Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ancestor Birthday Celebrations, William Franklin Fenton

William Franklin Fenton is the great great grandfather of Man. He was born July 5, 1833, reportedly in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He died in Rockville, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on March 4, 1922. William was a farmer, sailor and fisherman. William married Margaret Catherine Haley on May 25, 1850 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. William and Margaret had 9 children, William Franklin, Annie Louise, Charles Henry, Emma Stella, John Albert Haley, Clara Irene, George Edmond, Julia Agnes, and Robert Crowell.

Most likely the most dramatic event of William’s life was the loss of two of his sons on the same day, May 7, 1882. Both Charles Henry and John Albert Haley died that day in a tragic accident that their older brother managed to escape. A report of this accident is found in “Yarmouth past and present; a book of reminiscences”, by J Murray Lawson, Publisher: Yarmouth, N.S. [Printed at the Yarmouth herald Office] 1902, the report reads:

"On Saturday evening, May 6th, a lobster smack, belonging to Capt. William McDonnell, of Argyle, and commanded by Capt. William Fenton, came to anchor in Chebogue Harbor. Capt. Fenton took the boat and went ashore, leaving a boy named Thomas Greene in the schooner. On Sunday Capt. Fenton's three sons William, about 21 years old; Charles, 16 years, and John, 14 years embarked in a boat to bring Greene ashore. The boat capsized a few moments afterwards, and all were drowned except William, who clung to the bottom of the boat until she drifted ashore, where he laid for sometime unconscious. The body of Charles Fenton was subsequently recovered about 3/4 of a mile from where the accident happened."

William is buried at the Chebogue Town Point Cemetery, Chebogue, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, as is his wife, Margaret. I have no photo of any headstone, hope to some day.

Man’s great grandfather was William Franklin Fenton, the only person to survive this boating tragedy.

* Photo identified to be William Franklin Fenton (the elder), courtesy of Karen Fenton, Man's second cousin once removed.


Myrna said...

Wow Carol, that is quite a story. You are inspiring me to get going and do some research. I love the human interest side of this. We have several rumours about our Grandfather and I need to find out the truth. It could be a good story, as there was a name change involved in it. I continue to read your blogs with great interest... Myrna

Carol said...

Morning Myrna, please tell me you were not really reading this at 3 AM?? Dear me! LOL Al's grandfather changed his name, I will be writing about him now and then, he is the one that really got me hooked on research. Not sure if I should blame him or thank him! LOL

gail conway said...

My name is Gail Kippenberger Conway and my grandfather George Fenton was William's brother. The story you post is true, the oldest son was adopted. They went out in the boat and the one son lived. My mother can remember the story well, she was George's middle daughter. Would love to talk to you Karen. Gail Kippenberger Fenton Conway