Hannah Gannett

(circa 1655 - )

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Relationship8th great-grandmother of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Tracy
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Tracy Family Pedigree

Some Background

As of December 2017, the parentage of Hannah (Gannett) Thornell has not been determined. That said, it can be shown she is not the daughter of several Gannett families.
     Hannah (Gannett) Thornell is NOT the daughter of Matthew and Hannah (Andrews) Gannett of Scituate, born 1653, as so many online genealogies contend. Their daughter married David Adams, as his 2nd wife, prior to 1672. He was the son of Nathaniel and Sarah Adams, and was probably born in Weymouth about 1640. He died in Boston July 3, 1705.
     Matthew Gannett's will dated 23 Aug 1694 names a daughter Hannah Adams without further information about her, but also mentions his grandson, David Adams. Matthew’s widow Hannah (Andrews) Gannett also mentions this grandchild, David Adams, in her will dated 18 Oct 1700. (She doesn’t mention her daughter Hannah indicating that Hannah Adams had probably died between 1694 and 1700.) Hannah (Gannett) Adams bore six children all of whom except son David (b. 23 May 1676) died before 1694.
     Hannah (Gannett) Thornell is NOT the daughter of Matthew's only brother Thomas and his wife Sarah (Mullins) Gannett, as there were no children born to them.
     However, there quite likely is a connection between Hannah (Gannett) Adams and Hannah (Gannett) Thornell. Among their children, in addition to Hannah who married Adams, Matthew and Hannah Gannett had a son named Rehoboth who settled in New Jersey. Rehoboth Gannett owned several parcels of land in Woodbridge in the 1670s and 1680s, at the same time Hannah (Gannett) Thornell lived in that town. Rehoboth was granted a house lot on 18 March 1669 - the same year a house lot was granted to Israel Thornell, Hannah’s husband; both men are listed as Freeholders of Woodbridge in 1670. On 10 Dec 1683, Rehoboth Gannett and Israel Thornell are named together (among others) in the inventory listing for the estate of Francis Duke of Piscataway, New Jersey, as being indebted to Duke. These coincidences(?) would indicate that Hannah with her husband Israel and Rehoboth were living near one another between 1669 and 1683, at least.
     Israel Thornell died unexpectedly in 1688 and left Hanna with 6 or 7 children ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years. It would not have been unusual for Hannah to have married again to secure support for her young children. However, to date (December 2017), no record of Hannah Thornell being married to anyone after Israel’s death has been found. And, she was named as Anna Thornell in a Woodbridge property transfer dated 4 July 1695: “Anna Thornell to John Elslie, both of Woodbridge, for 4 acres of meadow, part of a larger lot, bo't by her dec'd husband Israel Thornell of Stephen Kent at Rariton...”. As typically these property transfers would name the parties involved with absolute clarity (e.g., “Anna ------, widow of Israel Thornell”, had she remarried) this suggests that she did not remarry before that 1695 date. (In January 1696, as part of another property transfer: “Thomas Smith and wife Deborah to Richard Powell, all of Woodbridge, for 5 acres of Rariton meadows there, bounded as in deed from Anna, widow of Israel Thornell of January 28, 1688.” Here the lack of a surname may suggest she was still “Thornell” in 1696; or, that she had remarried but her new married name was not of importance since the original transfer being referred to (to identify the property in this later transaction) was during Israel’s lifetime – he died several months after that transfer.)
     To add a bit more confusion, Hannah Gannet is sometimes referred to as Hannah Hall Gannett… the name “Hall” incorporated with varying degrees of certainty or uncertainty. Isaac Watson Dunham introduces the “Hall” name (inadvertently, it appears – an editing error?) in his entry for Nathaniel Dunham in his Dunham Genealogy. “14 NATHANIEL (Jonathan), b. April 10, 1679; m. (i) Oct. 20. 1703. by Samuel Hall, Joannah Thornell, dau. of Israel and Hannah Hall.” (Town records clearly name Joannah as the daughter of Israel and Hannah Thornell.) As his 1907 genealogy of Deacon John Dunham has for many years served as a seminal source for information regarding the Dunham family, this piece of misinformation was accepted, apparently without further research to confirm it, and so has entered into numerous iterations of that family’s genealogy being presented on the Internet.
     To this date (Dec. 2017), no record of the marriage of Israel Thornell and Hannah Gannett has been found to confirm their marriage (or Hannah's maiden name for that matter) and give a clue as to their origins.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 Hannah Gannett was also known as Anna Thornell.

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildHannah Gannett was born circa 1655. year calculated based on age of about 20 years at time of birth of her first known child.9
BrideIsrael Thornell married Hannah Gannett circa 1675. Year calculated based on the year of birth of her first known child.9
WidowShe became a widow when her husband Israel died in September 1688 or October 1688. She was left with seven children to raise, the eldest 12 years old and the youngest a year and a half. She was named in a property transfer dated 4 July 1695 as Anna Thornell; her deceased husband Israel Thornell. This would suggest that she did not remarry before that 1695 date; "The death of Israel Thornell, the "rate-gatherer" for 1688, seems to have made a great deal of trouble. He died, probably, in September or October, after some of the taxes had been paid; but left his accounts in an unsettled condition. Evidence and personal oaths were required to settle the question of payment in many cases. Not that Thornell was dishonest; but being stricken down suddenly, he had no time to adjust his business with the town. As receipts were not given by the Collector the inhabitants were liable to be visited a second time for the same year's tax. John Ilsley acceptably filled out the unexpired term of Mr. Thornell."10,11

Children with Israel Thornell:

Sources - Citations

  1. [S646] Clarence A. Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985) Digitized by americanancestors.org - subscription database. 1:6; marriage uncertain, Torrey entered bride as "Hannah [?GANNETT]."
  2. [S1062] Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, Compiler, Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881., online at: https://www.americanancestors.org/index.aspx; (New England Historic Genealogical Society), accessed Dec 2017, https://www.americanancestors.org/DB1558/i/20952/8354-co5/0 ; names, events, dates, relationships.
  3. [S1062] Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881., Dec 2017, https://www.americanancestors.org/DB1558/i/20952/8344-co5/0 ; names, events, dates, relationships.
  4. [S428] Donald Lines Jacobus, The American Genealogist (New Haven, Connecticut: n.pub., 2009), 30:68; marriage of Hannah the daughter of Matthew and Hanna Gannett to David Adams.
  5. [S1040] Samuel Deane, History of Scituate, Massachusetts, From Its First Settlement to 1831 (Boston: James Loring, 1831), pg. 273; named as Hannah Adams; Rehoboth to NJ.
  6. [S1037] Joseph W. Dally, Woodbridge and Vicinity : The Story of a New Jersey Township : Embracing the History of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, from the earliest times; the History of the different Ecclesiastical Bodies; Important Official Documents relating to the Township, etc. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: A. E. Gordon, 1873), pg.150: Rehoboth Gannit (sic) and Israel Thornell house lots near one another; pg.110: Israel's death date; pg.347: birth of Joannah Thornell.
  7. [S1041] William Nelson, Editor, Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey : Volume XXI : Calendar of Records in the Office of the Secretary of State. 1664-1703 (Paterson, N.J.: The Press Printing And Publishing Co., 1899), 1695, 1696 Property Transfers.
  8. [S1063] Isaac Watson Dunham, compiler, Dunham Genealogy. DEACON JOHN DUNHAM OF PLYMOUTH, MASSACHUSETTS. 1589 - 1669. AND HIS DESCENDANTS. (Norwich, Connecticut: Bulletin Print, 1907), pg. 49; Hannah Hall name error.
  9. [S1037] Joseph W. Dally, History of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, APPENDIX E; pg 348; Record of Marriages, Births & Death, Transcribed Literally from Liber A; marriage inferred.
  10. [S1037] Joseph W. Dally, History of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, pg 110.
  11. [S1061] William Nelson, editor, New Jersey Colonial Records, East Jersey Records: Part 8 - Volume 21 Calendar of Records 1664-1703 (n.p.: Archives of the State of New Jersey, 1899), pg. 232.
  12. [S1037] Joseph W. Dally, History of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, APPENDIX E; Record of Marriages, Births & Death, Transcribed Literally from Liber A.
  13. [S1037] Joseph W. Dally, History of Woodbridge, Piscataway, Metuchen and contiguous places, APPENDIX E; pg 347; Record of Marriages, Births & Death, Transcribed Literally from Liber A.
Last Edited15 Dec 2017

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