|Will of Nathan Tanner|
The Will I found for a William Tanner illustrates the difficulty of doing research during this early time period in Colonial America. Just when you think you have the matter resolved, additional research shows that you are off on the wrong track. This is mainly due to repetitious common names. As I pointed out in a blog post on Genealogy's Star, I now have documented 12 possibly different William Tanners that lived during the applicable time period. See "12 William Tanners? A new record for confusion."
What the consistent documents do show now, it that the father of Francis Tanner had at least three sons: Francis, Nathan and another son named Benjamin. His name was William Tanner and he had a wife named Elizabeth. All of this information has come primarily from Wills and probates. The latest discovery is Nathan Tanner's Will shown above. This will confirms Nathan's wife's name was Mary and that his mother's name was Elizabeth. The will also contains a witness named Francis Tanner who in an additional discovery, is named the Guardian of two of Nathan's underage sons: Nathan and Abel. Another son, David is the Executor of his mother's estate. Apparently, she died a few years after her husband, Nathan Tanner.
We now know that Francis, Nathan, and Benjamin were brothers and all the children of a William Tanner and Elizabeth. We have wills for both Francis and Nathan. The additional existence of a Guardianship established for Nathan's sons with Francis Tanner as the Guardian further supports the existence of the family.
Now, we need a William Tanner, married to a woman named Elizabeth with three sons named Francis, Nathan and Benjamin.