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Daniel Denton

Birthplace: Coley Chapel, Halifax, Yorkshire , England
Death: circa 1696
Jamaica, Long Island , New York
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Richard Denton and Unknown Wife of Rev. Richard Denton
Husband of Hannah Denton
Ex-husband of Abigail Whitehead
Father of Daniel II Denton; Abigail Stebbins; Mercy Luddington; Hannah Smith; Samuel Denton and 6 others
Brother of Timothy Denton; Nathaniel Denton; Richard Denton, Jr.; Samuel Denton and Phebe Denton

Occupation: Teacher, town clerk, author
Managed by: Scott Eilers
Last Updated:

About Daniel Denton

Daniel Denton (1632 – about 1696) was an early American colonist. Denton led an expedition into the interior of northern New Jersey. He was one of the purchasers of what is known as the Elizabethtown Tract in 1664, in the area of (and surrounding) present day Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1670 he wrote the first English-language description of the area.


According to George D. A. Combes, from the notes of William A.. D. Eardeley, the following is a list of the possible children of Rev. Richard Denton:

2. Daniel Denton, born 1626 [SIC], baptized 10 Jul 1632 at Halifax, Yorkshire as son of Richard Denton, Minister of Coley; died 1703, married first 1659 to Abigail Stevenson, daughter of Edward and Anne Stevenson, divorced June 26, 1672, he married second April 24, 1676 at Springfield, Mass. to Hannah Leonard, born Dec. 19, 1659, daughter of John and Sarah Heath Leonard.



Daniel married first about 1659 to Abigail Stevenson; they divorced June 26, 1672. Abigail married second Oct. 1672 to Major Daniel Whitehead, son of Daniel and Jeanne Skidmore Whitehead; Abigail and Major Daniel had six children, Jonathan, Thomas, Deborah, Mary, Amy and Elizabeth Whitehead.

Abigail and Daniel Denton had two children:

  • 1. Daniel Denton, born about 1661, died 1690, married about 1681 to Deborah (possibly Deborah Scudder).
  • 2. Abigail Denton, born about 1663, died Aug. 4, 1689, married Oct. 12, 1698.

"The two elder children, Daniel and Abigail, remained with their father, while the infant daughter, Mercy, accompanied her mother, who subsequently remarried." (Wikipedia)

Daniel married second April 24, 1676 to Hannah Leonard they had six children

  • 3. Hannah Denton, born Aug. 5, 1677 at Springfield, Mass., married first in 1697 to John Seaman (the 1698 Hempstead Census shows John Seaman, wife Hannah, and her sister Alice), married second in 1699 to Samuel Smith (probably the son of Samuel who was the son of Thomas who was the son of William and Magdalen of Jamaica).
  • 4. Samuel Denton, born Sept. 29, 1879 at Springfield, Mass., died about 1721, married about 1700 to the daughter of Jonas and Deborah (possibly Deborah Wiltsie) Wood.
  • 5. Sarah Denton, born about 1681
  • 6. Elizabeth Denton, born about 1683
  • 7. Thomas Denton, born about 1685 (possibly he married Phebe Skidmore, the daughter of Samuel Skidmore).
  • 8. Alice Denton, born about 1687, lived in Jamaica, N. Y., married at Newtown Presbyterian Church on Dec. 26, 1709 to Thomas Thurston.


Birth seen as before July 10, 1626 Coley Chapel, Halifax, Yorkshire , England. The actual baptism was 10 Jul 1632 at Halifax, Yorkshire as son of Richard Denton, Minister of Coley.

brief biography


Daniel Denton, son of Rev. Richard, was born about 1626 in Yorkshire, England, according to most authorities, and evidently accompanied his father in his various migrations till about 1650, at which time he was Town Clerk at Hempstead, L. I. In 1656 he was one of the first settlers at Jamaica, L. I. and was also Town Clerk there. In 1670 he revisited England, where he published a "Brief Description of New York, formerly known as New Netherland", its purpose being to increase migration of desirable settlers to the new land. Returning to America, Daniel settled at Piscataway, East Jersey, where he was appointed Magistrate on Aug. 25, 1673. In 1674 he sold there and went to Springfield, Mass., where he taught school and was Town Recorder. In 1684 he returned to Jamaica, where he was once more Town Clerk. On Dec. 20, 1689 he was commissioned County Clerk of Queens County. He died about 1703, leaving no will of record.

further notes

Daniel was the author of "A Brief Description of New-York: Formerly Called New-Netherlands . . ." (London: Printed for John Hancock and William Bradley 1670; New York: Gowans, 1845) link This promotional tract was written to encourage English settlement of territories lately seized from the Dutch and gives an account of the geographical features and general economy of the country surrounding New York, relates some customs of the native inhabitants and offers incentives and advice to prospective settlers. "A brief Description of New-York" is a twenty-five page pamphlet describing the topography, climate, soil, fauna and flora, settlements, crops, products, trades and occupations of the area between the Hudson and Delaware rivers and includes Manhattan Island, Staten Island and Long Island. He also included in this pamphlet some anecdotal relations of Indian customs and society. Quite understandably, he did not describe the Indians as a threatening presence, noting that: "It hath been generally observed, that where the English come to settle, a Divine Hand makes way for them; by removing or cutting off the Indians, either by Wars one with the other, or by some raging mortal Disease." (Note: "A Brief History of NY" by Daniel Denton was reprinted in the New York Times in 1900. The New York Times article said: "A second, perfect copy of this book previously unknown to bibliographers came to light at the sale of Lord Ashburton's library in November 1900. Mr. Brayton Ives paid $525 for this copy. When Ives collection was sold in March, this same copy resold for $615. A copy of this book is in the possession of Columbia University library.)

In 1650 Daniel was made town clerk of Hempstead, NY, where his father was pastor, and in 1656 he held the same position in the town of Jamaica, NY. When his father left to return to England, Denton remained on Long Island and in 1664 he became one of the grantees of a patent at Elizabethtown, NJ. In 1665 and 1666 he served as justice of the peace in New York, appointed by Governor Nichols. He married Abigail Stephenson who bore three children and from whom he was divorced in 1672. The two elder children remained with their father, while the infant, Mercy, accompanied her mother, who subsequently remarried. Denton left New York for England in1670 (which may have occasioned his divorce), and there he evidently participated in settlement enterprises and possible in the newly acquired (by the English) fur trade.

The oldest known written document relating to the town is a deed from the Indians, of which the following is a copy:

"Bee it known vnto all men by these presents that we whose names are under written have sold & set over from our selves, our heires, executors, Administrators or Asigns vnto Mr. Richard Odell, Nicholas Tanner, Richard Ogden & Nathaniell Denton, their Associates, heirs, executors, administrators Assignes A Certain tract off land beginning at a great swamp lying on ye west side off Rockeway Neck Aand so running westward to a river lying on ye east side off a neck off land which Mr. Coe hath hired off ye indeans, wch river is called by ye indeans Waubheag; ye North line running Near vntoorabout ye path yt goes ifrom Hemstead (to?) Midlburroug, wt all ye uplands & meadowing within ye afforesd bounds, with all privileges & appurtenances thereunto belonging. In consideration whereoff the aforesd Mr. Richard Odell, Nicolas Tanner, Richard Ogden, Nathaniel Denton & their

Associates shall give unto theese whose names are under written two guns, a coat And a certain quantity off powder & lead. In witness whereoff wee have subscribe our hands this 13th of September Ano Domini 1655."

This deed is signed by Daniel Denton, and by Roger Linas, Casperonn, Adam or Achitterenose, Ruckquakek, Runnasuk, Aumerhas, Caumeuk, and Waumetompack by their "marks."

supporting data

Daniel Denton, baptised 10 Jul 1632 at Halifax, Yorkshire as son of Richard Denton, Minister of Coley. Died: Unknown. Married 24 Apr 1676 at Springfield, Massachusetts to Hannah Leonard. [Source: FamilySearch film number: 000185414]

page 390 of "Records of the town of Jamaica, Long Island, New York, 1656-1751" by Jamaica (New York, N.Y.); Frost, Josephine C; Long Island Historical Society. Volume 1. Daniel Denton of Jamaica is deceased in 1696.

view all 17

Daniel Denton's Timeline

July 10, 1632
Halifax, Yorkshire , England
July 10, 1632
Halifax, Yorkshire , England
Age 28
Jamaica, Queens, New York, United States
Age 30
Jamaica, Long Island, Province of New York
January 10, 1668
Age 35
Jamaica, Queens, New York, USA
August 5, 1677
Age 45
Springfield, Hampden CO, MA
September 29, 1679
Age 47
Jamaica, LI, NY