William Denson was born at Winchester, St. Martin-in-the-Field, near London, England, the son of John and Jane (Cotgrove) Denson. At the age of 10 he was orphaned, with death of his parents 1630. On February 14, 1637, he departed Bristol, England and came to the British Colony of Virginia as an indentured servant (also known as a headright) of one Robert Pitts, settling in Nansemond (now Isle of Wight) County. After completing his indenture (probably 5 to 7 years), he continued to work on the Robert Pitts Plantation. On September 6, 1657, he petitioned the local court as a "gentleman" to receive 400 acres of land on the western branch of the Nansemond River, in Nansemond County (which was formed from part of Isle of Wight County in 1640), adjoining land of a John Garrett. On September 6, 1661, he was granted 450 acres of land up Indian Creek, a branch of the western branch of the Nansemond River, after transporting nine people (a headright of 50 acres per person) as indentured servants to Virginia, presumably from England. He served in the Virginia House of Burgesses 1659-1660. About 1650 he married Francis Latham and they had at least seven children: Francis Denson (born 1651, died sometime after 1679), William Denson Jr., (born 1/25/1653, died 1694), James Denson (born 8/11/1657, died 7/15/1720), Katherine Denson (born 10/4/1659, died unknown), Sarah Denson (born 1/14/1663 or 1664, died unknown), John Denson (born 3/25/1666, died 2/7/1754), and Joseph Denson (born 10/18/1669, died 1708). He and his wife were Quakers; where they lived was one of the few locations in the new Colonies that permitted Quakers to worship without fear of reprisals or persecution. According to early Quaker records, he founded the Chuckatuck Quaker Meeting House near where he resided, one of the oldest Quaker Meeting Houses in the new colonies. He died in Nansemond County VA. His death date may be in dispute.
To my many times great grandfather: To live in hearts we leave behindIs not to die.Rest in Peace. -
Rose Kilpatrick Ellis Added: Feb. 10, 2011
To my direct ancestor on my Mother's (Robbie Denson Bjornstad) side, ten generations ago prior to me. Your American descendants number in the tens of thousands. May you rest in peace. -
William Bjornstad Added: Jan. 15, 2011