An American Family History

Ensign Stephen Jennings and Hannah Stanhope

Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Framingham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Spellings of Jennings: Gennings, Jennens, Jennings, Jenyns

Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.

Ensign Stephen Jennings and Hannah Stanhope married on April 1, 1686 or January 1, 1685/86 in Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

Their first two children were born in Sudbury. Eunice Jennings Fiske Johnson was born on December 12, 1686 and Stephen Jennings was born about 1688.

The family moved to Framington in 1690. Martha's father came to Framingham in 1690. They settled near Saxonville.

The last three children were born in Framingham. Hannah Jennings Walker was born on  March 11, 1690, Martha Jennings Dedman was born on September 18, 1696, and Sarah Jennings was born on  September 3, 1699.

Ensign Stephen died on September 3, 1701.

According to the History of Framingham. The First Church was organized by Reverend John Swift who left the following record:

Framingham, Oct. 8, 1701, Then a church was embodied in this place, consisting of eighteen members, over which the Rev. John Swift was ordained (the same day) a Pastor.

The names of those who lay in the foundation of said church were these, viz. Henry Rice, Dea. David Rice, Dea. Joshua Hemenway, Thobias Drury, Thomas Walker, John How, Simon Millen, Peter Cloice, Benj. Bridges, Caleb Bridges, Thomas Millen, Benj. Nurse, Samuel Winch, Thomas Frost, John Haven, Isaac Bowen, Stephen Jennings [Jr.], Nathl Haven.

The Stephen Jennings could have been either father or son. Stephen, Jr. was only about 13, but Stephen, Jr. had died before the churh was formed.

January 6, 1702-03, Hannah bought part of the Appleton farm lying between Lake Cochituate and Cochituate brook from James Brewer and Caleb Johnson Stephen and Hannah's descendants lived there until after the revolution. The place was known as the Luther Eaton place. Martha (Jennings) Dedmun and her children were living there with Hannah 1718. 
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.


Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.

from A Genealogical History of the Jennings Families in England and America by William Henry Jennings

Stephen of Framingham, Mass:

And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentations over him.—Acts VIII: 2.

The family of Stephen of Framingham, Mass., is here presented, only in such a manner as to completeness, as the facts in hand enabled the compiler so to do. It may be, and it is the hope, that even so meager a bit of history may arouse research that shall result in a full knowledge of this line.

2813 Stephen Jennings of Framingham, Mass. Mar. Jan. 1, 1685-6 in Sudburry Hannah Stanhope, dau. of Ensign Jonathan & Susanna Stanhope, of Sudburry. Died Sep. 3, 1701

Their children: 
Eunice b. 1686 m. 1708, William Fiske of Waterford.
Stephen b. 1688 (?) m. Susannah Bigelow.
Hannah b. Mch. 11, 1690
Hartha b. Sep. 18, 1696 m. May 27, 1714, Samuel Dedman.
Sarah b. Sep. 3, 1699 admitted to the Church Mch. 3, 1722.

Stephen, the father, settled near Saxonville and died in Framingham. His estate was administered by widow Hannah of Framingham, and Joseph Stanhope of Sudburry.

Framingham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts was first known as Danforth’s Farms. In 1701 the  Framingham Church was organized with the Rev. John Swift as the town's first minister. In 1706 the town hired its first schoolmaster and in 1716 the first schoolhouse was built.
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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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