Communicated by daniel. denison slade, M.D., of Chestnut Hill, Mass.  



The following document, written by Major-General Daniel Denison to his grandchildren, and lately found among the effects of the Rev. Daniel Rogers of Exeter, is of historical importance, inasmuch as it substantiates facts heretofore problematical, while it supplies knowledge upon points which were very uncertain or entirely wanting.

Heretofore we have been unable to state from what portion of England the family came, nor were we sure of the exact date of emigration. Denison states that his brother John and himself were bred scholars at Cambridge and that his father suddenly " unsettled '* himself, recalled them from Cambridge and removed to New England; that his father brought with him a very good estate, settling himself at Roxbury. The General gives us the date of hid marriage to Patience Dudley—of which no previous record has been known to be in existence; and furnishes us many particulars in regard to kith and kin. There can be no doubt of the authenticity of the document, and its discovery is a happy circumstance.



To my Dear Grandchildren John, Daniel, and Martha Denison



That you being left fatherless Children might not be altogether ignorant of your ancestors, nor strangers to your near relations, I thought meet to acquaint yon with your predecessors, and your decent from them.

Your Great Grandfather Denison was born in England at Bishops Stratford in Hertford shier, in which Town lie Married and lived till the Year of our Lord 1631, with two brothers Edward and George, who all of them had Children. George the youngest Brother had a son named also George, my cousen German, who was living in Stratford in the year 1672 as your uncle Harlackenden Symonds told me, who was that year in England, and spoke with him. My uncle Edward had also Children and in the year 1631, removed himself and family into Ireland, where he died and left a son called John Denison who was a souldier and a Major of a Regiment in the time of the Wars, and Deputy Governor of Corke, where Mr. Wainwright saw him. * I have received divers Letters from him. He was living in Dubline in the year 1670, your great Grandfather my Dear father whose name was William, had by my dear Mother whose name was Chandler six sons, and one Daughter, two of which (viz) one son and the Daughter died in their Childhood, one son who was the second named William about 18 years of age would needs goe a Souldier into Holland, in the year 1624 at the famous Seige of Breda when it was taken by Spinola and Count Mansfield had an army out of England, to have raised the seige, but the army miscarryed  and my Brother William was never heard of since.


We were now but four Brothers left (viz.) John, Daniel, Edward and George. John and myself were bred schollar at Cambridge, where I continued till after I had taken my first Degree,* your Grandfather my father though very well seated in Stratford, hearing of the then famous transplantation to Kew England, unsettled himself and recalling me from Cambridge removed himself and family in the year 1631 to New England, and brought over with him myself being about 19 years of age, and my two younger Brothers. Edward, and George, leaving my eldest Brother John behind him in England, Marryed with a good portion, who was a minister, and lived about Pelham or in Hartford shier, not far from Stratford where we were born.

My father brought with him into New England a very good Estate and settled himself at Roksbury, and their Lived (though somewhat weakening his Estate) till the year 1653 in January when he died, having buried my Mother about Eight years before.

My two brothers Edward and George (who were your great uncles) had all the Estate my father left between them, being both marryed long before my father's death; my Brother George buried his first Wife in the year 1643. went into England was a Souldier there above a year, was at the Battle of York or Marston Moor, where he did good service, was afterward taken Prisoner, but got free and having Married a second Wife he returned to New England. the year before our Mother died, and not long after removed himself to New London near whereunto (viz) at Stonington he now lived. having 8 sons John, William, and George, 4 or 5 Daughters his eldest son John is married, and hath Children which are your Cousens, and 3 of his Daughters are Marryed to Stanton, Palmer, and Cheesebrook, all living at present in the same Town.

My brother Edward (your great uncle) also was Married about the same time with your uncle George about the beginning of the year 1641 and lived the rest of his Days at Rockshury in the same House my father built lived and died in, he to my great grief and loss departed this life in April in the year 1669, and left behind him but one son William of about a years old having buried four sons in their Infancy, he left also five Daughters of which one was married in his lifetime to Jachin Reiner who liveth a< Rowley.

I was the eldest of the 3 Brothers that were brought to New England; and the next year after our arrival (viz.) in the year 1632, on the 18^ day of October on which day twenty years before I was Baptized at Stratford and 7 years before I was admitted into the university of Cambridge,] Married your Grandmother, who was the second daughter of Mr." Thomas Dudley, who was a principal undertaker of this Plantation of the Massachusetts and one of those first commers in the year 1630 that brought over the Patent, and settled the Government here he came over Deputy Governor, and was afterwards diverse times Governour, he then lived at Cam bridge, removed lo Ipswich, where he stayed but one year, being recalet again to live in the Bay. which then could not but want his help, he settled  (himself at Rocksbury, where he lived until he departed this life about the< 30'" Day of July, in the year 1653 having buried your great Grandmother; about 10 years before, about the latter end of December 1643. She was a fine vertuous woman who loved your father in his childhood, and was born in her house) she had by her Husband one son—your great uncle Sam" Dudley* who liveth at Exeter, and by 3 wives hath had many Children Cousen germans to your father, And beside your Grandmother Denison she had three Daughters (viz.) your Aunt Bradstreet who died in September 1672 who left 4 sons and 3 Daughters liveing, beside her daughter Cotton who died before her, and left many children then your Aunt Woodbridge now living at Newberry who hath five sons and five daughters living your fathers Cousen Germans as also were your aunt Bradstreet Children, the last was your aunt Sarah marryed to Mr." Keane§ both dead long since, and left one only daughter Hannah. Married to Mr.' Paige, and is now living at Boston your great Grandmother being dead your sweet Grandfather Dudley married a second Wife and by her had a daughter marryed to Mr. Jonathan Wade, who liveth at Mistick, and two sons Joseph Dudley who now liveth at Rocksbury, in his fathers House, and Paul Dudley a Merchant who is upon a voyage to Ireland, these were your fathers uncles by their fathers side.

For myself after I was married to your Grandmother I lived about two years at Cambridge, and in the year 1685 I removed to Ipswich, where I have lived ever since with your Grandmother, we lived together without Children above 7 years till the sixteenth of January being Thursday your dear father was born at Rocksbury, whether your Grandmother went to lye in at her mothers, and two years and a quarter after your aunt Rogers was born at Ipswich, on the 10 day of April 1642 about nine years after your Grandmother had another Daughter named Mary, who died about a quarter old, and three years after we had another our last named Deborah who died within a fortnight.

In the year 1645 I was made Major of the Regiment of Essex, and in the year 1653 was Chosen an Assistant or Magistrate and about a year after was made Major General and continued so for about 7 or eight years after. La the year 1660 my only Daughter and your Aunt Elizabeth was Marryed to M" John Rogers* who hath ever since lived at Ipswich, and hath now living five children, your Cousen Germans (viz.): Elizabeth, Margaret, John), Daniel and Nathaniel, She had another Daughter named also Elisabeth that died about a year and quarter old.

Your Dear father my Dear and only son was Married to your Mother who was named Mrs." Martha Simonds on the 2^ or 3^ February 1663, and lived at the farm at Ipswich the remainder of his days, being above four and twenty years of age when he Marryed. and living sweetly and comfortably with your Mother near seven years, by whom he had 3 Children John the eldest, born the '2'2* of September 1665, Martha born the first of March 1668, and Daniel born the 14^ day of April 1671. But about 3 Months before poor Daniel was born (viz) on the ninth of January 1670 it pleased the alwise God to take your dear father my dear and loving son to himself, thereby bereaving you and me of our greatest comfort and support he was taken with a most violent flux the first of January which held him nine days, with grievous torment, which lie endured with admirable patience, committing himself to God. with assured confidence and took his last leave of me who was with him all the time of his sickness and of his loving Wife, and of his '2 Children John. and Martha, without any Perturbation, Blessing his Children and commending them to God the father Son and Holy Ghost, and Committing that which was unborn to my care. at his death he was not one and thirty, but wanted six days and about 15 hours, so early had lie finished his Course and dune his work, and if his work had then to have been done (as lie then said) he had been Miserable but he had lived a Godly and exemplary life, being a constant seeker of God. I have heard your Mother since say lie used to pray five times a Day, a Dutiful Child a loving husband and father, a loving friend a good man in all his ways, and he departed most Christian like, and comfortably to the unspeakable grief and loss of me and all his friends, about 8 months after his death was Daniel born at the farm whose name his father ordered before his death, desiring his wife if she were delivered of a son it might he called Daniel, and if a daughter it should be called Patience, after the name of your Grandmother, more of your fathers sickness and gracious speeches I committed to Writing and left them with your Grandmother.

And now dear Children though God hath taken away your dear and loving father, yet lie hath not left you fatherless, but according to your dear fathers desire and Blessing Commending you to God whom in his sickness he often called his Covenant God. Who is also your Covenant God and hath covenanted with every one of you in your Baptism, be hath been a father to you and mercifully provided for you and cared for you, when you could not care for not help your selves, as I shall acquaint you. And therefore dear children Let your chief care be as you grow to understanding to know the God of your fathers, and to serve him with a perfect heart and the Blessing of God will be with you both in life and Death, according to the blessing and Prayers of your dear father and Godly Ancestors.

Your father had not a present Estate Settled on him, but upon his Marriage with your Mother, I engaged to provide for him, and after mine and your Grandmothers decease to give him my Farm at Che [bacco] where you were all born and also a ffarm 600 acres at Merrimack River, and accordingly during his life he partaked of all that I had and we lived with great Corwin all these are your Mothers Cousen Germans, and your Cousens and so are their children. *

I have done as much as I intended by which Dear Children you may} perceive you need not be ashamed of your progenitors, who have in many respects been eminent in their times, It behoves you that you take care to be imetators of their piety and goodness, and that you doe not degenerate ( from those Roots from whence you are sprunge, in 60 doing the blessing and Prayers of your Godly Ancestors will fall upon you, and the God of your fathers will be your Covenant God who only is able to bless you hen and make you happy hereafter, which is and hath been the Continual Prayer of all your godly Ancestors and particularly of your tender ancestors loving Grandfather who wrote this the 26*'' Day of December in the year of our Lord 1672, in the sixtieth and one year of his age. daniel denison.


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