Although my Fenner family research is still in the very early stages, I have already found a new cousin! Actually, this isn't entirely correct - - my new cousin found me! When I opened my inbox today, I discovered an email from another Fenner researcher I had discovered online and had contacted via email several days ago. The Fenner family member included a phone number, so I called him and we talked earlier today. While my family line descends from Rachel Fenner, my new cousin's line descends from Rachel's brother, William.
According to my contact, William Fenner, the elder, died around about 1777 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Later, William's son, also named William, along with other members of the Fenner family, used the river system to migrate from Georgia, where they had settled after the Revolutionary War, to the Mississippi Territory. Allegedly, the group arrived in the Mississippi Territory about 1790, settling in what is now Wilkinson County, Mississippi.
Family history indicates that William Fenner and his wife, Mercy Ogden, migrated further west to Louisiana, where they settled in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana and raised a family of twelve children. In Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, the Fenner name became a prominent one, with Fenner Road named for family members who surveyed the area, and Fenner's Landing named for members of this family who operated a ferry across the Ouachita River.
My contact recalled family information that says William died in Avoyelles Parish, en route from St. Landry Parish to his home near Monroe, while Mercy's death occurred several years later in Ouachita Parish.
Around 1850, many of William Fenner's descendants migrated to Lavaca County, Texas, where my new cousin's family has deep roots. He and I plan to talk again tomorrow to continue sharing more of our families' histories, so stay tuned for more Fenner posts.
Like most stories, this one has a moral: The power of the Internet has never been stronger, the world is constantly growing smaller, and genealogy research has never been better!