William FENN 
- Christened: 27 Aug 1756, Gt Bricett
- Marriage (1): Sarah RICH  on 6 Jun 1783 in Whatfield SFK
- Buried: 16 Apr 1828, St Mary Somersham
Another name for William was FYNN.
William's known occupation was a miller so he possibly worked at the Great Bricett post mill, which is recorded on a map of Great Bricett dated 1783. He moved at age 40 to Somersham c1796. No mill was shown at Somersham on a map dated 1796 but can be found on one in 1823 so William may have been a miller at the Somersham.
When William died in Somersham in April 1828, on the 20 September 1828 the Suffolk Chronicle advertises:
"To be let. A Capital POST WINDMILL, with 2 pairs of stones . . . . . Enquire of Mr Phillips." Shortly afterwards on 10th October the Suffolk Chronicle tells us that the new miller is a William Dickman. William was the brother-in-law of Thomas Fenn, son of William Fynne.
William's eldest son Samuel and third son Abraham, born in Great Bricett 1786 and 1793 respectively, were both millwrights. This adds credence to William being the Somersham miller. As millwrights the two sons may well have assisted their father in the repair of Somersham postmill.
Early research by Su Baccino indicated that the Somersham Fenn's might be descended from a William Fenn (residing at Gosbeck St Mary at time of marriage) and Sarah Robinson (Great Blakenham) with children Thomas, Lucy and William, the latter baptised in Hemingstone. However there is now strong evidence to support the William/Sarah Rick line. We now know that William and Sarah Rick had a daughter Hannah, that William, like their son Abraham, was a Miller. We also know that Thomas and Lucy were brother and sister and that in 1841 Abraham was living with a Sarah Fenn (Rick?).
William and Sarah would have been young adults at the time of the Customs seizures of 1780:
Ipswich Journal Newspaper Archive September 29th 1780
'On Tuesday last, three officers of the excise and two of customs, assisted by the 19th Regiment of Light Dragoons quartered at Manningtree made a seizure at Somersham, Suffolk of 79 bags of different tea amounting to 1928 lbs-6 bags of coffee of 156 lbs, the smugglers resisted in consequence of which several were wounded, 13 horses were taken and 11 killed only 3 escaped, a boy belonging to the smugglers is dangerously wounded by falling from a horse.'
May 8th 1753 Ipswich Journal Archive
For a few years past there has been an unlawful fair held in theparish of Somersham, Suffolk, which has been the occasion for great riots and disorders
This is to give notice that the should anyone in future offer to keep such an unlawful fair in that parish they will be prosecuted to the utmost severity.
Break through at the Suffolk Record Office in Ipswich by 3rd cousin Paul Scully early in 2007 enabled the Fenn line to go back two further generations to 1688. His research confirmed the birth of three more children to William and Sarah in Great Bricet (Dinah, Samuel and Mary Ann) with links to his father Abraham of the same village and his father, another Abraham, in Baylham. Historical timeline - James II abdicated and fled to France. 1689 William and Mary proclaimed King and Queen.
William married Sarah RICH  [MRIN: 2806], daughter of William RICH  and Ann , on 6 Jun 1783 in Whatfield SFK. (Sarah RICH  was christened on 30 Apr 1764 in Wolverstone SFK, died on 18 Mar 1844 in Somersham SFK and was buried on 23 Mar 1844 in Somersham SFK.)