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OHIO GENEALOGY EXPRESS

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ADAMS COUNTY, OHIO
HISTORY & GENEALOGY
 


 

 

FAMILY HISTORY
OF
Jeremiah Fenton
(1753-1841)
of
Adams County, Ohio

and

His Descendants

By
WILLIAM B. BROWN
DES MOINES, IOWA

1910

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To the Memory of My Mother
Rachel Fenton Brown

     THE Fentons, especially the former generations, have been farmers.  They have been representative farmers.  They have been representative of the best citizenship of the Republic.  They have been loyal to the country's flag and have been on the right side of all great moral questions.  If they have not acquired great riches they have as a rule been well-to-do people, honest, industrious and true."
                         LUCHEN JEROME FENTON.

PREFACE

     The writer spent four years of his boyhood life at Winchester, Ohio, and came to know intimately many Fentons; and came in time to learn of and appreciate the many admirable characteristics of the Fentons generally.  Among these characteristics maybe noted, honesty, frankness, hospitality, generosity, piety, industry, amiability, decent conduct and right living.  And while few Fentons have "set the world on fire" or won very conspicuous success, some have inscribed their names high on the walls of fame.  Onesat in the Congress of the United States for two terms, and another won world fame as a journalist.  Several offered their lives to save the Union in the great war of the Rebellion, and many of them have achieved moderate success.  So far as is known to the writer, none have been convicted of crime or even charged with crime.  The rank and file of Fentons have not been ambitions for political office or fame, too much Quaker blood in their veins, but, as good farmers, they have lived the simple life close to mature, paid their debts, worshipped as Methodists and kept themselves free and unspotted from the world.
     Three years ago by chance the writer came upon a family record of his paternal ancestry prepared by Dr. Andrew Brown of Eustis, Florida, extending back to 1625.  This suggested the need of such a history of Fentons and, being anxious to known more of his maternal ancestry, the writer determed to prepare this family record.  The work has taken more or less time out of nearly every business day for three years and has cost some money to collect material which will not come back, except in the appreciation of the book by those who really prize such things; but that is pay enough.  The book was not written to make money, but to perform a pleasant duty.
     A work of this kind cannot be prepared without a great deal of help from others and the writer here and now expresses his gratitude to all those who have kindly complied with his requests to furnish information, and particularly to Hon. James K. Fenton and Hon. Lucien J. Fenton for valuable information respecting old-time Fentons; to Hon. E. B. Stivers for permission to quote from his History of Adams County; to Mr. James W. Eylar for much valuable help in connection with the Eylar family; to Miss Mary McPherson for collecting material as to the Jesse Fenton family; to Earl F. Keyes, Esq., and Mrs. Rosanna Howland in connection with the Polly Baird family; to Prof. Wm. Stevenson for full information as to the Catherine Eckman family; and to Henry N. Baker, Esq., for valuable papers and other matter in connection with Jeremiah Fenton (1764), William Fenton (1790), and his sister, Delilah Fenton.  The writer has gathered material also from the following books: "Steere's Book," owned by James L. Robinson, Winchester. Virginia, which includes some of the Frederick county, Virginia, Fentons; L. H. Everts & Company's "History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania;"' and Evans & Stivers "History of Adams County, Ohio."
     Further acknowledgment must be made of financial help, for without extra contributions of money the book could not be published.  The writer would have had to drop the whole matter had not lion. L. J. Fenton come forward voluntarily with generous contributions of money.  Those who
receive this book should realize their debt to him in this matter.  Mrs. Mary H. Liggett, of Blue Springs, Missouri, Mr. A. L. Fenton, of Atchison, Kansas, and his sister, Mrs. A. O. Delaney, of Leona, Kansas, have also been generous in contributions of money; and to all those who subscribed
for one or more copies thanks are hereby given.
     One of the first questions which will come to the reader is whether or not the dales, names and other historical mailer set forth herein can he depended upon as accurate and correct.  All of the dales, names and other matter found in this hook have been twice checked over with the papers furnished by representatives of the different families and are correct, and the writer believes that all of the data contained in this book can be depended upon.   Here and there, of course, an error will be found, but taking into consideration the large number of dates, names, etc., the errors found will likely be very few.  In seeking information respecting any family the writer has taken pains to communicate only with those competent to furnish the information correctly.
     There will likely be dissatisfaction among some because their picture or the picture of some one or more of their friends is not given herein, and the writer has found a great deal of difficulty in deciding upon what pictures ought to be put in the book.  All will understand that illustrations greatly add to the cost of the publication and that their number necessarily must be limited.  The William Fenton family is favored above all others, as the picture of each of his sons and daughters, except one. is given, but it must be remembered that his family and descendants outnumber each of the other families of the sons and daughters of Jeremiah Fenton; and furthermore, the writer, being a member of the William Fenton family and being out a great deal of money, time and labor in preparing the book, has felt that it is no more than right to make an exception in this case.  Others will notice that the Benjamin Fenton family has been favored in respect to pictures.  However, they are entitled to this favoritism, for the reason that they have subscribed for far more copies of the book and paid more extra money besides than any other family, and not only this, they have also splendidly helped in collecting material and constantly encouraged the writer to go on with the work.
     In most other cases where photographs of living persons are inserted it is because of the fact that the parties themselves have been generous with subscriptions.  The writer wishes that it were possible to insert the pictures of all those who care to have him do so.  This being impossible he has adjusted the matter as best he could.
     Again, some may feel that they or their friends have not received enough mention in the reading matter.  On this point the writer's conscience is entirely clear.  All have been asked to furnish the writer matters of interest and absolutely everything tendered him has been printed.  Those who failed to contribute matter as requested have only themselves to blame.
     A careful count shows that there are, living and dead, 159 descendants of Jeremiah Fenton (1764).  Of this number the William Fenton family leads with 128 composed of 66 males and 62 females: the Elizabeth Eylar family follows closely with 113, 58 males and 55 females; next comes the Polly Baird family with 83, 41 males and 42 females; then the family of Jeremiah Fentonwith 49, 24 males and 25 females; next the Catherine Eckman fmaily with 25, 8 males and 17 females; next the Jesse Fenton family with 24, 7 males and 17 females; next the Jesse Fenton familywith 24, 7 males and 17 females; next the Benjamin Fenton family with 16, 6 males and 10 females, and last the John Fenton family with only 10, 4 males and 6 females.  It is interesting to note that the Benjamin Fenton family although next to the lowest in point of numbers, has done more than all the others combined to make possible the publication of the book.
     Attention is called to the differences in the names now given by Fenton parents and those common among the early Fentons.  In the family of Jeremiah Fenton, the pioneer, we have Jeremiah, Benjamin, Rosanna, Polly, Delilah and others.  These names were still in common use in the next generation, but at the present time scarcely one of the old fashioned names is in use.  Instead we have Grace, Maud, Gladys, May, Helen, Marjorie, Evelyn, Lottie, Virginia, Evalena, Mabel, Kathleen and the like.
     The writer has noticed one other fact of same interest.  Among all of the nearly 500 descendants of Jeremiah Fenton twins were born on but three occasions; first to Polly Baird, then to William McColgin and next to the writer.
     Is a publication of this kind worth while?  There can be but one answer to the question.  The barest record of 459 human beings, with births, marriages, deaths, etc., when all are connected by ties of blood, must be worth preserving.  Human life is too precious to allow no record to be kept of our blood relations.
     In closing the writer desires to acknowledge very valuable help from his good wife who twice read the proof of this book; and whatever excellence it may have in freedom from printers' errors is due in part to her.  A reward was given of fives cents for each error discovered on the final reading.
                    WILLIAM B. BROWN,
                             Des Moines,
                                         Iowa.
                     January, 1910.

CHAPTER ONE - THE FENTON FAMILY 15
CHAPTER TWO - JEREMIAH FENTON, JR. AND FAMILY 29
CHAPTER THREE - WILLIAM FENTON FAMILY 41
CHAPTER FOUR - ELIZABETH FENTON-EYLAR FAMILY 82
CHAPTER FIVE - DELILAH FENTON 115
CHAPTER SIX - JOHN FENTON AND FAMILY 117
CHAPTER SEVEN - JESSE FENTON AND FAMILY 121
CHAPTER EIGHT - CATHERINE FENTON-ECKMAN AND FAMILY 129
CHAPTER NINE - JEREMIAH AND FAMILY 134
CHAPTER TEN - MARY (POLLY) FENTON-BAIRD AND FAMILY 145
CHAPTER ELEVEN - GEORGE FENTON 160
CHAPTER TWELVE - BENJAMIN FENTON AND FAMILY 161
CHAPTER THIRTEEN - JOSEPH FENTON 176
CHAPTER FOURTEEN - INTERESTING MISCELLANY OF THE LAWRENCE FAMILY, FAYETTE COUNTY TAX ROLLS, ETC. 177
CHAPTER FIFTEEN 182
APPENDIX 204

 


 

 

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