William Denston
(Abt 1670-1726/1727)


Family Links

1. Elizabeth (?)

William Denston 1

  • Born: Abt 1670
  • Marriage (1): Elizabeth (?)
  • Died: 28 Nov 1726-04 Jan 1727, Somerset Co., MD 2


On Aug 9 1687, William Denson buys 150 acres of "Harpers Discovery" and "Harpers Increase" from William/Elizabeth Harper (SoLR-MA:862). William Denson and his wife Elizabeth, in turn, sell this land on Apr 6 1695 (SoLR-L:269). This is land on Dividing Creek.

When the Nanticoke Indian Reservation was carved out in 1711 that included the southern half of modern Laurel, DE (then Somerset, MD), it mentions William Denston Jr. as receving "damages" for it. This gives a hint of where the Denston family initially lived in the lower Delmarva area; i.e., just south of Broad Creek near modern-day Laurel, DE.

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)

We can see from this that one William Denston (of Pocomoke Hundred) either dies or leaves the area after 1723 and the other in 1727. We know that William Sr. wrote his will (he wrote it as "William Denson of Wicomico") in late 1726 and it was probated in early 1727 so we will assume William Jr. died in 1723/24. This left only John Denston as a head of household in the area by 1727.

William Denston's will was written Nov 28 1726 and probated Jan 4 1727 wtih the following:
- To son William, John, one shilling each
- To daughter Mary Nesham (sic, Esham), one shilling
- To granddaughter Mary Nesham, one cow called Little Bird
- Rest of estate divided between wife Elizabeth Denston and daughter Elizabeth Denston.
Witnesses: George Goddard, Benjamin Cottman

William married Elizabeth (?). (Elizabeth (?) was born about 1670 and died after 05 Feb 1732 in Somerset Co., MD.)


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

2 MD Prerogative Court Wills, (MdHR 1297; 1/11/1/21), Folio 59-61. Will written 11/28/1726 and probated 1/4/1726(27).

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