John J. Lanning

by Bruce Whitaker

John J. Lanning was born in Fairview on February 5, 1814. He was the son of Enos Lanning (1784-1865) and Margaret Barnhill, the daughter of William Barnhill. John was named after his grandfather, Revolutionary War veteran John Lanning Sr. (1757-1839). Lanning’s grandmother was Sarah Whitaker Lanning (1768-1848).

John Lanning grew up on his father’s farm in Fairview. Around 1841 Lanning married Annie Finney (1825-1906); the Lanning’s first child was born in 1843. He was named John Enos Lanning after his father and grandfather. The Lannings decided to move to Gilmer County, Georgia, around 1846. They settled on the upper reaches of Turniptown Creek near the junction of Stover Branch. John Lanning built a one-room cabin near the banks of the creek.

That cabin became the home of seven people — John Lanning, his wife Annie and five children. They farmed and raised a few cattle and other necessities of life. John Lanning eventually increased his land holdings to 600 acres.

John Lanning died in Gilmer County, in 1879. His wife Annie died in 1906. Both are buried in the Lanning Cemetery in the Turniptown section of Gilmer County, Georgia.

John J. And Annie Finney Lanning had five children.

John Enos Lanning was the oldest child of John J. Lanning. He was born in Fairview in 1843. He enlisted in the Confederate Army on July 3, 1861 in Atlanta, Georgia. He served in Company D, 11th Georgia Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry. The 11th was part of George T. Anderson’s Brigade, which served at various times with Field’s, Hood’s and Jones’ Divisions and Longstreet’s Corps in the army of Northern Virginia. John was killed on May 6, 1864 during the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia. He was a corporal at the time of his death. John had never married.

Joshua Thomas Lanning, the second child of John and Margaret Lanning, was born on July 25, 1847 in Gilmer County. He married Mary C. Stewart on December 24, 1868. Mary was born on January 30, 1852, the daughter of Edward Stewart and Lucretia Andrews. They lived in Turniptown until Mary’s death on October 28, 1890; she died one month after her last child was born. Joshua Thomas Lanning moved to Rome, Georgia, after his wife’s death. He later moved back to Gilmer County, where he died on March 12, 1918. He and his wife are both buried in the Lanning Cemetery near Turniptown.

Susanna Miranda Lanning was the third child of John and Margaret Lanning. She was born in Gilmer County in 1850. She never married and lived alone until she died on January 1, 1930. She is buried in the Lanning Cemetery.

Frances Marion Lanning was born on September 8, 1851 in Gilmer County. He married Sarah Melissa Henson, who was born on May 23, 1861 to Lloyd and Millie Henson. Frances M. Lanning alternated his time between Gilmer County and Rome, Georgia, where his ten children worked in the cotton mills. He died on March 2, 1929, and his wife Sarah died on May 17, 1937. Both are buried in Turniptown Baptist Church Cemetery.

Margaret Adeline Lanning was born in Gilmer County, Georgia, on Sept 3, 1865. When she was 15, she married John Wesley Painter, who was born on January 30, 1860 to Austin and Elmina Mull Painter. Margaret Lanning Painter died on May 26, 1946 in Gilmer County. John Painter died in February of 1929. Both are buried in Turniptown Baptist Church Cemetery.

Local historian Bruce Whitaker documents genealogy in the Fairview area. You can reach him at 628-1089 or email him at [email protected].

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