Denison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Denison surname is a patronymic, created from the personal name Dennis; thus the name originally meant "son of Dennis." Dennis comes ultimately from the Latin Dionysius.

Early Origins of the Denison family

The surname Denison was first found in Yorkshire where the first record of the name was found in 1212. Richard Dionys of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. [1]

Some were found at the chapelry of Speeton in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "This township, which belongs to W. J. Denison, Esq., comprises about 1820 acres of land, and commands a beautiful view of the shore from Scarborough to Flamborough Head: the village is situated on an eminence north-east of the road from Bridlington to Scarborough." [2]

However, there is much dispute over the origin of the name. Some claim the name was derived from the Scottish Dennistouns. [3] Yet the author admits that name was also found in Norfolk and Suffolk in early times too. Thomas Denison, one of the Society of Merchant Adventurers, was buried in Leeds parish church in 1708.

Early History of the Denison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Denison research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1381, 1694, 1629, 1590, 1714, 1782 and are included under the topic Early Denison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Denison Spelling Variations

In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. Denison has appeared Dennison, Denison, Denson, Dennistoun, Dennistown, Dennisone and many more.

Early Notables of the Denison family (pre 1700)

Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Denison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Denison Ranking

In the United States, the name Denison is the 5,587th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Denison family to Ireland

Some of the Denison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Denison migration to the United States +

Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Denison:

Denison Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Denison, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Edward Denison, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [5]
  • William Denison, his wife Margaret, and their three sons, who settled in Massachusetts in 1631
  • William Denison, who landed in Massachusetts in 1631 [5]
  • Margaret Denison, who landed in Massachusetts in 1632 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Denison Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Denison, who settled in Maryland in 1735
Denison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Denison, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [5]

Canada Denison migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Denison Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Ann Denison, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760

New Zealand Denison migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Denison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Denison, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Seringapatam" in 1856

Contemporary Notables of the name Denison (post 1700) +

  • Edward Fulton Denison (1915-1992), American economist
  • Edward E. Denison (1873-1953), American congressman
  • Ellery Denison (1900-1989), American philatelist who specialized in the postage stamps and postal history of China
  • Daniel Denison, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1836-37, 1851 [6]
  • Charles Denison (1818-1867), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 12th District, 1863-67; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1864 [6]
  • Charles Denison, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Suffield, 1826 [6]
  • Charles Denison, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from New Haven, 1820 [6]
  • C. Lyman Denison, American politician, Mayor of Belleville, New Jersey, 1911-13 [6]
  • Andrew W. Denison, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1868; Postmaster at Baltimore, Maryland, 1869-77 [6]
  • Andrew Denison, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Suffield, 1822-23, 1828; Member of Connecticut State Senate 2nd District, 1831-32 [6]
  • ... (Another 32 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Denison Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Adversa virtute repello
Motto Translation: I repel adversity by virtue.

Suggested Readings for the name Denison +

  • Denison Genealogy: Ancestors and Descendants of Captain George Denison by Elverton Glenn Denison.
  • A Record of the Descendants of Capt. George Denison of Stonington, Connecticut: With Notices of His Father and Brothers, and Some Account of Other Denisons Who Settled in America in the Colony Times by John Denison Baldwin.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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