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Descendants of Thomas FARNSWORTH

Fifth Generation


5. Henry FARNSWORTH Sr (Thomas , Thomas , Thomas , Thomas ) was born about 1748. He died on 24 Apr 1816 in Greene County, Tennessee.

The families of Farnsworth in the United States and in Canada are probably of English or Scottish origin, and may have derived their name from one of two places in Lancashire, England, bearing the name of Farnsworth. One of them is in the parish of Prescott, not far from Liverpool, on the way to Manchester, in the Hundred of Salford. The word is a Saxon descriptive compound, from "fern" (Anglo Saxon fearn), the fern plant, and "worth", in Saxon English, a valuable farm, or estate, the whole signifying a ferny land, farm or estate, the places to which the name applied having been very productive of ferns. Farnworth in the parish of Dean, was an ancient manor of about 1400 acres, with a manor court, and had upon it, a stone residence that bore the name of Farnworth Hall. It was standing and occupied as the manor house as late as Queen Elizabeth2 CONC d to go to decay. It was probably occupied as a residence in the days of Joseph and Matthias Farnsworth, the early emigrants to this country. The old manor is now a town, and has become noted as a place for the manufacture of paper. The largest mills in that trade in England are there. It has a population of about 25,000. The introduction of the "s" into the name is no doubt a corruption, and probably arose from some notion of euphony. The Groton (American) records almost uniformly spell the name without an "s" until about 1750; but the usage of the family had changed somewhat earlier. The pronunciation in early times in this country was probably as if spelled "Farnoth", as it is spelled in some records. So far as is known, three Farnsworths were the only emigrants of the name, who settled in America. They are Joseph, Matthias and Thomas. Joseph Farnsworth of Dorchester came over with the Dorchester company in 1628. Matthias Farnsworth (more than likely a brother of Joseph) was residing at Lynn in 1657; he probably moved to Groton in 1660; he is the grandfather of Matthias, taken prisoner in 1704. Thomas Farnsworth, a Quaker, who apparently was connected in some way with the adventure of William Penn, came to Bordentown in 1681. In August 1704, Matthias Farnsworth III was taken prisoner by the Indians and carried into Canada, where he was delivered to the French. By the parish records of Montreal we see that he was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church there, and the record as made in French, gives his name as Matthias-Claude Farneth. The name Claude was given to him by his godfather, Claude Ramezay, Governor of Montreal. The name Farneth is the appropriate spelling of Farnoth pronounced by the young prisoner. He was naturalized at Montreal and he married on the 2nd of October 1713, Catherine Charpentier, by whom he had twelve children. The first record that we have of Henry Farnsworth, Sr. is when he leased land in Loudoun County, Virginia, through an attorney from a man of the Barbados Islands. Henry served in the Revolutionary War from Loudoun County as lieutenant and captain. A John Farnsworth, thought to have been his brother, was killed in the war, apparently before April 14, 1778 when aid was given his widow. After the war was over, Henry and his family made their way south and settled in East Tennessee, where he had a land grant of almost 1000 acres on Richland Creek, tributary of the Nalichucky River, which with the Holston and French Broad becomes the Tennessee River. Henry was on the Greene County tax list in 1783 and by 1805 all his sons were also listed. An Adonijah Farnsworth was also in Loudoun County, Virginia at the same time as Henry, with his wife Hannah; they had sons, John and Robert, both over 16 years in 1787. The origin and relationship of the Loudoun County Farnsworths has not been found. Several researchers have concluded that Henry must have come from Hunterdon County, NJ and descended of Thomas Farnsworth of Bordentown, through his son, Henry. However, the story has been handed down and strongly believed by descendants in Greene County that Henry was in fact descended from Mattias Farnsworth, who was born at Eccles, Lancastershire, England on July 20, 1612. He was a weaver by occupation; died January 21, 1688. Mattias was the son of Richard Farnsworth, born in Eccles, Lancastershire, England about 1584; married on January 12, 1608 to Elizabeth Marshe, born November 1, 1584 at Eccles. Mattias, a brother and three sisters are the only known children of Richard and Elizabeth; therefore, probably not a brother of the early Farnsworth immigrants, Joseph and Thomas. It is also believed that Henry's father or grandfather fought and lost his life in the Revolution in the battle of Bunker Hill.

Henry married (1) Margaret Jane MCKEEHAN. Margaret was born about 1750.

They had the following children:

+ 6 M i George FARNSWORTH Sr
+ 7 M ii John M FARNSWORTH
+ 8 F iii Jane FARNSWORTH
+ 9 M iv Henry FARNSWORTH Jr
+ 10 F v Mary FARNSWORTH
+ 11 M vi David FARNSWORTH
+ 12 M vii Benjamin FARNSWORTH
+ 13 M viii Robert FARNSWORTH
+ 14 F ix Sarah FARNSWORTH
  15 F x Perline FARNSWORTH.
        Perline married William H HANKINS on 28 Jan 1822 in Greene County, Tennessee.

Henry also married (2) Elizabeth BENNET on 12 Nov 1807 in Greene County, Tennessee. Elizabeth was buried in Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee.

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