John Denny


John Denny was born before 1750. This individual was an officer in the Revolutionary army and may have been the person called "Captain John Denny."

In 1767, the name of John Denny appeared on the rosters of two separate Schenectady-based militia companies.

In October 1770, he married "Ellenner (possibly aka Penelope) Leede" (perhaps she was a Lydius) at the Dutch church in Schenectady. At that time, they were "both of Schenectady. A daughter was christened at the Albany Dutch church in October 1778.

In June 1775, John Denny sent a communication to the Albany Committee from Schenectady. It seems to have included infomation taken from his recent trip to Montreal. By the following June, he had been commissioned an ensign and then lieutenant in the First New York regiment. At the end of 1776, his superiors evaluated their officers. Denny, second lieutenant in the first company, was said to be "very good." He may have served until 1778. In May 1784, his former commander Goose Van Schaick, submitted an affidavit to the War Department in support of Denny's service. We seek more information on his wartime activities.

He may have been the John Denny whose large (ten people) household was configured on the Schenectady census in 1790. Or, perhaps his was one of the three other John Denny's whose households were listed in Dutchess County at that time.

By the late 1790s, he had settled in Albany. However, his name and holdings does not appear to have been considered on the city assessment roll in 1799.

However, in 1800, his first ward household included eight children and a couple who were over forty-five years old. A decade later, the Albany census listing for his household still included young children.

John Denny is said to have died in 1812. In 1813, the first Albany city directory listed two married and/or widowed Denny women. One was widow Penelope - an innkeeper at 30 Eagle Street. In January 1831, "Penelope, wife of Capt. John of Revolutionary Army ," was buried in the Episcopal cemetery plot.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of John Denny is CAP biography number 3932. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.

The affidavit dated May 3, 1784 is cited as note #19 on page 133 of Ted Egly's Goose Van Schaick. The document is from the microfilmed papers of the Continental Congress as cited therein.

In 1810, the names of two other, younger John Dennys were listed on the Albany census.

posted: 3/5/09