An American Family History


Abraham Denton

  New York
Shenandoah, (was Orange, then Frederick) County, Virginia
The Great Wagon Road was the most important Colonial American route for settlers of the mountainous backcountry. It went from Philadelphia to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. One fork went to the Tennessee Valley and Knoxville and the other to the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.

Abraham Denton was born about 1700 in Orange County, New York. He was the son of Abraham Denton (1675) and Mary Thorne and the grandson of Samuel Denton.

He married Mary Odell about 1725 in New York. She was the daughter of Samuel Odell.

Mary and Abraham's children may have included:
Abraham Denton, Jr. (1726, married Mourning Hogg),
Joseph Denton (1729, married Ann Hogg),
Isaac Denton (1733, married Ann Whitson),
Samuel Denton (1734),
James Denton (1735, married Elizabeth Harper),
Martha Denton (1736, married James Moore and John Tipton), and
Phoebe Denton (1737 married William Plumly, son of John (Plumly) Plumlee).

About 1730, they left New York and settled in Tom's Brook in what was then Orange County, Virginia. It became Frederick and then Shenandoah County.

In 1755, Abraham Denton and Caleb Odell witnessed a land transaction in Frederick County.

In 1758 and 1764, Abraham Denton appeared on the rent roll of Frederick County

Abraham served as a captain in the French and Indian War in the Provincial Army of 1766.

Abraham died in 1774 at his plantation in Tom's Brook.

In 1786, Mourning Hogg Denton was a member of the Big Pigeon Baptist Church in Sullivan County, Tennessee. When John and Philip Mulkey moved from the Big Pigeon Church in 1797, to what is now Monroe County, Kentucky, Mourning
Denton joined Mill Creek 'by living testimony."

Samuel Denton (1734) was a captain with the North Carolina Continental Line and
received bounty land in White County, Tennessee.

Rent rolls were lists of landowners showing whether they had paid their annual quit-rents to the Crown. A quick-rent was a feudal remnant and was paid by a freeholder in lieu of services that might otherwise have been required.




from Virginia's Colonial Soldiers

Abraham Denton served 14 days with 22 privates on an emergent occasion without full pay complement. He ought to be allowed the pay of a captain. 15 Dec. 1766.



from A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia by John Walter Wayland

Abraham Denton, died 1774, left:
Abraham; Phoebe, married William Plumley; and
Martha married (1) Dr. James Moore, of Shenandoah, and (2) as his second wife Col. John Tipton.

some of the Dentons joined the Shenandoah group in East Tennessee.

James Denton was justice of Washington county, Territory of the United States of America South of the River Ohio (now Tennessee), 1791.


From The Tennessee Valley Historical Review:

Abraham Denton, Junior, became involved with the law in New York in about 1729-30. He, along with some close relatives, left that state and headed for Virginia, crossing the eastern part of Pennsylvania and the northwestern part of Maryland.

In the Valley of Virginia, then Orange County (later Augusta County) and the upper Virginia Valley, (Frederick, later Dunmore, and still later Shenandoah County) we find Abraham and his family.

Augusta County, Virginia was formed in 1738 from Orange County and was vast territory including West Virginia and Kentucky.
1770 - southern part became Botetourt.
1776 - parts became Monongalia, Ohio, and Yohogania.
1778 - area west of Ohio River became Illinois County.
- northeastern part became Rockingham.
- southwestern part was combined with part of Botetourt to form Rockbridge
1788 - northern part combined with part of Hardy to become Pendleton.
1790 - western part was combined with parts of Botetourt and Greenbrier to form Bath.
Virginia county formation was complex and some of the above counties were further divided or disbanded.


from Tennessee Cousins, p. 485-488
"Notes on the Origin and History of the Denton Family"

The County Court of Washington District passed an order in 1780 giving Abraham Denton permission to build a mill on his land. There is absolutely no clue to the name of the wife of this Abraham Denton, save & except the names of the Dentons of the generation that followed.

He was in all probability the father of:
1. Abraham Denton (of Jefferson Co.)
2. Thomas Denton (d. 1807) in Jefferson County.)
3. Isaac Denton
4. Reuben Denton (b. 1788)
5. Daniel Denton m. Susanna White
6. Jacob Denton, of Jefferson Co.
7. Josiah Denton
8. Jean Denton m. Robert Lowrey (1797)


Abraham Denton, the son [sic-first cousin] of Captain John Denton, is said to have died in Augusta, in the Shenandoah country, about 1774, leaving among his children his oldest son Abraham Denton who migrated to the Watagua Valley in East Tennessee.

The children of the first Abraham Denton perhaps were:
1. Abraham Denton (Of the Watauga)
2. James Denton
3. Samuel Denton
4. Phoebe Denton m. Wm. Plumley.
5. Martha Denton, m. (1) Dr. James Moore of Frederick County, & (2) Col. John Tipton, who came to Washington District.
6. John Denton, Jr. (Of Watauga).


from Some of the Descendants of Rev. Richard Denton by Edythe Johns Rucker Whitley

...At a "Court of General Session of the Peace held at Orange Town in and for the County of Orange the Thirtieth day of April Anno Domini 1734
The King Against Abrm Denton Junr. The Defend being called appears the Presentment being Read to him the Defendt Confesses, the fact & pleads Guilty and submits himself to the Mercy of the Court. The court orders and asses of fine of Three pounds and that the Defendt stand committed until fine and fees be paid."

From the Hempstead Town records of Queens County, N. Y. we find a Deed which show Richard Valentine, Senr, of Hempstead sells land to Abraham Denton, March 3, 1700.

We already know that Samuel Denton deeded for "love and affection" to his son Abraham Denton certain lands, and that Abraham Denton received a deed from his father Abraham Denton Sr, for certain lands.

According to records left by the Hon. John S. Denton of Tennessee....

Abraham Denton Sr, of Long Island and Orange Co. New York, born in Hempstead, L. I. etc

In a deed to Abraham Denton Jr, which begins

Recorded at the request of Mr. Abraham Denton, Jun, this 27th day of December, Anno. Dom. 1730

Married after 1698 for he was living at home single 1698.

Abraham Denton witness to Christian Funkhousers deed land on Holmans Creek, Frederick County, Virginia 1755

December 1729-30.

Abraham Denton Jr. of New York and Virginia died in 1774 in Dunmore County, Virginia (now Shenandoah). Married Mary. Abraham Denton was a Captain in the Colonial or provincial Army, about 1766 in Virginia.

Shortly after becoming involved with the law in New York 1729-30, Abraham Denton, along with some close relatives, left that country and headed for the Virginia Valley. In Western Virginia, Augusta County, and the upper Virginia Valley, we find Abraham Denton and family, also about the same time we observe Jonas Denton and family, which probably consisted of Samuel Denton, Robert Denton, James Denton, John Denton. These names all begin to appear in the records of Virginia from 1739 to 1752....

In the general Index to deeds, in Frederick County, Virginia the following are found:

  • 3 May 1768, Abe Denton, Sr. to Abe Denton Jr. Vol. 12. page 254. This deed recites "Doctor Abraham Denton” to Abe Denton, Jr. his son, land on Tomsbrook. This certainly indicates that Abraham Denton who came down from New York was a "Doctor."
  • 3 May 1768, Abraham Denton Jr. from Abraham Denton, Sr. Vol. 12, page 254
  • 5 September 1769, Abe Denton Jr. to John Mauk, Vol. 13, page 132. 5
  • September 1769 Abe Denton Jr. to George Weaver, Vol. 13. page 135.
  • 7 August 1771, Abe Denton and Mary his wife, to John G. Storm, Vol. 15. Page 61.
  • 5 August 1772, Abraham Denton from George Bowman, Exrs. Vol. 15. page 364 .
  • 4 April 1775, Abraham Denton Sr. from Isaac Riddle. Vol. 16. page 632 .

It is perfectly clear that there were two Abraham Dentons in Frederick County, Virginia, during this period of time, one styled Abe Snr, and the other Abe Denton, Junior.

In Shenandoah County, Virginia deeds at Woodstock, Virginia, again is to be noted, Abraham Denton Sr. yeoman, and Mary his wife to Frederick Bossoman, deed. Book A page 132 .

Then again in Shenandoah County, Deeds C page 516, 1777
John Tipton and Wm. Plumbee to George Seller. 19 October 1776. 5 shillings, same as conveyed Abm. Denton, deceased by Isaac Riddle and Geo. Bowman, executors of Geo. Bowman, deceased. 1 August 1767
land West side North River of Shenandoah.

Abraham Denton of Shenandoah County, Virginia left a will dated August 12, 1774, same probated September 27, 1774 in which he was called "Captain" in ( 1766 ). The executor of the will was William Reno...

... the old minute book at Woodstock, says at a court held for Dunmore County on Tuesday, September the _ 1774, the following gentlemen justices were present: Joseph Pugh, Henry Nelson, Abram Keller, Jonathan Langdon, and Jacob Holman...persons who appeared before the court or were affected or named in one capacity or another, were the following: etc.
John Mauk,
Elizabeth Bowman,
Jacob Bowman (deceased),
Valentine Smith,
George Cooper,
Abraham Denton (deceased),
Elizabeth Smith,
William Reno,
Mary Denton,
John Snapp, and others...

[According to Wayland]...Capt. John Denton was militia captain for the Shenandoah area during the French and Indian War. His widow married John Odell. Abraham Denton died 1774, left:
Phebe married William Plumley; and
Martha married (1) Dr. James Moore, of Shenandoah, and (2) as his second wife Col. John Tipton.

.... The children of Abraham Denton and wife Mary, are named in the will of 1774, as follows:
1. Joseph Denton, born about 1725 probably in New York, before his father moved to the Virginia Valley, married Ann Hogg.
2. Abraham Denton, born about 1730, married Mourning Hogg.
3. Phebe Denton, born in Shenandoah (or Dunmore) County, Virginia, married William Plumley, also spelled Plumblee.
4. Martha Denton, born in the Virginia Valley, married first Dr. James Moore, and secondly she became the second wife of Col. John Tipton.
5 . Samuel Denton, born in Virginia Valley....

To be presented to the court meant to be charged or indited.
American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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