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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 261   View pdf image (33K)
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BIOGRAPHIES DEN

(?-1732), daughter of Col. Southey Littleton
(1645-1679). STEPMOTHER: Elizabeth. Day. BROTH-
ERS: Valentine; Lazarus (?-1754); Wheatley; Solo-
mon; and Daniel. MARRIED on November 10,
1724, Mary (?-1768), daughter of William Purnell.
CHILDREN. SONS: John Dennis, Jr. (ca. 1724-1782);
Littleton Dennis (ca. 1728-1774). DAUGHTERS:
Sarah, who married Thomas Hollbrook; Leah,
who married Rev. James Robertson (?-1767);
Mary, who married first, in 1737 Samuel Handy
(?-1755), and second, (first name unknown) Pol-
lett. PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate. RELI-
GIOUS AFFILIATION: Anglican. SOCIAL STATUS
AND ACTIVITIES: Gent., 1729. OCCUPATIONAL
PROFILE: innholder, 1725; owner and master of
sloops, 1734-1739; part owner of a sloop with
William Lane, 1748/49; ship's captain. PUBLIC

CAREER. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE: Lower House,

Somerset County, 1745, 1745/46-1746 (appointed
sheriff before the 3rd session), 1754-1757. LOCAL
OFFICES: sheriff, Somerset County, 1746-1749,
1758-1761; coroner, Somerset County, commis-
sioned 1745; justice, Somerset County, 1746-at
least 1763 (quorum, 1751-at least 1763); Coventry
Parish Vestry, Somerset and Worcester counties,
in office 1748. WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. PER-
SONAL PROPERTY, owned a 15-ton sloop, 1734;
owned a 30-ton sloop, 1736; owned a 30-ton
sloop, 1739; owned half-interest in a 35-ton sloop,
1748/49. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: ca. 900 acres
in Somerset and Worcester counties. SIGNIFICANT

CHANGES IN LAND BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION

AND DEATH: deeded ca. 700 acres in Somerset
County to his son, 1755. WEALTH AT DEATH.
DIED: will probated on September 2, 1767, in Som-
erset County. PERSONAL PROPERTY: TEV, at least
£480.3.0 current money (including 8 slaves).
LAND: 287 acres in Somerset County.

DENNIS, JOHN, JR. (ca. 1724-1782). BORN: ca.
1724 in Somerset County; probably elder son. NA-
TIVE: probably fourth generation. RESIDED, in
Worcester County. FAMILY BACKGROUND. FA-
THER: John Dennis( 1704- 1767). MOTHER OR POS-
SIBLY STEPMOTHER: Mary Purnell (?-1768).
BROTHER OR POSSIBLY HALF BROTHER: Littleton

Dennis (ca. 1728-1774). SISTERS OR POSSIBLY
HALF SISTERS: Sarah; Leah; and Mary. NEPHEWS:
Henry Dennis (?-1785); Samuel Handy (1751/52-
1828). MARRIED Anna Maria (?-by 1781). CHIL-
DREN. SONS: John; Robert (ca. 1751-?). PRIVATE

CAREER. EDUCATION: literate. RELIGIOUS AFFILIA-
TION: Anglican, St. Martin's Church, Worcester
Parish, Worcester County. OCCUPATIONAL PRO-
FILE: planter, 1758; built a water mill, 1762;

owned a sawmill and gristmill, 1766. PUBLIC CA-
REER. LEGISLATIVE SERVICE: Lower House,
Worcester County, 1754-1755 (appointed sheriff
before the 4th session). LOCAL OFFICES: sheriff,
Worcester County, 1755-1758; justice, Somerset
County, commissioned 1746, 1747, 1748, and
1762; justice, Worcester County, in office 1751-
1755, 1764-1782 (quorum, 1754-1755, 1764-
1782); Coventry Parish Vestry, Worcester and
Somerset counties, in office 1763; justice, Court of
Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery, Worcester
County, commissioned 1766; justice, Orphans'
Court, Worcester County, 1777-1782; subscrip-
tion officer, Continental Loan Office, Worcester
County, appointed 1779. MILITARY SERVICE: cap-
tain, by 1758. WEALTH DURING LIFETIME. PER-
SONAL PROPERTY: 13 slaves included in a deed of
trust, 1766. LAND AT FIRST ELECTION: 250 acres
in Worcester County (by purchase). SIGNIFICANT

CHANGES IN LAND BETWEEN FIRST ELECTION
AND DEATH: 250 acres mortgaged and lost, 1755;
owned at least 2,243 acres obtained through pa-
tents and purchases by 1766; because of heavy
indebtedness, a deed of trust was executed to his
creditors involving 2,243 acres in 1766, but he ap-
parently was able to retain ownership; sold ca. 850
acres by 1774; all land was probably in Worcester
County. ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: his brother or
half brother Littleton Dennis (ca. 1728-1774) in-
herited all of his father's estate. WEALTH AT
DEATH. DIED: will probated on June 6, 1782, in
Worcester County. PERSONAL PROPERTY 11
slaves; requested no appraisal of his estate. LAND:
at least 1,200 acres in Worcester County, plus one
and one-half lots in Snow Hill, Worcester County.

DENNIS, LITTLETON (ca. 1728-1774). BORN:
on February 3, ca. 1728, in Somerset County;
younger son. NATIVE: probably fourth generation.
RESIDED: in Somerset County; Worcester County,

by 1759. FAMILY BACKGROUND. FATHER: John
Dennis (1704-1767). MOTHER: Mary Purnell (?-
1768). BROTHER OR POSSIBLY HALF BROTHER:
John Dennis, Jr. (ca. 1724-1782). SISTERS OR POS-
SIBLY HALF SISTERS: Sarah; Leah; and Mary.
NEPHEW: Samuel Handy (1751/52-1828). MAR-
RIED on August 12, 1754, Susanna (1733-1784),
daughter of Abel Upshur (?-1754) and wife Ra-
chel Revell. CHILDREN. SONS: James (?-by 1777);
Henry Dennis (?-1785); Littleton (1765-1833),
who married Elizabeth Upshur (1769-1819); and
John. DAUGHTERS: Elizabeth, who married John
Teackle, of Accomack County, Virginia; Sarah.

PRIVATE CAREER. EDUCATION: literate. SOCIAL

STATUS AND ACTIVITIES. Gent., 1759; Esq., 1772.
261



 

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A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, et. al.
Volume 426, Page 261   View pdf image (33K)
 Jump to  
  << PREVIOUS  NEXT >>


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