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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Fanning

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[This information is from Vol. IV, pp. 1589-1591 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

It has been transmitted from one generation to another that in the Fanning family their ancestor, Edmund Fanning, escaped from Dublin in 1641, at the time of the great rebellion, and after eleven years of wandering and uncertainty he found a resting place in that part of New London, Connecticut, now called Groton, in the year 1652. On the town records his name is not mentioned until ten years later, but it is then in such a way that denotes previous residence. In the inventory of goods of Richard Poole, April 25, 1682, one article is "two cows and one steere now with Edmon ffanning." After this he had a grant of land and is propounded to be made a freeman in Stonington. His estate was distributed to his widow and four sons, Edmund, John, Thomas and William. A descendant, Captain Edmund Fanning, of Stonington, Connecticut, in 1797-98-99 made a voyage for seals in the ship "Betsey." He discovered several islands near the Equator not before laid down on any chart. They are known as Fannings Islands. Nathaniel Fanning, a brother of the discoverer, was an officer in the ship commanded by Paul Jones in his famous naval battles and by his gallant daring contributed to the brilliant result. He was stationed in the maintop of the American ship and led his men upon the interlocked yards to the English ship's top which was cleared by the well-directed fire from his men. He died in Charleston, South Carolina, September 30, 1805.

(II) Thomas, son of Edmund Fanning, was born in England. He married Elizabeth Capron, born in England, and settled at Groton, Connecticut.

(III) Walter, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Capron) Fanning, was born in Groton, Connecticut. Died April 19, 1820, at Gilboa, Schoharie county, New York. He enlisted as a private, May 9, 1775, in Captain Waterman Cliff's sixth company in Colonel Samuel Parson's sixth Connecticut regiment of New London, Hartford and Middlesex Volunteers. He married, at Preston, Connecticut, November 6, 1771, Grace Benjamin, who died July 2, 1832. They had thirteen children among whom was Benjamin.

(IV) Benjamin, son of Walter and Grace (Benjamin) Fanning, was born in Preston, Connecticut, August 30, 1776, died at Gilboa, Schoharie county, New York, 1854. He was a well-to-do farmer. He married Christina Dies.

(V) Nelson, son of Benjamin and Christina (Dies) Fanning, was born in Gilboa, Schoharie county, New York, February 14, 1808, died in Catskill, New York, February 28, 1896. The following obituary notice from his brethren of the profession is inserted in full:

"It is scarcely five months since this Society was called upon to mourn the death of Dr. Nelson Fanning, Senior, of Catskill, New York, whose death at an advanced age removes from this Society its oldest practitioner; from his many patients a warm friend and physician; from the county a reputable and upright citizen, and from his family a kind and most indulgent father. His burial was marked by a large attendance of his friends and patients who thus offered a last tribute of respect to the memory of a friend and of sympathy with the family in their bereavement.

"Dr. Nelson Fanning was born at Bristol (now Gilboa), February 14, 1808. He began the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Gaius Halsey of Kortright, Delaware county, New York, and graduated from the Berkshire Medical College in 1830. He began the practice of his profession at Broome (now Conesville), and in 1837 moved to Gilboa. On the 25th of September, 1861, he went as surgeon with the 134th New York Volunteer Infantry to the front, and was present in many engagements. He was also Brigade Surgeon of the 11th Army Corps, his commission dating from July 23, 1862, under General Sigel, occupying the Chancellorsville church as hospital headquarters during the battle of Chancellorsville. He returned home from the war on account of ill health during the summer of 1863, his discharge dating, May 22, 1863. November 1, 1863, he moved to Catskill in which place he lived and practiced steadily until he died, never having been known to take a vacation.

"He became a member of the Greene County Medical Society in 1864, was its vice-president in 1867, and its president in 1867 and during 1868. He was elected to permanent membership in the New York State Medical Society in 1871 and was an Honorary member of the same at the time of his death. He also served as supervisor for the town of Catskill and was coroner, by appointment of the Governor for the county of Greene in 1875. He died in Catskill, February 28, 1896, at the ripe age of eighty-eight years and fourteen days, being the oldest practicing physician in the county, if not in the state.

"The funeral took place at Catskill March 2, 1896 from Christ's Presbyterian church, Reverend C. G. Hazzard, pastor of the church, officiating. In addition to the tribute offered by Mr. Hazzard, Reverend G. A. Howard, D. D., former pastor of Christ's Church, wrote beautiful letters of condolence to the family, he being at Washington at the time, and Reverend E. Van Slyke, D.D., of the Reformed Dutch church of Catskill assisted at the services and spoke feelingly of his many good qualities as physician, friend and citizen.

"The local physicians attended in a body acting as pall-bearers. The burial was in the village cemetery.

"WHEREAS, In the death of Dr. Nelson Fanning of Catskill, New York, this Society has lost its oldest and most prominent member, therefore be it

"RESOLVED, That the Society hereby express its sense of loss and sympathy with the family of the deceased in their bereavement, and further be it

"RESOLVED, That a copy of this record of the life of our late member, together with these resolutions, be inscribed in the minutes of this Society; a copy sent to the family of the deceased, and a copy furnished the Catskill Recorder and Examiner for publication.

"COMMITTEE, Robert Selden, M.D.; Charles E. Willard, M.D.; Elmore E. Elliott, M.D."

Dr. Fanning married Anna Howell, daughter of Richard and Sarah Hoy, of Albany, where Richard Hoy was engaged as a merchant. Children:

  1. Mary, who died in infancy.
  2. Benjamin, of Gilboa, New York.
  3. Nelson, who was a prominent physician, and met with an accident that resulted in his death.
  4. Walter Dies, died, aged five years.
  5. John Tuttle, died at the age of fifteen years.
  6. Harriet C.
  7. Sarah E.

Mrs. Anna (Nancy) H. Fanning died January 24, 1893.

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