The Fennell family connects to the Hammitt line in 1923 when Ruth Eva Fennell married Isaac Edwin Hammitt on October 6th. Isaac was the 2x’s great grandson of Samuel Hammitt and Jane Simmons. The photo featured in the header of the website is of Isaac and his children.
Currently the family is represented in Cheryl’s tree. This branch of the tree holds the records of over 1000 Fennell descendants and ancestors. From church beginnings to the discovery of oil, the Fennell families played a large part in the settling of Western Pennsylvania. Although family events and accomplishments are well documented the progenitor of the family is not.
Like other Fennell researchers we have relied heavily on The Fennell Chronicles, by Mrs. Raymond Ralston. Mrs. Ralston’s accounting identifies Frederick Fehnel, Sr. as the “earliest Fennell ancestor” and one of four brothers. In a letter to Mrs. Ralston, Lt. Col. Fennell identifies the four as: Christopher, Frederick, Conrad and Abraham. He also wrote that tradition tells us the family “fled Germany during the prosecution of Protestants to England during 1702 – 1709, thence coming to America”.
Newspaper accounts from 1911 reported the first Fehnel reunion, held at the Moorestown church in Moorestown, Northampton County, Pennsylvania. Attended by over 60 families from seven states, the reunion was held to honor the memory of Gottlieb Fehnel. It was reported that Gottlieb had “settled in Northampton County in the early part of the eighteenth century” having landed “from Odenwald, Germany.
Could Gottlieb have been the first Fennell?