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LEVI H. DENNIS of Overton County, TN and Allen County, KY
information from Rick Tidwell



I recently came across your website, and may have some DENNIS information you'd interested in.  I have been researching Levi H. Dennis of Overton County, TN.  I believe my gg grandfather may be his oldest son, John H. Dennis listed in the 1860 Overton County, TN census as he is correct age.  John H. worked for the Railroad and moved to Nashville between 1860 and 1865. 

Levi H. Dennis moved from Overton County, TN to Allen County, KY between 1860 and 1870 (probably due to the war).

 Levi’s wife was named Rebecca LYONS.

 1860 Overton County, TN Census:

 Levi H. Dennis           45        Farmer           NC

Rebecca                    42                                TN

John H.                       21                                TN  (See story below about John's death in 1899)

Mary                            17                                TN

William A.                   15                                TN  (your ancestor – father of John Levi)

Sheridan                    11                                TN  (Sherd or Sherod)

Henry                          8                                  TN

James                        6                                  TN

 1870 Allen County, KY Census:

Dennis, Levi H.          55        NC      Grist Miller

Rebecca                    49        TN      

Mary                            27        TN

Sheridan                    20        TN

Henry F                       18        TN

James H                     15        TN

 Levi is living next door to his 24 year old son William Dennis, born in TN.  (your ancestor)

 Also listed in the 1880 and 1900 census.

 Please find attached the Death Records for 2 of William A.’s sisters.  (You have listed as Levi’s sisters – actually his daughters.)  Unfortunately, the year of William, Levi, and Rebecca’s deaths in Allen County are not yet indexed (or may be damaged)…waiting.

 Levi is either the son of older Levi DENNIS (1778) of Caswell County, NC and Overton Co, TN and Susan ??.  He is usually listed as such, but could be son of one of Levi’s brothers.  No definitive information I have seen yet.  Levi is the son of John TENNISON of MD and Caswell NC.  Old Levi’s mother (first wife of John Tennison) is unknown also, but is purported to be Cherokee or some other Indian.  Some descendants tried to claim Cherokee citizenship through her, but could not prove it.

 William A Dennis and wife Margaret (Richardson) are buried in Walker’s Chapel, Allen County, KY.  Burial records indicate William A. was born February 27, 1845 and died February 28, 1912.  Margaret born March 15, 1845 and died October 11, 1915.

 Best Regards,

Rick Tidwell


(8/29/09  Rick Tidwell found the following story, after intense searching, about his gg grandfather John H. Dennis, born in 1839.. )

From the Earlington Bee in Earlington, Kentucky, June 15, 1899: 


Oldest Engineer on the Henderson Division in a Wreck at Guthrie

 Will Bramham Badly Scaled About Arms and Head

 John DENNIS, the popular old engineer, met death at his post of duty Tuesday night in a wreck at Guthrie. He was driving the engine on the Hopkinsville accomodation. Starting away from Guthrie the train left the track at the Elkton and Guthrie switch, the engine and baggage car overturned into the ditch and the coaches left the track. None of the passengers were hurt, and the baggageman escaped. Engineer DENNIS was terribly scalded and burned so that he only lived a short while. His home was in Nashvile and the railroad officials ran a special train to take his family to Guthrie. He died five minutes after his family arrived. Fireman Will Bramham was badly scalded about the head and arms but walked back from the wreck in search of a doctor, and was about the first man to get back to Guthrie after the accident. He was brought here yesterday on a cot in the baggage car and taken to the home of his wife's father, Mr. D.W. UMSTEAD, of this place. Mrs. BRAMHAM accompanied him.

It was about 8:15 o'clock when the wrecker whistle blew in the Earlington yards and nobody knew more than that the "Hoptown" accommodation was off the track. The first details were received here a few minutes later by telephone from Mr. J.R. RASH who had reached Guthrie enroute home from the East.

John DENNIS was the oldest engineer on the Henderson division, having been here since 1872, and was the only engineer who had been in continuous service on this road since the L. & N. secured control of the Henderson division in 1879.

Conductor GEPHARDT reported that the switch light was all right and indicated a clear track. There are suspicions that the switch had been tampered with. (Source: Earlington Bee, Thur., June 15, 1899)

        (Rick Tidwell)

         The death certificate for his brother William A. Dennis, is HERE

Sherd (Sherod) Dennis (son of Levi H. Dennis) death certificate: (shown as Sheridan above)

 Name: Sherd Dennis

Titles and Terms (original):

Death Date: 10 Oct 1927

Death Place: Morgan, Illinois

Gender: Male

Age: 80

Estimated Birth Year: 1847

Birth Date: 10 Sep 1847

Birthplace: Tennessee

Father: Levi Dennis

Father's Birth Place: Tennessee

Mother: Rebecca Lyons

Mother's Birth Place: Tennessee

Occupation: Laborer

Residence: Waverly, Ill.

Spouse: Caroline Dennis

Burial Date: 12 Oct 1927

Digital Folder Number: 4008202

Image Number: 140

Film Number: 1614262

Volume/Page/Certificate Number: 111cn16

Collection: Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947

Submitted by Rick Tidwell






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