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William Dent (abt. 1660 - 1704)

Lt Col William Dent
Born about in Westbury Manor, (Present Andover Estates), St. Mary's County, Province of Marylandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married 8 Feb 1685 in Charles County, Marylandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 44 in Nanjemoy, Charles, Marylandmap
Profile last modified | Created 31 May 2011
This page has been accessed 2,751 times.



Colonel William Dent [1]

1660 Birth

William Dent was born about 1660 in St. Mary’s County, the eldest son of Thomas and Rebecca (Wilkinson) Dent. [1]

William, son of Judge Thomas, was born 1660 [2]

  • Christening: 1660, St Mary's, Maryland, USA


  • Colonel/Planter/Attorney

1682 Attorney

In 1682 he was an attorney for the Charles County Court and in 1684 an attorney for the Maryland Provincial Court. [1]

William became an attorney, and began a life of public service. [2]

1684 Marriage

On February 8, 1684 he married Elizabeth Fowke, the daughter of Anne Chandler Fowke and the deceased Colonel Gerard Fowke by the Rev. John Turnlinge, first rector of Durham Parish. [1]

He married Elizabeth Brooks, and then Elizabeth Fowke, the daughter of Col. Fowke and Ann Thorowgood, on 08 February 1683/84 in Charles Co.. [2]

1686 Public Service

He served as Clerk of the Lower House of the Maryland General Assembly from 1686 to 1688 and then Solicitor General from 1688 to 1689 and then in 1694. He served in the Upper and Lower Houses of the Maryland General Assembly from 1692 to 1704. He also served as the Deputy Attorney General of the Maryland Province from 1694 to 1698 and then Attorney General from 1698 to 1704. He was a member of the Vestry of Durham Parish in 1696. In 1698 he served on the Court of Admiralty and in 1704 Commissary General. By 1704 he was appointed a member of the Privy Council.[1]

1694 Military Service

He served in the early Indian wars and was known as Col. William Dent. [2]

From 1694 to 1704 he was a Naval Officer of the North Potomac. [1]

Trade and Property

William Dent maintained a store at his Nanjemoy Plantation, acquired vast amounts of lands and maintained a home in Annapolis. [1]

He amassed quite a lot of property, and his worth was considerable. His properties included a plantation on the Nanjemoy in Charles Co, a townhouse in Annapolis, well-stocked plantations on the Mattawoman in Prince Georges Co, and another farm at Port Tobacco Cliffs. [2]

Durham Parish

He gave the Communion Silver still in use at Durham Church inscribed “The Gift of William Dent, Esq., to Durham Parish.” He was the father of nine children, two of whom are buried in the Durham Church Cemetery (Gerard Dent and Anne Dent).[1]

1704 Death

William Dent died in 1704 [2] leaving at least 6,000 acres of property. At the time of the writing of his will he had bequeathed to wife Elizabeth the homestead at Nanjemoy and a life interest in the mill and the following tracts of land: “St. Barbay’s,” “Wheelers’ Palm,” and “Thomkinson’s Long Look For,” all of which were to revert to their youngest son Philip. [1]

  • Eldest son Thomas would inherit the dwelling plantation plus “Whitehaven” of 894 acres and the lodge.
  • He along with his brother, George, received the residue of “Lawrell Branch” at Mattawoman.
  • Son George Dent was also devised the plantation at Port Tobacco containing 300 acres and also “Harrison’s Gift” of 118 acres, three unnamed tracts and the residue of “Harrison’s Gift” at Popes Creek.
  • Son Peter Dent was devised 523 acres of “Friendship,” and 400 acres of “Gisborough.”
  • Wife Elizabeth was also given the plantation at Mattawoman and 500 acres of adjoining land.


William Dent of Nanjemy, Chas. Co., made his will on 2 Oct 1702, probated 13 Feb 1704:

  • Plantation at Nanjemy, where I now live, and all lands with the mill and land at River Side called St. Barleys of 500 acres, Wheelers Palm, adjoining of 150 acres, Thompkinsons long lookt for adjoining 200 acres, to wife Elizabeth, also all my English servants, negroes, furniture. After her decease, said land and land by me taken up at Matta-woman, the upper side called Whitehaven, containing 834 acres to son Thomas, as well as negroes.
  • To son George plantation at Port Tobacco, where Richard Edgard lives and all land adjoining bought of Thomas Warner, of 300 acres, of Thomas Baker part of Harrisons Gift 109 acres, of Anthony Smith and wife 113 acr. of Thomas Baker 118 acres, of A. Baker 125 acres, the other part of Harrisons Gift about 888 acres lying on Popes Creek as well as silver- tankard, half of my study of Books, and negroes,
  • To son Peter Dent 1/3 part of land between Coll. Addison Mr. Hutchinson and myself lying in Prince Georges Co., 1569 acres called Friendship, Mr. Hutchinson having already given him his 1/3 part, also that land that fell to me by the death of my Bro. George Dent lying just below the Eastern branch called Gainsborough, of 400 acres, as well as negroes.
  • To my little daughter Elizabeth Dent plantation at Matta-woman, 500 acres of land, negroes, and £150 to be paid out of my money in Mr. Jonathan Mathews hands in London.
  • Youngest son Phillip Dent at decease of my wife land called St. Barberys and negroes.
  • Remaining land at Mattawoman, called Lawrell branch and land I bought of Mark Lampton, to sons Thomas and George.
  • Money remaining in hands of my correspondents, interests in ships and cargoes, etc., to be divided equally between my wife and five children at age of 21, except Betty (at her day of marriage or at 18 years of age).
  • £5 to Nanjemy Church.

Wife Elizabeth, sons Thomas and George Dent executors.

In codicil of 1 Mar, 1703/4: All my effects shall be drawn into Jonathan Mathers of London hands, .if he be dead, my Estate shall be settled in the hands of Captain John Hyde, Merchant in London. Effects I have at Liverpool, in the hands of Mr. Rich Hughton. Whereas Governor Blackstone gave me a silver Monteth bowle with my Coate of Arms and an Inscription Ingraven and I give it to Thomas Dent for ever.

Proved Court Md. T. B. 2, 475, Chas. Co. Wills, A 2, 240. [3]

Peter Dent's will directs that his daughter Rebecca of Jane, is to live with grandfather Joseph Gray. Rebecca inherits “Taunton” in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.

On 18 April 1815, Peter Dent’s grandson William deeded to Joseph Gray and John Gray a portion of land called "Friendship".


Date: 17 FEB 1705
Place: Charles County, Maryland


The children of Col. William Dent and his wife, Elizabeth Fowke are:

  1. Capt. Thomas, [2]
  2. William, [2]
  3. Elizabeth, [2]
  4. Gerard, [2]
  5. Col. George, [2]
  6. Anne, [2]
  7. Peter, [2]
  8. Philip, [2]
  9. Elizabeth. [2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 The Historical Society of Charles County, Maryland, The Dents of Friendship, Accessed May 3, 2017 jhd
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Harriet Moore. The Dent Family. USGenWeb Archives. Accessed May 3, 2017. jhf
  3. The Dent Family, comp. by Lillian McMillan Reis, publ. 1906, pp. 19-22

See also:

  • Source: S32 Title: Adventurers of Purse and Person 1607-1624/5 Abbreviation: AP&P Author: Dorman, John Frederick;Virginia M. Meyer Publication: The Dietz Press, Inc., Richmond, VA, 1987
  • Source: S7 Title: The Maryland Dents Abbreviation: Newman, Dent Author: Newman, Harry Wright Publication: Dietz Press, Richmond, VA, 1963
  • Newman, Harry Wright, Charles County Gentry, Clearfield Company, Inc, 2002 edition, pages 11-14.
  • H. Chandlee Forman. Old Buildings, Gardens, and Furniture in Tidewater Maryland. Cambridge, Maryland: Tidewater Publishers, 1967.
  • Historical Society of Charles County, Inc. Historic Sites Files. Southern Maryland Studies Center, College of Southern Maryland.
  • J. Richard Rivoire. A Tract History of the Nanjemoy Nature Reserve, Charles County, Maryland. March 1993.
  • Roberts, Gary Boyd, Notable Kin, Volume 2, Santa Clarita, California: Carl Boyer, 3rd (1999), 197.
  • Roberts, Gary Boyd, The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (2008), 438.
  • Source: S7 Newman, Harry Wright The Maryland Dents Dietz Press, Richmond, VA, 1963
  • Vol III Skordas
  • Newton, Harry Wright; “Charles County Gentry”. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1971, Baltimore. Page 16 and 48.
  • FamilySearch Tree

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Comments: 6

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Was he actually married to Jane Pittman, or did he just have a child by her? If the latter, she should be detached as wife with a note in the biography as to their relationship (with link to her profile).
My understanding per sources is they were married.
posted by Barbara (Gray) Cutter
Barbara, what sources indicate the marriage?
Dent-1401 and Dent-144 appear to represent the same person because: These are the same person
posted by Barbara (Gray) Cutter
Dent-147 and Dent-1401 appear to represent the same person because: Same birth, same wife, same death. Please merge. Thanks.
posted by Vic Watt
Dent-144 and Dent-802 appear to represent the same person because: Same Person, please merge