The Society Of the Cincinnati in The State of Connecticut

The Capture of the Hessians at Trenton, December 26, 1776-1828. Left: Jonathan Trumbull Jr. (1740-1809) - Speaker of the Us House of Representatives. Right: Jonathan Trumbull Sr. (1710-1785) - Governor of Connecticut
The Battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17, 1775. Right: William Hull (1753-1825) - Lieutenant-Colonel in the Continental Army
The Resignation of General Washington, December 23, 1783. Left: Thomas Y. Seymour (1757-1811) - Lieutenant in the 2nd Continental Regiment of the Dragoons
The Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton, January 1777

Category Archive: Uncategorized

  • Major Jonathan Bigelow

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    Birth:

    November 20, 1739, Hartford, Connecticut

    Death:

    June 26, 1780 Hartford, Connecticut

    Marriage:

    Hannah Wadsworth who born on April 8, 1750 and died on February 26, 1801. They married on June 30, 1771.

    Children:

    Four sons and one daughter. James born June 10, 1774; John born Dec 6, 1775; Henry born December 19, 1777; Richard born December 29, 1779. Nancy [no information to be found on her birth or death]. His son Richard was lost at sea in 1797.

    Education:

    Information regarding his education is unknown.

    Military:

    He first served as a volunteer under Benedict Arnold at Ticonderoga in May 1775. He was a captain in an independent company, Connecticut artillery, January – December 1776. Served subsequently as Major in the Connecticut artillery military. He supplied uniforms to officers in the State of Connecticut.

    Occupation:

    Besides his military career there is no known occupation.

    Discussion:

    He was taken prisoner by the British on July 8, 1777 in the West Indies. He was sent to New York under a flag of truce to negotiate an exchange of Capt. Judd of the Antelope for Capt. Manly of the Hancock. He was commissioned a Major in 1778 and appointed to oversee the manufacture of clothing for the soldiers of the Continental Army, and the same year appointed by the Governor and Council to purchase cloth suitable for officers in Connecticut. He held other positions of trust, according to Howe’s Bigelow genealogy, which does not specify. Major John Bigelow received a letter from George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Both of these letters were in regard to the garments he was providing the soldiers of the war. His widow married James Tiley. She died February 26, 1801 at Windsor, Connecticut.

    Reference:

    Bigelow Family Genealogy, Volume I, page 85.

    Biographical information provided by Alfonso Ferrentino.

  • 2nd Lt Thomas Tanner

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    Birth:

    17 June 1743, Cornwall, Connecticut to Thomas Tanner, Sr. and Martha Borden.

    Death:

    17 January 1817/18, Cooperstown, New York.

    Marriage:

    30 October 1765, Cornwall, Connecticut to Anna Baldwin. She was born in October 1741, probably at Goshen, Connecticut, and died in 1821 or 1822, probably at Cooperstown, New York.

    Children:

    4 sons and 3 daughters.

    Parents:

    2nd Lt. Thomas Tanner’s father was Thomas Tanner who was born about 1695, probably at Haddam, Connecticut, and who died before 19 June 1750. His mother was Martha Borden who was born on 11 September 1700 at Lyme, Connecticut, and died after 1753 at Cornwell, Connecticut. 2nd Lt. Thomas Tanner’s parent were married on 26 December 1727 at East Haddam, Connecticut.

    Occupation:

    Carpenter.

    Military:

    French and Indian War:

    Enlisted at age 18 (abt. 1761), and served 2 years.

    Revolutionary War:

    Second Lieutenant, Bradley’s Connecticut State Regiment, Captain Smith’s Company, 10 June 1776; Taken prisoner at Fort Washington, 16 November 1776; Billeted and paroled as a prisoner of war at Flat Bush, Long Island, New York; Released after 4 years a prisoner of war.

    Cincinnati:

    First represented in 2017 by Ryan James Corker.

    Discussion:

    From Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Tanner, Sr. ,(1893):

    “In October 1773, a war with England pending, he was made ensign of a “trainband” of his townsmen. In May [sic] 1776, he was appointed second lieutenant of Capt. Smith’s company, Col. Bradley’s battalion, Gen. Wadsworth’s brigade. He was in the Battle of Long Island, August 27, in the retreat to New York, Harlem, Washington Heights and into Fort Washington; where, with more than 2,000 Connecticut and Maryland troops, he was taken prisoner November 16. During the night, he and his comrades were marched through New York to Brooklyn, where he was held 4 years a prisoner, meanwhile following his carpenter trade for his support. Released then on parole, he returned to his family in Cornwall, to their great joy and relief. Soon after, in 1781, he moved with his family to New Lebanon, New York, where some of his brother William’s family had doubtless preceded him, and where he remained some twelve years, pursuing his trade, and where his two youngest children were born. In 1793, he removed to Cooperstown, where his two oldest sons had preceded him. Here in this young thriving town, he continued working at his trade till old coming on, he died in 1817, aged 74, and was buried in the old Christ Church cemetery. His wife, Anna, followed him some four years later. Of his moral and religious character, of his personal traits, habits and manners there is nothing known. Family tradition says he was a large, heavy man, while his wife was a quite slim and small woman; hence perhaps the medium size of most of his descendants. His army trunk, hair covered and iron bound, still exists in a great grandson’s family at South Cortland, N. Y.”

    References:

    Bates, Albert C., ed. Lists and Returns of Connecticut Men in the Revolution: 1775-1783, in Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Vol. XII. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood, & Brainard Company, 1909. https://archive.org/details/collectionsofcon12conn.

    Ford, Worthington Chauncey. “Prisoners of War: British and American, 1778,” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1893): 11-12. https://archive.org/details/prisonersofwarbr00ford.

    Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April 1775 to December 1783, New, Revised and Enlarged Edition. Washington D. C.: The Rare Book Shop Publishing Company, Inc., 1914. https://archive.org/details/franheitmanreg00bernrich.

    Johnston, Henry Phelps, ed. Record of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution. Hartford, CT: The Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Company, 1889. https://archive.org/details/waroftherevolution00recorich.

    Tanner, Elias F. Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Tanner, Sr. Lansing, MI: Darius D. Thorp, Printer and Binder, 1893. https://archive.org/details/genealogyofdesce00tann.

    The National Archives. “Thomas Tanner: Bradley’s Regiment, Revolutionary War” in Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War. NARA M881, Record Group 93, Roll 363. https://www.fold3.com/image/16839154.

    ________. “A Pay Roll of Capt. Simeon Smith’s Company in Col. Philip B. Bradley’s Regiment” in Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. NARA M246, Record Group 93, Roll 27, Folder 195. https://www.fold3.com/image/ 10109216.

    ________. “Return of the American Officers and Other Prisoners on Parole on Long Island” in Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. NARA M246, Record Group 93, Roll 136, Folder 6. https://www.fold 3.com/image/9685388.

    Biographical information provided by Ryan James Corker.

  • 3d Lt Joshua Fanning

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    Birth:

    6 Sept. 1748, Groton (New London) CT [Barbour, Vital Records, Groton, CT, p. 117; Walter Frederic Brooks, History of the Fanning Family (Worcester, MA 1905), p. 179, 281]

    Death:

    7 March 1778, at sea off the coast of Barbados [U.S., Navy Casualties Books, 1776-1941, Fanning Family, p. 281]

    Marriage:

    Married Ann Read 26 Jan 1773 at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia (Philadelphia), PA [Pennsylvania, Marriage Records, 1700-1821; Fanning Family, p. 281] note: some records reflect 1793 marriage year.

    Children:

    Lt. Fanning and his wife Ann had a daughter, Mary Fanning b. 9 Mar 1774. and d. 20 Feb 1827 [See DAR Nat’l #219660, Ancestor #A038482] ; Mary Fanning married John Hibbs b. at Neshaminy Presbyterian Church in Warwick (Bucks), PA 3 May 1798 [Pennsylvania, Marriage Records, 1700-1821]; Mary Fanning Hibbs and John Hibbs had a son named for Lt. Fanning, Joshua Fanning Hibbs b.30 Sep 1803 and d. 12 Jan 1867 [DAR] who was a farmer in Falls (Bucks), PA [1860 Federal Census]; Mary may have been called Polly and some materials reference a “Polly” who m. John Hobbs and resided in Bucks County, PA [Fanning Family, p.281]

    Education:

    He appears to have been was well read but details of his education are unknown.

    Occupation:

    It is believed that Joshua was a merchant, trader, and a mariner prior to the revolution, consistent with the family business [Fanning Family, p. 280, p. 700-704]

    Military:

    Lt. Fanning entered Naval Service early in the war. Naval records reflect the following service:
    ● 5 Jan 1776 Promoted to Master (vessel unspecified)
    ● 4 Feb 1776 “Joshua Fanning a First Mate” (vessel unspecified)
    ● 30 Apr 1776 Master of Columbus [Arrangement of Commissioned and Warrant Officers in the American Fleet]
    ● 19 Jun 1776 Recommended for Second Lieutenant on new frigates by Commodore Esek Hopkins
    ● 10 Oct 1776 Money disbursed by Commodore Hopkins to Joshua Fanning, Master of vessel Columbus
    ● 11 Oct 1776 Marine Commission names Joshua Fanning as Third Lieutenant on Randolph

    and served on several vessels prior to joining the frigate Randolph [24th Congress, 1st Session Report No. 463 March 21, 1836] alongside his younger brother Midn. Simeon Fanning under Capt. Nicholas Biddle in 1776. Both Lt. Joshua Fanning and Capt. Biddle died in battle off Barbados when the Randolph exploded during combat with the HMS Yarmouth on 7 Mar 1778. [Navy Casualties: Enemy Action Deaths, 1776-1937] Lt. Simeon Fanning survived the engagement as he was serving as prize master of a tender supporting the Randolph which was able to escape. [Give Me A Fast Ship, Tim McGrath ]

    Cincinnati:

    Died in service. Now represented by Hereditary Member who joined in 2015.

    Discussion:

    Lt. Joshua Fanning was the fifth of eight children and second son born to John Fanning and Abigail Eldridge Minor. In 1766, he moved from Groton/Stonington, CT where his father’s mercantile and shipping business had failed, to Walpole, NH with his brothers and parents. After a few years and being “discontented,” the family then relocated to Little Egg Harbor, NJ. [Fanning Family, p. 280, p. 700-704] He married Ann Read, the sister of US Infantry Captain John Read, at First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia 26 Jan 1773 [Fanning Family, p.281, Pennsylvania Marriage Records], although the couple likely resided in Little Egg Harbor, NJ. They had one daughter, Mary Fanning, 9 Mar 1774. It is believed that Joshua was a merchant, trader, and a mariner prior to the Revolution, consistent with the family business [Fanning Family, p.700-704]

    Like his father and two brothers, Joshua joined the Navy at the outset of the Revolution and served on several vessels before becoming First Lieutenant aboard the 36-gun frigate Randolph, one of 13 ordered by Congress [Rep 463]. He served as the Master or Sailing Master aboard the Columbus under Captain Abraham Whipple during the expedition to New Providence, Bahamas from February to April 1776 as well as during the engagement with HMBS Glasgow.

    He was appointed Third Lieutenant and sailed on the maiden cruise aboard the Randolph under Captain Nicholas Biddle and once escaping the Delaware River captured many prizes en route to Charleston, SC. It is here that Lt. Fanning appears to have drafted his will, which was recorded in Philadelphia in 1779 [Philadelphia Register of Wills, Pennsylvania Historical Society] The Randolph departed Charleston 14 Feb 1778 with a fleet of merchantmen, tenders, and ships of the South Carolina Navy. After seeing the merchantmen past potential British blockades, Randolph and its fleet departed bound for the West Indies and on the evening of 7 Mar 1778 encountered the HMS Yarmouth, a ship of superior firepower. Accounts of the ensuing battle vary:

    Captain William Hall Notre Dame, part of the Randolph’s fleet reports that the Americans hit the Yarmouth “so roughly for 12 or 15 minutes [out of some 20 minutes in all after contact] that the British ship must shortly have struck, having lost her bowsprit and topmasts and being otherwise greatly shattered, while the Randolph had suffered very little; but in this moment of glory, as the Randolph was wearing to get on her quarter, she unfortunately blew up.” [Independent Chronicle, August 13, 1778]

    The log of the Yarmouth’s Captain Nicholas Vincent dated March 17th: ”On the 7th instant at half past five P.M. discovered six sail in the S.W. quarter, on a wind standing to the northward; two of them ships, three brigs and a schooner. We were then 50 leagues due east of this island. We immediately bore down upon them and about nine got close to the weather quarter of the largest and headmost ship. They had no colours hoisted and as ours were then up, I hailed her to hoist hers or I would fire into her; on which she hoisted American and immediately gave us her broadside, which we returned, and in about a quarter of an hour she blew up. It was fortunate for us that we were to windward of her; as it was, our ship was in a manner covered with parts of her. A great piece of a top timber, six feet long, fell on our poop; another large piece of timber stuck in our fore top-gallant sail, then upon the cap. An American ensign, rolled up, blown in upon the forecastle, not so much as singed. Immediately on her blowing up, the other four dispersed different ways. We chased a little while two that stood to the southward and afterwards another that bore away right before the wind, but they were soon out of sight, our sails being torn all to pieces in a most surprising manner. We had five men killed and twelve wounded.” [London Chronicle, May 26,1778; Almon’s Remembrancer, vi, 143; Brit. Adm. Rec., Captain’s Logs, No. 1091 (log of the Yarmouth); Port Folio, October, 1809.]

    Following Lt. Fanning’s death it appears his brother Simeon was returning home, possibly with his brother’s share of prize money, when he, too, died under mysterious circumstances in Wilmington (New Brunswick), NC. [See bio for Simeon Fanning] Ann Read Fanning and Mary Fanning appear to have relocated to Lower Bucks County, PA following Joshua’s death. Joshua’s wife Ann survived him by two years, leaving Mary Fanning an orphan in the care of “pitying friends and relatives” [Rep 463]. His heirs filed several claims with Congress for his share of prize money and pension. The 25th Congress’ second session ultimately passed HR128 which granted the Lt. Joshua Fanning’s heirs one-half of seven years’ First Lieutenant of a frigate’s pay plus interest [25th Congress HR128].

    Biography prepared by by Martin T. McKittrick on 06 November 2015.

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