Hi Ferneyhough researchers. I don't know if anyone else has seen this but it seems to be the most complete analysis of the Ferneyhough family of Virginia (mainly Spottsylvania County) This can be found in the Family History library at familyhistory.com. Search in the library on Ferneyhough surname. I hope that I am not violating any Copywright laws in relating this information.
I only have a poor printout of this info. Some is difficult to read. I suggest that you order the microfilm and read it for yourself as there are parts that I am missing.
Title: Ham--Hamm--Farneyhough--Farneyhow--Warren--Lucas--Thrift : and some related families of Virginia
compiled by Edythe Rucker Whitley, 1967
The Farneyhough Family of Virginia
This is a name which various spellings, makes it difficult to trace. The more common spellings being Fearneyough, Fearneyhough, Fearneyhow, Ferneyhough, Fearneaugh, etc.
Due to the many variations and to the fact that this is a small family compared to most, the history which is here prepare is not a long one.
I was somewhat surprised when I began working on the Farneyhough family to find that there was not a reference in National Daughters of the American Revolution library in Washington. I personally checked and found no card in their invaluable index. I then checked the DAR and discovered that no one had ever joined the DAR on a Fearneyhough ancestor. This caused me to check for something written on the family in Swan’s Index to Virginia Genealogies, and in Stewarts Index to Virginia Genealogies. Here again I was surprised to find little or nothing published regarding this family, which through the years has produced some very prominent personages.
Therefore, it is to be seen that a great deal of work has been put into these few pages. I am sure that much more work could be done and produce additional information, yet, it would be a long and very time consuming project, and probably would reveal little more than recorded in these pages.
It is believed that the immigrant ancestor of the Spottsylvania branch of the family was Thomas Ferneyhough, however, documentation and proof of this is limited and partly conjectured. It is strongly indicated that John Robert Ferneyhough Sr., Thomas Ferneyhough, William Ferneyhough, Edward Ferneyhough, and Ann Ferneyhough, were brothers and sister and possibly children of an earlier generation whose name may have been Thomas Ferneyhough. It is apparent that John R., William, Thomas, Edward and Ann were related for their families intermarried back and forth, and they intermarried into the same families, and all lived in the same general section of Virginia. However, I am not definite in their relationship.
Ann Ferneyhough, the only known female of the group married in Orange County, Virginia 11 May 1778 Thomas Gilbert. Their daughter Mary became the daughter of John Ferneyhough Jr. of Sligo.
Thomas Ferneyhough of the group or family mentioned above was born about 1736 and married in Orange county, 19 February 1776 Aggt Lucas. William another of them married in Orange County 19 November 1775 Sarah Norton. Both of St. Thomas Parish. There is no marriage found for Edward, yet he is mentioned as early as 1745 in Caroline County, Virginia.
John Robert Ferneyhough
(son of ?? Thomas Ferneyhough)
Born in England
Died at “Sligo” Fredericksburg, Virginia 1815
Married Margaret Walker
According to Mrs. Annie F. Shairy, of Washington D. C., John Robert Ferneyhough of England, married Margaret Walker, daughter of a Scotch Merchant of Falmouth, Stafford County, Virginia.
He built his home in Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1752 and named it “Sligo”, where he lived throughout his life.
Fredericksburg was laid out by legislative act February 1727 (4 Hening 234) from 50 acres of land then within the bounds of Spottsylvania County, on the south side of the Rappahannock River, just below the falls thereof. It was thus the head of navigation, and from this date until the development of the railroad, was an important sea-port for ocean-going vessels of heavy burden. By the time of the revolution it was a town of importance and shortly thereafter Fredericksburg was made a corporation and completely severed from the County of Spottsylvania and authorized to have a court house of its own. The first court for the newly formed corporation was held 15 April 1782 and the marriage records date from that year (src Wm. Pennock, 1782).
As Fredericksburg was the chief trading center for a large area, and in 1789 became also the seat of the Fredericksburg District Court, there was much coming and going. (Catherine Lindsay Knorr, Fredericksburg marriages).
Mrs. Margaret Walker Ferneyhough died in 1827.
While living at “Sligo” John Robert Ferneyhough witnessed the will of Mary Washington, Mother of George Washington.
Mrs. Ferneyhough’s brother, Joseph Walker, wrote the will and was also a witness.
John Robert Ferneyhough and his son John Jr. kept in correspondence with relatives in England until their deaths. In December 1862 the Federal soldiers looted “Sligo” and destroyed all family papers and letters which accounts for the scarcity of dates and fuller information regarding the family history. “Sligo” has been re-built several times at the same site.
There is no record of the will of John or Thomas Ferneyhough in Spottsylvania. The inventory and appraisement of the estate of John od “Sligo” is on record.
Sligo in 1963 was owned by Sidney Shannon Jr. 2401 Plank Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
There is a question in my mind as to whether John Robert Ferneyhough Senior was the emigrant or not? He may have come with his father. My reason for having this doubt is that if John Robert Ferneyhough, Senior, purchased “Sligo” in 1752 and built the mansion house, then did not have a child born until 1788; he was a long time after building the home before he married and had a family.
Secondly, I have records showing that a Thomas Ferneyhough married as early as 1776 and that William Ferneyhough married 1775 which certainly bears evidence that John R. Ferneyhough either had brothers of this name or had sons who must have been by a first wife and not the sons of Margaret Walker.
The span of 36 ears from the date Sligo is supposed to have geen built until John Robert Ferneyhough Jr. was born by wife Margaret Walker. It seems very unlikely that such a mansion as Sligo would have no mistress from 1752 until 1788. I cannot help but conclude that John Robert Ferneyhough Senior, had a first marriage by whom he had Thomas and William and possibly other children. Then he married a second time Margaret Walker and had three children, among them a son John Robert Ferneyhough, Junior.
Or could Thomas and William Ferneyhough have been brothers of John Robert Ferneyhough Senior? I have not found the answer. There is much to be desired to clear this question up. It would not only clear the relation to each other of John Robert Sr, Thomas, and William but would account for some cousins intermarriages which are also questions unsolved.
In concluding the information obtained to this date on the Ferneyhough Family, I am of the opinion that John Robert Ferneyhough Sr., Thomas Ferneyhough, William Ferneyhough , and Edward Ferneyhough were brothers and sons of a man by the name of Thomas Ferneyhough. I say this by adding that some of my statement is conjecture and I have no definite proof of my statement except circumstances and by analysis of the records.
The name may have a variation which I have overlooked and missed in my careful study of data on this family and their connections. There is no doubt in my mind that the family was well seated in Spottsylvania and that section of Virginia long before the Revolutionary war.
The Children of John Ferneyhough and Margaret
1. John Robert Ferneyhough born September 21, 1788 died August 6, 1860 aged 72 years. He married first Mary Gilbert. His second wife was Mrs. Shipp nee Garnett. His third wife whom he married Sept 3 1844 was Eliza Thrift according to family records. They were married by Rev. R. K. Meade.
2. Frances Married in Fredericksburg VA. 16 Feb. 1820 Solomon Adams
3. Margaret died in infancy
There is more information on John Jr which I can post at a later date.
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