Family Timeline of Events

1230 A.D. The Fonda surname may have originated from the town of Piran, Italy (Re:Dominicus Fonda), on the Northeast coast of the Adriatic Sea. Piran is now in Slovenia (former Yugoslavia), and most local Fonda's now live in nearby Trieste, Italy.
1580 Benedictus Jacobse was manager of an estate near Kollum, Netherlands called "Foyngha", and there was a chance that "Fonda" was a corruption of that name.
  excerpt from [Henry] Fonda: My Life, page 282 - "Early records show the family ensconced in northern Italy in the sixteenth century where they fought on the side of the Reformation [presumably meaning the Protestant Reformation], fled to Holland, intermarried with Dutch burghers' daughters, picked up the first names of the Low Countries, but retained the Italiante Fonda."
1650 Jellis Douw Fonda (1614-1659, Agum, Netherlands), his wife Hester Jans and his four young children, Douw, Grietje, Sara and Abraham sailed on the "Valckenier" from Amsterdam which arrived in June 1650 in New Amsterdam with 140 colonists.

Early Irish in Old Albany, N.Y., court records show that on August 18, 1651, "Thomas Konnig abused the court as an unlawful court, taking materials from the sayings of Dyckman, who sang the 82nd Psalm and called the high council rogues and tale bearers in presence of Evert Pels, Art Jacobse and Gillis Fonda."

Jellis Douw Fonda first appears in the Rensselaerwyck (across the Hudson from Albany) records on October 15, 1651 when he requested permission to distill liquor in Green Bos, in the house belonging to Evert Pels, next to the brewery.

1661 Douw Jellis Fonda (1641-1700), oldest son of Jellis, first appears in records on October 1, 1661, when his stepfather, Barent Gerritse, acknowledged a debt to him. He was not quite 20 at the time and was living with Jan Tysse Goes of Rensselaerwyck.
1663 Hester Janse Fonda (1615-1690), widow of Jellis, married Barent Gerritse sometime between 1656 and 1661. Barent was killed in the second Esopus Indian War in 1663. Hester and daughter Sara were taken prisoner by the Indians. Hester returned but Sara did not.
1697 The Fonda Family was one of eighty-two distinct family groups representing the settler population of Albany at the end of the so-called Dutch period (1624-1686).
1700 Jellis Adam Fonda (1670-1737), a gunstocker by trade, settled in Schenectady.
1748 The original 2000 acre land patent (Caughnawaga Patent or Collins Tract) which now comprises the town of Mohawk and the village of Fonda was purchased by Douw Jellis Fonda (later referred to as "The Patriot"), Myndert Wemple and Hendrick A. Vrooman.
1751 Douw Jellis Fonda (1700-1780, Schenectady, NY) moved his family from Schenectady to Caughnawaga (now Fonda), building a small stone house on the land he purchased.
1775 John Douw Fonda (1741-1813) was arrested by Tory Sheriff Alexander White over a trifle dispute and was jailed in Johnstown. An infuriated mob of Whigs, led by Sampson Sammons, broke into the jail and freed him. They set off to Sherrif White's home to demand his surrender. White fired a shot from his second story window, narrowly missing Sammons' head. This was the first shot fired west of the Hudson in the War of the Revolution.
1776 Jellis Jacob Fonda (1751-1839, Schenectady, NY), on the first report of a shot from Lexington, immediately raised and commanded a company of Schenectady Minute Men numbering more than 100. He was appointed Captain of the 2nd Albany County Militia company known as "The Greens" due to the color of their uniforms. He served with particular distinction in the Campaign against Burgoyne and at the Battle of Bemis Heights.
1780 Douw "The Patriot" Fonda (1700-1780) was killed by Sir John Johnson's Indians on May 22, 1780 during a British Raid on the Mohawk Valley. His house was plundered & burned, sons John & Adam were made prisoners and taken to Canada and held for two years.
1782 At the close of the Revolutionary War, 36 Fondas had served in the New York Militia, 12 as officers, 2 were prisoners of war, 1 was killed. They represented the districts of Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaerwyck, Claverack, Hoosick, Schaghticoke, Mohawk, Saratoga and Half Moon. (see Military)
1786 Fonda's Patent, the first patent granted in Oneida County after the Revolution, was issued on Jan. 31, 1786 to Major Jellis Douw Fonda (1727-1791, Schenectady, NY). The 40,000-acre patent was issued on condition that within three years a settler for each 500 acres should be located on the land. The land of this patent is mostly in Rome and Floyd, with some in the town of Western, and there was quite a rush to settlers to those towns as the three year period came to a close.
1790 There were 8 Fonda Family households listed in the 1790 Albany survey; Nicholas, Jacobus, David, Hendrick, Isaac, John, Jacob and Abraham.
1814 At the close of the War of 1812, 23 Fondas had served in the U.S. Military, 6 as officers, 1 was killed.  All represented the New York Militia except three, who fought for OH, PA and MI. (see Military)
1820 Henry Adam Fonda (1766-1828, Caughnawaga, NY) participated in the Lake Ontario Skirmishes during the War of 1812 against Canada and the British. He was appointed Brigadier General of the 11th NY Infantry in 1820. During 1807, 1816 and 1819, he was a member of the NY State legislature.
1825 John Henry Fonda (1808-, Watervliet, NY), trader and mail carrier, passed through Chicago and later recorded his explorations and Indian encounters. In 1829, under the direction of Col. Zach. Taylor, he served as pilot for an expedition to the pineries of the Menomonee River to cut logs for the construction of Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. (first Fonda venturing west of the Mississippi)
1837 Isaac V. Fondey was the first Fonda settler west of the Mississippi. Born in Albany, Vrooman (as he was called), served in the military and was at Fort Winnebago in 1830 when John H. Fonda was there.
1838 Abraham A. Fonda (1803-1871, Wynantskill, NY), participated in a 1838 Jackson County, Missouri land sale (Prudhomme Tract) which eventually became Kansas City. His first son, Abraham George Fonda, born 1845 in Missouri, was the first Fonda born west of the Mississippi.
1851 The village of Caughnawaga, Montgomery Co., NY was renamed for Douw "The Patriot" Fonda (1700-1780).
1854 George Dockstader Fonda (1834-1898, Fonda, NY), New York City Policeman, arrived in San Francisco on the Steamship "Golden Gate"; he bought 160 acres of land and found gold in Sacramento, CA.
1856 Douw Henry Fonda (1809-1895, Mohawk, NY) and wife Ann Veeder (d/o Albert Veeder) completed a new frame house on the Mohawk Farm. This house still stands as part of the 'Century Farm' (see 1962).
1859 George Edward Fonda (1857-1859) was the first Fonda to die west of the Mississippi. His father was a butter merchant in San Francisco; the family had moved from New Jersey between 1855 and 1858.
1862 John Giles Fonda (1822-1910, Sand Flats, NY) was appointed Major of the 12th Illinois Cavalry in January, and soon after placed in command of Camp Butler, near Springfield, IL. In October he was made Colonel of the 118th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and in December went with his regiment to Louisiana, where he participated in all the battles about Vicksburg. After the fall of Vicksburg he had command of a cavalry brigade, and was breveted Brigadier-General.
1863 Ten Eyck Hilton Fonda (1838-1923, Mohawk, NY), Union Army Telegrapher, personally delivered the telegram transcription at midnight June 30, 1863, from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to General George Meade of the Union Army warning him of the advancing Confederate Army under Robert E. Lee toward Gettysburg and commanding Meade to assume the offensive.
1865 At the close of the Civil War, 78 Fondas had served in the U.S. Military, 10 as officers, 12 were killed.  All represented the Union Army except three, who fought for AL, MS and TX. (see Military)
1896 John H. Fonda of New York City, incorporated an association known as the "Union Association of Heirs of Harlem, Anneke Jans Bogardus, Edwards and Webber Estates," and in April 1909, Mary A. Fonda, as one of the Bogardus heirs, and presumably in the interest of the Union Association of Heirs, began a suit against the Trinity Church Corporation to recover possession of one hundredth part of the property at 65 Vandam street. The Federal District Court ruled in favor of Trinity Church.
1906 Frederick Theodore Fonda (1872-1906, Ross, MI), was lost at sea on January 23, 1906, when he was en route from San Francisco to Seattle on the steamship "Valencia". He was returning to Alaska where he was prospecting for gold when the ship encountered bad weather and it foundered on the rocks off Vancouver Island.
1912 Kornelia Theodosia Andrews (1847-1913, Livingston, NY), daughter of Robert Emmet Andrews and Matilda Scudder Fonda, was rescued from the sinking "Titanic" on April 14, 1912.
1914 George Henry Fonda (1873- , Sacramento, CA), Electrical Engineer, worked on the Panama Canal from 1911-1914.
1916 Anthony Phillip Fonda (1878- , Leavenworth, KS) joined the National Security League, a pro-war political activism group, and had the credit of capturing the first German spy that was secured in this country. This was Antone Havercamp, who was caught in the rear of the criminal court building of Kansas City and who had in his possession about three and a half bushels of bomb parts.
1918 At the close of World War I, 14 Fondas had served in the U.S. Military, 2 as officers, 1 was killed. (see Military)
1937 Douglas Cadwallader Fonda (1896-1977, Orange, NJ) became Amateur National Champion for Motor Boat Regatta race circuit.
1939 Henry Jaynes Fonda (1905-1982, Grand Island, NE), Actor, most remembered for his roles as Abe Lincoln in Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940), for which he received an Academy Award Nomination, and more recently, Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond (1981), for which he received an Academy Award for Best Actor.
1945 At the close of World War II, 80 Fondas had served in the U.S. Military, 13 as officers, 2 were prisoners of war, 4 were killed. (see Military)
1949 William "Skagway Bill" Fonda (1858-1938, Glen, NY), Prospector, was the model for a 13½-foot clay and bronze statue dedicated on Alaska Day in 1949. "The Prospector" Statue dedicated to The Alaska Pioneers Home, was constructed for elderly gold prospectors in 1913.
1951 Dee Virgil Fondy Jr. (1924-1999, Slaton, TX), Major League Baseball Player, 1951-58, 1st Base, Cubs, Pirates and Reds; served in the Army during WWII and was part of the forces that landed on Utah Beach in Normandy in 1944, three months after D-Day; received Purple Heart.
1955 At the close of the Korean War, 11 Fondas had served in the U.S. Military, 3 as officers, none were killed. (see Military)
1962 Thomas E. Dewey, Governor of New York, welcomed the Fonda Family (Fonda Farm, Town of Mohawk, NY) to the Honorable Order of Century Farmers.
1971 Jane Seymour Fonda (1937- , New York City), Actress, won her first Academy Award for her performance in Klute (1971); then her second for Coming Home (1978); she also had 5 Oscar nominations for Best Actress in: They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969), Julia (1977), The Morning After (1986) and On Golden Pond (1981) which was the only film she made with her father, Henry.
1973 At the close of the Vietnam War, 13 Fondas had served in the U.S. Military, 2 as officers, 1 was killed. (see Military)
2004 Today there are 909 Fonda families listed in world-wide residential white-pages.  Of these, 59% reside in the USA, 24% in Italy, 10% in other European countries and 7% in the rest of the world.
2010 There are a number of Fonda's serving in the US Military in active and inactive roles. Several served in the Gulf Wars and in the on-going Middle-East conflicts.
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