My family and I were in Massachusetts recently, and we drove home through Rhode Island, the historical home of the Tanner family. I was surprised by what an emotional experience it was to visit since I have never done any genealogy on the line past John Tanner (1778-1850).
|This small cemetery doesn't seem to have any ancestors, but it does have relatives.|
By about 1790, the Tanners left Rhode Island to settle in Washington County, New York, but previous to their departure, the family's connection to Rhode Island goes back to the founding of the colony.
Disclaimer: I am using others' work on the family lines and have not independently verified any of this information.
|A marker telling some of the history of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, the birth place of John Tanner.|
One ancestor, Philip Sherman, became interested in the teachings of John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson, and left Massachusetts to found the community of Portsmouth. He was one of the signers of the Portsmouth Compact in 1638, "the first document in [American] history that severed both political and religious ties with mother England." (Wikipedia.)
|"The Portsmouth Compact." In Isaac Backus, A History of New-England, with particular reference to the...Baptists, Boston: Edward Draper, 1777.|
|A distant uncle's gravestone in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.|
Here is a list of some of the family names in the Tanner line accompanied by their locations as listed in the genealogy:
- Brownell (Portsmouth, Little Compton, Newport).
- Jenckes (Pawtucket, Providence, Warwick). A son of this family, Joseph Jenckes, was an early governor of Rhode Island. Here is a short but very interesting article that includes some information about his father and grandfather, our ancestors: Joseph Jenckes.
- Kenyon (Kingston, Westerley).
- Sherman (Portsmouth). See above.
- Mumford (Kingston). The Great Swamp Fight, a crucial battle during King Philip's War, took place on ancestor Thomas Mumford's land.
- Potter (South Kingston, Portsmouth). I took a quick look around a Potter family cemetery in South Kingston and saw a distant uncle's grave marker in Hopkinton.
- Sheldon (South Kingston).
- Sprague (Smithfield).
- Stanton (Newport).
- Tanner (South Kingston, Hopkinton).
- Tefft (Richmond, South Kingston, Providence).
- Tibbetts (Kingston, Portsmouth).
- Tripp (Portsmouth).
As you look at maps of Rhode Island, many streets and physical features are named after these families. It was an impressive experience to see the family homeland.
|This South Kingston book store is run by a very distant Sherman cousin. The proprietor was very helpful.|
Since these family lines include founders of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and of our nation, many of the family lines have been thoroughly and accurately researched. Over the next several years I will start exploring this colonial American family history and its connection to the history of the Baptist churches in America and confirming the relationships (as possible). I will present the research here.
|Who is Mary Tanner? How is she related to John Tanner? What is the meaning of the text on the gravestone about the Civil War?|