Revolutionary War Soldiers, California Gold Rush Argonaut (’49er), 33rd Degree Freemason, Bankers and Politicians in Minnesota.


My 6th great-grandfather Enoch Kinyon and his son, my 5th great-grandfather Joshua Kinyon were officers in the American Revolution and commanded soldiers against the British in the Battle of Rhode Island and other conflicts. Enoch’s grandfather John was the first Kenyon/Kinyon to immigrate to the New World from England in the mid-1600s. John Kinyon’s direct descendants include Amboy, Illinois railroad tycoon, lawyer and judge Hon. Alonzo Kinyon and George Kinyon who discovered and operated one of the richest gold mines ever discovered in California (Kinyon Good Hope Mine in Randsburg). Many of his descendants became lawyers, politicians, ministers,entrepreneurs and inventors. My line of the family would become early residents of Jefferson County, NY. and then pioneers of Minnesota.

San Francisco, 1851
San Francisco, 1851

Samuel Kinyon (my 3rd great-grandfather) was a successful farmer in upstate NY. He sailed to S.F. from N.Y. in search of gold in 1849. On the last leg of his journey back home in 1851, Samuel crossed Panama to Chagres and boarded the SS Georgia. He died of fever (possibly Malaria) as the ship approached Havana, Ciego de Avila, Cuba. He was buried at sea. A friend aboard the ship delivered the gold he acquired to his widow and five sons. They paid off the mortgage on their farm and purchased another 40 acres. The remainder of the gold might have helped pay for part of the college education for three of the sons, who then went into banking and politics in Minnesota.

Bank note with C.J. Kinyon and W.R. Kinyon signatures




Charles J. Kinyon (my great-great-grandfather), was one of the substantial men of the city of Owatonna, Minnesota and played his part in its municipal and financial progress. He was born in Jefferson County. New York, May 17, 1848 and received his education in the public schools there, supplementing this with a thorough business course in the Hungeford Collegiate Institute, at Adams, NY In 1870. As a young man of twenty-two, he moved to Owatonna and after working at his brother William’s bank for a short time, entered the grocery business. He then went back east to marry his bride Charlotte Wardwell and after a short period returned to Owatonna. He became teller at the First National Bank of Owatonna in 1872.

He was engaged as Teller from 1872-74; Cashier 1882-1906; Vice President 1906-1922.

Possibly his most distinguished service to his fellow citizens was his work in connection with the water supply of Owatonna, he being practically the originator of the present system. He was City Treasurer four terms, and Alderman from the Second Ward four terms. During the latter period he served as acting-Mayor for a short time. Charles was an active member of the Freemasons.


Hon. William R. Kinyon. Owatonna Capitalist. Born Feb 3, 1833 in Jefferson county N Y. Married in 1857 to Mettie Gillet. Educated in the district schools of Jefferson county; Union Academy Belleville N Y, and graduated from Union College Schenectady NY, AB 1856. Moved to Juneau Wisconsin in 1856 and taught in public schools there 1 year; Deputy Elk, Dodge County, Wis 1857-58. Moved to Owatonna 1858 and engaged in the practice of law and real estate business; established a private bank with – J C Easton in 1866; the business was absorbed by First National Bank of Owatonna, established in 1871, of which he was made President and served until 1903.

Commissioned Lieut. Colonel, Minnesota National Guard, 1861; served as Alderman and in the Legislature: Chief Elk, Minnesota House of Representatives 1869: Clerk of House 1870 and 1871; Speaker of House 1875-76. William was a 33rd Degree Freemason and 1st Worshipful Master of the East Lodge #33, Knights Templar.

In his later life, William enjoyed travel, during which time he visited not only all parts of the United States but also nearly all the countries of Europe, North Africa, Palestine, Mexico and Cuba.


Anson M. Kinyon was a Clerk of the County Court and a school teacher. He was a farmer as well, then later purchased a bookstore and stationary business, and then finally moved into insurance. Born 1837 in Mannsville, Jefferson Co NY. Followed his brother William Riley KInyon to WI early on and then to Owatonna, along with their other brothers.

He was Sgt. in the Civil War. He enlisted Aug 21, 1862 in Oak Grove, Dodge Co WI (he had lived there earlier with his brother, no idea why he went back there to enlist) for a 3 yrs. term. Mustered in Sept 27, 1862 Madison, WI in Company K of WI 29th Infantry at the same time as Leander M. Gillett his sister-in-law’s brother. Discharge at St. Louis, MO for disability (may have been injured in battle) July 13, 1863.

SERVICE WI 29th Infantry: Expedition from Helena, Ark., to Arkansas Post, November 16-21, 1862. Duty opposite Helena until December 23. Action at Helena December 5. Moved to Helena December 23, thence to Friar’s Point, and duty there until January 7, 1863. Expedition up White River to Devall’s Bluff January 11-23. At Helena until April 10. Ordered to Milliken’s Bend, LA., April 10. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson May 1. Battle of Champion’s Hill May 16. Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 4-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17.


George W. Kinyon owned and operated a farm outside of Owatonna. He served in the Civil War – 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery, Company: C. Rank In: Private. Union Army. He also spent some time working at the family run bank.

He survived a harrowing murder attempt at the hands of a man he had hired. George went to his barn at 4am to milk his cows when the man suddenly burst in, shot him in the face, then fired several more shots as George ran for his life.

When the Sheriff arrived they found the man had returned to his room upstairs in the house. A kick on his door was met with a shot through the door, narrowly missing the Sheriff. Then another shot rang out, the man had shot himself in the chest.

Both men survived their wounds. No motive was established and George claimed there had been no bad blood between them. The would-be killer’s parents said that their son had been acting very strangely after suffering a severe bout with typhoid fever.


Delbert S. Kinyon lived with his eldest brother, W. R. Kinyon, and his mother Dolly. He worked as a clerk in the family bank.

Delbert sadly died at the age of 28, from complications of Consumption (the early name for Tuberculosis)




Kinyon lineage in America:

1 – John Kinyon b.1665 – 1st Kinyon/Kenyon immigrant to America, settled in RI.

2 – Enoch Kinyon b.1686

3 – Lieut. Enoch Kinyon, Jr. b.1711 – officer in the American Revolution.

4 – Capt. Joshua Kinyon b.1739 – officer in the American Revolution.

5 – Joshua Kinyon, Jr. b.1775

6 – Samuel Kinyon b.1808 – buried at sea.

7 – Charles J. Kinyon b.1848

8 – Fayette Carey Kinyon b.1875

9 – Chapin Foster Kinyon b.1912

10 – My dad

11 – Me

Kinyon lineage in England: (not 100% confident on info after John, 1605)

16 – James Kenyon b.1633 – followed his son John to America after he settled.

15 – John Kenyon b.1605

14 – Raphe Kenyon b.1575

13 – Hugh Gent of Kersal and Moston Kenyon b.1535

12 – Ralph Kenyon b.1503

11 – George Kenyon b.1480

10 – William “of Milnshaw” Kenyon b.1442

9 – Sir Michael Kenyon, Baron Kenyon of Winwick b.1380

8 – Sir Matthew “Escheator of Lancashire” Kenyon, Baron Kenyon of Winwick b.1360

7 – Sir Adam IV De Kenyon b.1334

6 – Sir Gilbert De Kenyon b.1316

5 – Sir Adam II De Kenyon b.1283

4 – Adam I De Kenyon b.1257

3 – Jordan Kenyon b.1235 – first to take the Kenyon name.

2 – William de Lauton b.1190

1 – Adam de Lauton b.1154


The Kinyon line dates back to Saxon invaders of the mid-fifth century who were rewarded with land for assisting in the Saxon invasion of what is now Lancashire, England.

The Kenyon (Kinyon) name is of ancient British/Welsh origin. It is a locational surname deriving from the place called Kenyon in the parish of Winwick, near Warrington, Lancashire, recorded in the Book of Fees for the county in 1212 as “Kenien”.

The name is believed to be a cognate with the popular Welsh name “Einion”, in Middle Welsh “Enniawn”, which means “Anvil”, and “cruc”, which means “Mound”. “Cruc Enion” or Enion’s mound. Etymology is supported by the fact that there is an ancient burial mound there, dating from the Bronze Age.

The name Kenyon was first used as a surname in the 13th century when Jordan de Lauton assumed it.

According to the Legend of the Bleeding Wolf, Jordan’s 4th great-grandfather Adam de Lauton saved the life of King John of England by killing a great wolf who attacked him while hunting. The King granted him all the land he could walk over in a week’s time. The family coat of arms includes a bleeding wolf in the motif, of course.

All Kinyon/Kenyon families are descended from this line.

de Lauton Estate, Lancashire, England
de Lauton Estate, Lancashire, England