Transylvanian Dutch blog

Denyer Family excerpt from Fretz Family History

Excerpt from A Brief History of John and Christian Fretz and a Complete Genealogical Family Register With Biographies of their Descendants from the Earliest Available Records to the Present Time – by Rev A.J. Fretz of Milton N.J. copyright 1890. Mennonite Publishing Co. Elkhart, Indiana. pp. 326-333.

Roman numerals are used to indicate generations.

[Note: Editorial changes in the below include spacing to make it more readable online, and the spelling out of most abbreviations. Variations from modern spelling were preserved. Otherwise the text is the same, and any differences are the result of typing error. Endnotes are my own. – John Newmark, 2007]

II. Mark Fretz (son of Weaver John and Maria) was born in Bedminster Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in December 1750. He died February 24, 1840, aged 89 years and about two months. Married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Henry and Barbara Rosenberger, of New Britain Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, May 11, 1773. She was born September 19, 1752; died January 10, 1847, aged 94 years, 3 months, 22 days. They lived in New Britain Township, Bucks County, on the place now known as “Curley’s Mill,” which he purchased of John Fretz of Warwick, in 1792. The tract consisted of 130 acres. To this he added by other purchases until he owned several hundred acres. He was extensively engaged as a farmer and in the milling business. They were members of the Mennonite church at Line Lexington, of which he was a deacon. Children: Barbara, Maria, Elizabeth, Infant daughter, Henry, Infant daughter, Mark.

III. Barbara Fretz, born in Bucks County, April 21, 1775; died in Brazoria County, Texas, June 10, 1840, aged 65 years, 1 month, 20 days. She was buried between two trees. Married John Sliver. Brickmason. In early life she was a member of the Mennonite church, and later united with the Methodist Episcopal church, of which she remained a consistent member until her death. Their only child was

(IV.) Elizabeth Sliver, born in New Britain Township, Bucks County, February 20, 1798; died in Gonzales, Texas, August 10, 1840. Married William Denyer, May 31, 1821. He was born in the county of Southampton, Hampshire, England, November 22, 1794; died in Louisiana, March 14, 1848. In early life he was a cabinet maker in Baltimore, Maryland. After marriage he was a farmer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, later he burned lime from oyster shells, in Philadelphia, was in ice business, rafted lumber down the Schuylkill river, boated on the Schuylkill canal, run saw and grist mill in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, and engaged in whip-sawing at New Albany, Indiana. While there he was taken sick, and went to Louisiana for his health. In 1839 he settled with his family near Brazoria, Texas. In 1840 he moved to Gonzales County, Texas, and in 1841 to Louisiana, and traveled as an itinerant minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, until his death. Mr. and Mrs. Denyer were earnest Christians, and endeavored faithfully to bring up their family under the influence of the Christian religion, and lead them heavenward. Children: Samuel, Elizabeth, Ebenezer, Jane, William, Ross.

V. Samuel Jennings Denyer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, May 22, 1822. Married Zerelda Ann Singleton, of Louisiana, October 17, 1849. During his eventful life he was variously occupied. He attended the Methodist Seminary at New Albany, Indiana, two or three years, was a good English and Latin scholar, taught school for a number of years, surveyed lands, and practiced law at Galesburg, Illinois, where he held the office of Notary Public. In June 1841, he joined a Volunteer Company in the “Santa Fe Expedition” under General Hugh McLeod. After undergoing many hardships, the expedition reached their destination in September, with the commissioners who were to treat with the Mexicans. They were received with every appearance of friendship. A bountiful meal provided, and while they were enjoying it they were disarmed by the treacherous Mexicans, taken prisoners, and marched barefooted, with bleeding feet that stained the stones and snow, at every step, and were driven into sheep cotes, with one blanket for bed and covering. When on the march they were required to keep up with the mounted officers, or be cut down by their captors. Mr. Denyer, in helping one of his comrades, who was near fainting from fatigue and weakness, to some water, got a little behind and received a cut from a sword in his side, the scar of which he carried to the grave. He was imprisoned at Puebla, where he remained nearly a year. In the spring of 1843, he returned to Pennsylvania, working his passage to New York. In 1858 he moved to Burnett County, and from there to Llano County, Texas, where he followed stock-raising. April 30, 1861, while out hunting for a lost cow, he was treacherously shot by an Indian. At the time of his death he was preparing himself for the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. Zerelda, his wife, died in 1867. The following is a poem composed and dedicated to the memory of “Mother,” beloved wife of Samuel J. Denyer, by their youngest child, Mrs. Ida E.S. Green.

Mother! Ah, how oft that name
Our loving hearts have thrilled,
It soothes to rest in hours of pain,
Though death her pulse has stilled.

In life we were her constant care;
And often while we slept,
She o’er bent in silent prayer,
While Indians through our barley crept.

They had her loved companion slain,
Disguised in white-men’s clothes.
Whom he mistook for neighboring friends,
Till they had strung their bows.

And then upon that April morn,
When death his frame had chilled,
She stood beside that lifeless form,
Her heart with anguish filled.

And when we laid him in the tomb,
And sadly turned away,
Our mother knew that she alone,
Must guard us night and day.

Nor did she through those years of grief
E’er murmur or repine,
But sought in prayer that sweet relief
Which true believers find.

And when consumption seized her child,
The first that God had given,
She closed in death those eyes so mild,
And said, “We’ll meet in heaven.”

One year elapsed, then mother left,
To join the host above,
And four small children were bereft
Of either parents’ love.

And now those loved ones round the throne
Are beckoning us away;
Dear brothers, sisters, kindred ones,
Let us the call obey.

Yes! Let us follow in the path
This noble woman trod;
Perform our duty here on earth,
But lean upon our God.

Santa Maria, Texas, October 8, 1889.
There were born to Samuel J. and Zerelda A Denyer the following children: Herminie, Amanda, Robert, Sherwood, Ida.

VI. Herminie Aurelia Denyer, born December 20, 1850; died February 18, 1866.

VI. Amanda Jane Denyer, born April 4, 1853. Married Walter P. Brannon, February 18, 1874. Farmer. Children:

(VII.) Ella Geneva Brannon, born March 8, 1875.
(VII.) John Brannon.
(VII.) George Brannon, born __; died in 1888.
(VII.) Lauretta Ann Brannon.
(VII.) Archie Brannon.
(VII.) Clifford Brannon.
(VII.) Cornelius Irving Brannon.

VI. Robert C.H. Denyer, born at New Iberia, Parish Iberia, Louisiana, November 10, 1854. Married Jennie, daughter of Rev. T.G. Wildman, of Medina County, Texas, October 6, 1881. Farmer, seventeen miles South-west of San Antonia, Texas. Attend the Baptist Church. Mr. Denyer is a charter member of the “Farmer’s Alliance,” doorkeeper of the “Alma Alliance No. 2227.” In 1889 he was elected Vice President of Bexar County, Allliance. Children:

(VII.) Lulu Lee Denyer, born August 12, 1882.
(VII.) Minnie May Denyer, born June 6, 1884.
(VII.) Samuel Arthur Denyer, born April 25, 1886.
(VII.) Thomas Hilliard Denyer, born July 21, 1888.

VI. Albert Sherwood Denyer, born near New Iberia, Louisiana, November 27, 1856. Married --. Has been engineer on boat, worked in bell foundry, etc. Children:

(VII.) Charles.
(VII.) Jessie.

VI. Ida E. Sammie Denyer, born near New Iberia, Louisiana, January 2, 1859. Married L.L. Green, November 14, 1882. Farmer in Cameron County, Texas. Members of the Missionary Baptist Church, of which Mr. Green is a deacon. Children:

(VII.) Ida Green, born May 20, 1884.
(VII.) Lewis Lamar Green, Jr., born June 10, 1886; died September 13, 1886.
(VII.) Ola Green, born December 22, 1887.

V. Elizabeth Ann Denyer, born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, November 29, 1825. Married John Pratt, in Gonzales County Texas, July 18, 1841. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland about 1806; died January 6, 1871. He came to Texas in 1837. He was a volunteer in the Texas Army of 1837, which was stationed at Galveston, where it was finally disbanded without having been called into active service. He was honorably discharged and received a certificate for a “head-right” of 640 acres of land, and a bounty claim for 1280 acres, both tracts located at different points on the Sandes river, in Gonzales County. Mrs. Pratt is a faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Children: Minerva, Emily, Maria.

VI. Minerva Ann Pratt, born in Gonzales County, Texas, March 13, 1846. Married Joseph McAfee Coulter, September 25, 1867. Farmer in Texas. Members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Children:

(VII.) Emma Coulter, born February 4, 1869; died September 4, 1873.
(VII.) Mary Mazilla Coulter, born October 6, 1871.
(VII.) Joseph McAfee Coulter, born July 12, 1874.
(VII.) Morrison John Scott Coulter, born February 17, 1877.
(VII.) Iola May Coulter, born June 17, 1880.
(VII.) Minerva Ann Coulter, born October 2, 1883.
(VII.) Arrena Elizabeth Coulter, born August 17, 1886.

VI. Emily Pratt, born December 28, 1848; died April 17, 1853.

VI. Maria Denyer Pratt, born in Gonzales County, Texas, November 23, 1852. Married DeWitt Mason, August 25, 1874. He is a distant relative of DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York, and also of General Winfield Scott. Farmer in Gonzales County, Texas. Members of the Missionary Baptist Church. Children:

(VII.) Fletcher Stockdale Mason, born June 21, 1875.
(VII.) Sarah Priscilla Mason, born March 4, 1878.
(VII.) Eveline Mason, born January 16, 1881.
(VII.) Charles Tate Mason, born January 2, 1884.
(VII.) John Pratt Mason, born September 2, 1886.

V. Ebenezer Opham Denyer, born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, May 20, 1828; died March 20, 1872. Married Sarah Ann Heartley, in 1854.—Mr. Denyer served in the Mexican War of 1848, with Captain Henry McCohlogh, and was with the Ohio Rangers for several years. About 1858, he moved to Onion Creek, Hays County, Texas, where he remained until the breaking out of the Civil War, when, after moving his wife to her mother's home in Eastern Texas, he joined the 2nd, Texas Company Volunteers, mustered at Marcos, Hays County, in the summer of 1861, and served throughout the war in the Confederate service. He was taken prisoner at Vicksburgh, Mississippi, was exchanged, and laid in the hospital at Galveston until the close of the war. On arriving at home in the fall of 1865, he found everything gone; house burned, cattle stolen, and himself in feeble health -- But being a man of iron will, he at once set to work as he had never done before. He got a few things together and moved to Major E. Nonces on the Rio Blanco River, Hays County, Texas and went to work for him, continuing in his employ most of the time up to his death.—Dr. Denyer, was an “honest, straight forward man, trusted and respected by all who knew him.” He was a farmer and he and wife were members of the Baptist Church. Children: Mary, Samuel, Margaret, Ezekiel.

VI. Mary Susan Denyer, born --; died in infancy.

VI. Samuel William Denyer, born in Hays County, Texas, October 23, 1866. Married Alice Cumile Gallihor, December 23, 1883. Farmer. Children:

(VII.) William Ebenezer Denyer, born February 2, 1885; died January 19, 1889.
(VII.) Alfred Victor Denyer born June 6, 1886.
(VII.) Arthur Denyer, born May 8, 1888.

VI. Margaret Jane McAlpin Monteroy Denyer, born in Hays County, Texas, September 1, 1868. Married M.E. Van Every, of San Marcos, August 29, 1883. Wool Grower. Children:

(VII.) Minnie Ray Van Every, born July 6, 1884.
(VII.) Samuel U. Van Every, born January 15, 1886.
(VII.) A daughter born April 4, 1888; died April 21, 1888.

VI. Ezekiel Ebenezer Denyer, born April 5, 1870; died May 20, 1870.

V. Jane Goldfinch Denyer, born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, April 24, 1831. Married Henry Johnson, of St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana, in 1850. Carpenter, and Book agent, in Hays County, Texas. Christians. Children: Martha, William, Eliza, Sarah, Zerelda, Albert, James, Susie.

VI. Martha Alice Johnson, born September 22, 1851. Married Zephraim Lagrange, February 10, 1869. Farmer in Atacosa County, Texas. Mr. Lagrange, Roman Catholic. Children:

(VII.) Eleanor Jane Lagrange, born November 23, 1870.
(VII.) Henry Zephraim Lagrange, born November 21, 1872.
(VII.) Bertha Eliza Lagrange, born February 28, 1875.
(VII.) Lillie Euphemia Lagrange, born September 20, 1878.
(VII.) Mary Augusta Lagrange, born January 9, 1883.
(VII.) Joseph D. Lagrange, born April 20, 1885.
(VII.) John Allen Lagrange, born December 6, 1887.

VI. William Henry Johnson, born October 8, 1854; died February 16, 1855.

VI. Eliza Jane Johnson, born April 20, 1856. Married Harry B Jenkins, November 29, 1877. Farmer in Hays County, Texas. Christian. Children:

(VII.) Dora Jane Jenkins, born September 2, 1878.
(VII.) Otto Cecil Jenkins, born July 11, 1880.
(VII.) Laura Irene Jenkins, born December 25, 1882.
(VII.) Frederick Henry Jenkins, born December 12, 1884.
(VII.) Albert Victor Jenkins, born January 13, 1887.

VI. Sara Elizabeth Johnson, born February 16, 1859. Married John E. Jenkins, June 1, 1887. Farmer. Mrs. Jenkins, Christian. One child: (VII.) Iola Jane Jenkins.

VI. Zerelda Ann Johnson, born June 26, 1862; died August 25, 1886.

VI. Albert Henry Johnson, born August 8, 1865. Barber by trade; at present farmer. Christian. S. (1889).

VI. James Lyons Johnson, born May 26, 1869; died June 26, 1887.

VI. Susie Arabella Johnson, born July 31, 1873.

V. William Sliver Denyer, born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, October 17, 1834. Married Dilly Susanna Corley, of Louisiana, in 1861. She and their two children died in 1863. Mr. Denyer, was in the United States Army during the late war, in Company A, First Regiment. Louisiana Cavalry, and served as Quarter Master of that command. His services were principally rendered in the State of Louisiana, during General Banks’ Campaign on the Red river, and at New Orleans. He was in several battles in that campaign. At Yellow Bayou, Louisiana, his horse was shot and instantly killed under him, and in an engagement on Chaffalia he was wounded in the forehead. He remained in the service until his discharge in 1864. – In 1865 he married his second wife, Nancy Emeline Rhodes of Fayette County, Illinois. Farmer at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Missionary Baptists. One child:

VI. Andre J. Denyer, born in Fayette County, Illinois, November 20, 1865. Married Sophronia Gardner, March 3, 1889. Farmer in Arkansas. Member of the “Church of Christ.”

V. Leonidas Ross Denyer, born in New Albany, Indiana, July 26, 1837; died November 4, 1837.

III. Maria Fretz, born November 16, 1778; died July 7, 1779.

Additional Notes (2007, John Newmark):
1) In 1870, the orphaned children of Samuel and Zerelda Denyer were living with their uncle and aunt, Ebenezer and Sarah Denyer. (source: 1870 census,

2) Margaret Jane Denyer and Melvin E Van Every were married in Buda, Texas by Rev. Roach. Melvin Van Every was born on August 30, 1863 in Middleville, Michigan. Their children included:

Minnie Ray, born July 6, 1884 in San Marcos, TX
Samuel Opham, born Jan 15, 1886 in San Marcos, TX
Abigail, born April 7, 1888 in San Marcos, TX. Died April 21, 1888.
Willa Ann, born Jan 29, 1890 in Maxwell, TX. Married Lexington Roberts. Died Jan 8, 1916.
Delbert, born Jan 29, 1890 in Maxwell, TX. Died Jan 29, 1890.
Eva Seyvelle, born March 21, 1892 in Chandler OK
Melvin Theodore, born May 15, 1898 in Maxwell, TX. Died May 11, 1899
Myrtle Ethel, born March 21, 1900 in Maxwell, TX.
(source: Family Record sheet)

3) William Denyer’s parents were probably William Denyer and Jane Goldfinch.

Marriage Record: Denyer, William, of Farlington, lime-burner, 21, bachelor, & Jane Goldfinch, of Portsea, 21, spinster, at P., 22 Oct 1791. (Source: Hampshire: Marriage License allegations, Bishop of Winchester, 1689-1837 - Allegations for Marriage Licenses in Hampshire, in the Registry of the Bishop of Winchester. - Volume 3.)

It is assumed these are the parents of the William Denyer who married Elizabeth Sliver based on three reasons. 1) William(2) and Elizabeth Denyer had a daughter named Jane Goldfinch Denyer. 2) William(1) Denyer and Jane Goldfinch were married in 1791, 3 years prior to William(2) Denyer’s birth. 3) William (2) Denyer was born in Hampshire.