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Denis/Dennis Surname Changes
Posted by: Jerry Dennis (ID *****2515) Date: February 16, 2010 at 00:46:14
  of 243

Many, many years ago, my Aunt explained to me that the name "Dennis" was once spelled "Denis". At the time, I thought it to be a matter of literacy or perhaps just a convenience to "blend in". However, I believe there were a group of Denis family members which may have changed their name, perhaps for political reasons. The first ancestor I know of is Rossetta Samantha Dennis. All I have for her is a year, but with no explanation: 1812. No location is noted. As I have explored this area, I could never find a member of my family named "Denis". However, my GGGGrandfather, William Dennis, married a French woman, Ruth A. Pettit who resided with her family in Tennessee. I believe they married in Virginia approximately 1818 or there abouts. William was born in Virginia in 1797, but his background from there is blurred. He lived until ca 1860, but little is known about his occupation or his general background. He and Rutha (1797-1883) made their home in the North Eastern side of Tennesee, and raised a large family. He appears to have to be gone from home a great deal. His wife, after having many children, decided enough was enough. She and her growing family left Tennessee and relocated to Morgan County, AL, approximately 1848. Her adult children formed a ring around her to protect her from her husband. In the 1850 Census, she indicates she is a "widow". Her husband, William, once he returns home to find them missing, tracks them down, but only to the point he resides with my GGGrandfather, one his sons, William Granville, and his wife, Mildreth Ann Lewis Dennis who married in the middle 1840's. To make a long story short, has anyone heard this story before?


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