William Denston
(Abt 1670-1726/1727)
Elizabeth (?)
(Abt 1670-After 1732)
John Denston
(Abt 1693-1765/1766)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Margaret (?)

John Denston 1

  • Born: Abt 1693, Somerset Co., MD 2
  • Marriage (1): Margaret (?)
  • Died: 31 Jan 1765-09 Sep 1766, Worcester Co., MD 3

  

Denstons are listed as follows in the Somerset Co., MD Tax Lists:
1723: William (Wicomico Hundred); William, John (next to one another in Pocomoke Hundred)
1724: William (Wicomico), John (Pocomoke)
1725: William (Wicomico), John (Pocomoke)
1727: John (Pocomoke)

From this, we see John as the only head of household in Somerset Co. by 1727, his brother William Jr. and father William Denston Sr. have died. John remains the only head until 1734 when we see the following Denstons:

1734: John, John in the same household (Pocomoke), Robert (Manokin)
1735: John, John in the same household (Pocomoke), Robert (Manokin)
1736: John, John in the same household (Pocomoke) [Robert is gone]
1737: John, John in the same household (Pocomoke)
1738: John, John Jr, Isaac in the same household (Pocomoke)
1739: John Sr, John, Isaac in the same household (Pocomoke)
1740: John, Isaac in different households (Pocomoke)
1743: none

These show that John Denston's son John had become 15 years of age in 1733/34 as did Isaac in 1737/38 and, there is an unknown Robert Denston in the area as well from 1734 to 1735. No lists are extant for 1741/42 and the next in 1743 is a year after Worcester Co.was formed and the Denston land fell in that county. We do note that there is only one John in 1740 so we are not sure why one of the Johns gets missed as we know both survive till at least 1765 when the elder John wrote his will. Birth years for the other Denston children of John are estimated based upon what order he mentions them in his will.

In the March Court of 1728, we find John Denston defending himself:
LG Philip Taylor @ GD John Denston Somersett fs; John Denston late of Somersett County planter was attached to answer unto Philip Taylor of a plea of trespass upon the Case &c And whereupon the same Philip by Levin Gale his attorney Complaines that whereas he the said Philip a good true and faithfull and honest leige Subject of Our Lord the king now is and as such from the time of his Nativity hath always himselfe behaved and governed and of good name fame Condition Creditt and Repute as well amongst all his neighbours with whom he hath so Lived and Continued as other faithfull subjects of Our Lord the king to whom he was known is and never any felony Theft murder or other wicked or base Crime ever committed or perpetrated but free from all note and Suspicion thereof hath by the whole Space afd by pretext afd whereof he gained much good will amongst all his neighbours and other faithfully subjects of Our Lord the king to whom he was known nevertheless he the said John not Ignorant of the premisses but plotting and Scadelously Intending the Same Philip not Only in his good name fame and Creditt aforesaid to hurt but also
the said Philip Innocently in danger of being whipt and Pillowred and forfeiting his goods and Chattells the tenth day of March anno Dom One thousand Seven hundred and twenty seven at Somersett County within the Jurisdiction of this Court these falce feigned Scandelous and
approbrious words and Lyes following in presence and hearing of Divers faithfull Subjects of Our Lord the King of the said Philip did speak publish and Utter with a high Voice viz.t Philip Taylor the aforesaid Philip speaking of and meaning stole a unmarked hogg of Teague Dunahoes whereas in truth the said Philip never any felony theft or Other such wicked or base Crime ever Committed or perpetrated by Reason of Speaking of which falce feigned Scandelous and approbrious words and Lyes the said Philip is not only much hurt and damnified in his good name fame Creditt and Estimation but also brought into danger of being whipt and Pillowred and forfeiting his goods and Chattells whereby the Said Philip says he is worse and hath damage to the value of forty pounds Currant mony of maryland and thereof he brings this Suite &c. And the said John Denston by George Dashiell his attorney Comes and defends the force and Injury when &c and prays Leave to Imparle hereunto untill the Next Court and he hath it and the Same day is given the afd plft here also &c. Att which said next Court to witt the ninteenth day of November anno Dom one thousand Seven hundred and twenty Eight Came again as well the aforesaid Phillip Taylor as the afd John Denston by their attorneys afd and the afd John Denston by his said attorney prays further Leave to Imparle hereunto untill the next Court and he hath it and the same days is Given to the afd Plft here also &c. Att which said next Court to witt the Eighteenth day of March anno Dom one thousand seven hundred and twenty Eight Came again as well the afd Phillip Taylor as the aforesaid John Denston by their attorneys afd and whereupon the said John Denston by his said attorney as before defends the force and Injury when &c and Says that he Cannot Gainsay the action of the afd Philip against him brought nor Can he Say but that the Said Philip Ought to recover his damages by occasion of the premisses afd besides his Costs and Charges by him about his Suite in that part Expended to thirty five shillings Curr.t mony which the said Plft doth not Gainsay. Therefore it is Considered by the court here that the afd Philip Taylor Recover against the afd John Denston his damages afd to thirty five shillings currant mony in form afd Confessed as also four hundred and twenty pounds of tobacco (being as much Costs as Damage) by for his Costs and Charges to the Same Phillip by the Court here according to the form of the Statute in Such Case late made and provided adjudged and the aforesaid deft in mercy &c. (SoJ-1727/30:170)

In the March Court of 1732 in Somerset Co., we find the following that denotes John zdenston as a shoemaker: "David Layfield bound to John Denston; David Layfield (son of Robert Layfield late of Somerset County decd) is bound by the Court of his Own Consent unto a Certain John Denston untill he arrives at the age of twenty One Years the said David Layfield being Seventeen Years of age Last January the said David Layfield to serve his said Master John Denston the full term aforesaid during which term the said David Layfeild his said Master well and faithfully shall Serve his secrets keep his Commandments Lawfull and honestly every where willingly shall do and in all things as a good and faithfully Servant shall demean himselfe towards his said Master and all his during the term aforesaid &c. In consideration of which Service the said John Denston present herein Court Covenanteth with the Justices of the Same Court in Court Judicially Sitting on behalfe of the said David Layfield that he the said John Denston during the term aforesaid will Learn his said apprentice the trade of a shoemaker and to Read well in the bible and at the Expiration of his Servitude give his said apprentice a sett of shoemakers tooles and a new Suit of Cloaths over and above his Common wearing Cloaths and Likewise provide for his said apprentice meat drink washing Lodging and Cloathing and all Other Necessarys sufficient for Such an apprentice to have and weare during the term aforesaid &c whereupon it is Ordered by the Court here that the aforesaid John Denston Give Security for to Comply with the Covenants aforesaid &c. Thereupon the said John Denston with John Phillips of Somerset County planter his Security both
present here in Court in their proper persons acknowledged themselves to Owe and Stand Justly Indebted unto the said David Layfield in twenty pounds Sterling good and Lawfull money of England Joyntly and Severally of their bodys goods or Chattells Lands and tenements to be made and Levied to the Use of the Said David Layfield his heirs and assignes If it happen that the aforesaid John Denston do not during the term of Servitude afd Learn his said apprentice the trade of a shoemaker and to read well in the bible and at the Expiration of his Servitude do not give him a new Suit of Cloaths over & above his Common wearing Cloaths and do not Likewise provide for his said apprentice meat drink washing Lodging and Cloathing and all other Necessaryes Sufficient for Such an apprentice to have & wear during the term aforesaid &c." (SoJ-1730/33:278)

In June 1735, we see similarly:
Rachel Adams bound to John Denston; Rachell Adams an orphan and daughter of Abraham Adams late of Somerset County dec.d is bound out by the Court here an apprentice according to act of assembly unto JohnDenston of the Same County untill she arrives at the age of Sixteen Years she being about nine Years of age the said Rachel Adams to Serve her said master the full term afd during which term the said the said Rachel Adams her said Master well and faithfully shall Serve her secretts keep his Commandmts lawfully and honestly every where willingly she shall do and in all things as a good and faithfull apprentice shall demean herselfe towards her said Master and all his during the term aforesaid &a. In Consideration of which service the said John Denston present herein Court in his proper person Covenanteth with the Justices of the Same Court in manner and form following vizt. That he the said John Denston during the term aforesaid shall and will learn his said apprentice to read well in the bible and to knitt sew and Spinn and other houswifery and when the said Apprentice shall arrive at the age of Fourteen Years give her a young Cow of about three Years old and at the Expiration of her Servitude give her a new suit of Cloaths over and above her Common wearing Cloaths and Likewise provide for his said apprentice meat drink washing Lodging and Cloathing mete for her to have and wear during the term afd &a. Whereupon it is ordered that the said John Denston give Security for to Comply with the Covenants
afd Thereupon the said John Denston with Randall Smullen his Security both present here in Court acknowledged themselves Indebted unto the said Rachel Adams in the Sum of five pounds Sterling Each of their bodys goods or Chattells Lands or tenements seperately to be made and Levied to the Use of the said Rachel Adams her her heirs or assignes If it happen that the said John Denston do not during the term afd Learn his said apprentice to Read well in the bible and to knitt sew and Spin and other houswifery and do not give unto his said apprentice when she shall arrive at the age of fourteen Years give her a young Cow of about three Years old and do not at the Expiration of her servitude give her a new Suit of Cloaths over and above her Common wearing Cloaths and Likewise provide for his said apprentice meat drink washing Lodging and Cloathing mete for Such an apprentice to have and wear during the term aforesaid &a. (SoJ-1735/37:15)

Land tract "Mill Lot" was surveyed for John Denston for 50a in 1745. It is located, in the modern day (2017), on Dividing Creek at the bridge over it where Meadow Bridge Road crosses. In early times, this was called "Denstones Bridge" and called out as a landmark when Worcester Co. was carved from old Somerset in 1742. John Denston had also surveyed adjacent land "Denstons Chance" in 1742 for 50a and sold it to son Isaac on Aug 7 1745 (WoLR-A:328). Isaac had that tract resurveyed to "Chance" for 98 acres in 1763.

John Denston's will was written Jan 31 1765 and was proven in Worcester Co. on Sep 19 1766:
- To son Levin, dwelling plantation with land "Mill Lott" and hand mill and two old guns, the necessary iron tools and ploughs and harrows, axes, hoes, iron wedges and all my iron tools
- To wife Margaret (as Margat), remainder of estate less one loom and necessaries to go to daughter Rebecca Denston. If in the event of my wife's remarriage, or death, or birth of an unlawfully begotten child, then to my son Isaac to take it into his care until the youngest child comes of age and then he to divided it among my five youngest children.
- To my sons John, Isaac, to daughters Sarah Brown and Elizabeth Denston, to sons Benjamin, William, Philip and Saul, all one shilling each.
No executor named. Witnesses; John Pusey, Ahab Costen, Matthew Puckham (WoW-1759/69:116)


John married Margaret (?). (Margaret (?) was born about 1699 in Somerset Co., MD and died after 1766 in Worcester Co., MD.)


Sources


1 Correspondence from James L. Brown; n209 West Mosher Street, Baltimore, MD 21217, dated April 7, 1997.

2 Correspondence from James L. Brown, 209 W. Mosher Street, Baltimore, MD 21217; dated April 30, 1997.

3 Worcester Co., MD Wills, Will Book JW 3 (MdHR 9477, 1/58/4/38), Folio 116-117.


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