Diary of Nicholas W. Schenck 1830 to 1916

The immediate ancestry of Edmund Fanning, the American Immigrant Ancestor, and  his descendants in America is traced in the diary of Nicholas Schenck.

Nicholas W. Schenck (1830-1916) was the son of Eliza Ann Fanning and William Schenck. He was born in Brooklyn, NY on January 8, 1830. The family moved to Wilmington NC in May 1836 after the death of his father and lived with an uncle, Phineas Fanning. Schenck lived in Wilmington until 1865 and visited often until his death in 1916. The diary was written around 1905 and recalls Wilmington before and after the civil war.

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. “

The Anglo Normans in Ireland

Anglo-Normans are so called because they’d lived in England for a hundred years (103 yrs) before coming into Ireland in 1169.
They were Vikings by origin who had become somewhat French while living and intermarrying in Normandy. They originally came from Norway or Denmark around 900. One of these Vikings was Rollo, ancestor of the Duke of Normandy.

The Normans had come to England as invaders with William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066, which was only a century and a half after the Vikings had settled in Normandy in 911.

In Ireland the Normans intermarried with the Irish and the Norman race was assimilated.
The first form of the name on record appears to be “Fanyn”.

The author of “The Norman People and their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States of America”, published by H.S.King in 1874, says that the names Fanning, Fannin and Fannon come from Fainent or Faineant and cite John and William Faitneant or Fainent of Normandy 1198.

The Irish conquest was an extension of the conquest of Wales – an activity of Norman lords in the marches who were acting more or less independently of the crown. Once successful, their conquests were adopted by Henry II.