John Tennyson Family

John TENNIS/Tennyson came to America about 1650 from England, possibly with Thomas Gerrard's adventurers to Maryland. The first record of his name in Maryland is in 1651 when he witnessed the will of Nathaniel Stiles. From depostion records taken in 1653, he is thought to have been born about 1628 in Holland. His wife, Elizabeth (maiden name unknown), was an indentured servant to Peter Johnson for five years, but married John Tennisson before her indenture expired. Elizabeth is believed to have been born about 1634 in England. John Tennisson promised to pay Johnson for the time that Elizabeth did not serve. Records have not been fround of that payment.

In 1656 John bought land from Richard Preston in St. Mary's Co., on Leonard's Creek called "Stratupt." In 1667 he bought additional land from Thomas Gerrard. This is where he lived and his homplace was known as "Persimmon Point" and there is a creek in St. Clement's Hundred called "Tennisson's Creek" named for his property line.

John Tennison's name appears in court records several times during the next few years and in 1673 he was before the court and "desired the earmark of his cattle and brand mark for horses" to be a " fire fork with three prongs." But the most interesting court appearance was in 1682 when John was summoned to court on 25h Oct to hear his wife's complaints against her husband. The court records show that "she could not live peaceable and quietly with him .....prayed allowance of competent maintenance might be awarded her." John denied the charges and thought them unreasonable but did confess in court that he never entertained the love and respect for his wife and neither afforded her the countenance in his house due for man to wife. John had banished Elizabeth from his home some 2-3 years earlier. Elizabeth was rewarded one bed and furniture, all wearing apparel and yearly for time to come 300 pounds meat, 3 bushels corn, 100 pounds tobacco, during her natural life. This quite possibly is the first divorce on American soil!!

His will was probated just four months after this court appearance. He appears to be a man of means as the inventory shows he owned Delft china place settings, and apparently was not illiterate as his inventory included two Bibles and several books. At the time of his death he had, among other items, several parcels of land, two slaves and could afford a serving maid who is mentioned in his will.

Elizabeth remarried shortly after John's death to James Green (in 1684) and they soon brought suit aginst Justinian (executor of John's will). James Green continued the suit after Elizabeth's death (1684/1701) to get her portion of John's estate. He eventually won.

Second Generation:

Children of John Tennison I and Elizabeth
Jno. Tennison II (1652-1700) m. Sarah (m. c1675, St. Mary's Co)
Matthew Tennisson (c1653-after 1705) m. Mary Brooks, d/o John Brooks (?-1714)
(living in Charles County in 1705
Mary Tennison (c1655-after 1733) m. William Cheshire
Absalom Tennison (1665-bef. 1694) m. Elizabeth
Justinian (Jesse) Tennisson (c1664-bef 1699) m. Elizabeth Shanks, d/o John & Abigail Shanks

(Elizabeth Tennison, widow of Justinian (Jesse) Tennison, m. 2) Giles Hill, Nov 29, 1700)
(Elizabeth Tennisson, widow of Absalom Tennison m. 2) Charles Watts

Third Generation:

Children of John Tennison II and Sarah
John Tennison III (c1675-?)
Abraham Tennison (1676-c1737) m. Mary
Absolom Tennisson (c1682-?)

Fourth Generation:

Children of Abraham Tennison and Mary
John Tennisson (c1700-1760) m. Susanna (no children)
Absolom Tennisson (c1701-c1768) m. Joanna (c1700-c1769)
Joseph Tennisson (c1702-?) (removed to VA)
Joshua Tennison (c1704-?) (removed to VA)
Matthew Tennison (c1706-?)
Anne Tennisson (c1708-?) m. Millard (bef. 1759)
Mary Tennison (c1710-?) (not known if she married)
Susanna Tennisson (c1712-?)

(John Tennisson IV and Susanna leased "Mulberry Fields," "Redmans Adventure," and "The Outlet."

Fifth Generation:

Children of Absolom Tennisson and Joanna
John Tennisson (c1727-bef. 1768) m. Elizabeth Stevens, a widow (?-1771, St. Mary's Co)
Justinian (Jesse) Tennisson (c1729-after 1776, possibly in Rev. War)
Christian Tennisson (c1731-aft. 1768) m. James White (moved to NC) (m. before 1768)
Sarah Tennisson (c1733-?) m. James Doxey
Sabra Tennisson (1735-?) m. Unknown Cossar
Abraham Tennisson (c1740-1825, NC) m. Mary Stevens (1740-aft 1820, NC),
d/o John and Elizabeth Stevens
Ann Tennison (was unmarried in 1768)
Thomas Tennisson (c1735/40-?)

Sixth Generation Children of John Tennisson and Elizabeth Stevens
Absolom Tennisson (c1765, MD - aft.1840, Davidson Co, TN)

(Absolom moved to NC before the Rev War. He was a soldier in the Rev War in NC with Yarboro's Company as a Private for twelve months)

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