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Willie, Denison and Abbott Families of Bishop's Stortford, Co. Herts, England

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: Jan 1936 [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: Abbott, Denison, Willie source
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not yet finished. Smith-32867 09:03, 5 August 2017 (EDT)



Spencer Miller, "Willie, Denison and Abbott Families of Bishop's Stortford, Co. Herts, England," in New York Genealogical & Biographical Record, Jan 1934: pp 46-55.


The author conducted personal research of parish records in 30 parishes in/near Bishop's Stortford covering the years 1630-1640.

Extracted Genealogical Information


  • John Denison (father of PGM immigrant William Denison of Roxbury, MA) died of the plague and was buried in BS 4 Dec 1582, leaving widow Agnes who married John Gase (Gace) 1 May 1584.
    • Agnes was not a sister of Thomas Miller, Bridgett Abbott or Margaret Hake. Her maiden name was Willie.
  • John Denison and wife Agnes moved from Thorley to Bishop's Stortford, where their children are recorded:
    • 3 Aug 1567: Luce Denyzen bpt; bur 9 Sep 1582
    • 3 Feb 1571: Will'm Denyson bpt; m 7 nov 1603 Margaret Monck; children bpt B.S.:
      • 7 Apr 1605: John bpt
      • 5 Oct 1606: Willia[m?]
      • 15 Oct 1609: George Denison (looks like further records of his children and his own death in B.S.)
      • 18 Oct 1612 Daniel Dennison
      • 8 Oct 1615 Sarah Denison daught'r of Willm and Margaret; bur. 15 Oct 1618
      • 3 Nov 1616: Edward Denison (son of Wm & Marg.)
      • 10 Dec 1620 George Dennson (son of Wm & Marg.)
    • 6 Apr 1575: Edward Denyson bpt; m. bef 1603; ch bpt B.S.:
      • 19 Feb 1603[/4?] Anne Denysen
      • 24 Nov 1604 Susan Denyson
      • 18 Sep 1608 Elizabeth Denezen
      • 13 Sep 1612 John Dennison
    • 28 Apr 1577: Mary Denyson bpt
    • 23 Aug 1579: Elizabeth Denyson bpt
    • 17 Mar 1582[/3?]: George Denison [posthumous/] son of John bpt.
  • 4 Dec 1582: John Denison buried B.S.

Willie / Wylley

  • Records of the family found in parish records of Thorley, where parish records began 1539:
    • Rev. Robert Wylly rector 1474-1493; may have been grandfather of:
    • 30 Oct 1540: John Willie m. Joan Marsead [Spencer mis-read the parish records; her last name was Marshall.]
    • 4 Aug 1541: John Willie, baptized
    • 8 Nov 1543 Emmerit Willie baptized (possibly intended for Emma and possibly changed to Agnes)
    • 13 Nov 1548: Mary Willie, baptized
    • 1 Feb 1551: Bridgett Willie baptized
    • 11 May 1561: John Denison married Agnes willie
    • 21 Jul 1583 Joan Willie, dau of EdwRd (son of John Willie) bapt. Witnesses: George Willie, Susanna Adams
    • 13 Sept 1583: Mary Dennison, dau of William (bro. of John Denison), bap
  • In Bishop's Stortford:
    • 27 Apr 1580: Elizabeth Welly buried

1545: Agnes Wylley (of Thorley) and her son John pay'd subsidy tax in Thorley; John Willeye of Thorley paid subside tax. John Willey paid 22 shillings in Stortford; Edward Willey paid 3 shillings, 4 pence in Stortford

This demonstrates two separate Willie families (with similar names)-- one in Thorley; one in BS.

1548: John Wylley (of Thorley) Senior, buys of (his son) John Wylley, Jun. (probably a mortgage)3 messuages and land in Thorley. This probably means John Jr, having a family, takes the old home giving a mtg. to his father.

1555: 13 June: will of Agnes Wylleye of Thorley leaves everything to her son John Wylleye (prob the Agnes Wylley who paid subsidy tax 1545 Thorley. )

1560: John Wylley (perhaps of Thorley) buys of Thos.& Joan Chandler lands in Thorley

1563:John Denyzon (and Agnes Wylley) buy a home and land in Stortford of John Chaundeler and wife Joan

1573 Richd Wylley buys 3 messuages & land in Stortford from Wm. Pilston and Joan

1573: Richd Wllye (son of John who died about 1558) & Wm Pilston wife Joan sells to Thos. Crabbe cottage in Stortford

1582:John Denison died of the plague leaving Agnes(Willie) his widow in Stortford.

1583: 21 July: JoanWillie da. of Edward (bro. of Agnes) bpt in Thorley; witness George Willey (bro of Agnes)

1585: John Wryghte buys of Rich. Wylley and Agnes his wife in Thorley

1586: Edward Wylley (of Thorley) Elizabet his wife sells land in Thorley

1586: Edward & Elizabeth Wyllye (of Thorley) sell lands in Thorley

1590: John Helham buys of Rich Wyllye & Agnes two messuages and land in Thorley

1596: John Gace [husband of Agnes Wylley Denison] & Thos. Miller: (buys of) George Abbott & Bridget his wife, Edward Hake gent. and Margaret, his wife, two messuages and land in Bishop's Stortford.

1602: John Gace bur. 2 Sept; his will mentions "Maister Thomas Miller and George Abbott.

1610: Will of Nicholas Brett of Much Hadham Co Herts, mentions dau Mary Willie & her husband George Willy

1612: Will of George Willey of Thorley dated 10 Sep1612; mentions wife Mary

Genealogical Summary

John Wylley Senior of Thorley; m. Agnes:

  • John Willie, d 1574/5; m. 30 Oct 1540 Joan Marsead [sic; should be Marshall]; children:
    • John,, bp 4 Aug 1541
    • Emmeret(?) bp 8 Nov 1543
    • Agnes, bp ___;mJohnDenison, 11May 1561
    • Mary, bp 13 Nov 1548; m.. Edward Ducket 18 Oct 1579
    • Bridgett, bp 1 Feb 1551; m George Abbott (s/o William) abt 1580 & d 13 Aug 1625, widow and antiente. George bur Stortford 11 Jan 1619. Six children including:
      • George bpt 28 May 1587 who m Elizabeth and had:
        • George bpt 22 May 1617,d 24 Dec 1681 Andover, Mass.
    • Edward,mentioned in will; m.Elizabeth Jardfield 18 Jan 1581; he d 1615.
    • George,mentioned in will; m Mary Brett of Little Hadham 1683, dau of Nicholas; d 1612
    • Grace mentioned in will; m 16 Oct 1580 Richard Walker one dau Anne; Grace bur 29 Nov 1583.


See also:

  • Spencer Miller, NYGBR July 1930: (ancestors of George Abbott (b1614)

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