Much of this detail comes second hand to me, quoted by Janice Walker from the
book "From the Dennis Side of the Family", by Jean Phillips Whittaker.
William Dennis was born about 1758 in Worcester County, Maryland. A tax
list of 1783 lists "William of Johnson Dennis". Johnson Dennis owned property
in northern Worcester County in the Pittsville-Willards-Powellsville area east of
Salisbury, Maryland. William owned no land.
He was listed in the 1783 tax list living in Acquango Hundred as one male
and one female owning one horse, three black cattle and no children which
indicated probably he had just married. Son James Dennis in a letter written
written June 3, 1864 stated he had been born "13 miles from Salisbury, Maryland,"
This would indicate William was living on land of his father Johnson Dennis.
William enrolled in Capt. Davis' company, Wicindro Battalion, Worcester
Militia in 1780. He signed the oath of allegiance in 1778.
No record has been found naming his wife. In my research of Worcester County, MD
Marriage Licenses of 1795-1865, there is one William Dennis who married a Polly Dukes
Feb 6, 1799. Perhaps this is Williams second marriage. The other thought is
that the William who married Polly Dukes was the son of John Dennis, but his advanced
age would seem to rule this out. He would likely have been close to 80 years old at
this time, if he were still alive. None of John's children seem to have had a son
named William. So, I guess I'll stick with my theory that this marriage was probably
Williams second one.
In 1803-04 William Dennis moved his family to Ross County, Ohio.
James was born in 1801 in Maryland.
Probably the Dennis family came with the colony of people who arrived in Ross County
in 1804 as told in a Ross Co. History:
In the year 1804 there arrived in Ross County a colony of people
from Maryland. There were seventy of them, the poorest of poor, oppressed Marylanders.
These Marylanders had brought all their possessions in a cart drawn by a pony.
The land had not yet been surveyed and much of it was owned by the
state of Virginia.
The Marylanders followed Rev. Timmons to Ohio where he helped assist each
of these families to secure homes in the wilderness. The Timmons name and White
Brown's name are found in many records concerning the William Dennis family.
Many Dennis men and women were married by Rev. Stephen Timmons as found
in Ross Co. marriage records.
Researching Ross Co. records has not proven the issue of William Dennis.
Descendants relate that it has always been said that "six Dennis brothers came from
Maryland." My records indicate that one of these probably was Henry Dennis, father
of Daniel Dennis, born Aug 7, 1788 in Worcester Co., MD.
Various records do show more than six Dennis men were residing in the area
during the time frame.
Only William Dennis paid taxes in the 1810 Ross Co. tax list. Only William
Dennis purchased land in Ross Co. patented to Henry Massie called #6834, sixty
acres for $120.00. The land record was filed in 1812. William Dennis, Sr. sold
that same land to Dennis in 1833. In the 1830 Ohio Fed census William was listed as
a man 70 to 80 years of age with a wife of age 60 to 70. James Dennis was listed
beside William. No further records were found for William and his wife. William
sold his land to James in 1833. He died intestate.
The marriage records of Ross Co. show that several young men and women
named Dennis married during this time span. In as much as William was the only
Dennis in the county of the age to have marriageable children, it is logical to
assume that these were his children.
William Dennis, b 1758, Worcester Co., MD
m(2?) 6 Feb 1799 Polly Dukes
d 1833 Ross County, OH
Children of William
Robert, b c 1785 MD
d c 1840 Ross County, OH
Jonathan, b c 1785 MD
(my g-g-g-grandfather, I believe)
m 1819 Elizabeth Gadden
d c 1840 Ross County, OH
Purnell J., b 25 Dec 1790 MD
m1 12 Jan 1815 Sarah Penniwell, Ross Co., OH
m2 27 May 1841 Sarah Baggs
d 7 Jan 1866, Monroe Twp., Pickaway Co., OH
Veteran of War of 1812
Mathias, b c 1795
m1 1816 Priscilla Dennis
m2 9 Jun 1819 Patty King, Ross Co.,OH
d 1840 Iowa
James M. Dennis, b 8 Jul 1801, near Salisbury, MD
m Nancy Coleston Meekins 3 Aug 1824 Ross County, OH
d 1 Jul 1877 Ross County, OH
Polly "Molly", b c 1793 MD
m 24 Jul 1810 Conlee Vass , Ross County, OH
m 25 Aug 1810 Ephraim Knolds, Ross County, OH
m 13 Dec 1813 Henry Corkwell, Ross County, OH
m 22 Feb 1810 Thomas Vincent, Ross County, OH
Hannah, b 1805
m 8 Feb 1821 Selby Lewis, Ross County, OH
William, b 12 May 1809 Ross County
m 13 Apr 1834 Mary Meekins, Ross County, OH
d 3 Jun 1872, Jackson Co., MO; buried Lee's Summit, MO.
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