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 John Franklin Janney

John Franklin Janney

Franklin County, Virginia, USA
Death 12 Nov 1902 (aged 74)
Virginia, USA
Burial Bent Mountain, Roanoke County, Virginia, USA
Plot Alone
Memorial ID 6430334 · View Source
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My brother found this grave when he and his wife built their home on Bent Mountain, Virginia. The grave is beside a road known as Patterson Drive (Route 644)which is located just off Rt 221. My brother's address is 9502 Patterson Drive and Mr. Janney's tombstone is located to the left of the driveway in a wooded spot. To the best of my knowledge, the only words still visible on the tombstone are as follows: John Janney 1828. The following information was submitted by a ggg granddaughter of John Janney and Malinda Hale after finding his grave on this web site...

Born to a single woman by the name of Ann Swinney, father unknown. Ann Swinney died in the poor house. John Swinney married Ann Martin and had several children. Ann Martin died in childbirth. John Swinney married Malinda Hale on March 21, 1835 but changed their name to John and Malinda Janney. Isaac Janney had raised John. Ann Swinney never told the name of John's father. Isaac did not leave John in his will but did mention all of his other children. John's 2nd wife Malinda, according to family lore, was an Indian. Her nickname was "Skidge". Story has it that she preferred to to sleep around the stove on blankets. Proving Malinda was an Indian is also impossible because back then Indians had to pass for white or be forced to live on a reservation. The picture is of Mary Ann Janney, daughter of John Janney and Malinda Hale Janney. I almost forgot to tell you why he is buried at this spot on Bent Mountain. It was his favorite place to be, he used to pick greens there, it used to have a great big tree and he told his family to bury him in the shady spot, and they did.

Update on November 22, 2012:

As to Malinda "Skidge" Hale Janney's supposed Indian heritage, I am her maternal great-great grandson. The family lore is disproved by the fact that I had genetic testing done through Family Tree DNA, and while there is plenty of
English and Welsh DNA in my genetic background (and the surname "Hale" is of Welsh origin), and from both sides there is Arab, Jewish, and Persian blood and Magyar blood, there are absolutely no DNA indicators pointing to any Native American origins in any branch of my family.

I am sorry to disabuse anybody of their hope of Indian Heritage, but "Granny Janney" would have been primarily Welsh, married to a man of English (i.e. Cheshire) blood.

Additionally John Janney married Ann Martin in 1849. They had three children together and she died from "childbirth fever" in 1854. He shortly thereafter married Malinda "Skidge" Hale.

The story about Anne Swinney is correct. In 1847 John Janney appeared in a Franklin County VA court as a witness to a deed as "John Swinney, mother a single woman Anne Swinney" The story is that a man named Moses Janney later assumed responsibility or paternity for John and raised him as his own.

In the 1850 Floyd County Virginia census, Anne Swinney is listed as being an "idiot" of about 50 years of age.


David A Molnar
Asheville NC

Maternal great-great grandson of John Janney (1828-1902)

Family Members





  • Maintained by: David A Molnar
  • Originally Created by: Bridget Kelley-Dearing
  • Added: 20 May 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6430334
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Franklin Janney (1 Nov 1828–12 Nov 1902), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6430334, citing Individual Grave, Bent Mountain, Roanoke County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by David A Molnar (contributor 47963330) .