Denise Sperry (c.1627 - c.1707) MP

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Nicknames: "Dennes/"
Birthplace: Monkleigh, Devon, England, (Present UK)
Death: Died in New Haven, New Haven County, Province of Connecticut, (Present USA)
Occupation: Housewife
Managed by: Susan
Last Updated:

About Denise Sperry

   * Born: Abt 1627, England
   * Christened: Monkleigh, Devonshire, England
   * Marriage: Richard Sperry on Aug 28, 1647 in New Haven, New Haven, CT
   * Died: 1707, New Haven, New Haven, CT about age 80

Dennis ___ was born 9 May 1624 in Monkleigh, DEV, ENG

2nd Wife of Richard Sperry, Regicide supporter, Immigrant:»

  +   +(SPERRY), Dennis, Immigrant b: 09 May 1624 Monkleigh, DEV, ENG
  ┆    d: ~01 Mar 1706/07 New Haven, New Haven, CT #: SPER53 m: 28 Aug
  ┆    1647 New Haven, New Haven, CT

It is certain that Richard Sperry's wife was named Dennis, but there is no concrete evidence that she was a daughter of Gov. Stephen Goodyear -- or even a GOODYEAR at all.

Richard Sperry and Dennis Goodyear who married in 1647 at New Haven, CT had 7 children: 1. John Sperry, b. 1649 2. Mary Sperry, b. 14 March 1650, d. 1735. m. Benjamin Peck 3. Richard Sperry, b. 1652 4. Esther Sperry, b. 1654 m. 1st Stephen Pierson, m. 2nd Daniel Hotchkiss 5. Nathaniel Sperry, b. 1656 6. Thomas Sperry, b. 1658 7. Ebenezer Sperry, b. 1663, d. 1738. m. Abigail Dickerman

-------------------- Families of Ancient New Haven by Donald Lines Jacobus, pg. 1665 -------------------- Note About D. by William Speary http://www.speary.com/ghtout/np12.htm

Richard Sperry's wife Dennis (also spelled Dennes or Denis) absolutely has to be one of the most sought after mystery ladies of all time. Just going by the notes I have in front of me, one can see that people have been trying to figure out who she was for at least 40 years - several HUNDRED people Yet nobody has ever shown one concrete piece of evidence to prove who this lady was.

One thing is for sure: Donald Lines Jacobus - a professional genealogist who is responsible for " Families of Ancient New Haven" (FANH) shows Richard Sperry married to Dennis in New Haven. However there is no surname provided for Dennis. "Families of Ancient New Haven" is taken directly from New Haven Vital Records and is credited as being so complete & thorough that no update will ever be needed. If you've ever seen just one page of it you would be inclined to agree.

That one blank line where her surname should be has created many theories over time:

Theory #1 states that Dennis was the daughter of Stephen Goodyear - the Deputy Governor & the man that Richard Sperry was gardener/farmer for. However, Dennis is NOT listed in FANH as a child of Stephen Goodyear. She is also not listed in Grace Goodyear Kirkman's "Genealogy of the Goodyear Family" nor is Dennis listed in any other Goodyear family tree.

Theory #2 states that Dennis may have been the orphaned niece of Stephen Goodyear - but, again, there is no source, no listing in any published book or Goodyear family tree. So far I have seen her as his brother John's child, his brother William's child and have seen an Andrew listed as a possible brother to Stephen but AGAIN with no further information provided.

Theory #3 states that Dennis was an illegitimate "love child" of Stephen Goodyear. Somehow, I find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe she would have been given his surname & been raised & recognized as his child in a PURITAN society. I also doubt he would have become the respected public figure he was with a skeleton like that rattling around in his closet.

Theory #4 states that Dennis was an amnesia victim , possibly from a ship wreck (the ship being from France) who was 'taken in' by Stephen Goodyear. Again, no proof, no source, no documentation.

Dennis is even listed as Dennis Goodyear in "The Ancestry and the Descendants of Abel Sperry (Richard's grandson)" by L. Steele printed in 1912. Richard's Will lists her only as "My wife Dennis" and Dennis Sperry's will was proved in March of 1707. Records give her age at death as both 78 years of age & 80 years of age.

Now, I can't possibly be the only person who finds it strange that the daughter/orphaned niece/ship wreck victim adopted child of the Deputy Governor would be marrying her father/uncle/whatever's farm overseer.

Some accounts show Dennis Goodyear born1627 in England - possible, but no proof except other people's undocumented LDS files. Other accounts show her born 1627 in New Haven - impossible since New Haven didn't exist until 1638 and again with no sources. Others show her Baptism as 1624 in England. Well, that's 3 years before most people say she was born - enough said.

Recently I found 2 people looking for our Dennis under the surname Richard. One states that New Haven vital records shows a marriage of Richard Sperry to Dennis Richard. However, I do not have a copy of this record so it must be verified. Families of Ancient New Haven DOES NOT note a date or source for Richard & Dennis' marriage NOR do they note birth dates for either of them. One can assume they married at least in the early part of 1647/48 (if not earlier) as their son John is on record as being born in January of 1648/49.

A second, unrelated person, researching totally unrelated families also posed a question requesting information on a Dennis Richard who married & was widowed by a man named Goodyear and who later married a man by the name of Sperry & had at least two sons - Daniel & Thomas Sperry. Both of whom are recorded, documented sons of Richard Sperry & Dennis ?. Upon contacting this man he checked his database only to find he does not have the source of this information in his database. HOWEVER, he assures me that he has it "on paper" in his filing cabinet "somewhere" & promises to find it ASAP. I sure hope he does as a maiden name other than Goodyear & a first marriage to a man named Goodyear could certainly explain why several hundred people have been unable - for all these years - to find one bit of documentation on our mystery lady.

One more bit of info regarding Dennis. The book "Molly & the Regicides" Crandell, 1968 which includes Richard Sperry in at least 11 chapter's names Richard's wife as Hepzibah. All other names in the book are factual. It even refers to Richard Jr. as "Dicky". The book was derived from records collected in 1700s by President Stiles of Yale University (who wrote History of Judges's), Governor Hitchenson's History of Massachusetts and stories handed down by word of mouth. My questions now are: Who is Hepzibah Sperry? Is this name based on fact or fiction?

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Denise Sperry's Timeline

1624
May 9, 1624
Monkleigh, Devonshire, England
May 9, 1624
Monkleigh, Devonshire, England
1627
1627
Monkleigh, Devon, England, (Present UK)
1648
1648
Age 21
New Haven, Connecticut, USA
1649
January 9, 1649
Age 22
New Haven, New Haven Colony, (Present Connecticut)
1650
March 14, 1650
Age 23
New Haven, New Haven, CT
1652
January 20, 1652
Age 25
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, United States
1654
September 16, 1654
Age 27
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
1656
August 13, 1656
Age 29
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
1658
August 13, 1658
Age 31
New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut, USA