Will of Daniel Denison, 7 October 1747, Stonington, Connecticut

Daniel Denison, was not my direct ancestor. He was the brother of George Denison, my 8th great-grandfather. However, I try to at least skim the wills of my ancestor’s siblings in order to record names of spouses and children, and in case there is any other information of interest.

Daniel’s will names his second wife Abigail Fish, and children by his first wife, Mary Stanton. Two sons were named John and Daniel, and his daughters are Mary Smith, Esther Smith, Lucy Prentice, Prudence Denison, and Phebe Avery.

The will also names two enslaved people. “Negro woman Ruth” is bequeathed to Daniel’s wife Abigail, and Daniel’s son Daniel inherited “negro man Jack.”

I was not expecting to find slaveholders in my colonial New England line, but this is the second instance I have run across of slaveholding in colonial Connecticut. Another 8th great-grandfather, Robert Latimer, also bequeathed slaves in his 1727 will. While my New England branch eventually moved south, I am sure most descendants of those who stayed behind would be surprised to know that their ancestors participated directly in slavery.

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