Descendants of Captain Arthur Fenner

Major Thomas Fenner 


The Major Thomas Fenner House

The Major Thomas Fenner House

Thomas Fenner, born 27 Oct. 1652 at Providence, RI, was the son of Arthur Fenner and Mehitable Waterman. Thomas m 1st Alice Ralph [b 1657 d before 1682] daughter of Thomas Ralph, ca. 1665. After Alice’s death, he m 2nd Dinah Borden [b Oct. 1664; d 18 Dec. 1761 in her 98th yr.], daughter of Thomas Borden & Mary Harris, on 26 July 1682 at Providence. He served as a Justice of the Peace in 1704, and he fought bravely in King Philip’s War; he “…staid and went not away.”

Like his father, he served as Deputy in 1683, 1691, 1695, 1697, 1699, 1704, and 1705; and he held the position of Governor's Assistant in 1701-1717. Thomas owned four hundred fifty acres of land; his home, built in 1677 was in "Providence Woods," which now includes Cranston, RI. The house, which still stands, is the oldest home in Rhode Island. His will was written on 19 Feb. 1717/8 and probated on 21 March 1717/8.

Thomas was buried beside his father's homestead, which is named the Major Thomas Fenner Lot (CR002). The inscription on his tombstone read, "Here lieth ye body of major Thomas Fenner Esq. Died Feb. ye 27th, 1718 aged 65 years & 5 Mo."

Children of Alice Ralph:
1. William [b 11 Mar. 1676/7; bpt 16 Mar. 1676/7 d before 1682]

Children of Dinah Borden:
2. Freelove [b 1683; d after Dec.1749] m Samuel Westcott.
3. Thomas Jr. [b 1684; d after 17 Oct. 1744] m Mary Abbott in 1710.
4. Mehitabel [b 1686; d 9 Oct 1737 in Preston CT] m 1st Starkweather; m 2nd Sterry; m 3rd Dr. Blodgett.
5. Mary [b 1692; d 7 Jan. 1759] m Dep. Gov. Daniel Abbott.
6. Joseph [b 1693; d 22 June 1779] married twice.
7. Richard [b 1695; d 6 Feb. 1773] married twice.
8. Sarah [b 1698; d 17 Apr. 1736] m 1st Dr. Jenckes; m 2nd W. Antram.
9. Arthur [b 17 Oct. 1699; d 21 Jan. 1788] married twice.
10. Eleazar [b 4 Sept. 1702; d 31 July 1723, age 20 yrs., 10 mos., 27 days] unmarried.
11. John [b 16 Sept. 1705; d 12 Oct. 1725, age 20 yrs., 26 days] Sea Captain, unmarried.

> The Major Thomas Fenner House

Arthur | Thomas

a. Thomas' grave at, no. 18536019
b. S.G. Arnold, History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (1859); Rhode Island Historical Society; pp. 266-269.
c. John Osborne Austin. The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (Albany, 1887), p.  14.
d. Rick Buckingham, The Book of Begats. Line 2: 11-13.
e. Eva Fenner, Notes, 577-578; historical background of the Fenner family of unknown origin, RI Historical Magazine, vol. 7, p. 165.
f. Eva Fenner, Notes, 94. Letter to Eva Fenner from RI Historical Society, signed by Clarkson A. Collins III, 14 Jan. 1957. Thomas is shown born Sept. 1652.
g. Lucinda T. Fenner, History of the Fenner Family (1908), p.7; Alice’s last name spelled Realp. | PDF
h. Daniel White, Descendants of Thomas Fenner (unpublished Fenner history), p. 2. Daniel shows Thomas’s date of birth as Oct. 27, 1653, and his date of death as Oct. 27, 1718. He shows two children named Freelove, one being born in 1688; Mary, 1690; Joseph, 1692; Richard, 1694.