17/08/2022

4C10 – Daniel Denton (1625-1703) and 4C10 – Nathaniel Denton (1629-1690)

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Daniel Denton (1625-1703)

Richard’s son Daniel remained on Long Island and became a local official.

In 1650 he was made town clerk of Hempstead, where his father had been a pastor, and in 1656 he held the same position in the town of Jamaica.

On 28 Oct 1664, John Baily, Daniel Denton and Luke Watson purchased land from Warinanco and Mattano, representing the local Native Americans. Known as the Elizabethtown Tract this is today an area near Elizabeth, New Jersey. The territory encompassed lands from the mouth of the Raritan River and included all of present-day Union County as well as parts of Somerset, Middlesex, Morris and Essex counties. Daniel led an expedition into this are, the interior of northern New Jersey, and in 1670 Daniel wrote the first English-language description of the area.

He made one trip back to England and while in London in 1670 he published this as A Brief Description of New York. This was the first English account and it was intended to promote settlement of the area that had been recently taken from the Dutch. In it he described the geographic and topographic features from Albany to Delaware Bay in the south, from the eastern tip of Long Island to today’s New Jersey. He detailed the local plants and animals and outlined the customs and livelihood of the Indians of the region.

He showed it as a place ripe for English settlement and agriculture. He set out the opportunities, detailing an early vision of the ‘American Dream’ – if there be any terrestrial happiness to be had by people of all ranks, especially of an inferior rank, it must certainly be here […] tis surely here, where the Land floweth with milk and honey. He was ignoring the presence of the native Indians.

Subsequently the settlement of Hempstead supported the British crown during the American Revolution. During the 19thcentury the Vanderbilts and Belmonts built houses there giving it some status for the American elite. Later in the 1880s/1890s it was where Eleanor Roosevelt spent her teenage summers. In 1927 Charles Lindberg also based himself in Hempstead when preparing for his flight from nearby Roosevelt Field to Le Bourget, Paris, France.

4C10 – Nathaniel Denton (9 Mar 1629 – 18 Oct 1690)

Richard’s second son Nathaniel served for most of his adult life as the Town Clerk of Jamaica, Long Island and acquired a great deal of property.

Map showing Jamaica NY proximity to JFK airport

Jamaica became the first incorporated village on Long Island. Its name has nothing to do with the Caribbean island but is from the local Lenape language yameco for ‘beaver’, it was the Dutch who pronounced the ‘y’ as a ‘j’. The island of Jamaica’s name is from its local Arawak language, the word Xaymaca meaning ‘land of wood and water’.

It was in 1655 that the first settlers paid the Native Americans with two guns, a coat, and some powder and lead, for the land lying between the old Indian trail and ‘Beaver Pond’.

Jamaica is a middle-class neighbourhood of Queens. Donald Trump (controverisal ex-president), Nelson DeMille (an author I read avidly) and the rapper 50 Cent (who I was too old to appreciate) all hail from Jamaica, Long Island.

Note on shorthand acronyms being used in the DFB:
GGF1 / GGM1 – means first great-grandfather /mother;
GU11 / GA11 – means eleventh great-uncle / great-aunt;
1C3 – means first cousin three times removed

Forward to US Denton Ground Zero – Forward to Dentons in the Fens Index
Back to Lady Helen Windebank – wife of 3C11 – (1596-1656) – Back to Denton Family Bible

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