John Denison was my 9th great grandfather, the son of George Denison and “Lady” Ann Borodell, both English Puritans who arrived in Massachusetts during the Great Migration. (John’s middle name is often listed as Borodell, but I have not seen a primary source for that.) George and Ann Denison and their children were among the first white settlers of Stonington, Connecticut.
John Denison had a farm at the mouth of the Mystic River, as well as other tracts which he distributed to his sons in his will. Their names were John, George, Robert, William, and Daniel; his were daughters Ann, Phebe, and Sarah. John’s wife, not named in the will, was Phebe Lay.
The Last Will and Testament of John Denison
In the name of god ammen. I make this my last will in manner and form as followers. I being now sick and weak in body yet in good Memory yet not knowing but the time of my dissolution maty be nere I give my soul unto god that gave it and my body to be christian and deacent berrell at the disscretion of my Executer here after named and after any funerall exspenses and just debts first being payed as to my Estate I have doe dissposse of it
Item: unto my Eldest son John I have formerly given him as may appear under my hand the hous and Land where he now liveth with stocks which is in full of his portion.
Item: Unto my second son Georg I have given a grant of two hundred acker Land and Sheep and feeding (?) and in convenient time my will is that my executer pay out of my Estate unto my said son Georg the some of thirty pounds and that with what I have done for him to be in full of his portion.
Item: Unto my third son Robert I have given Lands and houssin as may more fully appeare by deed under my hand he paying and performing the conditions there in expresst and allsoe I give my said Son the on half of thirti ackers which I had of my hon’rd father joining to the Land given my brother William.
Item: Unto my fourth son William I give in Stonington as it was Layed out three hundred ackers of Land and my righ to a twelve acker lot in Sontington and two three year old Steers and forty shillings to pay for boards and for nailles thirty shillings mony and this to in full of his portion.
Item: Unto my youngest son Daniell I give and bequeath the remaining part of my farme which I now live with the other part of the thirty acker I had of my hon’rd father as above said with a twelve acker lot which I had of the town. And to my above named son Robart and Daniell the third part of a tract of Land at a place called Chassmeagapsit (?) which was given me by my hon’rd father deceased.
Allsoe I nominate my two sons Robart and Daniell my executers of this my last will.
Item: Robart for to pay fifty pounds as above expressed as may appear by deed of gift under my hand unto my daghter Ann. And to my daghter Phebee out of my Estate fifty pounds. And to my daghter Sary fifty pounds to each of my dagters if they attain the adge of eighteen yeers or at the time of their Marridg which shall first hapen and my housall goods my will is that it be equally divided between my three dagter Ann Phebee and Sarah only on bull _____ boot which at my son John for to be my daggter Anny given by her Mother.
Allsoe my will is that my executers doe ___ the care of my wife and doe in that case as the Law doth deside and having thus declared my mine I Make this for to be my Last will and testament. Recalling all other will what soe ever.
This dated in Stonington April the 26 1698
John Denison (seal)
This signed and sealed in the presence of us witnesses
Will proved 28 Jun 1698