Descendants of Captain Arthur Fenner

Jeremiah Fenner & Anne Warner


[b 1730 at Johnston, RI; d 12 Feb. 1789 at Coventry, RI] Jeremiah voted yea in the general assembly 4 May 1776 when an act was passed repealing the act of allegiance with Great Britain. It required the name of the king to be omitted, was virtually a Declaration of Independence, and is believed to be prior in date to any similar act by any colony. He had also been appointed as Justice of the Peace in 1766 and again in 1774.

Jeremiah was a farmer near Burlington grist mill, now Coventry, RI. On 1 Dec. 1751, he m Anne E. Warner [b ca. 1732 at Warwick, RI; d 14 Aug. 1790 at Coventry, RI] at Cranston, RI. Her parents were Ezekiel Warner and Sarah Bennett of Searles Corners. Henry Lee Pratt, who lived in that area (now called Oak Lawn), furnished some of these dates, especially of the descendants of Benjamin. Anne E. Warner descended from Samuel Gorton. Jeremiah’s will, dated 12 Feb. 1787, mentions Joseph, Samuel, Sarah & Ralph, and five more sons, indicating eight living in 1787. The census of 1774 shows twelve children, so it is possible that four other children had either died or married and moved away in that thirteen ­year span.

Jeremiah was a Revolutionary soldier in Capt. Arthur Fenner’s company, Col. Lippett's regiment; he also fought in the French and Indian War. 

1. Joseph [b 9/10 Apr. 1753; d 7 Feb. 1796] m Ruth Potter.
2. Samuel [b 2 Mar. 1755; d 7 Mar. 1830] m Lydia Ralph.
3. Jeremiah [b 26 June 1757; d 24 Sept. 1836] married twice.
4. Caleb [b ca. 1760] m Mercy Harris.
5. Sarah [b 9 Nov. 1761; d 1851] m Thomas Ralph [b 23 June 1759; d 23 Mar. 1837].
6. Capt. Benjamin [b 1763; d 14 April 1816] m Mary "Polly" Green.
7. Polly [b 13 Nov. 1766; d 14 Sept. 1861].
8. Ezekiel [b ca. 1767; d 13 Oct. 1839 in his 72nd yr.] m Martha Sheldon [b 1768; d 21 Aug. 1856].
9. Richard [b ca. 1770; d ca 1788] 

Arthur | Thomas | Richard | Jeremiah


a. The RI Historical Cemeteries Project. Anne Warner Fenner was buried with her husband Jeremiah Fenner in the Fenner­-Harkness Lot in Coventry RI.

b. Martha Benns, Notes on the Fenner Family of R.I. (1941), pp. 21, 68. Martha shows Anne's death as 14 Aug 1790.

c. Eva Fenner, Notes; Pratt supplied these four sons not included above: 1, Arthur; 2, John; 4, James (m Esther Herenden 14 Feb. 1789 in Coventry); 9, Christopher. His list comprised nine and omitted Samuel, Caleb, and Ezekiel. The connection of these three is fairly well authenticated by many records, but that of the four named by Pratt is not. Jeremiah’s will mentions a son Joseph, having received 5 shillings by deed of gift and otherwise; a son Samuel, having received 5 shillings; his five youngest sons Jeremiah, Benjamin, Caleb, Ezekiel, and Richard, “...all my homestead farm in Coventry, whereon I now dwell; also my other real estate equally; also all livestock and outdoor moveable estate, money and securities, equally; in case one or more of said sons die before 21 and without issue, their parts to go to the surviving sons and heirs...”; daughter Sarah Ralph, wife of Thomas Ralph, a feather bed and furniture, two low cases of drawers, two oval tables, “...the drawers and tables to be the same that her mother brought to me, she having received her marriage portion; wife Anne Fenner, all indoor moveable not herein given away, also one­third of profits of real estate and one third part of dwelling house during life and as long as she remains single, and then to said five sons equally same being in lieu of dower... .” Wife Anne and son Benjamin executors; witnesses Josiah Colvin, Isaac Johnson, John Rice. Will proved 12 Mar. 1790. The original will and the will executed by his father, Hon. Richard, were in possession of Pardon Fenner Brown of Providence in Nov. 1907.

d. Revised birth order, emails to Chris Fenner from Richard Arthur Fenner, 26 July 2003 and 27 Sept 2003. Richard notes that one "weak" source gives Richard's dates as [b ca. 1752; d before 1790], but the will suggests otherwise.

e. Email from Tony Wharton to Chris Fenner, 14 Oct. 2007.