Descendants of Captain Arthur Fenner
John Fenner & Phebe Brown
[b 2 Oct. 1738/9; d 28 Nov. 1821] John Fenner m Phebe Brown [b 21 Apr. 1738; d 3 Aug. 1825] on 11 July 1758 at Providence. Phebe was the daughter of Obadiah Brown and Mary Harris. The census of 1774 gives three sons and four daughters. John and Phebe had a slave named Yockwhy or Yockey. The following is an advertisement that appeared in the Providence Gazette, 18 Oct. 1777:
Run away from John Fenner, of Glocester, a negro man named Yockwhy, about 28 years of age, 5 ft. 8 inches high, marked on both cheeks; had on and took with him a light cloth-colored homespun coat, with wooden buttons, breeches of the same color, blue serge jacket, pair of good leather breeches, a fine Holland shirt, a fine tow shirt, a new pair of thread stockings, one pair of white ribbed yarn do., one dark silk handkerchief, one linen do., one good castor hat without loops, one felt do., one pair of shoes without strings, one pair of silver sleeve buttons. Whoever will take up and secure said negro, and return him to his master, shall have six dollars reward. All masters of vessels are forbidden to carry off said negro at their peril.
The name Yockey Fenner appears in the register of the First Baptist Church of America, 22 Mar. 1789.
1. Mary [b 9 Oct. 1758/9; d 17 July 1784 age 25 yrs., 9 mos., 8 days] m Charles Harris of Scituate, RI on 9 Feb 1777.
2. William [b 1763] owned a tavern on Sterling Hill; m Elizabeth Wolcott on 16 Feb. 1787 in Cranston RI.
3. Obadiah [b 29 June 1764; d 18 Dec. 1859] married twice.
4. James [b 19 Jan. 1772] died aged six days.
5. James [b 11 May 1778; d 23 Oct. 1853] m Anna Brown.
6. Anna [b ca. 1779; d 18 May 1857, age 78] m Jeremiah Knight [b 23 Oct. 1776; d,29 Nov. 1821] on 28 July 1823.
a. Register of the First Baptist Church in America, Providence, RI.
b. Richard Lee Fenner, unpublished family history, p. 8. Richard's family Bible record places John’s birthdate as 2 Oct. 1738.
c. Martha Benns, Notes on the Fenner Family of R.I. (1941), pp. 11, 23. Martha notes John's death as 28 Nov. 1821, age 81 yrs., 27 days—by this calculation, that would make his birthdate 1 Nov. 1740, not 2 Oct. 1739.
d. Eva Fenner, Notes, 996. Letter to Eva Fenner from Lawrence Fenner, dated 16 July 1963. Lawrence shows Phebe’s date of death as 1828.
e. Chad Brown Memorial, 128 (available from the RI Historical Society).
f. Eva Fenner, Notes, 998-1000; a letter from the RI Hist. Soc., 14 Jan. 1957, shows Obadiah, James, Mary, William, and Anna [b 28 July 1832; d 18 May 1857], who m Jeremiah Knight. The same Anna is mentioned in Fenner, Richard Lee; 8, with a more reasonable birthdate.
g. Eva Fenner, Notes, 583; historical background of the Fenner family, unknown origin. The author gives the children as Obadiah, James, William, and Mary. She shows James’s wife as Anna Brown, his second cousin, and Mary’s husband as Charles Harris.
h. Eva Fenner, Notes, 998-1000. In a letter to Eva Fenner from Lawrence Fenner, 16 July 1963, Lawrence shows Anna [b ca. 1775; d 29 July 1823, age 48].