Remembering Our Ancestors: Eight Grandparents

This October-week there are lots of ancestors to remember.

This week, the week from the 13th to the 19th of October, there are eight birth- and death-days of great-grandfathers and -mothers in our family tree to remember, from the 16th all the way almost into the 20th century.  Here they all are, from the earliest to the most recent.

Dorothy Daubeney
BIRTH 1550 • Waxford, Somerset, England
DEATH 18 OCT 1598 • Widworthy, Devon, England
12th great-grandmother in the Snyder line.  She married John Chichester, and their son immigrated to the New World.  Her 5th great-granddaughter Sarah Chidester (the spelling of the name had changed in the meantime) married Abraham Snyder Sr. in 1797 in Berkeley, WV.

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Wynant Melgertse Vanderpool
BIRTH 13 OCTOBER 1683 • Albany, Albany, New York, USA
DEATH 4 APR 1750 • Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
8th great-grandfather in the Denney line.  His great-granddaughter Rebecca Vanderpool married James Denny in Surry Co., NC, from where they went to Ohio and changed their name to Denney.

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Peter Studebaker, Immigrant
BIRTH 16 OCT 1695 • Solingener Stadtkreis, North Rhein-Westphalia, Germany
DEATH 1753 • Broadfording, Washington County, Maryland, USA
7th great-grandfather in the Snyder line.  His daughter Margaret Mary Studebaker, born in Germany and taken by her parents across the Atlantic, married Jacob Snider, himself a German immigrant to the New World, in 1752.

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Andrew Speer Sr., Immigrant
BIRTH 13 OCT 1700 • St. Dunstan and All Saints, Middlesex, England
DEATH Surry County, North Carolina, USA
8th great-grandfather in the Denney line.  His grandaughter Sally Wise Felton married Azariah Denny, father of the James Denny mentioned above, in Surry Co., NC, from where they went to Ohio together with Rebecca and James, and also changed their name to Denney.

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Johan Gerhard Büker
BIRTH 13 OCT 1792 • Riesenbeck, Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
DEATH 26 FEB 1852 • Riesenbeck, Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
3rd great-grandfather in the Bücker line.  The family lived in the Steinfurt area in North Rhein-Westfalia, Germany, for many generations.


Daniel Christman
BIRTH 17 OCT 1801 • West Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
DEATH 1857 • Union City, Morgan, Ohio, USA
3rd great-grandfather in the Christman line.  He moved the family from Pennsylvania to coal-miner country, Ohio.

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Anna Maria Schmitz
BIRTH 15 OCT 1804 • Riesenbeck, Steinfurt, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
DEATH Unknown
3rd great-grandmother in the Bücker line.   Her daughter Anna Maria married Berhard Heinrich Anton Bücker in 1862.


Nelson Perry Brown
BIRTH 14 JANUARY 1814 • Ohio, USA
DEATH 16 OCTOBER 1899 • Leon, Mason County, West Virginia, USA
4th great-grandfather in the Denney line.  His grand-daughter was Arilla Harris, who married George Thomas Mulford.  Their daughter Mattie, in turn, married Steward Leslie Denney in 1899.


Also this week, we were contacted by a cousin from NC who sent us a photo of two letters Azariah Martin Denny sent home during the Civil War.  Read for yourself…  Very moving.  The first letter was written in January of 1864.  By June 6th of the same year, young Azariah Martin was dead.

The Denny’s of Surry County, NC, intermarried with the Jones’ and Key’s a lot, and you find both last names mentioned in Azariah’s letters.

AzariahDennyLetter - Edited





LINK: 4 Things You May Not Have Known About Pilot Mountain

Via: Appalachian Magazine

According to North Carolina Parks, “The mountain was mapped in 1751 by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson, father of President Thomas Jefferson.”  Their mapping paved the way for private land ownership of the area and in just six years’ time, the large peak was purchased by a private individual and remained in private hands until the late-1960s.

“The Denny’s had lived on Pilot Creek under Pilot Mountain for a while, and Azariah and Sally are buried there as well, while some of their sons moved further west into Ohio and Indiana.”   Remembering Our Ancestors: John Wise

Remembering Our Ancestors: John Wise

Great-Grandpa Wise would have been 361 years old this week!

Today we remember our 9th (and 10th) great-grandfather John Wise, one of our ancestors who lived in what is today the UK.  This year on the equinox, he would have been 361 years old!

John Wise was born on 20 March 1658, somewhere in England, most probably in the south-east.  He married Eliza Drigee and they had at least one daughter together, Susanna.  John died in 1718 in Bix, Oxfordshire, England, at the age of 60.

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John’s daughter Susanna Wise was born in September 1700 in London, England.  She married Andrew Speer, who was also born in 1700 in Middlesex, which today belongs to Greater London, and they both immigrated to the colonies in America at some time before 1730, to what is today Surry county in North Carolina.  There, their daughter Elizabeth Wise Speer was born in 1731.  She, in turn, married Job Felton on September 15, 1786, and their daughter Sally Wise Felton was born there as well in 1751.  She married Azariah Denny in 1776 in her hometown.  The Denny’s had lived on Pilot Creek under Pilot Mountain for a while, and Azariah and Sally are buried there as well, while some of their sons moved further west into Ohio and Indiana.

The interesting thing about this branch of the Denney-line is that the surnames “Wise” and “Felton” remained in the family as middle names for several generations, not only in the daughters mentioned above, but also in several descendants of Sally and Azariah, boys and girls alike.

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Cultured Wednesday: Pretty Pilot Mountain

Pilot Mountain in Surry County, NC, has special significance in our family history.

Today, we would like to introduce a mountain that has been featured in many paintings and which probably looks familiar to many of you.  It has special significance in our family history as well:  Pilot Mountain in Surry County, North Carolina.

Note: The paintings that follow we found online, and if they are for sale in some way, shape or form, we added links to the respective sites.

pm by diane
The Pilot – Pilot Mountain, by L. Diane Johnson

Pilot Mountain is often considered North Carolina’s natural wonder because it is so unique.  Being a remnant of the ancient Sauratown Mountains, Pilot Mountain is a quartzite monadnock, that is, a mountain that stands way above the surrounding area.  To the native “Saura” Indians, Pilot Mountain was known as Jomeokee, the “Great Guide” or “Pilot” as it guided both Native Americans and early European hunters along a north-south path through the area.  The summit area is off limits to the general public these days, the top being only physically accessible via rock climbing.  The highest point people can get to in Pilot Mountain State Park is the Little Pinnacle, a false summit.

Pilot Mountain by Bernie Rosage Jr
“Pilot Mountain” by Bernie Rosage Jr

Fast forward to the 1960s, and you have a happy little TV sitcom set more or less at the foot of this beautiful rock: The Andy Griffith Show.  And somewhere in between the two, our family history becomes connected to the area, and Denney bones still rest there.

Pilot Mountain In NC by Jason Zhang
“Pilot Mountain in NC” by Jason Zhang

Our first sure Denney ancestor in the United States was Samuel Denney (1635-1710), who came to America from the south-western England, settling first in Tidewater, VA.  One of his great-grandsons, who was born 1715 or 1722, was named after him.  He, in turn, had several sons with whom he came to Surry County, NC “some time before the war”, and settled on “the Hill Farm” on the Ararat River near the mouth of Pilot Creek, just west of Pilot Rock.  This Samuel Denney remained there until he lost his wife Sarah, whose remains now lie under a rock pile on the south side of Pilot Creek, near the mouth, at the foot of the hill.  If you look at a map where Pilot Creek meets the Ararat River, you can see quite well where that would have been.  After his wife’s death, old man Samuel went west with some of his sons and grandsons and died in Gallia County, Ohio, where they had then settled.

pm and stream
Pilot Mountain, NC, and Stream; by Richard Benson

Samuel’s son Azariah (1750 – 1830), the next ancestor in our line, married and settled on the Martin Flinchum farm on Pilot Creek, where he raised twelve children, six boys and six girls.  His son James (1777 – 1860), our 5th great-grandfather, was among the family members that later left the area (between 1812 and 1816) to settle in Gallia County, Ohio, as mentioned above, while old man Azariah lived with his son Jordan on the farm on Pilot Creek until he died.  See why the painting that featured a stream spoke to us especially?

Lastly, one more picture of Pilot Mountain, a photo this time that shows the view so many people are familiar with:  Pilot Mountain from the south on U.S. Route 52.  Got to go visit there one of these days!



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