Show ContentsDenson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Denson 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 Denson family

The surname Denson 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 Denson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Denson research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1381, 1590, 1629, 1694, 1714, 1782 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Denson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Denson Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Denson has appeared Dennison, Denison, Denson, Dennistoun, Dennistown, Dennisone and many more.

Early Notables of the Denson family

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

Denson Ranking

In the United States, the name Denson is the 2,149th most popular surname with an estimated 14,922 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Denson family to Ireland

Some of the Denson 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 Denson migration to the United States +

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Denson:

Denson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Denson, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [5]
  • Roland Denson, who arrived in Virginia in the year 1645
  • Row Denson, who landed in Virginia in 1663 [5]
  • James Denson, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [5]

Canada Denson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Denson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Henry Dennie Denson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Henry Maturin Denson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • John Denson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Lucy Denson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760

Australia Denson migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Denson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Michael Denson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Sarah A. Denson, aged 17, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"

Contemporary Notables of the name Denson (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General Eley Parker Denson (1884-1970), American Commanding Officer Seattle Port of Embarkation (1941-1946) [7]
  • Alfred Freddie "Al" Denson (b. 1942), former American football wide receiver
  • Willie Denson (1936-2006), American singer and songwriter
  • Moses Denson (b. 1944), former American football running back
  • G. Roger Denson (b. 1956), American art critic, theoretician, novelist, and curator
  • Damon Michael Denson (b. 1975), preacher, motivational speaker, writer and former American football guard
  • Beasley Denson, the current Tribal Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
  • Andrew Denson (1965-2014), retired American Major League Baseball first baseman
  • Abby Denson, American artist, comic s creator, illustrator and musician
  • Autry Denson (b. 1976), former professional American football player
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Denson 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 Denson +

  • The Denson Family of Houston and Anderson Counties, Texas by Lucile De Berry McCutcheon.
  • Jordan Denson (?-1806), Some of His Ancestors and Descendants and Beechwo.
  • , Denson-Pretlow-Darden Ancestral Home, Southampton County, Virginia by Peggy S. Joyner.

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, January 10) Eley Denson. Retrieved from on Facebook