Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties

John Tennison

Male Bef 1631 - 1683  (> 52 years)


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  • Name John Tennison  [1
    Birth Bef 1631  Holland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Death 8 Feb 1683  St. Mary's County, Maryland - Probate Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I10002  Tree1
    Last Modified 5 Apr 2024 

    Father St. Mary's Tennison 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F6907  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth MNU Tennison,   b. 1634, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Marriage 1651  St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. John Tennison,   b. 1652, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1700, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 48 years)  [Father: natural]
     2. Matthew Tennison,   b. 1653, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 1753, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 100 years)  [Father: natural]
     3. Mary Tennison,   b. 1655, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. Aft 1682, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this location (Age > 28 years)  [Father: natural]
     4. Justinian Tennison,   b. 1664, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 14 Apr 1699, St. Mary's County, Maryland - Inventory Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 35 years)  [Father: natural]
     5. Absalom Tennison,   b. 1665, St. Mary's County, Maryland Find all individuals with events at this locationd. 26 Sep 1694, St. Mary's County, Maryland - Inventory Find all individuals with events at this location (Age 29 years)  [Father: natural]
    Family ID F6327  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart
    Last Modified 5 Apr 2024 

  • Notes 
    • Tennison, John, St. Mary's County, 20th Dec., 1682; 8th Feb., 1682.
      To eld. son John, personalty in addition to property already given him.
      To son-in-law William Cheshire and Mary his wife, son Matthew, and Henry Fernely, personalty.
      To sons Justinian and Absalom, exc., plantation and all other land; in event of death of either without issue, survivor to inherit deceased's portion.
      Test: Jno. Buttler, Vincent Mansell, Wm. Goddard, Thos. Parker. MCW 4.16.
      ===
      John Tennison 8.91 I SM £209.12.9 Mar 29 1683
      Appraisers: John Coode, Vincent Mansell,
      ===
      John Tenneson 8.483 A SM #50313 #23125 Oct 8 1685
      Payments to: John Mudge, Nehemiah Blakeston, Justinian Gerrard, Henry Fornly, Frances Knott, Thomas Grunwin, Abraham Hooke, John Coode, Pattrick Spencer note to Henry Fornly.
      Executor: Justinian Tennison.
      ===
      Richard Foster 4.345 A SM #14228 #15169 Oct 9 1677
      Payments to: Thomas Lucas, John Tennison, John Groome, John Smith, John Blackiston, William Rosewell for Stephen Murty, Benjamin Gargill, Benjamin Salley paid to Lidia Salley (widow), Edward Husband, Capt, John Coode for Mr. Peter Hughes, boatswine of Capt. Partis' ship, Capt, Harrison for Capt. Gerrard Slye.
      Administrator: Vincent Mansfield (also Vincent Mansell)
      ===
      John Sheppard 3.155 A CA £116.18.0 £120.12.7 Apr 4 1677
      Part owner of the Barke "Mary of the Port Royall" in Jamaica.
      Legatees: Mr. John Tennison, Mr. George Hodder.
      Administrator: William Adams (mariner) of Topsham, England, master of "Thomas and Mary" of London.

      === Contributed by Ralph D. Smith

      Mar. 25 and Apr., 28, 1658 - Maryland Provincial Court (held at St. Leonard's, Calvert Co.) David Feriera vs. John Tunnis [sic.] At the Mar. 25, 1658 Court, a warrant was issued to the Sheriff of St. Mary's Co. to have John Tunnis at the Apr. Court next to answer the complaint of David Feriera. At the Court of Apr. 28, 1658 upon the demand of David Feriera against John Tunnis for 372 lbs. of tobacco the defendant acknowledged 356 lbs. of tobacco and hath put in Mr. Thomas Belcher security for the said 356 lbs. as aforesaid which Robert Kingsberry the attorney of the plaintiff hath accepted.
      Source: Archives of Maryland, Vol. 41, Page 48 and 73.

      Apr. 12, 1659 - Maryland Provincial Court. Capt. Sampson Waring demands writ against John Tunnis [sic] in an action of defamation. Warrant to the Sheriff of St. Mary's Co. to have John Tunnis at the Apr. 20 Court to answer the complaint. Writ to Sheriff to warn Edward Turner subpoena 500 lbs. tobacco "to testify in ditt. cause."
      Source: Archives of Maryland, Vol. 41, Page 267.
      ====
      John TENNIS/Tennyson came to America about 1650 from England, possibly with Thomas Gerrard's adventurers to Maryland. The first record of his name in Maryland is in 1651 when he witnessed the will of Nathaniel Stiles.
      From depostion records taken in 1653, he is thought to have been born about 1628 in Holland. His wife, Elizabeth (maiden name unknown), was an indentured servant to Peter Johnson for five years, but married John Tennisson before her indenture expired. Elizabeth is believed to have been born about 1634 in England. John Tennisson promised to pay Johnson for the time that Elizabeth did not serve. Records have not been fround of that payment.

      In 1656 John bought land from Richard Preston in St. Mary's County, on Leonard's Creek called "Stratupt." In 1667 he bought additional land from Thomas Gerrard. This is where he lived and his homplace was known as "Persimmon Point" and there is a creek in St. Clement's Hundred called "Tennisson's Creek" named for his property line.

      John Tennison's name appears in court records several times during the next few years and in 1673 he was before the court and "desired the earmark of his cattle and brand mark for horses" to be a " fire fork with three prongs."
      But the most interesting court appearance was in 1682 when John was summoned to court on 25h Oct to hear his wife's complaints against her husband. The court records show that "she could not live peaceable and quietly with him .....prayed allowance of competent maintenance might be awarded her." John denied the charges and thought them unreasonable but did confess in court that he never entertained the love and respect for his wife and neither afforded her the countenance in his house due for man to wife. John had banished Elizabeth from his home some 2-3 years earlier. Elizabeth was rewarded one bed and furniture, all wearing apparel and yearly for time to come 300 pounds meat, 3 bushels corn, 100 pounds tobacco, during her natural life. This quite possibly is the first divorce on American soil!!

      His will was probated just four months after this court appearance. He appears to be a man of means as the inventory shows he owned Delft china place settings, and apparently was not illiterate as his inventory included two Bibles and several books. At the time of his death he had, among other items, several parcels of land, two slaves and could afford a serving maid who is mentioned in his will.

      Elizabeth remarried shortly after John's death to James Green (in 1684) and they soon brought suit aginst Justinian (executor of John's will). James Green continued the suit after Elizabeth's death (1684/1701) to get her portion of John's estate. He eventually won.
      ===
      Coode, John, St. Mary's County, 27th Feb.,, 1708; 28th Mch., 1709.
      To eld. son John, and hrs., "Pendreine" adjoining Mattapany in St. Clements hundred.
      To 2nd son William and hrs., ""Pissimore Point" where he now lives, and land adjoining where John Tenison lived,, also to 2 eld. sons named jointly, land and island bought from Richd. Foster,
      To son Richard and hrs., "Second Thought" above Rock Creek in freshes of Patuxent-also jointly with 3 daus, Mary, Anne and Winifred, mill at Tomacookin and land adjoining bought from Ozwell Dash.
      To wife Eliza:, extx. during life, dwelling plantation "Bluff Point,," running down Manalopson, and stock thereon for support of child. she has by me.
      Test: Philip Briscoe, Sr., Luke Barber, Edward Barber., Sam'll. Williamson. 12, 341,

  • Sources 
    1. [S191] Tennison Family.

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