Dec 02
Note: The early lineage of the Fonde family is uncertain (as is the Fonda family).  Fonde family records (see excerpt below) indicate that the American progenitor, Andrew Fonde (1765-1833), immigrated from France, settling in Philadelphia in the 1790’s.  The family apparently fled from Italy due to political unrest, possibly during the incursion of Napoleon into Northern Italy. This is remarkably similar to the account from the American Fonda family, who reportedly left Italy for Holland in the 1500’s due to political unrest, then Jellis Douw Fonda (1614-1659) migrated to Upstate New York in the 1650’s.  A possible link between the two branches could exist if Andrew Fonde is the son of Pieter Douw Fonda (1739-1779) of Marblehead, MA.  This may be a stretch at this point, but it bears further investigation.  Or perhaps there is a common link further up the line in Italy.  Either way, the Fonde branch has been included in the American Fonda genealogy in order to track and differentiate the many common name occurences.  Further insights from Fonde family researchers or others is welcome.

Hank Fonde halfback at Univ. of Michigan (1944-1948) (Photo credit: Joel Thurtell)

Former U-M Football Player/Coach Henry Fonde Dies

Published: Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Former University of Michigan football player and coach Henry Fonde, who also coached the Ann Arbor High School football team for 10 years, died at the age of 85 early Sunday morning of complications brought on by Alzheimer’s disease.  A visitation for Fonde will be held on Thursday from 4-9 p.m. at the Vermeulen Funeral Home, located at 46401 W Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth, followed by a funeral service at First Presbyterian Church in Northville at 11 a.m. Friday.
A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Fonde came to the University of Michigan in 1944 as part of the Navy’s V-12 program and studied engineering while contributing to the strong Wolverines football teams of the mid-to-late ’40s.  Known to many as Hank, Fonde’s highlights as a player included scoring the lone touchdown in Michigan’s 7-3 victory over Ohio State in 1945 and tossing a 45-yard touchdown pass in the 49-0 win over Southern California in the 1948 Rose Bowl.
Fonde compiled a 69-6-4 record (with four of his losses coming in his final season) coaching the Pioneers from 1949-1958, after which he joined Bump Elliott’s staff at Michigan.

Hank Fonde Team Photo

“It still amazes me how many people know the name ‘Fonde’ and it’s because of him,” Fonde’s son, Chuck said. “He made such a mark in this community, both through Ann Arbor High School and the University of Michigan. A lot of people knew him, a lot of people loved him.”  Fonde remained on the staff at Michigan through the 1968 season and became an academic advisor for the football team when Bo Schembechler replaced Elliott in 1969.
“I just remember him being one of the nicest gentleman I’ve ever met in my life,” said longtime Michigan assistant Jerry Hanlon, who arrived on campus with Bo in 1969. “He was that kind of a person. He had everybody’s best interest at heart. The players loved him, and when he decided to leave Michigan as academic advisor, I thought it was a big loss.”
Seth Gordon can be reached at or 734-994-6108.

Hank Fonde (Photo credit: Joel Thurtell)

Henry Fonde’s record in the Fonda family tree is here.  He has a Wikipedia entry here.

The following obituary was excerpted from the Ann Arbor News on on 5/5/2009:
“Hank Fonde passed away May 3rd 2009 at the age of 85 years. He was a graduate of U of M School of Engineering and Masters in Education. Head football coach at Ann Arbor High School & Assistant football coach at U of M. Owner and operator of the Stretch & Sew Fabric Store in Farmington Hills for many years. He is survived by his children: our class of ’67 member, Karen (Joel Thurtell) Fonde, Chuck (Linda) Fonde, Mark (Stacey) Fonde, Julia (Max) Davis and Anne (Bill) Potter, his grandchidren: Adam, Abe, Ben, Megan, Rachel, Hayley, Beck, Chelsea, Danielle, Regin and William. He was predeceased by his wife Edith (nee Jordan) and grandchild Aaron. Visitation was Thursday May 7th  at Vermeulen Funeral Home, 46401 W Ann Arbor Road (btwn Sheldon & Beck) Plymouth. The Funeral was Friday May 8th at First Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Main, Northville. Memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or the Alzheimer’s Association . To leave a message of condolence, log on to”

Another good story about Hank Fonde, written by his son-in-law, Joel Thurtell – “I beat Ohio State!”

Andrew Fonde’s record in the Fonda family tree is here.  A cemetery memorial for him is here.
His details: 16-Feb-1798 – Supreme Court of Philadelphia, Oath of Allegiance; 1800 US Federal Census, Southwark, Philadelphia, PA (Andw Funday, household of 6); 1810 US Federal Census, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., PA (Andrew Fundy, o. Porter, household of 11); 1820 & 1830 US Federal Census, New Orleans, New Orleans Parish, LA; 1822 New Orleans, LA City Directory (Rev. Andre Fonde, Accountant, at 116 St. Philip cor. Perdido); d. New Orleans, LA (Cholera); bur. Girod St. Cemetery, New Orleans, LA

Excerpt from “Ancestors of Charles Henry Fonde” website
“It is believed by the family that Andre Fonde came to America from France, but that the family originally came from the Lombardy area of Italy, and that Fonde was originally spelled Fondi. There is a town in Italy called Fondi, located on the west coast about halfway between Rome and Naples. David Fonde quotes the Chambers Encyclopedia, published in England, as describing Fondi this way: “A small town in Italy on the Appian Way between Rome and Naples, located near a pestiferous swamp and noted during the Middle Ages for its brigands and horse thieves.” The family story is that during some political disturbance it became necessary for an early Fondi to escape from his own country if he could. This may have been when Napoleon overcame Venice and gave Northern Italy into Austrian (German) control. There is a poem written in Italian among the Fonde papers which lends some credence to this theory.”
“According to a letter written by his great-granddaughter Elizabeth Fonde, Andre relocated in France, where he served as a scrivener, writing documents beautifully in more than one language. Later (between 1790 and 1794) he removed to America, probably to Philiadelphia, where records of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania document that he either made a Declaration of Intention (to become a citizen) or an Oath of Allegiance on February 16, 1798. (Philadelphia Naturalization Records, edited by Wm. Filby, Gale Research Co., Detroit, MI, 1982, page 197). His nationality is given as French.”
“We have copies of letters that Andre Fonde wrote, one from New Orleans to his wife in Philadelphia, and another (1818) from Philadelphia to his son, John P. Fonde, who had recently moved to Washington, D.C. It is believed that Andre and Sarah Fonde moved to New Orleans before 1830 and that they are buried there. Although their marriage in 1794 and the baptisms and burials of several Fonde/Fondy children are recorded at Christ Church (Episcopal), Philadelphia, not all their known children are in these records. (Henry and John Philip are not recorded, nor is the birth of two Fondy children who were buried at Christ Church — Calipso in 1803 and Andrew in 1801). I have made some estimates about the birth order of these children and their dates of birth.”

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