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Three prominent, early New England men were named Joseph Jenckes. (Alt. spellings include Jenks, Jencks.)
(baptized 26 August 1599 at St. Ann Blackfriars, London, d. 16 March 1682/83, Lynn, Essex County, MA) Joseph Jenckes settled in Lynn, Massachusetts by 1643, arriving as a widower. 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.
(b. England 1632, d. Pawtucket, RI 4 January 1717) Arrived in Massachusetts in 1645, having remained in England until his father was settled. He was the earliest known settler of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In 1671, he built and operated the first sawmill in the area, which was destroyed by fire during King Philip's War. He was a Deputy to the Rhode Island Assembly for a number of terms in the late 17th century, also Counselor of the Governor in 1681.