Samuel Denney1,2

M, (between 1715 and 1720 - after 1800)

Charts Pedigree for Stanley Russell McKinney
Relationship 7th great-grandfather of James Jay McKinney.
Last Edited 3 Aug 2006
Researcher 0
Unrelated 0
Family Line To Export Y

WHO WERE THE VERY FIRST DENNYS ? One theory that seems to have considerable merit is that the earliestDennys were Vikings or North Men who settled along the Normandy Coast of France. French history tells of a Danish Prince named Bernard, who, along with his cousin Rollo, settled in Normandy. Members of this Norman colony or settlement of Danes were called the Danish Men or L'Denshmen or in French, L'Denne. Some of these early Denshmen migrated across the Channel and settled in southern England. Because of the unrest in the English country side, many of the Surrey Dennys migrated to Ireland and Scotland. Scotch and Irish Dennys were noted for large families. Many Dennys from England, Scotland and Ireland came to America in the late 1600s and early 1700s to escape hunger, unrest and religious persecution. Most of these people ended up in the Western Frontier which was then Western Pennsylvania. Later, around the Daniel Boone era, many of these Dennys migrated on to Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee. Others continued on into Indiana, Illinois and Missouri. As a matter of fact, Daniel Boone trapped on the Raccoon Creek, Gallia County, Ohio about the same time period as when the first Denneys were to arrive in that area and settled around the creek. In early times very few people were educated and knew how to read and write. As a result, names were more often then not spelled as they sounded. The Denny name often would appear as L'Denne, Denny, Dennis, Denne, Deny, Dany, Dene and Dennie. A few of the more current spelling sare Denny, Denney, Dennie, Denneny. The variation in spellings continued into the 1700s and 1800s, this is evident when you look at various official records when searching for kinfolk. For all intents, all spellings of Denny/Denney contained in this work are one and the same. To simplify the computer operation where names are entered automatically, I have went to just one spelling of the name, I will just use DENNEY, no offense to those that still use the name as DENNY! We are all one grand family.
SOME VERY PROMINENT DENNYS IN HISTORY Sir Anthony Denny was a favorite at the English Court. He was appointed to sign documents in the Kings name. In 1544 he was Knighted by KingHenry VIII. Shakespeare gave Sir Anthony a significant role in his production of KING HENRY VIII (Act 5, Scene 1). Sir Anthony became the proprietor of 20,000 acres including the Abby of St. Albans and Butterwick Castle. Captain Ebeneezer Denny established an outstanding Military record and was a personal aide to General Washington. He become the first Mayor ofFt. Pitt which was later to become Pittsburg. Miss Deborah Denny of the Combs Dennys came to America in 1717 and married Thomas Prince, the founder of Princeton University. Arthur Armstrong Denny and his family migrated west to Oregon Territory and established the City of Seattle, Washington. His venture left everlasting tributes in the Seattle area. There is a Denny Park in downtown Seattle, there is a Denny Way on the Interstate and the school children celebrate Denny Day every year. Owen N. Denny was a Judge, then U.S. Ambassador to Shanghai and Corea(Korea). He brought back to America the first Ring Neck Pheasant eggs. Caleb Stone Denny was the Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana in 1895. FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH CATEGORY: Our present (1997) Vice-President of the United States, Albert Gore Jr. appears to descend from a Denney. Brown Denney married a Betty Waggoner and produced Maggie Denney. Maggie Denney married Allen Gore and they produced Senator Albert Arnold Gore. Senator Albert Arnold Gore married Pauline Lafon and they produced Vice President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Vice President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. married Mary Elizabeth (Tipper) Aitcheson and their children are Karenna, Kristen, Sarah and Albert Arnold Gore III.
MIDWEST DENNEYS-OUR HERITAGE For those of us Denneys in the midwest states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky we, for the most part, descend from Old Samuel Denny and his son Azariah. The majority descend from William Felton Denney, son of Azariah and grandson of old Samuel. William was born in Surry County,North Carolina in 1782. He and three brothers James, Harrel and Henry migrated from Surry County to Gallia County, Ohio about 1814. There are indications that perhaps this migration may have taken place as early as1806 or that a few of the Denneys went to Gallia County this date to establish settlements and returned to North Carolina to lead the families on the return trek to Gallia County in 1814. Samuel Denney and William Denney, sons of John, grandsons of Old Samuel also migrated to Gallia County but it is unclear if it was at the same time as the other four grandsons of Old Samuel. As time passes and we gather more data, it is appearing as if Samuel and William, sons of John Denny may have been the first to arrive in Gallia County around 1806-1810, I firmly believe that there may have been one or two Denneys there around 1800-1805 scouting for settlements, perhaps even old Sam himself. This migration also included four of Azariah's daughters and their families, Sally (Denny) Stone, Elizabeth (Denny) Bray, Polly (Denny) Hilland Nancy (Denny) Stone. From these sisters families there are large numbers of Stones, Hills and Brays in Gallia County, Jay County, IN and Ohio. Those Denneys that migrated agreed that they would change the spelling of Denny to Denney so as to distinguish them from family members that remained in Surry County and those that went to other areas. Charles Denny, son of Old Samuel went to Kentucky, most likely many of of the present day Kentucky Dennys are kinfolk of his. This is one of my very next projects, to tie the Kentucky Denneys into this work. Of the four brothers that went to Gallia County, James and Harrel remained there, lived, worked, raised their families and died there. Brother Henry went to Mercer County, Ohio and William Felton Denney went to Jay County, IN about 1831. There is evidence that some of brother James sons also left Gallia County with uncle William and moved to Jay County, IN, even though their father James remained in Gallia County. Other families from Gallia County, Ohio moved to Jay County, IN and Mercer County, Ohio during this same 1831 period, it seems like the people in those days migrated in bunches. The book Gallia County Ohio-People in History to 1980 has several stories therein that state families moved to Jay County and Mercer County. From William Felton Denney our most direct heritage had its beginnings. He had 10 children of which the majority of us midwest Denneys have sprung. There are a large number of Denneys in Michigan from James Martin Denney (son of William Felton Denney) and from Fredrick Denney, son of William Henderson Denney, great grandson of William Felton Denney. Other then James who went to MI, the remaining children of William Felton Denney for the most part lived, worked, raised their families and died in Mercer County, Ohio, Jay County, IN, Fort Recovery, Ohio and Portland, Marion and Bryant, IN. From those children of William Felton Denney, many hundreds of descendants were born. I descend down from William's son Harrel Felton Denney as do many of you in the Jay County, IN, Fort Recovery, Ohio, Saint Marys, Ohio, Bryant, IN and Marion, IN areas. If any future midwest Denney would like to research your heritage, there are settlements of Denny/Denneys and kinfolk in Surry County, NC, Gallia County, Ohio, Jay County, IN, Fort Recovery, Ohio, Bryant, IN, Portland, IN and Marion, IN with splinters of families going off in all directions from there.
HOW MANY DENNEYS/DENNYS ARE THERE IN THE USA? The following data was obtained from the 1996 National Phone Directory on computer CD Rom. DENNY: Eastern USA 2677, Western USA 3160 DENNEY: Eastern USA 1871, Western USA 2465. This is 10,173 people with the Denny/Denney name that are listed, we all know that many people are unlisted. As a conservative guess, let's say there is another 10%unlisted, that would give us another 1017 people for a new total of11,190. Now, again being conservative, let's say 50% of those 11,190 are families and have an average of 2 children, this adds another 11,190people for a possible 22,380 Dennys/Denneys. There are also numerous individuals out there which use variations of the name such as Dennie, Deny and as I saw in Canada, Denneny. Anyone with access to a computer can obtain those CD Roms from various sources and in turn, have immediate access to these people's telephone numbers and addresses. This can be a tremendous resource in helping with research.

SAMUEL DENNEY-THE MYSTERY MAN The origin of this man plus knowledge of accurate facts about him has defied many experts for over 100 years. No one has been able to get beyond the supposedly first knowledge of him in the early 1700's. This is really a shame as he has left the USA with many thousands of descendants. If as suspected, his origins go back to England, this would tie most present day Denny/Denneys to a trail that goes all the way back to Combs,England in the 1400's. Thanks to a great grandson (Joel Denny, son of Azariah) who wrote a letter before his death (1896) to Achilles M. Denny outlining the Denny history do we even have the links that we do in tracing old Samuel. Most of the data in his letter has stood up to years of scrutiny of researchers and genealogists and his data is constantly being quoted by present day Genealogists. Numerous Genealogists have utilized the services of the Church Of Latter Day Saints Of Jesus Christ (Mormon) to search for old Samuel to no avail. A Mr. Roby Taylor of Winston Salem, NC had hired a Professional Genealogist to trace his origin, again to no avail. Sylvester Denny also hired a genealogist, Mr. Charles H. Hamlin of Powhaten, VA to investigate and again, no results Numerous current genealogists use the following line as that of Samuel's ancestors, I think this is all just theory or possibilities and not proven. I am going to post this line in my data base also but just remember, I don't believe anyone has proved this out Robert Denny b. abt 1615, England Samuel Denny b. abt 1634, Virginia; d. 1710, Virginia David Denny b. abt 1665, Virginia; Married Rebecca Bell b. abt 1665 John Denny b. 1690; d. 1765 Samuel Denney b. abt 1714, Suffolk England, or Virginia GUY CARLTON DENNEY, 2nd great grandson of Samuel, (1st cousin twice removed of mine) spent around 35 years of his life devoted to researching Denny/Denneys and wrote a book 'An Outline Of Denny/Denney Descendants From Samuel Denny.' This research took place roughly in the period of1910 thru 1945, the book was published 1946 and Guy died in 1970. This book was over 200 pages and contains large volumes of data and family stories on Denny/Denneys. His work has been criticized by present day Genealogists for containing to many errors, and for the method of research (letter writing, Tel calls, memories of living Denneys). Keep in mind that in those years, modern transportation, computers, modern communications and methods of record keeping were not what they are today and not available to this man. His research methods certainly could not be expected to be as efficient as today. All research of Family History is always full of errors and one has to do their own research to sort out and eliminate them. We owe a great debt to Guy for preserving what he has on the Denny/Denney history and giving us something more to work with in addition to the Joel Denny letter. Sylvester Denney (son of Azariah Martin Denney) has also done considerable research and also published a book, 'Genealogy Of The FamilyOf Azariah Martin Denney'. This book repeated some of Guy C Denneys work and then elaborated on the Azariah Martin Denney line. All three of the mentioned publications are available on film from the LDS (Mormon) Church. At the present time (1997) William Denney (my 5th cousin, once removed)of Vancouver, WA is doing considerable Genealogy research on the Denny/Denney lines. He appears to be a very educated person committed to breaking the barrier to Samuel Dennys origin and while doing so, resolving as many unknown/incorrect facts as possible. Much of this work is being done on the Computer Internet where he is joined by numerous other people with Denney blood wanting to help break that barrier to Samuel, William also travels quite frequently in his work and this allows him to visit Court Houses, Libraries etc, to search for evidence of ancestors. I monitor this activity and contribute if I can be of help. William Denney and I appear to have somewhat different agendas on the Denny/Denney history. While he has accumulated an enormous data base of individuals and data, I believe he is concentrating on putting together and linking past Denney people and wants to prove these connections with primary evidence. At the present time, I would like to put together as many Denny kinsman that still exist, link them up with proper lines, and leave evidence to these people for future generations. In that respect, now that I have a database built up, I intend to look for present generations out there using hints left by previous people doing research. If someone does not do this, years down the road future generations maybe looking for their ancestors as we are doing and wondering why people(again as we are doing) did not leave more evidence of family links. I believe that William and I can both profit from this as I can always be feeding him tidbits of info to keep his data updated. With modern technology, researching can be accomplished much more efficiently. The exchange of data over the computer internet is another one of the technologies that will, I am sure, draw more people into Genealogy and perhaps allow that one tidbit of information needed to break the barrier of Samuel Denny be found. There is also at the present time, a Denney/Denny newsletter 'DISCOVERING DENNY DESCENDANTS' published twice a year by Barbara Denny George, Teacher/Genealogist. Her address: 2853 Ranch Road 965, Fredericksburg, TX78624-6746.
SOME OF THE UNCERTAIN DATA ON SAMUEL 1. Where did he come from?. Per Joel's letter, he came from abroad around 1740. However, there is no records of this. There is speculation that he came from Ireland or England. Guy Denney seems to think, based on his numerous years of meeting Denneys, that we are of English descent as he said that at no time did he encounter any Denney that showed Irish traits/accents/looks. On the contrary all Denneys show all signs of being English with their traits/accents/looks. Mr. Roby Taylor speculates that Samuel may have been a son of John, Edmund, or Samuel Denny (brothers).These people migrated to VA around 1665 from England and died around1710-1715. If the estimated DOB of Samuel is anywhere near correct however (1715-1720) the latter theory could not be correct. 2. How many Children did old Sam have?. The Joel Denny letter states that there were as many as 17. Their names however were not known. As of this date, only 13 are identified. 3. If there were 17 children, were they all by one wife? 4. Date & place of death uncertain. 5.His wife's name is uncertain, could have been Ann Southard as there are some family history reports showing this. For the present time, I am going to use the Sarah Suddarth theory and attach her family to Samuel. A good argument that SUDDARTH is correct is that WFT CD 1, Tree 3615 whichcovers the MEEKS families (to include Priddy Meeks) has many Meeks with SUDDARTH as their first or middle name. At the same time, there is on theInternet a Nathaniel Parker Web Page at n which contains a very elaborate Family Tree on the Sudderth/Suddarth line alongwith Turners and Parkers. In this tree, Sarah Suddarth married a John Denney, there is a Saml Denney, Saml S. Dinny and Saml Denny plus severalother Denneys mentioned in this study and it was apparent there was a Samuel there but he did not marry Sarah!

ADDITIONAL DATA ON CHILDREN His son Henry possibly moved to Wilkes County, NC. Lazarus is buried Grayson County, VA. Benjamin, there is no record of migration from NC or of marriage. Per Sylvester Dennys Book, there may be evidence that a J.D. Denny/Denney ofMilan, TN may spring from him! Sherad's first name may have been spelled ' SHARED'. The data herein on Samuel's daughter Margaret & David provided by David W. Denney Sr, not sure it is correct as I have not saw it elsewhere. RFD12-08-96 There is a possibility that Samuel also had a son Samuel that died inWayne County, Ky in 1807 (or perhaps that was old Sam!), and a son Hezekiah that lived near the William Denny in the 1790 NC Federal Census SOME OF THE PRESUMED FACTS ABOUT SAMUEL Samuel had as many as 17 children, not all of their names are known. He was thought to have came to the USA from abroad before theRevolutionary War, believed to be about/around 1740. He settled in Amherst County, VA. Some of his sons were killed in the Revolutionary War. Some time before the War, Samuel & several of his sons went to SurryCounty, NC (while Surry was still part of Rowan County) and settled onthe Hill Farm on Ararat River near the mouth of Pilot Creek. Samuel remained at Hill Farm until he lost his wife. After the loss ofhis wife, he went West with his sons & died there. Unsure of where, may have been Gallia County, Ohio. This, in my opinion, may be the best bet as I have a book published for the Gallia County Genealogical Society that covers residents of Gallia County through the years 1800-1825 and there is Samuel Denny listed there for every one of the years and this was long before the Denney brothers were supposed to have migrated in1814. This indicates that if, in fact, he did go there, he went before any of his grandsons. Fred Merrick indicates in his Merrick GED report that Samuel Denny died in Gallia County after 1804, I have not discussed with him as yet the validity of that information. Samuel's wife's remains now lie under a rock pile on the South side of Pilot Creek, near the mouth.2 
Birth*between 1715 and 1720 England or Ireland or Virginia3,2 
Marriage*before 1746 Albermarle Co., VA?, Principal=Sarah Suddarth2 
Death*after 1800 KY? or VA? or TN? (Perhaps Gallia County OH after 1800)3,2 


Sarah Suddarth
Marriage*before 1746 Albermarle Co., VA?, Principal=Sarah Suddarth2 


  1. [S191] Unknown author, S3-1 Joel Denny Letter on Samuel Denny Descendants (n.p.:, unknown publish date).
  2. [S270] Richard F. Denney, online, unknown author (unknown location), downloaded 11/23/2003.
  3. [S269] Unknown author, William Denney Vancouver, WA Sep 1996 (n.p.:, unknown publish date).