The Seven John Denisons of Ipswich, Massachusetts

This is a discussion of the descendants of  Major General Daniel Denison and John Denison, weaver, both of Ipswich, but unrelated to each other.   The work has been endorsed by the Denison Society genealogist, Joanne Dennison Langdon.

Children appear in bulletted lists, unfortunately.  Anyone wanting a Word document in something more like Register format should email rootscrazy at sbcglobal dot net.


Ipswich Denisons

Disambiguation, Additions, and

The Will of John6 Denison

by Sarah Gates Sully

     For over 150 years, the members of three Ipswich, Mass. families have been confused by various compilers.  The families are those of Major General Daniel Denison, John Denison the weaver, and in at least one instance, two men named Daniel Davison.  It is not the purpose of this writing to chronicle in detail the lives of any Denisons or Davisons, but only to correct long-standing errors and omissions in identification of the members of the Ipswich lines, using the most reliable documents available as evidence:  legal documents, transcriptions and abstracts of legal documents, and contemporary accounts.

     Mr. Abraham Hammatt,[1]Ipswich historian, succeeded in separating two apparently unrelated Denison families living more or less simultaneously in Ipswich, but because of the poor handwriting of an Ipswich clerk, “Daniel Davison” was twice misread for “Daniel Denison,” and the two were included.  The work Mr. Hammatt did prior to his death in 1851 was not published until 1880.  Timely publication of Hammatt’s Papers might have prevented the errors appearing in the Denison genealogy by Baldwin and Clift[2]in 1881, which included members of the family of weavers in the General’s line, but the Davison errors would have been introduced instead.

     There are two major works about descendants of the immigrant William Denison or Dennyson: the 1881 Baldwin and Clift publication, Record of the Descendants of Capt. George Denison, etc. [2]  and the 1963 Denison Genealogy: Ancestors and descendants of Captain George Denison, by E. Glenn Denison, Josephine Middleton Peck and Donald L. Jacobus.[3]  Apparently neither work used Hammatt’s Papers, because members of the weaver’s line were included among the general’s descendants and Hammatt’s errors regarding the Davisons were not repeated.  Mistakes in the two Denison books regarding Daniel’s line might be attributed to the following facts:

1.  Daniel Denison and his Ipswich descendants were not the focus of these books.  The focus was his brother George, which is evident from the titles.

2. The mission of the compiler of descendant lines was (and is) inclusivity: in the search for descendants, the attempt is made to include individuals with the same surname unless a researcher finds sufficient reason not to do so, and in Ipswich, the Denison surname was not common.  This point is amply illustrated on page 331 of the Baldwin and Clift book,[4]  where a contributor explained this process:

“I have no certain authority for making Ruth and Hannah Denison, children of Rev. John and Elizabeth Denison, but as there is no record of any others of suitable age…  The marriage of these sisters to brothers at Haverhill, a neighboring town to Ipswich, the absence of any other family of Denisons in that region, and the correspondence of names, leaves no reasonable doubt that the wives of the Kingsbury brothers were the daughters of 4 Rev. John Denison.”

3. The research methods for both works were time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly, which quite naturally discouraged investigation of a surname line which was known to have died out in 1747.  The Internet has provided some remedies at a reasonable cost.

     In 1902, the New England Historic Genealogical Register published Mary K. Talcott’s exquisite documentation of the three generations of Ipswich weavers,[5]all named John Denison, which included males named John, George and Daniel in the third generation.  Her work was included, almost verbatim, in the 1905 publication of The Genealogy of the Descendants of Henry Kingsbury of Ipswich and Haverhill, Mass., Hartford: Hartford Press, 1905), by Frederick John Kingsbury.  Her work demonstrates the ancestor-hunter’s practice of exclusivity:  the people with the right surname to be parents must be eliminated, one couple at a time, until the right people are identified.

    “The Autobiography of Major-General Daniel Denisonpublished in 1892[6] must be considered the most nearly correct account of the ancestors, relatives and descendants of the immigrant Daniel2 (William 1) Denison through 26 December 1672, the date on which the general signed it.  It ends less than two years after the birth of his third and last Denison grandchild, Daniel.4

     There were three women in the General’s line whose maiden names were Denison. The “Genealogical Memoir of the Family of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers” gives, with few errors, many generations of the descendants of the General’s daughter Elizabeth3 Denison, who married Rev. John Rogers.[7]  Children of the General’s granddaughter Martha4Denison are listed in the New Hampshire wills of two husbands (Thomas Wiggin and Jonathan Thing),[8] and in the Whipple pages of the published Vital Records of Ipswich.[9]  The marriage of his great-great grandchild, Mary6 Denison is not mentioned in Ipswich Vital Records, and prior to computerized vital records, it wasn’t found at all.  Given the usual practice of following only the male lines, it is quite likely that no one looked for her.

     Denison widows who remarried are also three in number, and genealogies of their husbands’ families have sometimes been helpful.  The General’s Autobiography tells of the remarriage of his daughter-in-law Martha [Symonds] Denison to Rev. Richard Martin.[10]  This generation presents no problems.  The second widow, Elizabeth [Saltonstall] [Denison] Cotton had only one child by her first marriage, “the late Col. John Denison, Esq.” of Ipswich, according to “Researches among Funeral Sermons.”[11] This article includes information which appears to be from her Boston newspaper death notice, and was used in the preparation of the Ancestry and Descendants of Sir Richard Saltonstall.[12]  While several generations of Elizabeth’s descendants by Rev. Cotton are given in pages 126-139 of that book, only a page and a half are devoted to her son John5Denison. His children with Mary Leverett (Elizabeth’s grandchildren) are referred to as “one son, and one daughter.” The third widow, Mary [Leverett] Denison was mentioned by Nathaniel Shurtleff, M. D., who carefully researched the subject of his article, the “Genealogical Notice of the Family of Elder Thomas Leverett,”[13] but Dr. Shurtleff’s account of Mary Leverett’s marriage to John5Denison states only that her husband died “leaving a son and a daughter.”  His account of her second marriage includes no reference to her other children by Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.  Again, the usual practice was to follow only the male lines. 

    From the Autobiography, [14]  unless otherwise noted: 

1.  Maj. Gen. DANIEL2 (William 1) DENISONwas bp. 18 October 1612 at Bishop’s Stortford, Herefordshire, England; immigrated 1631; m. 18 October 1632 at Newtowne (Cambridge), PATIENCE DUDLEY, the daughter of Gov. Thomas Dudley and his wife Dorothy [Yorke]; removed to Ipswich, 1635. After an honorable life and an illustrious career, he d. 20 September 1682 and was bur. at Ipswich; his widow d. 8 February 1689/90.[15]    

     Daniel and Patience had four children:

  •   4.    i.    JOHN3DENISON, b. 16 January 1639/40, who married Martha Symonds,
  •  5.    ii.  ELIZABETH DENISON, b. 10 April 1642, who married Rev. John Rogers,
  •        iii.  MARY DENISON, d. in infancy,
  •        iv.  DEBORAH DENISON, d. in infancy.

   Again from the Autobiography,[16] unless otherwise noted: 

2   JOHN3 DENISON, b. 16 January 1639/40 at Roxbury, m. ca. 2 February 1662/63, MARTHA SYMONDS, daughter of Hon. Samuel Symonds.  They had three children, the last born posthumously.  John3 died 9 January 1670/71, a week before his 31st birthday.  His widow then married Rev. Richard Martin, and they removed to Portsmouth, New Hampshire Province.  By an agreement reached between the General and the Martins, they took with them the two youngest children, Martha4 and Daniel,4 but the eldest child, John,4 remained with General Daniel and his wife. 

     The children of John and Martha [Symonds] Denison were: 

  • 4     i.  JOHNDENISON, b. 22 September 1665,
  • 5    ii.  MARTHA DENISON, b. 1 March 1667/68,
  •      iii.  DANIEL DENISON, b. 14 April 1671, d. c. 1690. 

        Daniel4 graduated Harvard 1690: [17]  The year Denison graduated he was enlisted in Sir William Phips’s army against Canada, and was either killed or died of disease on that ill-fated expedition. [n]  He appears to have been the first Harvard student or graduate to lose his life in war.  His land bonus was secured in 1736 by his nephew John, the son of his elder brother.”

     n  Nicholas Gilman (A. B.. 1724), Interleaved Triennial Catalogue. 

     In 1736, the General’s only living descendant named John was John,6 grand– nephew of Daniel,4 who at that time was a boy of about 14 years.  The claim must have been filed by interested parties on his behalf.

Mr Hammatt’s errors are with regard to Daniel.4  He stated that Daniel (John,3 Daniel,2 William 1) married first Margaret Low, Dec. 8, 1657.[18]  This cannot be, as Daniel was not born until 14 April 1671, as above.  In the published Vital Records of Ipswich, there is, however, the marriage of Margaret Low on April 8, 1657 to Daniel Davison.[19]  The second marriage attributed to Daniel4was to Sarah Dodge, June 28, 1685, but this was the marriage of Daniel Davison, Jr.[20]  

3   ELIZABETH3 DENISON married the Rev. JOHN ROGERS at Ipswich, 14 November 1660.  Their living children were Elizabeth, Margaret, John, Daniel and Nathaniel.  “The Family Record of John Appleton,”[21] begun before 1739, and published in 1873, includes a youngest daughter Patience, b. 13 May 1676, unaccountably omitted from the General’s Autobiography.  All six children and several generations of their descendants have been included in the 1851 “Genealogical Memoir of the Family of the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.”[22]  For the purpose of this discussion the Rogers line will be disregarded except insofar as it concerns the Leverett family and the ancestry of Mary Leverett’s second husband, Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.  John and Elizabeth [Denison] Rogers’ daughter Margaret was the mother of Mary Leverett.  John and Elizabeth [Denison] Rogers’ son John was the father of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, second husband of Mary Leverett.

4   JOHN4 DENISON, b. 22 September 1665, graduated Harvard 1684, married about 1688 ELIZABETH SALTONSTALL, dau. of Nathaniel and Elizabeth [Ward] Saltonstall, preached occasionally at Ipswich where he was much beloved.  He was not ordained.  He and his wife had one child only, a son, and no others.[23]    John4 died 14 September 1689, before the birth of his son, and his widow married Rev. Roland Cotton.[24]   The first of their ten children was born between 1690 and 1693, and Rev. Cotton  died  in March, 1721-22.  

  • 6     i.  JOHN5DENISON, b. 20 March 1689/90.[25] 
  •      This is where some compilers add daughters named Ruth and Hannah to this family.  For this reason, a documented outline of the Denison weavers will be posted next, and anotated Vital Records of several towns are posted below.

    5   MARTHA4 DENISON, b. 1 March 1667/68, [26]   married three times. [27]  She married first, THOMAS WIGGINof Exeter, New Hampshire, b. at Hampton, 5: 1 mo.: 1660/61, son of Andrew and Hannah [Anne Bradstreet] Wiggin, [28]  and they had one child

    • i.   HANNAH WIGGIN, b. ca. 1690.  Her marriage to Jonathan Cogswell was recorded at Ipswich , Oct. 23, 1717.[30]

         From Thomas Wiggin’s Probate Records: [29]                   

                [Administration of the estate of Thomas Wiggin of Exeter granted to Martha  Thing, wife of Capt. Jonathan Thing of Exeter, formerly widow of the deceased, Feb. 22, 1695/6.]           

                [Probate Records, vol. 2, p. 23.]           

                [Account of Mrs. Martha Whipple, administratrix to the estate of her late husband, Thomas Wiggin of Squamscot, Oct. 19, 1704.  Mentions a daughter, Hannah Wiggin; allowed Nov. 3, 1704.] 

         Martha married second, in 1693,[31] JONATHAN THING, mentioned in the probate record above, who died 31 October, 1694, at age 40:[32] 

     They had one son:

    • ii.  DANIEL THING, May 12, 1694.[33]  Guardianship was granted to Matthew Whipple, 23 October 1700.[34]  When he married ELIZABETH CLARK of Newbury,[35]   3 March  1717/18 , he was called “Daniell Thing of Exeter.”[36]  At Exeter, he and his wife had five children. [37] 

    Returning to Ipswich, Martha married her third husband, MATTHEW WHIPPLE, 11 June 1697.[38]  He was the son of son of Capt. John and Martha [Reynor] Whipple.  The probate documents of Jonathan Thing also allude to Martha’s marriage to Matthew Whipple.  Martha then had three (or four) children with Matthew:  all but one are found in the Ipswich Vital Records:[39] 

    •    iii.  JOSEPH WHIPPLE, b. 31 July 1701;  
    •   iv.  MARTHA WHIPPLE, b. 07 January 1703/04 and d. in three weeks time;   
    •    v.  MARTHA WHIPPLE again, for whom no birth record has been found;[40]  m. Ebenezer Hartshorn.      
    •    vi.  NATHANIEL WHIPPLE, b. 2 September 1711.   

                Martha [Denison] [Wiggin] [Thing] Whipple d. 12 September 1728 at Ipswich,[41] and the entry leaves no doubt about her identity: “Whipple, Martha, w. Maj. Matthew, Esq., and d. John Dennison, only s. Maj. Daniel, Sept. 12, 1728, in her 60th y.” 

     6   JOHN5 DENISON, b. 20 March 1689/90, as above, graduated Harvard 1710,[42] and remained there in several capacities.  At Cambridge, he m. his second cousin MARY LEVERETT,[43] b. 29 October 1701 [44]one of the two surviving daughters of John Leverett, President of Harvard, and Margaret4(Elizabeth3[Denison] Rogers, Daniel2Denison, William1Denison) his wife.  (To correct an error in some compiled genealogies, the other surviving daughter, Sarah Leverett, m. Rev. Edward Wigglesworth, 15 June 1726 at Cambridge, [45] and d. childless 9 November 1727.) [46]            

                         John5Denison was styled Major when he married Mary and when his first child was born, but was promoted to colonel before his son’s birth.  He had been in ill health for some time and removed to Ipswich, where he practiced law for a while before his death, 25 November 1724. [47]  He was less than 35 years of age.  Mary [Leverett] Denison then married her first cousin, Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, 25 December 1727. [48]    Mr. Rogers was made guardian of her two children, 23 September 1729. [49] 

                John and Mary Denison’s children were:

    • 7.      i.  MARY6 DENISON, bp. 20 March 1720/21, [50] 
    • 8.     ii.  JOHN DENISON, bp. 2 September 1722. [51] 

     7.     MARY6 DENISON, was bp. at Cambridge, 20 Mar 1720, as above:  “Denison, Mary, d. of Maj. _____, bp. 20 Mar 1720.”  The record in the Cambridge VR lacks sufficient detail to identify her conclusively, without supporting evidence from other sources.  She was not usually named in accounts of her father’s life and death.  When not entirely absent from the record, she has been married off by various compilers to the wrong man, since her marriage record was not easily found until the advent of search engines.  In the Appendix of the 1881 Baldwin and Clift book, A Record of the Descendants of Capt. George Denison, of Stonington, Conn., etc., p. 332, the husband of Mary6 is said to have been John Wise.  The error has been repeated, with other errors, in subsequent Denison genealogies and in E. O. Jameson’s Cogswells in America, (Boston: Alfred Mudge and Sons, 1884), p. 76. 

         The marriage of  Mary6 Denison to DANIEL4 WISE (Ammi Ruhammah3, John2, Joseph1) , not John Wise, was recorded at Newbury, 16 December 1740.[52]  Mary and Daniel Wise had three children before she died, 14 September 1744, [53] less than a week after the baptism of her third child.  Neither a death record nor a probate document has been found for Daniel, but his two surviving children became wards of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers, 15 June 1757,[54]about a year after the death of Rev. Rogers’ first wife Mary [Leverett] [Denison] Rogers, the children’s grandmother.  

                The children of Daniel and Mary [Denison] Wise were: 

    •     i.  MARY7 WISE, bp. 13 December 1741,[55] was 16 years of age when Rev. Rogers was made her guardian; m., as his second wife, Nathaniel3 (Michael,2  Michael1) Farley, int. filed, 17 November 1764. [56]  The births of the Farley children are found in the Ipswich Vital Records: Daniel, Mary, Sarah, Hannah, Ebenezer, Joseph, and Susannah.  
    •   ii.  DANIEL WISE, b. 1 May 1743, [57] d. 10 September 1743. [58]
    • iii.  ELIZABETH WISE, bp. 9 September 1744, [59]was almost 13 years of age when Rev. Rogers was made her guardian; m. JONATHAN5  (Jonathan4 – 3, William2,John1) COGSWELL, int. filed Oct. 17, 1767. [60]  The births of five children are attributed to Jonathan and Elizabeth Cogswell by the author of Cogswells in America.[61]  They are: Elizabeth, Mary, Abigail, Jonathan, and Daniel. 

    8   JOHN6 DENISON, bp. 2 September 1722,[63] graduated Harvard 1742,[64]d. unm. at Ipswich, 25 August 1747,[65] before his 25th birthday. 

         John6 died testate, and his will, dated 29 July 1745, entered probate 28 September 1747.[66]   In his will, he named his relatives and stated the relationships, establishing conclusive proof of the Denison line from John5and Mary [Leverett] Denison to Mary and Elizabeth Wise.  The bulk of his estate was left to his mother and two nieces:  “to my Hon’rd mother Mrs Mary Rogers,” and “to Mary & Elizabeth, the two Children of my sd Dec’d Sister Mary Wise.”  He also left his roan horse and his silver watch to “my brother Dan’l Wise.” He named his mother sole executrix;  administration of the will was granted to his mother and step-father, Rev. Nathaniel Rogers.[67] 

         Final disposition of the estate of John6 Denison was not accomplished until after the death of his step-father’s second wife, Mary [Burnam] [Staniford] Rogers.   Her probate file was opened 30 September 1779.[68]  At that time, elements of six estates were involved simultaneously. 

                Facts extracted from Essex Probate, Volume 131, page 260-261: 

         Mary [Burnam]’s estate included widow’s portions of the estates of Daniel Staniford and Nathaniel Rogers.  The two Burnam/Rogers heirs were Lucy Rogers, wife of Jabez Farley, and Nathaniel Rogers, who married Abigail Dodge.  The seven Burnam/Staniford heirs were:  Mary, wife of Joseph Dana; Margaret, wife of Josiah Smith; Hannah, wife of Joseph Rogers; Sarah, wife of John Heard; Daniel Staniford; Martha Staniford; and Abigail, wife of Joshua Fisher. 

         Mary [Leverett]’s inheritances from her husband and her son passed to Rev. Rogers after her death, and after his death were apparently tied up until the death of Mary [Burnam].  Mary [Leverett]’s children were all deceased by 1780, except for Martha [Rogers] Treadwell, so her heirs were, for the most part, her grandchildren.  Her eight Rogers heirs were: the children of Margaret [Rogers] and John Calef, i. e., Margaret [Calef] Scott and Mary [Calef] Dutch; the children of Elizabeth [Rogers] and Daniel Rogers, i. e., Daniel and Sarah Rogers; and the children of Martha [Rogers] and Jacob Treadwell, i. e., Hannah, Nathaniel, Jacob, and Mary Treadwell.  Her two Denison heirs were the children of Mary [Denison] and Daniel Wise: Mary [Wise] Farley, the wife of Nathaniel Farley, and Elizabeth [Wise] Cogswell, wife of Jonathan Cogswell.

         Of interest to the descendants of John5Denison are the following portions of the distribution from the estate of Mary [Burnam] [Staniford] Rogers:[69]  

                “Ipswich, October 15th 1781.  Then received of Capt. Daniel Rogers in behalf of his two children Sarah & Daniel Rogers Minors, Jacob Treadwell in behalf of his four children, Hannah, Nathaniel, Jacob and Mary, Nathaniel Rogers, Lucy Farley, Margaret Scott & Mary Dutch Heirs of the Rev. Mr. Nathaniel Rogers late of Ipswich Clerk deceased Intestate, the Sum of one hundred Pounds lawful money in full for all the personal Estate of John Denison late of Ipswich Gentleman deceased, which came into the Hand of said Intestate, and do hereby acquit and discharge the said Heirs from all further Demands on account of the personal Estate of said Denison as witness our hands.

                 (Signed)  “Nath’l Farley,             Jona  Cogswell, Jr.”    

         There is also an interesting provision in the record of the final distribution of assets:           

                “Then received of Mr. Nathaniel Farley & Jonathan Cogswell, jr., Esq., twenty Shillings in full of what was due to the Rev’d Mr. Nath’l Rogers as Guardian to their wives Mary Farley and Elizabeth Cogswell during their Minority and do hereby acquit and discharge the sd Farley and Cogswell from any Demand for the said Mary and Elizabeth’s Support and Education during their Minority as Witness our hands.

                 (Signed)  “Daniel Rogers,      Jacob Treadwell” 

         Mary [Wise] Farley and Elizabeth [Wise] Cogswell both left descendants, and the line continues to the present day. The Denison surname is undeniably gone from the Ipswich line, but the heritage is not, and the ancestors of Daniel Wise and Mary Denison include some of the brightest and most talented people in the history of Massachusetts. 


    1  Abraham Hammatt, Early Ipswich Inhabitants, Massachusetts, 1633-1700, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980), 72-75.  (Hammatt’s Papers)

    2  John Denison Baldwin and William Clift, A Record of the Descendants of Capt. George Denison, of Stonington, Conn., with Notices of His Father and Brothers, and Some Account of Other Denisons who Settled in America in the Colony Times, (Worcester: Tyler and Seagrave, 1881), pp. 330-333.  (B&C, 1881)

    3  E. Glenn Denison, Josephine Middleton Peck and Donald L. Jacobus, Denison Genealogy: Ancestors and descendants of Captain George Denison, (reprinted, Baltimore: Gateway Press, 1993).

    4 B&C, 1881, p. 331

    5  Mary K. Talcott, “Notes and Queries: Denison,” NEHGR, (Boston: NEHGS, 1902), 56:207.  (Talcott)

    6  Daniel Denison Slade, M.D., “Autobiography of Major-General Daniel Denison,” NEHGR (Boston: NEHGS, 1892), 46: 127-133. (Autobiography)

    7  _____ ,  “Genealogical Memoir of the Family of  Rev. Nathaniel Rogers,” NEHGR, (Boston: NEHGS, 1851), 6: 105-152, 311-330.  (Rogers Memoir)

    8  Albert Stillman Batchellor, Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire, vol 1, 1635-1717, (Concord: Rumford Printing Co., 1907).

    9 Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 3 vols.  (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1910-1919), 1:392.

    10  Autobiography, 46:131.

    11  Samuel G. Drake, “Researches among Funeral Sermons, and other tracts, for the recovery of biographical and genealogical materials,” (Boston: NEHGR, 1853), 7:305.

    12  Leverett Saltonstall, Ancestry and Descendants of Sir Richard Saltonstall: first associate of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and patentee of Connecticut, (Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1897), 126-140.

    13  Nathaniel Shurtleff, M. D., “Genealogical Notice of the Family of Elder Thomas Leverett,” (Boston: NEHGR, 1850), 4:135-136.

    14  Autobiography, 46:129.

    15  Hammatt’s Papers,  73.

    16  Autobiography, 46:130-131.

    17 “Daniel Denison (Harvard, 1690),” Colonial Collegians: Biographies of Those Who Attended American  Colleges before the War for Independence.  (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.)  (Colonial Collegians)

    18   Hammatt’s Papers,  74. 

    19  Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 3 vols.  (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1910-1919), 2:126.  (Ips VR)

    20  Ips VR, 2:126. 

    21  Wm. S. Appleton, “The Family Record of John Appleton,” NEHGR, (Boston: NEHGS, 1873), 27:37.

    22  Rogers Memoir, 5: 144-152; 314-316.

    23  Saltonstall, 20

    24  “John Denison, (Harvard, 1684).” Colonial Collegians, (See Note 17.)

    25  Nathaniel Shurtleff, M. D., “Genealogical Notice of the Family of Elder Thomas Leverett,” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1850, Vol. 4: Vol. 4, p. 135.

    26   Autobiography, 46:130. 

    27  Clarence Almon Torrey, New England Marriages Prior to 1700,  (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. 1985),  (Torrey’s Marriages)

    28  _____, “Old Norfolk County Records: “Hampton Births,” Essex Antiquarian, 13 vol. (Salem: The Essex Antiquarian, 1901) 5: 77. 

    29  Albert Stillman Batchellor, Probate Records of the Province of New Hampshire, vol 1, 1635-1717, (Concord: Rumford Printing Co., 1907) 418.  (Wiggin Probate)

    30   IpsVR, 2: 107, 457. Her name is recorded as “Hannah Wiggins.”

    31  Torrey’s Marriages, 735.

    32  Wm. Copeley, New Hampshire Family Records, (Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1994), 263.  (Copeley)

    33  Copeley, 263.

    34 Batchellor, 408. References “Essex County, Mass., Probate Records, vol. 307, p. 42.”  The Essex Probate File number is 27410.

    35  George Kuhn Clarke,Genealogy of the descendants of Nathaniel Clarke of Newbury, Mass. , (Boston:  T.R. Marvin and Son, 1883), 71.  (Clarke)

    36  Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 2 vols.  (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1911), 2:102.  (NewburyVR)

    38  IpsVR, 2: 454. 

    39  IpsVR, 1: 392.   

    40, p. 193, alleged to be a twin of Nathaniel.

    41  IpsVR, 2: 709. 

    42  “John Denison (Harvard, 1710),” (Colonial Collegians).  (See Note 10.)  This account of the life of John Denison contains many colorful details omitted in Hammatt’s Papers, p. 74.

    43 Thomas W. Baldwin, Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 2 vol., (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1910-1919), 2:241. (Cambridge VR)

    44  Cambridge VR, 1:435. 

    45  Cambridge VR, 1:435. 

    46  Cambridge VR, 2:241. 

    47   Ips VR, 2:541.                         

    48    Ips VR, 2:373. 

    49 Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1638-1840. (Salem: Essex County.) File # 7567.  For both Mary and her brother John.  (Essex Probate Index.)

    50    Cambridge VR, 1:200. 

    51   Ips VR, 1:116. 

    52   Newbury VR, 2:142.

    53   Ips VR, 2:715. 

    54 Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Index, 1638-1840. (Salem: Essex County.)  File #: 30194.  (Essex Probate Index.)

    55   Ips VR, 1:399. 

    56   Ips VR, 2:462.

    57  Ips VR, 1:398. 

    58  Ips VR, 2:714.

    59  Ips VR, 1:398.

    60  Ips VR, 2:461.

    61  E. O. Jameson, Cogswells in America, (Boston: Alfred Mudge and Sons, 1884), p. 76.

    62  Ips VR, 1:99.

    63  Ips VR, 1:116

    64  “John Denison (Harvard 1742),” Colonial Collegians.

    65  Ips VR, 2:540.

    66  Essex Probate Index. File #: 7561.

    67  Essex Probate, vol. 327, pp. 504-505.

    68  Ips VR, 2:540.

    69  Essex Probate, Volume 131, page 260-261.


    Transcriptions of Denison/Dennison Records in Various Massachusetts Towns 

    Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 3 vols.
    (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1910-1919)
     (W) = weaver’s line.  (G) = General’s line.   (-) = not relevant to the discussion.
    Vol. I, Births, p. 114, 116.
    DENISON (see also Dennison)
    (W)   Daniel, s. John and Elizabeth, Nov. 9, 1702.
    (W)   George, s. John and Elizabeth, Oct. 6, 1700.
    (W)   John, s. John and Ruth, Apr. 28, 1692.
    (W)   Priscilla, d. John and Ruth, Jan. 14, 1694-5.
    (W)   Ruth, d. John and Ruth, Aug. 9, 1684.
    (W)   Ruth, d. John and Ruth, June 7, 1686.
    DENNISON (see also Denison)
    (G)   John, s. Col. John and Mary, bp. Sept. 2, 1722.
    Vol. II, Marriages, p. 131.
    DENISON (see also Dennison)
    (-)  Elisabeth A., of Gloucester, and Joseph Fellows, int. Apr. 7, 1821.
    (G)  Elizabeth, Mrs., and John Rogers, Nov. 14, 1660. CT. R.
    (W)  Hannah, and Nathaniell Kingsbery of Norwich, int. Apr. 2, 1709.
    (G)  John, Maj., and Mrs. Mary Leverett, at Cambridge, Apr. 9, 1719.*    
    (-)  Jonathan, of Gloucester, and Susanna Fellows, Apr. 3, 1821.*
    (W)  Pricilla, and Thomas Parson, Oct. 9, 1666. CT. R.
    DENNISON (see also Denison) p. 132-3
    (W)   John, and Rebecca Wallis, int. Aug. 12, 1727.
    (G)   Mary, Mrs., and Rev. Nathan Rogers, Dec. 25, 1728.*   Intention also recorded.
    Vol. II, Deaths, p. 540, 541.
    DENISON (see also Dennison)
    (G)   Daniell, Maj. Gen., Sept. 20, 1682, in his 70th y.
    (G)   John, Jan. 9, 1670. CT. R.
    (W)   John, s. John and Ruth, July 30, [1688?].
    (G)   John [A.M., only s. Col. John. G. R. 1], Aug. 28, 1747, a. 25 y.
    (W)   John, May 4, 1761. [in his 70th y. G. R. 1.]
    (W)   Mary, d. John, July 11, 1658. CT. R.
    (W)   Priscilla, wid. Feb. 5, 1692.
    (W)   Prisscilla, d. John and Ruth, Jan. 30, 1694-5.
    (W)   [Rebecca. G. R. 1], w. John, May 4, 1752. [in her 52d y. G. R. 1.]
    (W)   Ruth, d. John and Ruth, Aug. 15, 1685.
    (W)   Ruth, w. John, Feb. 2, 1694-5.
    DENNISON (see also Denison)
    (W)   Elizabeth, wid. John, weaver, Sept. 15, 1725.
    (W)   George, Aug. 6, 1725.
    (G)   John, Lt. Col., Esq., Nov. 25, 1724. [a. 35 y. G. R. 1.]
    (W)   John, Aug. 12, 1725.


    Thomas W. Baldwin, Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 2 vol., (Boston: 1914)
    Vol. I, Births, p.  200.  
    (-)    Arthur E., —, 1847.  G. R. 2. 
    (G)    Mary, d. of Maj. _____, bp. Mar. 20, 1720.  C. R. 1.
    Vol. II, Marriages, p. 114.
    (G)    Denison, Maj. John and Mrs. Mary Leverett, at Cambridge, April 9, 1719. *

    Vital Records of Haverhill, Massachusetts
    Vol. I, Births, p. 21
    (W)   Ayer, Ruth, d. Peter and Hannah (Allin), Oct. 30, 1660.

    Vol. II, Marriages, p. 90.
    (W)   Denison (see also Dennison), Ruth, and Joseph Kingsbery, jr., Feb. 5, 1705-6.


    Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the end of the year 1849, 2 vols.  (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1911).
    Vol. II, Marriages, p. 142.
    (-)    Elisabeth, and — Rayner, at Rowley, Nov. 12, 1662.
    (-)    Mary, and William Bolton, Nov. 22, 1659.
    (G)   Mary, Mrs., and Capt. Daniel Wise, both of Ipswich, Dec. 16, 1740. C. R. 7.


    The following set of vital records for the Cotton Family are those of Rev. Roland and Elizabeth [Saltonstall] Cotton.  They are included because at least one family tree posted on the Internet states that it was Elizabeth Saltonstall who married, as his second wife, John 2 Denison, of the Ipswich weaver’s family, and had George (Oct. 6, 1700) and Daniel Denison (Nov. 9, 1702) at Ipswich, when in fact she was having children in Sandwich with Rev. Cotton. 

    Abstracted from two sources:

    Ancestry and Descendants of Sir Richard Saltonstall, etc., by Leverett Saltonstall, Cambridge, Mass.: Riverside Press, 1897, pp. 125-139.

    Kardell, Caroline Lewis, and Lovell, Russell A. Jr.  Vital Records of Sandwich Massachusetts to 1885. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996. Book 2, p. 35-6

    The edges of some of the pages in the original Sandwich Vital Records books were worn when the first transcriptions were made, rendering the entries partially illegible.  Where two possible birth years are given, the first is from Saltonstall and the second from Kardell.  Where only one birth year from 1690 to 1700 is given, it is from Kardell, as recorded in Freeman’s History of Cape Cod I:361).

     (John) Cotton, 15 July (1693 or 1690)
    Johanah Cotton, 16 August (1691)
    Elizabeth Cotton 3 November (1693)
    Sarah Cotton 26 December (1696)
    Nathaniel Cotton 13 June (1694 or 1697)
    Abigail Cotton 9 July (1699)
    Meriel Cotton 19 July (about 1698 or 1700)
    Rowland Cotton 13 November 1701
    Josiah Cotton June 1703
    Ruth Cotton 22 July 1710
    Ward Cotton 8 September 1711

    Ruth, died Aug. 29, 1710, aged 5 weeks.


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    One CommentLeave a comment

    1. An excellent source for comparison of the two Denison families of Ipswich, Massachusett. A site to be commended for its excellent research.
      Joanne Dennison Langdon, Genealogist, Denison Society, Inc., Mystic, Connecticut.

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