An American Family History


John Denton


Shenandoah County, Virginia was established in 1772. It was originally Dunmore County.

A moiety is one of two equal parts.

Frederick County, Virginia was formed in 1743 from Orange County. Old Frederick County included all or part of four counties in present-day Virginia: Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, and Frederick, as well as five in present-day West Virginia: Hardy, Hampshire, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan.

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.

Captain John Denton was born about 1715 in New York. He was the son of Jonas Denton.

He married Sarah Odell.

Their children may have included:
Thomas Denton (1736),
John Denton, Jr. (1737, married Ann Margaret Weaver),
Jonas Denton (1739),
Abigail Denton (1745, married David Jobe), and
Samuel Denton (1758, married Martha Moore, daughter of James Moore).

At first they lived New York.

In 1735, Jonas Denton, John Denton and Thomas Palmer purchased 3,100 acres on the Shenandoah River.

John and Jonas signed the petition to form Frederick County from Orange County in 1739.

20 Oct. 1750 .
Right Honorable Thomas Lord Fairfax grants [417 acres]
to Captain John Denton of Augusta County
a certain part or moiety of land in 3,100 acres...
being on the North Fork of River of Shenandoah which he
together with John Denton Senior and Thomas Palmer of Maryland
purchased in the year 1735
of Jost Hite . . .

On 24 February 1742/43, the Orange County Virginia Court made John Denton a captain.

On April 8 1745, the Orange County, Virginia court ordered Henry Falkenbrugh, Jonas Denton, and Charles Buck, and Abraham Strickler to serve as overseers of improvements to the road.

September 3, 1747 Abraham Collett and John Denton were named processioners to survey land in Frederick County, Virginia.

John was commissioned a Justice of the Peace on August 27, 1751.

John was a militia captain for the Shenandoah area during the French and Indian War.

In September, 1755 Captain John Denton was one of the officers present in Fairfax County.

John Jr. purchased 102 acres from John, Sr. for 24£ on February 7, 1755.

John made his will on October 13, 1755. He named his three sons Jonas, Samuel and Thomas Denton and mentioned a daughter. He appointed his wife Sarah, his sister, Mary Little and Captain Samuel Odell as executors. Witnesses to the will were Abraham Denton, John Tipton, Jonah Little and Benjamin Denton.

His will was probated August 4, 1767 in Frederick County, Virginia.

After he died, Sarah married her cousin, John Odell.

A 1771 court decree enumerated Frederick County landholders in the following sequence: . . . Jonathan Denton, John Denton, Caleb Odell, William Wood, Francis McFell, Robert Combs and Job Combs.

In 1775, Jonas and Thomas Denton were on Captain John Tipton's payroll.

In 1782, James Denton was security for the appearance of John Odell at the Washington County Court.

Sarah died in Washington County, Tennessee in 1796.

The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.



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

The Descendants of Capt. John Denton of Augusta and Shenandoah Valley

It is pretty safe to assume that the Dentons of the Washington District, whose names are mentioned in the old court records, were the descendants of Capt. John Denton, of the Fairfax Regiment of 1755. It is the family tradition that this is so.

One of his fellow officers was Capt. Samuel Odell, who was perhaps the father of the John Odell of Washington District for whom James Ray, Jonathan Tipton and James Denton furnished bond, when he was before the court in 1782.

Capt. John Denton had a son John Denton Jr. and a son Abraham Denton, a namesake perhaps of his fellow parishioner and processioner, Abraham Collette, whose daughter became the wife of John Denton, Jr.. The tradition also, is, that after the death of John Denton, Jr. his widow became the wife of John Odell and came to Washington County. This may or may not be true. ...



from Funk Pioneers. . .

Capt John Denton (son of Jonas Denton, b. 1690 c.), referred to as Junior on the grant was issued a Fairfax grant for 417 acres on 20 October 1750. . .

The Orange county Court conferred the military commission of Captain on John Denton on 24 February 1742/43 and on the same day he was ordered to view a road from John Funk's Mill to Benjamin Allen's Mill. .


Capt. John (b. 1716) was deceased by 4 August 1767 when his will (dated 13 October 1755) was proved in Frederick County Court. He bequeathed one-third of his movable estate" after just debts are paid" to his wife Sarah and the other two-thirds to be equally divided among his three sons and daughter "if they come of age." He directed that his wife Sarah was to retain the use of his plantation "where he lived" until their son Jonah reached maturity. He willed 177 acres of his plantation (the 417 acre tract) to son Jonah Denton and 120 acres each to sons Samuel and Thomas Denton. He appointed his wife Sarah, Mary Little (widow) and Captain Samuel Odell to serve as executors.
Witnesses to the will were Abraham Denton, John Tipton, Jonah Little and Benjamin Denton.

On the same day of probate (4 August 1767), Capt. John's widow Sarah declined to accept the legacy left her by will since she had married John Odle/Odell in the interim. . . selected 139 acres which included the house and barn as Sarah's dower on 7 April 1768. John Odell and Sarah sold her dower land to John Tipton for 50 pounds on 7 October 1772.

Jonah Denton and his wife Hannah sold his 177-acre inherited section . . . to Jonathan Langdon for 100 pounds.

Jonas/Jonah Denton and his wife Leah sold 213 acres . . . to John Crookshanks for 425 pounds on 29 January 1783. . .

Jonah Denton was in the area of "Big Pidgen River" North Carolina when he appointed his brother Thomas Denton of Washington County, North Carolina (Tennessee) to act as his lawfull attorney on 7 October 1786. . .

Benjamin Denton (b. 1714 c., so of Jonas Denton, b. 1760 c.) received a Fairfax grant for 521 acres. . . on 26 October 1751.

By a verbal agreement, his father Jonas had given 320 acres to his grandson Jonas Little (son of Thomas Little and Mary Denton Little) Benjamin sold the 521 acres to Jonah/Jonas Little for 20 pounds on 2 February 1756. this tract is located between Toms Brook and Woodstock. . .

Abraham Denton Sr. (b. 1710 c.) was living on a 427 acre Fairfax grant land located on Toms Brook when it was surveyed on 1 May 1750; he had probably been living there since at least 1742. He received the grant on 7 January 1761.

On 2 May 1768, he made a Gift of 238 acres to his son Abraham Denton Jr. where Abraham Jr .was then living.



from Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants, Volume II 1742-1775 by Gertrude E. Gray, pages 68 and 170:

N-42 John Denton Jr. of Frederick Co.
182 acrs. in Powell's Fort in said Co.,
Surv Thomas Rutherford.
On Passage Cr.
Adj. Samuel Odell. 18 June 1766



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

Capt. John Denton (1710) was militia captain for the Shenandoah area during the French and Indian war His widow married John Odell.






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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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