Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Great Granddad Minted America's First Coins


Joseph Jenks (Jenckes) -- my 11th great grandfather -- was born 26 Aug 1599 in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England; and died 16 March 1683 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Joseph settled in Lynn, Massachusetts by 1643, arriving as a widower. 

North America's First Patent

On March 6, 1646, he was awarded the first patent in North America by the General Court of Massachusetts, for making scythes. This basic scythe design remained in use for over 300 years. 

In 1654 he built the first fire engine in North America, commissioned by the city of Boston. The site of the Jenckes forge is at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site.

Pine Tree Coins

In 1652, Massachusetts was short of coinage for use in its internal commerce.  It decided to coin its own money, despite the fact that the English Policy, at least unofficially,prohibited the colonists from coining their own money. 

Joseph Jenks Sr was chosen to make the dies for striking the coins.  He made dies for threepenny pieces, sixpenny pieces and shillings.

They were to be of sterling silver, and by weight were to have five-sixths of the silver weight of the corresponding English coins.  This lesser weight would tend to prevent their export from the colony for their silver value. 

Each was stamped with "Massachussetts" and a pine tree on one side, and on the other side "New England, Anno 1652," together with the number of pence in Roman numerals. There is a story that Sir Thomas Temple, representing the interest of the Massachussetts Bay Colony,showed samples of the coins to King Charles II.

When the King asked what kind of tree was represented on the coins, Sir Thomas answered that it was a royal oak tree, the tree which saved the King's life. The King answered that the colonists were "a set of honest dogs," and proceeded with the business at hand.

Source above: History of the United States Patent Office, Chapter 2. Invention comes to British Colonial America

Our descendancy from Joseph is as follows:

Joseph Jenks (Jenckes) (1599 - 1683)
my 11th great grandfather

Joseph Jencks (1632 - 1716)
son of Joseph Jenks (Jenckes)

Elizabeth Jenckes (1658 - 1740)
daughter of Joseph Jencks

Elizabeth Tefft (1687 - 1750)
daughter of Elizabeth Jenckes

Elizabeth Carpenter (1703 - 1740)
daughter of Elizabeth Tefft

Solomon Brayman (Braman) (1723 - 1790)
son of Elizabeth Carpenter

William Brayman (Braman) (1753 - 1790)
son of Solomon Brayman (Braman)

Waterman F Brayman (1786 - 1865)
son of William Brayman (Braman)

Elvira W. Brayman (Pierce) (Corey) (1822 - 1909)
daughter of Waterman F Brayman

Marcus M Pierce (1842 - 1882)
son of Elvira W. Brayman (Pierce) (Corey)

Lillian Amanda Pierce (1867 - 1957)
daughter of Marcus M Pierce

Franklin 'Frank' Jackson Bailey (1886 - 1968)
son of Lillian Amanda Pierce

mom -- Velma Veda Bailey (1914 - 2004)
daughter of Franklin 'Frank' Jackson Bailey



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