner of marking and had good legal standing. In many instances these markings became the bases for family crests.

Examples of these housemarks from Doctor Gall's study are shown on the previous page [not reproduced in this copy]. The marks were passed from generation to generation. For instance, if the "Y" was for the Genheimer family, "SY" would be Stephen's mark and "JY" would be Jacob's mark and so forth.


In the book Pfalzische Familien und Wappenkunde (Genealogy and Heraldry) published by the Working Group for Genealogy in the Palatinate-Rhineland, Volume four dealing with the years 1467-1603 is a chronological list of persons excerpted from court records in Oppau. A JACOB GENHEIMER is listed under the year 1482. This is the earliest Genheimer record found.


The German section of the Atlanta, Georgia, registry of the Genealogical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints contains no references to Kennamer, or similar spellings. There are several references to Goennheimer with Christian names as follows:

In the town of Eppstein (near Oppau): There is Antionius, Conrad, Damianus, Elizabethane and Franciscum.

In Roxheim (near Oppau): There is Barbaram.

In Edemkobe (near Spever): There is Johann.

In Mimbach (not located): There is Valentin.

There would be many more persons with the name of Goennheimer and this could be a fairly common name in the Genheim/Gonneheim area.



Genheimer, Jacob: Born Oct 21, 1714 in Oppau, Germany. Married Barbara ? between 1732 and 1745. Died in America after emigrating in 1732.

Genhiemer, Hans Stephen: Born about 1678 in Oppau, Germany. Widower in 1708 after having been married to Catharina Volker. Mentioned in tax list 1721 as lessee of Schonauer estate in Oppau. Was mayor of Oppau. Died in America after having emigrated in 1732.

Volker, Catharina. Wife of Hans Stephen Genhiemer. Born about 1685. Daughter of Lorenz Volker, born about 1645 in Edigheim.

Genheimer, Hans Velten. A/k/a Johan Valentin Genheimer. Born about 1620 at Nordheim. Lived in Oppau as a farmer and hunter. Married Anna Maria Schmaltz on October 9, 1645 in Oppau. Died about 1709 at Oppau.

Schmaltz, Anna Maria. Wife of Hans Velten Genhiemer. Born about 1625 at Oppau. Daughter of Sebastain Schmaltz, who was born about 1585 outside of the Palatinate.

Jacob’s surname has been variously recorded s "Kennama" on the ship’s list; "Kennemar" on his father’s oath list; "Gannemer" on Stoever’s 1741 baptism record: "Genemer" on Lischy’s 1745 baptism record and "Kennemars" and "Kennamar" on the 1747 Maryland deeds. Jacob has a son John as noted above, and according to other researchers, has a son "Hance Kennemur" born around 1738 and a son "George Kinnemore" born around 1742. These are the forefathers of all of us in America today. The divergences in the surname spellings were not unusual at that early time due to illiteracy and language differences.


This documented study establishes the European origin of the American Kennemer families and establishes that Hans Stephen Genheimer and his son Jacob are the same persons as Stephen and Jacob Kenama/Kennemar who emigrated to America on the ship Mary arriving at Philadelphia September 26, 1732.

Stephen at the advanced age of 55 to 60 years, oppressed and persecuted in his native land, chose to travel with his son Jacob to a new wilderness with the intention of establishing there a new life in direct opposition to his life in the old country.

They were not colonists sent out at the expense of the mother country nor were they the vagabonds, convicts or paupers sent by those who used the American colonies as a dumping ground for undesirables.

Stephen, a land owner and a man of some importance in his small German village, came as a free man who paid his own way and joined others in conquering a wilderness largely by their own unaided efforts.

The Palatines in this Pennsylvania frontier by diligence and hard work made this area as prosperous and successful as any area in America. These hardy people were the foundation of our country and we are very proud of this fine heritage.

The tracing of our ancestor has consumed many hours over many years. It is like a detective story - many false leads are followed and abandoned. Then a clue is discovered that finally leads to the solution. It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun. If you find satisfaction and enjoyment we are rewarded.


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