Pioneer Cemeteries & Their Stories,

Madison Co., Indiana

Kinnaman Cemetery

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Green Township

Location: east side of CR 750W between CRs 800S and 900S: section 26, NE quarter

    The Kinnaman Cemetery is named for the large Kinnaman family that settled in the New Purchase of Indiana.**  The Kinnamans originated in Maryland where patriarch John was born in 1747.  He married Elenor Thompson and while in Maryland, the couple had nine sons: Samuel, John Thomas, Walter, Zachariah, Richard, George, Henry, Levi, and Phillip.  Around 1802, John moved his family to Stokes County, North Carolina; there the couple added son Andrew.  John and Elenor lived out their lives in the south, but five of his sons received during the 1820s and 1830s land patents for the New Purchase in Indiana.  The Kinnaman brothers were among the first land owners to the east-central portion of the state.

    John Thomas Kinnaman, 1778-1834, entered land in Fall Creek Township, Hamilton County, on Madison County's west border.  He brought with him his adult sons: John C., William, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry.  They and their families homesteaded the Hoosier wilderness, remained on the land, and are recorded on mid to late 19th century census records.  John Thomas began the Kinnaman family cemetery on his acreage, and there many of this branch of the family are buried.

    Four of John Thomas's brothers--Richard, Phillip, Walter, and Zachariah--were first land owners in  Green Township, Madison County, in sections 24, 25, 26, and 27.  Richard, who was born in 1784 in Maryland, had a land patent dated 1825.  Richard Kinnaman was a Madison County Justice of the Peace from 1826 until 1829. He planted the first orchard in Green Township in 1826.  According to the 1880 Kingman history of the county, he purchased the trees from Mallory's nursery near Noblesville in Hamilton County.  Mr. Kinnaman also operated the first distillery in the township.  It was situated in section 21 near Foster's Branch.  After five or six years of financial success, Richard decided to change occupations, sold his business, became a farmer, and lived out his life here.  On the 1840 census, Richard Kinnaman is still listed in Madison County; however, his second wife on the 1850 census is recorded as a widow.

    Richard and his first wife, whose name is not known, had son Josiah in 1812 while the couple was still in Virginia.  Josiah came with the family to the area and in 1834 married Susannah Smethers.  The Smethers were also among first families to Green Township.  Josiah and Susannah are shown on the 1840 census for Hamilton County, but like other Kinnaman relatives, they eventually moved further west into the Great Plains--specifically Kansas for this couple. Richard and his second wife Lydia Davis produced nine children.  Three sons--Zachariah, John T., and Elijah--settled in Iowa and Missouri.  Additionally, Richard's brother Walter, after moving into Madison County with his family, relocated after 1850 to Clay County, Illinois, where he died 1855.

  Richard's brother Phillip, however, who had purchased land in section 25 near Richard, lived out his life in Madison County.  Phillip is buried at the Grovelawn Cemetery in Pendleton.  Another brother Zachariah Kinnaman also lived out his life in the area that he helped develop.  Zachariah had purchased in the 1830s acreage nearby in section 26.  It is here in the northeast quarter, 40 rods from the southwest corner and south of the house existing on the property in the 1960s, that Madison County's Kinnaman Cemetery was started.  This private family burial ground held a small number of Kinnaman relatives and neighbors.  The cemetery was destroyed sometime in the early 20th century when the stones were taken up, stacked next to the barn, and the ground prepared for plowing or building.  According to cemetery commission archives a "Zachariah Kinnamon" was the name on one of the stones next to the barn.  This would have been Richard's brother.  Two other displaced stones from this cemetery were recorded in mid 20th century: one for William Stanley and a second for a member of the Cox family.  Since Richard's and Lydia's graves cannot be discovered, this destroyed burial ground is a distinct possibility for their location.  Additional archival notes indicated that the Kinnaman Cemetery was located at one point on the property of Zachariah M. Kinnaman.  This "Zachariah M.," was the son of Phillip Kinnaman.  Zachariah M. evidently must have purchased the land from his uncle and namesake.  Zachariah M. eventually moved to Boone County, Indiana, and died there. 

    There are over thirty Kinnamans recorded on the master list of gravestone transcriptions done in mid 20th century The death dates are as early as 1833 and as late as 1985.  Various Kinnaman burials can be found in the Brookside, Crosley, Grovelawn, Maplewood, Mendon, Moss, and Nicholson cemeteries.

**Information on the Kinnaman family in Indiana was provided by descendant and family researcher Michael Kinnaman of Olympia, Washington.