Denney History
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There is much speculation as to whether the Denneys - Dennys descend from English or Irish ancestors. Many of our ancestors immigrated from England and many immigrated from Ireland. It appears that no matter from which group we descend, the common ancestor would be English. History seems to reflect that Denney - Denny people were English and many of them migrated to Ireland, thus our Irish connections. If this is true, the Denny Crest to the right would probably be our coat of arms. Does anyone have a better copy of this Crest?


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 of 11,190. Now, again being conservative, let's say 50% of those 11,190 are families and have an average of 2 children, this adds another 11,190 people 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.


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 as 1806 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) Hill and 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. OF course, every Denney/Denny Clan has their own story to tell about the name change, who am I to dispute any of them!

Charles Denny, son of Old Samuel went to Kentucky, most likely many of the present day Kentucky Dennys are kinfolk of his.

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 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.

One theory that seems to have considerable merit is that the earliest Dennys 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 spellings are 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.

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 King Henry 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 of Ft. 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 ever lasting 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 Pheasants

Caleb Stone Denny was the Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana in 1895.
He was born May 13, 1850 in Monroe County, IN to James Hall Denny and Harriet Littrell. He married Caroline Wright Lowe Jul 15, 1874, they had three children, all born at Indianapolis, IN, Mary b. 1875, Caroline b. 1876, and George b. 1878.
Caleb studied at DePauw University, became the Assistant State Librarian in 1872, he was admitted to the Bar and was Elected City Attorney in 1881 and became Mayor of Indianapolis, IN in 1885. He was twice re-elected and later served as County Attorney. His son George was also Elected the Mayor of Indianapolis

FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH CATEGORY: Our former (2000) Vice-President of the United States, Albert Gore Jr. appears to descend from a Denney. Wiley Brown Denney (1839-1922) married a Betty Waggoner and produced Margie Denney. Margie Denney married Allen Gore (1869-1956) and they produced Senator Albert Arnold Gore. Senator Albert Arnold Gore (1901-1998) 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. Albert Gore is running for President of the United States in 2001, who knows, perhaps we will have a Denney kin in the Whitehouse as President! UPDATE: GUESS NO DENNEY KIN IN THE WHITE HOUSE AT THIS TIME!

Click to view the Joel Denny Letter

I have added the Joel Denny letter to my pages. In addition, I have included Arthur Denny's arguments & theories on the family of Samuel Denny. Please click on the NEW sign to view this material. Also, I hope to be able soon to present to you Steven Denney's theories on our DNA findings and Samuel Denny ancestors.


VISIT THIS ONE!!! Click on the "HOT" button to look over one of my newest pages, it concerns another Denney-Denny story, this being DENNY vs BUDWEISER

Index | Denney History | Cousins | Links | Rootsweb Mail List | Families | Denney - Denny DNA Project

There was a Samuel Denny that died in Wayne County, Kentucky in 1807. He and his descendants had never been connected to our Samuel Denny, recent results of our DNA Program have however, proven that this Samuel Denny is closely related & perhaps a son of Samuel Denny Senior and at the very least a Nephew. Joel Denny in his letter outlining Samuel Denny descendants never mentioned a Samuel Denny Junior but, since this Samuel Junior was never in North Carolina, perhaps Joel did not know of him.
Web counter by web counter web site.
UPDATE 2007: We Denneys/Dennys do have a Nobel Peace Prize winner though!
Wouldn't it be great to tie all of these Denneys-Dennys together!. Several years ago, Bill Denney & I put together the Denney-Denny Surname (and surname variants) DNA Project. After the first nine months of the projects startup, it was quite evident that DNA can provide proof of the various Denney-Denny families connecting as in the Samuel Denny case above. From here we must continue to pursue and analyze just what the exact connections are. This project has suffered somewhat of a setback, Bill Denney is deceased & I am getting elderly, thus Barbara Denny George is going to continue it. Please click on this button (to the right) to visit the new Denney-Denny DNA Project