Nimrod Fender &
Sarah Sumers

Nimrod Fender, son of Christian & Mary FENDER, was born abt. 1766 in Culpeper Co., VA, and died June 22, 1851, in Owen Co., IN. He married Sarah Sumers (Summers, Somers), abt. 1785. She was born abt. 1766 and died Apr. 22, 1857, in Owen Co., NC. Nimrod and Sarah Fender are buried at the Fender Cemetery, near Spencer, Owen Co., IN.

Children of Nimrod Fender & Sarah Sumers:

  1. Absalom Fender, b. Aug. 20, 1789, Surry Co., NC; d. Mar. 10, 1849, Lee Co., IL; m. Sarah "Sallie" TOLIVER, daughter of Jesse TOLIVER & Frances "Franky" STAMPER, abt. 1809 (b. May 9, 1786; d. Dec. 28, 1859); bur. Sugar Grove Cemetery, Lee Co., IL.
  2. +Daniel Fender, b. abt. 1791, Surry Co., NC; d. 1866, Yancey Co., NC; m. (1) Sarah "Sallie," last name unk. (b. abt. 1790; d. 1850-1860); m. (2) Linda DUNCAN, abt. 1841 (d. bef. 1850).
  3. +John Fender, b. Mar. 13, 1794, Surry Co., NC; d. Feb. 21, 1857, Ashe Co., NC; m. Martha "Patsy" TOLIVER, daughter of Jesse TOLIVER & Martha Frances "Franky" STAMPER, abt. 1812 (b. Mar. 13, 1797; d. 1850-1860).
  4. +Mary "Polly" Fender, b. May 18, 1796, Wilkes (Ashe) Co., NC; d. Mar. 14, 1870, Yancey Co., NC; m. Richard Clifford EDWARDS, Sr., son of David EDWARDS, Jr., & Elizabeth ANDREWS, abt. 1815 (b. Dec. 31, 1794; d. Oct. 6, 1875).
  5. Nancy Fender, b. abt. 1799, Wilkes (Ashe) Co., NC; d. 1850-1860, Ashe Co., NC; m. Jacob A. CROUSE, son of Adam & Elizabeth CROUSE (b. May 7, 1794; d. bef. Feb. 1859).
  6. Susan Fender, b. 1799, Wilkes (Ashe) Co., NC; d. June 1867; m. (1) John CONNOLLY, July 6, 1817, Ashe Co., NC (divorced); m. (2) Samuel COX, son of Anne COX & unknown (possibly STUART), abt. 1820 (b. Oct. 30, 1794; d. bet. 1840-1850). Children: Granville Henderson Cox (b.1822) m. Nancy Cornelia CHOATE; Joshua F. Cox (1824); Sarah Ann Cox (b.1827) m. Newell B. POOLE; Eli Cox (b.1830) m. Mary BILLINGS.

    Note: When John Connolly filed for divorce, he claimed in court papers that Susan was having an affair with a man named Samuel STEWART (STUART).  It seems likely that Samuel STUART is the same person as Samuel COX, who became Susan's 2nd husband.  Samuel Cox was the illegitimate son of Anne Cox, a daughter of David COX, Sr., & Margaret A. MCGOWAN of Grayson Co., VA.  It's possible that STUART was the surname of Samuel's father.  In the 1850's, Samuel Cox's children became involved in litigation with their neighbor Alexander RICHARDSON over a tract of land on Crab Creek and the VA line.  The Coxes claimed that the land had been purchased years earlier by their grandmother, ANNE COX.  This proves that Anne Cox was the mother of Samuel Cox.
  7. Sarah Fender, b. Jan. 12, 1802, Ashe Co., NC; d. July 12, 1871, Lawrence Co., IN; m. John BASS, abt. 1820 (b. 1798; d. Jan. 9, 1874).
  8. David Fender, b. Aug. 14, 1806, Ashe Co., NC; d. Nov. 28, 1882, Owen Co., IN; m. Frances WHITACRE (b. Aug. 12, 1805; d. July 28, 1890); bur. Fender Cemetery, Owen Co., IN.
  9. Elizabeth Fender, b. Aug. 15, 1808, Ashe Co., NC; d. July 6, 1868, Greene Co., IN; m. Isaac MITCHELL (b. Aug. 15, 1783; d. July 20, 1858).
  10. Frances Fender, b. May 14, 1811, Ashe Co., NC; d. Dec. 6, 1882, Greene Co., IN; m. Alexander BEASLEY, Mar. 28, 1828, Lawrence Co., IN (b. 1810; d. Apr. 16, 1891); bur. Olive Branch Cemetery, Greene Co., IN.


Drawing of a Medieval Town

Nimrod Fender was the son of Christian Fender (Finter), who came to North Carolina from Virginia in 1768.  Christian Fender was the son of German refugees from the war-torn Upper Rhine.  See The Johann Christian Friederich (Finter) Fender Family by Leonard G. Chapel and Carolyn W. Spence.  The surname "Finter" may come from the German word Pfinzter, meaning a person from the Pfinztal or Pfinz River Valley.  According to research by the Fender Family Association, the Finters were from the town of Nöttingen, which is located on the Pfinz River in the historical German state of Baden-Durlach.  (Nöttingen is now part of the municipality of Remchingen in the Enz District of Baden-Württemberg).  The Finter family arrived in Pennsylvania about 1737, where their son, Christian, was born about 1740.

Christian Finter or Fender migrated to Culpepper Co., VA, and then to Rowan County, NC, by 1768.  The family initially settled on Dutchman's Creek in the area that became Davie County, NC.  After several years they moved a few miles northwest into Surry County, where Christian Fender obtained land on Deep Creek (present-day Yadkin County).  Descendants believe that the Fender homeplace was probably located on a branch of the South Fork of Deep Creek near Bald Knob, probably near the intersection of Road 1103 (Marler Road) and Road 1323 (Collins Road).  (View a Google map.)  Christian Fender's will dated Aug. 30, 1793, in Surry Co., NC, names his wife Mary, sons Gabriel, Nimrod, Michael, Henry and John Fender, and daughters Mary HOPPIS, Sarah Fender and Catherine Fender.  His wife Mary and son Gabriel Fender were named the executors.  The witnesses were John CASTEVENS and Henry HAMRICK.  (Surry Co., NC, WB 3, p.34A.)

Christian Fender's oldest son, Nimrod, born about 1766, was named after the Biblical hunter Nimrod, who was considered a mythic hero in German folklore.

And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. (Genesis 10:8-9.)

Nimrod's wife, Sarah, may have been a Sumers, Summers, or Somers.  This is based on a biographical sketch of Alexander Beasley and his wife Frances (Fender) that appeared in History of Greene and Sullivan Counties, Indiana (Goodspeed, 1884).  The article states that Alexander Beasley "in 1828 was united in marriage with Frances Fender, who was born in Ashe County N. C., in May, 1811, the youngest child of Nimrod and Sarah (Sumers) Fender, who were natives of the Old Dominion."  The "Old Dominion" is a nickname for Virginia.

Nimrod Fender moved from Surry County to neighboring Ashe County, NC, by 1800, where he owned land on the Little River and Crab Creek near the Virginia line.  This part of Ashe County became Alleghany County in 1859.  He sold this land to Richard CHEEK in 1823.  Nimrod Fender also seems to have owned land in central Alleghany County south of Sparta where his neighbors included Daniel HOPPERS and Wendel CROUSE.  Nimrod Fender and his younger children moved to Lawrence County, Indiana, prior to 1830.

Nimrod FENDER died June 22, 1851, in Owen Co., IN. His will, dated Jan. 31, 1849, proved June 26, 1856, names "beloved wife," sons Daniel, Absalom, John, David, daughters Sarah BASS, Polly EDWARDS, Nancy KROUSE [CROUSE], Susan CONNELLEY, Elizabeth MITCHELL, Frances BEASLEY.  Son-in-law Isaac MITCHELL never to have any part of his wife's share. Exec: son David FENDER.  Wit: James ROBINSON, Henry CRISS.  Signed: Nimrod FENDER.


1790 Census, Surry Co., NC, p.186: NIMROD FENDER
1 white male over 16
1 white male under 16
1 white female

1790 Tax List, Surry Co., NC, Capt. Hudspeth's Dist.: NIMROD FENDER, 100 acres, 1 poll

Jan. 14, 1792. Surry Co., NC. William PETTY, Sr., to Christian FENDER, £32 NC currency, 300 acres on waters of Deep Creek adj. Henry HAMBRICK, William BLALOCK; land entered by George PHILLIPS and surveyed May 26, 1786. Wits: William ELLIOTT, Nimrod (X) FENDER. (Surry Co., NC, DB E, p.228.)

Feb. 3, 1794. Surry Co., NC. Nimrod FENDER is charged for begetting a bastard female child on Jane SPURLIN. He came into court and entered into bond with Airs HUDSPETH and Gabriel FENDER as security for the maintance of said child. Ordered that he pay Jane four pounds yearly for her support. (Surry Co., NC, Bastardy Bonds.)

Feb. 4, 1796. Wilkes Co., NC. Nimrod FINDER and others ordered to view a road from Glade Creek to Daniel HOPPERS. (Wilkes Court Minutes.)

1800 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.78: NIMROD FENDER
3 w/m under 10 b. 1790-1800 = Daniel (1791), John (1794), +1 unk.
1 w/m 10-15 b. 1785-1790 = Absalom (1789)
1 w/m 26-45 b. 1755-1774 = Nimrod (1766)
1 w/f under 10 b. 1790-1800 = Mary (1796)
1 w/f 26-45 b. 1755-1774 = Sarah (1766)

Alleghany Co., NC

Alleghany (formerly Ashe) County, NC

Nov. 1806. Ashe Co., NC. Nimrod FENDER and others ordered to view and lay off a road "from HAPPERSON's [HOPPPERS?] road between little river and Glad [Glade] creek the most convenient way by MAXWELL's Mill into the road from Elk Spur to the furnace & make report &c." (Ashe Co., NC, Court Minuutes.)

Dec. 6, 1809. State of NC to Nimrod FENDER, 100 acres in Ashe County on Glady Branch of Little River adj. William LENOIR, William WELL, & CLEVELAND. Entered Sept. 30, 1808. (NC Archives Land Warrants & Plats, File No. 808, Folder No., Grant No. 684, Book 125:51.)

1810 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.14: N. FENDER
1 w/m under 10 b. 1800-1810 = David (1806)
1 w/m 10-15 b. 1795-1800 = John (1794)
2 w/m 16-25 b. 1785-1794 = Daniel (1791), John (1794)
1 w/m 26-45 b. 1765-1784 = Nimrod (1766)
3 w/f under 10 b. 1800-1810 = Susan (1799), Sarah (1802), Elizabeth (1808)
2 w/f 10-15 b. 1795-1800 = Mary (1796), Nancy (1799)
1 w/f 26-45 b. 1765-1784 = Sarah (1766)

1815 Tax List, Ashe Co., NC: NIMROD FENDER

Nov. 22, 1816. State of NC to Nimrod FENDER, 100 acres in Ashe County on Little River adj. his own corner. Entered Mar. 12, 1810. (NC Archives Land Warrants & Plats, File No. 1016, Folder No., Grant No. 905, Book 130:192.)

1820 Census, Ashe Co., NC, p.28: NIMROD FENDER
4 w/m under 10 2 w/f under 10
1 w/m 26-45 1 w/f 26-45

Oct. 20, 1823. Nimrod FENDER to Samuel COX, 200 acres. (Ashe Co., NC, DB C, p.172.)

Oct. 20, 1823. Nimrod FENDER to Samuel COX, 100 acres. (Ashe Co., NC, DB C, p.352.)

Oct. 21, 1823. Nimrod FENDER to Richard CHEEK, 200 acres on the waters of the Little River and Crab Creek, adj. John WILLIAMS' corner. Signed: Nimrod (X) FENDER. Wits: Matthias HARTEN, David FENDER. (Alleghany Co., NC, DB 1:17.)

Nov. 12, 1824. A deed from the heirs of Daniel HOPPERS, dec'd, to James WHITEHEAD, for a tract of land on the Little River, refers to adjoining tracts of land belonging to Nimrod FENDER, Gabriel FENDER, John FENDER, & Windel CROUSE. (Alleghany DB 3:180; see also DB 1:98.)

1830 Census, Lawrence Co., IN, p.102: NIMROD FENDER
1 w/m 60-69 1 w/f 60-69

1840 Census, Lawrence Co., IN, p.205: NIMROD FENDER
1 w/m 70-79 1 w/f 70-79

1850 Census, Owen Co., IN, p.154
DAVID FENDER, 45, farmer, $1500, NC
-- Frances, 46, NC
-- Calvin, 16, NC
-- Isaac, 15, NC
-- Susannah, 13, KY
-- Nimrod, 11, IN
-- Matilda, 9, IN
-- Polly A., 7, IN
-- William, 4, IN
-- Nimrod, 84, VA
-- Sarah, 84, VA
Will of Nimrod Fender

Dated Jan. 31, 1849; proved June 26, 1856
Owen County, Indiana

I, NIMROD FENDER, of the County of Owen and State of Indiana, do make and publish this my Last Will and Testament revoking all former wills by me at any time made. First, I direct that my body be decently interred and as to such worldly estate as it has pleased God to entrust me with, I dispose of the same in the following manner, to wit:

I direct first that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of the moneys that shall come to the hands of my executor from that portion of my estate.

I direct that my beloved wife, if she be living at the time of my decease, to have two cows and the one-third of all my estate and at her----dispose of the same as she may see proper and in case of my surviving her, then at my ---, I direct my executor to call two disinterested, evitable [sic] persons to appraise and value all my estate, including my household furniture and sell the same for money with a credit of nine months.

I also, direct that my executor give notice to each and all of my children, if alive and if not, representatives as herein---after directed, of the time of said sale, if convenient, if not as soon after as may be convenient for him to do so.

And I further direct that after the payment of debts and expenses, that the remainder of my estate, whatever there may be, equally divided amongst my sons and daughters, share and share alike, that this exception of my son DANIEL FENDER and my daughter SARAH BASS, each of them having already had more than their proportional share.

I direct then that the distribution be made in the following manner or order, to wit:

That my son, ABSALOM FENDER, have one equal share

and that my son, DANIEL FENDER, have the sum of $1.00, he having been advanced more than his distributive share

and that my daughter, POLLY EDWARDS, have one equal share

and that my daughter, NANCY KROUSE, have one equal share

and that my daughter SUSAN CONNELLEY, have one equal share

and that my son, JOHN FENDER, have one equal share

and that my son, DAVID FENDER, have one equal share

and that my daughter, ELIZABETH MITCHELL, have one equal share, but instead of the share that would be coming to ELIZABETH MITCHELL, I direct that her share be divided equally amongst her children, share and share alike; that her husband, ISAAC MITCHELL should survive said ELIZABETH MITCHELL, never ----- is said ELIZABETH'S share to be ----- in any way so as to ever placed it in the hands of her husband, ISAAC MITCHELL, either directly or indirectly,

and that my daughter, SARAH BASS, have the sum of $1.00, she having been advanced more than his distributive share,

and that my daughter, FRANCES BEASLEY, have one equal share.

I also, direct that if any of my sons and daughters should die before the time of such distribution, the heirs of their bodies of such deceased, are to be entitled to such share as their respectable ancestors would have been entitled to receive. And, I hereby make and ordain my son, DAVID FENDER, Executor of this my Last Will and Testament.

In Witness whereof, I NIMROD FENDER, the testator have hereunto set my hand and seal, by my mark, this 31st day of January, in the year of our Lord, 1849.


Gravestones of Nimrod & Sarah Fender

Fender Cemetery, near Spencer, Owen Co., IN
Photos kindly provided by Karl Jaeckel

photo of Nimrod Fender Gravestone
click for close-up
photo of Sarah Fender Gravestone
click for close-up
AD 1851 AGED
APRIL 22nd 1857