My Fenn Ancestry

My first proven Fenn ancestor was 7th great grandfather Edward Fenn. His birthdate is noted as 1644 in Wallingford, CT, and married Mary Thorpe in 1688. With an apparent 20+ year gap between Edward having reached the age of 20 and marriage at age 44, it seems he would have been married once already. When I first started researching my Fenn line in about 2000, some thought Edward was a son of Benjamin Fenn and Sarah Baldwin. That contention proved to be wrong a few years later, but other than change the files, I haven't done anything with this line in over a decade.

The Fenn name, according to the self-published book "The Descendants of Edward Fenn of Wallingford, Conn.," by The Rev. Father Ara Fenn Walker, S.J., and Elizabeth Fenn Balduc, dated 1971, was of ancient origin and in most cases of common ancestry at a remote period. The authors mention one branch of the Fenn line descending from Hugh Fenne, who lived in Yorkshire, England, at the time of Richard the Second.

The children of Edward Fenn and Mary Thorpe were:

  • Mary, b. 1689
  • Elizabeth, b. 1692
  • Sarah, b. 1694
  • Hannah, b. 1697. Died Young? Twin of Theophilus?
  • Theophilus, b. 31 Jan 1697/98, d. 18 Dec 1748. Theo is one of my 128 6th great grandfathers. He married Martha Doolittle*
  • John, b. 1701
  • Hannah, b. 1704
  • Thomas, b. 1707
  • Naomi, b. 1712, m. Samuel Frost in 1733, d. 1746

*Martha Doolittle's line includes a common ancestor of the famous World War II aviator Jimmy Doolittle, who led a 1942 air raid on Japan.

6th great grandparents Theohilus Fenn and Martha Doolittle had 11 children:

  • Elizabeth, b. 1723
  • Martha, b. 1725
  • Beth, b. 1727
  • Benjamin, b. 1730
  • Edward, b. 1732, m. Abagail Austin, d.1821, one of my 64 5th great grandfthers
  • Phebe, b. 1734
  • Theophilus, b. 1737, d. 1737
  • Abigail, b. 1738
  • Eunice, b. 1740
  • Theophilus, b. 1744
  • Susanna, b. 1746, d. 1746

5th great grandparents Edward Fenn and Abagail Austin had 9 children:

  • Austin, b. 1763
  • Edward, b. 1764
  • Martha, b. 1765
  • Joel, b. 1767
  • Theopilus Merriman, b. 1767, m. Mary Dibble, d. 1860. This Theo is one of my 32 4th great grandfathers
  • Reuben, b. 1771, d. 1837
  • Sarah, b. 1773
  • Susan. b. 1774
  • Joel, b. 1781, d. 1825

Theophilus Merriman Fenn and famiy moved to Medina County, Ohio, from Byron, Genessee County, New York, after the 1830 federal census. Fenn's Corners is on old maps or York Township, Medina County, Ohio, north of the city of Medina. Theopilus helped build a church there and laid its cornerstone, according to Source #1 below.

4th great grandparents Theophilus Merriman Fenn and Mary Dibble had 11 children:

  • Demaris, b. 1794
  • Edward, b. 1797
  • Eliza, b. 1799
  • Sarah, b. 1801
  • Philo, b. 1803
  • Charles Merriman, b. 1805
  • Ara Fenn, b. 1808
  • Daniel, b. 1811, d. 1814
  • Daniel Dibble, b. 1812, m. Adaline Gardner, d. 1895. Daniel Dibble Fenn is a 3rd great grandfather
  • Theophilus, b. 1816
  • Sarah Dibble, b. 1818, d. 1872. image link

Both Daniel Dibble and Adaline Gardner Fenn died in Creston, OH, at the home of daughter Emma Keziah Fenn Baird, but are buried in Stanton, Montcalm, MI. Apparently their son, 2nd ggf Oscar Fenn, paid for their funerals and burials and wanted them close to his home.

3rd great grandparents Daniel Dibble Fenn and Adaline Gardner had 4 children:

  • Oscar A., b. 1836, married Salina E. Wilson, d. 1899. Oscar is 2nd great grandfather
  • Edward J., b. 1838
  • Mary E. b. 1846
  • Emma Keziah, b. 1851, m. Robert J. Baird, 3 children, d. 1941

Oscar A. and Salina E. Wilson Fenn had 3 children:

  • Cora Adaline, b. 1863, m. Frank Agustus Miller, d. 1896 due to childbirth complications.
  • Freddy D., b. 1865, d. 1866.
  • Nona (Nora) Annise, b. 1868, d. 1930
  • Oscar A. Fenn married 2nd wife Kate Carswell Wallace on 6 Nov 1873. They had 2 children:

  • Raymond Wallace, b. 1875, d. 1960
  • Helen C., b. 1880

My last Fenn ancestor was Cora Adaline Fenn, wife of Frank Agustus Miller. See my Miller page for more information.


The images in the photo "album" below can be viewed at normal size by clinking on the word "Link" below the image.


Fenn Family Photo Album - click "link" for larger image
Photograph of Daniel Dibble Fenn.
#1-Daniel Dibble Fenn. Link
Photograph of Adaline Gardner Fenn.
#2-Adaline Gardner Fenn. Link
Photograph of Oscar Fenn.
#3-A young Oscar Fenn. Link.
Photograph of Oscar Fenn.
#4- An older Oscar Fenn Link
Photograph of Cora Adaline Fenn Miller.
#5-Cora A. Fenn Miller Link
Photograph of the Fenn cemetery monument.
#6-Fenn cemetery monumentLink

Notes

Theophilus M. and Mary Dibble Fenn were among the early settlers of Medina, Ohio, in 1832, according to the book by The Reverend Walker and Mrs. Balduc. It notes that the Fenns were among the charter members of the First Baptist Church, organized in a schoolhouse in Fenn's Corners. Theophilus laid the cornerstone of the newly built church in September, 1845. Fenn Road is still the present name but modern maps do not list that spot as Fenn's Corners.

Oscar Fenn and Salina Wilson had 1 son, Freddie, who died at the age of 1 year 3 months, and 2 daughters, Nora (Nona) Annise, and Cora. They moved to Stanton, Moncalm County, Mi., in 1866, where Oscar became a business owner and community leader. Salina's death was due to a miscarriage, according to her death certificate. After Salina's death, Oscar married Kate Carswell Wallace on 6 November 1873.

Oscar A. Fenn and Salina E. Wilson married in Medina County, Ohio. In 1866, they were part of a group of Salina's siblings that traveled west in wagons. Oscar and Salina already knew they weren't going to Wisconsin and the Dakota Territory. Instead, they went north and settled in Stanton, Montcalm County, Michigan. This account is the speculation of a Wilson cousin who determined that the others had left Ohio at the same time, so it would make sense that they all traveled together. Oscar worked for D.M. Gardner in his dry goods and grocery business after he and Cora arrived in Stanton. D.M. Gardner may be related to Oscar through his mother, Adaline Gardner Fenn. That may be why they split from the "Wilson Wagon Train" and went north. D.M. Gardner's gravesite is near that of Oscar's and his family's grave sites.

"After becoming a partner with D.M. Gardner six months later, he sold his interest in 1872 and entered the real estate business in 1872. In 1875, he purchased a shingle mill." More information is available in "American Biographical hitory of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Michigan, District 8," page 898.

Sources

The Descendants of Edward Fenn of Wallingford, Conn., 1688, by The Reverend Father Ara Fenn Walker, S.J., of Cleveland, OH, and Mrs. Elizabeth Fenn Balduc, of Virginia, MN. Published by the authors in 1971. Accessed at the State of Michigan Library in 2002.

American Biographical History of Eminent and Self-Made Men - Michigan Volume - Western Biographical Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1878. Representative Men of Michigan, Volume II, District 8, pg. 18. Link.

History of Oscar Fenn in Stanton, MI. Link.

Research of cousins who shared their work and information found online at Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.com and other sites.