Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shinn Family


"The exact date of the landing of the Shinns in England may never be determined. The name is proved to be Anglo-Saxon. This conclusion is fortified by the fact that the name "Schyn," and "Shyn," has been found in Bavaria, Holland and Bohemia. One of the earliest historians of the Moravians was Herman "Schyn," "Shyn" or "Schynn." He was a resident of Holland, and brought out his work about 1728. The various spelling of names need not give us much trouble, inasmuch as each record is but an effort of a different man to reproduce in type or in letters the sounds which come to his ear. In an early English record of births, deaths and marriages, taken from the Church at Mildenhall, Suffold, England, the name Shinn is spelled in three ways between 1636 and 1670. And at an earlier day than that which knew Herman Shinn the "Schynns" are found among the knights of Bohemia, engaged up on both side of the struggle known as the "Hussite Wars.""

Place names of the early Saxon settlements:

Anglo-Saxon = Sinningas; German = Siningas.

"Sinningas means descendants of Sinn or Sinna. The addition of the `h' was misused, which is common in English, such as the same principle of Washington being from Wassengatun. Research of the name Shinn came in with the Saxons and has lived in England for more than twelve hundred years. The prior history is in the Teutonic tribes in the early centuries of life North of the Rhine."

The change from "Senn" to "Schin" is happily illustrated in the present village "Schinsnach," in the Canton Aargan, Switzerland, one of the old seating places of the Cenni. One of the noble families of Switzerland is still known by the name Schein." Its English antiquity is of the highest rank, and covers a period of fifteen centuries."

"I conclude this chapter with a series of variations, originating in the old Saxon word Sinn, and passing through successive mutations of pronunciation and orthography, and culminating by its own inherent power into the final form Shinn. This series is: Shinn, Shin,

There are four large volumes of census records taken during the eleventh century, immediately after the Conquest, in England. This was so the Lords and Landers (land owners), would have the number of serfs and peasants, to know how much he would be collecting in taxes. But, the peasant's point of view was: if your name was written in the book it could doom you, even to death. Mr. Josiah Shinn found the name Sinn, Scnne, and Sinna in the Domesday of time. Designating close enough the name Shinn of that time.

Mr. Josiah Shinn continues with: "In the nineteenth century the spelling crystallized into the Shinn in England and America; for the first twenty years of the eighteenth century it was Sheen or Shene, after which it became Shinn; in the seventeenth century it was Sheen or Shene; in the fourteenth and the early part of the fifteenth century it was anything that pleased the fancy of the writer, and appeared as Shyn, Shin, Shine, Shene, Sheen Sheene, Shynn, and Shynne. In the latter part of the eleventh century, as is shown by Book of Domes, it was Shinn, Sinne or Sinna."


In the Royal Book of Crests for Great Britain and Ireland, edited by Jos. McLean, published by Knight & Butler, London, the family crest of the Sheen family is registered in England.

"Heraldry is a relic of the feudal ages, where it was employed to display the exploits of chivalry. Armorial bearings were the symbolic language of Europe. The plume of "Royal Crests" above referred to has this language: A crest is the uppermost part of an armory. The crest is deemed a greater mark of nobility than the armory, as it was worn at tournaments, to which none were admitted until they had given strong proofs of their magnanimity. Hence the word crest is, figuratively, used for spirit or courage. The original purpose of a crest was to make a commander known to his men in battle. The crest was worn by the knight on his helmet and was sometimes adopted as the sole armorial bearing.

"The SHANNS of Tadcaster, York, whose pedigree begins in 1726, have similarity of the crest that would indicate a family tie of some kind. The revel's head enfiled upon a sword seems to set a value to a tradition of Germany that the `Scheins' were the fiercest knights in the Hussite Wars. It is said that they literally `skinned' their victims alive."

" Vanity on the part of the descendants enabled them to adopt any armory they chose, and in after years when the right to use a crest and armory was brought under some kind of regulation, the blandishments of these descendants were strong enough to overcome the scruples of the herald."

An explanation: "A manor was a landed property held by a lord or a great personage, who lived on a part of the land and sublet the remainder by what was called a copyhold, or lease. The Conqueror granted all Suffolk to a few of his great lords. They in turn created many copyhold estates. The extravagance of their descendants led them, or forced them to convert many of this copyhold in freehold, or fee simple estates. The SHINNS acquired wealth by peaceful pursuits, and thus became freeholders in Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire and Devonshire."


There is no better source for the Shinn family than HISTORY OF THE SHINN FAMILY IN EUROPE AND AMERICA, by Josiah H. SHINN, A. M., published by The Genealogical and Historical Publishing Company in 1903. The following history of the Shinn family is from Mr. Shinn's book. New family lines have been added from where he finished his history in 1903 and include our immigrant, John Shinn.

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In 1664 Charles II, of England, granted to his brother, James, Duke of York, a part of the territory wrested from the Dutch in the American colonies. On June 23rd of 1664, the Duke conveyed a portion of this land to John Lord BERKELEY, Baron of STRATTON, and Sir George CARTERET of Satrum, in the County of Devon. This "deed" was the first to put down lines for boundaries of New Jersey. They named this area, "Nova Cesarea, or New Jersey."

The Baron and Sir George, drew up a constitution, which they called "The Concessions and Agreements of the Lords, Proprietors of the Province of New Caesarea, or New Jersey, to and with All and Every of the New Adventurers and All Such as Settle or Plant There," for the colony, which gave equal privileges and liberty to all. This continued in effect until the division of the province, in 1676. It appointed Philip CARTERET as Governor. To encourage growth of the population, lands were almost given away to anyone who would settle there. Those signing this concession were:

William PENN, William EMLEY, Henry STACY, John THOMPSON, Andrew THOMPSON, Thomas OLIVEl, Mahlon STACY, Robert STACY, Thomas EVES, Samuel JENNINGS, Thomas BUDD, among 151 that signed.

In 1677, spring of that year, two hundred and thirty Quakers left London on the ship Kent for West Jersey. The emigrants were from London and Yorkshire in England. They named the settlement New Beverly, later named Bridlington after a town in Yorkshire, before the final name of Burlington was settled upon. The general list of emigrants in the years of 1678 and 1680, John Sheen is a passenger, along with a Clement SHEEN.

In the minutes of the Mens Monthly Meeting of Quakers of Burlington, New Jersey, in 1680, dated "7th of ye 12th Month." Jno. SHIN is among the names. Others named were: Thomas BUDD, Willm PEACHEE, Wm BRIGHTWEN, Tho. GARDNER, Robt STACY, John HOLLINGSHEAD, Robt POWELL, Jno. BURTON, Saml JENNINGS, Jno WOOLSTON, Daniel LEEDS, John BUTCHER, Henry GRUBB, Wm. BUTCHER, Seth SMITH, Walter PUMPHREY, Tho. ELLIS, James SATERTHWATE, Mahlon STACY, Thos. LAMBERT, Jno. KINSEY, Jno. STACY, Jon. PAYNE.

"There is always room for error in conjectural pedigrees, but in this case the conjecture is reduced to a minimum, viz., the marriage of Clement SHINN, who is recorded on the register as born 11/12/1593; the register says nothing of his marriage nor of his death. He evidently removed from the parish, married elsewhere, and had children; this view is strengthened by the fact that John Shinn, the emigrant to New Jersey, who was accompanied by a Clement SHEEN, lived at Albury in Hertfordshire. Clement may have lived in Essex or Hertfordshire. The Soham register shows his marriage and death.

From the above information, plus other clues, it is certain that a John and Clement Shinn were in New Jersey during this period of time. And from this area, time leads us back to England to look for a John and Clement Shinn. Mr. Josiah Shinn found only two Parishes that yielded these names: Mildenhall and Freckenham. After researching and examining the Mildenhall Parishes, Mr. Shinn eliminated these Parishes for several reasons. In the Freckenham Parishes the following information was located and I will duplicate his findings as he wrote them

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