Parents of Edmund Fanning 1620-1683 the Immigrant Fanning Ancestor?

Who were the parents of Edmund Fanning of Stonington Connecticut and what is his Irish ancestry??

Location map of Connecticut, USA
Location map of Connecticut, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of folk in America and probably Canada as well can trace their family tree back to Edmund Fanning who was born in Ireland about 1620 and died in Connecticut in 1683.

DNA tests as well as family documents have proved these lineages.

But in family trees there are several different parents given for this Edmund.

So far I haven’t seen any proof or reliable sources to back up what so many have on their family trees. It may be that there is no supporting documents and that we will never know for sure who they were.

But if anyone out there can back up his claim as to Edmund’s parents I’d love to hear from you. Or if you have any ideas on the matter please contact me.

I have been looking around on the internet and especially in some of the old books on archive.org for references to this Edmund.

The parents of Edmund are commonly given as Nicholas Fanning and Ellen Cantwell in family trees on Rootsweb World Connect and Ancestry.com.

WikiTree has the Parents of Edmund as Nicholas Fanning born Ballingarry, Tipperary Ireland 1593 died there 1653; Ellen Cantwell born Tipperary 1598 died 1699.

This tree goes further back:

The parents of Nicholas are given as William Fanning born Ballingarry Tipperary 1560 and Catherine Purcell born Ballingarry 1564;

The father of this William Fanning was William Fanning born Ballingarry 1532 died Farranrory 20 Sept 1579

His father was Oliver Fanning born Garynegrye 1500 died 1600

His father was William Fanning born Ballyclaghin Co Kilkenny 1472 died Ballingarry 1538.

There don’t seem to be any sources for this tree.

Nicholas Schenck and Walter Frederic Brooks however believe Francis Fanning was Edmund’s father but again it is hard to see why they believe this.

The following is a post by Jon Fannon (Dec18, 2008 in Ireland Roots Tipperary) where he gives an outline of  what he thinks is the ancestry of Edmund Fanning, the immigrant ancestor of many American Fannings.

“Edmund of Conn. line however is : Conn. Edmund (b.1620) was son of Francis (b. about 1588 was a sheriff and mayor in Limerick also) and Francis is possibly the brother to Simon fitzClement. (Clement had 3 sons. 1st came Simon, then Edward or Edmund, and 3rd Francis) Edward fitzClement had a son Nicholas who also was sheriff or mayor. Francis fitzClement had two sons Thomas and Edmund. Francis Fanning with Edmund fitzFrancis Fanning and Thomas fitzFrancis Fanning along with Nicholas Fanning are documented forced to leave limerick to Ballengyre by the English in 1651 or 1653 I cant remember right now, and then was again named in some sort of reconciliation from the Queen in 1660 I believe. Its presumed Edmund went on to Conn. sometime after 1653, possibly in 1660. Keep in mind for this hundred year period there was a Fanning as sheriff or mayor in Limerick most of the time. Wether or not it was a cousin a brother a nephew, it seems there were no shortage of Fanning law men, and to complicate this more their names were repeated generation after generation causing a lot of confusion. ”

From the Surnames of Ireland by Edward Maclysaght we have this paragraph on the Fanning name and origins:

A name of Norman origin prominent in Co Limerick where Fanningstown, formerly Ballyfanning, indicates the location. They were formally of Ballingarry, Co Tipperary where in the fifteenth century the head of the family was, like Irish chiefs, officially described as “Captain of his nation“.”

Walter Frederic Brooks thought that Edmund’s father was Francis Fanning.

“Alderman Francis Fanning, the third son of Clement, served as sheriff in 1632-3, and as mayor of Limerick in 1644”

“At the time of the Confiscations in 1653-54 Francis Fanning’s estates were forfeited, and he received sentence of transplantation to Connaught. Francis also had a son Edward who also received sentence of transplantation at the same time….his name is given as Edward Fitz-Francis Fanning.

This Edward or Edmund Fanning, son of the above mentioned Francis Fanning, ex-Mayor of Limerick, emigrated in 1653 or soon after to America and settled in Connecticut.” pages 31-32 Vol 1 History of the Fanning Family by Walter Frederic Brooks.

I do find it strange that Edmund and his children did not call any of their descendants Nicholas or Francis although a daughter of Thomas is called Frances. Edmund named his sons Edmund,Thomas, John, William and James.

Nicholas Schenck has a similar lineage to Walter Brook:

Nicholas W. Schenck Diary: “The American – Fanning Line’ written c 1905

The first Fanning who came to this country was Edmund Fanning – born in Ireland in (about)1620 – of the Fannings in Ireland – Limerick, Tipperary, Kilkinny, Clare – the name is on record from 13th Century to confutation under Cromwell in 1652. Vast estates were established to the Fannings.

Edmund – the emigrant American ancestor – who settled in Connecticut about 1653 was the son of Francis Fanning, 1841 Mayor of Limerick, Ireland – Connaught Certification Office of Exchequer, Dublin. His name is given as Fitz – Francis Fanning. Fit-Francis means son of Francis – Fitz is French or Norman meaning ‘son of ____’.

This Edmund or Edmond – emigrated to America in 1653 (authority) of John O’Hart, Edmund Irish antiquity and author of Irish Peogries – Clentus of Ireland and is found at Fisher Island in 1655 and 1657, later at Groton – Connecticut (near New London) 1664 – now called Ledyard – where he had a farm called Groton Farm – which remained in possession of family for 150 years – where he lived until his death in 1683. “

My interest in Edmund Fanning’s ancestry comes from the fact that my Fanning family here in Australia are linked to this Edmund as shown in a DNA test. So we must be descendants not from Edmund but from his relations who stayed in Ireland.

When I was in Ireland I visited Ballingarry and was told about a Fanning castle in Farranrory. We found what is left of the castle and spent a few hours climbing around it and taking photos. Then when I was briefly in the National Library I found a pedigree for the Fannings who lived in this castle. So I would like Edmund to be related to the Farranrory Fannings!!

In terms of names in our family Edward and William have been used over and over, never a Nicholas or Dominick and only my grandfather was called Francis, which I think is a bit too far down the track to be relevant.

If anyone has any info on the ancestry of  Edmund I’d be most interested to hear from you.