Ancestral Family Topic 934

 934   Dennett Abney (1659-1733)
Pedigree Chart 08

Dennett Abney, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Dennett Abney might describe his life as follows.

I was baptized in St. Mary’s Church, Leicester, England, 26 February 1659/60 and was in Virginia by 20 April 1684 when John Lee secured a patent to 960 acres in Upper Parish of Nansemond County, Virginia. 
I lived out my life in present-day Spotsylvania County where Mary and I reared perhaps as many as seven children. Dennett, Abraham, Barsheba, and Rebecca settled in Halifax County, Virginia, and Nathaniel, in South Carolina.
You might say I was in the container business. Nearly everything, including tobacco, transported to and from Virginia was shipped in barrels or casks. I was a cooper—I made and repaired barrels for a living.
I was in my 70s when I prepared a will that Paul Abney, Abner Abney, William Trusty, and my daughter-in-law Mary Abney, “ye younger,” witnessed 5 February 1732/3. Unlike most Colonial fathers, I did not divide my estate among my children, but left it to Mary, known as “ye elder,” to distribute the estate to our children “who were most dutiful to her.”  By the way, “ye” is pronounced the.

Dennett’s wife, Mary, is thought to have been Mary Lee, a daughter of his stepfather, Joseph Lee, and the widow of his brother Paul Abney. Not only is there no evidence of such a connection, there is no evidence that Joseph Lee had a daughter named Mary.

Court records
Record fragments show Dennett Abney bought 200 acres in King William County from James Honey and his wife, Margaret Dixon, in 1704,  part of a 600-acre patent in King William (later Spotsylvania) County the Honeys got 23 Oct. 1703.  Among the Honey headrights for this patent was Thomas Hill whose son would marry Dennett’s daughter.
Dennett Abney appeared several times in the court records of Spotsylvania County. He sued John Kingbrow 1 Sept. 1724 but they dismissed the case the next month.  He served on a grand jury 4 May 1725,  and registered his earmark—over-keel and under-keel on right ear, crop on left—on 1 Nov. 1726.  With George Carter and John Wilkins, the court twice, 6 June 1727, ordered him to appraise some cattle at issue in lawsuits. 
On 22 June 1722 John Wilkins secured a patent to 400 acres in King William (now Spotsylvania) County next to Christopher Smith,  which he sold along with 280 acres in St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County, to Dennett Abney Sr. of St. Margaret’s Parish, King William County, cooper, and Dennett Abney Jr., of St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania County, carpenter, 7 July 1724 for 4,600 pounds of tobacco. 
On 28 Sept. 1728 Dennett Abney and Thomas Hill got 419 acres next to Dennett Jr.  When Zachary Lewis Gent. got 1,000 acres the same day, his neighbors included Dennett Abney and Thomas Hill.  Zachary Lewis (1702-1765) was a distinguished lawyer, a vestryman of St. George’s Parish (1728), and a representative to the Virginia House of Burgesses (1758-61).
Dennett Abney was living 2 Oct. 1733 when Dennett Abney Sr. of Spotsylvania County, planter, and Mary, his wife, and Dennett Abney Jr. of Hanover County, planter, and Mary, his wife, deeded the 400 acres they bought from John Wilkins to Humphrey Hill. 

His last will and testament
Exactly one year after Dennett wrote his will, widow, Mary, presented it to the court and they ordered Dennett Abney Jr., heir-at-law, to appear and state whether he objected to the will.  The court admitted the will to record 7 Feb. 1733/4.  Mary sold 209 acres—half the 419 acres her husband held with Thomas Hill—to Edwin Hickman 4 Nov. 1735.  The Abneys then disappeared from the records of Spotsylvania.
Dennett Abney did not identify his children by name so we cannot identify them all. Dennett’s brother, Paul Abney, of Nansemond County, died about 1696 and Dennett likely reared his children of whom George Abney was one. Paul Abney who witnessed Dennett Abney’s will may have been another. We postulate Dennett was the father of these Abney men who surrounded him a generation later: Dennett Abney, Abraham Abney, and Nathaniel Abney. His daughter Rebecca Abney married Edward Dean and it is likely that a daughter named Barsheba Abney married Thomas Hill. Two were definitely Ursula and Paul.

Other Colonial Abneys
Other unplaced Colonial Virginia Abneys were undoubtedly descendants of brothers, Dennett Abney or Paul Abney. Daniel Abney was on the Halifax County poll lists in 1764 and 1765 and James Abney was on the Halifax County poll lists in 1765. 
Although they were in the colony before 1700, no Abney paid quit rents in 1704. The Abney family lived probably in the area of King William County that became Spotsylvania County in 1720 where they appeared first records about 1724, and they held land in Henrico County in the 1740s although they apparently lived in Hanover County during this time.  By 1749 4 Abneys were in Lunenburg County in the area that became Halifax County in 1752: Dennett Sr., Dennett, George, and Abraham.  Many Abneys were later in Edgefield District, S.C. Only one Abney—Reuben Abney—appeared in the enumeration of heads of households in Virginia in 1782-5. Ten Abneys served during the Revolutionary War from South Carolina. By 1810 only two Abneys were in the Virginia census: Isabella Abney and William Abney of Augusta County, both were descendants of my Dennett Abney.

Descendants of Dennett Abney
Information about the children of Dennett Abney, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Dennett Abney (-1757),  
Richard Hickman,  Edwin Hickman,  Thomas Graves,  John Key,  
John Waller,  Thomas Hill,   
Zachary Lewis,  Joseph Brock,  
Mary (—) Abney,  Richard Phillips,  
George Abney,   Thomas Oakley,  
Dennett Abney,   William Spraggins,  Thomas Pruett,  
Nathaniel Spraggins,  
Reuben Abney,  John Roberts,   Thomas Spraggins,   Joshua Echols,   Francis Moore Petty,   Joseph Echols,   Melchizedek Spraggins,   
Petty,  James Wimbush,  
Ruth Abney,  George Sharrer,  
Millicent Abney,  Thomas Perry,  
Maacah Abney,  Thomas Spraggins,  Michael Jones,  William Spraggins,  
Melchizedek Spraggins,  Joseph Owen,  Frances (—) Spraggins,  Sarah Lanier,  
Joseph Sandford,  
Thomas L. Spraggins,  Melchizedek Spraggins,  
Melchijah Spraggins,  Rebecca Brown Bolling,   
Stith Bolling Spraggins,  Elizabeth Apperson Green,   
Melchijah Spraggins,  Anne B. Carter,  
Thomas Spraggins,  Elizabeth (—) Spraggins,  James Murdock,  John Sanders,  John Wimbush,  
Elisha Spraggins,  
Samuel Meredith Spraggins,  
Maacah Spraggins,  Dr. Raleigh White,  
Elizabeth Spraggins,  James Galloway,  
Tabitha Spraggins,  Epaphroditus White,  Thomas Bottom Jr.,  Andrew McGinnis,  William Vasser,  
Mary White,  Henry Burge,  
Elizabeth White,  Peter Watson,  
Mary Spraggins,  Charles Galloway,  
Mary Spraggins Galloway,  
Sarah Abney,  
 Abraham Abney (1702-),  
Thomas Claiborne,  George Abney,   
Thomas Pulliam,  
William Cuddin,  
Robert Lee,  Cassandra (—) Abney,  Isaac Breeding,  Edward Dean,  
James Hunt,  Elijah Hunt,  
William Westbrook,  Thomas Spraggins,   Thomas Childers,  John Childers,  Frances Mayes,  
Joseph Holmes,  William Mayes,  
William Spraggins,  Nathaniel Barksdale,   George Elliott,  
William Hill,   Joseph Smith,  
Joseph Mitchell Blair,  Travis Guthrey,   Robert Brumfield,  
Rebecca Abney,  Edward Dean,  
Charles Dean,  Ursula Marchbanks,   
John Dean,  Joseph Pulliam,   
Nathaniel Terry,   Thomas Ashby,  William Wilson Holmes,  Joseph Collins,   
Keziah Smith,   Maria Byrd,  Charles Carter,  
Edward Dean,  
Chiles Dean,  
Joshua Dean,  Tabitha Mayes,   
Sarah Dean,  Waitts,  
Smallwood Dean,  
Julius Dean,  
William Dean,  Travis Guthrey,   
Ruth (—) Dean,  
Cassandra Abney,  Dennett Abney,   
Nathaniel Abney,  Lucy (—) Abney,  
Abraham Abney,  Benjamin Vaughan,  William Canady,  Thomas Hill,   John Hill,   William Hill,   
William Abney,  James Hunt,  
 Nathaniel Abney,  
 Barsheba (Abney) Hill,  
Thomas Hill,   
 Ursula Abney (1693-),  
 Paul Abney (1699-),  
Anthony Pouncey,  John Graves,  
John Abney,  
Mary Abney,  John Brown,  
Judith Abney,  Luke Bullen,  
William Abney,  Mildred Graves,  
Judith Clark,  
Lucy Abney,  Jesse King,  
John Abney,  Patman Puckett,  John Puckett,  
Elizabeth Abney,  Tandy Holman,  
Paul Abney,  
Capt. Nathaniel Abney,  
 Abner Abney (-1751),  
Elisha Abney,  
John Abney,  Isabella Van Lear,  
Milly Abney,  
Judith Abney,  
 John Dennett,  
Thomas Harwood,  
Mary (—) Dennett,  Lt. Col. William Barber,  
Capt. Thomas Dennett,  Ann Booth,  Robert Booth,  
William Clopton,  
Ann Dennett,  
John Dennett,  Elizabeth (—) Dennett,  James Minge,  Thomas Williams,  
William Stone,  
Parthenia Dennett,  
Elizabeth Dennett,  
Thomas Dennett,  
John Dennett,  
Sarah Dennett,  
Eleanor Dennett,  
Margaret Dennett,  John Juxon,  
Mary Juxon,  Samuel Timson,  
Elizabeth Juxon,  Milner,  
William Juxon,  
Sarah Juxon,  Walter Whitfield,  William Russell,  Ann Whitfield,  Archibald Campbell,  
Sarah Dennett,  Adam Miles,  Matthew Collins,  Francis Kirkman,  

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
Thomas Spraggins - French and Indian War Raleigh White - Revolutionary War
Julius Dean - Revolutionary War William Dean - Revolutionary War
William Abney - French and Indian War William Abney - Revolutionary War
Tandy Holman - Revolutionary War Paul Abney - Revolutionary War

Legislators - colonial and state
Melchizedek Spraggins I - Virginia Thomas L. Spraggins - Virginia
Melchizedek Spraggins II - Virginia Raleigh White - Virginia

Selected sources
Ancell, B.L., “Dennett Family.” Genealogies of Virginia Families from the William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1982(2):153-157. • Descendants of John Dennett.

This topic, which represents .25% of all the family history material at, includes 222 citations and the names of 222 individuals.
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