Is your surname Nanfan?

Research the Nanfan family

John Nanfan's Geni Profile

Records for John Nanfan

4,968 Records

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

John Nanfan

Birthdate: (82)
Death: 1716 (82)
Greenwich, Greater London, UK
Place of Burial: Greenwich, London, UK
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Nanfan
Husband of Elizabeth Nanfan

Managed by: Douglas Arthur Kellner
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About John Nanfan

John Nanfan of Birtsmorton, Worcestershire, was captain in Sir John Jacob's regiment of foot, and sailed in 1697 for New York, where, by the influence of the governor, Richard Coote, earl of Bellamont [q. v.], who had married Nanfan's cousin Catherine, he was made lieutenant-governor. On Bellamont's death in 1700 the government of New York devolved upon Nanfan till the arrival of Lord Cornbury in 1702. In 1705 Nanfan returned to England; he died at Greenwich in 1716, and was buried at St. Mary Abchurch, London. His wife was Elizabeth, daughter of William Chester of Barbados (Waters, Chesters of Chicheley, pp. 172–3; Nash, Worcestershire, i. 86, &c.; Lodge, Peerage, ed. Archdall, s.v. ‘Bellamont;’ Winsor, Hist. of America, v. 195; Roosevelt, New York, p. 84; Rawl. MS. in Bodl. Libr. A. 272, 289).


John Nanfan was a lieutenant governor of the Province of New York from 1698 to 1702. He served as acting governor for about a year between the death of the Earl of Bellomont and the arrival of Bellomont's successor, Lord Cornbury. During the Glorious Revolution in 1688 he served as a captain in William of Orange's invasion army with Bellomont, who was his uncle by marriage.

While Nanfan was acting as governor of New York in 1701, he made a peace treaty with the Iroquois. According to the text, the Five Nations formally deeded what they considered to be their western lands, extending from present-day western New York to Chicago, Illinois, to King William of England. The Five Nations had conquered much of this area in the 1670s with firearms during the later Beaver Wars, although in fact by 1701, had already lost effective control of most of it again to Algonquian tribes assisted by the French, who then had the strongest actual military presence in the region. Despite this Iroquois sale of all the lands they had recently lost, the English made no practical attempt to settle them, although the treaty was later used in conflicts with the French to assert British sovereignty in them.

Nanfan married a woman from Barbados. Upon the arrival of Lord Cornbury in 1702, Nanfan's political enemies had him arrested for alleged malfeasance in office. He was ordered released by the king after a year and a half in prison, after which he managed to again evade arrest and make his way to England.

view all

John Nanfan's Timeline

Age 82
Greenwich, Greater London, UK
Greenwich, London, UK