I now know that my great-great-great-grandmother, Rachel Fenner, is descended from the Fenner family that lived in the early-mid 1700's in Bertie and Craven Counties in North Carolina. It appears that Rachel's family followed in the footsteps and wagon trails of so many others who left that area searching for new lands and a better way of life in places west and south. From all accounts, Rachel was born after the family left North Carolina. Some researchers believe Rachel was born in Tennessee, where some of the Fenner family eventually settled, while others believe she was born in Georgia, as her family traveled further south. Most researchers, however, agree that Rachel Fenner married William Neatherlin in Georgia, and several of their children were born there before the family moved to the Mississippi Territory after 1790. Since the family eventually included several more children, it seems likely the younger ones were born after Rachel and William arrived in the territory. The presence of both Fenner and Netherland families in the Mississippi Territory in the early 1800s is validated by territorial census information that shows William Netherland, Joseph Fenner, Sr., Joseph Fenner, and William Fenner enumerated as heads of households in Wilkinson and Lawrence Counties.
Ancestry.com. Mississippi State and Territorial Census Collection, 1792-1866[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Mississippi State and Territorial Censuses, 1792-1866. Microfilm V229. 3 rolls. Heritage Quest.