Fourth Generation: Martha Louise Granger < Sarah Norton < Martha Warner < William Warner

My 2nd cousin 4 times removed

Martha Louise Granger was the daughter of Sarah Norton and Joseph H. Granger.

She married Albert Eldoras Warner (no relation) in Ontario, New York on July 1, 1874. They had two children:

  1. Orrie Andrew Warner (died in infancy)
  2. Manley Granger Warner

Martha Louise died in at the home of her son Manley, in Newark, New York, on October 16, 1938, at the age of 84. She was buried at the Furnaceville Cemetery in Ontario, New York.


According to a genealogy of her husband ‘s family , Martha Louise was descended, on her mother’s side (Sarah Norton), from “one Admiral Warner of England, born about 1720.”1

Warner and Nichols, The descendants of Andrew Warner1

If Martha was descended from an admiral, then we are too. So, is it true?

We know that her great great grandfather, on. her mother’s side, was William Warner of Howden, Yorkshire, who was born about 1753. If “Admiral Warner” did exist, and was born about 1720, then the dates suggest he would have to have been William’s father (a man born born about 1720 would have been about 33 when William was born in 1753).

That would make the admiral Martha Louise’s great great great grandfather.

There’s a problem, though.

The list of admirals of the Royal Navy that is available on Wikipedia does not include any admiral named Warner. Although a note says the list is incomplete, it appears to be quite comprehensive.

Additionally, a Google search reveals no mention, anywhere on the Internet, of an Admiral Warner. The only exception is a reference, in a book called Old Taverns of New York, to a tavern on Wall Street named either “The Sign of Admiral Warner” or “The Sign of Admiral Warren.” The index (p. 481) says “Warner” but the body of the text (p. 191) says “Warren.”

So it appears that the story of our admiral ancestor was a family myth that, by the time the genealogy book was published in 1919, had persisted in that branch of the family for more than a century.

I’m sorry to have to debunk it now, a century after that.


Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 18, 1938, p. 18 (Newspapers.com)
NOTE: No continuation was found on p. 26


1 Warner, Lucien and Nichols, Josephine, The descendants of Andrew Warner, New Haven: The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1919, p. 646.

‘2 Bayles, W. Harrison, Old taverns of New York, New York: Frank Allaben Genealogical Company, 1915, pp. 191 and 481.