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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLARD J. FENNO. Our subject is a prominent citizen of the town of Tyre, Schuyler County, and is the owner of a fine property, where he carries on farming on an extensive scale. His parents, Joel and Sarah (Corey) Fenno, were both born in Gardner, Mass., the former in February, 1800, and the latter in July of the same year. They were there married, and in 1821 came to what is now the town of Tyrone, locating on property a short distance from Altay, and there lived for some forty years, when they took up their abode in Reading Center. There the mother died in May, 1868, and the father in the year 1880.

The parental household included six children, of whom we make the following mention: Sarah C. is the wife of Samuel Cole; Hezekiah died while a resident of Saginaw, Mich.; Willard J., of this history, was the third-born; Carmillus is a resident of Altay; Alexander departed this life in Altay in June, 1855; Lucy A. died in the same place several years before, when in her sixth year.

Our subject, who is the eldest son now living, was born near Altay, in the town of Tyrone, May 9, 1826. He was well educated for that day, and remained at home until 1856, or until thirty years of age. May 1 of that year he was married to Miss Emma T. Honeywell, who was born in Scipio, Cayuga County, N. Y., June 8, 1831. Her father was Enoch Honeywell, born in Bedford, this state, September 23, 1788. Her mother, who before her marriage was Eliza Dye, was a native of Rhode Island, born March 16, 1795. Mr. and Mrs. Honeywell were married September 30, 1820, in Brookfield, Madison County, N. Y., and afterward settled in Cayuga County, where they lived for several years, and then came to what is now Schuyler County. The trip here was made in 1836, and the family took up their abode on property near Altay, where the parents lived and died. The mother passed away May 4, 1868, while Mr. Honeywell lived until January 13, 1887. They were the parents of three children, viz.; Alba, who engaged quite extensively in farming in Hoopeston, Ill.; Gilbert, an agriculturist of the town of Tyrone; and Emma T., Mrs. Fenno.

After his marriage our subject removed to Starkey, Yates County, where he lived for two years, when he purchased the homestead of Enoch Honeywell, and this has continued to be his home ever since. By his union with Miss Honeywell there was granted a son, Frank H., who was born in Starkey, Yates County, July 14, 1857. He was a finely educated gentleman, and at the time of his decease, in 1892, was Professor of Elocution in the Blue Mountain (Miss.) Female College. He completed his studies in Starkey Seminary and Cook Academy at Havana, after which he attended Professor Emmerson’s College of Oratory in Boston. He was graduated, however, from the National School of Elocution and Oratory at Philadelphia, Pa., in 1878, at the age of twenty-one. Prior to accepting the professorship in the Blue Mountain College he was engaged in the mercantile business at Altay, owning what was known as the “Altay Store” for a period of ten years, during a portion of which time he was Postmaster. He taught school for several years and was teacher of elocution in many colleges in different parts of the country. Frank Fenno was married, in April, 1882, to Miss Sarah Perry, who was born in Altay and who was the daughter of the late Mathew Perry. This union resulted in the birth of three children, namely: Edith May, Grace Lillian and Emerson Willard. Frank Fenno died of typhoid-pneumonia, at Blue Mountain, after a short illness, and his remains were brought to Altay and interred in the family burying-ground. His widow still remains in Blue Mountain, where she is engaged in teaching school.

The estate on which our subject is residing consists of one hundred acres of highly productive land, on which may be found all the necessary buildings. He is not an office-seeker, although he takes great interest in the success of the Republican party. With his wife, he attends the Baptist Church, of which they are worthy and valued members.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Schuyler County, New York family biographies here: Schuyler County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Schuyler County, New York here: Schuyler County, New York Map

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