This blog post is the first in a series I plan to write on the Dennis family.
Last updated October 24, 2017
Henry Dennis, who married Lafatia “Patience” Parker, is well-documented in a manuscript written by descendant Rufus A. Dennis in 1940. You can find it here on the USGenNet page for Cannon County, Tennessee. It is part of a broader manuscript that covers the writer’s family, but the condensed portion about the Dennis family is my focus.
It states that Henry’s parents are Samuel Dennis and Sarah Lamar. His grandparents are Henry Dennis and Julia Newman. His great-grandparents are Calvin Dennis and Lou Cardwill. An outtake of the manuscript:
Henry Dennis was of Scotch, Irish, and Welch descent. Calvin Dennis was his great grandfather who came over here in the Mayflower from England. Lou Cardwill his wife was from near London. Calvin’s son, Henry who located in Maryland and married Miss Julia Newman was the father and mother of Samuel Dennis. Julia Newman was of Dutch descent so says the Coat of Arms. Samuel Dennis, son of Henry Dennis married a Miss Sarah Lamar, a full-blooded Irishwoman. Samuel was the father of Henry Dennis, my grandfather. This Henry married Lafatia Parker. She was full Irish. All the Parkers hailed from Ireland. How and when they came to this country, I dont know. I mean America. The came to what is now Tennessee when Henry Dennis came of course.
by Rufus A. Dennis, 1940
The writer states that Calvin came over on the Mayflower, which has long ago been disproved. It even says so as a later-added note on the manuscript. Mayflower passengers are now easily accessed through a Google search.
The problem is that I can’t find any records or documents for ANY of Henry’s ancestors. There should be some trace of them on Ancestry as far as records go. Passenger lists? Land records? Census? Marriage records?
The manuscript has been widely circulated. Look at Ancestry’s family trees. There are many trees that mention Henry’s ancestors as given in the manuscript.
I have Ancestry and Google searched until I exhausted all results. I have emailed Henry’s descendants to try to dig deeper into his ancestry. The only source for Henry’s family tree is the manuscript. I haven’t received any responses that have outside proof.
Let’s keep in mind this was written in 1940, long before the internet. I don’t want to speculate at this time, but I would like to challenge descendants to help me find proof of Henry’s parents, grandparents, and grandparents.
I’ve searched the manuscript for other clues and found an interesting tidbit. The writer says that Calvin Dennis fathered “Judge John Dennis”.
Calvin Dennis who came to this country in the year 1620, was Judge John Dennis’ father. Judge John Dennis the Coat of Arms say had several sons. One of them came over the mountains into NC when very young. His offspring has been traced here. Joe and Kye Dennis, George Dennis of near Porterfield are Judge Dennis’ people.
by Rufus A. Dennis, 1940
I did a Google search for “Judge John Dennis” and found a book titled “Baltimore: Biography” by various contributors in 1912. On page 250, there is a biography of Samuel King Dennis, a direct ancestor of Judge John Dennis. John Dennis was the son of Dannock / Donnock Dennis of Worcester, Maryland. You can read the full text at the link above.
It is not my intent to offend any of Henry’s descendants. As an amateur genealogist, I would like to document his ancestry, and if it’s incorrect, I’d like to have the facts easily accessible to future generations.
If you are a descendant of Henry or have more information on this family, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.