|« Chapter 19: The John Wesley Denty Family||Table of Contents||SEARCH||Descendants of James Compton Denty||Chapter 21: The Simeon Denty Family »|
James Compton Denty
In his letter dated 8 May 1808, Jonathan Denty wrote: "Sibel had a son born the 13th of last September a helthy well child we call him James". When this second child and eldest son by Sibby was only four years old, Jonathan died. By then, James and his older sister Rebecca had been joined by two younger brothers, making a total of four children, ages seven, four, two, and one. While it's always difficult for a widowed mother of four very young children, it must have been particularly so in Fairfax County in the second decade of the nineteenth century. The localized agricultural depression that had commenced in the eighteenth century had deepened. Crop yields on the tobacco-depleted soil were drastically reduced, and consequently profits slumped. The county's population declined. Land prices dropped precipitously. Pine woods replaced pastures and abandoned farms were everywhere. Only gradually did farmers learn to diversify, to rotate their crops, and to use soil amendments. It was transplanted Yankees taking advantage of the cheap land prices and small farmers, those "without the hindrance of a 'plantation mentality'", who fared best during these decades.
We know virtually nothing of James' childhood or adolescence since no family or county record sheds light on the growing family for almost twenty years. One might logically assume that the Denty children were raised in a Compton household, but neither the 1820 nor the 1830 Censuses contain Compton households with males the ages of James, Samuel, and Jonathan Wilson Denty - or even two of the three. It's very possible that the widowed Sibby remarried, although no marriage record has been discovered. Without hard evidence we're left with enigmatic clues. A deed dated 1 Sep 1847 mentioned "part of the tract of land whereon James Denty now resides (formerly Joseph Simpson)". There's no record of James having purchased the land from Joseph Simpson, so how did he acquire it? In his will, James made reference to "land known as my Mother's old place". Was his mother's "old place" synonymous with the parcel "formerly" belonging to Joseph Simpson? In short, did Sibby Compton Denty marry Joseph Simpson? Alas, Joseph Simpson also wasn't listed in the 1820 or 1830 Censuses, and of the seven Simpson head of households in Fairfax County in 1820, only two, Moses and John, have males the correct age to be the Denty children.
We are certain that James married Sophia Barker, the daughter of John Harrison and Eleanor Barker; yet even here, there are questions regarding the date. Granddaughter Emeline Denty Talbott's application to the D.A.R. contained a date of 10 Jul 1832, but descendant and researcher Josette Baker believes the actual year was 1830. That seems more likely. Their son Alexander was born on 18 Oct 1832, and while a pregnant bride is hardly beyond the realm of possibility in 1832, it was far less common than in either the proceeding or following centuries.
In the 1840 Census James "Dainty" and family were enumerated with one male under 5, one 5-10, one 30-40, two females under 5, one 20-30, and no slaves. Enumerated next to them was younger brother "Samuel Dainty".
We know also that James was primarily a farmer after 1847, when he purchased 275 acres on the north side of Pohick Run, and he identified himself as such in the 1850 Census. But he apparently also engaged in the systematic harvesting of timber. A passage in his will refers to cut and standing wood on one tract and "one half the timber" sold to another party. It's probable that his long boat, the "Four Sisters" was used to transport wood. That craft was evidently named, and therefore owned and used, by James before the birth of fifth daughter Sabina in 1851, so timber was not simply a concern of James' later years. Indeed, it may well have provided the family's livelihood during the 1820s and 1830s, at the height of the localized agricultural depression. Certainly, the growth of the District of Columbia just over the Potomac River would have ensured a steady demand for lumber. Whatever his initial source of income, his financial situation seems to have become comfortable. He was able to loan money to possible cousins John and Mariah Sutherlin in 1851 - a transaction that clearly ended badly, since James was forced to sell the land at public auction on 1 Jan 1857 - and in the 1860 Census, he estimated his real and personal property at $5,000 and $2,000.
James was also involved in community affairs. On 21 Aug 1865 he was commissioned a Justice of the Circuit and District Court in Fairfax, and may actually have served in that capacity as early as 1863. In 1867 he inherited law books belonged to William Ferguson. Along with civil service, he continued the family's strong ties to the Episcopal Church, in which his grandfather John Wybert Denty had been a Clerk and Lay Reader.
If the Fairfax Dentys suffered economic hardship during or after the Civil War, it's not in evidence, even though Fairfax County became a no man's land with numerous skirmishes and much plundering by the Yankees. Many residents simply left, since individuals suspected of rebel sympathies could be arrested and imprisoned. The county government was disrupted time and time again. Indeed, for one full year, there was simply no county government. It's therefore not surprising that James' son Alexander did not serve in either army. In a county just across the river from the federal capital, where one out of every three adult white males in 1850 was born outside the South, it's doubtful that the family's identification with and support of the Confederacy was sufficiently strong to justify the risk of ruin.
James signed his will on 30 Jun 1870:
Will of James Compton Denty
I James C. Denty of the County of Fairfax and State of Virginia being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this mortal life, do therefore make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following to wit.
First. I will and bequeath to my wife Sophia the farm on which I reside with its appurtenances during her natural life, with two horses, one new wagon, harness & six head of cattle, ten hogs and with all the household and kichen furniture and such farm implements as she may desire to keep with the priviledge of making her own selection of the livestock above named. I also will and bequeath to my wife Sophia three hundred dollars in cash, the above bequest is intended to be in full and in lieu of her dower, and at her decease to be equally divided between all my children. The present crops is to be used on the farm if she desires it. Second. I will and bequeath to my oldest son Alexander Denty, a tract of land near Occoquan in Fairfax County which I purchased of Halley & Stone with all my interest in the wood on said land both cut and standing and also one half the timber which by agreement was sold to John Hauxhurst. I also will and bequeath to him one half my long boat "Four Sisters". Third. I will and bequeath to my son Simeon Denty one half the long boat "Four Sisters" as before mentioned and one half the timber sold of Hauxhurst. I also will and bequeath to him five hundred dollars in addition to money he has heretofore had. Fourth. I will and bequeath to my son James Franklin a small tract or lot of land known as my Mother's old place, which I purchased of my sister. I also will and bequeath to him one thousand dollars in money and also one hundred more which 100 to be applied to his education. Fifth. I will and bequeath to my four daughters Francis E. Denty, Anna R. Truax, Sophia and Sabina Denty each of them one thousand dollars in cash. I also will my four daughters each one cow or its equivalent in money. Sixth. I will and bequeath to my grandson Charles E. Williamson five hundred dollars in money to receive the same when he shall have attained the age of twenty-one years. I also and by these presents do appoint Alexander Denty agent and guardian for Sabina E. Denty, James F. Denty and Charles E. Williamson (minors) to receive and pay to them their respective legacies when they are twenty-one years old. All the balance and residue of my personal property not heretofore named can be sold and after paying expenses equally divided. And lastly, I hereby make, constitute and appoint my two sons Alexander and Simeon Denty to be Executors of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal this 30th day of June in the year of our Lord 1870.
James C. Denty (Seal)
Sixty-two year old James Compton Denty died on 21 Sep 1870. When the estate was inventoried on 4 Nov 1870, it included: five horses, fourteen cows and six calves, twenty-eight hogs, nineteen sheep, one hundred fowls, two two-horse wagons, a carriage, a cart, blacksmith's tools, farm implements, saddles and harness, corn, wheat, oats, rye, a long boat, a bee hive, furniture including five feather beds, cash on hand of $4,350, and solvent bonds in the amount of $2,187.00. The total was appraised at $9,803.25, not including any land. At the estate sale, most of the livestock and implements sold were purchased by sons Alexander and Simeon.
James Compton Denty's tombstone is found in the cemetery at nearby Pohick Church, a site of great significance to the Fairfax Dentys. Established in 1732, the church was rebuilt in brick in 1769-1770 and relocated to just south of Washington's Mount Vernon. Founding Fathers Washington and Mason worshiped there; and its graveyard became the site of many burials beginning in 1773. After the American Revolution brought disestablishment, the venerable church slowly fell into disrepair, suffering its final indignity when it was heavily damaged by Union cavalry during the Civil War. The soldiers stabled their horses in the sanctuary, carved their initials into the walls, and even used one wall for target practice. When services resumed in 1866, there were makeshift benches rather than pews and the building was roofless until 1874. It was during that period of neglect that James Compton Denty would have been buried there, not far from the front entrance. According to Mike Denty, however, he was buried elsewhere and only later moved to Pohick Church, a perhaps more reasonable scenario given the church's state of decay. If that’s the case, it would indicate an earlier family graveyard, most probably on the site of the Denty farm, and that plot would have been the probable resting place of earlier Dentys such as Jonathan and both of his wives. Of course, it's also possible that Jonathan and/or his wives were buried at Pohick, their gravestones being destroyed in the ensuing decades of neglect. Whether James was the first Denty to be buried in Pohick or not, he was certainly not the last. The modern visitor will find there more than thirty-five graves of Dentys, their spouses, and children.After James' death, his widow Sophia Barker Denty, born on 16 Jan 1813, remained very much the matriarch, continuing to reside on the family farm with her unmarried children Sabina and James, and, until that daughter's second marriage, her widowed daughter Sophia Denty Barker and children. Sophia died on 19 Feb 1886 at the age of seventy-three. A quilt made by Sophia Barker Denty between 1840 and 1860 is now in the Smithsonian, donated by daughter Emeline Denty Talbott. It can be viewed at http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections. Use the Search option for "Denty". NEW 6 Nov 2010
Of the eight children of James and Sophia, it's once again possible to discover much more about the males than the females.
Alexander Denty, born on 18 Oct 1832, remained a bachelor until the relatively advanced age of thirty-four, when he married Frances Elizabeth Molair from neighboring Prince William County to the south. He and Frances continued to reside and work on the Denty farm close to the Fredericksburg and Alexandria Railroad, living next to mother Sophia, brother Frank, sisters Sabina and Sophie. During the 1870s he was sued by probable cousin Daniel Williamson at least twice. Judgment was for the defendant both times, and he also won a separate judgment for costs. Both Alexander and Frank corresponded with Alice Denty Dean in Mississippi and apparently sent her photographs of themselves, which unfortunately were not preserved. Alexander died at home in late August or early September of 1904 after suffering "poor health" since the previous winter. In 1906 the widowed Frances Molair Denty sold thirty-one acres in Fairfax County and moved to Florida to live with her daughter and son-in-law, Fanny and Eveleth Barnhill. After her death there on 27 Nov 1909, her body was brought back to Fairfax County to rest beside Alexander in Pohick Cemetery. Her death notice read in part: "Mrs. Denty was one of the most estimable ladies that ever lived in the community. She was a true Christian in every sense of the word. No needy or suffering person ever went away from her without being comforted." Alexander and Frances had the following children:
1. Anna Laura Denty, born on 4 Oct 1867, was a schoolteacher when she corresponded with Marie Denty Nesbit in 1885. Of her, Marie wrote "Miss Anna Denty . . . wrote me a 14 page letter four weeks ago in answer to mine. She is quite intelligent, is just seventeen & has taught two years in the public schools, is going off to a normal school in Aug." On 9 Apr 1890 "Annie" married Frederick M. Davis in her parents' home. Describing himself as a merchant residing in the District of Columbia at the time of his marriage, Fred later became a farmer in Fairfax County. He and Annie had two children: Fannie Louise Davis (b. 19 Aug 1892, d. 20 Jul 1944) and Marshal G. Davis (b. 23 Jun 1895, d. March 1951). Annie died on 27 Sep 1898, not long before her thirty-first birthday.
2. Eldest son James Molair Denty was born in June 1871. He first made his living from "oysters" - another possible use for his father's long boat - then became a grocer in partnership with his brother Harry. By 1913, James was listed in the Washington DC City Directory as "Secy & Mgr of Wholesale Grocery Co", 203 D Street, NW. He married a woman named Cora [Hall] after that year, and in the 1920 Census the couple was enumerated with their six lodgers and no children in a rented house at 303 D Street. James died on 4 Jan 1937 and was buried in Pohick Cemetery beside his uncle James Franklin Denty and aunt Sabina Ellen Denty. In the sanctuary, Pew #20 contains a plaque commemorating the "long vestry service of James Molair Denty". His obituary appeared in the Washington Post on 5 Jan 1936:
"James M. Denty, 65, a wholesale grocer, died at emergency hospital yesterday. He lived at 3136 Seventh Street Northwest. Mr. Denty was born in Pohick, Fairfax County, Va. He moved to this city over 40 years ago and has since been engaged in the grocery business, first as a retailer and then later taking up the wholesale trade. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Cora Hall Denty, and one brother, Jonathan F. Denty of Richmond, Virginia. Funeral service will be held at 2 o'clock. Rev C. A. Langston will officiate. Burial will be at Pohick Cemetery." NEW 19 Aug 2012
3. Harrison B. Denty, born in April 1872, was in partnership with his brother James in the grocery. It's unlikely that "Harry" ever married. He died on 10 Oct 1910, age thirty-nine, after a "lingering illness". It may be that, like his brother Luther, he suffered from consumption. According to church records, Harry was buried in Pohick Cemetery, but the exact location of his grave is now unknown.
4. Born in May 1874, Luther A. Denty was also a vestryman at Pohick Church. On 9 Aug 1899 he married Maud Violett, daughter of Thompson and Georgianna Violett. In the 1900 Census Luther described himself as a farmer; but in 1910 much of his farm property near Occoquan was "condemned" by Act of Congress in order to provide the site for a District of Columbia workhouse and reformatory. He was paid $3,349.24 for 212.65 acres. In the federal census that year he described himself as a merchant in a general store. In August or September of 1912 he deeded the remains of his farm, 100 acres, to J. F. Denty, most probably his brother Jonathan Franklin. Luther died on 3 Oct 1912, having suffered from a "long illness" identified as consumption. In the death notice he was described as a "well known citizen residing about three miles below Burke Station . . . a member of Fairfax Council No. 26, Order of Fraternal Americans". Not surprisingly, he was buried at Pohick Church. Luther and Maud, who continued to run the general store and reside on Gamble Road, were childless. On 24 Nov 1920, Maud married farmer William Paul Marshall.
5. Frances E. Denty, who was born in March 1877, married Eveleth Barnhill on 14 Aug 1906. Eveleth had been born in Florida, and shortly after the wedding the newlyweds moved to Desoto County, Florida, where Eveleth, described as a merchant in the marriage record, became - or perhaps returned to being - a farmer. They were joined there by Fanny's widowed mother, Frances Molair Denty, from 1907 until her death in 1909. The mother of one son, Leroy M. Barnhill, Fanny Denty Barnhill died on 12 Sep 1911 in Florida.
6. Jonathan Franklin Denty, born in March 1879, described himself as a farmer in the 1900 Census when he was enumerated with his older brother Luther on the family farm. By 1910, however, he'd become a railroad engineer residing in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Josephine Violett Denty, who he'd married about 1902. They were still in Richmond for the 1920 Census, the owners of a home at 1925 Hanover Avenue. Childless, the Dentys rented out a room to another couple close in age to themselves. Josephine Violett Denty died in her early forties on 28 Oct 1923 and was buried in Pohick Cemetery. On 14 Dec 1924 "John" was baptized at Pohick Church. Whether his baptism there represents a change in residence or simply a sentimental journey isn't known; nor is his date of death or place of burial.
James and Sophia's second child and eldest daughter Emeline H. Denty married Mr. Williamson after the family was enumerated in the 1860 Census. She died before 30 Jun 1870, leaving one child, Charles, who was named in his grandfather's will.
Simeon F. Denty: See Chapter 21.
Frances Elizabeth Denty married Josephus Lawson, the son of Hildrey and Drady Ann Lawson, on 8 Jun 1871 in Alexandria, Virginia when she was at least thirty-one, and perhaps as old as thirty-five. In the 1880 Census, the couple was living on Alfred Street in Alexandria with their two year old son, Barton Lawson. That year Josephus was described as a railroad hand. They were still residing in Alexandria with son Barton in 1900.
Anna Rachel Denty, born in 1845, married farmer John B. Truax on 21 Dec 1869, once again in Alexandria. They first resided with John's parents, Henry and Mary, but had established their own household next door by 1880. Anna died in 1911 and was buried in Woodlawn Baptist Cemetery in Fairfax County. She was the mother of James Henry, or "Harry", (born in 1874 and residing next to Anna and John in 1910), Francesca E. or W. (b. 1877), and Charles E. Truax (b. 1887).
Sophia Barker Denty, born on 24 Sep 1848, married tinsmith Joseph Leonard Barker, thus further complicating the Denty-Barker lineage. By him, she had sons Joseph and Roger Franklin Barker. Information on son Joseph is scant, but son Roger was born on 13 Aug 1873, christened at Pohick Church on 16 Jun 1925, and died on 20 Jul 1947. He married Mary Magner. After being widowed, "Sophie" Denty Barker married James Napoleon Talbott, the son of Richard and Lucretia DeVere Talbott. It's uncertain exactly when the marriage occurred, but it was clearly after 25 Jun 1880 when James was enumerated as a resident in the household of Sophie's brother Alexander Denty, just next door to the household in which the widowed, older Sophie resided. Sophie died on 11 Mar 1925 and was buried in Pohick Cemetery. Second husband James died in 1936. James and Sophia Denty Barker Talbott had four children:
1. Clara Louise Talbott was born on 6 Jul 1884 and christened in Pohick Church on 13 Nov 1898. She married Army Captain Carroll Power. In a Bill of Complaint dated 1958 concerning the estate of her uncle James Franklin Denty, her address was given as 505 Prince Street, Alexandria, Virginia. She died on 9 May 1972.
2. Born on 6 Jul 1886, Joseph Richard Talbott was christened at Pohick Church on 13 Nov 1898 with his older sister.
3. Emeline Denty Talbott, born on 2 Feb 1890, was very interested in her family history. In 1927 she applied for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, citing the service of her great-great-grandfather John Barker; and in 1931 answered a letter from Rebecca Denty Abernathy in Tennessee seeking information on her Denty ancestors. On both occasions her address was 314 S. St. Asalph in Alexandria. In 1858 Emeline filed a Bill of Complaint petitioning that the real property owned by her uncle James Franklin Denty be sold. By then, she was residing at 414 Prince Street in Alexandria. Emeline died on 14 April 1978 in Alexandria. Her death date may have been 11 Apr 1978.
4. Evangeline Sophia Talbott was born on 7 Jan 1891 and died on 13 Nov 1898, age seven.
James Compton Denty's youngest daughter, Sabina Ellen Denty, was born in August 1851. She never married, residing first with her mother Sophia, then with brother James Franklin Denty on their farm on Roland Road. She died on 11 August 1926 and was buried in Pohick Cemetery.
James Franklin Denty was born on 11 Jul 1855, the youngest child of James and Sophia. Typically listed as "James" in census returns, his relatives in Montana nevertheless always referred to him as "Uncle Frank". Never married, he lived with sister Sabina on the family farm, close by his brother Simeon. In 1910 he listed "own resources" under occupation, but in the 1920 Census he was described as self-employed, with a farm on Roland Road owned outright, but with his business location or type listed as "woodchopper". This was not unusual for the area, however, as several of his close neighbors' businesses were described with that same term. After Sabina's death in 1926, "Frank" boarded with farmer Clyde Chapman. When enumerated in 1930 with Clyde, he described himself, age seventy-six, as a general farm laborer! Frank died in February 1937 and was buried in the family plot in Pohick Cemetery. As noted, his niece Emeline Denty Talbott filed a Bill of Complaint in 1958 petitioning the court to allow the sale of real property owned by Frank at his death, who despite his age, had died intestate. In it, the parcel was described as: S18 W106 poles, S52 E74 poles, N89 E61 poles, N13 W62 poles, containing 29 ¼ acres more or less. This was the same parcel described in Deed Book W-1, pp. 3-5 on 21 Oct 1793 and also in Deed Book J-4, p. 361 on 4 Jan 1866. Although surely this parcel was too small to constitute the land referred to by James Compton Denty as "my mother's old place", it may have represented one subdivided, inherited portion of it.
Birth date of James Compton Denty: Jonathan Denty, 8 May 1808: "Sibel had a son born the 13th of last September, a helthy well child we call him James"; supported by "Errata" in Liddle, Families of Pohick Church, Truro Parish, Fairfax County, Virginia. But D.A.R. Application of Emeline Denty Talbott has date of 10 Jun 1808, most probably christening date.
Birth date of Sophia Barker: 16 Jan 1813. [DAR Application, Emeline Denty Talbot] Liddle, p. 113 supplies date of 26 Jan 1813. Parents: John Harrison and Eleanor Barker.
D.A.R. application of Emeline Denty Talbott has marriage date for James and Sophia of 10 Jul 1832. If date correct, Sophia was pregnant at time of marriage because son Alexander was born 18 Oct 1832. Josette Baker claims a marriage date of 10 Jul 1830.
1840 CENSUS, Fairfax Co, VA: "James Dainty" = 1 male under 5, 1 5-10, 1 30-40; 2 females under 5, 1 20-30; 0 slaves; yet 3 persons "engaged in agriculture"! (Enumerated next to the "Samuel Dainty" family.) [Pg 166]
30 Aug 1847: Purchased 275 acres on north side of Pohick Run adjoining Ravensworth for $700 from Richard and Nancy Wheeler. Shortly thereafter, brother Samuel bought 10 acres adjoining Ravensworth, "part of the tract of land whereon James Denty now resides (formerly Joseph Simpson)". [Book K3, p. 43; Book M3, p. 187]
1850 CENSUS, Fairfax Co, VA: Farmer James Denty with real estate estimated at $1800; wife Sophia; sons Alexander and Simeon; daughters Emeline, Elizabeth F., Ann R., Sophia; Frances Barker, age 74. (Francis was apparently the daughter of John Barker, and the sister to John Harrison Barker, and thus Sophia's aunt.) [Pg 150; Emeline Denty Talbott, DAR Application]
1 Jan 1851: Trust deed of 116 acres to "James C. Denty" by John and Mariah Sutherlin as payment for debt of $581.16 owed to Catherine Barker. Payment schedule was specified; in short, a mortgage. Wits: Presley Barker, C.F. Harover. [Book P3, p. 369]
1 Jan 1852: Mentioned in trust deed of Samuel Denty to William M. McCarty, to whom both indebted in amount of $3,000. Although James is mentioned throughout the mortgage, and shares in the obligations, only Samuel and wife Nancy signed. [Book R3, p. 44]
15 Nov 1854: Along with Samuel and Nancy Denty, John and Rebecca Williamson, and Wilson Denty, James and Sophia sold 51 ¼ acres to William H. Williamson for $150. According to Court Minutes, this deed was dated 15 Nov 1855; recorded 17 Mar 1856. Land described as adjoining Pohick Road, William Hall, and Mercer’s patent. (Deed says 31 ¼ acres but should read 51 ¼ acres.) [Book X3, p. 195; Minute Book 1855-1858, p. 115]
1 Jan 1859: Pursuant to terms of deed to James C. Denty by John and Mariah Sutherland dated 1 Jan 1851, James sold 116 acres at public auction on 1 Jan 1857. Highest bid was $377 by Thomas Hall, who requested deed be executed to John Rose. [Book B4, p. 134]
17 Oct 1860 CENSUS, Fairfax Co, VA (SO & AR Road): Farmer James Denty with real and personal property valued at $5000 and $2000; wife Sophia; son Alexander age 27, also described as farmer; sons Simeon and J.F. and daughters Emmaline, S.E. (age 21), A.R., Sophia, S.E. (age 9); Frances Barker, age 84. (The 21 year old "S.E." is undoubtedly Frances Elizabeth; the 9 year old is Sabina Ellen.) [Pg 12]
21 Aug 1865: Commissioned Justice. The Minutes contain his actual signature. [Minute Book, p. 204]
"James C. Dentz" included on list of Justices and Judges of Circuit and District Courts in Fairfax Co acting from 1863 to 1867. Listed again in 1867 and 1868. [Netherton et al, Fairfax County: A History, p. 725-726]
20 Mar 1867: "James Denty Esq." inherited the law books of William Ferguson in Fairfax. Arranged by William's widow Jane Ferguson. [J. Baker, 3X5/Orig: Pg 25]
27 Aug 1870 CENSUS, Fairfax Co, VA (Lee Twp, Fairfax Court House PO): Farmer James Denty with real and personal property worth $3000 and $2000; wife Sophia; daughters Elizabeth, Sophia, and Lavina; son James; William Dodson, who "works on farm". [Pg 325]
Will: Written 30 Jun 1870, proved Oct Session 1870. [Will Book B2, p. 4-6: Copy provided by Josette Baker]
At the time of his death on 21 Sep 1870 James Compton Denty owned three separate tracts of land. In addition, inventory dated 4 Nov 1870 included: 5 horses, 14 head of cattle, 6 calves, 28 hogs, 19 sheep, 100 "fowls", 2 wagons, 1 carriage, 1 cart, blacksmith's tools, farm implements and equipment including threshing machine, and bushels of corn, wheat, oats, rye, potatoes, and various furnishings, 1 long boat named "Four Sisters", $4350 cash "on hand", and $2187 in "solvent bonds". Total value of estate appraised by William F. Halley, William L. Lee, and Silas Reid was $9,803.25. [Will Book B2, p. 4-6, 44-46]
James' date of death: 21 Sep 1870. On tombstone in Pohick Cemetery: "In Memory of James C. Denty who Departed this Life September 21, 1870, Aged 62 Years". Gravesite is between church and parish house, very near front entry.
Obituary notice for James Denty ran in the Alexandria Gazette on 21 Sep 1870, then again on 22 Sep 1870. [Alexandria Library, Obituary Notices from the Alexandria Gazette 1784-1915, p. 85/Orig: Pg 2]
25 Jun 1880 CENSUS, Fairfax Co, VA (Lee Township): Sophia Denty, widow 67, keeping house; widow Sophia Barker age 28; laborer James age 23; Sabina 22; grandsons Roger 7 and Joseph 5. (Enumerated next door is family of Alexander Denty.) [ED 35, Sheet 35]
Baptism of Sophia Barker Denty: 15 Apr 1883. [Liddle, p. 113]
Sophia's date of death: 19 Feb 1886. On tombstone in Pohick: "Gone Home, Sophia Denty, Died Feby 19, 1886, Aged 73 Years. Under the Shadow of thy Wing I Take my Rest and Sleep". [Liddle, p. 113; NSDAR]
 Wheat had replaced tobacco as the most important crop as early as 1786, but it wasn’t enough to reverse the downward trend.
 Netherton et al, Fairfax County, Virginia: A History, p. 170.
 Daughter Rebecca might or might not have already been married by 1820.
 Fairfax Deed Book M3, p. 187.
 One of John Wybert Denty’s daughters, i.e. James' aunt, supposedly married a Sutherland.
 His signature appears in the margin of the Court Minute Book, p. 204.
 Netherton et al, Fairfax County: A History, p. 259.
 That deed, if recorded at all, has never been located.
 Charles was the son of daughter Emeline H. Denty Williamson.
 In the 1870 Census, a William Dodson, who "works on farm", was enumerated with the family .
 Cranford United Methodist Church now occupies the site of the older Pohick.
 Separation of church and state came only with the American Revolution. The Anglican Church was the established church of the very English Virginia Colony, its Vestry charged with many functions later assumed by the civil government.
 According to Liddle, the Pohick Church records have 18 August 1832, but Alexander verified October in the 1900 Census.
 Fairfax Herald, 11 Dec 1903, p. 2.
 Fairfax Herald, 3 Dec 1909, p. 2.
 Marie Denty Nesbit, 20 Jul 1885. Photos and wills were also exchanged.
 Fairfax Herald, 14 Oct 1910, p. 2.
Fairfax Herald, 4 Mar 1910, p. 2 and 25 Mar 1910, p. 3.
 Another possibility, of course, would be his uncle James Franklin Denty.
Fairfax Herald, 11 Oct 1912.
 Fairfax Herald, 11 Oct 1912, p. 3.
 Unfortunately her information was sketchy and occasionally inaccurate or the letter would have been included here.
 She had evidently been paying the real estate taxes since 1938, a total of $700.
Top of Page