Monday, April 30, 2007

Ebenezer DENISON and Phebe W. SMITH

[Deacon] Ebenezer DENISON [Sr.] (1774-1856) and his second wife Phebe MOORE (1769-1840)

"Ebenezer DENISON/died/Dec. 20, 1856/Aged 82 years/& 5 MO"
"Phebe/wife of Dea. Ebenzer DENISON/Died April 4, 1840/in the 71st year of her age"

Ebenezer DENISON was then oldest child and oldest son of Isaac DENISON [Sr.] and his wife Eunice WILLIAMS. He was born 10 July 1774 and died 20 Dec 1856; m (1) Jane Branch WILLIAMS and (2) Phebe W. (Moore) SMITH.

He was the father of three children with his first wife Jane, who he married 10 Feb 1798.
Daniel (1800-1802), Ebenezer, Jr. (1802-1869), and Sala B. (1805-1809)
All of his children and both his wives are buried near him.

He was a Deacon of his church and his wife, Phebe, was prominent in organizing Sunday Schools in Stonington. Possibly Phebe was born 5 Nov 1769 daughter of Micah MOORE and his wife Abigail HEMPSTEAD, widow of Ledyard. The current Denison Genealogy states her name as Phebe W. SMITH and the older Baldwin & Clift Denison Genealogy lists her as Phebe M. SMITH.

Phebe's maiden name was MOORE. She was first married to a lawyer, Joseph Parker WICKHAM and upon his death, freed the slaves that he owned. She was a wealthy widow. She next married Edward SMITH, a descendant of the Rev. Nehemiah SMITH, and after he died she married Deac. Ebenezer Denison, Sr. Her only child was with her first husband and was named William E. SMITH, born in Stonington; died in Brooklyn at 75 years.

This accounts for the differences in her name in various sources.

Ebenezer married Phebe ten years after his first wife died on 12 Sept 1816 and the couple had no children together.

Phebe was a stong willed woman of great prominence in the church in her time. She organized the second Sunday School in America, and was widely known for her quick mind and her views on temperance. It is remarkable that she does not have a more prominent gravestone.

Denison Genealogy #1181, pages 42, 81
Baldwin & Clift Dension Genealogy #3200, page 154
Wheeler's History of Stonington, # 399, page 353, 358-359 1850 Federal Census: lives with son Ebenezer, Jr. and his family; is a farmer
Smith, H. Allen. A Genealogical History of the Descendants of the Rev. Nehemiah Smith of New London County, CT. Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons: 1889. pps.108-112.

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