Jonas Dennis - Susannah Devereux Family Group

Parents   Parents
James Dennis Sarah Pitman   John Devereux Susannah Hartshorne
  b. 29 Jan 1663 in Marblehead b. abt. 1664 in Marblehead   b. abt. 1653 in Marblehead b. 2 Mar 1659 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  d. ? d. 1701 in Marblehead   d. probate 4 Sep 1693 in Marblehead d. 5 May 1718 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts
Jonas Dennis Susannah Devereux
b. bp. 18 Nov 1688 in Marblehead b.1688 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
d. 1751 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts d. Aft. 1751 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Relationship Events
Marriage 29 Oct 1706 Jonas Dennis is to Susannah Devereux in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts
Children (All locations were in Marblehead unless otherwise stated)
James Dennis b. 7 Feb 1708; m. 6 Oct 1729 Mary Owens (b. 23 Mar 1711, d. after 1753); eight children: James, Mary, Thomas, Jonas, John, Oliver, William, and Susannah Dennis; d. probate 20 Aug 1753
Susanna Dennis b. 22 Apr 1710; m. 23 Oct 1727 John Gale (b. 15 Mar 1704); eight children: Susannah, Miriam, Hannah, Sarah, John, Jonas, Jonas, and Mary
  Sarah Dennis bp. 11 May 1712; m. 13 Oct 1729 Nicholas Girdler (b. 10 Jan 1704); ten children: Sarah, Susannah, Nicholas, Elizabeth, Deborah, Susannah, Hannah, Elizabeth, Jonas, and Mary Girdler
  Jonas Dennis bp. 26 Sep 1714; m. 9 Dec 1734 Anne Broughton (b. 26 Jul 1719); four children: Anne, Susannah, Sarah, and John; probate 1762
  Devereux Dennis bp. 30 Jun 1717; m. 23 Aug 1739 Sarah Bowden (b. 17 Aug 1720); seven children: Devereux, Sarah, William Bowden, Francis Bowden, Sarah, Sarah, and Mary Dennis
John Dennis bp 19 Apr 1710; m. 16 Dec 1742 Mary Harris (b. 14 Jul 1723); eleven children: John Devereux, James, Jonas, Devereux, Mary, Hannah, William, Hannah, Ann, Benjamin, and Susannah Dennis
  Hannah Dennis bp. 9 Apr 1721, m. 17 Jan 1742 Stephen Vickary (b. 18 Jan 1718); five children: Hannah, Stephen, Susannah, Nathaniel, and Sarah Vickary
Elizabeth Dennis bp. 3 Mar 1722; m. 3 Dec 1741 Thomas Dolliver (Doliber) (bp. 6 May 1722. d. possible probate 16 Jun 1760); three possible children: Thomas, William, and Joseph Doliber (See notes below)

What We Know About This Family

An Overview of Their Lives

Jonas Dennis was a shoreman and the third generation of the Dennis family who settled in Marblehead. His mother's father, Mark Pitman, was one of the men killed by Indians at the Battle of Bloody Brook. Susannah Devereux was the daughter of John Devereux, Jr. and Susannah Hartshorne. Her father had died when she was a young child, and her mother married a second husband, Stephen Parker. She grew up with them and her two full sisters and two half sisters in Watertown, but she and all her sisters lived in Marblehead after their marriages. Both Jonas and Susannah had numerous relatives and family connections that reached into many of the best known families in Marblehead. They lived at a time leading up to the American Revolution when great fortunes were being made in their town with their knowledge of the sea and the trade that flourished during this time. Susannah's Aunt Hannah Devereux had married three times, and two of her husbands sired a direct ancestor to this Tree. Her third husband sired a son, Joseph Swett, Jr., who married Susannah's half sister, Ruth Parker. Joseph. Jr. started life simply as a shoemaker, but motivated by a respected pastor, is credited with "putting Marblehead on the map" when he outfitted a schooner and sent cargo to the Caribbean, the start of a profitable industry that would make Marblehead second only to Boston in affluence up to the Revolution. Joseph and Ruth's daughter, Ruth, was the wife of her cousin Robert "King" Hooper, and Ruth's half sister, Martha, was the wife of Jeremiah Lee. The Hooper and Lee mansions were opulent residences that survive to this day as representing the wealth built up in Marblehead before the Revolution. Marblehead's success was built on the sea and trading to various ports. The majority of the men in their family made their livings from the sea, and among the in-laws of their family were men who achieved legendary status in Marblehead,

Jonas' and Susannah's daughter, Susannah, married into the Gale family. The Gales were shipbuilders and mariners. Jonas died in 1751, so he would not have seen the start of the Revolution and the important part some of his children's in laws would play. Their son Jonas, Jr. married Anne Broughton, the sister of Nicholson Broughton, who married one of Susannah's "cousins." Susannah Dennis Gale's daughter, Hannah, married Colonel John Glover, who saw active duty under George Washington. One of Glover's schooners, the Hannah, probably built by John Gale and named for Hannah Gale Glover was outfitted for short military service under instructions by George Washington and in the command of Colonel Glover, who was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Nicholson Broughton was her captain during her short but historic naval career. The Revolution gave the families of Marblehead their freedom and a new country, but their fleets and livelihoods were depleted and many fortunes lost. Jeremiah Lee lost his fortune and his life. Captain John Pedrick and Robert "King" Hooper lost their fortunes. The Dennises left very little probate information, and for all that I know that their lives were intertwined with historical figures, I was not able to find out much at all about Jonas and Susannah. General Glover was an active in-law of the children of Jonas and Susannah as his name appears as a bondholder for at least three of their estates. More information about some of these families can be found at the Joseph Pedrick/Sarah Martin Family Group site and at the John and Ann Devereux site (and their daughter Hannah's with her three husbands).

The Tree below shows some of the relationships of the Dennis family to some of our other direct ancestors and their in-laws.


About the Children

  • James died in 1753 and guardianship of his youngest children was given to his oldest son, James (Son Oliver was not mentioned, so he probably died young). James died intestate and his estate was declared insolvent. No mention of his wife Mary indicates she probably predeceased him. John Glover was a signatory on his probate bond.

  • Susannah and her husband John Gale were our direct ancestors and have their own family group page. John was a mariner and ship builder, and he and Susannah were the parents of our ancestor Sarah as well as Hannah Gale, the wife of General John Glover. It's possible that John Gale built the Hannah, which his son-in-law John Glover bought before it was requisitioned by George Washington for naval duty. He or a namesake served as master as recorded below.
    It was Wednesday, September 5, 1775 and an armed schooner of uncertain origin sailed forth upon North Shore waters under the orders of none other than General George Washington himself. The sailors and officers of the now famous Hannah were ordered to seize "such Vessels as may be found on the High seas or elsewhere, bound inward and outward to or from Boston in the Service of the ministerial Army." The only eyewitness account we have of this momentous event is a short journal entry made that day by Ashley Bowen, a Marblehead sailmaker and chronicler of occurrences in his beloved community. The entry reads: "Sailed on an Unknown Experdishon a Schooner of Capt John Glovers Nick Broden (Broughton) Capt of Mereens (marines) and John Gail (Gale) Mastor of Schooner." -- Marblehead Magazine
  • Sarah married Nicholas Girdler, a Gale "cousin" whose mother, Mary Gale, was the daughter of our direct ancestors Ambrose and Mary Ward Gale and whose father, George. was the son of our direct ancestors Francis Girdler and his wife Deborah.

  • Captain Jonas Dennis married Anne Broughton, the sister of Nicholas who captained the schooner Hannah under the command of General Glover, the husband of Jonas' niece Hannah Gale. John Glover signed on the 1762 probate of Jonas. No wife was mentioned, so I assume Anne predeceased him.

  • Devereux and his wife had several children, but I could find records for only three who survived to adulthood. In 1762 their youngest son, Francis, who was over 14 at the time, chose John Glover as his guardian. His younger sister was also assigned guardianship by Colonel Glover. The Court papers did not state whether their mother was still living, with whom they lived, or if their father left an estate. Their youngest sister was not mentioned, so I assume she too died very young.

  • John Dennis married Mary Harris who as far as I can determine was not related to the Robert Harris/Rebecca Bassett family from which we are descended.

  • Hannah Dennis was the first wife of Stephen Vickary. They had five children before she died perhaps in Maine in 1751. Her last child, Sarah, was born in Nov 1751, so perhaps she died in childbirth. Stephen next married in Marblehead in Sep 1754 Christian Bartlett (or Bartol), the widow of Benjamin Boden, who died before their son was born. She died before he married his third wife, Hannah Dodge, in Marblehead in Jun 1759. They went on to have seven children, all born in Marblehead. Ancestry-user records show that Hannah Dennis died in Maine as did Stephen much later. I haven't found verification of death places or dates, but the marriages and children's births were all confirmed in Marblehead's Vital Records.

  • Elizabeth and her husband did not have baptismal records for their children, but a Thomas Doliber with a wife Elizabeth died testate, and at the time he wrote his will in 1760, his wife, Elizabeth, was still surviving, as were his sons William and Thomas. His son Joseph was deceased, and his daughter Annis received the bequest of a house. In a second transaction, William was appointed the guardian of Annis. The probate and guardianship both occurred on the same day in 1760. I have assumed that this will belongs to the Thomas and Elizabeth Doliber of this family, but it's also possible that this was the will of Thomas Dolliber who married Elizabeth Mors in 1743.

Proof of Relationship

The genealogical records are our best proof of relationship for our direct ancestors in this family.

What Else We Need to Learn

The goal of this project is to trace every line of ancestry to the arrival of its first immigrant to America. The basic information of each couple is considered complete when we know the dates of birth, marriage, and death for both spouses. their parents' names (or whether they were the immigrant), and the child or children in our ancestry line.

The research on this family is basically complete. The Dennises were a prolific family with several duplicate names such as James, Jonas, and even Devereux. The lack of death records and probate make identification difficult in some instances. I believe the direct ancestry is correct, but information on some of the siblings might come to light in the future.


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