Cortland County
Jennings Article
from Cutters


Joshua Jennings, immigrant ancestor, was born as early as 1620, in England. The first record of him in this country is that of his marriage, at Hartford, December 22, 1647, to Mary Williams, of that town. In 1650 he settled in Fairfield with other Hartford men. The tradition of the family says that he landed first at what is now Bridgeport, and went to Barlow's Plain. "He was an intelligent and industrious man, worthy citizen and maintained an excellent reputation. He died in 1675, leaving a good estate to his wife and children." From him have descended many prominent citizens. Green Farms, which was formerly part of Fairfield, is composed largely of Jennings descendants. "Their name is associated with thrift and prosperity; honest, industrious and orderly lives; domestic in their habits, or fond of home life; retiring, not seeking publicity." They were also patriotic, as the records show, ready to risk property and life in defence of their country. Children: Joshua, married Mary Lyon; Joseph, married (first Abigail Gurney, and (second) Sarah Bulkeley; Michael; John, married Sarah _____; Samuel, mentioned below; Matthew, married Hannah Wheeler; Isaac, married _____ Beers; Mary, married _____ Curtis; Elizabeth, married ______ Smith.

(II) Samuel, son of Joshua Jennings, married Sarah, daughter of Michael Grumman. He died in 1734, and his will was dated 1728. Children: Michael, baptized September 9, 1694; Elizabeth, March 9, 1696; Patience, September 25, 1698; Sarah, February 11, 1699; Samuel, March 22, 1702; Eunice, January 21, 1705; Dorothy, November 13, 1709; Nathan, May 18, 1711, mentioned below; Benjamin, September 20, 1713.

(III) Nathan, son of Samuel Jennings, was baptized May 18, 1711, died in 1757. He married _______ ________, and had children, born in Fairfield: David, Jabez, Michael, James, Nathaniel, Eliphalet, Nathan; Anne, married Alexander Hamilton; Sarah, married a Mr. Jackson.

(IV) The sons of Nathan Jennings settled at Willington and Ellington, Connecticut. According to the first federal census of 1790, an "Em" Jennings, doubtless meant for one of the sons, had two males over sixteen, two under that age and three females in his family, living in Ellington. At Willington, an adjacent town of Tolland county, there were Nathaniel, with three sons under sixteen and two females; Davis, with two sons over sixteen and two females; Nathan, with two sons over sixteen, one under that age and three females; Nathaniel 2d, with two sons under sixteen and two females and Widow Jennings with one son under sixteen and two females. Some of these were grandsons of Nathan.

(V) Oliver Jennings, grandson of Nathan Jennings, was born at Fairfield or Ellington, Connecticut. He was a soldier in the revolution, in Colonel Huntington's regiment, a corporal, reported missing after the battle of Long Island, August 27, 1776. He was taken prisoner and died on a British prison ship. Children: Lucinda, Cordial and Oliver.

(VI) Cordial, son of Oliver Jennings, was born before 1776. He removed to Cornwall, Vermont in later life. He married Lucy Foote Gunn, of an old Connecticut family. Children: Sherben, mentioned below; Betsey; David; Chauncey, born in Cornwall, Vermont, April 3, 1811; Bradford.

(VII) Sherben, son of Cordial Jennings, was born in Ellington, Connecticut, about 1800. He married Sabrina Smith. Children, born in Vermont or New York state: Cordial, mentioned below; Clarinda, Ebenezer, Mary, Henry, Lucinda, William, David and Adelaide.

(VIII) Cordial (2), son of Sherben Jennings, was born in Vermont, about 1820. He went to New York state with his parents and located in the town of Venice, removing afterward to Moravia, New York. He had a common school education. He was a farmer, hotel keeper, and dealer in lumber and produce, an earnest, capable and well-to-do citizen. He retired from active business some five years before he died. He was a Congregationalist in religion. He was a Free Mason and a member of the Royal Arch Chapter. He married Irene Mellen, of Homer, New York, daughter of Jeremiah and Fannie (Mills) Mellen. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Jennings: 1. Clarence Mills, born July 27, 1856, in Venice, New York, a coal and ice dealer in Cortland; married Elizabeth J. Story and has a son, Frank S., born May 17, 1889. 2. Frank Smith, mentioned below.

(IX) Dr. Frank Smith Jennings, son of Cordial (2) Jennings, was born February 16, 1859, at Moravia, New York. He attended the public schools and graduated from the Moravia high school. He received his medical education at Syracuse University and the University of the City of New York, from which he was graduated with the degree of M.D., in the class of 1880. He began to practice medicine in Moravia, and after two years located at Dryden, New York, where he continued for a period of seventeen years. He came to Cortland in 1900, and since then has been in general practice in that town. He is a member of the town, county and state medical societies and of the American Medical Association. He was postmaster of Dryden during the Harrison administration. He is a member of Cortlandville Lodge, No. 470, Free and Accepted Masons. He is one of the vestrymen of the Protestant Episcopal church.

He married, in 1880, Mary Givens, of Dryden, daughter of William R. and Nancy (Lamont) Givens (see Givens below). They had one child, Laura, born June 6, 1884, died July 27, 1905; married R.F. Smith of Cortland; child, Laura Jennings Smith, born July 27, 1905.

(I) Samuel Givens, immigrant ancestor, was born in Ireland, and brought up in England. He came to America with his father, when a young boy. His father's name is thought to have been Samuel. He fought in the war of the revolution in 1776, when only sixteen years of age, and his father was in the same war. He lived in Orange county, New York, where he married Jane King. He removed to Dryden, Tompkins county, New York, in 1804. He had a large grant of land there from the state and this was very likely given for services rendered in the revolutionary war. Children: Amos; Charles, mentioned below; William, Margaret, Letty, Sarah, Katie and Jane.

(II) Colonel Charles Givens, son of Samuel Givens, was born in Orange county, New York, and came to Dryden, New York, with his parents, when he was six years of age. He was colonel in the New York state militia, and was very prominent in the affairs of the town of Dryden, being supervisor, and holding other offices all his life, until he was obliged to decline the nominations offered him. He married Laura Kingsley. Children: Thomas; William R., mentioned below; Edward, Loretta, Harrison, Charles and Laura.

(III) William R., son of Colonel Charles Givens, was born in Dryden, New York, April 15, 1821. He was educated in the common schools and at the old Ithaca Academy. After leaving here he taught school for twelve years and worked on the farm summers. In 1862 he bought the Fortner place of one hundred and fifty acres, and, in 1865, he bought the William Trapp property of fifty-eight acres, and a part of the Scofield property and the Allen property, all adjoining each other. In politics he was a Republican, and held many offices in town, being a prominent and respected citizen. He was generous in supporting school and church affairs, and was a conscientious and well-to-do citizen. When twenty-seven years of age he married Nancy, daughter of Archibald Lamont, of the Isle of Bute, Scotland. She was born in 1824, died May 18, 1901. He died October 22, 1892. Children: Archibald, Ella, Laura; Mary, married Dr. Frank Smith Jennings (see above - Jennings IX).

          Entry done by Marilyn Lane on June 30, 1998

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Created 30 June 1998

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